2015 Mahindra TUV 300 Test Drive Review

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2015 Mahindra TUV 300 is here to shake the market with proper old school SUV charm, it offers modern technology and dynamics along with it

The SUV market is growing around the world. China and India are the largest consumers after the USA of SUVS. In India domestic manufacturer has been feeding the consumer demand. Tata did with the Safari, Sumo and Aria. Mahindra did it with the Scorpio, XUV, Bolero, Quanto and Xylo.

Today the market wants everything it was an SUV, but it wants a compact car as well. Manufacturers understood the demand and made the compact SUV. The TUV 300 has finally made it to market and is here to take on the likes of Ford Ecosport and Renault Duster. We just got a good and satisfying drive of the car at the Chakan plant of the manufacturer and pushed the vehicle to the limit to tell you how does it feel like to take ladder on frame equipped vehicle on the track.

Mahindra TUV300 Prices

T4 – Rs.6.9 Lakhs
T4 Plus – Rs.7.25 Lakhs
T6 – 7.55 Lakhs
T6 Plus -7.80 Lakhs
T8 -8.4 Lakhs
T8 AMT – 9.12 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom Pune)

Mahindra TUV300 Styling

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When it comes to design, Mahindra has nailed it with the battle tank design and that has been done in collaboration with Pinninfarina. The Jeep like grill is back on the TUV 300 and it does make it look aggressive, modern and purposeful at the same time. Square fog lights and bumper add to the tough stance.

Side profile, where the TUV 300 shines. Battle tank inspired glass area with a perfectly executed shoulder line in height and design. The C-Pillar is raked upwards to give it that armored look. At the rear it is a tad bit bland as the spare wheel mounted hides the design, but it serves the purpose.

Mahindra TUV300 Interiors

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Interior is where the Mahindra TUV 300 truly shines. Very good build quality all around and the plastics feel a tad bit hard, but that’s totally acceptable as the texture and color combination of black and beige make things pleasant for the passengers.

Commanding driving position and perfectly aligned dashboard makes it something unique in the segment, something that has not been witnessed in this segment before. The center console clearly reminds of the new generation of Maruti premium cars as the design and layout is quite similar.

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Coming to the space at the rear. It has very good head room, leg room., knee room and shoulder room for three indeed. Knee room is segment standard and more than enough, but could have been better. Trunk capacity is mighty impressive with seats folded up at a whopping 384 litres. Overall, this sub 4-meter SUV has a lot of space to keep the customers happy. A/C performs really well.

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Mahindra TUV300 Features

What you get inside is an infotainment system that provides you USB, AUX and Bluetooth along with FM and small 4-inch screen. The dials are all new and they have a host of information in terms of warning lights on them. A fuel gauge, a gear shift indicator and temperature gauge. Seat is adjustable for height and steering is available for reach.

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Another best part is the amount of space to store nick nacks inside the cabin. The lower part of the center console gets a lot of cubby holes to keep daily clutter. Steering mounted controls are also here, along with two 12V sockets. There is an Eco mode button on the right side of the car below the steering to activate more fuel efficiency from the engine.

The electric OVRM switch is also present in the same part. What does disappoint is the placement of the window switches, which is in the between the passenger and driver gives an impression of a small and cheaper car, which it isn’t, but still not the right place to keep them either.

Mahindra TUV300 Performance

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Powering the TUV 300 is the 1.5 3-cylinder engine that is borrowed from the Quanto, but has been heavily revised using Rs. 200 crores. Manifold, block and several changes to the head along with a new sixth generation turbo charger that runs in two stages give the engine almost an all-new tag. There is a dual mass flywheel to control the NVH levels as well.

The engine now produces 84 BHP and 230 Nm of torque. Mahindra won’t declare the kerb weight, but it should around the 1500 kg mark, which is the heaviest in the segment.

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How does that translate on the road? The engine is very smooth and refined and NVH levels are fantastic. Only at redline the engine makes a noise, which isn’t crude either. The TUV 300 has good low and mid range much, which propels the vehicle to the 110 km/hr in no time, but post that it struggles as kerb weight is way to high and you feel it too.

Top-end is clearly not the forte and one should opt for sedate driving style. Clutch is very light and gearshifts have typically long throw, but are smooth enough, even at fast and slow speeds.

Mahindra TUV300 Dynamics

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The TUV 300 sits on a revised platform, which was first seen on the new generation Scorpio. TUV 300 has nothing to do with Quanto or Xylo platform. Third generation chassis has been used on the TUV 300 to make it ride and handle better.

Mahindra suspension named as Cushion system that comes with anti-roll bars on both front and rear enhance the driving experience. With stiff suspension on all ends and being a rear wheel drive car it showed some great composure.

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Ride quality is pretty impressive, but it feels stiff for sure. However, that translates going almost flat through corners. Body roll is almost non existent. Understeer sets in quite quickly, because the TUV 300 is an under-tyred SUV. We sampled the car in both wet and dry conditions and grip from the tyre in terms of compound was brilliant. Steering feedback is good not great. However, it is accurate enough to your inputs. Steering also weighs up well at high speeds, but not the way we would like it.

Overall, it does not feel a body on frame car at first drive and the ride and handling package is safe, secure and you can have a bit of fun as you can reach the limits quite early because the engine does not have juice to sport raggedy edge fun. Braking is good and post 90 km/hr if emergency brake are applied, Hazards light are turned on. Pedal feel however is left to be desired.

Mahindra TUV300 Review Verdict

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Why should you buy the TUV 300 over the competition then? Well, first thing is the styling, which is clearly a true blue SUV and has the compactness of a car, which you don’t realize until you park it. TUV 300 offers a very unique driving position and commanding view, which is unseen in this segment thanks to its underpinnings.

Base variant starts a little higher, but it’s the top variant everyone is interested and it is fairly good value. However, if performance is what all you want, then you can choose competition because the TUV is for the people who want their SUV’s raw and purposeful with a lot of space and good value on offer TUV 300 cannot be missed and has to give a chance to impress you.

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Pros –

  • Handsome interior and exterior
  • Unique driving position
  • Spacious and dynamic

Cons –

  • High Kerb weight
  • Under tyred
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Exteriors
Interiors
Engine Performance
Comfort & Features
Fuel Efficiency
After Sales & Service