Mahindra can lay claim to be the rightful successor of Willys Jeep. Though the Jeep went its own way, many Indians still believe that Mahindra is the original Jeep. Scorpio is Mahindra's gift to them. It is also an Indian success story that aims to take on the real Jeep that has now hit the Indian roads.
The game changer: Scorpio was the first vehicle that helped Mahindra shake off its Willys image and acquire a new identity. True to its Willys lineage, Scorpio proved that it can be a rugged vehicle and a good off-roader. More importantly, it showed that Mahindra too has the tech know-how to produce such a vehicle when the Scorpio was rolled out from the Mahindra stable in 2002.
Third gen: The success of Scorpio is now spread over three generations. And the latest facelift is based on the third gen Scorpio that was launched in 2014. Despite several iterations, Mahindra has not made any changes to the ladder-type chassis or its body, presumably to retain its Jeep nature. But there are plenty changes in engine, gear box and some other features.
New look: A few cosmetic changes have added to the beauty quotient of the SUV. The new dual-tone front grille features a 7-slat design that's similar to Jeep Compass. The changes in the front don't stop there. There is a new bumper, with integrated scuff plate and chrome trim around fog lamps. The fog-lamps get cornering assist. It rides on a new 17-inch, 5-spoke alloy wheels. The transparent tail lamp in the old Scorpio makes way for a new red theme.
The inside: The interior looks premium. New upholstery and silver trims on gear lever, glove box, steering and dashboard give it an upmarket feel. Other additions include a six-inch touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, rear parking camera, tyre pressure monitor, rain-sensing wipers, and voice assistance. Storage spaces are available behind gear lever for keeping mobile phones and wallets. Doors too have space and can accommodate water bottles. Seats are comfortable, thus making long trips less tiresome.
Four models: S3, S5, S7 and S11 form the four variants. Engine becomes more powerful with the addition of 20bhp. While the base model gets the 2.5 litre engine, the other models feature the mHawk 2.2 litre engine.
More power: The 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder m2DICR diesel engine produces 75 BHP and 200 Nm of torque. The 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder mHawk engine in S5 and S7 is new gen. It produces 120 BHP and 280 Nm. The top-end S11 gets the 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder mHawk diesel engine that churns out 140 BHP and 320 Nm. The higher variants sport a six-speed transmission, while the others have a five-speed stick.
Driving: For the 140 BHP variant, the engine and gearbox are the same as that of premium XUV 500. Hence, Scorpio can boast of the same driving pleasure of XUV 500. Off-roading capabilities too have increased. Changing gears and other controls are as easy as cars. Overall, Scorpio has retained its USP as a multi-purpose vehicle with off-roading capabilities. And, there is a 4WD model for hardcore enthusiasts.
Price: Showroom- From Rs 9.95 lakh
Test Drive: Pothans Mahindra 7558889243