XUV300 test drive: The cheetah's younger sibling is here

XUV300 test drive: The cheetah's younger sibling is here
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Mahindra is the largest tractor maker in the world. Even in the US, which has big homegrown players in tractors and agriculture equipment manufacturing, Mahindra has emerged as the number one tractor maker. Mahindra has also made inroads into the US auto market with the introduction of two variants of its popular off-road vehicle Thar. It aims to become a prominent player in the US auto market.

In India too, Mahindra is in top gear. After the launch of multi-purpose vehicle Marazzo and its first premium full-size SUV in India Alturas, it has rolled out sub-compact SUV XUV300. Within six months, it has launched three new vehicles, and all can boast of international quality. All the three new vehicles have the involvement of Mahindra's subsidiaries Ssangyong in South Korea and Italian car designer Pininfarina. The result is that you can find international quality in every component.

XUV300 test drive: The cheetah's younger sibling is here

XUV lineage

The XUV300 comes from the same SUV series of Mahindra that began with the XUV500. But technically the XUV300 is not the younger sibling of XUV500. If XUV500 is fully Mahindra, the XUV300 is built on the SsangYong Tivoli platform. Alturas too has a similar lineage; that of Ssangyong Rexton. Initially, Mahindra had planned to name it XUV700 but the decision was changed and it got the name Alturas.

XUV300 test drive: The cheetah's younger sibling is here

Fully Indian

If the major change that Alturas had was a new grille, the XUV300 has received several changes both in terms of design as well as features on offer that makes it almost a brand new car. Though the XUV300 shares the platform with Tivoli, the entire exterior that includes the grille, bumper, bonnet, fender, doors, back hatch etc is new. The length has been reduced from 4.2 metres to fit into the sub-four metre bracket to avail tax benefits. Even engine and the gearbox are made by Mahindra.

XUV300 test drive: The cheetah's younger sibling is here

It's not so small

Though it is a compact SUV, the XUV300 doesn't look so small. It has the traditional boxy design, big LED projector headlamps, day-time running lights, muscular wheel arches, 17-inch sporty alloy wheels, beautiful taillamps and a spoiler. It has a silver skid plate and a segment-first sunroof.

XUV300 test drive: The cheetah's younger sibling is here

Superior cabin

The cabin finish inside XUV300 is of international standard and can rival that of premium cars. The dual tone interiors are in black and off-white colour scheme. The features list is loaded too and includes a seven-inch infotainment system, keyless entry, front parking sensors, and reverse camera with dynamic guidelines with rear parking sensors. Dual-zone climate control and tyre pressure monitoring system are segment firsts.

XUV300 test drive: The cheetah's younger sibling is here

Engines

The XUV300 comes with a choice of two engines. The petrol engine is a 1.2-litre turbocharged unit that churns out 110 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque. The diesel unit is a 1.5-litre motor that produces 115 bhp of power and 300 Nm of torque. The engines are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Both the mills offer impressive performance.

XUV300 test drive: The cheetah's younger sibling is here

Driving

Both the diesel and petrol engines are tuned for superior driveability and fuel efficiency. The linear power delivery means that one has to work less through the gears while driving in city conditions. The handling is good even at higher speeds. With enough legroom and comfortable seats, the XUV300 offers good riding experience too.

XUV300 test drive: The cheetah's younger sibling is here

Safety

The XUV300 can boast of segment-firsts such as seven airbags, hill-hold assist and corner brake control. It also gets other safety features like ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors as standard.

Price

The prices of the petrol variant of the XUV300 begin from Rs 7.90 lakh and that of diesel from Rs 8.49 lakh.

Test drive: TVS Sons 8111889250

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