2015 Mahindra TUV300 – First Drive Review

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Mahindra TUV300 - Exterior - Interior - Driving Dynamics - First Drvie Review - Automobilians (6)

Mahindra is famous for building some rough and reliable SUVs in India. The Scorpio, the XUV500 are one of the best SUVS on offer by the company in India, while the Bolero by Mahindra is India’s best selling SUV. Now, the Mahindra has come up with one more SUV which is tough, bold and holds a true-blue SUV character – the TUV300. TUV stands for Tough Utility Vehicle while the 300 is just a naming nomenclature by the company as it is for the XUV500. We take it for a short spin around Mahindra’s Chakan plant to see and know how this sub-4 meter compact SUV performs.

Price of Mahindra TUV300 – Rs. 6.90 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom, Pune)

Styling – Exterior & Interior: The TUV300 gets a design inspired from a battle tank, only when looked from its side. Otherwise, the overall design looks boxy. Not only the car looks boxy, but its headlamps and fog lamps too look box like. From the front the car gets legendary Jeep like grille with chrome surroundings and the rear resembles the Humvee/Hummer. The claddings on the side are also squarish in shape in which the alloy wheels offered by the company look a little smaller according to the overall size of the car. The car’s side profile is very much decent in looks and though the front and the rear may resemble some other vehicles, overall the car looks just simple and good in flesh than in the pictures. Being a sub-4 meter in size the car looks bigger than it looks in the pictures and holds a true SUV characteristic.

As you open the door and step inside, you will notice a neatly designed dual-tone dashboard and dual-tone seats with refreshing colours. The steering wheel looks nice too. The quality of plastics used for the dashboard and the other parts of the interiors are good and are all well placed. The infotainment system is basic with a regular size screen with an orange blacklit. The seats are comfortable and as we said the design of the car is boxy, it thus offers good amount of headroom and legroom on the inside. The rear seats are too comfortable. The third row is jump seats and looking at them you won’t make any adult sit there as its more suited to kids. Yes, one adult can seat there comfortably with legs spread and rested on the opposite jump seat. The car gets power steering, power windows, central locking, reverse parking sensors and audio system. The power window buttons which are usually placed on the door of the driver ‘s side are now placed in the center near the handbrake of this car which is a good idea as the co-driver can also operate all the windows as well. So, overall on the inside the car looks neat and is comfortable too.

Mahindra TUV300 - Exterior - Interior - Driving Dynamics - First Drvie Review - Automobilians (2)

Engine, Performance & Driving Dynamics: TUV300 gets a 1.5L diesel mHawk80 engine. The engine is completely newly and also the mHawk80 oil burner has nothing to do with the Quanto’s engine. This 1.5L engine produces 84 BHP and 230 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 5-speed manual gear box while the automatic variant is also on offer on the top two variants of the car only. The automatic gearbox is called as the autoSHIFT by the company. The manual transmission is a bit on the harder side and it takes time to change the gears. The car has good low-end and mid-range power while the top-end doesn’t feel much punchy. The car is built on a body-on-frame high strengthened steel platform and is on the heavier side. The car does 0-100 km/h in a good time and according o the ARAI, the car gives a fuel efficiency of 18.49 km/l. The NVH levels of the car are maintained well and thus the car performs pretty well.

Mahindra TUV300 - Exterior - Interior - Driving Dynamics - First Drvie Review - Automobilians (9)

On the move, it isn’t at all felt that the car is very heavy because the power figures help it perform well. The car proved to be very smooth on the makhan-like tarmac of the Mahindra’s plant and it also rode well on the normal tarmac too. The car’s suspension is a bit on the stiffer side and thus the ride is bouncy. The brakes are decent and help the car to come to standstill quickly. The car cruises smoothly even at higher speed but lack of confidence is felt at high speed corners because the car doesn’t has a very good stability. But, there is no too much of body roll. The steering is a power steering but is quite heavier to steer, but if on a move the steering performs well. Overall the car drives well and drives like an SUV.

Mahindra TUV300 - Exterior - Interior - Driving Dynamics - First Drvie Review - Automobilians (17)

Safety: the car is offered in T4, T4+, T6, T6+, T6 autoSHIFT, T8, T8 autoSHIFT. Dual front airbags and ABS is offered as optional on the T4 variants while the airbags and ABS is offered as standard on the T6 variants. Airbags and ABS with EBD are offered as standard on the T8 variants. The car also gets an engine immobilizer, central locking, reverse parking sensors as a part of safety on this car.

Mahindra TUV300 - Exterior - Interior - Driving Dynamics - First Drvie Review - Automobilians (10)

Verdict: This car may not be good in looks, but it looks decent and neat. The car gets ample of space and comfort on the inside and also storage capacity is good. The car is priced well and also lives up to that pricing.  The car looks more astonishing and a killer machine when it’s upgraded with all of its accessories which are offered as an option. The car gets a perfect engine to overcome any terrain and has all the basic things which a true-blue SUV should have. Finally, TUV300 is worth the buy.