Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 23 May 2019
While the fiercely-contested compact family car segment is a tough space, Mahindra South Africa has just given us the brand new “3 Double Oh.” Building on a strong foundation as South Africa’s 2018 largest growing OEM and with the likes of the KUV100 NXT, TUV300, Thar, PikUp and the larger luxury XUV500 we were invited to attend the media launch of the XUV300 and find out what the stylish newcomer offers.
Affordable, Spacious & Stylish Models
Entering a new vehicle into the market is always tough. With competition coming from all angles and many established names on the field, a product which is attractive, feature-packed and affordable is what is needed. From the start, it is evident that Mahindra has certainly got the job done on all angles!
The local XUV300 line-up includes two engines and two trim levels, for a total of four derivatives. Whether trimmed in W6 or the range-topping W8 variant, it is immediately clear that Mahindra has not left anything to chance and included a wealth of standard features.
The W6 variant features LED daytime running lights, LED taillamps, follow-me-home headlamps, a roof spoiler, roof rails and 16-inch steel wheels. On the safety front, this variant also features two airbags, ABS (with EBD), Isofix child-seat anchors and an immobiliser.
The range-topping extensive W8 specification level, meanwhile, adds five more airbags (for a total of seven), electronic stability programme (with rollover mitigation), fog lamps, parking sensors, a clear reversing camera, an alarm system, rear bench seatbelt warning system, hill-hold assist, tyre-pressure monitoring system and an electrochromatic rear-view mirror. It also gains dual-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry and go, a glass sunroof, a TFT display in the instrument cluster (with colour-adjustable lighting), leather trim for the steering wheel, a beautiful leather style upholstery, a pair of dash-mounted tweeters and a sunglasses holder, as well as a height-adjustable driver’s seat and chromed interior door handles. The flagship will also boast 17-inch alloys, added chrome for the grille, electrically folding side mirrors.
The XUV300 is based on the Mahindra X100 platform and XUV300 measures 3 995 mm long and 1 821 mm wide, with a wheelbase of 2 600 mm. Under the bonnet, there is the choice of either a petrol or diesel driven motor. The turbocharged 1,2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine offers 81 kW and 200 N.m. There’s also a 1,5-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel unit which produces 86 kW and 300 N.m of torque.
Both engines make a solid case for themselves, with my personal preference coming in the way of the frugal and efficient1.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel. Whether you choose the petrol or diesel driven variant, both are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, which provides a smooth comfortable shift and overall impressive drive qualities. Firm springs make for good on-road handling, while some give, makes for a vehicle which provides a great balance between on road and gravel handling. Riding at 180mm in height, the XUV300 also provides confidence when the roads get bumpy.
Further, in addition to great road manners, the Mahindra is a Euro NCAP safety rated vehicle which is at the pinnacle within its segment. Following strict European safety standards, it offers the same or better than all of its competitors and ensures that safety is of its highest order.
Despite the very affordable price of the XUV300, Mahindra has produced a compact SUV of impressive standards. The interior feels modern and premium. Sumptuous seats and neat interior panels make for what is a stylish place to be seated.
In terms of the tech front, the infotainment system is operated by a 7-inch touchscreen and is complemented by a pair of USB ports, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are on offer, which allows for a multitude of smartphone clever applications.
The XUV300 also features satellite navigation and supports all major media sources. To crown things off, the XUV300 even allows for the use of a smartwatch which syncs with the vehicle and features certain functionality.
First Impressions Are Lasting
Across Mahindra’s product line-up the brand has been able to offer affordability without skimping on quality nor features. The XUV300 leaves a very positive first impression by showcasing what is stylish, tough and an overall enjoyable compact family SUV from a brand that is determined to offer service to the best of their ability.
SA Pricing & Warranty
XUV300 W6 Petrol – R249,999
XUV300 W6 Diesel – R274,999
XUV300 W8 Petrol – R304,999
XUV300 W8 Diesel – R324,999
The Mahindra XUV300 is offered with a standard 5-yr/150 000 km warranty as well as a 5-yr/150 000 km service plan.