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NEW MAHINDRA XUV500 W10: THE GOOD JUST GOT BETTER

Mahindra pulled out all the stops when they came out with the XUV 500 back in 2011 and put the manufacturer on the map as a contender in the premium SUV market. The monocoque SUV appeared on the scene with bold styling, good road presence, a plethora of equipment and creature comforts, and a dependable brand name. Although some people remained skeptical about the high price tag, there was no denying that Mahindra had ticked all the right boxes with the XUV 500 and become a popular SUV.xuv500nepal2Despite the popularity and likability in terms of pricing amongst SUVs, the XUV 500 had to keep up with competition; especially with the
emergence of so many compact SUVs. So, like most things in today’s fast changing world, the XUV 500 too received an update. However, the updates are not just skin deep and there is a lot to look forward to.

THE STYLING UPGRADE  

The update certainly brings along its share of cosmetic upgrades. The already good looking XUV 500 gets even better. xuv500nepal1Mahindra have stuck to the basic cheetah inspired design they boasted of when the XUV first came out. In fact, they have toned down the aggressiveness aiming to achieve a more mature appearance. Up front, the aggressive faux intake whisker has been replaced with simple ‘L-Shaped’ chrome element that houses the re-positioned foglamps. The white front grille has also been replaced with toned down black grilles.xuv500nepalbThe engine hood is now cleaner, and has two sculpted bulges on either side, which make the front end look a bit higher when viewing from the side. Opening the hood is an easier affair now as Mahindra have equipped pneumatic struts (top-end model only). The sides and rear haven’t been introduced to too much change but that isn’t too much of a bad thing because they got it right the first time around. The only changes brought about by the facelift are a chrome window underlining and new 17-inch alloy rims. The identical ORVMs now feature puddle lights that project the XUV500 logo on the ground.xuv500nepal4THE INTERIOR UPGRADE

In the center console, Mahindra have replaced the reflective wood trim in the center console for a simple black plastic trim with dull grey surrounds. Taking the limelight though is the all new 7-inch ICE infotainment touchscreen display. There is good brightness and contrast levels, colors in the screen don’t look washed out under direct sunlight. The Bluetooth connectivity streamed music from any smartphone without any interruptions or sound distortion. It also syncs to your contact list and, apart from the telephony feature, can also read your SMS out loud.xuv500nepalinteriorMahindra has slightly improved the build quality of the interior with new materials and things seem firmer than the pre-facelift XUV500. The driver’s seat is power-adjustable in 6 different ways, which helps fine-tune the driving position. The XUV also boasts of one of the most spacious cabins in the segment which gives it the great combination of highway drivability and premium feel.  xuv500nepaldA neat sunroof unit has also been introduced. The Auto HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) system worked flawlessly in the new XUV500.Other features equipped include cruise control, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, power-foldable ORVMs, and a pair of illuminated scuff plates on both sides. Mahindra have refined the ride quality as well.

THE PERFORMANCE UPGRADE

Suspension has been better tuned to provide a sportier ride and high speed capabilities. The vehicles’ ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) system supplied by Bosch has been upgraded (by the supplier). The new ESP 9 system now offers more precise cornering and better lane-keeping capability at high speeds. The car also has brake energy regeneration that feeds power to the battery.xuv500nepal7The Mahindra ‘New Age’ XUV500 is powered by the same transverse-mounted 2.2-liter mHawk 140 diesel engine that makes 140 bhp at 3,750 rpm and 330 Nm of torque at 1,600-2,800 rpm. It isn’t sluggish by any means and makes overtaking maneuvers gracefully. Also, the rear view camera with guided lines is an added benefit. AWD version by default sends 60% of the power to the front wheels and 40% to the rear, which can also be made 50-50% by pressing the AWD lock button.xuv500nepal6VERDICT

When the XUV first came out, we liked it. Although many didn’t consider the Mahindra moniker to be makers of exceptionally good looking cars the XUV 500 definitely had people thinking differently. Sans of an exorbitant price tag, Mahindra’s offering was one of the best value for money SUVs propositions available.xuv500nepal8Their recent upgrade has made the XUV 500 even better, providing even more creature comforts than it did before. Featuring an assortment of 31 new features and bagging 29 awards in India, the XUV has cemented itself as a formidable competitor in the SUV market with a price tag that will set rivals sweating.

For specifications and pricing, click here

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