Restyled: 2019 Mahindra XUV 500 W10

2019-02-27 06:01
PHOTO: sourced2019 Mahindra XUV 500 W10.

PHOTO: sourced2019 Mahindra XUV 500 W10.

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LIFE is about compromises. Critics complain that Mahindra’s new flagship, the XUV 500 W10, has only 96 litres of boot volume when all seven seats are in use. Unfortunately, if you want more space you have to spend more money. For example there’s a Ford Everest with similarly sized diesel engine, automatic gearbox and a 400-litre boot. Apart from costing more, its body is over a foot longer and it needs half a metre more turning space. As we said, life’s about compromises.

What you are not asked to compromise on includes:

• Safety — six airbags, disc brakes all around with ABS and EBD, ESP with rollover mitigation, hill hold and hill descent control.

• Convenience — static bending headlamps, seven-inch colour touchscreen, video playback, tyre pressure monitoring, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, front fog lamps, roof rails, onboard computer and Intellipark. Beyond the usual reversing camera and audible warnings, the system displays the distance to imminent contact, starting at about 105 cm and counting down.

• Style — alloy wheels, illuminated doorsills, puddle lamps and leather upholstery on W8 and 10.

• Expected features — tilt and reach adjustable steering wheel with remotes, phone connection, voice commands, cruise control, powered windows and mirrors, automatic air conditioning, recharging points, remote tailgate unlocking, rear wash and wipe with demister, follow-me lights, remote fuel flap release.

Mahindra did not provide details of the suspension improvements but they work well. Springing and damping is noticeably softer yet still mildly firm. The car remained stable along the same dodgy surfaces over which we tested a W8 a few years ago, but it was noticeably more comfortable. And quieter. Mahindra worked on sound-deadening too.

The W10 is the same as W8, except that it comes in automatic only and boasts extra features; a sunroof with anti-pinch, keyless entry with push-button starter and electrical adjusters for the driver’s seat.

WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO LIVE WITH:

• We hadn’t driven an automatic XUV 500 before, so we were keen to “give it the gears.” A conventional autobox, it occasionally hunted for the right ratio when stressed but it’s by no means as fussy as some. It isn’t a “sports” box either; so don’t expect the kind of brutal kick-down you might experience with a sports saloon. Manual override is controlled by a little black switch on the side of the gear lever.

• Seven adults can fit, although your six-foot teenager might object if you expect her to remain in the third row for too long. Taller passengers are happier in the second row where head- and knee-space is more generous.

• An unfortunate side effect of installing two pedals, where there were previously three, is that it leaves a big space between the accelerator and the side panel. Unless you’re careful, it’s possible to wedge your foot into the space and end up with no accelerator movement at all. Murphy’s Law dictates that this will happen when you need to get moving quickly.

• Vision outward is good, the car has all the vigour it needs for its intended purposes, it handles and parks easily and it’s comfortable.

• Interior trim is hard plastic with various surface patterns while fit and finish is a little sketchy.

Mahindras make no claim to be BMWs and prices reflect that. On the other hand, they appear to be solid and reliable, real life fuel economy is acceptable and this top-level version is loaded with good stuff.

At its price you could hardly go wrong. Test unit from Mahindra SA press fleet.

The numbers

Price: R419 999

Engine: 2179 cc, DOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder turbodiesel

Power: 103 kW at 3750 rpm

Torque: 330 Nm between 1600 and 2800 rpm

Zero to 100 km/h: 13.3 seconds

Maximum speed: 175 km/h

Real life fuel consumption: About 8.4 l/100 km

Tank: 70 litres

Luggage: 96 – 702 – 1512 litres

Warranty: five years / 150 000 km

Service plan: five years/100 000 km

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