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Mahindra XUV700 vs competition: How the new SUV fares against peers on price, power and safety

The cherry on the cake, of course, is the pricing of the XUV700. The XUV700 manages to undercut the price of the top-end Tata Safari, while offering a lot more car for the money.

September 30, 2021 / 07:32 PM IST

After much anticipation following spy images being leaked on the internet, the Mahindra XUV700 has officially been launched, to a predominantly positive reception. Mahindra’s 7-seater SUV, has been launched at a starting price of Rs 11.99 lakh – an ex-showroom price tag that significantly undercuts even the outgoing XUV500, which it directly replaces. The price of the top-end diesel automatic is Rs 21.59 lakh, while the top-end petrol costs Rs 20.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

While the XUV500 saw Mahindra & Mahindra transition from a manufacturer of hardy, mechanically simple and agricultural off-roaders to a maker of sophisticated urban SUVs, the XUV700 finds the brand in a very different space, with a significantly greater international presence, best-selling SUVs in its portfolio and design giants like Pininfarina in its pocket.

The XUV700 goes up against a recently surfaced crew of 7-seaters, which are derivatives of five-seater SUVs. This includes the Creta-based Hyundai Alcazar, the Harrier-based Tata Safari and the three-row variant of the MG Hector – the MG Hector Plus.

Yes, the XUV700 isn’t the widest or the tallest of the lot, it’s ferociously competitive pricing is likely to give it an edge over its competition, along with a few other factors. Here’s what they are:

Power

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The XUV700, whose 2.2-litre diesel variant is yet to be launched, gets a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine which makes a not inconsiderable 197 bhp and 380 Nm of torque (depending on the transmission). Thus putting it miles ahead of the competition which, at present only features naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol in the Alcazar, making 157 bhp and 191 Nm of torque while the Hector Plus features a smaller 1.5-litre turbo-petrol churning out an underwhelming 140 bhp of peak power and an impressive 250 Nm of torque. The Tata Safari is yet to be launched with a petrol motor.

On the diesel front as well, Mahindra has been careful to stay on top of the list in terms of sheer power, with two diesel variants in different states of tune. The base MX variant, which gets a manual gearbox makes 152 bhp and 420 Nm of torque while the automatic variant gets 182.4 bhp of power and 450 Nm of torque. With the exception of the MX variant’s power levels, all the figures exceed those offered by the competition, with the Tata Safari and MG Hector Plus being the closest competitors, sharing the same Stellantis-sourced 2.0-litre engine, which makes 168 bhp and 350 Nm of torque. Both petrol and diesel variants of the XUV700 will come with a six-speed manual and an optional six-speed, torque converter automatic.

Tech

When it comes to features, the whole appears to be dripping with tech. The XUV gets two 10.5-inch screens, one touch-enabled for infotainment and the other serving as a digital guage cluster. In addition to this, the top-end variant gets a panoramic sunroof, a 12-speaker Sony sound system. What it doesn’t get are ventilated seats, ambient lighting, puddle lamps etc.

It must be noted however, that a lot of these features aren’t available on the entry-level MX variant which gets a smaller 8.0-inch touchscreen, 17-inch steel wheels and misses out on the Mahindra AdrenoX system.

For the more well-equipped AX3 variant, which gets wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mahindra’s patented AdrenoX infotainment OS, and the even more well-equipped AX5 variant which gets side-airbags, six-way power-adjustable driver seats, diamond-cut alloys etc, the customer has to shell out Rs 13.99 lakh and Rs 14.99 lakh, respectively.

While a lot of features such as touchscreen infotainment, ambient lighting, soft-touch dashboard, dual wireless charging docks and a 360-degree camera, are to be found on the rivals’ features list, it’s only the XUV that gets segment firsts like flush-fitting door handles and its Advanced Driver Assistance System.

Safety

Once again, none of the XUV's rivals has skimped on safety features, with all of them getting six airbags along with staples like ABS, EBD, TCS, ESC, ISOFIX child mounts, a 360-degree camera with a blind view monitor - the lot.

However, the XUV has a considerable lead in the safety department by offering driver knee airbags and other segment firsts like active lane assist, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and another feature called “driver drowsiness detection” which, according to the brand “nudges you awake” if it detects prolonged lack of engagement from the driver.

The feature will only be found on the top-end variants of the XUV, and can be purchased as part of an optional extras package.

Price

The cherry on the cake, of course, is the pricing of the XUV700. At Rs 11.99 lakh, the XUV700 is not only cheaper than the base MG Hector Plus by Rs 1.5 lakh, it’s also cheaper than the outgoing XUV500. While the prices for the diesel variant are yet to be announced, the petrol version undercuts the likes of the less powerful base variant of the Hyundai Alcazar by a whopping Rs 4.3 lakh. Mahindra has confirmed that an AWD variant of the XUV will be available later.

M Where the Safari’s XZA costs Rs 23.18 lakh, the XUV diesel automatic costs Rs 21.59. This may be higher than the top-end diesel offered by the Alcazar, however, it should be noted that the entry-level XUV700 diesel automatic costs Rs 16.2 lakh (5-seater) and Rs 17.8 lakh (seven-seater) once again managing to undercut the competition.

Given that the likes of the Mahindra Thar, launched last year, have a waiting period of almost 1 year, the XUV700 looks all-set to join its kin in the country’s most sought-after SUV list.
Parth Charan is a Mumbai-based writer who’s written extensively on cars for over seven years.
first published: Sep 30, 2021 06:45 pm

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