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Mahindra KUV100 NXT Performance & Test Drive

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Overview

The Mahindra KUV100 was launched in India just under 2 years ago, and even though it took on entry hatches, it was positioned as Mahindra’s smallest SUV in India. Sales over the first six months were pretty impressive with an average of almost 5000 units a month. But post that the numbers started to drop and the car did not receive the success Mahindra hoped it would.

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Since Maruti Suzuki launched the Ignis and the Hyundai Grand i10 facelift has also arrived. Those cars have upped the game by offering new and improved styling, a host of smart and intuitive features and better safety equipment, and they are still getting better numbers. So Mahindra needed to act fast and what we now have is the KUV100 NXT. Apply car loan for KUV100 NXT in Fincarz.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Design & Look

While most of the design is unchanged, the Mahindra KUV100 NXT has some immediately noticeable changes. The clamshell bonnet isn’t any different from its predecessor, but the headlights, while retaining their basic shape, now feature twin pods, with restyled indicators and DRLs. The front bumper design has been updated to feature a more distinctive air dam, with the reshaped fog-lights getting body colour surrounds. Even the slender nose grille gets more distinct chrome inserts and at the bottom of the bumper, there’s a well defined silver skid plate. with a redesigned rear bumper that carries over the styling sensibilities of the front bumper. Extending from the roof is a new, integrated spoiler with what the company calls ‘Aero Corners’ – basically Mahindra-speak for the extended spoiler integrating smoothly down the tailgate. The tailgate too has seen a bit of a redesign, with a new crease running across the back that adds a bit more bulk. Just like with the headlights, the overall shape of the tail lights has been carried over as has their twin-pod layout. However, they get a clear-lens cover that adds a sharp touch of modernity.

Viewed bang-on from the side, the squarish, black plastic-clad wheel arches house new 15-inch dual-tone diamond-cut alloys. If you ask me, even though they’re a far sight better than the smaller 14-inch wheels that debuted on the original KUV100, these 15-inchers still look a bit disproportionate in the car’s profile, especially considering the extra musculature added by the new character line running across the bottom part of the doors. An extra bit of pizzaz that’s noticeable from the side, as well as the front actually, are turn indicators integrated into the new, electrically-operated, power-folding ORVMs.Generally speaking, while the styling formula hasn’t changed in the grander scheme of things, the KUV100 does look more attractive than before. And in the two-tone paint scheme of our test car, with its black roof, as well as A, B and C pillars, it even felt a bit evocative of the Range Rover Evoque from certain angles. Also Read – Mahindra To Launch KUV100 NXT Electric In 2019

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Cabin & Comfort

The changes inside aren’t extensive either but the new layout immediately looks classier. To begin with, instead of the old dual tone colour scheme, the KUV100 NXT sports an all-black theme. The dark interior palette extends to the seats as well, which also use a new fabric pattern. Prudent to note that the all-black layout is only offered in the top-spec K8 variant, which we feel should have been offered as standard.The KUV100 NXT comes with a 6-seater arrangement as standard, while the 5-seater can be availed of on a made-to-order basis. Frankly speaking, though, the middle front seat shouldn’t be used even for children. The centre console and handbrake lever leave negligible knee room here and apart from being uncomfortable, it’s also unsafe, even though there is a lap belt. However, the middle seat doubles up as what is possibly the largest armrest known to man. It’s very comfortable to use for both front occupants and operating the gear lever is no hassle either.Then there’s the new AC console. It’s still a manual air-conditioner but the chunky old dials have been dropped in favour of a cleaner electronic setup. There is just one dial to control the fan speed now and Mahindra says the new setup has helped reduce the wiring complexity too.

The steering is a simple three-spoke unit that gets some silver highlights and controls to manage the sound system and calls. The switch quality in particular isn’t too great, it feels cheap and plasticky. It’s a similar story for the stalks behind the steering wheel – not the best quality Mahindra could’ve used. The steering wheel can be adjusted for rake, but not for reach.The rest of the cabin remains largely the same and is still quite spacious. Seating two 6 footers one behind the other is easy. The space utilisation is impressive with adequate knee room and headroom offered in the front and back. Seating three at the rear is also possible. However, the occupants will sit with their shoulders touching each other. The older model did offer adjustable rear head restraints for all three rear occupants, which was a segment first. Sadly, that has been dropped and the middle occupant doesn’t get a head restraint at all anymore.Storage spots in the cabin are well thought out. There are 1-litre bottle holders in all the doors, a well-sized and cooled glovebox, a storage space with a removable bin under the co-driver’s seat, and even the rear under seat + under floor storage where you can hide precious items away from prying eyes. At 243-litres, the boot space is enough for a few duffle bags. With the rear seatback folded down you get 473-litres of storage space. Check for KUV100 NXT in kazembassy

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Engine & Gearbox

1.2-litre petrol and diesel engines power the KUV100 NXT. These new engines are three-cylinder ones and they are the same when they were launched on the micro SUV. The petrol engine has decent power and is good enough for daily usage. However, it has some amount of vibrations at low engine speeds, which means it will miss out on the refinement. These are felt the most when you are waiting on a red light. There has been some improvements in the NVH of the petrol engine and it seems a tad better than before.

The diesel engine was always good, but the biggest let down was its hard clutch. From all the product presentations we have gone through it doesn’t say a word about it. No other reviewer would have noticed this, but your clutch has now become a lot lighter. Before driving in traffic meant your clutch becoming hard and making it difficult to drive on a daily basis. This issue has been taken care of. The company claims to have reduced the diesel clatter too with better insulation. We aren’t certain of that.  For more information on Mahindra Cars visit AutoZhop

When you begin to drive this engine, you will not feel at any point that this is just a 1.2-litre engine. It is peppy and it has the punch even at low engine speeds. This makes it drivable too.Mahindra KUV100 NXT tail lampKitna deti hai? Our favourite question. The petrol engine returns about 11-12km/l in the city and out on the highway it goes up to 15km/l. On the other hand, the diesel engine will return close to 15km/l in the city and the number jumps up to 19km/l on the highway. These are the real world figures.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Driving Dynamics

Now, the suspension of the Mahindra KUV100 NXT is well-suited to our roads and the ride quality at low speeds is comfortable enough but as the speeds increase, there is a lot of vertical movement for passengers and it gets pretty annoying. The steering feels heavy and doesn’t really inspire confidence at high speeds. Even on the handling front, the KUV100 hates being driven aggressively and is more suited to cruising. The brakes felt very spongy and the feeling is very scary when you stomp the brake pedal at high speeds because there is just no confidence. Mahindra has also improved the approach and departure angles of the car, meaning you can tackle bad roads easily. However, don’t expect the KUV100 to tackle hard-core off-roads.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Braking & Safety

Mahindra has cut down on the number of variants and focused on offering safety variants directly. Like before, ABS with EBD comes as standard on every variant of the KUV100 NXT, and save for the base K2, all versions get dual front airbags too. The K6+ and K8 get speed-sensing auto-door locks, an anti-theft alarm and auto hazard light activation under panic braking or when the bonnet is opened. Exclusive to the K8 are rear parking sensors and ISOFIX child seat mounts

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Cost in Pune 

Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt On-Road Price in Pune ranges from 5,55,387 to 9,24,722 for variants KUV100 NXT K2 Petrol and KUV100 NXT K8 Dual Tone Petrol respectively. Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt is available in 12 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt variants price in Pune. Check for Kuv100 Nxt price in Pune at Carzprice.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Round Up

Moving on to the verdict. The KUV100 NXT comes at a price tag that is similar to the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and the Hyundai Grand i10. For the same price, the KUV misses out on features like push start and stop button, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and even reverse camera. But then what you get is a vehicle with the SUV-stance. This is a unique proposition and we can trade off these features for it. In short, the KUV100 NXT is a great product to consider for the Indian car market and we reckon it is a good choice to buy.

Author Since: Aug 04, 2018

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