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Mahindra XUV 500 – review
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Mahindra XUV 500 – review

There is a Scorpio, Innovo and then there is  the likes of Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Chevrolet Captiva, Mitsubishi Pajero. Mahindra very intelligently has positioned XUV500 in between the two far ends  to bridge the wide price gap and for buyers who want something better than your now common Scorpio or Innovo but can’t loosen their purse to the likes of Fortuner etc. Smart move indeed! Going by the bumper opening bookings, Mahindra has indeed hit a jackpot!

If looks can kill, XUV500 is a killer in designer attire – muscular, intimidating yet sophisticated.  The design is inspired by Cheetah and gives a menacing stance ready to pounce  on roads.

XUV500 is build on monocoque technology and the company’s first. The construct technology integrates body and chassis into single unit and is applied in most modern SUV’s around the world. So this helps in lower structural weight and in turn better power to weight ratio as well as gives a stable ride and performance.

The jaw like front grille is loud in design and matches the size of the SUV and at its menacing best giving it a beastly look.  I very much fell in love with the spread of honeycomb grille giving it loads of character and uniqueness.


Check out the bold lines…  two strong lines marking the sides and the accentuated curves highlighting the wheel arches giving a muscular yet polished looks…

When compared the front and side, the rear is not very dramatic…


The lights both front and rear compliment XUV500’s looks with projector headlamps, LED day-time running lights and also headlamps with their “bending” ability is very useful and practical while cornering. The vertical rear light sits pretty and there is even a curious looking motif engraved on it.

The exteriors gives a promising and an overwhelming presence and the trait is carried inside too.  You have lots of surprising elements inside.  XUV500 is quiet spacious with plenty of leg room and head room in the front as well as  between the front and middle seats.  The dashboard is well laid in dual tone.

The steering looks sturdy, meaty and hold well on your hands. It has bigger control switches and rotary knobs and side stalks on both ends and all are quiet easy and accessible to fiddle around while on a ride. So you can controls to toggle  audio, controls to activate voice commands, controls for phone calls and control for activating the cruise mode.  There is a large central pad on the steering sporting the mahindra logo giving a sense of muscular character as well as sportiness. The steering has tilt and telescopic adjustments.

The seats are spacious, comfortable and well laid with leather upholstery on the top variant and fabric seats for the  base variant.


The instrument console had loads of tell-all signs. The twin circular pad has the speedo, fuel guage and rev counter and also the temperature and oil indicators. While the central screen between the two pads gives you a plethora of information that might just dazzle you.

The music console looks classy in waterfall central bezel that flows all the way down right to the first row. On top of the music console is a touch screen infotainment.


I am a sucker of touchscreen gadgets  and it was delight to fiddle around it. As the screen would say, you got music, video, phone, car info and a navigation system. Navigation system is quiet hand

There quiet many handy boxes – glove box with laptop holder and a box above the glove box and also on dashboard above the touchscreen. There is a large cool box between the two seats in the front row.

The Air-condition vents are neatly done and is quiet good. Even the third row has a/c vents on the sides along with side holders and mobile charging points.

The top version comes with a sporty alloy wheels…

XUV500 comes in 7 colors: Dolphin grey, Opulent purple, Tuscan red, Moondust silver, Amazon green, Valcono black and Satin white.

Now coming to the heart of the matter. It’s here Mahindra proves that the company has come of age.  Though the engine under the hood is the same that Scorpio sports, it comes with some noticeable tweaks.  Neatly packed inside is a 2.2 litre mHawk engine delivering 140 bhp and an impressive torque of 330 Nm. Mated to this engine is a six-speed manual gearbox (I heard it is the first by an completely Indian made vehicle and build in-house by Mahindra) which gives the extra thrush to the car taking it 0-60 km in just 5.4 seconds.

As far the riding and performance, it is a delight to ride. It behaves like a cheetah indeed – ready to pounce, very agile in the movement, in control of the roads and yet gives you a commanding position and pleasure to ride.  With 200 mm of ground clearance, you can be well assured of riding in even the worst of Indian roads and road humps

ARAI certifies a healthy 15.1 kmpl mileage which is quiet good for  this segment.

The car comes in two variants : w6 and w8 and with w8 coming with front wheel drive and an All wheel drive option.  Unlike the regular four wheel drive, the AWD in XUV500 sports an interactive torque management system which automatically monitors the road condition and shifts from 2 wheel drive to all wheel drive whenever necessary.

The key differences between the two variants:

The coup de grace comes in the pricing. It is where Mahindra had won the battle with a launch prize of 10.91 L for the base model (w6) and 12.07L and 13.02L for 2 Wheel drive and All wheel drive of W8 variants. (All prices are ex-showroom, Bangalore)  With the impressive array of features and a brilliantly crafted vehicle both in terms of looks and performance, no wonder the vehicle has clocked 8000 bookings within the first 10 days and Mahindra has to stop taking fresh bookings. I was told bookings will restart in the first week of November.

A very appealing and wonderfully crafted SUV that is a sure value for money with a killer looks and a pleasure to ride. Cheers to Mahindra for coming of age with this world-class vehicle.


0 31 October, 2011 Cars & Bikes October 31, 2011

About the author

A passionate car and bike enthusiast from Bangalore, Sanjiv drives the fast and fair lane and fills our cup with his car and bike reviews.

View all articles by Sanjiv Vakharia


  1. Nethra

    First of all, Fortuner is Toyota’s, not Ford and Endeavour is Ford’s, not Toyota.

    And Toyota’s Fortuner looks way better than this car.

    1. Sanjiv

      Thanks Nethra for pointing out the error. Late night was working on the article and did not realize that mix up 🙂

      As far as the look are concerned, it’s a very personal opinion, each one is entitled to their own 🙂

    1. ruby

      Y dont a cat to all sections.Is Mahindra will sell to Upperclass.Then i think Benz and Audi is best.Tata is the only company in india who know the pulse of indian hearts. and not Mahindra dont

      1. Wisman

        You must have brains in your arse or brains full of arse.
        You talk about Tata !!!! Aria is just an oversized version of the tata’s old indica… Be smart dude… dont talk crap

  2. Akshat

    guyzzzzz plzzzz tell me when the booking of mahindra XUV 5OO IS OPENING………

    I wanna buy this car surely

  3. david

    The new XUV 500 SUV has come with international standard design traits, which can offer its users with absolute luxury and comfortable traveling experience that they would desire for.

  4. arsu

    is the 4wd of this car same as that of tata safari….? if not, is it quite able to take on snowy or hilly roads?

  5. aakaar

    The appearance is good, Fortuner is great but is high on cost. XUV is better off in that segment cost wise…. tyres in XUV are something that needs to be changed, for a car of this size needs broad tyres to match…. similar to Fortuner..

  6. pashupati nath jaiswal

    gadi to bahut acchi hai lekin market me deri karne se company ko nukshan na ho jaye.

  7. pashupati nath jaiswal

    gadi ko sirf delhi, haryana, calcutta pune jaise bade city high light nahi karte.., agar in saharo se gadiya high light hoti to xylo aur verito ka ye hall na hota
    company ko har city me booking aur delivery karni chahiye

  8. Sanjay rao

    Fantastic vehicle, drivers comfort, I think this vehicle is designed keeping owner driving this vehicle, lot of hi-tech stuff loaded (micro-hybrid, touchscreen commands, bluetooth interface., Navigation etc..). It is more than value for the money

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