The much awaited new XUV500 from Mahindra has been launched and it features many updates inside out. The XUV500 has been the most premium SUV from Mahindra and we say also one of its best yet. This new SUV competes with current rivals like the Renault Duster but another big reason for Mahindra to give these updates is the fact that both Hyundai and Maruti are bringing their SUVs in form of the ix25 and S-Cross. Alongside the earlier line-up of variants including the W4, W6, W8 and W8 AWD variants, there is a new flagship trim level added called as the W10; available in AWD also. The XUV500 is now available in seven colours namely Pearl White, Volcano Black, Moondust Silver, Dolphin Grey, Opulent Purple, Tuscan Red and an all New Sunset Orange.
The engine continues to be the turbocharged 2.2 litre 140 bhp m-Hawk motor. Another figure that is of importance is 330 Nm of torque as despite being a big SUV, performance is brisk with 0-60 km/h dispatched in a claimed 5.4 seconds. There is no automatic option instead there is a 6-speed manual gearbox and as always you can choose between FWD and AWD versions. While the driving experience is not massively different when compared to the previous XUV500 there are improvements in key areas. The gears are now differently stacked and by that it has increased efficiency also.
The performance at low revs is reponsive with lag being reduced drastically and you will see the XUV500 picks up well from low-speeds plus the clutch is light though the gearbox feels a bit notchy. The suspension of the XUV500 has McPherson struts up front and the independent multilink suspension in the rear. The ride is better now and so is the refinement but handling wise there is roll but slightly less than before. Importantly the efficiency figure rises to 16 kmpl with help from added tech like regenerative braking.
Styling has always been one of the biggest USPs of the Mahindra XUV500 and in the facelift version it is even better as Mahindra have tweaked the styling a bit. There is a new front grille with chrome inserts, new bonnet and bumper, new fog lamps with chrome bezel, new black accents, new window chrome lining, paw-styled new door handles, new chrome rear appliqui and of course new 17inch alloy wheels. You will also like the new projector headlamps with LED light guides.
Inside its much better than before with new black and beige interiors which needless to say lift the ambience inside. There are new leather seats, instruments with icy blue theme, new blue lighting, new aluminum pedals, new illuminated scuff plates. Features have always been the biggest draw of the XUV500 and it continues to be so inside with equipment in form of new 6-way powered drivers seat, push button start/stop, new 7 inch touch-screen with GPS navigation, USB audio/video/picture viewer, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity and AUX input, and Mahindra BLUE SENSE Technology, new voice meassging system, new reverse camera with dynamic assist and logo projection lamps.
In terms of safety, it has 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, hill hold and hill descent control and disc brakes on all wheels. Comfort is good on first two rows though third row is cramped.
There is no doubt that the new Mahindra XUV500 is much better and to us other than the features its the new found dynamic improvements which make it a better deal. There are of course its usual strengths like looks and features which are stronger than ever. We recommend the top-end W10 with the added features as that makes it terrific value which none of its rivals are currently offering.