Business Today

If looks were all...

Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: Nov 27, 2011

Once, while speaking to this correspondent way back in 2004, Anand Mahindra had said he wanted to be the global leader in utility vehicles. Mahindra Scorpio was launched in 2001, and while it was perceived as providing great 'value-for-money', even the most generous of reviewers would have said that it was not the best utility vehicle. The XUV5OO - 'five double O' not 'five hundred' - despite its seemingly silly name, seems to be the car designed by Mahindra & Mahindra from the ground-up to fulfil Anand Mahindra's dream. (Must Read:The takeover man: Anand Mahindra)

Mahindra XUV5OO
Engine: Diesel, 2179cc, 140 horsepower mHawk140
Six-speed gearbox
Seven seats
City mileage: 11 km/litre
(in test conditions)
Traction control and six airbags in top variants
Price (ex-showroom New Delhi): Rs 10.80-12.88 lakh (depending on the variant chosen)

It is an extremely attractive vehicle even though the front seems to be swathed in acres of plastic. The way the rear wheel arch seemingly goes up to the window line makes it look a lot larger than it is, a strange move by the designers, since the XUV5OO is in any case quite massive. Its appeal lies in its sheer size. And it seems people have placed orders based on its looks. A record 9,000 units have been ordered and production is sold out for four months.

But looks apart, the driving experience leaves much to be desired. The vehicle lacks that little bit of refinement which would have made it not merely good, but great. The top-end model of the car has features even vehicles twice its price do not. If you are not driving the behemoth, it is pretty nice to sit inside - even though I hate white cabin lights, which it has installed. The red-accented 'lounge' lights, however, are neat.

So, if you are a Mahindra Scorpio owner looking for a good vehicle to upgrade to, you have found one.

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