A new SUV from Mahindra always grabs a lot of attention. I remember the launch event of the XUV500 as if it were yesterday. It was one of the first few launches I covered and yes, back then the ‘cheetah inspired car, was a new age one because it was the first Mahindra based on a monocoque chassis and was developed in Nashik and yes even Chennai. So, it was befitting that to drive the XUV700, we headed to Chennai, where the company has recently opened the SUV Proving Track, a place where this very SUV was born.
So first let’s clear your doubts about the design, because when pictures leaked online, the reactions took our social media by storm.
Also Read: Mahindra XUV700 Launched In India
Mahindra XUV700: Design
The XUV700 certainly is an evolution of the XUV500. It retains the muscular haunches that the XUV500 had and even the bulge on the bonnet, gives it a very ‘500’ look. Then there are the LED DRLs which give it a signature look, the design is very similar to the XUV300 but a little magnified and then the chrome that’s splashed on the front grille and of course the all-new logo. Now the profile too is interesting because it looks elongated and that’s because it is. It’s longer than the XUV500, maintains the same width but it is not as tall as the XUV500 and that’s because it squats down. However, that has had no impact on the ground clearance which is still at 160 mm.
|Dimensions||Mahindra XUV700||Mahindra XUV500|
|Length||4695 mm||4585 mm|
|Width||1890 mm||1890 mm|
|Height||1755 mm||1785 mm|
|Wheelbase||2750 mm||2700 mm|
|Ground Clearance||160 mm||160 mm|
The 18-inch alloy wheels certainly add to the stance of the XUV700 and even the lower variants get 17-inch tyres. So it still squats pretty well on the road and that adds to the coupe-SUV look. The rear is a bit of a disappointment I must say. It, in fact, resembles the rear section of the car from a Bavarian carmaker. It does look a bit overdone here and while it’s bulky and muscular upfront, it’s what can I say, a little chiselled at the rear and that’s a distinct mismatch between the front and rear design. And yes, it doesn’t look good at all.
So, yes the exterior isn’t great but the cabin makes up for it.
Mahindra XUV700: Cabin
The cabin is a great place to be in. Soft-touch materials that are used here to the quality of plastic used, it’s all very sophisticated and top-notch. The seats are very comfortable and you have great under-thigh support as also lumbar support not to mention that you can electronically adjust them too. The controls are very Mercedes-Benz-like and that’s cool! Then you have the two big 10 inch screens, one for the infotainment system and one is the infotainment cluster and it’s all very futuristic.
You get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and also wireless charging and don’t forget, the biggest in class panoramic sunroof too. The graphics on the two screens look stunning and yes it’s a connected car as well with an e-sim but none of the features worked right now because the car is still a work in progress. But the brain behind all the new tech is called AdrenoX and the fact that it gets a mention as a badge on the car. We can’t wait to see how it performs.
What Of The Second Row?
The second row offers good enough space. Now I have already said that the wheelbase is more than the XUV500 and there’s good knee room and headroom and also good shoulder room though the width has remained the same. Now, you get rear AC vents and a C-type charger and that’s it. But if you need more legroom at the rear you can push the co-passenger front seat forward and get a lot more legroom.
Also Read: Mahindra XUV700 SUV: Variants Explained
Is The Third Row Good Enough For Adults?
Well, I could hardly get inside, let alone be comfortable. There is no space for adults here and yes it’s just for kids. You get features like AC vents and a 12 volt charger here but not comfort for sure!
Given how feature-packed it is, we would have loved to see features like ventilated seats, head-up display. Though these aren’t deal-breakers, they’ve become a part of some of the hatchbacks or subcompact SUVs, so though wishful thinking, it would have been a great addition to the features list.
But let’s get to how the XUV700 drives.
Mahindra XUV700: Petrol Automatic
The XUV700 gets a 2-litre turbo petrol unit which pushes out 197 bhp yes that’s a huge amount of power, but with the 6-speed automatic transmission there is a bit of lag and that’s because the torque of 380 Nm kicks in only around 2000 rpm and so the initial lag is very evident and this will especially be more evident in traffic conditions. To mitigate this lag some driving modes would have helped but there’s nothing of the sort here and we do miss the paddle shifters as well, and yes it’s a bit noisy too just post 3000 rpm.
|Mahindra XUV700 Petrol|
|Maximum Power||197bhp @ 5000 rpm|
|Peak Torque||380 Nm@1750-3000 rpm|
|Transmission||6-Speed Manual/6-Speed Automatic|
The progression of power is good though and you can push it till 5000 rpm after which the unit has nothing much to offer. But there’s still some promise with the diesel engine and so I got into that one to see how it performs.
Mahindra XUV700: Diesel Automatic
This 2.2-litre unit punches out 182 bhp and in the automatic, there’s 450 Nm of torque available which is massive. Now I said earlier that there are no driving modes and some of you might have questioned saying, oh but we saw something about it and yes, there are driving modes but only on the diesel automatic. It’s called Zip, Zap and Zoom and a custom option too which tunes the engine and steering feel. It’s more like ECO, Sports and Sports plus mode and that’s why it becomes more interesting to drive. The torque kicks in at a lower rpm and there’s good power available up to 4000 rpm so yes, it’s definitely the more enjoyable of the two to drive.
|Mahindra XUV700 Diesel|
|Maximum Power||182bhp @ 3500 rpm|
|Peak Torque||450 Nm @ 1750-2800 rpm|
Mahindra XUV700: Diesel Manual
The 2.2 litre Diesel also comes with this 6-speed manual option and though the torque figures are less than the automatic at 420 Nm, the good thing is that it kicks in earlier at 1,600 rpm which means you get a better response in this band, especially with the gears in your control. And then some more things that you would not associate with cars from Mahindra maybe a few years back. The gearshift is quite smooth you’ll be impressed with that, the throws are not very long and the clutch is light too. All these things come together to give you a hassle-free drive experience.
|Mahindra XUV700 Diesel|
|Maximum Power||182bhp @ 3500 rpm|
|Peak Torque||450 Nm @ 1750-2800 rpm|
Mahindra XUV700: Ride And Handling
We know the track is not the right place to judge how it drives on the road but at least we can estimate it thanks to the few laps we got around the track. This one gets an independent front and rear suspension setup and that just balances the car out so well that even at high speeds it’s great to drive. We would love to take it out and check how it does on pothole-ridden roads in India but well, we surely think it would take everything in its stride. There’s a hint of body roll through and you kind of expect that from a big car like this.
There’s one more aspect we want to dwell upon and that’s safety because Mahindra’s focus on new products has always been about just that.
Mahindra XUV700: Safety Features
Now one thing Mahindra is taking a lot of pride in on the XUV700 is the long list of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems the car comes with. One of them is the lane departure warning and lane keep assist. At speeds over 60 kmph, if the car senses that you’re not trying to change lanes deliberately, but the car is drifting towards the other lane, the steering wheel corrects itself and keeps you safe in the lane you’ve been trying in.
And then there is the forward collision warning and Autonomous emergency brakes. Now you’re driving at speeds that are lower than 50 kmph and then an obstacle comes in your way. So what the system does it that it first warns you about it but even then if you don’t stop the car applies brakes by itself and comes to a halt. Now, this is done with the help of radar as well as camera systems that come in this car. Let me show you a sample (as the car approached a dummy).
Mahindra XUV700: Verdict
The XUV700 then marks Mahindra’s entry into the connected car world and it brings in a host of changes when it comes to vehicle development.
But What Excites us are the prices because the XUV700 is available in a total of 4 variants, however, prices for all the variants have not been announced. The Base MX petrol costs ₹ 11.99 lakh while the base variant diesel costs ₹ 12.49 lakh. Then you have the AX trim and only the prices of the petrol trims have been announced. The AX3 petrol is priced at ₹ 13.99 lakh while the AX5 petrol variant has been launched at ₹ 14.99 lakh. The prices of the other 4 variants will be announced at a later date.
|Mahindra XUV700 Prices||Petrol||Diesel|
|Mahindra XUV700 MX||₹ 11.99 lakh||₹ 12.49 lakh|
|Mahindra XUV700 AX3||₹ 13.99 lakh||To Be Announced|
|Mahindra XUV700 AX5||₹ 14.99 lakh||To Be Announced|
|Mahindra XUV700 AX7||To Be Announced||To Be Announced|
It might not be the best looking of the lot especially when you compare it to cars like the Alcazar or the Tata Safari, but the pricing sure makes it an attractive proposition. We won’t say right now that it will blow its competition out of water because all the prices have not been announced yet, but it certainly holds the potential to do so.