The small­est Mahin­dra gets a makeover

Evo India - - CONTENTS - Pho­tog­ra­phy: San­jay Raikar Je­han Adil Darukhanawala rating

BBY OF­FER­ING 6-SEATER ca­pac­ity and mini-SUV stance, the Mahin­dra KUV 100 was the small­est ve­hi­cle to roll out of their sta­bles. Going by their sales fig­ures, they made a good noise in the new buyer seg­ment as nearly 50 per cent of the own­ers were first time buy­ers and 15 per cent of them were fe­males. So with a good start, it now ap­pears in an even more stylish avatar – the KUV 100 NXT.

The ba­sic sil­hou­ette of the car re­mains the same. There are few de­tails which do stand out after the first glance. The front grille now gets chrome in­serts and goes nicely with the dual cham­ber head­lamps with LED DRLs. The front and rear bumpers now ap­pear in a dual-tone fin­ish with sil­ver skid plates. The front bumper neatly in­te­grates the fog lamps which ap­pear with a bezel sur­round. You now get ‘Aero Cor­ners’ to go along with the in­te­grated spoiler. This be­ing the K8 model, you get 15-inch di­a­mond cut two-tone al­loys which com­ple­ment the de­sign well. The dou­ble bar­rel tail lamps con­tinue but now ap­pear with a clear lens cover. There is no other way to open the boot other than the re­mote key, a po­ten­tial has­sle for the cus­tomer when they roll up to the se­cu­rity check­point prior to en­ter­ing a shopping mall or ho­tel.

Step in­side and there is an im­prove­ment in the over­all fit and fin­ish. The qual­ity of plas­tics used is no­tice­ably bet­ter with the dash and the up­hol­stery get­ting a faux car­bon­fi­bre fin­ish. The air-con­di­tion­ing knobs make way for elec­tric con­trols though I have to clar­ify that it is not cli­mate con­trol. It feels bet­ter than be­fore but there is still room for im­prove­ment.

The in­fo­tain­ment panel is the 7-inch touch­screen sys­tem which the big­ger Mahin­dra SUVs come fit­ted with. The over­all in­ter­face of the panel is user friendly and can now be synced with your phone by the Blue Sense Mo­bile App, de­vel­oped by Tech Mahin­dra. While it gets the usual AUX, USB and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, I feel that Mahin­dra should jump on the An­droid Auto and Ap­ple CarPlay band­wagon to stay up to date.

It drives pretty much the same as be­fore with the 1.2-litre diesel en­gine mak­ing 77bhp and 190Nm of torque. These may not seem stun­ning but they do the job ad­e­quately. The diesel gets a Power/Eco but­ton along with Mahin­dra’s mi­cro-hy­brid stop-start tech­nol­ogy, only one in its class to come laden with this fea­ture. The en­gine re­sponse is tremen­dously dulled down in ‘Eco’ mode, how­ever in both modes there is not enough midrange pull to make swift over­takes.

The ride is quite soft and it could do with a lit­tle stiff­en­ing. The car does soak up un­du­la­tions eas­ily, es­pe­cially on the banks of the Mahin­dra test track, but there is a bit of un­wanted body roll, es­pe­cially with the yaw­ing ac­tion as the car rolls down a straight.

The USP of the car is its SUV-ish ap­peal and with these added fea­tures it might con­tinue to at­tract even more new-age buy­ers. If only Mahin­dra sorted out the few nig­gles, tight­ened up the sus­pen­sion and gave it more punch, the over­all ap­peal of this mini Mahin­dra will be en­hanced. ⌧

There is an im­prove­ment in the over­all fiT AND fiN­ISH OF the parts


`7.43 lakh (ex-show­room, Delhi)

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