Best 7-seat value
TWO advertisements have become classics in South Africa. The best known is Cremora’s, “It’s not inside, its onnnn ... top,” followed by Lunch Bar’s “I am a Makhathini... from Maritzburra”.
Now, Wheels confidently predicts Mahindra’s new tongue-incheek ad for its Scorpio bakkie will be a strong contender for a third classic advert among farmers. Award-winning agency Joe Public created the ad that draws inspiration from the Indian manufacturer’s first 14 years in South Africa.
Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa, said the advertisement is based on the group’s windmill philosophy: “When the winds of change blow some people build walls, we build windmills,” he explained.
Gareth Leck, the CEO of Joe Public, said the new campaign will help deliver on Mahindra South Africa’s “right to win” strategy. It is with this right in mind that Mahindra last week launched the new XUV500 and the small KUV100 NXT in Johannesburg.
Two new XUV models
The XUV500 gets two models on both sides of the range.
The XUV500 W6 seven-seater sells for only R359 999.
There is not another new seven seat ute at a lower price in SA.
The new XUV500 W10 rangetopper continues the value offer, but with more bells and whistles.
First launched in South Africa in 2012, the XUV500 quickly gained popularity among SUV buyers for its unique design that emulates the lines of a crouching cheetah, down to the teardrop lights. The big wagon grew further in popularity when Mahindra introduced additional features and upgrades in 2015.
Today’s XUV500 W4, complete with mHawk turbodiesel engine and seven seats, enters the market at a very competitive R299 999.
Mahindra Finance has a balloon-payment option that will charge drivers R4 999 per month with a guaranteed future value after four years.
Balloon payments are basically rental agreements that require drivers to rent the vehicle and return it after a contracted period, when they can buy the vehicle, or trade it on a newer model.
In markets where cars are not taxed as highly as South Africa, balloon payments are a cheap way to drive a new car.
In SA, balloon payments offer an affordable way to rent a new vehicle, but consumers are not always aware they are not paying to buy the vehicle, merely renting a depreciating asset.
That said, Mahindra offers the XUV500 with a five-year or 150 000 km standard warranty and five-year or 100 000 km service plan.
The Stylish New XUV500 is equipped with an infotainment system, with air conditioning controls or a full climate control system, depending on the model grade.
On W8 and W10 variants, this infotainment system also includes a full turn-by-turn satellite navigation system with voice prompts as standard.
Under the rear is a full-size spare wheel and we especially like Mahindra’s Tyre-tronics tyre pressure and temperature sensors on all tyres. The mHawk-engine delivers 103 kW and 330 Nm of torque and Mahindra worked with Lotus to further improve what was already very good handling on dirt roads.
All versions of the new XUV500 feature two airbags, while the W8 and W10 offers six airbags.
All models also have electronic brake-force distribution on all four disc brakes, additional sideimpact beams and crumple zones for crash protection.
On the W6 models and above, Mahindra has also added Hill Hold and Hill Descent Control and electronic stability programme (ESP) with rollover mitigation.
No competitors at this level
Selling from R300k, no other seven-seater SUV can compete with Mahindra’s offering.
XUV500 rounded prices
W4 6-manual — R300 000 W6 6-auto — R360 000 W8 6-manual — R375 000 W8 6-auto — R404 000 W10 6-auto — R420 000