Best 7-seat value

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

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.

Fea­tures

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.

Safety

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

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