I had a brief drive of the TUV3OO AMT variant and here are my views: FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
1. Looks Imposing and as good as a mini-Hummer, but the rear is a bit cut short when viewed on side profile.
2. Build quality is impressive and overall feel is tough.
3. The wheels are quite small for this big and imposing UV. Definitely needs 17 inchers.
4. Interiors are neatly executed apart from a few ergonomic flaws. (Power window switches, fuel filler opener lever position)
5. The material quality of interiors are mostly good enough and good to touch.
6. Front seats are very comfortable and armrest position is perfect for my height.
7. Door padding felt good, although a bit firm.
8. Rear seats are mediocre and offer less support. Very upright angle will not be comfy for most people. Armrest also not provided. Space is decent in 2nd row for my height (5'10") after adjusting the driver seat to my position.
.9. Shape of the doors may be a cause of pain in the face if not careful while swinging open.
10. Quite a good number of bottle and cup holders all round and 2 charging sockets.
11. Last two jump seats good enough for kids and for adults over short journeys. But lack of seat-belts are a serious concern. THE DRIVE:
1. Very NIL amount of NVH levels in cabin at idle and slow cruising.
2. Driveability is excellent in city conditions. Good enough for cruising at 100kmph at max.
3. Steering wheel felt only marginally heavier than my Ertiga. Turning radius is impressive for a BOF UV.
4. AMT responds very well to throttle inputs and good in manual mode as well.
5. Slight amount of jerks can be noticed during acceleration after downshifting after a slowdown.
6. Cabin insulation is excellent and NVH levels for a BOF UV is very impressive.
7. I being a sedate driver, prefer cruising at moderate speeds in city. (60-70 in 5th gear on light traffic roads.) At such speeds, TUV felt relaxed.
8. Huge ORVMs are a big bonus while the IRVM is very small.
9. No rattlings noticed during the drive on some moderately rough roads.
10. Visibility is excellent, except for the rear.
11. Ride quality at low speeds is very impressive, while there is a bit of excessive bounce at slightly more speeds on undulating roads. But it's never uncomfortable. (My friend who accompanied me, occupied the rear seat. He didn't feel uncomfortable.)
12. There is decent feedback from the steering.
13. High CG causes significant amount of body roll, but body and suspension are very stable and controlled.
14. The AMT variants doesn't get the Micro-hybrid tech. PRICING AND VALUE:
Priced at 8.2L for the T4 manual and 10.8L for the T8 AMT (on-road prices @ Coimbatore), the TUV makes a pretty strong and heavy impression for those who want a proper BOF mini SUV with extra 2 seats. ABS
and Airbags can be opted for on any variant too. Very good value. VERDICT:
The TUV3OO is heavy, tough, adequately comfortable and has an immense load lugging ability. I can think of it as a worthy replacement for the age-old Bolero, with addition of modern technology, better engine and better interiors. People who don't care about fancy gadgetry and technology can go for this "TANK".
The few flaws aside, Mahindra's TUV seems to be the "Real mini SUV", unlike what Hyundai claims for the Creta. Mighty (&) Impressive!
1. There seems to be lot of empty space in the engine bay. There might be a possibility of bringing the 2.2l engine of the Xylo or Scorpio in the TUV.
2. "2WD" label is specifically mentioned for every variant in the price-list. There might be a possibility of a 4WD option soon. Also I spotted a TUV mule, camouflaged and testing on the out-skirts of Chennai even after the launch. A 4WD under development?
My colour choices for the TUV are:
1. Black 2. Red 3. Blue 4. White.