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Akash1886 14th September 2015 12:05 PM

Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
1 Attachment(s)
Buddies,

Mahindra has launched the TUV-3OO Compact SUV at price of Rs. 6.98 Lacs to 9.20 Lacs (Ex-Delhi).

Attachment 179645

Competitors

Hyundai Creta

Ford Eco-Sport

Crossovers and Compact SUV have become the “In-Vogue” car segment among the buyers in the Indian Market. Automotive brands have noted this sharp rise and have accordingly provided our market with a plethora of compact SUVs like Ford Eco-Sport, Creta and more recently, the one I drove and reviewed today i.e the Mahindra TUV-3OO. Turning out to be a highly lucrative segment there is cut-throat competition among all the brands to capture as many buyers of this segment as possible and this has pushed the brands to provide feature rich as well as customer friendly products.

Mahindra as a brand has been majorly associated to SUVs, Jeeps and commercial 4 wheeler and so far we have received some very good products from it like the Scorpio, XUV-500, Bolero et al and this time Mahindra has tried to capture the buyer’s attention in the hot-selling segment i.e the Compact SUV segment with its offering TUV-3OO. The TUV-3OO was seen as a replacement/successor of the Quanto, but at the official launch in Delhi, it was clearly stated that Quanto won’t be going off the product portfolio and at suitable time may be a worthy upgrade shall take shape for the Quanto.

So, Today I got to test-drive the TUV-3OO for 5km in Noida itself and this was my second time to drive it in 2 days. During the drive, I was informed by the executive that the TUV-3OO comes as R.W.D (Rear Wheel Drive) with a officially designed add-on Armored Kit to give it a more masculine look and adhere to the fact that TUV stand for “Tough Utility Vehicle” and is built like Tank. It is considered to be a tough off-roader but as has been the case of-late with Mahindra, in their official brochure they have not mentioned the GC yet the official Ground Clearance as I was informed today is 184mm and the turning radius being 5.35m. Powered by the Mahindra’s trusted mill, M-Hawk, the TUV 3OO delivers 84 bhp power and 230 Nm Torque at 1500-2250rpm from a 1.5L diesel unit mated to 5 speed manual transmission also with an option of a 5 Speed AMT. At the launch, it was informed, that TUV-3OO is the first compact SUV to offer AMT.

Akash1886 14th September 2015 12:13 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review.
 
4 Attachment(s)
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Looks of Mahindra TUV-3OO

Now, the thing which does not appeal you at sight you’ll not buy that or consume. But everyone has own opinion on the looks of every product be it a car or any other thing. So as we are talking of TUV-3OO, externally, for some it might be too bland or boxy as said often. However, in my opinion, this car is a genuine attempt by Mahindra and looks more proportionate than its older cousin, the Quanto. Quanto was a half hearted attempt due to which it also did not sell much but this one on the looks seems to be designed with proper time devotion. After all Pininfarina has been involved in its design so some credit must be given for providing a reasonably good-looking product. As many have already compared the looks with the Jeep Cherokee, no doubt it does resemble to it quite a lot but thankfully Mahindra did not provide it with those walrus tooth like front grill like they gave in earlier gen Scorpios. In my opinion, clean lines and not many curves make it a simple and built for purpose vehicle. Also, in my opinion, the colors that look the best on it are Silver, Black and Red. White on the other hand provides it a sober look and blue and Orange I am yet to see. Apart from these, there is a made to order shade called Military Green as well. Yet I would like to point out a small but significant thing here, specific to the variant, the Body colored Bumper and ORVMs complete the look of this “Tank Like” compact SUV and imagining them in normal Black plastic, gives me a sick feel.

Transmission, NVH, Steering and Engine Performance.

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As told above, TUV-300 comes with 1.5 L Diesel Unit with a 5-speed manual transmission as well as option of AMT. This 3 Cylinder engine is mediocre in performance as I found the engine to be slow and the fun to drive factor was not there. Infact 2 days back too when I drove it, I did not feel the rush and excitement that I felt when I drove XUV-500 facelift. The engine if put in simple words is lethargic for those who wish to feel the craze of a powerful diesel engine but yes for City driving this 1.5L unit is kaam chalau.

Do not expect wonders out of this unit but yes as turbo diesel unit the engine began to perform decently once needle passed 1200-1500rpm range.
Talking about the NVH, the NVH levels according to me are quite modulated with cladding under the hood and the in cabin noise transmission is bare minimum though at higher rpm I noticed a slight vibration in the gear lever and this has been pointed out by me in the XUV-500 test drive too. Overall I found that this engine is if put in simple words” just a city-driving purpose one” and it would be better seeing this type of performance to opt for a Creta or Eco-Sport if you wish to go on highways. With this type of engine again Mahindra seems to have lost the chance of giving a well rounded product. Let me also state, TUV-3OO has fuel capacity of 60 Ltr and as per ARAI the FE is 18.49 km/L so you can expect 14-15 km/l on real conditions. Apart for this, TUV300 is equipped with Micro Hybrid technique and 2 different ECO modes in T8 model as I am told, of which one is for the power-train and other is for the AC to provide good fuel efficiency because FE is a major consideration for all of us here. However, Please do note, AMT does not offer the Eco Driving Modes.

Another thing that appeared to be quite sore was the below average performance of the 5-speed manual transmission and the clutch pedal adding to the vows. Insane is one word that describes it. How can a brand like Mahindra give such a below-average transmission is yet not addressed by them. The slotting as I mentioned even earlier was still very poor and adding to my agony was the sub-standard steering wheel performance. Mahindra has to understand, by providing comforts like steering mounted controls et al, the battle is not won. There has to be substance in performance. The steering is really below expectation and it is quite difficult to drive this car in traffic as I said even earlier. I describe this as a lazy performer with evident body roll at braking and turning.

Akash1886 14th September 2015 12:26 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
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Mahindra provides the TUV-300 as a 7 seater in 5+2 configuration and 3 rows of seating out of which the 1st and 2nd rows are comfortable both in terms of legroom and headroom but the 3rd row turns out again as a sore thumb as the seats in 3rd row are pretty low and effectively it is better if only 1 pax sits there instead of 2. Even for 1 pax in 3rd row his/her knees will be cramped and with 7 people on board, the luggage would have to be chucked out. With the folding of seats in 2nd and 3rd row, the boot space which is as per OEM is 384 Ltrs can be increased to 720 Ltrs. Talking of Ingress and Egress, for elderly people it would be a pain even with the side foot-boards but for us people it quite easy to get in or out of the car. The cushioning of the seats is quite nice and I felt comfortable in sitting but a point to be noted here is that apart from T8 Variant in no other variants the 2nd row seats are foldable and no variant except the top end T8 gets driver and co-driver armrest which I feel is quite bad on Mahindra’s part as when they knew that this car’s steering is so hard that it would make arms pain they could have provided it as standard in all variants.

Tyre(s) and Suspension

Attachment 179655

Mahindra TUV-3OO gets good wheel well cladding and 10 spoke, 15 inch alloys with 215/75 R15 Apollo Tubeless Tyres whose grip on roads at normal speeds of 60-70 km/h appeared to be very good but the suspension was still not that good either as on speed breakers and small potholes the jerk was much evident. Due to a average suspension, the ride quality of the car was in one word “OK” nothing extra-ordinary or should I say, not much confidence building.

Akash1886 14th September 2015 12:39 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
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Interior’s Quality and Layout.

Mahindra TUV3OO might not be a peppy performer but Mahindra has not left any stone unturned with regards to the interior fit and finish. It has a classy feel with well finished seat fabric and door plastics. Quality is very good and nothing is there to actually complain about in this respect. The top-end T8 variant is equipped with well finished two tone Black & Beige dashboard that has a integrated 2-DIN Audio system followed by the AC knobs below it however, in the race of giving out a VFM product, Mahindra probably missed out on offering Auto Climate Control AC in top model and as I also said earlier, I was told that AC is very effective so no needs of a rear AC is also a far-fetched claim by Mahindra dealer because to conceal the evident cost cutting the executives dish out such statements. The AC is nothing super rather just average in TUV-3OO and in top model the rear AC should have been there after all the on-road price is coming to 10 Lacs.

Speedometer Cluster: In my view the instrument cluster of the TUV-3OO is neat and nicely finished. Thankfully, Mahindra has been very decent in this regards and did not go overboard else in a already mediocre car, this would have been an icing on the cake. The multi-function display in between the 2 dials i.e the speedo and the tachometer provides information such as distance-to-empty reading, fuel level and engine temperature level can also be seen in that MID.

Storage and Dashboard: There are many storage spaces provided in the TUV-3OO for holding coins or mobile. In between the front seats there are 3 cup-holders, This car is liberally equipped with storage spaces till the hatch gate and shall satisfy your need to store/place your belongings/beverages in them.

The hexagonal centre console of TUV-3OO: It looks very much inspired from a contemporary product and the T8 Variant which I drove today had Silver accents which are also used liberally on the steering wheel and AC Vents along with a Carbon Fibre vinyl like texture. The whole feel of the cabin is up-market and appear to be well built and well finished with useable 12V power sockets being provided although evidently many won’t accept the fact that power window switches are placed in center in front of the hand-brake which reminds of a decade old Indica in 2015.

Talking of the entertainment panel, TUV-3OO T8 gets a integrated audio system which is equipped with features like Bluetooth, USB and Aux-in compatibility. I found the sound quality to be good enough and no distortion was there on high volume.


Akash1886 14th September 2015 01:05 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
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The headlamps of TUV-3OO are swept back but that swept back design to me appeared too desperate. The T8 models are provided with static bending lights but no projector lamps present in even the top variants. In the cabin are 2 roof lamps in T8 but unlike XUV-500, the front lamp is not having a sun-glass holder integrated. Coming to the Rear Tail Lamps, they are slightly angular and complement well to the straight forward design of the car. Though top model misses out on LED tail lamps which kind of is a cost cutting measure. The roof mounted stop lamp adds to the safety and visibility at night. Talking of the Fog Lamps are variant specific and square in shape with chrome inserts being variant specific too.

Some Salient Features of TUV-3OO, T8 model from Mahindra


• L/W/H/WB= 3995/1835/1839/2680(mm)

• Steering mounted Controls

• Driver Seat Height Adjuster

• Storage below driver’s seat.

• Eco-Mode

• Mahindra Blue-Sense App

• Voice messaging system.

• Alloy Rims

• Follow me Home Headlamps

• Lead me to Vehicle Headlamps

• Lumbar support to front passengers

• Keyless Entry

• Glove Box with a light.

• Rear Wiper and Washer

• Row 1 and 2 mobile charging points.

• Dual Airbags with ABS and EBD

• Roof Rails

• Tilt Steering.

• AC and Heater.

• Static Bending lights

• Anti Theft warning and immobilizer.

• Passenger Vanity Mirror

• AMT Version also available.

What I liked in TUV-3OO

• Acceptable External looks

• Good ORVM Viewing Space

• Well finished interior upholstery

• Good quality plastic used in interiors.

• Pricing is very good.

• Paint finish is nice.

• In-Cabin experience is nice.

• NVH levels are well modulated.

• Exhaust was neatly tucked in.

• 1st and 2nd rows are comfortable for seating.

What I dislike in TUV-3OO

• Not an enthusiast-performance oriented product.

• Below average Steering, Clutch and Gears.

• No safety in T4 model.

• No Petrol Variant.

• 3rd row seating is not comfortable

• AC is just average

• Horn is pretty weird

• Positioning of Fuel Flap Opener.

• Body Roll was there.

• Strenuous to drive in traffic and narrow lanes.

• No Ambient lights in Top Variants.

Finally in comparison to products like Hyundai Creta and Eco-Sport, TUV-3OO has a long long way to go as to compete and gain a foothold in this segment. Mahindra made a good attempt though it missed it out on an important aspect i.e the performance. Had the TUV-3OO performance been as good as its interiors or the price and even looks then it surely would have been a tough competitor to other two.

Some Final Shots of the TUV-3OO

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All Pics of this drive review are only for The Automotive India. Any Re-use needs full credit to TAI.

Regards

Akash

Nanofreak 14th September 2015 01:20 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
Akash, thanks for the eagerly awaited comprehensive and no-nonsense review, hope MM sort out the niggles, once they receive customer feedback (their learning curve being XUV5OO).

Unfortunately, for now I will be able to personally do the TD on my next trip.

I will personally be looking forward to your review on the AMT variant.

Regards

Vinod

generalmax 14th September 2015 03:54 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
This was a thread I was waiting for from Akash. This machine in white,is a wonderful show-piece.My heart and head fights with the looks.I never had so much turmoil to say something is good or bad in looks, in my entire life.The right corner photo shows it is a killer.The bumper gives me nausea.Go to the side view,my mind says "Wow".Go to the back ."Quanto?" To top that a 1500CC Engine and now a crap tranny .Life becomes difficult.:confused: . I was thinking of suggesting to some friends to buy this car.This made my life really difficult.

Akash1886 14th September 2015 05:00 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nanofreak (Post 462394)
Akash, I will personally be looking forward to your review on the AMT variant.

Certainly, If I get hold of an AMT model I'll pen my views.[:)] Dealers here are not having a TD Vehicle in AMT at present.

Quote:

Originally Posted by generalmax (Post 462426)
This machine in white,is a wonderful show-piece.My heart and head fights with the looks.I never had so much turmoil to say something is good or bad in looks, in my entire life.The right corner photo shows it is a killer.The bumper gives me nausea.Go to the side view,my mind says "Wow".Go to the back ."Quanto?" To top that a 1500CC Engine and now a crap tranny .Life becomes difficult. I was thinking of suggesting to some friends to buy this car.This made my life really difficult.

Max, For me as a individual, I have no confusion left now on the performance front of TUV-3OO after driving twice. Just few moments back, had a word with TSIVipul, we discussed the TUV-3OO's performance at length. Honestly, it is not a VFM for me as person if the performance criteria is not met. 1.5 Diesel Fuel engine might be a new one but prior to developing this product, did Mahindra not do the needful R&D? My question here is why for 10.5 L Approx (Top End) or even 9.5Lacs why would anyone opt for this sluggish performer where in one can easily go for Creta, Ecosport or even other segments like Ertiga etc which are way better performer than this one? I for one, will not buy a car which may be easy on my pocket but is a written-off performer. Also, with my experience, If this is targeted for semi-rural or rural areas, then probably it can survive in good numbers but in Urban areas Mahindra needs to re-work alot.

On a lighter note, if any future owner of this car may miss out on the daily GYM/Workout, he can fulfill his needs by driving the Manual TUV-3OO for 1-2 hours. It is nothing less than a exercise to drive it.

Regards

Akash

TSIVipul 14th September 2015 05:53 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
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That's a crisp review Akash and you have covered nearly all the aspects.[clap]

For now I will keep mum on performance, braking and AMT performance because even you was also unable to hit highway/expressway speeds in the TUV. Talking to you on phone was great as usual and dunno why, I was getting a gut feeling that you will be giving a call sooner or later; haven't you gave it to me and I'd have done it tomorrow for sure.

Have seen the vehicle in flesh, I must say that M&M has done some remarkable job in and out. Just tried the gearshifts in the parked vehicle and all I could notice was an ergonomic disaster again (Mahindra does that every time) and the gearshifts were long and a bit notchy. Spent hardly five minutes with the vehicle, yet to see the middle row, jump seats and go for a drive.

Going by the pictures I am getting a gut feel that the middle row is NOT COMFORTABLE why I am feeling so:
  • The seat base seems to be really short (Haven't been there but will check thoroughly in my TD, I have paid 50k for booking and AMT after all)
  • Look at the backrest angle and hip point. Either the person will have to sit upright on this seat or there will be a shortage of thigh support IMO and both sum up to uncomfortable seating only.

Look at these pictures for reference (Note: Scorpio seat is taken just as a reference to show backrest angle and seat base size) :

Scorpio Middle Row

Better bolstering and notice the seat base length, hip point and the backrest angle.
Attachment 179677

Ecosport Rear Bench
Again notice the backrest angle as well as the length of the seat base. Everyone knows that the rear bench of Ecosport is a comfortable one.

TUV 300 Rear bench

It looks like an actual padded bench

Now you guys may say that many reviewers are saying that the seat is comfortable because three guys can sit abreast there and legroom is also sufficient. Well, here I have three points to state (Vibhor and IR, please verify) :
  • These initial reviews are neither done on long distance nor the reviewers have enough time in these one day media drives to actually have a look at everything thoroughly.
  • Most of the times the review car is a shared car during media drives and the reviewers keep on exchanging positions. In this whole drama, no one actually spends enough time in any row to actually decode the comfort.
  • Even Bolero can also seat three abreast but is far from comfortable because the seat base is short and back rest angle is steep. Similar situation appears here to me; get more legroom by reducing the length of seat base by a couple of inches and make the people get a feeling of spaciousness. It's the long term reviews or long journeys where such things actually get uncovered.

Look at the seating of Bolero:
To me , the TUV 300 middle row looks very similar to that of Bolero; at least after going by pictures.
  • Steep angled backrest = uncomfortable
  • Short seat base = uncomfortable
  • More legroom = compromised comfort; uncomfortable itself


Still, will be going to to a TD and will ask for the TD of an AMT variant vehicle too. Will try to get a really long TD and then only will put my views about the performance part along with the overall vehicle rating. Till then, my booking is intact.

acechip 14th September 2015 06:26 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
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@Akash- I liked your frank review which tempers the expectations and separates wheat from chaff.
I think overall it seems to be a "driveable" Quanto basically with the body design of a Bolero. Not exactly the car you want your parents to take around town. But good for those rough road photography excursions to nearby forests/hills.
Just the shape of that rear passenger door puts me off frankly. What the heck is that design ? I dread to think of how that shape will put up with a side-on collision. Reminds me of the Commander DIs.

TSIVipul 14th September 2015 06:52 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by acechip (Post 462446)
@Akash- I liked your frank review which tempers the expectations and separates wheat from chaff.
I think overall it seems to be a "driveable" Quanto basically with the body design of a Bolero. Not exactly the car you want your parents to take around town. But good for those rough road photography excursions to nearby forests/hills.
Just the shape of that rear passenger door puts me off frankly. What the heck is that design ? I dread to think of how that shape will put up with a side-on collision. Reminds me of the Commander DIs.

And what if a 100 kilo weighing man has to enter or exit the UV from those doors?

Definitely not the car for our netas [lol]

Ambylovers 14th September 2015 07:10 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
Hi,
From my point of view Seating position is one of the main point in comfort. As ACECHIP pointed, the seat will provide pain for the medium distance itself.
Interiors were worked well compared to the Bolero and Thar.

ISO2015 14th September 2015 09:22 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
Akash thanks for this nice review. photographs are top notch.

Put off by 3 cylinder engine. It is no where comparable to Creta and ecosport.

jagrover 16th September 2015 06:26 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
Are the power window switches near the gear lever ?
Pictures are not inspiring to me. May be in flesh it will look better.

Akash1886 16th September 2015 07:51 PM

Re: Mahindra TUV-3OO T8 (MT) Drive Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jagrover (Post 462767)
Are the power window switches near the gear lever ?
Pictures are not inspiring to me. May be in flesh it will look better.

Absolutely buddy.[:)] I would suggest you to see it in real and believe. The positioning of the window switches is in center.

Regards

Akash


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