The name Quanto derives from the word ‘Quantum’. Mahindra has used it with the intention of showing “more” (In context to more value and space). Ending the name with ‘O’ is also quite obvious since Mahindra had to ensure that the street talk continues. Translating this to something more practical, it means Quanto indeed has the most volumetric space at sub four meter length. A 5+2 seater in such a short length could be tempting proposition especially for the budget buyers and cab segment.
The origins of the Quanto root from the Ingenio platform announced in 2006 and then subsequently launched in 2009 as what we all know today - Mahindra Xylo. The Quanto is essentially a Xylo shrunken to four meter length. This car is based on the same platform and shares the exact same wheelbase as well. Thanks to Indian excise duty structure, we have a unique fledgling segment of sub-four meter cars. Hence, Quanto makes an easy business case for Mahindra at just a 100 crores investment by reusing many components/structures which were already designed for Xylo.
Crossovers have been breaking all conventions. Just find any fancy alphabet and use it in conjunction with a UV and create a unique proposition. We have seen so much of it lately and the Quanto has been Mahindra's contribution. Mahindra positions Quanto to someone preferring to drive a hatchback or an entry level sedan for its fuel efficiency and compact dimensions while at the same time a capable highway cruiser which can take on abuse as well. That’s the reason its TV commercials highlight ‘Live the weekend life’ slogan to position Quanto as a modern lifestyle utility vehicle.
However, we also believe that it does have a considerable potential amongst the taxi segment too due to its nature. i.e. maximum seats, minimum price, reliability, low maintenance and reasonable fuel consumption coupled along with a wide service network. This Mini-Xylo boasts of a twin scroll turbocharger which is first of its kind in India. Interestingly, the cars which use this technology on the global map include Mazda RX7, Mitsubishi Evolution, Renault Megane and BMW 3 Series to name a few. The rumor mill indicates that Mahindra tested both, VGT and Twin Scroll but the latter passed the test.
This mCR100 unit as the engine is aptly named churns out respectable 100PS with the 1.5 liter engine again derived from the Xylo minus one cylinder. Yes you read it right. This is a 3 pot engine derived from the M-Hawk 2.2L mated to a five speed gearbox. Mahindra is offering the Quanto in total four variants:
> C2 (Base)
> C4 (Middle)
> C6 (Middle + ABS)
> C8 (Top end + ABS & Airbags)
We tested the C8 version and therefore, this review will focus more on the C8 version.
The ‘Compact SUV’ stamp on Quanto is largely attributing to a tailgate mounted spare wheel which is a typical jeep DNA. Moreover, the burgeoning compact SUV market has led Mahindra to make this move rather than calling it a mini MUV (as it is indeed a mini Xylo). Apart the Thar, a lifestyle 4x4 vehicle, Mahindra does not have ‘proper’ urban compact hard top SUV offering yet to take on the Ford Ecosport and Renault Duster. But the good news is that it’s in under the works with codename S101 (More: Link).
Just like the latest Mahindra offerings, Quanto’s top-end variant is loaded with features: Digital drive assist system (DDAS), Micro Hybrid Stop-Start tech, 2 DIN audio system compatible with SD / USB / Aux in, Dual airbags, ABS with EBD etc. Both, Xylo and Quanto are produced at the Nashik facility and Mahindra have a flexible demand based production system for the siblings. The Quanto however has been outselling the Xylo month on month since inception (barring March 2013). Mahindra hasn’t been able to really challenge the benchmark Innova from Toyota, so the Quanto also helps in offsetting and needless to say catering to a lower segment than the Xylo. Mahindra has managed to cover all major UV segments from the Quanto to Ssanyong Rexton with some slight overlaps which is inevitable. No wonder why they continue to top the UV sector in India.
Note: The Automotive India was one of the first online publications to report an exhaustive launch of coverage of Mahindra Quanto: Link.