The subcompact segment is undoubtedly the hottest segment in the Indian auto scene and the latest entrant to that space is the Mahindra XUV300. It's certainly a car that's shaking things up and it's going to establish new benchmarks. We are happy with the features that it offers and we have taken you through all of them in great detail in our review and also our special web series that takes you through various aspects and highlights of this car. When the prices were announced, Mahindra said, "Be cautious because don't start thinking immediately about strip down entry prices. Our cars come fairly well loaded even in the base variant", and which is why everyone was happy even when they said, "prices start at ₹ 7.90 lakh. Of course the one with all the bells and whistles goes upwards of ₹ 11.50 lakh (all prices ex-showroom India. So, what's the point I am trying to make? Well, I am asking if it's fair to compare this price to the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza that starts at ₹ 7.70 lakh? Because the price of the base variant of the XUV300 is that of the petrol variant, while the price of the diesel starts at ₹ 8.49 lakh. So, it was very crucial then to finally get our hands on the petrol.
Also Read: Mahindra XUV300 First Drive Review
This is the D-Sat Silver and no dual tone roof, but I can tell you that there are a lot of anticipations still, because the whole point is, petrol and diesel doesn't matter. At that price, would this car be an attractive buy? That's the question I am going to answer. Many of you would be rolling your eyes and saying, 'of course petrol and diesel matter'. But with the growing doubts over the future of diesel, having a petrol variant is necessary. It may not account for the bulk of sale but that it is now a fairly significant chunk, is starting to show up.
So, first order of business - a look at what is under that hood - and yes ladies and gents I am skipping past telling you about this car's looks, features and trim - because this is the top end W8, and feature for feature it is exactly like the diesel we have reviewed - so for those who don't know what all that means - please go and watch or read our review already! So back to business - the XUV300 turbo petrol has a 1.2 litre engine with 110 bhp on tap. And if you like that number; the torque at 200 Nm will make you very happy.
Also Read: Mahindra XUV300: All You Need To Know
On paper, then, it promises the best figures in the entire segment. I wasn't quite convinced till I actually got down to driving it because we were also told that this is the same engine that first went into the KUV, though with whole lot of changes and more refinement than before. Yes! I was the sceptic but completely surprised by what I experienced. Let me break it down for you. At lower rpms and lower gears, you might find that the initial acceleration is not as electric as you like. You won't find it under-powered in any way, but you don't get that instant burst from the word go. However, the minute the turbocharger kicks in; it's a whole different ballgame. Things get nice and exciting. So cruising speeds and just gliding through at reasonably higher speeds is an absolute pleasure and I think that's of course coupled with the fact that, as I have said before, this particular platform.
This new car gives you just excellent ride quality. It gives you a really nice, assured handling and then you've got this little gimmick which actually works well where you can stiffen up this steering. So even in the Sports mode of the steering mode, it's a lot of fun.
The real gem is that ride quality. You get an assured, comfortable, yet stiff ride which is complemented by the right suspension to take on smooth cruising and potholes quite well. It's a very comfortable drive in this car and even in city traffic too. The ample torque will show through because you don't have to do frequent gear changes. The gearbox itself is nicely mated too and it works quite well. I have to say that going by what I've experienced today - this particular combination - the drivetrain, I think, will lend itself beautifully to the AMT, maybe more so than the diesel in many ways and given the ample torque. When the 200 Nm of torque kicks in at as low as 2000 rpm, I've a feeling that many people are going to find this the better buy. You may not really want to buy the diesel, after you test drive the petrol.
All that juicy torque is just too delicious to pass up. While no official figures are available we also reckon mileage is good on the petrol and diesel XUV 300. Expect real world figures of around 16 kmpl for the petrol. And the prices are pretty good too given that there is no real base variant. So what's missing? An automatic gearbox. Data suggests that the petrol buyer is also veering towards automatic. So not having the AMT soon will start to hurt Mahindra.