Mahindra & Mahindra launched the XUV 300 as a more affordable offering in the XUV series, sitting below the XUV 500. When Mahindra introduced the XUV 300, it was offered in petrol manual, diesel manual and diesel AMT configurations. With the rising competition that offered more options and more importantly a petrol automatic, Mahindra finally introduced a petrol AMT for the XUV 300 in February. How good is it to drive? How does it fare against the competition? Let’s delve into the details, shall we?
Design & proportions
On the outside, there aren’t any changes in terms of design. Although now, it gets 3 new colour schemes – Dual-tone Red available with W8 ( O ) auto gear shift variant, dual-tone aquamarine, available with W8 ( O ) auto gear shift variant and an all-new Galaxy grey available with W6, W8 & W8 ( O ) with manual transmission.
The XUV 300 gets a relatively square, butch styling – somewhat similar in proportions to the Creta. The front gets a chrome studded grille, automatic projector headlamps and LED DRLs which connect the headlamps with the front fog lamps. The XUV300 has the longest wheelbase in its class. It is also the widest, with the widest track. This gives the XUV300 a very squat look which adds to its wide, planted appeal, and also liberates space inside. The high set bonnet too has prominent lines to highlight the muscular appeal of the car.
On the side, the top W8 Options variant gets 17-inch precision-cut alloys. There is an option to get the roof in a contrasting white or black colour. The strong haunches and front fender are somewhat reminiscent of the Alturas 4G. A blacked out C-pillar gives a floating effect to the roof. The window line is quite high. The roof gets satin silver rails and a sporty spoiler along with a stubby antenna.
At the rear, the car gets LED brake lights, though reverse and blinker lights are bulbs. There’s also a reversing camera with parking sensors and fog lamps. Overall, the car looks muscular and has a street presence for the segment. With its SUV-ish styling, it should appeal to those who are looking for a rugged looking, solid vehicle.
Front seats are extremely well padded, in a relatively firm way like European cars. The under-thigh support and bolstering are also very impressive. The driver seat is also height adjustable. The front driver’s seat could probably have done with lumbar support though. If we really have to wish, powered seats could also have been an inclusion. But both the front seats are very comfortable. You have plenty of knee, leg, head and shoulder room in the backseat as well. The XUV300 boasts some of the nicest backseats in the segment with great support. The middle passenger gets a proper three-point seat belt and an adjustable headrest too.
As mentioned above, the front two rows of the XUV300 are very spacious and comfortable. However, the boot space, expected to be about 265 litres isn’t very impressive. The Nexon and Ecosport get 350 litres of boot space. There’s a tray in the boot which can be raised or lowered to increase the height of the boot bed. You also get bluesense app connectivity that can be paired with a smartphone and allows you to access a host of connected features. And needless to say, the XUV 300 is the safest car in India with a 5-star global NCAP rating for safety.
The engine is the same 1.2L turbo petrol as before, producing 110PS of peak power @5000 RPM and 200Nm of peak torque @ 2000-3000 RPM. The peak power figures are not segment-leading and lack by around 10-13 PS in comparison to other turbo petrol engines of this segment. However, this engine offers segment-leading torque. The engine is highly refined. The turbo spools up by around 1800 RPM and provides a kick at around 2000 RPM. At 3000 RPM, you feel a further step up in the pull. The AMT transmission has been beautifully set up and is one of the most impressive AMTs in the segment. It feels a lot like a torque converter in terms of the seamlessness and imperceptibility of the shifts, with a very minor lag in between shifts. This transmission also offers an anti-roll back feature and holds its gear when going downhill for a reassuring feel.
It sprints from 0-100 in a respectable 12.5 seconds. An AMT driven XUV 300 has set in a very impressive time against a DCT driven Kia Sonet which shoots from 0-100 from 11.8 seconds. The AMT gearbox as a whole is also very convenient to use and eases the job considerably for the driver.
The XUV 300 is one of the best packages in terms of ride & handling balance and also in terms of build quality. It glides super smooth over bad patches of roads. It is very enthusiast-friendly and is very solidly put up altogether. It provides a tank-like feel when you sit behind the wheel of the XUV 300. Upon going flat-out, it shifts quickly and allows you to rev a bit longer further towards the limiter. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, it is quite effortless to drive around. The steering becomes more involved as the numbers increase on the speedo and the handling is very predictable and hence, highly assuring and confidence exuberating.
The official figures weren’t provided but according to our tests, you can extract 14-15 km for every litre of fuel in the city and around 18-19 km for every litre on the highways if you don’t smash the pedal all the way.
The petrol AMT range starts at INR 9.95 lakhs and goes all the way up to INR 12.3 lakhs ( ex-showroom ). The AMT starts with the W6 variant and only Kia Sonet overcuts the XUV 300 in terms of pricing in this segment.
The ride quality, drive feel and solid build it offers is simply unparalleled. It sure is a bit on the higher side but you definitely know where the money is invested in. If you are in the market hunting for an SUV with Petrol AMT configuration, the XUV 300 definitely makes a strong case for itself. It is enjoyable out on the streets and its tank-like build quality is hard to miss.