Dec 24, 2011

MAHINDRA XUV5OO: Car of the Year, 2011 ET ZigWheels

With the XUV500 Mahindra has moved away from its Jeep-inspired lineage but kept its tough-as-nails DNA intact

The most talked about vehicle over the past year, even prior to its launch was Mahindra’s so-called global SUV which as everyone now knows manifested itself as the XUV500. The term global SUV is a misnomer for this is a vehicle which blurs the distinction between saloon, SUV or soft-roader and also MPV while being right on the ball as regards design and build, mechanicals and packaging, ride and handling, performance and fuel efficiency. However, what is important is that all these attributes which we mention are always a given for any decent car maker offering an all-new product.

But for Mahindra & Mahindra it was also a mighty challenge to move into mainstream automotive manufacturing courtesy the XUV500 breaking new ground as the firm’s first all-monocoque offering, the first Mahindra with a transverse engine layout driving the front wheels (of course an all-wheel drive offering is also part of the range) via a six-speed transaxle, again a first for the venerable jeep maker.

And did I say jeep maker? Well, banish this thought once and for all because with the XUV500 Mahindra has moved away from its Jeep-inspired lineage but kept its tough-as-nails DNA intact. In fact it might have sharpened it in many a new way while also delivering a sheen of polished refinement to the art of all-terrain motoring. That the XUV500 (Read : Road Test) turns in a strong performance from the moment one gets into the driver’s seat is just as much of a revelation as is the space and the comfort for the occupants, the superb ergonomics and the high value user proposition it maintains from end to end.

Of course, there are certain style elements which might not be to everyone’s liking and some details in the cabin are quirky while there are certain elements which yet need beefing up (the clutch for instance) but none can beat the magic of the package at a price point which makes the competition weep! Makes one wonder why the MNC car makers couldn’t conjure up such a package or did they give up even before they started?

Source: Zig Wheels

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