This week I was down in the fairest Cape to experience the Mahindra XUV300 Compact SUV. Built on the group’s global X100 platform, the XUV300 (pronounced XUV three double O) carries its larger sibling’s cheetah-inspired design language into a new generation of vehicles. At the same time, it introduces a new range of engines and a nearly unmatched level of specification to the local compact SUV segment.
South Africa is the first international market outside of India to launch the XUV300, which lands here with both petrol and diesel drivetrains and the choice of a W6 or W8 trim level.
The XUV300 was launched in India in February 2019 and has already generated over 26 000 bookings in this hotly contested market, which is roughly equal to the total size of the compact SUV market in South Africa.
Mahindra have already created waves in SA with the opening of their assembly plant in Durban.
South Africans love a higher drive feel, hence the increased popularity of SUV’s and the XUV 300 has great styling with a higher drive height as well. Attracting a different type of customer into the Mahindra dealerships will help reinforce the brand in the country.
With its dual LED-strip daytime running lights (DRLs), aggressive grille, wide LED taillights and diamond cut alloy wheels, the new XUV300 stands apart from other compact SUVs in the market.
Like the XUV500, the XUV300 is inspired by the aggressive dynamism of a cheetah.
This is visible in the XUV300’s squat stance, which is accentuated its 2.6-metre wheelbase in a body that is just short of 4 metres. This stance is further enhanced by wide and bold wheel arches and large wheels on the furthest corners of the vehicle.
Mahindra’s design team also added a floating roof (colour coded roof on darkened side pillars), as well as side cladding and a wide rear-quarter hip line that flows into unique LED taillights, a roof-mounted spoiler and high-mounted stop lamp.
On the W8 model, the design is accentuated by LED indicators in the heated and folding side mirrors, dual tone roof rails, 17” wheels and silver front- and rear skid plates.
New generation engines
Two new engines come with the XUV300, offering a diesel and a petrol engine.
The first is a new three-cylinder 1.2 litre turbo-petrol engine, which delivers 81 kW at 5 000 r/min and a healthy 200 Nm of torque between 2 000 r/min and 3 500 r/min.
The second engine option is a brand-new four-cylinder 1.5 litre turbo-diesel engine that delivers 85.8 kW at 3 750 r/min and 300 Nm in a flat band between 1 500 r/min and 2 500 r/min. Both have been tested rigorously at Gerotek, and are equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, which transfers power from the engine to the front driving wheels.
In the Cabin.
The XUV has a sturdy steering wheel, with all controls on tap. The infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration on the W8 and has in-built turn-by-turn navigation with regional maps as standard across the range. The system also allows the driver to pre-set many of the vehicle functions, including the background display and, on the W8, the colour of the LED backlit instrument panel.
The XUV300’s infotainment system also features Mahindra’s Bluesense app. This app tracks the driver’s driving patterns and scores them on a set of environmentally friendly metrics. The driver can access this information and information on past trips from their phone’s connected Bluesense app or smart watch.
In addition to the infotainment system, all Mahindra XUV300 models are equipped with the new Smart Steering system. Controlled with a button below the infotainment system, the Smart Steering system allows the driver to change the steering feel between Comfort mode, which allows you to negotiate urban traffic with ease, a Normal everyday mode and Sport, with the latter offering a weightier and more responsive steering feel for a more thrilling drive experience.
The new XUV300 is available with two trim levels, both of which offer a level of standard equipment and safety features, including the 17.78cm infotainment system, with an auxiliary port and USB connectivity.
The W6 trim level offers the most affordable entry into the XUV300 range and features air conditioning, electric windows, power steering with Smart Steering, premium black fabric trim, electrically adjustable side mirrors and central locking.
In the W8 specification level, Mahindra has created one of the most luxurious interior packages available in the compact SUV segment.
The XUV300 W8’s list of luxuries includes a second USB charging point, an additional information screen between the colour-customisable LED-lit instrument cluster and electric windows with express up- and down function with anti-pinch technology. There is a glass tilt-and-slide sunroof, also with anti-pinch technology, cruise control and an integrated voice command system with steering-mounted controls.
The Mahindra XUV300 offers category-best safety and security features.
The W6 specification level is equipped with ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, cornering braking control and discs on all four wheels. It also has impact-sensing door locks and a high-mounted stop lamp in the rear spoiler. An emergency braking signalling system is fitted to all models, as are ISOFIX child anchors on the rear seats.
The W8 specification level adds 5 more airbags – side, curtain and a driver knee airbag to the list totalling to a class-leading 7 airbags, while also adding electronic stability (ESP) with rollover mitigation. The XUV300 W8 also adds warning lights on the front doors, hill-hold assistance, an anti-theft alarm system and seatbelt reminders on all seats.
Pricing, Warranty and Service Plan
All versions of the XUV300 will be offered with an impressive 5-year / 150 000 km warranty and a standard 5-year / 90 000 km service plan and 24/7 standard Roadside Assistance.
To enhance the value offering and to ensure complete peace of mind to our customers, XUV300 will come with optional Maintenance Plan for period of 5 years / 90 000 km.
The introductory retail pricing for the model range is:
XUV300 W6 1.2 Petrol: R 249 999 (Incl. VAT)
XUV300 W6 1.5 Diesel: R 274 999 (Incl. VAT)
XUV300 W8 1.2 Petrol: R 304 999 (Incl. VAT)
XUV300 W8 1.5 Diesel: R 324 999 (Incl. VAT)
We enjoyed the XUV300, it was quiet and efficient on the road, and had some zip in its step as well. The styling was well suited to the SA market.