A Look At The Mahindra XUV5OO

Faisal Ali Khan
by Faisal Ali Khan
a look at the mahindra xuv5oo

Mahindra & Mahindra dates back to 1945, when they started to produce the Willys Jeep in India under license. Soon after that, they started developing light commercial vehicles and utility vehicles. In 2002, Mahindra launched the Scorpio, which was also introduced in Europe as the Mahindra Goa a few years later. Last year, the XUV5OO (pronounced five double Oh) was launched. Mahindra had to stop accepting bookings (which were opened in just 5 cities across India) after just 10 days of launch. They received 35,000 test drive requests in the same time. The second phase of bookings saw more than 25,000 applicants, which were put through a draw! Bookings have been closed since then and you can’t buy the XUV5OO even if you have the money. So what is the Mahindra XUV5OO all about?

The Mahindra XUV5OO is offered in three variants – W6, W8 and W8 AWD. These variants are priced at Rs. 1.35 million ($26,039), Rs. 1.52 million ($29,294) and Rs. 1.65 million ($31,695) respectively (prices are inclusive of registration and insurance). The W6 and W8 variants use a front-wheel drive layout, while the W8 AWD has all-wheel drive, but this variant has been temporarily stopped.

Power comes in through a 2179cc CRDI diesel engine which produces 140 BHP of peak power at 3,750 RPM and 330 Nm of peak torque at 1,600 RPM. The 6-speed gearbox is not the best around, shift action is notchy. The XUV5OO is a 7-seater, but the last row is best for kids. With the last row in place, the trunk is almost unusable. A small survey has revealed that people are having many niggling issues with their vehicles including GPS, rear AC, night vision camera, infotainment system not working, just to name a few. Yet, the XUV5OO has taken the Indian market by storm.

In India, people are very conscious about the styling and design of a vehicle. If a vehicle looks good, it will sell well and that is where the XUV5OO excels. Detailing is over the top with the door handles shaped like a paw (the XUV5OO draws design inspiration from a Cheetah), motif engraved into the rear tail lights and a conversation mirror (above the rear view mirror which helps the driver look at the passengers while talking, pictured above). But that is not all, the equipment list is huge and puts even the Toyota Fortuner (a vehicle which costs at least $18,000 more) to shame. The XUV500 is also the first indigenously developed monocoque Indian SUV.

Some of the features include 6 airbags, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, projector headlights, LED parking lights, cornering lights, ABS, EBD, ESP, Rollover mitigation, Hill Hold control, Hill Descent Control, tire pressure monitoring, leather seats, touch screen infotainment system, DVD player, GPS navigation, climate control, all-wheel discs, cruise control, steering mounted controls and start-stop system to name a few. This is serious equipment for a car of this price. I can go on and on about the XUV500 after having driven it extensively, but we shall keep a drive review for another day. Meanwhile, Mahindra is working hard on increasing capacity. Soon, the XUV5OO will be sold in Europe too. Would you buy one?

Faisal Ali Khan is the owner/operator of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the auto industry of India.

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4 of 33 comments
  • MBsam MBsam on Apr 22, 2012

    I can't get over how unsophisticated this design is. Adornment without meaning. Complete disregard for proportion, the foundation of good design. This car is the very reason why designers go to school...to learn how to not make stuff like this.

    • See 1 previous
    • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Apr 22, 2012

      There is only one proof in cars - sales. If it sells, it's beautiful, and the designer snobs may take a hike.

  • Skink Skink on Apr 23, 2012

    Grille looks like a Mexican wrestler's mask.

  • Tassos those 90s pathetic orange pixels are inexcusably lame in a 2010.The interior is filled with Grey Rubbermaid plastic and the tiny sliver of real or fake wood is an utterly pathetic attempt to pretend it's upscale (don't even THINK of "Luxury")Merc SLs with similar metal retractable roofs look so much better inside and out.Regardless of what you paid for this way undepowered near-luxury pretend-sports car, you would have done so much better with a PORSCHE BOXSTER...
  • Dukeisduke That's a cool picture (the one under the bridge) - where was it taken? Google Image Search doesn't turn up any matches.
  • Dukeisduke Okay, yeah, they should fix this, but, "URGENT: DO NOT DRIVE THIS VEHICLE"? I think we're reaching Peak Idiocracy.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is a great review, and very accurate from my perspective as the owner of a closely related, but longer and taller, E93 335i convertible. So much in this review is familiar. Here are the things that are a bit different about the 335i:[list][*]My car is a manual. Shifter action is good, with positive engagement, although a bit more play and rubbery feeling in the shifter than you would get with, say, a six-speed Honda. The clutch is a bit disappointing. It has a "clutch dampening valve" intended to protect against the most abusive clutch dumps. The valve throws my timing off a bit and I have had a hard time learning to drive this car with perfect smoothness, especially in the 1-2 shift. I may remove the valve at some point.[/*][*]My car has the turbo (in single-turbo N55 form). On the plus side, you get what feels like significantly more power than the rated 300 hp once on the boost, and even in fully stock form you get entertaining whooshing noises from the blowoff valve. On the minus side, there is some turbo lag, more than you get in many modern turbo cars, and fuel economy is, well, not close to what Corey is getting. The turbo car also comes with an active exhaust system that is extremely quiet when puttering while making some nice inline-six noise at wide-open throttle.[/*][*]There are back seats! I have a nine-year-old and a six-year-old. The six-year-old fits perfectly. The nine-year-old still fits, but that will likely change within the next three years. These seats are not usable for adults unless the front-seat occupants squeeze forward more than normal. E92 coupes are slightly roomier in back, and E90 sedans are substantially roomier.[/*][*]My car has the M Sport suspension, which does not have variable dampers. It's firm enough that I have to be careful to avoid even small holes on city streets if I don't want to get jarred. But if you can avoid the holes it feels good, navigating expansion joints and such without uncomfortable impact, while maintaining impressive body control for a porky 3900-pound convertible.[/*][*]My car has iDrive and a screen, as well as parking sensors. But it does not have a backup camera. Graphics on the screen are pretty good by 2011 standards, which is to say not acceptable by modern standards, but the system is easy enough to navigate and works pretty well. I prefer the rotary controller to a touch screen for fingerprint reasons.[/*][*]The parking sensors are by far the best of any car I've ever owned, and they are so accurate I really don't need a camera. The sensors go to a solid beep when the appropriate end is about 4" from an object, and I can comfortably cover about half that distance with no fear of bumping. They also project legimately useful graphics on the iDrive screen showing where the object is. I park in tight city settings enough that I really appreciate the accuracy. Also in the city parking mold, my car has power folding mirrors, which I wish every car would.[/*][*]Like you, I have the mid-level "Hi-Fi Professional" stereo setup, but in the four-seat convertible there is not a dedicated subwoofer. Bass is a bit on the weak side. Sound quality is about comparable with the JBL system in my Toyota Highlander, which is to say it's good enough for listening in the car but is not going to impress anyone.[/*][*]There are small leaks from the joints between the top and the A-pillars in my car. They won't soak the interior, but they will result in a few drops of water on the front seats after a hard rain. I'm still experimenting to see if regular applications of rubber protectant can restore the seals enough to eliminate the leaks. There are no leaks from any other part of the top mechanism.[/*][*]I've only owned the car for about eight months and 1500 miles, but so far nothing has broken and every feature on the car works correctly. A purchase-time inspection found only an incorrectly secured fan shroud and no other problems, and there is a mostly complete service history, so this was a well-maintained car to start with.[/*][/list]
  • Lou_BC This offer reminds me of those plans where you get something free but if you fail to cancel prior to the expiry of the "Free" plan you end up on the hook for a lengthy contract. Tesla wants to attract people to their electrical company. It's smart. Make money selling the car, make money with subscription services on the car, and make money selling the fuel to power the car at home and at charging stations.