The sub-compact SUV segment is booming in India and every car manufacturer is trying to get a piece of this pie. With new models being launched frequently this space has seen a lot of brand new entries. In the last six years, the sale of compact SUVs has grown by an average 84 percent every year. The sub-compact SUV rage is not looking calm down any soon and hence even Mahindra has introduced a new flavor to their sub-compact SUV line-up.
Mahindra has been known to produce rugged and macho looking SUVs in the Indian Market like the Thar or the Scorpio. While these products are marketed by Mahindra as toughly built torture taking machines. Mahindra has failed to bring any product which can match the premium experience offered by some of its rivals, but only up until now, welcome the XUV300!
The XUV300 comes with two engine options, the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, and 1.5L 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. The XUV300 exudes a level of sophistication and finesse, which could have never been experienced in any Mahindra before. This is a result of the partnership with the Korean carmaker SsangYong as XUV300 is based on it’s Tivoli which is popular in the Korean market. Now let’s see how far this partnership has actually taken Mahindra. The XUV300 competes against the big-three in the compact SUV segment namely: Ford Ecosport, Tata Nexon and the Hyundai Venue. Let's see how it fares against them.
Best in class cabin quality
Refined engine options
Loaded with features
Top safety kit available
Cabin is spacious enough for 5 people
Most expensive car in the segment
At 257-liter, the boot is the smallest in the segment
No dead pedal in an Rs.12,00,000 priced SUV
It debuts Mahindra’s role in the premium subcompact SUV space
*Latest update: Mahindra XUV300 has received a 5-star safety rating from Global NCAP.
Mahindra XUV300 comes in two different engine options which trickle down to four different variants namely W4, W6, W8, and W8 Option. There are 2 engine options available, one is a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and the other one is the 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. The petrol mill is available only with a 6-speed manual gearbox while the diesel is available with a 6-speed manual as well as a 6-speed Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT).
The 1.2-liter petrol engine of the XUV300 is a reworked & turbocharged engine of the 1.2-liter unit which Mahindra developed for the KUV 100. It pushes out a healthy 110 BHP of power and 200 NM of torque. The clutch is very light on this engine and the turbo lag is very well contained even on low RPMs. Which means you will need fewer gear shifts in stop and go traffic. On open roads, this engine will help you overtake slow-moving cars easily, as there is a surge of power available above 2000rpm.
Rs. 8,10,000 - Petrol
Rs. 8,69,000 - Diesel
Rs.8,95,000 - Petrol
Rs. 9,50,000- Diesel
Rs. 10,40,000 - Petrol
10,95,000 - Diesel
11,49,00 - AMT Diesel
Rs. 11,64,000 - Petrol
Rs. 12,14,000 - Diesel
Rs. 12,69,00- AMT Diesel
LED tail lamps
Every Feature available W4 and:
Every Feature available W6 and:
Every Feature available W8 and:
Drive and co-passenger airbag
Hill Start Assist (AMT only)
Front Parking Sensors
Isofix Child Seat Mounts
ESP with Rollover mitigation (AMT only)
Anti Theft Alarm
2nd Row Seat Belt Reminder
Front armrest with storage
Steering mounted audio controls
12V Accessory Socket
4 speaker audio system
Illuminated boot and glovebox
Electrically adjustable ORVM
17.78 Touchscreen Infotainment
Automatic Climate control
Smart Steering system
Rain Sensing Wiper
Tyre Position Display
Follow me home lamps
Passive Keyless entry
Rear Camera with adaptive guidelines
The Diesel engine is 1.5L, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine which also does its duty on the Marazzo. This engine is sure to put a smile on your face as it produces more power and torque than any of its rivals. It produces 115 BHP of power and 300 NM of torque. Clutch is light but it has a long travel which can be cumbersome in stop-go traffic. The NVH levels are very well contained as the engine is quite silent and you won’t experience any vibrations inside the cabin. This engine is meant for the highways as there is a blast of power available between 2000 and 4000 rpm.
In order to capture more of the market share, Mahindra has also introduced a 6-speed AMT gearbox with the diesel engine. The Marelli-sourced AMT unit is smoother than its rivals but has its drawbacks being an AMT. It takes its own sweet time to change gears and is best when treated to a light foot. Hence, it is strictly meant for city use.
We recommend buying the W8 diesel variant which is priced at Rs. 10,95,000. For the price, it comes with almost all the comfort and convenience features which the W8 (Option) offers minus the electric sunroof and tire-tronics. This variant provides you with the much-loved premium experience that the XUV300 offers. The diesel on offer is also the most powerful in the segment
For the customers who want to buy only the petrol version, we would suggest you go for the W8 variant which is priced at Rs. 10,40,000 and would provide you with the same features list with lower power and torque figures than the diesel. The difference in the price of petrol W8 and diesel W8 is Rs. 55,000 only.
5 Year Warranty + Up to Rs. 40,000 cash discount
Rs. 8.10 Lakhs
5 Year Warranty + Up to Rs. 40,000 cash discount
Rs. 8.95 lakhs
5 Year Warranty + Up to Rs. 40,000 cash discount
Rs. 10.40 Lakhs
5 Year Warranty + Up to Rs. 40,000 cash discount
Rs. 11.64 Lakhs
*Limited Period Offer on select variants only in Delhi, NCR. The AMT variants have a waiting period of 2 months
Coming to the performance of the XUV300, both the engines on offer have enough grunt to handle the heaviest monocoque subcompact SUV of its segment.
The petrol 3-cylinder turbocharged engine produces 110 BHP which puts it only behind Ford’s Ecosport (121BHP) but the torque output at 200 NM is above all its rivals. Mahindra has also worked pretty well to contain any vibrations from the 3 cylinder motor. The throttle feels keen to respond for quick overtakes. All in all, this is one of the best petrol engines available in its class. The gearbox is a let down though, as the gears have an unusually long travel action which feel cumbersome in city traffic. This engine can take the XUV300 from 0-100 in 11.5 seconds.
Price (Ex-Delhi) in INR
1.2L 4 cylinder
1.2L 4 cylinder
1.0L Turbo 3 cylinder
1.0 L GTDI 3 cylinder
7-speed dual-clutch automatic
|0-100 KMPH||12 seconds||11.7 seconds||10.8 seconds||13 seconds|
We tested the petrol engine on the XUV300 and found that even while generating one of the least power figures, XUV was not slower than the rivals. This is mostly due to the 200 NM of hefty torque on offer. The Venue feels the quickest from 0-100 due to its DCT gearbox. But XUV300 is not far behind and gives satisfactory performance.
The 1.5-liter turbocharged diesel power plant of the XUV300 generates 115 BHP and 300 NM of torque. This engine has more torque than any of its rivals. While driving you can easily make out that this engine is a highway cruiser. Within the city, the turbo lag is not pronounced but you are let down by the long clutch travel and long gear throws. On the highways, the torque on offer will help you zoom past the trucks or slow-moving cars easily. Throttle response feels quick and refinement level of this engine is surprisingly better than its rivals, nothing like we have seen from Mahindra so far. The automatic option available with the diesel feels lethargic for highway performance due to it being an AMT set-up.
Their's no denying to the fact that the Ford EcoSport has the most power-packed engine of the lot but still doesn't match the punch that the XUV300 has on offer. Moreover, the Tata Nexon being the least powerful performs better than most cars in this lineup.
Being the only car in its segment to offer discs brakes on all four wheels, you must be having high expectations from the XUV300, right? Well, it stops from 100-0 kmph in 5 seconds. XUV300 also comes with ABS + EBD and corner braking control. The brake pedal feel is spongy and needs some time getting used to.
All the cars have got Ventilated discs installed at the front and carry drums at the rear. Although, the EcoSports brakes induce confidence even at multiple emergency brake tests and fade very little.
There is no doubt that the XUV300 is a top-quality package in terms of the interiors. It soaks in small bumps and potholes quite well within the city. The suspension is well-tuned for the urban environment as well as the highway. Low-speed ride quality is compliant & mature. Mahindra has raised this car compared to the Tivoli and hence had to firm up the suspension a bit. Due to this, you can feel some thuds on large bumps and potholes, inside.
The fuel efficiency figures on offer are nothing to talk home about but are at par with the segment. With the mileage of 17 kmpl for the petrol variant, XUV300 takes the middle spot in the segment. Hyundai’s Venue surprisingly offers more mileage than its manual variants, this is due to its lighter kerb weight.
18.15 (DCT petrol)
Fuel Tank Capacity (liters)
Coming to the fuel efficiency of the diesel motor, it is one of the lowest in the segment due to the heavier kerb weight of XUV300.
Mahindra has mostly built body on frame SUVs in the sub-4 meter segment, which has always failed to lure the urban buyer. But this time they have realized their shortcomings and gone for a modern monocoque construction based car. Hence, XUV300 is based on the SsangYong Tivoli, Mahindra has chopped the rear to bring the car's length to bring it under 4-meters.
The design of XUV-300 is not overdone like most of the Mahindras on the road. It looks contemporary and fresh. From the front it has a prominent air dam which makes is look wide and the DRLs extends to the bumper as well. From the rear, it looks more like a hatchback than SUV. We are happy to report that the chrome usage is limited to the badges only. The side looks are enhanced with the help of roof rails and some body cladding.
W8 Option (petrol)
Kerb weight (kg)
Ground clearance (mm)
Overall, the XUV300 lives up to the urban SUV image in terms of design.
Welcome to the most impressive part of the XUV300! Once you step inside the cabin you will be treated to levels of quality not found in any Mahindra yet! The cabin is well laid out and ergonomics are well sorted. The buttons and switches feel premium and made to last. When you compare it to the segment, the cabin quality feels upmarket and a notch above.
The dashboard is not the most modern-looking but looks smart and functional. You won’t find any soft-touch materials inside but the plastic quality is better than the rivals. The cabin feels spacious and roomy due to the white-colored theme inside. While this helps in making the cabin look roomy, it is easily soiled in our Indian conditions.
The cabin of the XUV300 feels roomy due to its dimensions and you won’t find even the 5th passenger complaining. The seats are wide enough in the front and are superb in terms of cushioning. They are well-bolstered and provide a premium seating experience. Long journeys will not be a problem in them as they are wide enough even for large occupants. The front seating position is a little high up but nothing comparable to a full-grown SUV.
When it comes to the rear seat space and comfort, XUV300 is a genuine 5 seater and provides the best in class space to the rear occupant.
Still, the XUV300 fares better in terms of comfort than rivals, like the Ford Ecosport. The overall ride is compliant, but not plush. It does show body roll on the corners that can bother the passengers at the rear. It is a car meant for comfort rather than high-speed performance. Nevertheless, XUV300 feels well planted even at triple-digit speeds and keeps its occupants comfortable on straight roads.
With the steering mode options, you might have some big expectations from the XUV300? But the XUV300 is still no match in front of the Ecosport or the Venue. The XUV300 gets an electric power steering with 3 selectable modes – Comfort, Normal & Sport. The steering is light at city speeds but not calibrated properly and feels sensitive at high speeds. It has a turning radius of 5.3 which is higher than its rivals and hence parking it in a tight spot is not the easiest.
In the cargo department, XUV300 has the least space on offer. As Mahindra had to chop off some length from the rear, the boot space has reduced considerably.
Boot Space with rear seats up (liters)
Even the smaller looking Venue has more luggage storing space than the XUV300. With the seat up you get 259 liters and folding the seat down gives you Boot Space of 625 liters. Hence you would need to plan how much luggage to carry beforehand.
Inside the XUV- 300 you will find a 7-inch infotainment screen that is available on all variants except the base variant. Even though some rivals provide a bigger infotainment screen, the 7-inch size feels adequate for the car.
The touchscreen is lag-free and the screen resolution is HD. It comes with physical buttons as well which we feel is more convenient than all touch solutions. It supports USB & Aux, along with a video and image viewer, voice commands and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. You can sync the system with the Mahindra Blue Sense App on your phone and check various vehicle statistics through it. The infotainment feels fluid to operate and crisp to look at. Its performance and feature are satisfactory but nothing mind-blowing.
The higher variants come with 6 speakers and 2 tweeters. The sound from the speakers is acceptable if you don’t thump the bass up.
In-built GPS navigation
Android Auto/Apple CarPlay
Mahindra’s XUV300 provides exceptional safety features which are not matched by any of its rivals. Dual front airbags are standard and the top of the line W8 variant comes with 7 airbags. ABS + EBD, ISOFIX child seat mounts, impact-sensitive door locks and all-round disc brakes are also standard.
There's no denying the fact that Indian Carmakers are drawing their attention towards safer cars for India with Tata and Mahindra being the top contenders for it. After the Tata Nexon and Altroz, Mahindra XUV300 became the third Indian car to bag a 5-star crash test rating from Global NCAP for adult occupancy. Not just that, XUV300 also received a 4-star safety rating for child safety making this SUV the safest car there is on the Indian Subcontinent.
3-point seatbelts for all seats, front parking sensors and seat belt reminders for the rear seat!
Front, side, curtain, knee airbag
EPS with rollover mitigation
Corner braking control
XUV300 is offered with a standard warranty of 2 years and unlimited kilometers.
With a 5-star NCAP safety rating & a solid build quality, Tata Nexon comes off as a well built and a more affordable package. Nexon beats the XUV 500 in terms of boot space and ride comfort. Nexon can really glide over the bumps and potholes. It suffers from a laggy infotainment system and is not in the league of XUV300’s. While this can be a deal-breaker to some, the sound output in Nexon is the best in its segment. But Nexon fails to provide the premium feel and comfort of the XUV300. If space and ride comfort is your prime concern then go for Tata’s Nexon but if you are looking for a premium and sorted subcompact SUV package then you cannot go wrong with the XUV300.
Hyundai’s Venue is a car that comes with the most amount of features and engine options in its segment. It also has Hyundai’s aftermarket customer service on its side, which is considered better than the Mahindra’s. The Venue is also a more technologically advanced car and comes with modern age features like the Blue link telematics. It is also cheaper than the XUV300 and provides more bang for the buck. But Venue’s hatchback like proportions cannot be ignored and it is no match for the rear seat space and comfort of the XUV300. Even though Venue manages to offer a premium experience, XUV300 feels a bit more premium than that of the Venue. Hence, if you want the most advanced car, go for the Venue but if you look for the most premium experience than XUV300 is the car for you.
XUV300 is truly an urban sub-compact SUV that not only provides you the most premium experience in its segment but also provides a top-notch safety package. It’s not a car if you are looking solely for driving pleasure as there are other cars with better driving dynamics. But if you are looking for features and an exceptional cabin experience then XUV300 is the car made for you.