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Testing the Mahindra XUV 500 W10

There is nothing dark about the Mahindra XUV 500 W10, a 7-seater SUV that was launched in October 2018. So, what can you expect?
At stance, it sits like a prancing cheetah ready for action. I certainly enjoyed driving this value for money and fuel efficient SUV, and from the outset, I was impressed with its road handling and off-road capabilities.

I did not get the opportunity to do some bundu-bashing, but I believe the SUV would have acquitted itself very well. But I did test the vehicle on the national roads. It handled well while cruising with ease at 120kmph in the middle lane. Press on the accelerator for added power, and the Mahindra XUV 500 W10 responds with aplomb.

“The Stylish New XUV500 flagship represents the best of Mahindra’s SUV expertise. It is both capable and comfortable, feature rich and affordable and is styled to attract attention. The new model, with its completely redesigned front and rear styling, and additional features are sure to attract the attention of existing owners and SUV enthusiasts alike,” says Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa.

Stylish, yet a muscular exterior design

Thanks to a completely redesigned front and rear styling, the XUV500 stands out from its predecessors by far. Viewed from the front, the Stylish New XUV500 features a brand-new grille, which reinterprets the marque’s well-known 7-slot design with sharp-cut chrome highlights and a larger chrome surround.

The chrome grille surrounds shape into new daytime running lights at the top of the redesigned headlamps, before flowing vertically down to new fog lamps. The fog lamps, in turn, form part of a redesigned lower bumper, which has been squared off around a lower air intake and now has a silver lower bash plate.

Perhaps the most notable part of Mahindra’s redesign of the Stylish New XUV500 is visible at the rear: where a new tailgate, a new combination of taillights and a larger roof-mounted rear spoiler present a completely new bold look, adding to the aesthetic look of the brand's flagship vehicle. The new angular taillights are split horizontally into two units on each side and replace the previous vertical units.

The new lights now feature a wider and more prominent number plate enclosure with chrome detailing and integrated reverse camera and new rear reflectors, which follow the diagonal lines created by the taillights. Completing the dramatic new rear design, is a new rear bumper with blacked-out bottom scuff section and dual tail pipes.

New look and feel of the interior

The New XUV500 is equipped with an infotainment system, with air conditioning controls. This includes a full turn-by-turn satellite navigation system with voice prompts as standard.The infotainment system is connected to a powerful new audio system that delivers out impressive sound quality. Also offered is USB connectivity, with picture and video viewing functionality, Bluetooth hands-free cellphone connectivity and an iPod and AUX connection.

Also new is the sunroof with an easily accessible push-button Start/Stop system. Like before, the Stylish New XUV500 has one of the longest standard-feature lists in its segment. All variants offer electric windows and side mirrors, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel with electric power assistance, remote boot lid opening, follow-me-home and lead-me-to-vehicle headlamp functionality and foldable second and third row seats.

The XUV 500 have alloy wheels, cruise control with a multi-functional steering wheel, a conversation mirror (deleted on the W10 with sunroof), reach adjustment to the steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights.

Diesel powered

The upgrade on the Stylish New XUV500 is more than just skin deep. Mahindra have refined its reliable and highly popular mHawk 2.2 turbodiesel engine with its fifth-generation turbocharger. The mHawk-engine delivers 103 kW and 330 Nm of torque.

In addition, Mahindra has revised the suspension to offer greater comfort and improved handling. The suspension upgrade and additional noise damping on the 2018 model has led to a dramatic drop in the noise, vibration and harshness inside the cabin.

Price check

Whilst I tested only the XUV 500 W10, there are other models available viz:
  • XUV500 W4 6-spd manual: R299,999 (incl. VAT)
  • XUV500 W6 6-spd automatic: R359,999 (incl. VAT)
  • XUV500 W8 6-spd manual: R374,999 (incl. VAT)
  • XUV500 W8 6-spd automatic: R403,999 (incl. VAT)
  • XUV500 W10 6-spd automatic: R419,999 (incl. VAT)

Verdict: A no nonsense, value for money family SUV that runs effortlessly and most importantly comfortably. Power when you need it. Sitting high up, you feel safe in the cockpit with a very good view of the surroundings.
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About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on .