Why the Mahindra Quanto is a good alternative to premium hatchbacks

Premium hatchback buyers, here’s another vehicle to add to your shopping list – and it’s not a premium hatchback! Mahindra is all set to launch the Quanto compact MPV on September 20 in Mumbai.  The Quanto is based on the Xylo MPV and is likely to be priced between Rs. 5.5 lakh and Rs. 7 lakh.

This vehicle, although in a new segment of compact MPVs, may seriously eat into the market share of premium hatchbacks. Here’s why we think the Quanto is an interesting experiment from Mahindra. Also read: Mahindra Mini Xylo is now Mahindra Quanto

Size for price

Going by Mahindra’s past launches, the company can get very aggressive on price and undercut the competition by a huge margin. It did that with the Mahindra XUV500, pricing it nearly Rs. 3 lakh cheaper than the Tata Aria. It did that with the Mahindra Verito, offering a much more spacious car at about the same price as a Maruti Dzire. Similarly, the Mahindra Quanto promises to offer far more interior space than most of the hatchbacks in the Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 7 lakh price segment, including the Maruti Swift, Ford Figo and Hyundai i20. For buyers looking for a spacious hatchback, they could also add the Quanto MPV to their list.

More power

The Mahindra Quanto will be equipped with a three-cylinder, 1.5 litre diesel engine that is likely to develop 100 bhp of peak power using a twin-turbo system. This is more power than any of the hatchbacks offer. Of course, one also has to take the weight of the vehicle into consideration, given that it will have a traditional ladder-frame chassis and will therefore be nearly 250 Kg heavier than most of the hatchbacks. Still, the most powerful diesel hatchbacks put out only 90 bhp of power (Fiat Punto, Hyundai i20). To some buyers, going purely by the numbers the Quanto seems like a good deal.

More features

From what we hear about the Quanto, it is going to come loaded with features to give even the best premium hatchbacks a run for their money. The top-end variant of the Quanto is likely to come with dual airbags, ABS, Bluetooth-integrated audio system, parking sensors, two additional jump-seats, defogger, rear wash-wipe, alloy wheels, front and rear fog lamps and more. Buyers who love features, will find the feature-list interesting in the Quanto.

More seating capacity

Premium hatchbacks are limited to carrying five passengers at the most. The Quanto too is essentially a five-seater, but it comes equipped with two additional jump seats in the boot. This is particularly useful if you have to ferry seven people around town at short notice. With the seats folded, there is plenty of luggage space on offer – about 300 litres of it. Buyers who need that occasional extra space will like the Quanto.

Lower maintenance costs

Since the Mahindra Quanto is based on the Xylo and almost all components are sourced in India only, the vehicle has lower parts cost as compared to some of the premium hatchbacks, especially Skoda Fabia, Nissan Micra, Renault Pulse and Volkswagen Polo. Even the Hyundai i20 has some expensive parts. Of course, Mahindra’s service costs have risen over the years and it may not be as low as one expects with the Quanto.

Areas of concern with the Quanto

However, it does not mean that the Mahindra Quanto is definitely going to be the best vehicle in that price segment. There are three key areas of concern that the Quanto has to address, and that will be known post September 20. One, how does the vehicle handle? Given its awkward dimensions, it may not be quite as comfortable to drive at speed like the Swift or Polo. Two, the vehicle looks a little weird because of its tall body and MPV platform. Will that look go down well with buyers? And three, Mahindra vehicles are not the best when it comes to fit and finish. Even the flagship XUV500 has some niggling quality issues that plague it. Can the Quanto come out fighting fit? Also read: Mahindra Quanto (Mini Xylo) first drive

Come September 20, and we’ll have the answer to these points for you. And since it will be priced bang in the middle of premium hatchback territory, it’s one vehicle that many premium hatchback makers are curiously eyeing. Does the Mahindra Quanto excite you too? Let us know.