The Mahindra Quanto, India’s first compact utility vehicle that seats seven adults in a sub-4 meter footprint, has never really managed to set sales charts afire. Slow sales has meant that Mahindra has gone back to the drawing board, working on a major facelift for the vehicle, which was first launched in the second half of 2012. The facelifted version of the Quanto is months away and new details about what the refreshed model will pack in has now been revealed.
An automated manual transmission is a given, and is one of the biggest mechanical change that the vehicle will come with. The 5 speed manual gearbox will be retained on the majority of the variants, along with the 1.5 liter twin scroll turbocharger equipped 3 pot diesel motor. Other changes on the compact SUV that is also Mahindra’s first in this segment, include suspension tweaks to flatten out the ride and reduce body roll.
The Xylo Facelift, launched months ago, received extensive suspension changes to make the MPV a better handler while improving ride quality. Similar changes on the Quanto could make the vehicle more appealing to buyers. However, the cosmetics of the compact SUV has been one of the the biggest turn offs, as the top heavy design -essentially that of a shortened Xylo – looked and still looks disproportionate.
Mahindra will work around this through the facelifted model, by outfitting new headlamps, re-profiled bumpers, a new front grille and revised tail lamps. All in all, the cosmetics will be worked upon to make the sub-4 meter UV look fresher than before even though the changes on the top-hat don’t seem to be in the scheme of things. On the inside, feature additions including a Bluetooth equipped infotainment interface and better seats could be added.
The Quanto will continue to use heavy yet rugged ladder frame chassis, and the rear wheel drive layout. While the AMT will make the compact SUV easier to drive, all the bulk that the ladder frame brings aboard won’t help matters as far as fuel efficiency is concerned. To make the vehicle more efficient, an economy mode is said to be an addition to the AMT unit.
Mahindra’s market share in its bread and better segment – utility vehicles – is being eroded rapidly with the advent of new competition. The Indian automaker has charted out a fightback in 2015, which will include the facelifted Quanto, many new flavours of the XUV500, an automatic variant of the Scorpio, the S101 code-named Micro SUV and finally, the Bolero U301 hitting the sub-4 meter button. These launches could put Mahindra firmly back in the driver’s seat.