Mahindra has just launched its global SUV, the XUV500 (pronounced “eks you we five double oh”) in three variants at a really attractive price of Rs. 10.8 lakh for the W6 base variant, Rs. 11.95 lakh for the middle variant W8 and Rs. 12.88 lakh for the W8 4×4 variant. Not only does the vehicle look aggressive, it’s priced aggressively as well and set to take a bite out of competition.
At these prices not only does the Mahindra XUV500 give the Toyota Innova and Tata Aria a run for their money, it also puts pressure on its own stable mate, the Mahindra Scorpio as well.
The Tata Aria base model at Rs 12.6 lakh is almost at the same price as the XUV500. And the Mahindra Scorpio top-end 4X4 will cost more than the XUV500 base variant.
With this aggressive pricing, Mahindra seems to have taken a calibrated decision to introduce a genuine value-for-money proposition with a product that meets the aspirations of the SUV buyer who cannot afford the Rs 20 lakh-plus SUV but wants features comparable to those.
Not just the Yeti, even SUVs such as the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner do not have as many features and they are priced nearly twice as much as the XUV500. So in that sense, the XUV500 is absolutely good value for money.
Value for money
The XUV500 has many things going for it. For one, it outclasses many SUVs a segment or two above it in terms of features that it offers. The fully-loaded W8 variant (both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive) are high on comfort and safety features.
The XUV500 is spacious and can seat seven passengers. In terms of safety features, it has six airbags, all-round disc brakes with ABS, traction control and electronic stability program. It also offers driving aids like hill-descent control seen only in SUVs like the Skoda Yeti and above so far (which is priced a good Rs 3.5 lakh higher.)
Other features of the XUV500 include tyre pressure monitoring, cruise control, touch-screen integrated music system with steering audio controls, GPS navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity, power-folding rear-view mirrors, puddle lamps, cooled glove box and plenty more. What Mahindra has done is to take all the best features offered in competing vehicles and include it in the XUV500. And then go and price it so aggressively.
There are some things that are unique in the build of this crossover sport-utility vehicle that are a first for a carmaker like Mahindra. It’s the first time Mahindra has developed a fully monocoque platform (all its other SUVs use a ladder-frame chassis with the body bolted on to it). It’s also the first time it has developed a front-wheel drive vehicle with a transverse-mounted engine. It’s also the first six-speed manual gearbox from the carmaker (the Scorpio automatic has a six-speed box though).
Mahindra is initially rolling out the XUV500 in five cities for the first month (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai), and will then take it across the country in the next 2-3 months. Stay tuned for more on the XUV500 after the national launch in New Delhi on September 30.
All prices are ex-showroom Delhi