Mahindra XUV700 5 & 7 seat SUVs: First drive review [Video]

Mahindra has been testing the all-new XUV700 for a long time on the Indian roads. After spotting the camouflaged versions of the model in the different parts of the country, Mahindra finally unveiled the all-new XUV700 that will be launched in the Indian market in the coming weeks. We drove the vehicle on the city roads, highway and even a specialised track newly inaugurated by Mahindra. What do we think about the car? You can watch that in the video or the text review below.

Mahindra XUV700: Looks bold

While many of us will agree that the design of the XUV700 is polarising and is loved and disliked by many. While I will not divulge how the car was designed in the first place, I definitely want you to know that the all-new XUV700 looks bold on the road. The vehicle measures 4,695 mm in length, 1,890 mm in width and 1,755 mm in height.

Compared to the XUV500, the new model is longer. However, the width remains the same and the height has been reduced by a few millimetres. However, it does look intimidating on the roads. Especially because of the front-end design that houses the signature Mahindra grille. The sides get large C-shaped headlamps with integrated LED DRLs and dynamic turn indicators.

The headlamp units and the fog lamps in the top-end variant that we drove offer a full LED set-up. It gets a bumper lip at the front that makes it look sporty too.

Mahindra XUV700 5 & 7 seat SUVs: First drive review [Video]

Coming to the side, you notice that Mahindra has made efforts to keep the design clean. For that, there are flush-fitting door handles that come out once the car gets unlocked. They do look premium on the car. The alloy wheels are 18-inch and get 235/60 profile tyres. The XUV700 gets a large glass area and that makes the cabin very open.

The rear of the Mahindra XUV700 offers split tail lamps. These arrowhead full LED set-ups do look quite good. There is a roof-mounted spoiler too. Mahindra has put the XUV700 name in the rear with the name of the variants, which has become a rare offering nowadays.

Mahindra XUV700 5 & 7 seat SUVs: First drive review [Video]

Mahindra XUV700: Spacious cabin

The XUV700 offers a massive wheelbase of 2,750mm. It is longer than the XUV500 and the Tata Safari but is similar to the Hector and is 10mm shorter than the Hyundai Alcazar. However, the space inside the cabin is quite generous. We only spent time with the seven-seater variant so we will give you an insight on the same.

The space in the first and the second row is ample. The middle row seat is a bench and not individual captain seats. You do get an armrest that you can also use as a cup holder. There are seat pockets too. The co-driver seat also gets a lever that can be used to adjust the leg space without disturbing the driver.

Mahindra XUV700 5 & 7 seat SUVs: First drive review [Video]

The last row seats can be a bit cramped though. To enter the last row, you get to tumble down the split seat and enter.  I stand 5 feet 10 inches and my head was touching the roof of the XUV700. These seats are good for you if there are children in your family but adults cannot sit here comfortably for a long time.

All the doors get large bottle holders and there are cup holders for the last row passengers as well. There are ample charging sockets for every to charge their devices at the same time in the XUV700. The glove box is not cooled and offers generous space but the space under the armrest is cooled and can hold a few cans of drinks or small bottles.

Feature loaded

Mahindra XUV700 5 & 7 seat SUVs: First drive review [Video]

When Hyundai launched the Alcazar in the segment, we could not think of another car offering a longer feature list. Well, Mahindra has proved that wrong. There is a bunch of first-in-segment features. Let me start with the exterior. Apart from all the full LED headlamps, tail lamps, fog lamps with cornering lamps, the Mahindra XUV700 gets smart door handles. The flush-fitting handles were created to keep the design of the XUV700 clean and they do look exclusive. No other car in the segment or several segments above offers this.

Well, step inside the XUV700 to see the grandeur of the dashboard. The multiple layered dashboards offer a dual-screen set-up, which will remind you of a certain Mercedes-Benz vehicle. Mahindra has positioned two 10.25-inch screens side-by-side. One of them works as an infotainment system and the other works as an instrument cluster.

Powered by Adrenox, a new software, we can say the quality, the touch and the feel of the screen is extremely smooth. It offers Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and over 60 connected features. However, we cannot talk much about them as it is in pre-production. But we can reveal that it gets integrated Alexa system too. There is a 12-speaker system from Sony, which again is the best-in-segment feature.

The instrument cluster though looks sharp, thanks to the high-resolution display. There are various themes and a load of information that you will be able to see on the instrument cluster. The XUV700 also gets an electronically adjustable driver seat with a memory function. With the fine-tuning of the electrically adjustable seat and the tilt and telescopic steering, you find the best possible position to drive the car.

Climate control is dual-zone, a first in the segment. However, only the driver and co-driver get different temperature settings. Below that, you get a wireless phone charging system, which is becoming a standard in almost all cars. Mahindra XUV700 also gets an electronic parking brake.

There are C-Type USB chargers at the front and for the middle row passengers and the last row gets a 12V charging socket. The second-row passengers also get AC vents and it does intrude into the space for keeping the feet of the middle passenger.


Mahindra XUV700 5 & 7 seat SUVs: First drive review [Video]

The Advanced Driver Assistance System or ADAS will be available with the top-end spec of the XUV700. It will be the most affordable car in the market to offer the same and is the first Indian car to offer these advanced features.

The ADAS uses a set of four cameras and a radar system to offer segment-first features. The ADAS offers adaptive cruise control, which detects the speed of the vehicle ahead and then accelerates or brakes according to the speed of the vehicle in front. In fact, if you are stuck in a traffic jam, you need not do much and only engage the adaptive cruise to move ahead and stop with the traffic. You can go to the settings to change the distance between your car and the vehicle in the front. The distance is time-based.

The ADAS also offers features like lane assistance that keeps the vehicle in the centre of the lane and it also reduces the speed of the vehicle while entering a corner at a high speed. And if you unknowingly leave a lane, it will give you a warning as well. On the public roads, the system will read the speed signs to put a notification on the instrument cluster too.

Mahindra XUV700 also offers automated emergency braking or AEB. It will warn the driver about the collision and then it applies brake automatically. Currently, the AEB works with vehicles and also pedestrians but it still cannot detect animals like dogs on the road. We tested it on a dummy and it works well.

Mahindra has added driver drowsiness detection, which analyses the drowsiness and warns the driver with a shake on the steering wheel and warning sound in the cabin. Well, we did not test this feature.

Mahindra XUV700 will offer as many as 7 airbags, ESP that gets a long list of features like brake disc wiping, torque vectoring by braking, rollover mitigation and much more.

XUV700: Good to drive?

We drove the XUV700 on the city roads, highway and the newly inaugurated Mahindra SUV Proving Track (MSPT). Being a massive vehicle, the Mahindra XUV700 does not have as much of a body roll. However, the suspension is not very rigid. That is because of the frequency selective damper (FSD). The system sees how quickly the suspension is vibrating to offer a level of softness. It worked well during our drive and we were doing banking corners at more than 130 km/h of speed.

Mahindra will offer both petrol and diesel options with the XUV700. Both are the most powerful engine options in the segment. The petrol variants get powered by the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that generates a maximum power of 200 PS ad peak torque of 380 Nm. The 2.2 diesel engine generates a maximum of 185 PS and a peak torque of 450 Nm with the automatic and 420 Nm with the manual transmission. There is a lower-spec diesel as well, which will be available with the entry-level variants.

We only drove the petrol automatic variant. It gets six-speed automatic transmission. The turbocharged petrol engine is a new engine that made its debut with the all-new Thar. It is a superb engine and makes almost no noise. Also, you feel the torque in the petrol engine from quite early and all of that without turbo-lag. The engine revs freely, which makes the XUV700 very quick as well. Mahindra claims that it can reach 0-60 km/h in less than 5 seconds.

Sadly, the petrol engine does not get the drive modes that are available with diesel. The drive modes change the gear shift map, steering mode, and cluster theme. Since the system is integrated into the steering system, it does use a good amount of power, which could have affected the mileage of the petrol variants. That is why Mahindra is not offering the same with the petrol-powered XUV700.

Coming to an end

Mahindra has seriously blown away the competition just by announcing the price. Starting at only Rs 11.99 lakh for the base variant, the XUV700 will attract a lot of customers and has the potential to become the segment leader in the market. Did we not like anything in the car?

Well, even though it is full to the brim with features, Mahindra could have added the automatic day/night interior rearview mirror. It is a manual unit. Also, at places, you will get to see the signs of cost-cutting. Like there is hard plastic at places that do not go well with the overall premium theme. The tailgate uses Fibre Reinforced Plastic or FRP, which reduces the weight of the vehicle and the job is well-done and is finished quite well.

Overall, the Mahindra XUV700 is loaded with electronics. Even the door handles are electronic. So the plethora of electronics may create a problem or the other. Overall, as I said above, I see a segment-leader in the XUV700 and the popularity may become as much as the first-generation XUV500, which was so much in demand that Mahindra had to do a lottery system to allot the vehicles to the customers.