The Mahindra KUV100 was launched in India just under 2 years ago, and even though it took on entry hatches, it was positioned as Mahindra’s smallest SUV in India. Sales over the first six months were pretty impressive with an average of almost 5000 units a month. But post that the numbers started to drop and the car did not receive the success Mahindra hoped it would. Since Maruti Suzuki launched the Ignis and the Hyundai Grand i10 facelift has also arrived. Those cars have upped the game by offering new and improved styling, a host of smart and intuitive features and better safety equipment, and they are still getting better numbers. So Mahindra needed to act fast and what we now have is the KUV100 NXT.
Mahindra has also worked on the cabin of the new KUV100 NXT, especially the dashboard and interior panels. The car gets a new centre console, which looks much nicer and contemporary. The biggest addition though is the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with Bluetooth and AUX-IN connectivity along with navigation, and it also shares vehicle details like mileage, service history and more. Sadly though it neither gets Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto, which is a bit of a bummer considering that all the cars in this segment get them. You also get a nice carbon-fibre-like texture on the top of the dashboard and the door panels that add to the premiumness of the all-black cabin. A similar pattern can be seen on the fabric upholstery, complementing the design.
Some elements have been carried over from the previous model like – the joystick-like gear lever, three-spoke steering wheel, dashboard-mounted parking brake lever and the six-seater layout with under seat storage compartment, which is now standard across variant. But, if you prefer the five-seater option, Mahindra still offers them but as made-to-order.
On the safety front, ABS comes as standard on all variants, while dual front airbags are offered from the K2+ variant and above. Other features include rear parking sensors, ISOFIX child seat mounts, and more.
Mechanically it remains completely unchanged and is still powered by the mFalcon twins – the 1.2-litre G80 petrol engine with a 5-Speed gearbox, and the 1.2-litre D75 oil burner (also manual).
Neither get an AMT option despite the intent from Mahindra to get one in. The facelift would have been a good time to do frankly. Having said that, Mahindra has announced that, it will be launching the AMT version of the car in the first half of 2018.
Now with the KUV there used to be a lot of road noise that use to come from the tyres into the cabin, and overall there used to be a lot more vibration and harshness coming from the engine bay as well. Both those areas have been worked on. The engine mounts have been completely reworked so you don’t get as much vibration or noise as you used to earlier, which does make the car seems a lot more refined than before.
Suspension and ride quality are still pretty decent and the car can handle the undulations on the road without much stress. But try to take a sharp turn around corners and you’ll see that KUV100 NXT still has some roll. In terms of pricing, the KUV100 NXT starts at Rs 4.39 lakh and goes to Rs 7.42 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, and compares well with the key rivals.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT vs Rivals Price Comparison
Models Petrol Diesel
Mahindra KUV100 NXT ₹ 4.39 lakh – ₹ 6.51 lakh ₹ 5.39 lakh – ₹ 7.42 lakh
Maruti Suzuki Ignis ₹ 4.56 lakh – ₹ 7.01 lakh ₹ 6.28 lakh – ₹ 8.08 lakh
Hyundai Gradnd i10 ₹ 4.59 lakh – ₹ 6.86 lakh ₹ 5.70 lakh – ₹ 7.37 lakh
The KUV 100 NXT is an improvement on the car for sure. But it is still far from being the segment best. It’s quirky and does attract with its SUV appeal. Mahindra should see some revered success with the facelifted car – though should start to think about connectivity interfaces like touchscreen and more to also appeal to the younger, more urban buyer.