Mahindra’s stock rises with the new XUV700

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Mahindra's stock rises with the new XUV700

Prashirwin Naidu

Mahindra, a prominent name in the automotive industry, proves that India is so much more than Bollywood. 

The rapidly motoring Indian car maker has taken a giant leap towards luxury and style with its latest XUV700. 

In my long-term report on the XUV700, I explored it in the everyday urban commute. Some may not fancy the looks; however, I've grown to like it. It's a natural-born stunner in comparison to the XUV500. 

Its dimensions are precise and pleasing. The familiar boxy appearance brings it into the modern era of sleek SUVs. Is it in the same high-end category as its German counterparts? Well, not really. The XUV700 offers a different choice for the consumer, an interesting one, with a fair price, almost a fraction of what you would pay for a Benz, Beemer and Audi. These brands have a repertoire of luxury and prestige. But the competition is getting closer. 

Indeed, the XUV700 makes a bold statement with its captivating design. Everest White was the colour scheme of the vehicle we drove.

Briefly touching on the new logo, it almost looks like a butterfly. The meaning of it represents an "authentic and aspirational" identity. Colourful!

Our test unit is priced at R569,999 for the top-spec AX7L model. I got comfy with it; truthfully, the AX7L model is the one to buy. This being the top-of-the-range model meant it came with many niceties, such as the delectable LED headlamps and 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with high-profile 235/60 tires. And the spiffy retractable door handles are very fancy indeed.

Nestling beneath the hood is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivering 149kW of power and 380Nm of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. It is in front-wheel drive configuration and features a substantial 60-litre fuel tank, perfect for long journeys. 

On my commute to work and back, driving was a pleasure. Very engaging and responsive. But it's pretty thirsty, too. Yet, the refinement is on par. I was impressed with the level of sophistication this vehicle had, gracefully gliding over the bumpy roads and efficiently tackling the surfaces. 

It offers a comfortable driving experience, with light steering and adequate sound dampening to reduce road noise. However, some concerns have been raised about fuel consumption, with varying figures reported. It depends on how heavy one's feet are on the accelerator. I achieved a 10.1l/100km, which I was barely tapping the throttle, mind you.

The car came with a wealth of tech and all the usual bells and whistles one would find in any German model. But the fuel performance was a disappointment. But it's a liveable qualm, provided one has the budget to run this behemoth.

The car has a Driver Drowsiness Detection, a reverse camera, a 6-way power seat with a memory function, a leather steering wheel and gear lever, plush Leatherette seats, rain-sensing wipers, push-to-start button, passive keyless entry, and dual-zone climate control. Cool!

When it comes to being wired for sound, the XUV700 AX7L boasts an integrated 10.25-inch infotainment screen, a 10.25-inch digital cluster, a 360-degree view, a Sony 12-speaker 3D sound system, wireless charging, and an expansive sky roof. Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay complete the tech-savvy interior. 

Living with these lovely gizmos and gadgets made the car experience more memorable, giving it a premium feel. I think the Indian automakers are on to something with the XUV700. Stylish and a well-balanced set of wheels to boot!

The XUV700 doesn't compromise on safety, with advanced driver assistance systems that include ABS braking, ESP, Adaptive Cruise Control, Smart Pilot Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. 

The vehicle is also equipped with seven airbags for added safety. One feels secure in comfort. Of course, there is no place for a fire pool, but we recently heard it was a great fib. Sumptuous!

With seven seats and ample passenger space, the XUV700 ensures an abundance of space. Boot space is also generous, but the accurate figures are not available on the website, and I tried my investigation by looking through various sources, enough to estimate it measures roughly 530l. With all the seats down, that's another question altogether.

The Mahindra XUV700 enters the SUV market with a compelling proposition, offering luxury at a competitive price. 

As Mahindra continues to evolve, like Bollywood, the XUV700 shows signs of a promising future for the higher-end SUV segment, making it clear that India can sing and dance with the best global brands regarding colourful and classy rides. Stunning!


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