With tall boy designs becoming successful, in 2015 Mahindra decided to launch their NBA player. Tall, muscular and very capable at the same time. This was the Mahindra TUV300, which TUV stands for Tough Utility Vehicle. And in 2016 the Mahindra TUV300 get an additional option of a more powerful engine and this is the mHawk100 engine. With ample of space, new and improved, more powerful engine and also the option of an automated manual transmission, also got the power bump. It seems like Mahindra went slam dunk. Now a sub four-metre vehicle I guess this is one of the if not only rear wheel drive compact SUV with a ladder-on-frame chassis, Mahindra yelled “Let the games begin”! So what does the new Mahindra TUV300 have on offer? Read our in-depth our Mahindra TUV300 and the 100bhp TUV300 review. Exchange your old car for TUV300
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
When the pictures of the Mahindra TUV300 first surfaced with camouflage (a time when the vehicle was only addressed by its codename U301), everyone thought it’s the new Bolero because of the boxy design. After Mahindra announced the name, the TUV300’s uncamouflaged pictures surfaced and we were definitely not impressed. In person though, the car does look better but there is just too much influence from global car makers like Land Rover but mostly from Jeep’s Wrangler. The TUV does flash Mahindra’s new design language and the perception from the common man seems positive with many asking about the vehicle.
Mahindra has done a smart job with the dimensions of the TUV300 as it doesn’t look small in spite of tucking under the 4-metre length. The boxy design does give it that retro SUV feel and there are some macho elements like the big bumpers, high ground clearance, front grille with chrome inserts and the spare wheel mounted on the tail gate. Mahindra states that the design is inspired from a battle tank and while that might seem a bit too far fetched, the TUV300 does come across as a neutral looking car which appeals to a certain number of SUV lovers.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
Step inside and the interior of the new TUV300 will surprise you because inside the story is totally different, the TUV300 gets duel tone dashboard finished in premium black and beige. The centre console gets hexagonal console which actually has been finished in Piano black and gets 2-DIN Audio compatible with Bluetooth, USB & AUX. The steering wheel in particular looks good because it gets mounted audio and phone controls.
The instrument cluster at the front gets twin pods which gets a sporty finish and definitely looks good at night time because of the amber back lighting and chrome ring on the dials. The hexagonal center console is not complete without the Silver accents on AC Vent outer ring. The TUV300 also has seating capacity of 5+2 passengers which has been made possible with the addition of the jump seats . The TUV300 also offers an amazing 400 litres of boot space at the rear which can be extended to 720 Litres if one folds the second row seats. There is also two 12 v charging points inside the cabin. While some top end variants also gets electronically adjustable ORVM’s
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
The TUV300 comes with a 1.5-litre diesel engine called as mHawk80 that churns out 84bhp of power and 230Nm of maximum torque. This engine has been redone completely as it has dual mass flywheel, which has reduced its vibration. The NVH (noise vibration and harshness) is something that Mahindra has to work on, as the noise is quite prominent. The engine is very smooth and it is the ease of driving that makes a strong statement for it. So driving this SUV in city will be easier and there will not much effort required as one doesn’t has to shift gears. We drove the five-speed manual version of the TUV300 and the clutch was light and easy to drive. The TUV300 also comes with a five-speed AMT (automated manual transmission), however we haven’t got our hands it yet.
The best bit about the TUV300 is the ease of driving in city. You do not require to downshift that often. There is generally enough torque to pull the TUV300 and overtaking is easier. The TUV300 has a good torque that has make it a lot drivable in city, on highway it feels a bit out of steam if you push it too hard. The engine refinement is excellent for a diesel engine and what we appreciate the ease of driving. One sits in a commanding position and there is a clear view of the road. The TUV300 gear box is a bit too notchy, especially for reverse, this is something that needs some work done
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
One of the things that really surprised us is the way the TUV300 handles bad roads. Throw it at a pothole or an undulated section of road and the TUV300 manages to waft over it without much fuss while keeping the occupants quite comfortable. That said, passengers in the rear seat and the last row do feel more jerks than the ones in the first row, but then, that is a typically Mahindra trait.The TUV300 is an easy car to drive for even the most novice driver due to the fact that it is really east to look out of. There is however a slight blind spot when you reverse and the inside rear view mirror could have been a tad bit larger. Of course, the reverse sensors do aid drivers but the addition of a reverse camera would have been very welcome.
Being a body on frame construction, expecting the TUV300 to handle like a sedan or a family hatchback is asking too much. That said, we were pleasantly surprised by how this new setup makes the TUV300 roll much less than the likes of the Quanto for example. The TUV300 also feels quite comfortable and planted at higher speeds. There is of course a noticeable level of body roll when you chuck it into a corner hard or when you take a high speed sweeping corner but nothing that might make it uncomfortable. The TUV300 comes with disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear and while other Mahindra cars do seem a little nervous under heavy braking, the TUV300 manages to hold its own thanks to the ABS and EBD that it gets.
We’re quite impressed with the safety parameters that the vehicle employs. Safety features shared by all the variants include a collapsible steering column, side intrusion beams, a seat belt reminder lamp, an auto door lock function as well as a digital immobiliser.
However, while we’re sure there will be plenty of takers for this tough, rugged look and feel at a relatively affordable price, it seems a bit of an oddity in this segment, where nimble dynamics, refinement and driving ease are also valued highly. In fact, it’s reflected in the slightly awkward proportions, which seem to be trying too hard. And finally, though Mahindra has made great strides in this area, fit and finish is still some way shy of global competition. So, while it’s not perfect, we will say the TUV300 is one of Mahindra’s best efforts yet, and if you think monocoque SUVs are not ‘real’ SUVs, or you want the Scorpio’s tough, rugged appeal in a smaller, more affordable package, this is the way to go.