Mahindra KUV100 NXT Overview
When it was launched, what it promised was trendy design — not for those who are looking at a subtle design. It also promised to be spacious, comfortable and powerful. But then it did lack the quality, it did miss out on the features and more importantly ease of driving. The KUV had a super hard clutch and this was disappointing if you drive more often in the city. Mahindra seems to have heard the feedback and worked on it. Not once but twice. The first upgrade was good, but it lacked the major aspects about which I had complains. Read further as I will share many aspects that would have gone missing in the review of most of the journalists. You will have a lot more information and understanding about this vehicle then any other KUV100 NXT you would have read. Request a test drive for KUV100 NXT in Tryaldrive
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Design & Style
The official press pictures of the KUV created quite a stir a month back. The aggressive curves and creases coupled with some trademark Mahindra quirk found mixed reactions. What wasn’t too evident from the pictures however was the overall dimensions. How would the claimed ‘micro SUV’ look? Will it be as butch as it is supposed to be? Or is it just another hatchback with some cladding underneath?In flesh, the KUV does manage to look like a scaled down SUV rather than a bloated hatch, especially from the front three-quarters. The design, like most Mahindra’s follows an all-out ‘love it or hate it’ philosophy. What you most certainly cannot do, is ignore it. The KUV1OO drew so much attention on our drive back from the Mahindra facility, that it needs a special mention. Also, most casual onlookers were youngsters. Considering the fact that the KUV is aimed at the youth, the design seems to be spot on.
The front houses a pair of sleek headlamps with integrated daytime running lamps – that Mahindra say are inspired by Sunglasses.. The headlamps are partially smoked and flows into a panel over the front fender. We particularly like the thin red stripe detailing that the headlamp cluster houses. The grille, although quintessentially Mahindra is extremely sleek and houses six vertical ‘teeth’ finished in chrome. The massive front bumper gets a generous amount of cladding that breaks the bulk of color at the front. The vertically stacked foglamps (that have a chrome surround) and the faux skidplate finished in matte silver do all they can to give the KUV an SUVish face.
Over to the side, the clamshell hood sits snugly over the front fender. A sharp crease flows from the headlamps onto the front doors. Another crease emanates from just under the C-pillar, arches over the tail-lamps and finishes into the boot. The KUV follows a tall-boy approach; which means that the roofline is substantially high. The rear door handles are positioned next to the windows, which is a quirky touch. However, it being finished in matte silver sort of defeats the purpose of the handle being there in the first place. Another crease (at the bottom half of the doors), chunky roof rails and the flared wheel arches sum up the side profile. Our biggest gripe with the design have to be the wheels. The 14” Spider design wheels do absolutely nothing in adding to the appeal of the profile. Mahindra had a similar flaw in the TUV, the KUV retains that flaw. The wheel looks one size too tiny and the skinny tyres do not aid the ‘SUV’ positioning. We heavily recommend upsizing the tyres, not just for the looks but also for the added grip – but more on that later.
The rear is rather clean by Mahindra standards. Sometimes, you do tend to wonder if the Mahindra designers lose interest by the time they reach the rear end of the vehicle. The Scorpio, TUV and now the KUV share the same issue again. A design that starts off with zeal at the front looks lost by the time it goes past the C-pillar. The creases that flow in over the block tail-lamps look like an afterthought. Viewed dead-on from the rear, the KUV is almost slab sided, completely flat and devoid of anything interesting. The integrated spoiler, cladding and the dual rear foglamps do spice it up a bit. And before I forget, the wiper placement looks like a last minute patch job as well. Coming to proportions, the KUV 3675mm long, 1655 mm tall (including the roof rails) and 1715 mm tall. While this isn’t exactly SUV territory, it is just enough to make the KUV look like a big SUV went inside a photocopier at 50%. The design is quirky and has a lot of hits (and misses too!). What it definitely is, is eye catching. Mahindra have also launched the KUV in some funky colors like the ‘Flamboyant Red’, ‘Fiery Orange’ and an ‘Aquamarine’ too.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Cabin & Comfort
Mahindra offers the KUV100 NXT with two interior themes. The K2, K4 and K6 variants get a grey-themed interior while the top K8 trim gets an all-black interior. There are subtle tweaks to the cabin as well. There is a new 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation only while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still missed. The climate control buttons have been minimised from three to one. The top trim gets piano black and silver inserts in the cabin. The feature list is quite long too and you get steering-mounted audio controls, front and rear armrests with cupholders, cooled glove box, mood lighting, puddle lamps, height adjustable driver’s seat and driving modes. However, a rear camera is still missing. The touchscreen that you see here is borrowed from the TUV300 and is smooth to use but sound quality from the speakers is pretty average.
The climate control button needs effort to operate, while the pull-type handbrake lever is placed below the dashboard. Where the KUV100 really excels is practicality. There are more than enough cupholders and storage spaces inside the cabin and even the seats are fairly comfortable. If you’re really thinking of shoving in 6 people in the car then you might be in for an unpleasant surprise because there is barely any knee room or shoulder space at the front for the middle passenger and things get really uncomfortable. The backrest of the middle seat makes for a very large and comfy armrest though. The AC cools the cabin very quickly but is also a bit noisy. The vehicle gets a 243-litre boot (expandable up to 473-litres when the rear seats are folded) and can hardly fit in a weekend’s luggage of 2-3 people.
1.2-litre petrol and diesel engines power the KUV100 NXT. These new engines are three-cylinder ones and they are the same when they were launched on the micro SUV. The petrol engine has decent power and is good enough for daily usage. However, it has some amount of vibrations at low engine speeds, which means it will miss out on the refinement. These are felt the most when you are waiting on a red light. There has been some improvements in the NVH of the petrol engine and it seems a tad better than before.
The diesel engine was always good, but the biggest let down was its hard clutch. From all the product presentations we have gone through it doesn’t say a word about it. No other reviewer would have noticed this, but your clutch has now become a lot lighter. Before driving in traffic meant your clutch becoming hard and making it difficult to drive on a daily basis. This issue has been taken care of. The company claims to have reduced the diesel clatter too with better insulation. We aren’t certain of that. When you begin to drive this engine, you will not feel at any point that this is just a 1.2-litre engine. It is peppy and it has the punch even at low engine speeds. This makes it drivable too.Kitna deti hai? Our favourite question. The petrol engine returns about 11-12km/l in the city and out on the highway it goes up to 15km/l. On the other hand, the diesel engine will return close to 15km/l in the city and the number jumps up to 19km/l on the highway. These are the real world figures.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Driving Dynamics
The steering is light which makes the car extremely chuckable. Parking, taking quick U-turns are quite easy and one-handed affairs. It does weigh up nicely as the speeds climb. Feel and feedback is substantially better than the Grand i10 (especially at high speeds) and a couple of notches below the benchmark i.e. the Swift. Throwing the car in a fast corner will scare you silly. There is no other way of putting it. It is best that one drives this sanely around the ghats. Being overzealous with the throttle whilst going into a bend is just going to end in a sorry crash. Body roll and understeer. Two terms that describe the KUV’s handling capabilities in my books. The height contributes to the body roll whereas the skinny tyres contribute to the later. We recommend upgrading to a better set of tyres, the 185/65 R14 tyres do not do much in terms of grip and handling.
The little Mahindra gets disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. Brakes bite in very early and stopping power is adequate. However – it does nose dive significantly under braking. The skinny tyres again do not inspire a lot of confidence under hard braking.. Pedal feedback again, could have been better.The suspension on the KUV has a long travel. While this does cushion out all the bumps and undulations on the road, it also manages to toss the passengers around a fair bit. For example, going over a speedbreaker at around 10km/h saw all occupants in the car sway side to side. It is tuned on the softer side and does make for a comfortable ride. However, the soft setup with the tall height is a near perfect recipe for body roll. The KUV isn’t the most dynamically established by a long shot, the Swift still retains that crown. However, it does just fine for the city and an occasional highway stint. Just be slightly careful around the twisties, will you?
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Safety & Security
Mahindra is offering ABS as standard across every variant of the KUV100 NXT and dual airbags starting from the K2+ variant. The hatchback also comes with a 2-year, unlimited kms standard warranty which can be optionally extended to 5 years. The automaker has a good after-sales network across the country while the service quality levels are satisfactory.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Price in Bangalore
Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt Ex-Showroom Price in Bangalore ranges from 4,42,500/- (KUV100 NXT K2 Petrol) to 7,43,745/- (KUV100 NXT K8 Dual Tone Diesel). Get best offers for Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt from Mahindra Dealers in Bangalore. Check for KUV100 NXT price in Bangalore at Carzprice
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Verdict
Moving on to the verdict. The KUV100 NXT comes at a price tag that is similar to the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and the Hyundai Grand i10. For the same price, the KUV misses out on features like push start and stop button, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and even reverse camera. But then what you get is a vehicle with the SUV-stance. This is a unique proposition and we can trade off these features for it. In short, the KUV100 NXT is a great product to consider for the Indian car market and we reckon it is a good choice to buy.