The Mahindra XUV 700 sends out a warning competitors should take seriously. | Tech US News

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Perseverance, no matter criticism or skepticism, seems to have been Mahindra’s driving force since it made a surprise landing in South Africa nearly three decades ago.

Arriving at a time when the focus was on emerging Korean automakers, India’s second-largest carmaker came up with a “copy” of the Jeep Wrangler in the late ’90s as a joke. Must have seen what many people didn’t know at the time. In fact Thar despite a different name.

How time changes.

Although it has happened, the joke fell heavily on the naysayers as the laughter stopped when Mahindra, after a brief hiatus, returned in the early 2000s with the Bolero and Scorpio.

Mahindra XUV 700 launched in South Africa.
The back of the XUV 500’s display has been overhauled.

Fast forward to 2022, the momentum has been sustained thanks to the indigenously developed Scorpio pickup which has become such a runaway success that demand has outstripped supply.

Also Read: Here in Q4: Mahindra reveals select specifications of new XUV 700

The XUV 700, though quite different from being a replacement for the XUV 500, not only debuts Mahindra’s new Twin Peaks corporate logo, but also ushers in a new Menta that the automaker calls “authentic and aspirational”.

No diesel: the problem?

Aspects and attributes that will be introduced more widely in 2023, the XUV 700, announced as “seven double oh” and not seven hundred”, rates much more stylistically than the XUV 500 as an evolution, but A few differ in more than one.Inside and front.

Also, its inclusion marks a clear division at the top end of Mahindra’s SUV lineup. For instance, the marque has omitted all-wheel drive and a turbodiesel engine – both offered on the XUV 500 – opting to get it on the Scorpio-N instead.

Mahindra's new XUV 700 in South Africa
The AX5 serves as a mid-range derivative above the entry-level AX5.

As such, the XUV 700 is front-wheel drive only and is powered by a petrol engine as evidenced not only by the segment that competes in being heavily petrol-powered, but also as a lifestyle vehicle. There is also a way to make a clear distinction between And the more off-road inclined Scorpio-N is due next year.

The first model to ride on Mahindra’s new W601 platform, the XUV 700 revealed its intentions when the country’s media descended on Grabouw in the Western Cape last week to get a first taste.

The work of evolution

While the all-new model by some may be called nothing more than a facelift of the XUV 500, the XUV 700 is nonetheless a looker that plays the evolution card well. Thanks to its new grille, the C-shaped LED combination. Headlights that cut across the front bumper and a masculine stance that amps up the rugged factor considerably.

Mahindra's new XUV 700 in South Africa
The AX7 L represents the flagship model.

However, it’s all new at the rear where the XUV 500’s flat surface features new LED light clusters, an integrated satin silver skid plate at the base of the bumper and blacked-out D-pillars that now give the traditional floating roof effect.

The inner perception changes.

Where evolution stops is the moment the pop-out handles are tugged and the doors open to reveal an upmarket and almost futuristic interior with a 10.25-inch display for the infotainment system and digital instrument cluster. is a pair of

Broken by a cheap-looking aluminum strip that feels anything but plastic, the minimalistic layout is adorned with soft-touch plastics and feels premium, as well as being ergonomically correct and easy to navigate. There is also going.

Mahindra XUV 700 launched in South Africa.
The interior has been dramatically changed from the XUV 700.

Even more welcome is the liberal use of piano black detailing on the center console, but as good as it looks, there are concerns that Mahindra should have opted for a black interior as the standard white goes too fast with the timing. will show dirt.

Nonetheless, it’s an inviting environment with the standard inclusion of a clearly massive panoramic skyroof another help.

Mahindra's new XUV 700 in South Africa
The white faux leather seats look nice, but won’t be the most practical in the long term.

Spanning three models and three trim levels, only the upmarket AX derivative is reserved for South Africa with the entry-level MX remaining in India.

Bar the range-opening AX5 that offers seating for five, the mid-range AX7 and the flagship AX7 L are both outfitted with seven seats, with the main difference being the spacious specification sheet that can be seen here.

Drive

As mentioned, all three versions use the same drivetrain which was the biggest surprise during the short launch route on the outskirts of Grabau.

Mated to a standard six-speed automatic gearbox, the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, branded under the mStallion designation, produces 149kW/380Nm, a two kW uptake over the previous Indian market XUV 700.

Mahindra XUV 700 launched in South Africa.
Piano black is limited to the center console.

A moot point given the expectation of a turbodiesel powerplant in a family SUV, this unit pulls very quickly and with plenty of punch without feeling sluggish or underpowered.

The same applies to the transmission, which shifts easily and without hunting too much, while the ride was soft and comfortable, even if the seat cushions were perhaps a little too firm.

New Mahindra XUV 700 Launch Drive South Africa
With the third row down, boot space is impressive.

The low-spec XUV 700’s ride on gravel is its biggest clue that it’s set up for the dark stuff.

Simply put, it feels too clumsy with a tendency to “bump” while having too much friction even on really rough surfaces.

Mahindra's new XUV 700 in South Africa
Rear space is good, but some will find the seat cushions on the firm side.

Apart from the start/stop system suddenly turning on and off as the engine is turned on, the biggest annoyance is the lane departure warning which cuts off eagerly and without a default button to turn it off momentarily. Dials. .

While likely to be overlooked by the majority of buyers, the consensus from my driving partner and I was that such an option should have been there by default as neither of us found it.

Result

Of course, the rest of the XUV 700 is tough enough because it does everything else with such finesse, that it’s a real threat to the cheaper more crossover-inclined Chinese offerings from Chery and Haval.

New Mahindra XUV 700 Launch Drive South Africa
Boot space in two-, five- and seven-seat configurations was not disclosed.

While our time is limited, the prospects for the XUV 700 are good and definitely worth considering.

Price

The XUV 700’s sticker price includes a five-year/150 000 km warranty as well as a five-year/100 000 km service plan.

  • XUV 700 2.0 T-GDI AX5 AT – R474 999
  • XUV 700 2.0 T-GDI AX7 AT – R524 999
  • XUV 700 2.0 T-GDI AX7 L AT – R559 999

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