Car Expert, Editor at 91Wheels
12 Jan 2021
The Mahindra XUV300 is one of the finest offerings in the sub-4m compact SUV segment and competes against rivals like the Tata Nexon, Ford Ecosport, Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Hyundai Venue, and the Kia Sonet. With a starting price of just Rs 7.95 lakh (ex-showroom), the XUV300 happens to be a VFM car and with that being said, here is our Mahindra XUV300 petrol manual review that you should check out if you are planning to buy this car for yourself.
The Mahindra XUV300 is the widest car in the segment and has a very imposing front fascia which gives it a great road presence. The chrome grille at the front looks elegant and so do the sleek headlamps on the sides of the car. Mahindra introduced the vertical LED DRLs in the XUV300 and in my opinion, they complement the design really well. Lower down, the faux skid plate adds the finishing touches to the already aggressive and sporty front design.
The side profile of the car gives it a very bold and an SUV-ish look. The 17-inch dual-tone alloy wheels look so appealing that I wish I had them in my own car. The car may look not so proportionate as we move towards the rear as Mahindra had to chop it down to bring it under 4 metre (tax benefits) but in all, I think that the XUV300 scores good marks in terms of overall design language.
The rear profile of the XUV300 looks a little too busy, but in a positive way. The bumper has a faux skid plate at the centre and a black plastic finish towards the side which will definitely prevent it from building up scratches in the longer run. The LED taillights are big and bold, giving it a unique character. Do note that the loading bay is high, and this means that you will have to put in your back into use when loading and unloading the luggage.
Step inside the cabin and you will be welcomed by a very premium and a well-built dashboard. The dual-tone white-black colour combination not only looks great but also gives a sense of space and airiness inside the cabin. At the centre of the dashboard is a large touchscreen infotainment system which comes with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, navigation, and many more features. Below the infotainment system are some buttons to control the MID and to adjust the steering settings (more on that later) while the dual-zone climate control system (first in the segment feature) is situated right below it.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels premium to hold and the steering mounted buttons were easy to use. The fit and finish levels inside the cabin are better than the segment standards and all the buttons, including the steering mounted buttons felt premium and tactile - this gives us a clear idea of the quality of the switchgear. The instrument console has two analogue dials on either side and a large MID in the centre which gives useful information regarding every parameter of the vehicle. The driver can also adjust the brightness and light colour of the instrument console.
The visibility from the driver's seat is superb - the hood at the front is easily visible thus making it an extremely easy to drive car in traffic jams and through the narrow lanes and tight spaces. The ORVMs gives us a good view of what is happening at behind and so does the IRVM, which by the way is electrochromic and has auto day/night function. The gear-lever is not too far or too close to the driver's seat and can be easily operated while resting the hand on the central armrest. In all, this is an extremely practical place for the driver to sit in. The sunroof is large and the kids in the family will definitely like it.
There are a number of storage options inside the cabin and large bottle holders in every door trim. The power window switches are easy to operate and the seats are placed at a comfortable height hence making ingress and egress easy. The seats at the front are extremely supportive and are wide with incredible side bolstering - in fact, in my opinion, the front seats of the XUV300 are the most comfortable seats in its entire segment and offers a great in-cabin experience.
The rear seat bench is also supportive and comfortable. The width of the car makes it suitable for three grown-up adults to sit here without any issues. The centre tunnel is not very intrusive in the cabin and the under-thigh support offered by these seats is extremely impressive. The back angle is not very upright hence making it a comfortable place to be in for those long journies. Just like the front, moving in and out from the rear seat is easy and the elderly in the house will be happy with your choice.
The boot space may not be the best in the segment but the boot itself is extremely practical. The loading bay is high, hence taking away some space from the boot but apart from that, I think we can stuff in considerable luggage here. There is a boot light too and the rear seats can be folded in 60:40 split to free up more space. Sound insulation inside the cabin is impressive and the cabin remains calm and a peaceful place to be in.
The Mahindra XUV300 can be had with two engine options - a 1.5-L diesel and a 1.2-L turbocharged petrol engine. Both of these engines can be had with a 6-speed manual gearbox while the diesel also gets an optional 6-speed AMT unit. If rumours are to be believed, the brand is working on launching an automatic variant of the petrol model soon. Having said that, both these engines boast segment-leading torque figures.
The test car I had was powered by the 1.2-L turbo petrol engine that delivers around 110 PS of peak power output while the maximum torque output stands at 200 Nm. The good things about this engine happen to be the refinement and smoothness while the turbo lag too is well contained. There is a sudden surge in power and torque as soon as you cross the 2000 RPM mark - that's when the turbo-charge spools in. The clutch is extremely light - but the clutch travel is long enough to trouble most of the people during peak rush hour traffic. The gear shifts are smooth and accurate, sans any drama. The footwell could have been more accommodating while a dead pedal is badly missed.
The car picks up speeds with ease and the engine does tend to get vocal when pushed hard to its top rev-range. Slight vibrations can be felt on the ABC pedals while redlining the engine but apart from that, I was really surprised by the refinement of this motor. Typical three-cylinder vibrations could be observed at idle but they are not as intense as seen in its direct rivals - Ford's 1.5-L Dragon engine still offers the best refinement for a 3-cylinder engine in the segment!
On the fuel economy front, you can expect somewhere around 12-14 kmpl inside the city while out on the highways, the car will definitely do more than 15 kilometres to a litre with ease. (check out the XUV300 petrol fuel economy run results here). The car does come with a four-wheel disc brake setup but the brakes could have offered better feel and feedback to the driver. The braking performance could have been improved as the XUV300 is not as good as its rivals in terms of high-speed, emergency braking scenarios.
The suspension setup on this car is brilliant and offers a great balance of ride-handling combination. A wide track and a long wheelbase further help in improving the driving dynamics. Push the car hard into the corners and you will realise that the XUV300 does not lose its line and grip, making it a fun to drive car that will definitely leave a wide grin on the faces of hardcore driving enthusiasts. Highspeed stability too is phenomenal and the car does not feel nervous at triple-digit speeds. At lower speeds, the suspension provides supreme comfort and absorbs all the shocks from the badly patched up surfaces.
The steering wheel can be tuned by switching between three modes - Comfort, Normal and Sport. For those wondering, I am happy to report that yes, this feature actually works and will definitely be appreciated in everyday usage. The steering feels light and easy to use in the Comfort settings while the Normal improves the feel. Shift the settings to Sport and it is then that the steering wheel weighs up significantly to offer a great feel and feedback. I drove the car in the hilly sections of Gurgaon and I was impressed by the way the steering wheel performed in the Sport mode. I also felt confident in pushing the car into the corners and in my opinion, the XUV300 is the car in the segment which offers the best sweet spot between the ride and handling.
With a GNCAP rating of five stars and highest child safety rating of four stars, the Mahindra XUV300 is one of the safest MADE IN INDIA cars that offer a tremendous amount of safety. While its get features like ABS, EBD, and dual front airbags as standard, the higher variants of the car also come with segment-first features like seven airbags, traction control, and more. The XUV300 also boasts disc brakes in all four wheels. In short, the XUV300 is definitely one of the safest cars in the segment, and if you are someone who prefers safety over other parameters, you should definitely consider the XUV300 as your next car!
When the XUV300 first came to me, I was expecting it to be just like any other car in the market which comes loaded with all the bells and whistles but as I spent more and more time it, I realised that this is one of the very few cars in the market which caters to almost everyone's demands. It is safe, easy to drive, fun to drive, spacious, comfortable, and what not!
In fact, I was so impressed by this vehicle that I have so far recommended it to over a dozen people who wanted my suggestions for their new car. The engine is responsive and powerful, the suspension setup is brilliant and so is the road presence. On the inside too, the cabin feels premium and well put together. Having said that, if you are in the market to buy a car in this segment or below the Rs 15 lakh bracket, I would strongly recommend you to check the Mahindra XUV300 out, because it definitely deserves your attention.
The XUV300 gets projector setup for low beam while a halogen reflector setup does duty for the high beam. The overall illumination provided by the headlights is great and better than the segment standards.
-> LED Taillights
The LED taillights have a unique shape and are bright enough to be visible in all weather conditions.
With this being said, what do you think about our Mahindra XUV300 Petrol Manual Review? Do let us know in the comments box below. You can join our 91Wheels Auto Enthusiast Telegram group (click via mobile to join) to be a part of interesting automotive discussions. Further, subscribe to our YouTube channel for more such amazing motoring updates.