Mahindra KUV100 NXT Performance & Driving Dynamics

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Overview

It was in early 2016 when Mahindra introduced the KUV100 to all of us. The KUV100 stood out as a unique offering because of its quirky styling and the 6-seater configuration. However, the vehicle did have some flaws and that is why this version has been launched in less than 2 years of the car’s arrival in the market. The Mahindra KUV100 NXT is a mid-life update to the vehicle where a lot of issues have been ironed out and the package has been made a wee bit sweeter with some interesting additions. For information on contact details of Mahindra  car dealers in Hyderabad

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Mahindra KUV100 NXT Design & Style

While most of the design is unchanged, the Mahindra KUV100 NXT has some immediately noticeable changes. The clamshell bonnet isn’t any different from its predecessor, but the headlights, while retaining their basic shape, now feature twin pods, with restyled indicators and DRLs. The front bumper design has been updated to feature a more distinctive air dam, with the reshaped fog-lights getting body colour surrounds. Even the slender nose grille gets more distinct chrome inserts and at the bottom of the bumper, there’s a well defined silver skid plate. Also Read – KUV100 NXT Vs Grand i10 Vs Ignis: Spec ComparisonA large silver skid plate can also be found around the back, with a redesigned rear bumper that carries over the styling sensibilities of the front bumper. Extending from the roof is a new, integrated spoiler with what the company calls ‘Aero Corners’ – basically Mahindra-speak for the extended spoiler integrating smoothly down the tailgate. The tailgate too has seen a bit of a redesign, with a new crease running across the back that adds a bit more bulk. Just like with the headlights, the overall shape of the tail lights has been carried over as has their twin-pod layout. However, they get a clear-lens cover that adds a sharp touch of modernity.

Viewed bang-on from the side, the squarish, black plastic-clad wheel arches house new 15-inch dual-tone diamond-cut alloys. If you ask me, even though they’re a far sight better than the smaller 14-inch wheels that debuted on the original KUV100, these 15-inchers still look a bit disproportionate in the car’s profile, especially considering the extra musculature added by the new character line running across the bottom part of the doors. An extra bit of pizzaz that’s noticeable from the side, as well as the front actually, are turn indicators integrated into the new, electrically-operated, power-folding ORVMs.Generally speaking, while the styling formula hasn’t changed in the grander scheme of things, the KUV100 does look more attractive than before. And in the two-tone paint scheme of our test car, with its black roof, as well as A, B and C pillars, it even felt a bit evocative of the Range Rover Evoque from certain angles. Also Read – Mahindra To Launch KUV100 NXT Electric In 2019

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Cabin & Comfort

Just like the Anniversary Edition, this KUV100 NXT gets all-black interiors in the top-spec K8 variant, which enhances the cabin’s appeal. The overall design is familiar, but the centre fascia is redesigned and the layout of the manual air-con buttons is new. The biggest difference here, however, is a 7.0-inch touchscreen borrowed from the TUV300. It gets navigation and is compatible with the Mahindra BlueSense app, but misses out on Android and Apple connectivity. The infotainment menu is very easy to operate, and the touch sensitivity and responsiveness are surprisingly nice. The screen also doubles as a display for the park assist, but the KUV100 misses out on a reversing camera. The other premium feature that this update gets is electric folding mirrors.Possibly the most unique feature of the KUV100 is its six-seat configuration. But it’s not very practical sitting three abreast in the front, unless the middle passenger is a child. There’s really not much place to speak of with the centre console cutting into knee room in the middle, and shoulder room too is a bit tight. The middle-seat backrest doubles as a really comfortable front armrest and that’s the best way to use it. The KUV100 is as practical as ever with several storage bins including a couple of hidden compartments. The rear-seat space and the 243-litre boot remain unchanged.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Engine & Performance

Engine options are the same as before, so there’s the option of an 83hp, 1.2-litre petrol and a 78hp, 1.2-litre diesel engine, both mated to a five-speed manual transmission. We drove the diesel, which is smooth and with decent driveability. Like before, you can easily cruise around in a higher gear at lower revs and there’s adequate pep to keep up with traffic without the need to constantly downshift. There’s no spike in performance like in a typical turbo-diesel and the powerband is narrow, so by no means will it satisfy enthusiastic driving, even in Power mode. A special mention here goes to the superb five-speed gearbox that’s been developed by Porsche engineering; it is slick, precise and a joy to operate. Mahindra claims to have improved the insulation and reduced vibrations. First impressions are positive and the sound from this engine isn’t intrusive, and only when revved hard does the diesel drone become audible. Making more of a racket is the air-con blower which, even at low fan speeds, is really loud.

There’s no perceivable difference to the way this car drives with the suspension being tuned to be the softer side. So while it’s comfortable over bad roads, on open roads there’s a constant bobbing motion. The steering is still heavy and vague compared to cars like the Hyundai Grand i10 and Maruti Ignis, and the brakes feel a bit spongy, just like before.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Ride & Handling

Now, the suspension of the Mahindra KUV100 NXT is well-suited to our roads and the ride quality at low speeds is comfortable enough but as the speeds increase, there is a lot of vertical movement for passengers and it gets pretty annoying. The steering feels heavy and doesn’t really inspire confidence at high speeds. Even on the handling front, the KUV100 hates being driven aggressively and is more suited to cruising. The brakes felt very spongy and the feeling is very scary when you stomp the brake pedal at high speeds because there is just no confidence. Mahindra has also improved the approach and departure angles of the car, meaning you can tackle bad roads easily. However, don’t expect the KUV100 to tackle hard-core off-roads.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Braking & Safety

The Mahindra KUV100 NXT comes available with dual airbags on the plus variants in the entry and mid-level along with the range topping variant. Other safety features available on the KUV100 NXT are child safety locks on the rear doors, anti-slip clips for driver side door mats, ISOFIX child seat mount on rear seat, engine immobiliser, anti-theft security alarm, automatic hazard warning lamps on crash and speed sensing automatic door locks. Mahindra has spared no expense to make the KUV100 NXT stand out amongst the crowd and which is why you see it filled to the brim with features. Among the various features incorporated outside and inside here are a few notable ones worth a mention. On the outside the KUV100 NXT gets follow me home head lamps and lead me to home head lamps, head lights height adjuster, rear wiper, rear defogger and manually adjustable ORVMs. The cabin gets a 12V power outlet, door pockets, 1 litre bottle holder in all doors, interiors rear view mirror, rear parcel tray, LED interior lamp etc.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Price in Chennai

Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 4,39,000/- (KUV100 NXT K2 Petrol) to 7,42,648/- (KUV100 NXT K8 Dual Tone Diesel). Get best offers for Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt from Mahindra Dealers in Chennai.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Verdict

For this NXT update, Mahindra has revamped the trim nomenclature. The base K2 diesel starts at Rs 5.39 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai, moving on to Rs 7.33 lakh for the top-spec K8 diesel. What is really commendable is that prices for the K2, K2+ and K4+ models have actually gone down despite offering more features, while those for the K6+ and K8 have gone up only marginally.The KUV100 is far from Mahindra’s most popular model. However, it’s quite a cute looking little thing that drives reasonably well, and even manages to undercut quite a few mid-level hatchbacks in terms of pricing. Not bad considering the amount of SUV-feel the car offers, if not actual SUV ability. And with the host of enhancements it now offers across the board, the KUV100 is certainly looking more interesting than ever before.

 

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