The Mahindra brand in Australia has previously been propped up by the cheap Pik-up workhorse. That changes this week, with the introduction of the XUV500, Australia's most affordable new seven-seat SUV.
Priced at $29,990 drive-away, the Indian-built XUV500 range opens with a front-wheel-drive variant, while opting for an all-wheel-drive layout will cost you $32,990 drive-away.
Both versions are powered by a 2.2 litre turbodiesel engine, producing 103kW and 330Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is rated at 6.7 l/100km.
For now, the XUV500 is available only with a six-speed manual transmission - a fact which will massively affect sales - although there are plans to add a six-speed automatic option in the near future.
Mahindra says Australia played a role in the XUV500's development programme, and this week's media event will offer a first taste of the SUV's driving experience.
Standard features for the XUV500 include leather trim, LED daytime running lights, tyre pressure monitor, a six-inch LCD display and satellite navigation, along with USB and Bluetooth connectivity with voice control.
The XUV500 has achieved a 4-Star ANCAP crash safety rating - a score that the programme describes as "creditable - with its standard safety features including six airbags, rear parking sensors, ABS, electronic brake-force distribution and electronic stability control.
Mahindra's new SUV performed poorly in the offset crash test, offering only "poor" protection from serious leg injury for the driver. Mahindra says it is taking the score seriously however, with a 5-Star upgrade planned in the next 12 months.
All XUV500 cars will be covered by a three-year/100,00km warranty, including 24-hour roadside assistance.
Watch for further details and a full review from TMR's Malcolm Flynn this week.
- XUV500 - front-wheel-drive diesel manual - $29,990 drive-away
- XUV500 - all-wheel-drive diesel manual - $32,990 drive-away
The first XUV500 cars are scheduled to hit Mahindra's 25 national dealers this week. The brand plans to double its dealer network over the next 12 months.
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