Mahindra & Mahindra has taken a very important step by launching the brand new Mahindra KUV100 sub-compact SUV model on 15th of January at the starting price tag of Rs. 4.42 lakhs. The new Mahindra KUV100 is an all important product for the Indian SUV leader. It is the first product in the newly formed micro-SUV segment, the first petrol SUV from Mahindra, it has introduced the company’s new engine range mFalcon and it is also Mahindra’s cheapest and smallest product. With so many firsts and along with a trendy design and whole array of features, it is no wonder that the Mahindra KUV100 is so important for its maker. Moreover, it is the only small SUV that will be offering competition to the likes of the Maruti Swift hatchback, Hyundai Grand i10 hatchback and the Maruti Swift DZire sedan.
At the time of the KUV100’s official unveiling, Mahindra & Mahindra offered the vehicle’s petrol version for a quick drive. So, here’s the first drive review of the smallest and the newest member from the Mahindra SUV family:
To begin with, the Mahindra KUV100 is definitely a smart looking vehicle. It is sporty, attractive and contemporary. It dumps Mahindra’s patent boxy traditional SUV design that the new TUV300 flaunts, and looks every bit of a modern vehicle that should appeal to the young lot that the KUV100 is aimed at. The ‘Kool’ looking small SUV is styled well from all the angles and the only drawback seems to be its small wheels, which we think is a misfit with the overall design. A strong face, muscular stance, body cladding and bold character lines all make for the much required SUV stance in the KUV100, but it doesn’t come with a tailgate mounted wheel, which actually makes it look good and neat considering its compact form.
Mahindra KUV100’s cabin is also pretty unique, as it comes with a seating capacity of 6. However, we’ll call the seating arrangement as on 5 and half, as the small jump seat that has been placed to fill up the gap between the driver’s seat and front co-passenger seat can accommodate only a child. This narrow middle front seat can also double up as an armrest which has 2 cup holders.
The overall design and build quality is pretty good for an entry level product, and the plastics and interior materials are also decent for its class.
While the interior space up-front is not that good, the rear passengers get good legroom. Also there is ample amount of headspace as well even for tall occupants. Our test variant was the top trim level, KUV100 K8 that offers good features including audio system with Bluetooth, audio controls mounted on steering wheel, power adjustable ORVMs, follow me headlights, front and rear armrests, and a rear wiper & washer.
The Mahindra KUV100’s petrol version comes with the newly developed 1.2 liter mFalcon G80 that generates 82 bhp and 115 Nm.
The 1.2 liter mFalcon petrol is a peppy and responsive engine that impressed on our short drive, and is paired to a 5 speed manual transmission.