By : RACHNA TYAGI
There’s a new arrival on the Indian EV scene – Mahindra XUV400 – and boy is it fast! We drove the XUV400 at MSPT (Mahindra SUV Proving Track), in Chennai, recently and were blown away by its scorching performance. Here’s what we think of Mahindra’s latest EV offering which is here to take on Hyundai Kona, MG ZS EV, and Tata Nexon EV…
On the outside, one of the first things that you will notice are its dimensions. You’ll see that the XUV400 (Think Tivoli) is a 4.2m SUV in fact, its 2600mm wheelbase, 4200mm length, and 1821 mm width, give it a definite look, and make it stand out as the widest C-segment e- SUV. The projector headlights in the front as well as the new LED taillights at the rear further add to the XUV400’s distinct appearance. The XUV400 also gets the much-loved sunroof, a spoiler, and 378-litres of boot space for hauling all that luggage for those family road trips. Besides, there is also other eye-catching detail on the XUV400 that you’ll want to check out before stepping inside, such as the Satin Copper finish, for instance. While the roof of the XUV400 gets the Satin Copper finish, other places such as the blanked-out grille, the bumper inserts, the Mahindra Twin Peaks logo on the high gloss diamond cut alloys, as well as the cladding on the side also get the new colour treatment that set the e-SUV apart. Whether you take to the Satin Copper finish instantly or not depends solely on your personal taste and preference, but according to Mahindra the thinking behind the color choice has been influenced by how electrons flow through copper, and that is why the XUV400 gives out that “electric” vibe. We’ll admit that when we first saw the Satin Copper finish it was evening time and despite all the lights, it didn’t really do much for us, but the next morning when we saw it on the track, it was a completely different story. The Satin Copper finish looked radically different from the previous evening and almost seemed to have a glint, especially when viewed from different angles under direct sunlight. It must also be mentioned here that the Satin Copper finish looks especially good on certain body colors and we are happy to report that it looked absolutely stunning on our ‘Napoli Black’ SUV that we were driving around in on that day. The contrast was really striking! The best part – the Satin Copper finish took on an altogether different avatar when the vehicle was in motion and looked simply spectacular!
Inside the XUV400, the all-black cabin with leatherette seats and blue stitching both on the seats as well as on the steering looks really cool. The cabin is spacious enough and you won’t find yourself jostling for space with other occupants at the rear thanks to it being a roomy vehicle. The 2600mm wheelbase as well as the 4200mm overall length gives occupants in the front as well at the rear ample room ensuring that everyone is comfortably seated inside. There is even enough headroom for taller occupants, and so you see that the 4.2m e-SUV does have a few plus points up its sleeve. The Satin Copper finish is seen on the inside as well in the form of inserts on the air-con vents, the dials as well as on the drive selector. However, what stands out most prominently is the treatment to the Twin Peaks logo that is set on the steering which instantly gives out a very ‘EV vibe.’ The 7-inch infotainment system, located at the centre of the dash looks dated but makes up with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Besides, BlueSense Plus offers over 60 mobile app based connected features. Furthermore, it is also configured to receive OTA updates in the future.
We put the XUV400 through the paces on the MSPT track and its 147.5 bhp and 8.3 second blistering performance simply amazed us. The XUV400 gets three modes, ‘Fun,’ ‘Fast,’ and ‘Fearless’ and based on the speeds that you drive at, the steering characteristics change but the change seems ever so slight. Since the MSPT track allowed for some really fast driving, we managed to drive it past 100 in a jiffy and in the ‘Fearless’ mode, we were easily able to get up to its top speed of 150 kmph effortlessly with the steering weighing up brilliantly. At all times, the XUV400 felt supremely well-planted which encouraged us to go full throttle and there is absolutely no doubt that the XUV400 is really quick. In fact, the XUV400 happens to be the first Indian passenger vehicle with the fastest acceleration in the non-luxury segment and that’s really something! Lest we forget, the XUV400 also gets regenerative braking and single pedal drive for more ease but that wasn’t something we were too keen on whilst on the track. And what’s more? All of this was an absolutely noise-free experience for us, inside the cabin where it all seemed supremely silent.
What the XUV400 has going for it is its range of 456 kms which it can deliver on a single charge. The XUV400 gets a batterypack (bolted underneath) which is a liquid cooled one and both the batterypack and the motor come with an IP67 rating making it both dustproof as well as waterproof. While a DC fast charger can charge the battery upto 80% in 50 minutes flat, a 7.2kW/32A outlet can charge it 100% in 6 hours and 30 minutes and a 3.3kW/16A outlet can charge it 100% in 13 hours.
When it comes to safety, the XUV400 gets 6 airbags and ISOFIX amongst other features but most importantly, it gets disc brakes on all four wheels and they really add to the braking power, as we experienced several times on the track.
To sum it up, the Mahindra XUV400 not only has road presence, but is also spacious and loads of fun to drive. It is also available in an array of colors with the dual tone roof option in the specially created Satin Copper finish. With the Indian market seeing an increase in demand for EVs, there couldn’t be a better time for Mahindra to introduce its first EV. With test drives for the XUV400 beginning from December 2022, bookings and deliveries for the XUV400 commence in January 2023.