Mahindra KUV100 NXT Facelift First Drive
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Overview
Home-grown automaker Mahindra and Mahindra today launched the 2017 KUV100 NXT in India at a starting price of ₹ 4.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The new Mahindra KUV100 NXT comes with new styling, improved features and the company claims that the car has received about 40 new updates. Sadly though, we still do not get the much-anticipated AMT version of the car. Having said that, at the launch of the KUV100 NXT, Rajan Wadhera, President, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra confirmed that, the company will launch the AMT version of the car within the next six months, which is sometime in the first-half of 2018.
Currently, there is a growing demand for automatic cars in the Indian market and several car manufacturers have been seeing an increase in the sale of the auto variants of their cars compared to the manual versions. In fact, even entry-level models like the Renault Kwid and the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 come with an auto variant. As seen in most of the cars in this space, the Mahindra KUV100 NXT will also come with an automated manual transmission (AMT) unit, possibly the one that currently does duty on the TUV300.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Style
It is rather unusual that you get a facelift so soon after a car has launched – after all it has just been 21 months that the KUV100 first came to the market. The NXT isn’t just a tweaking, but a significant face-lift. Now it is in the front that you see it straight off. The slightly awkward grill has gone, and now the grille extends much deeper. The headlamp cluster is also new and you get new DRLs. The cluster has become a little darker, and it also ends at the fender without the glass element stretching all the way back along the hood.
The face still looks overstyled but is certainly less so than before and makes the car look a touch larger. The black cladding along the wheel arches is a lot fatter now, and emphasizes that whole SUV credential that this car is going for. Integrated indicators in the side mirrors, new alloy wheels, updated taillights and a new NXT badge round off the some changes. The biggest change though is the toning down of all the creases you had in the metal along the side and on the rear. It’s a lot softer now and makes the car look mature by comparison. Another subtle addition is the small extension panel attached to the C-pillar, on either end of the windscreen, which Mahindra says is a design suggestion from Pininfarina.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Space
It may not be as extensively updated as the exterior, but the cabin of the KUV100 NXT is still fairly modern and surprisingly spacious. So what’s different and what extra features do you get? Firstly, Mahindra has introduced an all-black theme which adds to that sporty look and like most new cars, the dashboard is covered in ‘piano black’ trim pieces and silver accents for the centre console and the steering wheel. The only visible design change comes in the form of the giant centre console which houses a new layout for the AC controls. Although this new layout looks cleaner than before, we found the blower speed knob to be unnecessarily firm to operate and the temp control a bit iffy.
The other big improvement in our top-spec test car is the TUV300-sourced 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system which comes with USB, GPS navigation and video playback. However, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto inbuilt in this system. The other notable upgrade over the old car includes electrically foldable mirrors and dual tone exterior colour. As for the rest of the features, you get climate control, puddle lamps, height adjustment for the driver’s seat, rear parking sensor, door pad mood lighting, stop-start function, Eco and Power mode, 2 airbags and ABS. The KUV100 NXT, however, misses out on push button start and a backup camera.
Although Mahindra says they have improved the seat bolstering for this new version, there isn’t any real improvement in seat comfort. Our test car has the unique 6-seater configuration which is possible thanks to the dash mounted gear stick and the handbrake lever. In theory, the front bench can accommodate two adults and perhaps a child, however, the bottom end of the centre console is bound to foul with the middle seat occupant’s knee room, rendering it useless. For more info on Mahindra KUV100 NXT check cssn.in
The only salvaging bit here is that you can fold down the backrest (featuring a handy open storage bin) to use it as your armrest. At the back, there’s more than enough room for two occupants with plenty of headroom (thanks to the tall height) and adequate legroom. Although you are seated at a good height, which allows for more under thigh support, the rear bench is flat with hardly any contours, resulting in less than ideal lateral support. In terms of storage, the KUV100 NXT scores high with well thought out under seat trays at the front, multiple cup holders and a generously sized floor mounted storage bin at the rear for knickknacks.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Engine
The engines offered on the Mahindra KUV100 NXT are the same as before. You get a 1.2-litre petrol engine producing 82 HP of power and 112 Nm of torque mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The diesel engine is also a 1.2-litre unit maxing out at 77 HP of power and 190 Nm of torque. The oil burner too gets a manual gearbox but Mahindra will start offering an AMT next year onwards. The car that we got for testing was the diesel variant. The engine is smooth and NVH levels have also definitely improved and the cabin feels pretty silent. The engine noise can be heard in the cabin only at high RPMs.
The diesel motor also offers pretty good driveability and makes the KUV fairly easy to drive around. Power is adequate for normal city and highway runs and a regular driver won’t really complain. The KUV also gets a Power mode but it doesn’t make a very big difference to the way it drives. Fuel efficiency from the diesel engine is good and in the city you can expect 16-17 km/l while on the highways expect that figure to touch 19 km/l too. The clutch is very light and the 5-speed manual gearbox is matched nicely to the engine and it is also pretty slick.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Driving
Thanks to its compact dimensions, responsive diesel motor and good all-round visibility, the KUV feels right at home within city limits. However, the steering is poorly assisted – although light, it feels vague no matter what speed you are driving at. Add to that a slow rack and you end up making nearly four turns from lock to lock which makes driving cumbersome when parking.
As for the suspension, Mahindra has tuned it purely for comfort and as a result, the springs and dampers are on the softer side. At low speeds, the NXT takes on bad roads with ease, delivering a comfortable ride even while going over bumps and potholes. At high speeds, things aren’t as comfortable due to the constant vertical movement and the floaty rear end. This is down to the softer set up which makes the whole car jump and bob at speed under full load.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Safety
Mahindra is offering ABS as standard across every variant of the KUV100 NXT and dual airbags starting from the K2+ variant. The hatchback also comes with a 2-year, unlimited kms standard warranty which can be optionally extended to 5 years. The automaker has a good after-sales network across the country while the service quality levels are satisfactory.
Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 5,22,325 to 8,72,834 for variants KUV100 NXT K2 Petrol and KUV100 NXT K8 Dual Tone Diesel respectively. Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt is available in 12 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt variants price in Hyderabad. Check for KUV100 NXT price in Hyderabad at Carzprice.
Mahindra KUV100 NXT Conclusion
So there you have it, the improved and new for 2018 Mahindra KUV100 NXT. It’s always had plenty going for it, what with its spacious cabin, comfortable low speed ride, light controls and a long list of variants to suit a large crowd. With the new NXT version, there is no questioning the fact that Mahindra has made the KUV more desirable. The improved styling is somewhat more digestible than the original design and the added convenience of a touchscreen system, electrically foldable mirrors and the new AC panel is something that will bode well with potential buyers. Speaking of which, at Rs 7.50 lakh (ex-showroom) for the top-spec diesel variant, the KUV100 NXT isn’t cheap but for those looking to buy a spacious city car that can handle bad roads with ease, it is among the very few good options out there.