It was originally code named as W201, and then received the name XUV 500 recently before its launch on 29 Sept, 2011. Mahindra XUV500 is nothing like what Mahindra has developed previously and the only thing common is the mHawk diesel engine from the Scorpio. The SUV develops a power of 140 bhp maximum power and 330 Nm of maximum torque. The base model of XUV500 is priced at Rs. 11.10 lakhs only.
Right from the first glance one is easily mesmerized by the muscular SUV which is full of surprises. The design and styling is arguably the best so far from Mahindra and the global DNA is imminent. The designing is based on the Cheetah. The prowess and the external styling blend well into the Cheetah theme.
It is the first-ever SUV from the stable of Mahindra with a transversely placed engine that has increased the passenger space inside and has also improved safety in case of an impact besides a larger crumple zone. The XUV's suspension is a very luxury saloon-like MacPherson struts up front and multi-link independent setup at the rear. Weighing in at around 1750 kg, the XUV500 is a good 100-200 kgs lighter than other contemporaries like the Chevrolet Captiva and Hyundai Santa Fe.
The all new Mahindra XUV 500 delivers an impressive mileage of 12 kmpl in city and 14 kmpl on highways. The safety features of the Mahindra XUV 500 include ABS with EBD, Electronic Stability Program with rollover mitigation, hill hold, descent control, 6 airbags (front, side and curtain), intelligent headlamps (turn on when dark is sensed), digital immobilizer, Tubeless tyres, robust crumple zone, etc.
The Mahindra XUV 500 comfort and entertainment features is taken care by the smart central console with cup holders and bottle holders, twin-pod instrument cluster, sunglass holder, conversation mirror, laptop storage compartment in the glove box and voice command activated control center. An iPod-compatible music system, a fully loaded navigation system, a 6-inch color, touch-screen infotainment display, adjustable steering column with audio controls, phone calls, voice control commands and cruise control. Other features include rain sensing wiper, power foldable ORVMs, twin exhausts, foldable second and third row seats which also act as space for luggage.
The jaw like front grille is loud in design and matches the size of the SUV and is at its menacing best giving it a beastly look. Another attribute that immediately strikes you is that Mahindra have managed a top notch paint job, far superior than on its other cars.
The XUV 500 is available in three variants of Mahindra XUV500 W6 2WD, Mahindra XUV500 W8 2WD and Mahindra XUV500 W8 4WD and comes in seven elegant colours of Satin White, Tuscan Red, Opulent Purple, Amazon Green, Moondust Silver, Volcano Black and Dolphin Grey. All three versions are powered with the 6 speed manual gearbox. On the flip side the XUV lacks storage space. With the third row up, there is absolutely no space to store anything more than a paper folder in the boot. Competitors include the Force One, Ford Endeavour, Tata Aria and Tata Safari.