Mahindra XUV 3XO

In a market teeming with formidable contenders, Mahindra’s XUV300 always seemed to hover just beneath the radar of compact SUV bestsellers. Now, with the introduction of the XUV 3XO, Mahindra is set on changing the game. This isn’t merely a superficial update; the XUV 3XO boasts a comprehensive redesign, upgraded interiors, pioneering features, and impressive specs, all wrapped in a package that’s priced to attract attention. The real question is, can the XUV 3XO outshine the likes of Tata Nexon, Maruti Brezza, Kia Sonet, and Hyundai Venue to claim its place at the top? Let’s dive in and see if Mahindra’s ambitious new player has what it takes to redefine the compact SUV segment.

Exterior design: Mahindra XUV 3XO

Mahindra XUV 3XO

While the XUV300’s styling leaned towards the understated, the XUV 3XO embraces a more flamboyant aesthetic. At the forefront of its bold new look are the striking vertically oriented headlights, bordered by C-shaped DRLs that echo the design of the larger XUV700. These headlights are split into two sections: a hidden projector unit above and an exposed projector fog lamp below, both set within a sleek black surround. Flanking a new grille that is essentially a glossy panel stretching across much of the XUV’s width, the front bumper boasts pronounced cuts and creases, lending the vehicle a concept car-like aura. The newly contoured bonnet also adds to the overall volume and presence.

The new C-shaped LED DRLs create a visual connection with the larger XUV700, enhancing the 3XO’s striking profile. Mirroring the muscular stance of the XUV300, the 3XO ups the ante with stylish 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels—the largest in its segment—and robust side cladding featuring intricate cuts at the wheel arches. Mahindra has boosted the ground clearance to an impressive 201mm, a notable increase from the XUV300’s 180mm.

Despite its updated aesthetics, the basic shape of the 3XO remains true to its predecessor, the XUV300. The 2,600mm wheelbase continues to lead the class, though the vehicle’s short overhangs, especially at the rear, reveal its origins as the SsangYong Tivoli, adapted to fit under the crucial 4 metre mark to qualify for tax benefits as a ‘small car.’

From the rear, there’s no mistaking the XUV 3XO for the XUV300. The new tail-lights, complete with a light bar on top variants, a sharply defined tailgate, and a more assertive rear bumper all contribute to a robust, modern look. Available in eight color options, the top-spec AX7 and AX7 L versions stand out with their contrasting roofs, adding a touch of sophistication to this dynamic compact SUV.

Interior design: Mahindra XUV 3XO

Mahindra XUV 3XO

Step inside the 3XO, and you’ll find a world that surprises and delights beyond its unassuming exterior. The reimagined dashboard is just the beginning; what truly sets the 3XO apart is the markedly improved cabin quality. In the top variants, the dash boasts a refined soft-touch finish, complemented by generous applications of sleek gloss black. The perforated leatherette seats exude an upscale vibe, despite their pristine cream color hinting at higher maintenance. Details such as the leather-wrapped steering wheel, premium window switches, and refined wiper and light stalks wouldn’t be out of place in a luxury vehicle.

The interior feels distinctly premium, with the soft-touch materials adding to the tactile pleasure. Dominating the revamped dashboard is a striking free-standing 10.25-inch touchscreen, accompanied by another 10.25-inch display borrowed from the XUV700 for the digital dials. This duo of screens brings a contemporary flair to the cabin, making the 3XO feel thoroughly modern. The redesigned center console is also a highlight, with the outdated orange backlighting of the XUV300 now replaced by a more sophisticated ambiance. The result is a cabin that not only meets but exceeds expectations, offering a sense of luxury and modernity that challenges its segment rivals.

Features, Space & Safety: Mahindra XUV 3XO

Mahindra XUV 3XO

Mahindra has truly upped the ante with the XUV 3XO, ensuring even the lower variants come packed with features that outshine many of its similarly priced rivals. The top-spec AX7 and AX7 L trims, in particular, boast a feature set that could make some higher-priced SUVs envious.

A highlight is the 10.25-inch touchscreen, which offers a smooth user experience. While our pre-production test models lacked wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, these features will be available on customer units. Beyond wireless mirroring, the XUV 3XO includes eSim-based connected car technology, enabling remote ignition, cooling, vehicle updates, and more. On the fully loaded AX7 L versions, the screen also serves as the display for a 360-degree camera. The camera resolution is impressive, though there was a slight lag in the feed.

The digital dials are a standout, allowing customization of layouts. The AX7 L trim also features a Harman Kardon sound system with two tweeters, four speakers, and a subwoofer. Unfortunately, some settings weren’t accessible on our test vehicles, preventing a full sound system evaluation.

Additional noteworthy features include dual-zone climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror, surprisingly absent from the pricier XUV700. The 3XO also offers a 65W USB fast charger, capable of powering a laptop, and a segment-first electric parking brake with auto hold. However, the true showstopper might be the segment-first panoramic sunroof, a feature sure to attract buyers. The only notable omission is front seat ventilation.

The XUV 3XO positions you at a comfortable height with excellent visibility. Average-sized adults will find the front seats supportive, though larger individuals might find the side bolstering slightly restrictive. A significant drawback is the lack of a dead pedal for the driver’s left foot.

Rear seat space is exceptional, with class-leading width providing ample shoulder room for three passengers. All rear passengers benefit from three-point seat belts and dedicated headrests. The rear seats are also well-padded, offering excellent knee and foot room, making them some of the most comfortable in the segment.

The panoramic sunroof does slightly reduce headroom, an issue primarily for those over six feet tall. Nevertheless, the sunroof enhances the cabin’s ambiance. Rear amenities include AC vents, a well-positioned fold-down center armrest, a 12V charger, and a USB Type-C charger.

The XUV 3XO excels in storage space for small items, featuring bottle holders in each door, front and rear cupholders, a deep cooled glovebox, and storage beneath the front center armrest.

Luggage space was a weak point in the XUV300, but Mahindra has addressed this with the XUV 3XO. A reprofiled floor increases the boot volume from 259 liters to 295 liters. While still not class-leading, the additional space is noticeable. However, the low floor and high sill make loading heavy luggage cumbersome. A 60:40 split-folding rear seat comes standard, providing flexibility for transporting bulky items.

The XUV300 earned a stellar 5-star rating from Global NCAP, and it’s highly likely that Mahindra will aim for similar accolades with the XUV 3XO, potentially submitting it for both Global NCAP and Bharat NCAP ratings. Safety is a paramount focus, with six airbags, electronic stability control, three-point seat belts for all seats, and Isofix child seat mounts standard across the range. Higher-spec versions further enhance safety with a tire pressure monitoring system and a blind view monitor, which relays a feed from the wing mirrors onto the digital dials.

Where the XUV 3XO truly differentiates itself is in its cutting-edge camera and radar-based Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). This suite of features includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, high beam assist, and traffic sign recognition. During our tests, all these systems performed admirably. However, the ADAS menu, which is nestled within the digital dials, could use some rethinking, as it isn’t the most accessible on the move.

This robust array of safety and assistance features not only aims to provide peace of mind but also positions the XUV 3XO ahead of its competitors in terms of advanced technology. Mahindra’s commitment to safety and innovation is evident in every aspect of the XUV 3XO, making it a compelling choice for those who prioritize security and cutting-edge tech in their driving experience.

Engine, Performance and Specifications: Mahindra XUV 3XO

Mahindra XUV 3XO offers three engine options to its customers: 

  • 1.5-litre diesel engine producing a power of 115.05 BHP and a torque of 300 Nm.
  • 1.2-liter turbo-charged petrol engine producing a power of 110 BHP and a torque of 200 Nm.
  • 1.2-liter TGDi petrol engine producing a power of 128.73 BHP and a torque of 230 Nm.

Like its predecessor, the XUV 300, the XUV 3XO comes with a trio of engine options to suit different driving preferences: a robust 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine with 117hp and 300Nm of torque; a nimble 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit with 111hp and 200Nm; and the range-topping 1.2-litre three-cylinder direct injection turbo-petrol engine delivering 131hp and 230Nm.

Each engine variant is paired with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The diesel continues with a 6-speed AMT, while both petrol engines now offer the option of a new, Aisin-sourced 6-speed torque converter automatic.

With the 1.5-litre diesel in its BS6.2 spec, it quickly becomes apparent why this engine is so well-regarded. Turbo lag is minimal at low speeds, and the power delivery is smooth and consistent, making it easy to reach cruising speeds. The engine’s 300Nm of torque really shines on highways, providing ample pulling power. While not the quietest in its class—Hyundai and Kia’s 1.5 diesel is a tad quieter—it remains refined, with noise levels diminishing as speed increases. The 6-speed gearbox contributes to a relaxed driving experience, though the manual’s clutch can be tricky to manage in stop-and-go traffic.

The mStallion T-GDi turbo-petrol variant showcases the best of the XUV 3XO. This engine is impressively refined, avoiding the typical thrum of a three-cylinder engine and maintaining low noise levels even at higher speeds. It offers a robust and responsive performance, with a particularly strong mid-range. The 230Nm of torque (250Nm on overboost) outclasses segment rivals and delivers performance on par with more expensive SUVs.

The new 6-speed torque converter automatic pairs seamlessly with this engine, providing smooth and timely shifts. While manual control via the gear lever is possible, paddle shifters would have been a welcome addition. At low speeds, the XUV 3XO can lurch forward unexpectedly, but the petrol-auto’s drive modes—Zip, Zap, and Zoom—allow drivers to fine-tune the experience by adjusting steering weight and engine response.

The XUV 3XO handles bumps and potholes with a hint of firmness, but also conveys a reassuring robustness, indicating it can handle rougher terrains. Its ground clearance and long-travel suspension ensure comfort on unpaved paths, while it cruises with the stability of a larger vehicle on smooth highways.

The steering system, adjustable through various drive modes, changes weight and effort depending on the setting—comfort, normal, or sport. However, even in sport mode, the steering lacks precision. Despite this, the XUV 3XO remains a keen handler, offering excellent grip and a secure feel. Strong brakes further enhance driving confidence.

Overall, the Mahindra XUV 3XO combines robust performance, advanced technology, and a refined driving experience, making it a formidable contender in the compact SUV segment.

Engine 1.5-litre diesel engine. 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine.1.2-litre TGDi petrol engine.
Power 115 BHP Diesel Engine109.96 BHP Turbo-Petrol Engine128.73 BHP Petrol TGDi Engine
Torque300 Nm Diesel Engine200 Nm Petrol Engine230 Nm Petrol TGDi Engine
Transmission typeAutomatic and manual
Infotainment system10.2 inches
Boot space 364 liters
PriceINR 7.49 Lakhs (ex-showroom)
Seating capacity5

Price and Final Verdict: Mahindra XUV 3XO

Mahindra XUV 3XO launch price was INR 7.49 Lakhs (ex-showroom) for the base petrol model. However, the final Mahindra XUV 3XO price depends on several factors, such as customizations, necessary permits and taxes. 

Mahindra’s all-new XUV 3XO is a strong contender in the Indian compact SUV market. 

Some of the pros of XUV 3XO are: 

  • Loaded with the latest features.
  • Competitive pricing, starting from only INR7.49 Lakhs (ex-showroom).
  • The sporty but elegant exterior design is eye-catching.
  • Luxurious interior cabin incorporated with luxurious materials.
  • Fantastic engine performance on the road.

Some of the cons of XUV 3XO are: 

  • Some people might find it less spacious than some other compact SUVs available in the market.

With that, we arrive towards the end of this article. However, one question persists. Is the Mahindra XUV 3XO a good choice for an SUV? Our answer is yes!

We believe that the Mahindra XUV 3XO is an amazing addition to the existing compact SUV market. Mahindra has incorporated impeccable features at the given price point.

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