Mahindra has added another machine on their ever-increasing arsenal of durable and trustworthy vehicles: The XUV 300. The new vehicle is supposed to be a miniature version of the wildly popular XUV 500. The car has been launched in both petrol and diesel variants. The car has been specifically built to measure inside the 4-metre bracket in order to comply to the government’s regulations.
The excise duty regulations on cars in India state that if a car is sub 4-metre in length it will have to pay 8% excise duty, whereas a car with similar engine specifications which is more than 4-metres will be paying a hefty excise duty of 20%. The discrepancy in taxation further increases to 24% when SUV’s are brought into the picture. The rationale for this rule stems from the idea that shorter cars will cause lesser congestion on roads leading to lesser traffic jams, which have grown on to become a massive problem for India.
THE CAR PRICING
The compact SUV has been priced between Rs.7.90-11.99 lakhs. The diesel variant charges a premium price, starting at Rs.8.49 lakhs and going upto Rs.11.99 Lakhs. The car will be available in 4 different models W4, W6, W8 and the all inclusive W8(optional pack). The car has been aggressively priced considering the prices of similar compact SUV’s like the Hyundai Creta starting at Rs.9.6 Lakhs and going as high as Rs.15.65 Lakhs and the Ford EcoSport also being in the 8-12 Lakh bracket.
Running a powerful 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged motor the XUV 300’s diesel engine makes a respectable 117 horsepower and 300Nm of torque whereas, the petrol engine is a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged motor making 110 hp and 200 Nm of torque. It also packs in a 6-speed gearbox with an AMT version set to be released soon.
According to Mahindra, the car has been engineered to be fuel effecient. The diesel variant averages at the 20kmpl mark and the petrol variant hits the 17kmpl mark as claimed by the company.
The XUV 300 will have to battle already esatablished players in this over-saturated market of compact SUV’s. With players like Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport and Tata Nexon whose demand does not seem to be waning. Marginally expensive cars like the Hyundai Creta could also prove to be direct rivals. Looking at the current scenario, it is doubtless that the XUV 300 has a tough challenge ahead.
It is to be seen whether Mahindra’s shiny new vehicle creates a similar noise post-launch. The company has taken a plunge into a hotly-contested market which will prove to be a tough test for them. Although, with the growing demand for cars in India, Mahindra does have a reason to be optimistic.