Review – 2014 Mahindra XUV500

Posted on: May 6, 2014 - 9:23am IST

The Mahindra XUV500 is a resounding success for the Indian manufacturer. While there were many skeptics doubting if a tractor maker could sell a INR 15 lakh SUV, the initial lot of bookings Mahindra received put an end to all skepticism. However, shortly after the initial lot of customers got their cars, word was out that the XUV still had some teething issues which needed solving. So, is the 2014 XUV500 niggle free?

2014 Mahindra XUV500 Review profile
The Mahindra XUV500 may be over-styled, but looks fresh nevertheless.

Exteriors:

Mahindra has made no change to the exteriors of the XUV. The “cheetah-inspired” styling, though overdone, finds favor among many buyers even more than two years after its launch.

Interiors:

2014 Mahindra XUV500 Review cabin
Cabin quality, a new best for Mahindra, leaves a lot to be desired.

Just like the outside, we find no changes to the interiors of the XUV. Without a question of doubt, the interiors of the XUV are the best fitted to any Mahindra vehicle yet. However, Mahindra still has a lot to do when it comes to sprucing up the interiors of the car. Build quality in comparison to say an Innova feels flimsy, while other bits like the unnecessarily supportive leather seats are completely unnecessary (the leather is not of good quality and only adds to the occupant’s perspiration).

Engine and Gearbox:

Power for the XUV comes from a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine outputting 140 PS and 320 Nm of torque. This motor scores highly on power, torque and refinement. Vibration is non-existent as is turbolag.

2014 Mahindra XUV500 Review tacho
The engine is one of the XUV’s strong points.

Mahindra’s expertise in diesel engines clearly shows in this unit. However, there are a few issues we found troublesome on the XUV. Go flat out in first and second gear and you can feel the XUV torque steer to the left. There were times where we had to hold on to the steering wheel more firmly than necessary in order to avoid this.

The clutch on the XUV is surprisingly light, though the clutch travel could have been reduced considerably. The gearbox can only be described as average, as slotting first required more force than necessary.

Overall though, the engine in the XUV500 is one of its better highlights.

Ride and Handling:

2014 Mahindra XUV500 Review driving
The XUV is not particularly strong in the driving dynamics section.

The softly sprung XUV takes well to potholes and uneven road adulation. The downside to this is that the highway manners of the XUV are a bit disconcerting. The steering is overly light while massive body roll is obviously present. The XUV500 is better driven in a safe and sedate manner.

The XUV’s second row scores high on legroom and width. However, had Mahindra paid attention to detail, in this case being the seats, the overall comfort factor would have increased considerably. It’s not that the XUV is an uncomfortable car, but there is certainly room for improvement.

Brakes:

2014 Mahindra XUV500 Review alloy wheel
Even with disc brakes all around and ABS, the XUV locked up a couple of times.

The brakes on our test car were a bit disappointing. Braking effect was noticeable only in the last few millimeters of brake travel, and even with ABS, the XUV locked up a couple of times. We found it surprising that the XUV came with front and rear disc brakes with ABS, as the way in which it came to a stop felt more like it had worn out drum brakes on all wheels. Mahindra definitely needs to improve the brakes on the XUV in order to call it a global product.

Fuel Efficiency:

2014 Mahindra XUV500 Review mileage
Thanks to the lag-free engine, the XUV is fuel economical.

The XUV proves to be an economical SUV. Driving in city traffic (where the start/stop system kicked in regularly to reduce consumption) saw the XUV return 9.5 km/l, while cruising on the highway in 6th gear comfortably saw 13 km/l.

Price:

Thanks to the introduction of the W4 variant, the XUV range starts at INR 10.79 lakhs and extends up to INR 14.64 lakhs for the top-end AWD model. Our test car was the W8 2WD which costs INR 13.6 lakhs. [Note: All prices are ex-Showroom, New Delhi.]

Notes:

2014 Mahindra XUV500 Review rear
A reverse camera is sorely missed on a car of this size.

A reverse camera is sorely missed on the XUV, and would do a world of difference while parking. Mahindra would do well by offering an automatic transmission as well, given that the XUV500 AT is available in Algeria already.

Verdict:

The XUV sells because of the value it offers. It sports seven seats, a spacious second row of seats, a good feature list and a strong engine for the asking price of INR 13.6 lakhs (ex-Showroom, New Delhi). On the downside, the XUV’s cabin quality feels a bit cheap and the brakes leave a lot to be desired. For its price, the XUV is still a compelling buy even with the above mentioned issues thanks to the sheer value and size:price ratio it offers.

2014 Mahindra XUV500 Review badge
The XUV is a bargain buy at the end of the day.

Test Car Issues:

The 13,000 km test car had a few issues of its own. The left-hand side headlight would work only on high-beam, while the rear end of the car had few of its plastics rattling.

2014 Mahindra XUV500 – Image Gallery

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12 thoughts on “Review – 2014 Mahindra XUV500

  1. Ajay says:

    Proud owner of Xuv500 since April 2013 . Faced no such issues mentioned above yes interior could have been better but which car doesn’t have room for improvement and which one does not have issues all of them . So don’t hesitate to buy one I say go for it

    Reply
  2. ashish singh says:

    Seeing all this i bought nissan terrano not xuv i read lot of review abt xuv n never satisfied so i did that

    Reply
  3. dinesh shekhar says:

    Thanks for the detailed review. At the outset, the XUV500 has never created an enthusiasm in me, after the day I test-drove it when it started coming to the showrooms two years ago. Look-wise (front to be precise) it is catchy, but the boxy reverse side and overall the “never-say-die, my genes are Mahindra” look, Mahindra cant help changing to any futuristic. For whatever practical purpose, one would justify, I could never like this vehicle.

    Reply
  4. girish says:

    My vehicle is of2011 give me mileage more than 14 + overall but rattling issues r there and breaking issues do u have anyone can resolve this

    Reply
  5. bharat says:

    Hi Raviji,

    How the 2014 model changed from its predecessor?

    BS

    Reply
    1. Anjan Ravi says:

      Hi Bharat,

      Mahindra claims to have improved the brakes on the 2014 model. Also, a stone guard has been installed in the under body of the car.

      Reply
      1. bharat says:

        Thank you Raviji.

        The stone guard was also on the late 2013 models after government increased taxes for high gc (ground clearance) cars.
        The plastic sheet under the engine bay was mahindra’s way to reduce the gc and pay less money to the government!!!

        What changes were made to the braking system – size, material, others?
        What is the real world improvement in braking?
        Can you give the braking distance comparison?

        Thanks in forward for your reply.

        BS

    2. Anjan Ravi says:

      Hi Bharat,

      Sorry for the delayed reply. The 2014 model’s brake pads have been updated, with engineers having recalibrated the ABS and brake booster as well. More than enhancing the stopping distance, these improvements were carried out to improve the brake pedal feel.

      Reply
      1. bharat says:

        Thank you Raviji,

        I am glad you took the efforts to investigate and inform your readers about queries.

        It is a pity that Mahindra only did some feely things and not make an actual on-the-road impact regarding braking distance, and fade/wear-tear.

        The falling sales of ALL their recent models shows that they are not listening to the market.

        Pity!
        BS

  6. Dhananjayan says:

    A really crappy looking car, with too much crappy issues and quality.

    Reply
    1. Mr.Carter says:

      Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, Lets not forget this. Again looks and styling is a very personal matter. Its best not to be very judgmental about the looks of the vehicle. If it were really a crappy looking car why do so many people still buy this car today. As far as niggles are concerned most of them have been addressed to already. No offence intended but lets not poison the minds of prospective XUV buyers.
      -2 cents from a XUV owner

      Reply
      1. Dhananjayan says:

        Yeah, the looks are subjective. But according to me this car design is overt and immature. Terribly weird for me.
        They buy this for the looks, without comparing or thorough review and the long equipment list lures them.
        Honestly I would suggest the better engineered 2014 Tata Aria
        instead of this.
        No offence…

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Anjan
Anjan Ravi

I'm a true-blooded petrolhead. Hope you enjoy our news stories, launch coverages, motorshow coverages and test drive reports.