IAB Special – Five-time Mahindra Scorpio customers’ impressions on the 2014 Scorpio

Posted on: Sep 27, 2014 - 1:54pm IST

It has been a little over 48 hours since the new Mahindra Scorpio for 2014 went live in Mumbai. There has been considerable chatter over the media and social media as people have voiced mixed opinions about the new generation Scorpio. Some have liked the new design, while some have maintained their allegiance to the old one.

New Mahindra Scorpio side angle Delhi launch

Mahindra, as with every iteration, has introduced new technology onboard the Scorpio, and for the first time in 12 years – worked seriously on the interiors.

But exactly how new is the new Scorpio?

Over the past 12 years, I have owned five model years of the Scorpio, one of which was a four-wheel drive version. For most part, I have had a mixed ownership experience with the brand. It remains one of the most important cars on Indian roads today, and the reason for Mahindra’s 21st century revival too.

Front seats now come with plastic mouldings that improve the appeal of the cabin.
Front seats now come with plastic mouldings that improve the appeal of the cabin.

In person, the new Scorpio looks far better than most images have shown it to be. Blame it on Instagram perhaps, but when you actually see it physically present in front of you, all the notions of an over worked design go out the window. For the first time in the car’s history, it is picturesque from the front too. Ramkripa Ananthan once again led the design team here, one of her previous projects being the XUV500.

Infotainment screen displays data points such as fuel economy, distance to empty, tyre pressure and temperature, reverse sensor output, and service reminder. Reverse camera feed can be added.
Infotainment screen displays data points such as fuel economy, distance to empty, tyre pressure and temperature, reverse sensor output, and service reminder. Reverse camera feed can be added.

On the inside, a similar story extends. The quality improvements are shocking. Here too, you can’t trust the pictures. You have to be physically present to appreciate the quality enhancements executed by Mahindra. The six-inch touch screen infotainment is actually a pleasure to use, and the plastic quality on the automatic air-conditioning buttons right below is better than a Mercedes I recently drove.

ORVM controls, fuel lid opener button, and rear windshield de-mist button relocated to the right of the steering wheel.
ORVM controls, fuel lid opener button, and rear windshield de-mist button are relocated to the right of the steering wheel.

Changes are limited to the front dashboard and centre console. Mahindra has left the second and third row virtually untouched. The seats remain the same albeit a blue-beige colour scheme. There is a new five-speed gearbox that Mahindra claims is easier and smoother to use. And delivers reduced NVH to the driver too. Though I haven’t driven it yet, the gearshift mechanism definitely felt better over the previous generation model.

Under the hood, most have come to believe that the entire chassis is new. That’s not entirely the case. The front crash tips of the chassis are now manufactured using a hydro-forming technique, which is a process basically used for manufacturing parts that have variable thickness.

New Mahindra Scorpio chrome AC Delhi launch
The air conditioning vents can now be used. That’s a good thing.

This process helps the Scorpio meet European crash regulations. Besides that, Mahindra has actually put in a lot of effort in improving the ride quality of the car. Suspension elements at the front and rear are all new, both installed with anti roll bars to help with cornering stability. The rear axle is new (BANJO) and lighter. There is a new clutch in place, new exhaust, new wheel hubs for reduced frictional losses, vibrational damping on the propeller shaft to reduce NVH, a plastic fuel tank (from the XUV500), and a 6-channel ABS unit that now works on all four wheels instead of just the front two.

The bonnet is now hydraulic assisted. Easier to open as a result.
The bonnet is now hydraulically assisted. Easier to open as a result.

How much has the ride quality improved as a result of all those changes, I don’t know yet. What is evident, is that the masses who will end up buying the car will be more concerned with what they can see (against what they can’t), and that is the features.

Mahindra has introduced a new variant nomenclature with the new Scorpio. The trims will now be called S2, S4, S6, S8, and S10. The feature list is spread across these 5 variants, but it is quite clear that all those new technology bits that Mahindra has endeavored to introduce on the Scorpio’s platform, will appear only on the top end S10 variant. I have split the feature list (below) into the ones that will come as standard across the range, and the ones that will differ variant to variant.

The build quality of the steering wheel feels robust and has a grainy texture that feels premium. The steering mounted buttons still feel cheap though.
The build quality of the steering wheel feels robust and has a grainy texture that feels premium. The steering mounted buttons still feel cheap though.

The standard bits are mostly the features that pertain to the design of the car. I have highlighted all the new feature introductions in blue on the specification sheet below.

The touchscreen is more responsive than the one in the XUV500.
The touchscreen is more responsive than the one in the XUV500.

If you decide on any variants besides the S10, you don’t get most of the new tech as well as most of the previous generation’s ones. You miss out on those projector headlamps, static bending lamps, touchscreen infotainment, GPS, Tyre-tronics, start-stop system, automatic air conditioning, steering-mounted audio controls, cruise control, multi-information display, LED eyebrows, and more.

Decision Assist Scorpio 2014

Decision Assist Scorpio 2014 A

Decision Assist Scorpio 2014 B

Decision Assist Scorpio 2014 C

Therefore, what you technically get by choosing the S2, S4, S6 or S8 variant, is a refreshed version of the previous generation car. One that is designed better, possibly rides better, and is more appealing. If you desire the genuine hardware action, you will have to go with the S10 version, which is the actual and true upgrade from the older generation in terms of features and technology.

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11 thoughts on “IAB Special – Five-time Mahindra Scorpio customers’ impressions on the 2014 Scorpio

  1. Gego says:

    Mahindra has got the variants all wrong. ABS should have standard across all variants. ALL DISC BRAKES ??? The base safari storme has all disc brakes and ABS. To avail 2 important features like ABS and front airbags Mahindra wants you to buy the S8 version, atleast they could’ve thrown in cruise control also in the S8.
    This vehicle will fail as the pricing and variants are ill placed. Mahindra better get the pricing sorted out .

    Reply
  2. Ganesha Prasad says:

    Hi, how about the third row seating. I am given to understand that the new Scorpio doesnot have a 3rd ‘row’ seating option and comes with standard butterful seating. And I compared the new one with the features of Tata Aria and Aria seems to have most of these (ex., hydro-forming) features for quite sometime now!

    Reply
    1. Tarun Tripathy says:

      Hi Ganesha, the Scorpio will continue to arrive with bench or side-facing jump seats as before.
      The choice between the Scorpio & the Aria really comes down to personal preference. Do note however that the Aria was launched in the segment that is currently ruled by the XUV500. Placid sales have led to Tata downsizing the Aria’s pricing.

      Reply
  3. Sanjay Patil says:

    Since the rear 2 seats are more or less useless, why go through the pain of taking a 4 kpl penalty compared to Duster/Terrano?

    Reply
    1. Tarun Tripathy says:

      Hi Sanjay, absolutely. It’s a choice for people to make. All 3 cars have distinct value propositions. It comes down to pricing, and perhaps design too. People continue to prefer the butch looks of the Scorpio. The Scorpio certainly has a more powerful engine, the Duster drives better though.

      Reply
  4. Yogesh says:

    Good Article. Especially useful coming from someone that has experienced the various iterations of the vehicle. Please double check the information on ABS. I believe the current gen and the new launch are both equipped with 4-channel versions that control the four wheels. The older version had a 3-channel ABS that took inputs from the front two wheel ends and the rear differential.

    Reply
    1. Tarun Tripathy says:

      Hi Yogesh, appreciate the feedback. You are right. The new generation Scorpio comes with a 4-channel ABS unit. The current one though came with a 3-channel set up. The 4-channel delivers hydraulic support to all 4 wheels individually thereby resulting in better ABS activation and performance.

      Reply
  5. Kunwar Prateek says:

    Surprising it is….. No one is taking about the automatic transmission version of the Scorpio……. Has it been discontinued or what?

    Reply
    1. Yes, that’s correct. It has been discontinued.

      Reply
    2. Tarun Tripathy says:

      Hi Kunwar, Mahindra was provisioning a Borg-Warner automatic transmission earlier in the Scorpio. It then switched to a Bosch 6-speed unit a little over an year ago. However, they haven’t provided an automatic option on this new-generation model. They don’t have an automatic transmission of their own right now.

      Reply
      1. NiteshM says:

        They are testing Automatic variant in new Gen Scorpio, it will launch in Jan-Feb 15

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About the Author
Tarun
Tarun Tripathy

Automotive Head. AMG Certified Performance Car Driver. Reader. Writer. Rally Driver. Formula One Marshal. Thinker. Want to fly planes, build companies, & go into space.