The Quanto was known as the mini Xylo up till the moment Mahindra announced the name. In media interactions last year, Mahindra officials called the upcoming car as 'mini Xylo and 'compact Xylo.' The Xylo is a full fledged MPV, so a shortened Xylo would make it a mini MPV right?
Mahindra do not agree.
The recent surge in the interest in compact SUV models has made Mahindra's marketing department rethink the mini Xylo's branding.
The brand positioning is different - while the Xylo's marketing initiatives outline the comfort and space of the cabin ('Happy Legs' featuring Atul Kasbekar did just that), the brand positioning of the Quanto underlines adventure and recreational activities a recently married couple can be part of over the weekends driving it.
The Quanto is a Xylo from the front bumper to the edge of the rear door, including the wheel styling. The bonnet has a mildly different surfacing and the grille is a mix of the Xylo and Genio.
From the trailing edge of the rear door onwards, the vehicle takes on a completely different form.
To distract as well as compensate for the sudden loss of mass, the rear quarter glass has been thoughtfully designed, the tail light is placed high up, and a ribbed piece of black plastic wraps around the D-Pillar.
Moving to the rear fascia, the design and layout is new. The spare wheel sits on the door and makes one create cerebral associations with cars like the Gypsy and EcoSport. Mahindra has provided a stylish wheel cover that exposes a part of the rubber, and the reverse lights have been repositioned on the bumper. The detailing work to the car's rear certainly does look pleasing to us.
If Mahindra had redesigned the body panels, infusing design chromosomes of the XUV500 or the Scorpio, the mini SUV branding would have been appropriate. However redesigning a car is no easy task. It is time consuming and very pricy.
If the Quanto would have been reskinned, it may not have allowed Mahindra to price it as aggressively as they have done.
[Illuminated glovebox and footpath were useful while driving at night]
Due to the short cut, the aspiration of buying a Scorpio or an XUV500 may not be present on the Quanto, because the customer does not care or appreciate the reason for its largely undisturbed looks. For him, the Quanto is Xylo that's lost some weight.
[Safety triangle and dead pedal placement wins our bownie points]
The interior of the Quanto is built using the parts bag of the Xylo. The dashboard and its constituents such as the double DIN music system, dual airbags and the instrument cluster have come off the Xylo. The steering wheel is lifted off the Scorpio. The front seats are also borrowed. They are comfortable, a bit more thigh support would have improved the experience.
The gear lever is smaller, but surprisingly easy to grip. And it's good to see that Mahindra didn't try to cut costs on silly things, even the spare key gets the remote function.
[Left - Power socket today is a mandatory feature for the second row; Right - Tray folds down when heavy items are placed on it]
The DDAS (Digital Driver Assist System) provides useful information like the real time average fuel economy, distance to empty, inside and outside temperatures and a digital readout of the vehicle speed. The DDAS can also be used to set the speed limit and the car starts beeping continuously if that limit is breached.
[Left - Seats only for children; Middle - You will make enemies if you put people there; Right - Fold the seats up to create a big boot!]
The wheelbase of the Quanto is same of the Xylo, and on paper this means the comfort of the second seat travel has been carried over to the Quanto. In reality, this is not true. To free up space over the shortened overhang, Mahindra has reduced the angle of recline, endowing it with an upright seating position.
[Left - Door handle ergonomically placed, but shutting the heavy door when seated is very tough; Right - 12V socket is a thoughtful inclusion]
The backrest thickness has been slimmed down marginally, and these two adjustments have reduced travel comfort over long distances.
Mahindra's marketing team believes the cramped third row will be apt on short journeys. People traveling with their maid or want to bring along pets will find them useful. We believe the seats are used best when folded up! The quarter glass is of the butterfly type that allows some fresh air to come in and a cup holder has been squeezed on the side. Despite these benefits, perhaps only an air steward or a sky diver would find them comfortable, before jumping out!
[Right - Its easy to step into the third row using the grip; Right - Tool kit gets its own compartment]
The interior of the Quanto has plenty of space and storage solutions and a premium hatch buyer will be amazed with the interior dimensions. He won't find the logic of throwing in two cramped rear seats at the back convincing as it not only is largely unusable, but affects the comfort of the second row. We suspect Mahindra may be convinced about this this during the first round of feedback and offer two rows of 'Xylo comfort' in future variants.