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Old 6th October 2012, 10:37   #1
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Post Mahindra Quanto : Driven

The Mahindra Quanto has been launched at a price of between Rs. 6.09 - 7.68 Lakhs (ex-showroom Kerala).

Love it:
  • Rear wheel driven mini SUV at the price of some premium diesel hatchbacks.
  • Compact dimensions for the city
  • 180mm of ground clearance
  • Roomy interiors
  • Well mannered engine
  • Wide footwell
  • Extra jump seats for short rides.

Loathe it
  • Grown up hatch looks from some angles
  • Bouncy ride
  • Tall boy dynamics
  • Upright rear bench
  • Inadequate boot for airport runs (318 l)

The Xylo was launched by Mahindra as a direct competitor to the invincible Toyota Innova in Jan 2009. Though it was unable to make a big dent in the sales graph of Innova, it still did manage to create a class of its own and has got a huge fan following in the utility vehicles segment. I have a personal experience of recommending an Innova to a 6 feet 4 inches friend who weighs himself at 120 kgs and finally it so happened that he was unable to place himself in the third row of the Innova. The story ended happily with him getting a Xylo and he called me explaining how comfortable he was in the third row of seats in the Xylo.

Gone are those days... Back then, people bought big cars for the diesel life flowing in fuel lines. In came hatch backs with super efficient diesel engines. Then came days when sub 4 meter sedans ruled the roost. Now its the time for compact SUVs to reign the roads. Premier opened the market segment with the Rio. Though the initial launch with the Peugeot Engine failed to make a mark, the 2012 model driven by our national engine is quite promising. The Duster came, conquered but left half of the suitors impatient, disheartened or dejected because of its long waiting period and Renault's unproven, unsatisfactory service/ sales network. The Ertiga failed to impress because of its small car dynamics and the used, reused and recycled parts bin shared across all the cars manufactured under the Maruti-Suzuki brand label.

Now, its time for the Quanto to make entry. The latest kid from the rising Mahindra stable claims to have a lot of firsts and first in class features. Mahindra claims this to be first sub 4 meter car with 5+2 seating. This as per Mahindra is the world's smallest production engine to get a 2 stage turbocharger.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-122.jpg

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-036.jpg

Front grill and headlamps resemble the Genio to a great extent although the smoky effect of the headlamps and the black tint on the grill tries to distinguish it from the sibling a bit.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-002.jpg

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-025.jpg

Note the Mahindra logo inspired smoky lines on the headlamp

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-003.jpg

The car looks like a grown up hatch from some angles. Ground clearance of 180mm for a go any where stance. Note the good looking alloys. Also obvious is the severe dosage of under-tyred-ness which is accentuated by the huge, largerly unoccupied wheel arches

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-011.jpg

Rear end looks good for a Mahindra. Its a known fact in the industry that Mahindra designers run out of steam after designing the whole car and stop right before completing the rear end. Still remember the first generation scorpio which looked like all the engineers ran home before completing the design of the rear end.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-008.jpg

Smart looking tail lights. No faux lights like the scorpio

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-007.jpg

Reverse Sensors and Lamps

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-032.jpg

The presence of only two reversing sensors made me skeptical initially. But they worked flawlessly and were detecting even mesh fences! Something very few parking sensors do. The distance indication is fairly accurate.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-042.jpg

Seats are located higher than what you expect from a a car with 180mm GC. You can even stare at the auto walah above his head from your driver's seat because of the height you are at. Even the middle row requires you to step on the skid plates and climb into the cabin. The height, I believe will not be very appreciated by the elderly passengers.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-013.jpg

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-094.jpg

The middle row of seats are plain and should seat 3 persons with ease. No center arm rest though. No split seats either. Under thigh support may be adequate for the average Indian built, but taller people may be uncomfortable The seats are too upright for comfort over long rides. But, any more incline and the third row would have to be sacrificed. Note that there is adequate head room. In the picture, driver seat has been adjusted for my preference, ie for a 5'4" person, and you can see that rear leg room is adequate.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-082.jpg

Power sockets for middle row.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-126.jpg

3rd row is best suited for kids and shorter people. Note the complete absence of thigh support. This is the limiting factor for long rides with 7 on board.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-063.jpg

Even with my stature, the roof was looking pretty close and I am sure that the smallest speed breaker would give me a hump on my head.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-067.jpg

3rd row seats upon folding free up to 312 litres of boot space.
You will be able to open the back door from the inside. The opening for rear wash fluid reservoir can be found on the rear door.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-073.jpg

The tool kit is well appointed and is neatly harnessed and concealed.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-071.jpg

You get bottle holders (Not in the picture) and a power socket also in the third row.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-077.jpg

Butterfly windows for the third row

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-012.jpg

Step into the Quanto's cabin and you are welcomed by a tall seating position and roomy atmosphere. You get a very airy and well lit cabin because of the large green house area.

Cabin is well appointed. You get only what you require and absolutely no bling! gadgets. Colour tone of the dash board is what Mahindra calls granite theme. Plastics are on the harder side but they look good and seem pretty hard wearing.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-014.jpg

All the AC vents can be closed fully and independently and they are adjustable for a decent range of air throw and look durable. The AC also has Hi/Low selectable switches apart from the regular cooling control. which Mahindra says will be useful during summer season and sunny afternoons. The quanto gets a 183cc compressor for the AC for quick cooling despite being the huge green house it is. Also in the below picture are the controls given on the right side of the driver's seat

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-018.jpg

The audio system (Made by Nippon) is at par with other factory fitted systems and is USB, Aux and SD card enabled. No Bluetooth though. The display is pretty bright and legible even in bright sunlight. The cover to the USB & Card slots just came loose and was in my hand when I tried to open it. C'mon Mahindra. You can see in the picture that the slots are uncovered.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-019.jpg

Both the front seats are equipped with individual arm rests placed towards the center. But guess what, it is almost impossible to fasten your seat belts with the arm rests in resting position. Wonder what the designers in Mahindra were smoking while designing these!

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-110.jpg

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-111.jpg

Front seats get lumbar adjustment and driver seat gets height adjustment as well.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-095.jpg

Seats have a fair amount of travel and finding a comfortable driving position will not cost you any time. Steering is adjustable for rake.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-105.jpg

Once you are seated, you are entitled for a commanding driving position. The steering wheel is borrowed from the Scorpio and you may be able to see a lot of common elements from the Mahindra parts bin. The turn indicators have a beeper in a la 2-wheeler fashion. The same buzzer comes active for the seat belt and door ajar warning.

Last edited by sharanvenu : 6th October 2012 at 15:20. Reason: Adding Pictures
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Old 6th October 2012, 16:00   #2
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Default Re: Mahindra Quanto : Driven

The console needles say hello to you with a full sweep. Though comprehensive, it has a crude feel to it. Please note that the trip computer is missing even in the top variant.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-107.jpg

The top end variant gets a display having gear indicator, speed, and inside outside temperature. Mahindra calls it Digital Drive Assist System
The usual micro hybrid system is present on the Quanto and works as intented.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-156.jpg

Top end varient gets ABS+EBD with twin Airbags

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-020.jpg

Roof console with sun glass holder

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-116.jpg

Illuminated vanity Mirror

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-119.jpg

Courtesy Lamps and Reading Lights

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-086.jpg

Rear doors open really wide. Note the absence of bottle holders.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-083.jpg

The foot well is wide and you get a dead pedal as well. Even size 9 footwear wont create any problems here. Also, long legs will be easily accommodated judging by the width.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-099.jpg


THe quanto gets the mHawk engine minus one cylinder. Christianed the mCR100, this derivative is BS4 compliant and moves every quanto stepping out from the factory for the time being.

The twin turbo works in two stages, the smaller one comes in for lower rpms and the bigger and main turbo charger labouring for the rest of the rev range. The twin turbos as per Mahindra helped them extract 240 Nm of torque from the engine.

The ducting for the intercooler is pretty impressive and well executed.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-029.jpg

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-027.jpg

The 3 cylinder engine does not feel like one in terms of vibrations and noise. Mahindra engineers have done a great job in damping and isolating the engine from the passenger compartment. Start the engine and you will be greeted by a distinct common rail clatter, but it soon settles down into a subtle idle. Yes, definitely, you will know that there is an oil burner under the hood, but the engine noise and vibrations will not affect you in an intrusive way at any point in the rev range.

A bit of turbo lag below 1500 rpm but after that the acceleration is pretty linear and progressive.

The 1650 kg kerb wight of the Quanto lets it down in a quick getaway and in traffic light Need for Speed. The car takes its own sweet time to hit the ton and doesn't feel eager. Overtaking won't be a pain, thanks to the rich torque reserve which is available for most part of the rev range.But the short gear, ratios mated and perfected for city rides make the Quanto run out of breath quickly at 3 digit speeds.

Gear Box

The gear shift felt rubbery and vague and has typical long throws for an SUV gear box. The ratios, as mentioned earlier have been mated keeping city runs in mind.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-017.jpg

Ride Quality

The Quanto exhibits tall boy handling characteristics in a typical fashion. Tall profile, soft suspension, high profile tyres, as we all know never assists in giving us a decent handling. But the Quanto here is a criminal example for these handling characteristics. The Quanto makes sure that every second above 100 kmpH will be a hair raising experience for you. There is body roll and oodles of it. And undulations on your highway make it a cradle. The top heavy nature of the car makes it sloppy while changing directions. Mahindra should have spent more time on sorting out the handling.

Great Approach & Departure angles for a car of its size.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-128.jpg

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-131.jpg

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-141.jpg

Build quality

The car looks built to a cost, but all the components seem built to last and hard wearing. The wiper/lights control stalks look hard and shiny but act precisely and click themselves into defined positions. The dash board is hard but the texture is good and looks rich as long as you don't touch. The cabin as such feels like its well put together and it feels like rattles should be away for some time at least.


Now, down to the most important question. Mahindra advertises an ARAI certified mileage of 17.4 kmpl for the quanto which is no way going to be a segment topping figure in any category but is not so bad for a 1650kg car. We can expect a real world figure of 15 kmpl on the highway and 12 - 13 kmpl in the cities.

Variant Comparison

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-imag0299.jpg


All Prices Ex-Showroom (Kerala)

C2 - Rs. 6,09,856 /-
C4 - Rs. 6,64,184 /-
C6 - Rs. 7,16,604 /-
C8 - Rs. 7,68,814 /-


Altogether an excellent effort by Mahindra, but they should have spent more time on the crucial areas like suspension and weight reduction. Packing this much of car in 4 meters is no way an easy task and applauds to Mahindra for that.

Weight reduction should have been concentrated upon to extract much appreciated performance from the potent engine.

A firmer, well sorted out suspension would have added glory to the car.

And its quite curious that Mahindra didn't give the Quanto, the face lifted face of its elder sibling. The same would have given a fresher look to the Quanto. The rear end surprisingly looks good for a Mahindra.

The commanding view makes you feel that you are sitting in an SUV, and it also rides like one. Though it may ride a little bouncy over broken roads, it will still make it to the other end in one piece and also will do it better than most
hatches and sedans. So, people wanting something different from a regular hatch back, here is your ride. It has its own share of short comings but at this price tag, I don't see any other option in the radar unless Ford does some magic in the pricing of the Ecosport. Premier still refuses to go into the masses either with advertising or with dealerships. The other competent opponent, the Renault Duster, is priced way above the Quanto and has opened a different league for itself with its outstanding ride quality and great performance figures bringing cars from 2 segments above to a shame. But its difficult to justify the price tag of the Duster at this juncture. Yes, the Quanto has got its own significance in the market at this time and its worth going for a test drive and finding out by yourself whether this is the one for you.

TD Vehicle Courtesy: ITL Motors, Calicut
Photos Courtesy: Mr. Arun Venugopal

Last edited by sharanvenu : 6th October 2012 at 16:04.
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Old 6th October 2012, 16:12   #3
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Posting some more photographs from the photo shoot.

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-044.jpg

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-052.jpg

Mahindra Quanto : Driven-quanto-059.jpg
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Old 6th October 2012, 16:22   #4
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Test-Drives Section. Thanks for sharing!

Mindblowing review, it'll go on to help thousands of members & guests make the right decision. You beat my official review by 48 hours! Thank you once again.

Rating thread a well deserved 5 stars.

Last edited by GTO : 6th October 2012 at 16:24.
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Old 6th October 2012, 16:32   #5
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Mindblowing review, it'll go on to help thousands of members & guests make the right decision. You beat my official review by 48 hours! Thank you once again.

Rating thread a well deserved 5 stars.
Thank you GTO, This is one compliment I'll remember for years. I may have beaten you in time, but pretty sure I wont be able to do the same with the quality of content.
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Old 6th October 2012, 16:38   #6
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Default Re: Mahindra Quanto : Driven

As detailed as it can get, a fantastic unbiased review. Superb.
Well Mahindra will defiantly sell this mini suv with its strong marketing network.

Loved the frames and angle of shoots.
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Old 6th October 2012, 19:17   #7
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Thanks for the great review Sharvanvenu. Rating the thread much deserved 5 stars. I was looking forward for this vehicle but the combination of the engine and the kerb weight put me off. I hoped Mahindra to take care of the dynamics before launching the car. Not that I expected this to be a corner carver, but the more I read the reviews the more I am disappointed with the handling. You seem to be particularly harsh on the handling. Is it even worse than the Xylo?

I have a few more questions. Hope you can put a bit more light on them.

How is the ride quality on bad roads at slow and high speeds. How would you rate it vis a vis premium hatches and entry level sedans? How would you compare the comfort level (considering a mix of ride quality and body roll) at second row for 4 and 5 persons with say a swift or an i20 in case of hatchbacks and a manza or verito in case of sedans?

Are you sure the boot space is only 315 Litres? I read somewhere it is above 600 Litres.
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Old 6th October 2012, 19:23   #8
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Agree with you. Considering the size of wheels arches, the Quanto seriously looks under tyred. Looks like a Xylo with Alto tyres
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Old 6th October 2012, 19:24   #9
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Brilliant write-up.

Quanto is defintiely targeted at the customer who will use it more in the city, and occassionally has to carry 7 passengers and/or needs the additional ground clearance.

It might be a good option for someone looking to buy a diesel sedan (of course discounting the sedan's handling capabilities which would be way better than that of the Quanto).

Thanks a lot for the detailed review.
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Old 6th October 2012, 19:26   #10
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@sharanvenu superb review there. Great effort on your side to provide us yet another crisp and neutral review that we TBHPians always cherish.

Had read and heard many things about this new kid but a first hand review is always valuable.

This will go a long way as a referencing point for many of us or our friends to look for while making that decision to buy a Quanto.

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Old 6th October 2012, 19:33   #11
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Excellent review, rated it much deserved 5*.

One small question from my side. Why is the rev limiter made all the way till 7000 rpm when the engine mCR100 develops all the power at 3750 revs only? Does it give a false notion to the owner.
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Old 6th October 2012, 21:12   #12
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Excellent review and nice pics !
You have covered almost all the aspects with a professional touch !
I am sure that this review would help everyone in evaluating Quanto .
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Old 6th October 2012, 21:50   #13
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That is an awesome review !!! Kudos to Sharanvenu ......

It comes at right time for me. I wanted to go for a test drive this week but couldn't make.

Can you please throw some details on 'bouncy' ride ? Is it more felt only in middle and rear seats ? Or is the suspension needs a review ?
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Old 6th October 2012, 22:18   #14
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Good review! I must say, the quality of photographs and the observations are very close to our official reviews. Mahindra have done a mixed job for the Quanto. In some areas it shines and in some it fails. Very rightly pointed by you that they should have worked more on weight reduction and body roll.

The dynamics are badly effected due to very tall stance, soft suspension, ladder frame chassis, small wheel base and heavy weight. Anything between 1200-1400kgs, lesser height and handling tuned suspension would have worked wonders. The rear seats are painfully straight IMO. But it should also be noticed that this is not a vehicle made from scratch like the XUV and there would have been lots of conditions and boundaries because of part sharing from existing vehicles.

On the positive side, I guess it would be well received in the market.Mahindra have established themselves very well in SUV/MUV market and the quanto would attract an average SUV buyer who is strict on budget and doesn't require full fledged 7 seater MUV space.

In the OD test video, they mentioned that the m-eagle engine is borrowed and modified to 3 cylinders. You mentioned that its been borrowed from the m-hawk! Can you confirm?

Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 6th October 2012 at 22:32.
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Old 6th October 2012, 22:26   #15
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Default Re: Mahindra Quanto : Driven

The car looks like a grown up hatch from some angles.
Nice observation. I liked it.
Great review and the style is pretty suitable and pertinent.
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