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Old 30th October 2014, 11:25   #1
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Default Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review

The 2014 Mahindra Scorpio has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 7.97 - 12.55 lakhs (ex-Mumbai).

What you'll like:

• Same popular SUV package, now improved in the 2014 avatar
• Robust, abuse-friendly build & construction
• Aggressive front-end styling. Has good street presence
• mHawk turbo diesel is a jewel of an engine. Great driveability, performance & fuel economy
• New chassis brings better road manners
• 4x4 available on S4 variant too. More affordable than the Safari 4x4 & Duster AWD
• The Scorpio enjoys strong resale value in the used car market
• Features: 6" touchscreen system, GPS navigation, projector headlamps, LED tail-lamps, auto-headlamps & wipers, cruise control, 17" rims etc.

What you won't:

• Ride quality, though improved, is far from plush. Still gets bouncy & bumpy
• Surprisingly limited 2nd-row legroom in an SUV of this size
• Overdone rear end styling. Also, decade-old body shell shows its age
• Fit & finish leave a lot to be desired. Rough edges are plentiful
• Price of the higher variants is dangerously close to the more accomplished XUV500
• Niggles & issues, as reported by existing Scorpio owners
• Mahindra's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble

The 2018 Facelift:

Link to Review

This review has been jointly compiled with GTO. Thanks to him for the expert observations & comments!

Last edited by GTO : 15th February 2018 at 18:59. Reason: Link to facelift
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Old 30th October 2014, 11:27   #2
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Default re: Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review

Mahindra introduced the Scorpio back in 2002 as the company's first 'modern' UV. Prior to the Scorpio, the product line was crude & basic, with vehicles like the Bolero, Armada, MM550 etc. There's no doubt that the Scorpio took the company inside a lot more urban homes. This was at a time when the SUV was priced between Rs. 5.5 - 6.35 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai) for the 2.6L diesel, and Rs. 7.07 lakhs for the 2.1L Renault-sourced Rev116 petrol. The Scorpio created as much of a buzz back in 2002 as the XUV500 did in 2011. What's truly impressive is, in 2014 - over a decade since launch - the Scorpio still manages 4,000 sales each month; it enjoys truly strong brand equity. With the 2014 updates, we don't expect this success to change. To put things in perspective, the other homegrown SUV - Tata Safari - sells merely in the 3 digits month after month (related thread).

Mahindra has continuously updated the Scorpio over the years. While it was originally available with a 2.6L diesel & 2.1L petrol, the acclaimed 2.2L mHawk diesel was deployed in 2007. ABS & Airbags made their way into the Scorpio somewhere along the way. A lifestyle pick-up (Getaway), 4-wheel drive system and 6-speed automatic gearbox broadened the Scorpio's appeal, catering to a wider range of customers.

Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review-price.png

The 2014 Mahindra Scorpio, codenamed as the W105, is based on a new generation platform. This is an all-new modular chassis that can be deployed for UVs of varying lengths and tracks (e.g. next-gen Quanto & Bolero). The company claims that the hydroformed chassis is twice as stiff as the older Scorpio's and is safer as well. The front & rear axles are new, as are some suspension bits, while the gearbox is lifted from the updated Xylo. Mahindra has revamped the interiors too (more on that in the next post).

Unfortunately, a casual glance at its exteriors and one might conclude that this is a mere facelift. Why Mahindra, why? The company has followed the footsteps of Tata which adopted a similar strategy (a decade old body with modern underpinnings) with the Safari Storme. This paints an unimpressive picture in the minds of the general public who by now are used to advertisements passing off facelifts as "all new" products. We feel that a fresh body & styling would've greatly enhanced the Scorpio's appeal. Mahindra can argue back citing the Bolero as an selling UV in India, same body since decades and mechanical changes over the years to improve the product.

The new Scorpio has an aggressive face that suits its robust nature. Thankfully, the front-end is nowhere as loud or overdone as the XUV500 or the ugly Xylo. The projector headlamps, new front grill and bonnet scoop lend character to the car. Those attractive LED eyebrows aren't DRLs, they are parking lamps. These make the Scorpio look wicked at night. Changes to the side are more subtle with blackened pillars and new 17" alloy wheels. It's hard to distinguish the new Scorpio from the older car here. Our only real concern with the looks is its 'love it or hate it' rear (déjà vu, 2002). The tailgate appears way too busy and those aftermarket'ish tail-lights seem better suited to a modified Japanese sedan than an SUV. Mahindra has once again missed the opportunity to mount the spare wheel onto the tailgate to really complete that 'SUV look'. A tail-mounted spare could have totally transformed the rear end. The designers have added several flashy touches that might just be a hit with rural customers - LED tail-lamps, those controversial black protrusions (can be mistaken for grab handles), slots around the butterfly windows etc. If you like things more subtle, you'll agree that the overdone rear somehow doesn't match with the nicer front. I feel that the Scorpio looks better in a darker shade than a lighter one. Colours such as black conceal the busy design and make it look more neutral. Speaking of colours, the outgoing Scorpio had a neat green shade that is missing from the new one.

Exterior fit & finish leave a lot to be desired. On close inspection, you'll notice a large number of rough edges & inconsistencies; it is far from exacting Japanese or Korean standards. Shut lines are inconsistent, window beadings are ill-fitted and you can actually see exposed screws around the car. Even the paint quality feels rather mediocre. You'd definitely expect superior levels of finesse on a car costing a million bucks! This low quality standard would have been acceptable in 2002, but certainly not in 2014. One reason for the imperfect finishing could be that the Scorpio is still built at Mahindra's old Nashik plant, unlike the XUV500 that is manufactured at the state-of-the-art Chakan facility. On the positive side, the build quality is seemingly robust and the Scorpio feels abuse-friendly. Tap on the body and you can instantly tell it's no tin can.

The 2014 Scorpio is available in 6 trim levels - S2, S4, S6, S6+, S8 and S10. The S2 base variant is powered by the agricultural 2.5L m2DICR motor, while the rest of the range gets the refined and powerful 2.2L mHawk engine. The Scorpio comes in four seating configurations - 7SF (7-seater with side facing 3rd row), 7CC (7-seater with captain chairs in the middle row), 8-seater (front-facing 3rd row) and 9-seater. The S2 & S4 variants are available in 7SF & 9-seater configs, the S6 & S6+ with 7SF & 8-seater, and the S8 & S10 with 7SF, 7CC and 8-seater layouts. Our test vehicle was a 2WD S10 7SF.

Mahindra has improved the Scorpio's equipment levels with a touchscreen infotainment system, GPS navigation, dual projector headlamps & LED eyebrows, LED tail-lamps, 17" alloy wheels, climate control, driver's seat height adjustment and more. Prices have remained more or less the same when you compare it variant to variant with the older car. That said, the pricing is dangerously close to the far more contemporary, premium & accomplished XUV500. To be honest, someone choosing the Scorpio's higher variants should definitely spend a lakh more and get the monocoque XUV500. It's got superior fit & finish, more power, 6-speed transmission, roomier cabin, better ride & handling, all-wheel disc brakes...the list goes on.

Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review-mahindra-scorpio-features.png

The S4 & S10 variants get an optional shift-on-the-fly Borg Warner 4x4 system with low ratio transfer case for ~ 1.1 lakhs. Indeed, a welcome move by Mahindra to offer a 4x4 on the more affordable S4 variant. At 9.71 lakhs (Mumbai), the S4 4x4 remains the cheapest 4x4 you can buy in this segment. The Safari Storme offers 4x4 only in the top VX trim costing 13.99 lakhs! Even the soft-roading Duster AWD starts at Rs. 11.89 lakhs.

The tall stance, smoked headlamps, new imposing front grill and bonnet scoop make it one butch-looking SUV:

I think the Scorpio looks best when viewed from the front 3/4th angle:

Changes to the side profile are more subtle than the front. The B and C pillars are blackened by a tacky vinyl. The plastic cladding on the lower half of the car has more of a matte finish, while the upper half has a glossy finish. The S2 and S4 variants get unpainted, black cladding:

Notice the high and wide wheel arches (especially at the rear); even the 17" wheels at the rear look a tad too small:

The rear has a love-it or hate-it design. It looks better in darker colours than lighter ones:

Scorpio's ground clearance is rated at 165mm on paper. Dont sweat, the clearance below the axles is 209mm. Mahindra has probably added something like the removable stone guard on the XUV500 for lower excise duties:

Nope, that's not a DRL strip at the top. That's the LED parking lamp! Projector low-beams are average, while the halogen high beams are exceptional:

Notice the side facing halogen bulb in the headlamp assembly, pointing outwards? That's the "static bending lamp" / cornering lamp. It activates when you turn the steering wheel or use the side indicator at night. Does a decent job of lighting up the corners ahead of the car:

The radiator grill has an unconventional design with floating-slats and chrome inserts (Bane from Batman anyone?). The same honeycomb pattern is also used on the fog lamp surrounds and the hood scoop grill:

Front fog lamps are adequately powerful:

Functional bonnet scoop is positioned further ahead of the older Scorpio's placement. Note the single windscreen washer on the bonnet:

The front bumper 'skid plate' is made of plastic. As is the case with most SUVs, it's more ornamental than functional:

Plastic wheel arches bulge out nearly 2" for that beefed up look. Headlamp lenses bulge forward too. The bonnet shut lines have moved from the top to the side:

Lip ahead of the tyres, similar to the older Scorpio. This aids aerodynamics:

The 2014 Scorpio gets 17" wheels with 235/65 Bridgestone Dueller HTs (outgoing Scorpio got 16"ers). The tyres offer satisfactory grip in wet and dry conditions:

The Scorpio proudly flaunts the mHawk badges around the left side indicator:

ORVMs are India-friendly - they fold both ways. Surprising that they don't have integrated turn indicators, nor are they electric folding:

Large door handles. Keyhole is only on the driver's door; wonder why many manufacturers are resorting to this practice lately:

Egress would have been more convenient if the metal side-step protruded out by a few additional inches:

Large Scorpio badges on the rear doors. You can't mistake this for any other SUV:

Black metal roof rails (ski rack in Mahindra's words) are solid. However, their overall quality and fitting leaves a lot to be desired:

Notice the kink in the roof. This design actually helps to liberate more rear headroom inside the Scorpio:

The roof antenna caused leaks in the older Scorpio. Hope it is fixed now. An integrated antenna would have been appreciated at this price point:

Panel gaps are average sized, yet inconsistent. The gaps between the side plastic cladding are unduly huge:

Mixed opinions on the rear 3/4th view:

Notice the 'Scorpio' badging inside the LED tail lamps. These clear lens tail lamps seem a bit out of place on a butch SUV:

The large matte black panel with the thick silver number plate surround may not be to everyone's taste. The 'Mahindra' badging has been re-introduced on the Scorpio. The door handle has moved lower and now has an integrated keyhole:

A very noticeable inconsistency in the design. The blackening on the pillars and around the windows is lacking here:

Initially we thought that these were grab handles. They are not! Designers have added additional fuzzy touches around the 3rd row's butterfly windows too:

Look closely and you can see the tow hook, spare wheel and the muffler tip. It's quite silly of Mahindra to locate all 4 reverse parking sensors so close to the centre (limiting their scope):

Even with the tailgate shut, you can notice the screws visible from the rear! Also the footstep area is plastic and not metal; you can see it flexing when a person of a heavy build is getting in and out:

XL sized rear mud flaps:

Spare tyre with a full-sized (17") steel wheel:

The face of the 2014 Scorpio definitely looks sharper, and arguably more aggressive than the older car:

Notice the greatly reduced viewing area of the rear windscreen on the newer model. The older Scorpio's derriere was cleaner but wasn't a stunner from any angle:

Not much has changed when viewed from the side (the camera angle is responsible for what seems to be a size difference):

A compact SUV, a soft-roader (behind) and a proper body-on-frame SUV:

Last edited by Aditya : 1st November 2014 at 16:30.
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Old 30th October 2014, 11:28   #3
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Default re: Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review

Interior - Front

Pull the big door handle and the door opens without much effort. It's lighter than you would expect on such a vehicle, and closes with a surprisingly hollow thunk (not thud). The Scorpio isn't a car that you walk into (like the Innova). Rather, this is an SUV that you literally have to climb into! We had to park next to an elevated footpath to assist a senior citizen inside. Also, the metal side-step should have protruded out a little more for convenience; you will notice this more so during egress than ingress.

The cabin has a sea of grey. This light grey with black interior combo has a universal appeal and enhances the bright, airy feel inside. Mahindra has included silver accents on the dash and door pads, while the center + gear console areas wear a faux carbon fiber effect. These do a good job of adding some spice to the otherwise straightforward interiors. The flipside of the light coloured parts is that they get soiled very easily. Our brand new test car already had dirt marks to show.

The dashboard is positioned close to the windscreen and hardly protrudes into the cabin. The design is sufficiently contemporary & neutral. Part quality is rudimentary and there aren't any soft touch materials in here. The interiors are built to withstand abuse (which most Scorpios will go through in their lifetime), however if you want finesse, look elsewhere. Overall cabin quality might be a step forward from the older Scorpio, but it's not even close to the finesse offered by 10 lakh rupee sedans these days. In this regard, those buying lower variants will be happier than the ones spending 15 lakhs on the S10 trim level. Fit and finish too are acceptable. It's livable, although nothing to write home about. Still, compared to the exteriors, we spotted fewer rough edges inside.

The steering wheel, which is adopted from the XUV500, is a meaty unit. The soft-touch material & thumb contours make it a nice steering to hold. Even the silver accents on the wheel feel high quality. The steering carries buttons for audio, phone and cruise control. The horn isn't too weak, but it's not a powerful wind-tone unit (ala European cars) either.

The speedometer and tachometer are 2 sizes smaller than you'd expect in a large SUV. No issues with their readability though. The fonts are legible and remain illuminated, even during the day. The MID is a basic one with fuel & temperature gauges, odometer, dual trip meters and 'current gear' indicator. This gear indicator shows you what gear you are driving in, once you lift your leg off the clutch completely. Nice safety feature = when you slot into reverse, it will display 'R' irrespective of whether the clutch is depressed or not. The dashboard has a soothing blue backlight at night - much better than the red of the XUV500. All buttons are backlit - steering wheel controls, power window switches, center console buttons, ORVM adjustment, fuel lid release and the 12v sockets too. The buttons are of a large size and give you a 'clicky' feedback on operation.

The seat upholstery feels durable, but budget grade. The blue & grey front seats offer a healthy range of adjustment - fore & aft as well as for height (for the driver). Just make sure the doors are open while you adjust the seat height! Because the front seats are placed so close to the doors, it's difficult to access the narrow door pockets or adjust the seat height with the door closed. In terms of width, the front seats can accommodate regular folk. Those with a heavier build will find these seats to be on the narrower side. An XUV500 owner commented that the front seats are noticeably narrower than in his car. Lateral support is decent and underthigh support is very good. I think it's fantastic that the driver & front passenger get individual armrests. They are bolted onto the seats, hence proving to be comfortable for everyone. These are a superb place to rest your arms on! That said, they do get in the way when you are buckling / unbuckling the seatbelts.

The driving position is spot on and gives you a commanding view of the road ahead. Many drivers will appreciate the fact that they can see the bonnet while driving. The wide range of adjustments to the seat helps you find a comfortable driving position quickly. The gear lever is well within reach and isn't a stretch like in some other UVs. The pedals are well spaced out, although they are positioned off-center (towards the right). This takes some getting used to. The thin A-pillars, wide windscreen, tall side windows and wide ORVMs ensure that visibility is satisfactory. The IRVM, on the other hand, is of a smaller size and so is the rear windscreen (even smaller than the older Scorpio). The high tailgate eats away rearward visibility to such an extent that you'll never see a bike or low-slung sedan parked close behind you. For variants that don't come with the audible parking sensors, this will be an issue when getting in or out of tight parking spots. Even for the variants that are equipped with M&M's "intellipark" system, the 4 sensors are so centrally focused that they completely ignore slim objects (e.g. lamp post) on the corners of the car. A reverse camera would have been a welcome addition, especially since the infotainment unit supports such a display. All we can say is, don't trust the parking sensors, and reverse with caution.

Auto-headlamps and rain-sensing wipers are carried forward from the old Scorpio. Their controls are oddly positioned on the center console. The auto-headlamps work responsively, coming on within a second of entering a tunnel and remaining activated for 10 seconds after exiting the tunnel. The Scorpio is also equipped with "Follow-me-home" and "Lead-me-to-vehicle" headlamps. Basically, they remain on for some time when you're walking away from the vehicle. You can also turn them on when approaching your parked Scorpio.

There is no independent central lock / unlock button in this Mahindra. The central locking function can only be operated from the driver's door lock / unlock switch. Trust me, it requires a lot of effort to use. Those used to the smooth lock / unlock knobs of modern cars are in for a shock. You really need to put a lot of pressure to unlock the driver's door (from inside). What makes it worse is that, if you tug on the door lever, it doesn't unlock (like in some European cars). You have to manually pull on the unlock switch. Use it frequently and your fingers will start to ache! Thankfully, the Scorpio comes with auto-locking doors (they auto-lock at 20 km/h). Not only is this feature good for safety, but it also gives you one reason less to use the unfriendly lock / unlock switch.

It's good to see that power window controls have moved from the handbrake console (older Scorpio) to a more logical position on the driver's door (except in the S2 & S4 variants though). The driver's window offers one-touch up & down functionality on the S10 variant. It also comes with the 'anti-pinch' feature. While the switches are at a better location, they are placed too close to you on the doorpad. You literally have to rotate your shoulder and bend your arm to operate the power windows. Shorter folk who drive with the seat slid further ahead will feel this even more. Even the door armrests are placed on the lower side. Most drivers will end up resting their arms on the window sill instead.

Storage areas at the front are surprisingly scarce for an SUV of this size. The slim front door pockets don't even have a bottle holder! Front occupants only get a cubby hole & bottle holder to the left of the handbrake. The glovebox is of a medium size and we'd definitely have preferred a larger one. Scorpio owners will greatly miss additional cubby holes at the front as this negatively affects practicality.

The air-conditioner does a great job of cooling the cabin. On a hot afternoon with that large glass area, the air-con kept us comfortable, including those on the 3rd row. The climate control has a 'lo' setting, after which it's 17.5 degrees and up.

The light grey and black interior theme looks contemporary. The dashboard is pushed all the way to the windscreen, freeing up a lot more usable interior room:

Steering wheel from the XUV500 befits this million rupee SUV - it is thick and feels premium. Buttons on the left are for audio and telephony whereas those on the right are for cruise control:

Text on the steering mounted audio controls doesn't line up well. Some of it was already a bit worn off. The buttons are large and provide a clicky feedback:

Meters are small but easy to read, placed in twin hexagonal pods. The instrument cluster and cabin lamps fade on and off in a theatre-like manner on switching on/off the ignition:

MID is a basic unit. It includes 2 trip meters, a gear indicator, fuel and temp gauges and an odometer. Placement of the fuel and temp gauges at different levels is quite unique:

Stalks feel durable:

Pedals are well spaced out but a dead pedal is missed. They are offset to the right:

Front seats are rather narrow and placed too close to the doors:

Both front seats have individual armrests - they're supremely comfortable:

The driver's seat comes with height adjustment. It has a healthy range:

Rear defogger, fuel-lid opener, headlamp leveler and electronic mirror controls. All switches are conveniently backlit:

Illuminated ignition ring:

Chrome surrounds on the air-con vents add a premium touch. Airflow can be controlled individually on all the air-con vents:

Automatic climate control did a decent job of keeping us cool. LCD display for the ACC. Can go down to 17.5 degrees centigrade before 'lo' mode:

Switches for the hazard lights, Auto-headlights, Rain-sensing wipers and the Start-Stop technology. Aux-In and USB slots are recessed and therefore out of sight:

The gear lever that loves to dance:

Handbrake feels nice and solid. The cubby areas beside the handbrake are where your phone will usually end up. The patch ahead is for the 4x4 controls:

One of the nicer things about the interiors is the faux carbon fibre panel around the centre and gear console:

Bluetooth microphone. No holder for sunglasses:

Glovebox is of a medium size. A size bigger would have been nicer especially due to the limited storage areas ahead:

Rear surface of the glovebox seemed to flex:

Still fouls with the front passenger's knees (when opened):

Chrome Scorpio badging on the dashboard:

Door pads have a silver applique as well as slim fabric inserts on them. Notice the recessed area. The slim door bins have a nifty strap to hold maps / magazines in place:

Power window switches have been moved to a more logical position. Notice the door pad is already stained:

Possibly the first thing that might give way are the flimsy door handles. They flex on operation:

Light grey fabric seats with blue inserts:

With the front door closed, it is quite a task to adjust the driver seat height and almost impossible to access the door pocket:

Many drivers will appreciate the fact that the bonnet is visible while driving the Scorpio:

ORVMs are large. They give you a good view of the action happening at the back:

IRVM is on the smaller side. Has manual day / night mode selection:

The rear windscreen has been downsized, severely restricting rearward visibility:

Sun visors from the '80s, look and feel cheap. No ticket/card holder either:

Passenger side visor does come with a vanity mirror:

Even the contact areas are light grey. They should have been a darker colour as the grey gets soiled too easily:

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd November 2014 at 20:09.
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Default re: Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review

Interior - Rear

Considering the exterior dimensions of the Scorpio, you'd expect generous levels of room for rear passengers. Unfortunately, there is no significant improvement in this area. Middle row legroom (with the bench seat variant we tested) is strictly adequate. Forget the acres of legroom you get in a Safari Storme, things are comparable to a C-segment sedan in here. At 5'10", sitting behind a 5'10" driver, GTO had just about enough legroom. A 6-footer wouldn't. It's surprising that the cheaper Quanto appears to offer more space to middle-row passengers! The soft seatback of the front seats allows you to bury your knees inside, but the occupants ahead will feel your knees if you push too hard. Then, there is that rod under the front seats which you'll find your feet resting on. Some people will like this inclined resting position for their feet, some won't. It's also strange how your head is right next to the C-Pillar (and not the window) when seated on the middle row.

On the positive side, the 2nd-row bench is very wide (almost touching the doorpads) and 3 adults should easily fit in. Headroom is generous too. The seat offers satisfactory under-thigh support, while the backrest is positioned at a comfortable angle. Rear passengers get 2 adjustable neck restraints. However, taller folk will wish that they extended out more. The center armrest isn't the most comfortable as it is positioned too low and runs too short (supports only 2/3rd of your forearm).

A 5th occupant would feel welcome in the Scorpio. Because of the wide rear bench and nearly flat seatback + seat base, he can sit comfortably. The floor hump is small, thus freeing up foot room. Overall, we'll say that the rear bench is adequate, but not supremely comfortable. The Safari Storme has significantly more space & superior ride quality to boot. Mahindra should have offered fore & aft adjustment, along with an adjustable backrest recline angle, on the 2nd row.

Rear passengers don't feel claustrophobic at all, due to the low window sills and tall glass area. This, and the healthy roof height, creates an airy feel in the cabin. The middle row bench is positioned higher than the front seats and there's a wide gap between the front seats as well. This lends rear passengers with a good view of the road ahead. The rear windows roll down completely. Still, we couldn't help but notice how narrow the windows are, in proportion to their height. The power window switches, just like the front, aren't ergonomically positioned.

The rear air-con vents push out a good amount of air. There are 2 individually adjustable vents, with a common control for air volume. Although the unit should have been positioned a little higher for better channelization of air, there is no doubt that it's an effective air-con unit. 3rd row occupants are kept cool too. If you so wish, a roof mounted air-con unit is available as an OEM accessory. At the bottom of the rear air-con is an illuminated 12v socket to charge your smartphone. The way this socket is positioned, a plugged-in charger will foul with the 5th occupant's feet.

Storage areas at the rear are more generous than at the front. Rear passengers get a 1L bottle holder on both doors, along with a cubby hole to store small items like your 'candybar' cellphone (popular during the Scorpio's launch in 2002, not the big smartphones of 2014). Below the rear air-con vents is a rectangular storage area that can hold 2 cans if you like. A single seatback pocket (behind the front passenger seat) has been provided to store the knick-knacks.

The 3rd Row

The tailgate opens sideways. Like the doors, the tailgate has an easy operation. Although, at times, you need to slam it hard to close. The step that 3rd row occupants use for ingress/ egress is a plastic area that's part of the bumper. With a heavyweight trying to get in, you can see that area flexing. Hopefully, it survives abuse in the longer run. A grab handle on the D-pillar has been provided to assist 3rd-row passengers with getting in. There's another grab handle inside the tailgate so that they can close it themselves. The tailgate has its own door handle with a lock / unlock switch.

These side facing rear seats are small, yet well cushioned. They are placed damn low, and there's no thigh support to speak of. The backrest is at a 90 degree angle too. That said, there's very good headroom for 3rd row occupants (unlike some other 7-seaters). Width is generous and healthy adults won't feel squeezed. Legroom is manageable with two adults in the 3rd row. One can sit with his knees stuck together, and the opposite passenger with them apart. If there's only 1 occupant in the 3rd row, he can totally stretch his legs. GTO sat on the 3rd row for an hour and wasn't the worse for wear. Of course, because of the seat's position, you are travelling sideways - this isn't the most comfortable experience as we're used to being seated in the direction of the car's movement. If you're prone to car sickness, the 3rd row isn't for you. Additionally, due to the seating position (relative to the rear axle), last row passengers definitely experience a bumpier ride than the 1st & 2nd rows. For city commuting, the 3rd-row seats definitely do the job of ferrying 2 additional passengers. For longer highway trips, they're best left to kids or unpopular adults.

The S6 & higher variants offer front facing 3rd-row seats as an option with the 8-seater (2-3-3) and 7-seater captain seat (2-2-3) configurations. These variants also get a foldable armrest for the 3rd row.

The boot is very spacious with the 3rd row seats folded away. This is the vehicle you want to take for the airport duties. Further, not only does the 2nd row backrest fold down for cargo flexibility, the 2nd-row seat also double-folds entirely away if you need to help someone move home. Good thing is, even with 2 occupants on the 3rd row, you can still stuff smaller bags around them. Typical of an SUV, the floor is high and loading / unloading heavy luggage will require some effort as you have to lift the bags up high.

Clearly, you don't walk into a Scorpio, you climb into one:

The rear door opens wide enough. Notice the lack of a door bin. You only get a 1L bottle holder and a small cubby-holder on the door:

Illuminated power window switch is positioned a tad too far back on the rear doors:

Fit and finish leaves a lot to be desired. Notice the naked screws on top:

A strangely placed metal scuff plate:

The rear bench is w-i-d-e and can easily accommodate 3 adults. Even the seat base is almost flat along its length:

Unfortunately, legroom is limited for an SUV of this size. The armrest is on the smaller side and positioned too low for comfort:

The backrest is slightly contoured. It offers good lumbar support. Notice the huge adjustable headrests:

We would have liked the headrest to stretch up a little more for the sake of taller passengers:

Rear air-con vents face upwards and do a good job, but could have been positioned higher for more effectiveness. Mahindra provides 2 can holders below the vents:

12v power socket is also backlit. Since it is positioned on the lower side, it might foul with the 5th occupants foot. Also notice, the seat belt warning socket in the background:

Low-profile floor hump wont bother the 5th passenger much:

A rod under the front seats on which passengers will find themselves resting their feet. Some might like it, most won't:

1 seat back pocket only:

The rear window goes down completely. We can't help but notice how narrow and tall the glass area is, due to the fixed quarter panel:

These swivel lamps (between the first and second row) do quite a good job too. Just make sure you don't touch them after they've been on for a long time; they get super hot!

Third row roof lamps are placed above the middle row and third row. Hence, can be operated from either row:

All 3 grab-handles have a coat hook. Seatbelts cannot be adjusted for height:

The tailgate opens sideways:

It even includes a door handle, door lever and lock. Notice the aftermarket-ish position of the rear speakers:

The tailgate has a child-lock feature (operated via the key) similar to the rear doors:

Grab handle for easy ingress of rear passengers:

The rear jump seats can accommodate a 5'10" passenger. The backrest is almost vertical and under-thigh support too is inexistent. For short distances it isn't too bad though:

Unlike most 7-seaters, there is enough headroom in the third row:

3rd row isn't a dark and dingy place thanks to the large butterfly windows:

Middle row seats double fold for more flexibility:

The versatile luggage area:

When folded forward, the seats are held in place by these straps:

Wind this to lower the spare wheel. There is a rubber cap and a flap (but we've tucked it away for this photo) which covers it:

Toolkit was found lying in a plastic bag under the 3rd row of seats. Notice the (front) tow screw with an orange tip:

Exposed defogger wires on both sides of the rear windscreen:

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd November 2014 at 20:57.
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The In-Car Entertainment System

The touchscreen infotainment system is borrowed from the XUV500. It's an impressive tech-laden unit that will keep gizmo-freaks entertained. We could write a book on its many features. To start with, you can view a lot of vehicle-specific data on the screen, including the distance to empty counter, average fuel consumption, tyre pressure & tyre temperature, warning alerts, service due (if any), GPS navigation, telephony options and a video instruction manual. We used the help of this video manual to understand how to engage cruise control - it's an extremely cool addition. Obviously, for safety reasons, the video is displayed only when the vehicle is stationary. The video instruction manual covers a lot of other features as well. It's well-designed and the instructions are crystal clear to understand.

The GPS navigation has a voice guided feature (provided by MapMyIndia). The system gives you the option of a male or female voice for UK / US English, and a female voice for several regional languages (Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, etc.). Also, when you are being directed via the voice guided navigation system, you can control how much the music volume drops to (at the time of voice prompts). Nice touch: the music softens in the front speakers to help you hear the guidance, while it is held constant on the rear speakers. These small touches make it one intelligent unit, I must say.

The responsiveness and touch quality of the 6" touchscreen are very good. It never felt sluggish and has adequate processing power. One thing is certain though - you have to take your eyes off the road and look down towards the screen, due to its low positioning. As competent as the head-unit is, the speakers are the worst you could possibly get in a million-rupee vehicle. Sound quality is simply awful! Do yourself a favour by upgrading the cheap speakers and perhaps, adding an amp for some extra punch. Even the positioning of the rear speakers (on the tailgate) is very aftermarket-ish; the rear doors would've been a more appropriate position for them. Overall, we'd rate the head-unit a 10/10 and the speakers an extremely poor 3/10. Mahindra should have provided a remote control for the infotainment system. Since the head-unit is lifted from the XUV500, we're sure its remote control will work here.

A friendly greeting. Not sure if my name is Mahindra though :

6" touch screen is only available on the top variant (S10). The infotainment system performs several functions and displays a variety of information. We prefer this colour theme to the XUV500's shades of red and maroon:

Screen is bright, touch quality is good and it's an intuitive unit:

Pairing a phone via bluetooth is an easy affair:

It syncs with your phone and displays the call log:

We just couldn't get the system to display the audio track playing via bluetooth:

Average fuel consumption, distance to empty, tire pressure, warning alerts, etc. Note that the system could potentially support a reverse camera:

It also displays the temperature of each tyre:

You can also control the illumination of the dashboard and instrument cluster lights:

A sound equaliser. Sound quality can be improved from worse to bad, but that is about it:

Speed sensing volume control:

Preset modes for the sound:

GPS navigation is powered by MapmyIndia:

It also prompts for locations as you type a destination:

You do have to take your eyes off the road and look down at the low-placed screen while driving. This can be a safety concern:

Various navigation settings:

Various Indian languages available for voice assisted navigation. Wow, Mahindra surely knows how to emotionally connect with customers:

A video-manual is a very thoughtful addition and showcases the Scorpio's features:

Video quality is good too. You can only watch the videos when the vehicle is stationary:

Reverse parking sensors work upto a range of 110 cm; however, they do not detect objects at the corners of the vehicle. It also shows an optical display on the infotainment screen. A reverse camera would have been nice:

Even with the key completely turned off, you can use the audio system for up to 60 minutes. What's more is that when music is playing and you turn on / off the car, the system continues playing seamlessly (doesn't go off for a few seconds as the case with most cars):

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd November 2014 at 21:05.
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Open the bonnet and the hazard lights automatically turn on. Neat:

The mHawk turbo-diesel:

The base spec S2 variant is powered by a 2523 cc, 4-cylinder m2DICR turbocharged diesel motor. It produces 75 BHP @ 3200 rpm and 200 Nm torque @ 1400-2200 rpm (ARAI fuel economy rating is 16.01 kmpl). Clearly, this stripped down variant targets the budget, rural & commercial market segments.

The more popular engine and the only option available on the upper 5 variants is the 2179 cc mHawk diesel with a Variable Geometry Turbocharger. It produces 120 BHP @ 4000 rpm and 280 Nm torque @ 1800-2800 rpm (curiously, 10 Nm lesser than the outgoing Scorpio). The ARAI fuel economy rating is 15.37 kmpl. In this report, we shall be focusing on the mHawk. It's a jewel of an engine with good driveability, power, fuel economy and refinement.

After a disturbing vibration on start-up, the diesel's clatter settles down and eventually displays its more refined side. Engine noise isn't intrusive at idling. At cruising speeds, the engine is barely vocal. The motor has an extremely refined nature on the move. Only once the revs cross 3,000 rpm does its sound filter into the cabin. The engine note is actually likeable, and isn't tractor-like or crude as the Innova's. While cruising on highways, noise from the road, engine & wind are within acceptable limits. However, a certain hum & vibration are felt throughout the cabin when you lug the engine (this could be noticed on the older Scorpio too). Don't drive at too low an rpm in too high a gear.

The versatility of the mHawk is impressive. Despite its kerb weight, the Scorpio is surprisingly sprightly within the city. Turbo-lag is superbly controlled and the mHawk offers excellent urban driveability. Forget downshifting for speed breakers, you can drive off from a standstill in 2nd gear itself! The engine is that tractable! 3rd gear can be used as an automatic to potter about in the city all day long. You'll never complain of the low-end torque of this engine. The Scorpio even climbs the city's flyovers in 4th gear without breaking into a sweat (no downshift required). Throttle responsiveness is good and all it takes is a gentle tap on the accelerator to commute around the city.

The mHawk diesel feels equally at home whilst cruising on the highway. It has ample grunt across the rev range. Overtaking is a breeze, thanks to the punchy mid-range. The engine revs up to a maximum of 4,800 rpm and is rather free-revving by diesel standards. Power-shift the Scorpio and there's adequate torque to make the wheels spin in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear! Of course, like most other diesels, it's best to stay clear of the redline, upshift at lower rpms and enjoy the torque instead. In 5th gear, 100 km/h comes up at 2,400 rpm & 120 km/h at ~2,900 rpm (XUV500 does 120 km/h at 2,200 rpm in 6th gear). Let's face it, this SUV is going to see a good amount of highway cruising and a 6th gear would have made the touring experience that much more relaxing & frugal. The main reason why the Scorpio doesn't get the XUV500's 6-speed gearbox is to differentiate between the two products (XUV500 is more expensive). That's precisely the reason the XUV500 makes more power (140 BHP) and torque (330 Nm) from the same engine. In terms of fuel-efficiency, we managed 12.8 km/l in a mix of city & highway conditions. Owners of the older Scorpio were satisfied with its fuel economy and that won't change with the 2014 model.

Power is now transmitted to the wheels by a new 5MT320 gearbox which made its original debut in the 2012 Xylo. The new gearbox has well-defined gates, although they are placed far apart. It does feel smoother to slot than the outgoing Scorpio, and the throws are a little shorter too (though still on the longer side). Don't get me wrong, this isn't a slick-shifting gearbox like modern C-segment sedans. It remains a notchy unit and will dissuade you from upshifting aggressively. A big downer is the excessive vibration felt on the gear lever - it is always moving. Whatever the speed or driving condition, the gear lever is continuously shaking & dancing. Drive over rough roads and you'll see the lever shake as the transmission moves about on its mounts. The clutch isn't too heavy and won't be tiresome in the city. It's middle of the way in terms of effort. Travel range isn't excessive either. On the other hand, vibrations can be felt on the clutch. These are directly proportional to the engine rpm. As mentioned earlier, the ABC pedals are off-center (positioned toward the right) and there's no dead pedal provided.

Micro-Hybrid Technology (Note: nothing 'hybrid' about it): Come to a halt, engage neutral and you'll see the start / stop light on the instrument cluster blink thrice. After this, the engine switches off to maximise fuel economy. This happens every time you come to a stop (say, at traffic lights). The electrical system is still working, but obviously the air-con compressor is deactivated. Any driver input on the pedals and the engine fires up again. This start / stop operation is far from seamless; the entire cabin uncomfortably shakes when the engine turns on & off. It can get very annoying. Because the air-con compressor switches off, the cabin can also get hot on a sunny day. No, I'm not a fan of this Micro-Hybrid feature at all, and am thankful there is a button to switch it off. That said, there isn't a doubt that this system automates what a lot of commercial / fleet drivers practice manually. It's made the job easier for them. They'll probably keep the feature activated at all times.

Ride quality has noticeably improved from the earlier Scorpio. It's no longer as bumpy as the older car was, and the suspension is far more livable. However, the ride quality is far (read = F-A-R) from what you'd call plush. SUVs like the Duster & Safari Storme are in a different league altogether. Even at 40-50 km/h on a city road, you can feel the suspension doing its work. There is always a little up & down bouncy movement; the Scorpio never rides flat, whatever the surface. You're always well aware of the road conditions underneath as you feel the smallest of undulations & imperfections. Sharp, deep or tall bumps are prominently felt inside the cabin. The upsized 17" wheels with shorter sidewalls could be a contributor to this ride. On uneven roads, passengers are jostled about significantly side to side, and there is a lot of lateral movement experienced inside the cabin. This lateral movement can make passengers very uneasy. It must be noted that, as with some other body-on-frame SUVs, the ride does get better with load / more passengers onboard. The suspension is robust too and you'll never slow down for rough roads at speed. If you're absolutely keen on ride comfort, a 15" rim swap is a great idea. The 15" size is the most common with UVs and there are plentiful alloy / tyre options in the after-market. For the record, the Scorpio's base S2 variant rides on 215/75 R15 rubber and should offer significantly superior comfort levels.

Mahindra has added an anti-roll bar at the rear and made tweaks to the multi-link coil spring suspension to improve the Scorpio's road manners. Within the city, it's an absolute breeze to drive. The tall driving position, responsive engine and the fact that every other car seems to make way for you makes things easy. Maneuverability has improved as the turning radius of the 4x2 variants has gone down to 5.4 meters (from 5.6 m). The Scorpio definitely feels nimbler than the unwieldy Safari in urban confines. Out on the highway, straight line stability is satisfactory. It doesn't feel nervous cruising at 120 kph on the expressway. Around corners, the 2014 Scorpio is better behaved than the older car, while body roll is lesser too. Yes, handling is safer than what it used to be. Don't get carried away though. The Scorpio is still a top-heavy SUV and you must exercise caution around corners. Even as a passenger, you can feel its top heaviness. While the Bridgestone Dueller HTs offer satisfactory grip levels in dry & wet conditions, you still don't feel confident enough pushing the car due to its bumpy and unsettled behaviour. The rear especially gets jumpy over broken roads. Drive safely & conservatively, as you would with most other body-on-frame UVs. This breed of vehicles is easy to topple in an emergency manouveur and it's very difficult for the average driver to regain control once the limits are exceeded. Monocoque SUVs like the Duster and EcoSport will run rings around the Scorpio.

The hydraulic power steering requires some effort at parking speeds, yet it's light enough on the move within the city and you won't have complaints on this front. Out on the expressway, it weighs up and doesn't feel nervous. There is a certain amount of play at the dead-center position...always a good thing in such vehicles (helps reduce twitchiness at high speeds).

The Scorpio is capable of handling abuse from rough & inexistent roads. It's easy to see why the vehicle is so popular in rural India. If you like touring to remote areas and need the capability, a 4x4 variant is available. You can have a bit of fun with the Scorpio 4x4 through mild offroading conditions like muck, sand etc. It's no hardcore offroader like the Jeeps & Gypsies though, and the 4x4 electronic switch is known to be troublesome. Do note that the Scorpio 4x4s turning radius is bigger @ 5.65 meters.

The Scorpio's ground clearance is rated at 165 mm on paper. Don't sweat, the clearance below the axle is 209 mm! To escape the higher excise duty on cars with a length >4 meters, ground clearance >170 mm and engine capacity >1500cc (related news article), Mahindra has probably added some part, like the easily-removable stone guard of the XUV500. Look closely at this underbody picture; on the rear right, you'll see a black part (with 5 vertical lines) whose purpose appears to be to lower GC. We took the Scorpio through some mild offroading and, needless to say, it didn't scrape anywhere at all.

The Scorpio's braking ability is par for the course. The brakes have adequate bite. The pedal does have some sponginess, although it isn't something that you'll whine about (for reference, the sponginess is lesser than the recently tested Elite i20). What some people will find disturbing is the nose dive under braking. Even at sedate city speeds, you will notice this trait. Other than that, the brakes do the job. If you happen to brake hard at speeds beyond 100 km/h, the hazard lights momentarily come on (panic brake indication feature).

The bonnet sheet metal feels substantial. The assistance from the gas struts makes it easy to lift open. Interestingly, the more premium XUV500 doesn't get these. Note how the hood-scoop feeds the air filter:

2014 Scorpio moves to an electric radiator fan:

Heavy duty battery, probably a boon for the micro-hybrid feature:

The components under the hood are neatly colour coordinated. All the fluid caps are marked in yellow:

An underbody shot showing the naked components of the Scorpio:

0-180 kph in 1 sec and back . Needles do a clean swipe every time you switch on the ignition:

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd November 2014 at 23:26.
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Other Points:

• Standard warranty is for 2 years / 75,000 kms. Extended warranty up to the 3rd and 4th year / 120,000 kms available (highly recommended).

• After the initial 3 services at 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 kms, service intervals are 10,000 kms / 1 year apart.

• The older Scorpio came with a 6-speed Automatic gearbox. Will it make it to the 2014 Scorpio? Not sure, although probability is high. On a related note, the XUV500 AT is reported to be introduced in 2015.

• The new Scorpio has an immobiliser certified by 'Thatcham Research'. Mahindra claims they are the first Indian car manufacturer to be certified by this international organisation. The previous Scorpio's immobiliser was easily disarmed. This SUV is hot amongst car thieves; we'd recommend a GPS-based security system.

BHPian Miyer has put up some great pics of the S4 variant & suspension at this link. Be sure to check them out.

• The fuel tank's capacity is 60 liters. You'll have a good tank range with this SUV.

• The spare is a full-size tyre, albeit shod on a steel rim (not the 17" alloy wheel).

• For the absent minded, the Scorpio is equipped with voice prompts. It'll warn you if any door is open, fuel is low, engine temperature is high, brake fluid is low and even if you haven't worn your seatbelt. The volume is loud and clear, you can't miss it! Unlike the navigation, these voice prompts are only in English. Over and above the audible warning, a warning message is displayed on the 6" infotainment screen (under 'alerts') too.

• The door-open warning (on the instrument cluster) doesn't precisely indicate which door is open.

• Owners of the older Scorpio frequently complained about the bushes wearing out earlier than expected. The 2014 Scorpio has polyurethane bushes (replacing the rubber ones). Mahindra claims these are more durable and have a longer life.

• The Scorpio comes with a 'water in fuel' warning lamp which illuminates when there is excessive water in the fuel filter. If it comes on, you need to drain the fuel filter. Those driving to remote areas will appreciate this feature. If you see the message right after filling up on a tank of diesel, chances are the fuel you got is bad.

• The S2 & S4 variants have their power window controls at an unergonomic location - on the center console!

• The tail-gate's locking / unlocking is linked to the car's central locking system. If you place a laptop or valuable in the boot, and are waiting for someone before driving off, be sure to centrally lock the vehicle.

• The clutch & brake pedal had already become squeaky on our 1,000 kms test vehicle. This isn't your modern Japanese or Korean car built to exacting standards. Far from it.

• Spend time with the Scorpio and you'll realise it's from a manufacturer that started with Jeeps & crude UVs. The Scorpio simply cannot match the finesse of modern C-segment sedans.

• Mahindra provides a wide range of accessories - (e-brochure). Want more chrome? Will get!

• Interestingly, the first Scorpio that rolled out in 2002 was auctioned for a cool Rs. 10 lakhs. The proceeds went to charity.

• Anand Mahindra once stated that, had it not been for their joint venture with Ford, the Scorpio would never have been conceptualised. Mahindra claims to have learned a lot from its JV with Ford.

Thanks to Moderator Rudra Sen for the awesome full profile exterior shots. A huge shoutout to Moderator Stratos for post-processing all the review pictures.

• Remember the hilarious Thar video ( You just can't have a new Mahindra launch without a spoof preceding it:

• The new commercial is pretty nice at parts:

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd November 2014 at 23:34.
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The Smaller yet Significant Things:

No other car gets the attention of the aam junta as much as an affordable SUV does. Several people (eg. this tow-truck guy) stopped by to click snaps of the Scorpio:

After spending over a million rupees, you don't get a key with integrated lock / unlock buttons! Even Mahindra's 2-wheeler Centuro (Rs.47,000) comes with a more impressive looking key. Press the red (SOS) button on the key-fob and the alarm starts chirping:

The hydraulic jack is located under the front passenger seat:

Chrome already started to peel off from the M badge on the steering wheel. Not cool:

The OBD port looks like its been bolted on as an after-thought. Also notice the bonnet lever from the '90s (like the Maruti 800):

12v socket at the front. Love the electric blue backlighting:

Puddle lamps on the front doors do their job rather well:

...meanwhile on the otherside. You can see the light even with the door shut:

Small touches can make a vehicle feel cheap. Here are a few - missing cladding around the seat belt holder:

How do you cover an access hole? Simple, stick some tape over it:

Ill-fitted rubber beading around the windscreen:

Rain gutters in a 2014 car look awful. Look inside them and it's not a pretty sight either - you can clearly see rough welds:

There were dust / water particles inside the fog lamp housing. Shows imperfect insulation:

Light and temperature sensors placed on the front windscreen:

Windscreen washers do a half decent job. The single washer has a twin spray and not a multi-point one like most modern cars:

RFID tag on Mahindras too:

Uniquely, the recommended brand of fluids are mentioned on the side of the driver's door:

A manual fuel lid release lever. So you can open the fuel lid by pulling this lever or electronically by pressing the button on the dashboard:

Mahindra's 'positioning statement'; first featured with the XUV500:

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd November 2014 at 23:40.
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Chief Competitors of the Mahindra Scorpio

Tata Safari Storme

What you’ll like:
• Considerably improved in nearly every way. The best Safari till date
• Solid body-on-frame construction. Substantial size & presence
• Competent 2.2L diesel motor. Excellent driveability. Smoother gearbox
• 1st & 2nd seat rows have enormous space and comfort
• Outstanding ride quality at low as well as high speeds
• Better handling, steering & brakes
• Low range 4x4 transfer case, limited slip differential and sufficient rear wheel articulation

What you won’t:
• The same old body style. Looks like a mere facelift
• Imperfect fit & finish. Ample rough edges, especially on the inside
• Effectively a 5-seater. The 3rd row jump seats aren't suitable even for kids
• Not as dynamically accomplished as the XUV500, Duster or its sibling, the Aria
• No MID, climate control or dead pedal. Reversing camera removed from the Storme
• Niggling issues & problems (as per the many Safari ownership reports)
• Tata's after-sales service experience remains a gamble

Mahindra XUV500

What you’ll like:
• A well-engineered, contemporary SUV at a value-for-money price
• Acres of space on the 1st & 2nd seat rows
• Competent engine delivers fantastic urban driveability, as well as fast highway performance
• Mature ride quality & balanced handling. Body roll is minimal too
• Loaded to the gills with technology, equipment & gizmos
• Safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP with rollover mitigation, ABS + EBD and all-wheel disc brakes

What you won’t:
• Absolutely no luggage capacity with all the seats in place
• Cramped 3rd row of seats is best suited to children only. Maximum of 5 adults onboard
• Overdone front-end design is a hit or miss. Should have been toned down
• Niggling issues & problems (as per the many XUV500 ownership reports)
• Mahindra's un-premium after-sales service experience
• Automatic transmission missing from the options list. Premium customers love ATs

Renault Duster

What you’ll like:
• Robust, abuse-friendly build & construction
• Outstanding ride quality. Comfortable over any kind of road
Car-like to drive. Balanced handling and dynamics. Extremely stable at high speeds
• 205mm of ground clearance (AWD = 210mm). Dismisses broken roads with aplomb
• Fuel efficient 1.5L diesel engine with adequate power on tap
• Practical boot (475 - 1,064 liters of cargo capacity)
• A very competent softroader. AWD system can take you places no 2WD can
• AWD's safety kit: ESP, ASR, ABS, EBD, BA & understeer control

What you won’t:
• No 3rd row of seats. A 5-seater SUV, unlike its 7-seater competitors
• Cost cutting glaringly evident on the inside. Weird ergonomics as well
• Mediocre rear seat legroom. More like C1 segment sedans than C2
• FWD's 109 BHP diesel has noticeable turbo lag below 2,000 rpm
• Higher variants are steeply priced. Duster 109 BHP is too close to the XUV500
• No climate control, 60:40 split on rear seat, dead pedal, auto locking doors or 1-touch down windows
• Poor NVH insulation. Engine, road & wind noise are prominent inside the cabin
• Renault's after-sales service quality is inconsistent

Tata Aria

What you’ll like:
• Solid body-on-frame construction. Seemingly robust
• Futuristic styling, especially the face. Good street presence
• Spacious 1st & 2nd seat rows. Interior quality a big leap ahead for Tata
• Balanced road behaviour. Strong brakes too
• Premium level of equipment. Many segment firsts, including AWD
• Safety kit: Traction control, ABS, 6 airbags & all-round disc brakes
• Base variant gets decent kit (ABS, all disc brakes, audio system, electric mirrors etc.)

What you won't:
• Unsettled ride quality at highway speeds (compared to the Innova)
• Niggling issues & problems persist, as reported by existing Aria owners
• Fully loaded Pride variant unavailable with the 4x2. AWD variant is expensive
• Third row of seats best suited to kids only
• Euro NCAP safety rating not applicable to the 4x2 (structural changes made)
• Tata's un-premium after-sales service experience

Mahindra Xylo

What you’ll like:
• A big 7-seater UV at the price of regular sedans
• Robust, abuse-friendly build & construction. Rough road friendly
• Very spacious! Interior ranks high on practicality
• Diesel engine is fast, torquey & fuel-efficient
• Features include voice control, reverse parking aid, dual front armrests, lumbar adjustment etc.

What you won’t:
• Awkward styling. Design isn't proportionate either
• Bouncy ride quality. Unsettled over any type of surface
• Driving experience marred by excessive body roll and a slow, numb steering
• Lacks quality & finesse
• Mahindra's after-sales service remains a gamble

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd November 2014 at 23:52.
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Inputs as an ex-owner of 3 Mahindra Scorpios

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Exteriors & Styling

First time you look at the refreshed 2014 Scorpio and you notice the beautifully incorporated DRLs. They are simply wow and you will start on a very positive note. The headlight & tail-light styling is very heavily Japanese influenced, in a good way. The tail-lights have smart looking Scorpio branding on the inside, great detailing. The rear brake light is also swapped to an LED unit and gives an up-to-date feel.

Whilst the black cladding on the rear is a Storme influence, if you look closely, there is a resemblance to the Mitsubishi Montero. Too bad that Mahindra’s designers went overboard and bombed that unit with a tacky chrome frame for the rear registration plate. Looking head on at the Scorpio, one will notice that the front turbo air scoop is positioned a little forward and looks weird. Even the revised front grill unit with its weirdly short teeth looks aftermarket. On the flipside, the front bumper under-tray now done in silver is a good touch and so are the side footboards, which have lost their base aluminium finish, and are now coated in flat black.

The side profile around the windows get a neat black vinyl surround (matt finish looks nice). Mahindra sure knows how to incorporate aftermarket treatment / effects to better the package. The front side panels have a fake vent on both sides.

Unless one reads the tyre sidewall or reviews the brochure, one could easily miss that Mahindra has upsized the wheels further to 17”. The first generation had a 15” diameter, and then the 2009 major refresh got the 16” wheels. The wheel design is sporty and looks like a mismatch on the Scorpio.

Interiors & ICE

Step into the cabin of the refreshed Scorpio, and it's all new, mostly. The Japanese influence is carried onto the inside, the front unit, odometer lights, speedometer console, head unit, are all very wicked... easy to like. The blue lights look suave and go with the newish fresh feel of the refreshed Scorpio. The colour of the lights, aquatic blue is easy on eyes, also has an adjustment feature.

Whilst the front dash design is a huge leap forward in terms of aesthetics (even better than Mahindra’s flagship XUV500), Mahindra’s designers have taken a step back for most other aspects inside the cabin. No space to adjust / access the seat height lever with the driver's door closed. The newly integrated window switch panel obstructs access to the door storage area. Major ergonomics failure considering it is related to the most important occupant of the car, the one at the wheel! One also needs to move his arm slightly backwards in order to access the window switch panel.

The glove box is tiny. Considering the cabin space in the Scorpio and the number of people travelling in the car, the interior design could have better space management. For the cabin size of the Scorpio, Mahindra’s designers should have integrated at least a few more smaller spaces for the mandatory mobile phone, wallet, card holder, ticket holder, bottle holder, coin storage, etc. Even the area in front of the beautiful speedometer console is less than an inch in width for any smallish stuff to be kept around, like the commonly found monthly toll chip cards.

Pretty uncanny of Mahindra designers to not provide any bottle holders. The only one available is a squarish unit which can hold a one litre bottle, and a smaller one next to it which can hold a slimmer soft drink can, weird to have such sqaurish holders in the first place, and then only one each, lol.

The rear doors also have neatly positioned mobile phone holders and bottle holders. Too bad Mahindra did not think of the driver and front passenger needing either of these.

On the brighter side, the center armrest is firmer & wider compared to the last Scorpio. It wasn't inadequate in the last car, but this is just a nice bonus.

The rear storage includes a bin to hold odd items, glares & the likes. This is just below the rear a/c vents which has in fact been moved slightly higher up and are now considerably more useful than in the last generation Scorpio.

Thanks in no small way to the front dash design, the legroom in the first row appears to be better than the last Scorpio, mainly due to the flattish / edgier (lesser roundish) front panel which makes the cabin feel noticeably roomier over the last Scorpio.

Apart from the different trim colour (base coded to the new dashboard) and noticeably better exterior finish, the seats are a lift from the last Scorpio.

The neatly fitted head unit has an array of features. The head unit has all the current date interfaces, USB, MP3, Bluetooth connectivity, steering controls, neatly integrated reverse sensing unit, it works really well. Apart from the front pair of speakers, the rear sound stage is set by a pair of round coaxials on the tailgate of the car (compared to the ones earlier mounted front facing, just above the third row). The same vents are still around though (without speakers). You can pause the track on BT device simply using the button on the steering wheel, very convenient.

The sound quality up to halfway mark is acceptable, after which it takes a drastic downhill turn. I have always maintained that the electrical fittings are Mahindra’s weak link in otherwise robust reliable vehicles, and the connection failure on the driver side front speaker connection on our test car only convinced me further.

Engine & Gearbox

Mahindra’s engineers surely did their bit of burning the midnight oil whilst developing the mHawk motor, and what a gem of an engine it is. The unit is always making good torque throughout the rpm range and pulls like a train in pretty much all gears. Great for city driveability and even wonderfully comfortable at highway cruising speeds.

No downshift required for overtaking. Beautiful engine with smooth power delivery, no drama... one of the best I have driven. Too bad that it does not get the higher XUV500 tune, but that is probably because of the pricing overlap that Mahindra fears.

The engineers at Mahindra probably realised that the gearbox on the last Scorpio was a botched up job. The reverse would fail to engage without hesitation. Mahindra has brought in the gearbox unit that does its duty in the updated Xylo, and this has solved the problem. Mind you, this is no slick shifting unit either, the notchiness is still retained, but it has helped resolve the core reverse shifting mess which the 2009-2014 Scorpio was plagued with. The earlier Scorpios didn't have this issue. It surfaced only in 2009 with the incarnation of the mHawk motor, but that is now history.

Drive & Handling

Mahindra has made good work of the new chassis, reducing the body roll even further. Taking corners or longish curves do not need continuous calculation on where the rear of the SUV is going to be. Scorpios were never front heavy (like say the Safari), but the improvements are always welcome.

On the contrary, the bumpiness is prevalent and second & third row passengers are not going to be particularly happy over the rough patches.
The Scorpio still continues to be jumpy over rough patches. This is the Achilles heel of the Mahindra Scorpio. Wonder if the engineers could incorporate something from the XUV500 suspension package which in comparison to the Scorpio rides FLAT!


Like Hyundai, Mahindra has always worked on bettering, or actually filling the package and the 2014 Scorpio is no exception. All the stuff may not be top quality, but the feature list for the Scorpio is typically Mahindra (read very long).

Mahindra has really upped the game, they have made the Scorpio into a great package with lots of spunk. Whilst the refreshed Scorpio may still not succeed in scoring a purist refined-vehicle seeker, the entire SUV range this side of 15 Lacs is going to feel the Scorpio’s sting. It will certainly eat into the Duster, Terrano and Storme numbers and will surely turn a prospective Scorpio buyer into someone who will put the money down without thinking further.

The smaller stuff

- Lower back support is still absent, no improvements, no padding added. Disheartening for someone like me who had to part with my third newly acquired Scorpio due to a slip disc.

- The seat belt cannot be hooked with the armrest in place.

- The handbrake used to get stuck earlier in steps. Seems to be sorted this time around.

- The ORVMs are motorized and now have a Skoda-like selector (unlike the tiny Spartan switch of the last gen Scorpio).

- Wider mirrors too, nice.

- Wiper quality is utility grade, not premium like its closely priced sibling (XUV500).

- The second row bench has a flimsy armrest. Very little support.

- The black side beading still continues to run extra fade, and even loose like the older Scorpios.

- The black plastic panel at the back would see a lot of dust & dirt accumulation. Too many pores are sure to keep possessive owners busy.

- The rear a/c vents are smaller in size.

- The antenna is tall and should be ideally adjusted at its lowest setting for stilt parking spaces.

- Ugly welding spots are still around, Mahindra needs to get around the finishing... no excuse for the claim of having arrived at a global level.

Last edited by Aditya : 4th November 2014 at 07:44.
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Old 30th October 2014, 14:11   #11
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing.

Rating review a fully-deserved 5 stars!
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Old 30th October 2014, 14:43   #12
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review

Excellent excellent review! So glad that "small things" section is back.

I am not sure what Mahindra was thinking but for a vehicle costing 15 lakhs, this thing is absolutely crude. The fit and finish is just appalling for the price and I just cannot forgive daylight entering via a closed door. And what the hell is going on at the back especially those grab handle esque plastic things (for the want of a better word) and needless "Scorpio" branding every empty place they can find? The Safari Storme in comparison has much better quality even though it lack "chutzpah" in the form of features and is a lot more sophisticated in the looks department. I think the updated Storme with more interior features ala Zest should kick its ugly backside. Hugely dissappointed with the car.

P.S. Before I forget, some brilliant shots there Rudra! Absolutely brilliant.

Last edited by extreme_torque : 30th October 2014 at 14:46.
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Old 30th October 2014, 14:51   #13
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review

Amazing insight. Love team-bhp. Thank you for the blockbuster review of Scorpio.
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Old 30th October 2014, 14:57   #14
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review

I think Mahindra has made a clear distinction here: You want finesse - buy our XUV. You want utility - buy our Scorpio (with some bells-and-whistles).

Great review.
The comparison of the key with the scooter costing Rs 47000 was the highlight. I just hope Mahindra team does not read that.
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Old 30th October 2014, 15:24   #15
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio : Official Review

Great review as usual.

Few points which caught my attention as an XUV owner -
  • Liked the blue shade followed for dials and infotainment system compared to red in XUV.
  • Feature wise Scorpio infotainment looks better than XUV!! . Tyre pressure & temperature is displayed only in phone application synced via Blue Tooth in XUV, in Scorpio it is displayed in system itself.
  • Navigation menu user interface looks better and seems to have more / new options in Scorpio.
  • Hydraulic jack not available in XUV.
  • Park light LED's in Scorpio looks better than those in XUV ( personal choice)
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