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Old 30th June 2022, 10:00   #1
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Default Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Sheel and I got to spend some time with the Mahindra Scorpio-N during the media drive in Pune. Here are our quick and brief observations:

• Two decades - That's how long the Mahindra Scorpio has been on sale in India! Time flies when you're having fun, and now you have the Scorpio-N that you see here.


• The Scorpio-N is based on the third-generation modular body-on-frame platform and promises strong underpinnings with the use of high-strength steel - 81% in the frame and 41% in the body. Mahindra also claims to have the lightest Body in White (BIW) in the segment with better torsional and bending stiffness than D segment benchmark SUVs. Special attention has been given to optimising the load dissipation in the event of a crash with the major brunt being taken by the frame and not the body. In simple words, if there's a crash, the doors won't be deformed to trap you inside the car, you will be able to open the doors.


• Mahindra is offering the Scorpio-N with 2 engine options - a 197 BHP, 2-litre turbo petrol and a 2.2L diesel engine that's available in 173 BHP and 132 BHP tunes. Both these engines are being offered with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. For off-road enthusiasts, there is a 4x4 variant also on offer with the diesel engine.

• Buyers will have 5 variants to choose from - Z2, Z4, Z6, Z8 and Z8L (The letter Z has been taken from Z101 - the Scorpio-N's code name during development). Prices for the petrol MT variant start from 11.99 lakh while the top-end diesel MT (2WD) variant costs 19.49 lakh. You can check out the detailed price list here. The launch prices are competitive and undercut the competition quite conveniently. However Mahindra hasn't revealed the prices of the automatic and 4WD variants as of now, so we will reserve our comments until then. Bookings will open on 30th July and the deliveries will commence during this festive season.

Exterior


• The Scorpio Classic (the outgoing car) has a very distinct design that's etched in people's minds. When you look at the Scorpio-N standing next to it, the design sure appears like an evolution. It's like the Scorpio switched from a lean muscle diet to bulk-up. Beefed-up wheel arches, swooping bonnet, tall stance and body creases sure give the Scorpio-N a muscular look.




• In person, the SUV has a commanding look. It sure has the presence of the old Scorpio with people making way for you on the road. It's not very edgy and most people are not likely to complain about the way it looks. The front end feels mature and gets some chrome as well. The rear with its vertically stacked LED tail lamps does give a very Volvo-ish look.




• Apart from the beefy looks, the Scorpio-N is equipped with dual-barrel LED projector headlamps, LED DRLs, and LED projector foglamps.


• A healthy amount of underbody protection at the front.


• The Scorpio-N measures 4,662 mm in length, 1,917 mm in width and 1,857 mm in height. The wheelbase has gone up by 70 mm to 2,750 mm.

• While the car feels sturdy, there are areas where the panel gaps are uneven. The door panels also have some flex, but it's not something that's very much different from the segment standards. The bonnet is very heavy and has plenty of insulation for keeping the engine noise controlled. The paint quality is pretty good and Mahindra uses a double-layer clear coat to get a wet finish for their cars. PPG Asian Paints is the official paint material supplier.


• Our test car was fitted with a side step. It's very much usable and with a healthy ground clearance, the side step didn't scrape even during our off-road session!


• The top-end automatic variants are offered with 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 255/60 section tyres. The manual variants get 17-inch wheels with 245/65 section tyres.


• There are plenty of safety features such as 6 airbags, ABS+EBD, ESC, hill hold control, hill descent control, TPMS, all-wheel disc brakes, ISOFIX, front and rear parking sensors with cameras, E-Call and SOS Switch and driver drowsiness detection.


• The roof has a kink towards the rear to liberate more headroom. The rear section is ribbed and carries a sharkfin antenna. The ski racks on our car didn't feel very sturdy. There are some official accessories available as well for more utility (related post). The sunroof is of a decent size and is offered on the Z6, Z8 and Z8L variants.


• On the sides, you have a distinct "Scorpion Sting" element on the window line which may sound corny but is subtle enough in person for you to appreciate.


• The rear spoiler houses the HMSL and looks well integrated with the rear design of the SUV. Apart from the base Z2 variant, all other variants get the spoiler.


• Vertically stacked LED tail lamps are very Volvo-like and one can't deny the fact that they look good on the road. 'Adrenox' badge sits on the rear quarter panel.


• No variant badging on the car. You have the Scorpio-N logo on the right, that's it. The 4Xplor badge on the 4WD variants is placed at the bottom-left. The side-opening tailgate gets a request sensor.


• Spare wheel is a 17-inch steel wheel (245/65 section rubber) for the 2WD variants and an 18-inch steel wheel for the 4WD AT variant).


• There are 7 colour options to choose from - Napoli Black (top-left), Everest White (top-right), Royal Gold (bottom-left), Deep Forest (bottom-right), Red Rage (our test car), Dazzling Silver and Grand Canyon.


Interior


• First impressions when you step into the cabin are that it's a likeable design. The dashboard layout is pretty basic and reminds you of the Scorpio Classic, but there are a few elements used to give it a modern feel. There's a coffee brown and black theme that's constant across the cabin (even on the seats) which, in person, looks good. The piano black centre console looks nice in the pictures but attracts a lot of dust and fingerprints.


• Mahindra had used a line in one of the old advertisements that this is an SUV that you walk into and not crawl into. It holds true with the Scorpio-N as well. I found myself using the side step every time I got in the car. Front passengers get grab handles on the A-pillars to help ingress and egress. Rear passengers will probably find themselves holding on to the front seat while getting into the cabin.


• With a tall windshield and a long bonnet, you get a good view of the road ahead from the driver's seat. The overall glass area is healthy and with the sunroof in place, the cabin feels airy despite the dark interiors. Even while off-roading, the visibility was good enough to get through the course.

• The quality of interiors is good in some areas like the seats, steering wheel, stalks, switches on the centre console, etc. However, in other areas like the upper and lower part of the dashboard, the plastics feel very average and not very sturdy. Even the piano black finish on the centre console and the buttons on it feels very plasticky and even flex a little while operating.

• Mahindra has gotten the ergonomics quite right. Everything is where you'd expect it to be and within easy reach. Owners will feel right at home once inside the cabin. There's decent storage in the cabin with cubbyholes and door pockets, etc.

• There are plenty of comfort features on offer like wireless charging, front camera, auto headlamps, auto wipers, drive modes, etc. There's also Mahindra's AdrenoX Connect with built-in Alexa, which uses a Snapdragon SD6 processor for 70+ connected car features. So, in a way you can tell Alexa to start your car and A/C as you walk up to it.

• Flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver and piano black inserts sports the new Mahindra logo. With thumb contours, it is nice to hold. However, it is adjustable for height only.


• Vertically stacked side A/C vent. The engine start/stop button sits next to it and gets a chrome border around it. The coffee-brown leather insert looks and feels nice.


• Dual-pod instrument cluster gets a 7-inch display in the middle. There's a lot of information on display including TPMS with a tyre temperature display! You can scroll through the various options in the main menu like drive info, vehicle settings, vehicle alerts, audio options, navigation and fuel info.


• Just the one functional button for parking sensor alert among the dummy buttons.


• Doorpads also carry forward the coffee-brown and black theme. Grab handle is finished in brushed silver and so is the door latch. Door pockets can hold 1-litre bottles and some other knick-knacks.


• Power window switch panel is similar to the XUV700, with slightly different button placement. Front windows get auto up and down functions and the buttons feel acceptable to use.


• There's a 6-way powered driver seat and tilt adjustment for the steering wheel to find a comfortable driving position. The seats are draped in black and brown leather upholstery and the cushioning is on a firmer side, which will be good on long drives. The overall support is good. You get manual lumbar adjustment as well.


• Centre armrest is wide so that both front passengers can use it. It doesn't slide forward, but has a small storage box below.


• Pedals are well spaced out, but I wish the brake pedal was wider. Dead pedal is wide + comfy to use.


• Rearward visibility is average due to the thick D-pillars. You have big quarter glasses which help, but you will be depending a lot on the reversing camera. Visibility from the ORVMs is good, but the view from the IRVM is bad. The headrests in the second and third rows obstruct the view.




• Multiple elements on the centre console like brushed silver, piano black, chrome and brown inserts keep the design interesting. It's simple, yet doesn't feel boring.


• The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. I like the fact that Mahindra has given physical buttons below the touchscreen which are very useful while driving. It's paired with a 12-speaker Sony sound system with a dual-channel sub-woofer that's similar to the XUV700. However, the listening experience feels a notch below the awesome system in the XUV700.




• The A/C worked fine during our test drive. However, because of the rains, we didn't get to experience it in hot conditions. You get dual-zone climate control in the Scorpio-N. Drive-related controls like traction control, hill descent control and drive modes are placed below the A/C controls on the right of the hazard light switch. On the left, you have the front camera view button and the SOS switch. These push-down switches have a nice and sturdy feel to them.


• Below, you have two USB ports and a wireless charging pad. The passenger airbag can be deactivated through the MID and you get a warning display next to the USB ports.


• Glovebox is average-sized and feels very flimsy. It's illuminated and ventilated.


• Mahindra claims that the Scorpio-N has the widest sunroof in its category. IMO, it's the length that matters more than the width. Still, it brings a good amount of light into the cabin.


• Rear seats also offer good support and are nicely contoured as well. The backrest can be reclined slightly allowing for a comfortable angle and there is a centre armrest with two cupholders. Like the front seats, the cushioning is on the harder side.


• At 5'10", Sheel had healthy legroom and headroom. In fact, according to him, the Scorpio-N has more room on the inside than his 2015 Scorpio. The longer wheelbase does reflect inside the cabin. While it is not cramped, the second row is not as spacious as the Tata Safari or XUV700. The bench is more suitable for 2 adults and a child. 3 adults would be a tight fit. As you can see, the window area is also pretty large and passengers won't feel claustrophobic.


• The rear passengers get seatback pockets, but they're not that deep. You do get a phone holder though.


• Rear A/C vents with a blower control and a USB-C charging port.


• You can access the third row of seats by tumbling forward the left seat of the second row. Getting into the third row does take some effort. It is difficult for adults, more so if one is unfit. For senior citizens, it’s almost impossible. The last row seats are placed low, which means you sit in a knees-up position. The knee room is poor and even not-so-tall people will be uncomfortable. Moreover, since the second row of seats cannot slide forward, there is no option to increase knee room. Headroom is alright though. Overall, the third row is only suitable for kids over short journeys.


• Mahindra hasn’t revealed the boot space yet. What we can tell you is that with all the seats up, there’s very little space left and the boot can only hold a couple of backpacks. With the third row of seats folded, things get better and a good amount of luggage space is available. You can fold the second row to increase cargo capacity further. With all seats down, you do not get a flat loading area. Also, with the third-row seats bolted to the floor, you cannot just take them out.


• The tailgate is fully covered on the inside. The white plastic insert on our test car felt very loosely fitted.

Last edited by Aditya : 30th June 2022 at 19:56.
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Old 30th June 2022, 10:00   #2
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Driving the Mahindra Scorpio-N 2.2L Diesel AT


• Powering the Scorpio-N is a 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder mHawk diesel engine that makes 173 BHP @ 3,500 rpm and 400 Nm @ 1,750 - 2,750 rpm. It has a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission that is sourced from Aisin and is in its third generation.


• During the media drive, we got to start the engine when it was cold, which is uncommon. The engine noise was higher than expected. Once the engine got to its optimum temperature, the noise settled down at a lower decibel and was acceptable at idle. The bonnet is heavy and gets insulation to keep the noise levels down. Faint vibrations creep into the cabin, but they will not bother you.


• Shift to D, lift off the brake and the Scorpio-N gets off the line smoothly. The engine feels city-friendly as you build up speed in a very linear manner and can keep up with traffic.


• The turbo kicks in pretty early and the lag is masked well by the automatic transmission. The throttle response is also good and you can drive smoothly without too many jerks or a sudden kick from the turbo. The linear power delivery helps in the overall driveability of the Scorpio-N.

• On the highway, the turbo-diesel builds up speed strongly. You can floor the accelerator and it'll reach triple-digit speeds quickly enough. With 173 BHP on tap, you might expect lightning-fast performance. But keep in mind that this is a heavy SUV and also the AT saps some of the power, which is why it feels quick, but isn't fast.

• The mid-range has enough punch for getting you past slow-moving traffic with ease. Also, a neat trick that has always worked for the Scorpio is that when small cars see it in their rear view mirror, they give way. Funny how that works.

• Floor the throttle and the engine revs till ~4,000 rpm before upshifting. In manual mode, you can push the engine revs till ~ 4,800 in first and second gear and the gearbox will hold on to the gear until you upshift. Try revving till the redline in third gear, however, and the gearbox will upshift on its own. This has been done to help while off-roading.

• In terms of cruisability, the Scorpio-N can cruise calmly at 100 & 120 km/h at 1,900 & 2,100 rpm respectively.

• For the 2WD variants, you get 3 drive modes - Zip, Zap and Zoom (bad choice of names for sure). The Zip is essentially the Eco mode where the throttle responses are dulled down. There's not much of a difference between the Zap and Zoom mode with the Zap being the equivalent of Sport mode and Zoom more for highway driving.


• The torque converter automatic is very smooth in its shifts. You won't notice the upshifts happening with a steady foot on the throttle.

• However, while driving with varying throttle inputs, the gearbox does get confused. It downshifts suddenly when you don't expect it to, which can get irritating at times. But overall, for everyday usage, there's not much to complain about as the gearbox does its job just fine.

• Manual mode isn't very intuitive if you are trying to push the car. It's better to just leave it in D. Manual mode is useful while off-roading.

• Wind noise starts to creep in at 90 km/h. Our test car was shod with MRF Wanderer tyres with off-road-like tread, which is why tyre noise was also heard at high speeds. Street tyres should be less noisy at speeds.

• The diesel tank's capacity is 57 litres and it is made of plastic. With BS6 emission norms in place, you also have a DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) tank and what's nice is that you can see the fluid level on the MID.


Suspension




• At the front, the Scorpio-N has a double-wishbone suspension with coil-over shocks and at the rear, there's a Penta-link suspension with Watt's linkage. While the name may sound fancy, the setup is similar to the multi-link suspension (which also has 5 links) that was used in the old Scorpio. The difference here is the Watt's linkage instead of the Panhard rod in the multi-link suspension. Which one's better? Both perform the same function, but the Panhard rod is the more affordable one. In cars with higher suspension travel like the Scorpio-N, the Watt's linkage works better in controlling the lateral movement under load. In simple terms, it offers better stability in corners.


• Additionally, the dampers come with FDD and MTV-CL. FDD is just Mahindra's term for frequency selective damping, which varies the damping force according to the frequency of bumps. MTV-CL stands for Multi-Tune Valve with Concentric Land, which essentially further fine-tunes the damping force by controlling the fluid through piston valves.

• While all this sounds super techy on paper, it's the on-road behaviour that matters. The low-speed ride quality, like most body-on-frame SUVs, is jiggly and there's some movement felt, especially with no load in the car. In comparison with the Scorpio Classic, however, the body movement is more controlled in the Scorpio-N.

• Potholes and bad roads are handled very well. Gliding over a rough patch of road at 50 km/h comfortably, where all other cars are crawling at 10-15 km/h to save their suspension, is a joy in itself. As you would expect from a Mahindra, the suspension is very abuse friendly.

• At highway speeds, the ride becomes more composed. Expansion joints are handled nicely and the vertical movement is also well-controlled. Highway cruising should be a breeze in the Scorpio-N.

• Go around curves at speed and there's the obvious body roll given the height of the car. What's noteworthy is that the roll is lesser than in the Scorpio Classic and you don't feel that nervous when you carry some speed into a corner in the Scorpio-N. There's a hint of understeer as well.

• Due to the heavy rains, we couldn't push the car hard on some of the twisty road sections, but from what we could gather, the Scorpio-N is a much better handler than the Scorpio Classic.

• The EPS uses dual pinion technology, where there's another pinion on the steering rack that's assisted by a 110 A motor. This reduces the steering effort and it does reflect while driving. At city speeds, the steering is very light, which makes manoeuvring this SUV pretty easy. There's good heft to the steering wheel at speeds. However, there's vagueness in the centre, which isn't pleasant.

• The ventilated disc brakes all-round do a great job of stopping this SUV safely. Under emergency braking situations from high speed, the Scorpio-N came to a halt in a straight line without much drama. While driving around in the city, you have to be extra careful with the brakes as they bite sharply.

• We did get a chance to experience the Scorpio-N in off-road conditions as well at the 19-degree North trail in Lonavala. It comes with selectable 4WD (shift-on-the-fly) and selectable terrain modes (Normal, Snow, Mud & Ruts, Sand). There's also a mechanical and brake locking differential that electronically controls the slip at each axle to ensure that the car keeps on moving.


• The course was a mix of the usual set of obstacles like steep inclines, declines, slush, articulation, side inclines, etc. The heavy rains made the course even more fun and surprisingly, the Scorpio-N handled all the obstacles with ease. While most of the course was doable in 4-high, a couple of areas needed 4-low to be engaged and the car just sailed through.

Last edited by Aditya : 30th June 2022 at 10:02.
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Mahindra Scorpio-N Diesel Automatic Review


Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-dsc08003.jpg

• Mahindra is closely guarding its utility vehicle fortress. They hit it out of the park with the 2nd-gen Thar, the XUV700 and now, the Scorpio-N. Do note that even the Marazzo was a kickass MPV - extremely competent. It failed only due to non-product related reasons such as price, marketing, positioning, not having an AT, no petrol, and competition from the Ertiga / XL6 on one side & the mighty Innova on the other, etc.

• We have to understand that brand Scorpio is now 20 years old. A very powerful nameplate, it is to the Rs. 20 – 25 lakh segment what the Fortuner is to the Rs. 40 - 50 lakh segment. Brand Scorpio has an enormous following in rural as well as urban India (just like the Fortuner). Hence, Mahindra has smartly gone for evolutionary changes preserving the successful formula, rather than revolutionary ones. It’s still got a lot of the original Scorpio DNA (body-on-frame construction, tough build, 4x4, commanding driving position, etc.), but Mahindra does appear to have brought the SUV up to the times by improving in several crucial areas.

• Must say this Scorpio-N feels like it’s 2 or 3 generations ahead of the old Scorpio.

• Here’s an important point = the Scorpio-N is now, a lot more woman-friendly than the original Scorpio. Where the original car had crude interiors, this one has a likeable cabin with most of the expected amenities. It has a light steering, an automatic transmission, good-looking interiors, a petrol option, a nice sound system, features (sunroof too, albeit a small unit) and more. The fairer sex cares about these points. My better half was driving the Scorpio-N. She was totally at home within 5 minutes of being in it on the expressway. While women have always influenced car purchase decisions of the house, now there are a lot more women buying 20-lakh rupee cars for themselves too (or contributing to the car’s EMI in double-income families).

• It’s truly amazing what a long way Rs. 20 lakh cars have come. Frankly, the Rs. 20-25 lakh segment gives you all the car you need with enough power, enough space, enough gadgets and now, enough safety as well. We are seeing some really competent models in this space and one honestly doesn’t need to spend over this price point, no matter whether you are looking at an SUV or MPV or Sedan or Crossover. Any car over 30 lakhs is driven more by desire than need.

• The AT variant I drove has a stiff premium over the MT. IMHO, Mahindra is clearly going for profits. After all, it is a seller's market, the AT is brilliantly matched to the engine and the truth is, AT customers are less price sensitive. If they want the AT, they want the AT.

Exterior


Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-dsc08019.jpg

• I like the front end styling, and the side profile is extremely smart too. But the rear is quite boring & seems MPV’ish to my eyes. The Scorpio-N has presence – is butch too – although it could do with a butt-lift already.

• Owners will appreciate the Scorpio-N for being abuse-friendly, overload-friendly, rough road-friendly and rough use-friendly. You know this tough SUV has that Mahindra DNA in it and it’s going to take abuse like a champ. In fact, in rural areas, I fully expect to see Scorpio-Ns with 14 people squeezed into them. Like Boleros. Think about it, what better upgrade for a Bolero-driving farmland owner than the relatively luxurious Scorpio-N? We stopped at a local tyre shop and every pedestrian who walked by was turning around and checking the Scorpio-N out. An elderly gentleman asked me what car it is, and even a 10-year old kid was curious about this new Scorpio-N. Heck, the person filling air in the spare tyre had 10 questions about the Scorpio-N.

• We are driving right next to a Mercedes GLS and are as tall as the Benz. We tower over crossovers and sedans. This kind of butch presence and height does have an advantage in India. It has a “feel good” factor too, I got to admit (even as a sedan lover).

• I’ll go one step further and say that your driving style does change when you are driving a tough body-on-frame SUV. People give you way and you are not as careful as you would be in say, a delicate sedan or softer crossover. This is a “proper Mahindra” in that sense.

• One thing about the Scorpio is that it finds a lot of interest in urban India as well as rural India. Out in the countryside, it’s one of the ULTIMATE status symbols. That’s not the case with a vehicle like the Skoda Kushaq (just an example), which you can safely assume has its sales primarily from more urban areas.

• The spare tyre, which is a space saver, was low on air pressure (the TPMS warned me). With the way that it is placed under the car, the tyre nozzle is on the top. There is no way to fill air in it without pulling the wheel down!!! This is a serious fail in terms of useability (not just Scorpio, many other SUVs / MPVs too suffer from this). Imagine, for such a regular & routine maintenance thingie, you have to dislodge the spare tyre. A 10-12 minute exercise easily. The OEMs should figure out a more convenient way to do this.

Interior


Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-2-large.jpg

• The Scorpio-N has a superb, tall and commanding driving position like a proper SUV, and not softer crossovers like the Creta, Seltos and gang. Frontal visibility is excellent and the tall seating makes you more confident on bad roads.

• The A-Pillar is thick and Mahindra is on a safety roll of late. Like the Thar, XUV700 and XUV300, I am more confident about how the Scorpio-N will fare in the GNCAP crash tests (old Scorpio royally flunked the test). But the thicker A-Pillar with the ORVM right next to it creates a blind spot. When you are turning right into a lane, you will want to proceed cautiously to ensure that you don’t miss seeing an object in your way.

• A crucial area where there is a big, big improvement would be the cabin ambience & interior quality. Another would be space in the driver’s seat. At 5’10”, I could never fit comfortably in the old Scorpio, which was a shame, because it was so big on the outside and so cramped on the inside. In the Scorpio-N, I was comfortable and even with the seat set to my 5’10” driving position, it could slide further back. A 6-footer will fit in here, while 2nd-row space is adequate too. Cabin comfort is way better than the old Scorpio, although the outright room isn’t as much as the exterior dimensions would have you believe and I do find the XUV700 / Safari middle rows to be comfier. The 1st & 2nd seat rows are adequate, while the cramped last row is for kids only. The lack of a sliding middle row & split-folding 3rd row are shocking omissions that will inconvenience owners looking for more flexibility in space management. Boot space is terrible with the 3rd-row up. Roof-top carriers have already reached the neighbourhood accessory store .

• Even those with a delicate lower back will find the back support to be satisfactory. Has manual lumbar adjustment.

• One of the USPs of the old Scorpio was the individual armrests on the front seats. Mahindra should have continued with those. Right now, what they are giving (center armrest) is what every other car offers. Seriously, those individual armrests should have been carried forward. They were like a “signature dish” of the Scorpio and oh-so-comfortable.

• One thing that Mahindra has missed is a telescopic (reach adjustable) steering. At 5’10”, I was OK with it, although really short people will face ergonomic issues. Not just that, I have a feeling that 6 footers & up will also miss a telescopic steering. This car is otherwise so well-equipped with 6 airbags, a 12-speaker sound system and other features, that the telescopic steering feels like a major miss. Another omission that sticks out like an ugly pimple is an auto-dimming IRVM. Why am I spending Rs. 20+ lakhs, and then having to flip a switch at night??? This is unnecessary, cheap cost-cutting.

• Good sound quality, especially from Mahindra who I feel has never gotten their ICE correct. Will give audio quality a 7 / 10 rating. Satisfactory & fun to listen to, yet not a match to the MG Hector, which I feel still has the best ICE in this price segment.

• The automatic wipers need fine-tuning because their sensitivity sucks. Mahindra needs to make them more sensitive. Many times, I exited tunnels while it was raining and the wipers started a couple of seconds too late and in torrential rain, they were on the second-fastest speed. I had to manually engage the fastest wiping level. With auto wipers and headlamps, OEMs should err on the side of safety. Rather have them “on” a little more…than a little less.

• It sure is a climb up into the second-row seats. This isn’t a vehicle that is senior citizen-friendly in terms of ingress & egress. Of course, the side steps help, but it’s not as easy as in crossovers. You have to “climb into” the Scorpio-N.

• The captain seats in the second row are comfortable. The backrests are adjustable and both seats get individual armrests, which will make travelling long distances that much nicer. However, the last row is not adult-friendly at all (either short adults or better yet, children). If you are frequently going to be carrying 5 adults, go for the bench seat version so that three passengers can sit on the second row comfortably. In this captain seat variant, the fifth person is not going to be happy climbing into the third row. Ingress is tough & the last row is cramped.

• Excellent glass area! Even though the interiors are dark with a black + dark brown theme, it’s not claustrophobic at all. The rear window is big like my house’s window!! Rear passengers obviously sit tall and they have a fantastic view of all the happenings outside. There’s a healthy amount of light coming into the cabin.

Driving the Scorpio-N Diesel AT


Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-3.jpg

• In the city, the Scorpio-N is extremely driveable. The engine has good pep and a satisfactory mid-range. It’s a breeze to drive with the light steering, commanding driving position, excellent frontal visibility, smooth AT and no one messing with you.

• What stands out is how smooth the Diesel AT is. I was driving at 20-40 km/h with the engine spinning at 1,500-1,800 rpm (the typical rev range that you will see in the city) and all I could hear was merely a mild hum. Unlike so many body-on-frame UVs with their loud clattery engines, Mahindra has worked hard on the NVH factor. Refinement is a strong point of the Scorpio-N’s Diesel-AT combination (petrol even more so I guess).

• On the highway, the Scorpio-N Diesel AT is a great cruiser. You can maintain speeds of 100-120 km/h all day long. It's quite the mile-muncher.

• Even at 90-100 km/h, all you hear is a mild hum from the diesel engine and it’s a likeable hum. Some diesels sound good, while some sound bad and are clattery; all you hear here is a mild likeable hum. Good stuff.

• Quick & peppy enough, never feeling underpowered in any situation. Power delivery is satisfactory. That being said, the Diesel AT isn’t F-A-S-T (if you know what I mean).

• Push the Scorpio-N with the transmission in manual mode and the engine revs to ~4,700 rpm.

• Who names the driving modes Zip, Zap, Zoom? C-O-R-N-Y! Mahindra should really have stuck to the conventional Eco, Normal and Sport nomenclature. What on earth is Zip, Zap, Zoom? Worse still, you cannot ignore zip-zap-zoom! I chuckled every time I saw that mode displayed on the instrument cluster.

• I have said this before with the Thar and XUV700 also, I am super happy with how Mahindra and Tata are tuning their AT gearboxes with their engines. They are doing a fantastic job. Tata did a better job with the Harrier / Safari ATs (which use FCA’s 2.0L diesel) than Jeep could manage with its own engine! And this is where they are nailing it. Many competitors don’t offer a Diesel AT combination. Mahindra has gone a step further than Tata by offering a very competent (fuel economy aside) Turbo-Petrol AT too.

• I appreciate how the automatic gearbox maintains the right ratio most of the time. Sometimes, even if it is at the expense of fuel economy, it will stick to a lower gear if that’s the more apt choice. I appreciate a well-tuned AT gearbox and this is something the Scorpio-N has gotten spot on. The praise is coming from someone whose daily driver is a ZF-8 speed.

• Even in Zap mode (not zoom), you will notice that the car doesn’t necessarily freewheel or just shift to a higher gear for the sake of fuel efficiency. On the other hand, to enhance driveability, it will hold on to a lower gear as an enthusiast would prefer in certain conditions. It’s nice to see a focus on driveability and response times from AT engineers.

• I don’t like automatics that freewheel excessively for economy. I don’t like automatics that are eager to jump into higher gears for economy. This AT is not one of those. It makes an effort to keep the engine in its power band and what’s more, you always have a certain level of engine braking.

• Perhaps, as a downside of the abovementioned points + the Scorpio’s breadbox aerodynamics + fat weight + power on tap + torque converter AT, the round-trip FE I saw was 11 km/l. Which is just average (pun intended). This included ~400 km of all kinds of driving, but hardly any traffic conditions (perhaps just 50 km of it was in traffic in Pune). City + highway + rural areas. Can tell you a Creta / Seltos Diesel AT would’ve given at least 15 km/l in the same circuit, if not more. 11 km/l was also without really driving hard as the Scorpio-N isn’t a corner carver at all; I would’ve driven a Creta or Kushaq much harder. With the Scorpio, it was more of a relaxed cruise due to its height, weight, body-on-frame road behaviour and heavy rains that week.

Ride & Handling


Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-10.jpg

• Ride quality is much, much improved over the earlier pogo-stick-like bumpy Scorpio, but it is still a mixed bag. The suspension is compliant in 70% of situations, liveable in most, yet very fussy in some (e.g. bad roads taken at crawling speeds). Additionally, ride comfort is better on the front seats than the middle row – 2nd row passengers will find the suspension to be extremely busy, even on the expressway. I jumped on the middle row while the lady was driving; the 2nd-row was never riding “flat” on the highway @ 80 – 100 km/h! Of course, do keep in mind that rear seat ride quality will improve with more load and if all the seats are full (typical of most BOF UVs).

• At low speeds and in the city, the Scorpio-N’s suspension is now liveable and mostly compliant. That being said, the Scorpio-N has no magic carpet ride like a Renault Duster. Low speed ride quality in the city is way better than the likes of the Fortuner, I might add.

• As long as the tarmac is clean, the Scorpio-N rides in a compliant manner. However, on bad roads taken at low speeds, bumps and pothole edges are felt on the inside. And there is some vertical and side-to-side movement as well, where passengers are tossed around.

• The Scorpio-N's steering is very light at parking speeds and slow speeds. Owners will appreciate this trait on a daily basis.

• I must say that I much prefer the Scorpio-N's suspension tune to the Fortuner. In fact, even to drive, the Fortuner, at low speeds, has got a heavy steering and bumpy ride. To drive around the city, the Scorpio-N is so much more user-friendly because of the light steering, the refined engine and the less-bumpy ride quality. We are comparing two different segments, but like I mentioned, the Scorpio is to the Rs. 20 lakh segment what the Fortuner is to the Rs. 50 lakh segment.

• The Scorpio-N rides acceptably well on the expressway, but what’s important is that if you encounter potholes at speed (I crossed one at 90 km/h), you don’t even have to slow down for them. My co-passenger was talking and didn’t even have to pause while speaking. We just flew over the bump. So, at speed, you won’t need to slow down for rough patches. This thing just has that robustness to it and unlike at lower speeds, it dismisses bumps with more composure at highway speeds.

• While the ride is compliant, it is a busy suspension @ 100 km/h. Even on the expressway, you can feel the joints, there is movement from the bottom, yet it is acceptable. I was sitting in the second row and could feel that the suspension was very busy. The front seats have a distinct advantage in terms of ride quality. This is not a Hexa or even XUV700 for that matter.

• One differentiator from the XUV700 is that the monocoque XUV feels very urban, whereas the body-on-frame Scorpio feels very rough & tough. It has a feeling of robustness and feel-good factor to it.

• This is exactly the sort of vehicle that you want when you are in the middle of nowhere. I was in a corner of MH that was so remote there was no mobile data! There were rough roads, no roads, narrow roads, uphill sections, downhill sections and mid-level water logging at some places. This is just the kind of SUV you will want at such a place.

• As I mentioned earlier, the Scorpio-N takes broken roads better at 50 km/h than 20 km/h. While making this voice note, I drove through some rough patches at 50 - 60 km/h and we literally flew over them. You just know that, like most Mahindra body-on-frame UVs, you’ll never have to slow down for rough patches.

• Straight line stability at a cruising speed of 100-120 km/h is satisfactory. The car doesn’t feel nervous, but you are always aware of the vehicle's height and the fact that it’s a BOF construction. So, while the stability is fair, you have got to be very mindful of the higher center of gravity.

• A rare test-drive media car that I didn’t drive hard at all. The height, weight & BOF build means you have to take it easy around corners (fear of toppling). While the grip levels are satisfactory, you do feel the top-heaviness. This is not a vehicle you will take corners fast in. Keep your speeds conservative around curves. It's just better to err on the side of caution.

• When it was dry, I was cruising at 120 km/h, but in the rains, 80-100 km/h is advisable. In an SUV like this one, that’s probably what you should keep it at for comfortable cruising with the family.

Nice car, a Team-BHP tee, lovely weather, great music, awesome company & black coffee. What else does one need in life?
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-6.jpg

Beautiful MH, Beautiful India. I personally enjoy holidays & road-tripping in India (GA, RJ, KL, etc.) more than most destinations abroad:
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-8.jpg

These broken patches taken at crawling speeds will have the passengers being tossed about in the cabin. Lots of side-to-side swaying:
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-11.jpg

Found this Scorpio owner's jugaad garage to be very cute. All men love their machines, whether its a Moped or a Mercedes, a Ford or a Ferrari:
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-12.jpg

The Scorpio-N sure was a head-turner in rural India (perfect upgrade for a Bolero-owning farmer). Interestingly, it was a head-turner in urban India too:
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-13.jpg

This underpass in Chakan was flooded. Lesser cars were driving through, and the Scorpio-N would easily make it to the other side. But because it's not my property and I didn't want to ruin a great road-trip, we turned around and took the longer way out (added 30+ minutes to the destination):
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-14.jpg

Buvachi Misal in Lonavla - you absolutely cannot miss having breakfast or lunch here. One of the few places which serves top quality delicious food at unbelievably reasonable prices:
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-15.jpg

And super clean too! Never had a bad tummy after eating their yummy misal + vada pav + onion pakora + strong tea (my standard combo-meal there):
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-16.jpg

Stunning roads & views through & through:
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-18.jpg

Takes all kinds to fill our roads...
Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-20.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 9th August 2022 at 10:53.
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Old 30th June 2022, 10:15   #4
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Nice review Omkar.

The new Scorpio N may have it's shortcomings with regards to seat flexibility and storage maximization. But if we look past it , I think is a very well rounded package.

Surely it will divide some people who booked XUV700 to consider Scorpio N, considering its rugged appeal and 4WD option. Frankly I don't see any reason why Mahindra must cash in with the previous generation Scorpio "classic", when they have a well rounded package with Scorpio N .
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Old 30th June 2022, 10:42   #5
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Brilliant Review!!

Red looks hot. Tailgate needs a black element near the logo.
The door pad has 3 colors and finishes (silver handle, Piano black plastics, and Brown Leather). Looks busy in my opinion.

Any squeaks/rattles??

Sorely missing the second-row ride comfort feedback, guess we will need to figure out the same on our own

Last edited by 1.2TSI7DSG : 30th June 2022 at 10:45.
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Old 30th June 2022, 10:56   #6
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Thanks for the review.

Is there a 12V power socket at the front to connect the dash cam? If not, does using the hardwire breach the warranty clause?
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:02   #7
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Thanks for the review!

Most of us were waiting for a review on ride quality and suspension of this new product. With that sorted, further buying rituals shall start.

It sounds stupid, but still I want to ask if you were able to check on the mileage front even with the very less time you got to spend with the car.

Thanks again.
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:06   #8
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Awesome review. Thank you for sharing!

Some questions:
- How many turns is the steering lock to lock?
- Does the steering auto center?
- How much is nose dive in high speed braking?
- Is there a sport mode in auto-gearbox?
- Is there an auto AWD mode? As in ability for car to engage all 4 wheels even at higher speeds depending on traction. And then dedicated 4x4 modes could be different for slow speed.
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:15   #9
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1.2TSI7DSG View Post

Sorely missing the second-row ride comfort feedback, guess we will need to figure out the same on our own
Autocar’s video review talks about ride comfort and second row comfort in detail. It is superior to the outgoing Scorpio. Whether it is sufficient depends on the individual. Plenty of video reviews are up.
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:21   #10
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Another amazing review on TeamBHP thanks to Sheel and Omkar.

I've been in love with the Scorpio-N for a long time and this review only made me want one even more, Z6 Diesel AT 4x4 in Deep Forrest would be my personal choice as the only thing I'd miss over the Z8L would be the Sony speaker system which I can upgrade myself.
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:22   #11
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Awesome review of an awesome car. Loved the detailed description of the suspension changes and how it affects the ride (which was the weak link of the earlier Scorpio).

Agree about the average fit and finish, noticed that in many of photos. I hope Mahindra improve this over time. Though not planning to buy it, I will be checking it out in person, once the mad rush at showrooms dies down of course.

Speaking of fit and and finish, what on earth is happening at the handbrake? , looks more like a 1990s aftermarket leather wrap than a 2022 factory finished job.

Mahindra Scorpio-N Review-scorpio_gear_lever.png
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:26   #12
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omkar View Post
Sheel and I got to spend some time with the Mahindra Scorpio-N during the media drive in Pune.
Very well written.

Quote:
• A healthy amount of underbody protection at the front.
What's the material of the underbody protection? Aluminum or fibre?

Quote:
• Surprisingly, there is only one tow-hook, which is located at the rear. There's none at the front of the car.
Isuzu didn't give rear ones and these guys missed out front? I don't understand how you can claim it to be an offroader and miss out on such a basic thing?

Most probably it's hidden behind the silver plastic bash plate in the front. But again it's a nuisance because before every offroad trip I would need to remember to remove it (assuming there is a point behind it). Same grouse I have with the LR Discovery. Need to remove multiple bolts to access front tow points.
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:26   #13
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Nice review but just a suggestion.

Can we add pros and cons at the start like we have for other reviews?
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:31   #14
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Thanks for the review guys. I got bowled over long long ago and have no doubt about the credibility of M&M.

However, I am a bit confused about the seating configuration on offer. Am looking for a 6 seater and with the information out so far, it is not available in 4WD at all. (Please correct me if anyone has a different update)
That’s a bummer for me and I hope things get sorted out in due course.

Also please post about comfort level for the 2nd row bench seat on a winding road.

Also, I noticed in the review posted above, the spare wheel is of Apollo while other wheels are MRF. I understand that the spare is a mounted on a steel rim but shouldn’t it be from same manufacturer? Please clarify?

Am looking to upgrade from my 2013 VLX Scorpio to the ScorpioN Z8L 4WD MT in white. Hopefully everything will work out smoothly.

Thank you.
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Old 30th June 2022, 11:33   #15
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Default Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review

Thank you for the detailed review!

Most of the review has compared the Scorpio-N with Scorpio Classic, but as I gather from the forum discussions, most of the potential buyers like myself are comparing ride quality, space, suspension, etc., with XUV7OO instead. I would request for your opinions compared to the vehicles which Mahindra themselves compared Scorpio-N to in their presentation (Fortuner, Innova, Safari, Seltos and of course XUV7OO).
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