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Old 11th September 2022, 16:00   #1
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Default Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

Mahindra XUV400 EV Review


Mahindra XUV400 Pros



• Finally a proper EV from Mahindra that's well-built and refined
• Zero tailpipe emissions & green image will appeal to the environmentally-conscious
• 250-300 km real-world driving range should be adequate for city commutes & inter-city travel to nearby destinations
• Exhilarating performance! 0-100 km/h in 8.3 sec is fun
• Remarkably cheap fuel cost of 1 rupee / km (if you charge at home)
• Sorted road manners & solid high-speed stability due to the lower center of gravity & firmer suspension Beautiful handling package
• Smooth drive, no gears, one pedal operation, light controls & compact size make it an ideal city car
• Spacious and wide cabin with comfortable seats. Now gets a more practical 378-litre boot too
• Well-equipped with features like drive modes, sunroof, cruise control, auto headlamps & wipers
• Safety kit includes 6 airbags, disc brakes all-round, IP67 protection for motor and battery, and adjustable headrests for all 5 passengers. The XUV300 has scored 5-stars in the GNCAP!
• Low running costs & cheaper long-term maintenance (as is the case with all EVs)

Mahindra XUV400 Cons



• Launch & deliveries are still some time away (in 2023)
• Needs a charging point installed at your home parking spot. This is not doable for many people
• Lack of charging infrastructure limits long-distance / highway usability
• Long “full tank” charging times in comparison with an ICE car. Overnight charging is best
• Boring interior design feels kind of old by current standards
• Concerns over niggles in a freshly baked Mahindra EV. Our test car itself had issues!!
• A few cabin plastics & rough areas don't feel premium
• Mahindra's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble
• Missing features such as fog lamps, front parking sensors, auto-dimming IRVM, ventilated seats, wireless charging, rear AC vents, etc. Some of these are provided in the XUV300
• Will carry a price premium, like most EVs today. We expect the pricing to be in the vicinity of the Nexon EV


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

Introduction



What are the two most trending topics in the Indian automotive industry today? SUVs and Electric Vehicles. It was only a matter of time before everyone would start to put two and two together. This is Mahindra's first electric SUV, the XUV400. Now, we all know that Mahindra is not the first to introduce an electric SUV. Tata has almost 87% market share in the EV space, most of it coming from the Nexon EV which is the direct competitor for the XUV400. Higher up the price bracket, you have the MG ZS EV and that's about it. So, with the XUV400, Mahindra has to create a space for itself in the EV market, and it's not going to be easy.

Based on the same platform as the XUV300 (SsangYong X100 platform), the XUV400 packs a 39.4 kWh Li-ion battery pack that powers a 148 BHP electric motor. This translates to a claimed range of 456 km (ARAI) and a 0-100 km/h time of 8.3 seconds. Super impressive figures, but obviously there's a lot more to a car than just numbers, so let's get right to it.

Mahindra XUV400 Price & Brochure


Since the XUV400 is Mahindra's first proper modern-day electric car, they're not planning to rush things. There will be customer events in the next coming couple of months. By the end of this year, the cars will reach showrooms for more people to check out the car and take test drives. Meanwhile, Mahindra will gather market feedback to finalise different factors like variants, feature distribution and most importantly the price. Bookings will open in January next year and the prices will be announced then. Deliveries are expected to commence by the end of January. So yes, realistically we're looking at 5-6 months before we start seeing the XUV400 on the road.

Incentives



Apart from the central government's incentives, states are offering additional perks to promote the use of electric vehicles. In Maharashtra and Delhi, registration and road tax has been waived off on all EVs. Furthermore, individuals can avail of income tax benefits under section 80EEB (only applicable for vehicles registered by individuals) - click here to read a detailed article on the same.

Running Costs



Given how expensive it has become to run petrol and diesel cars, electric vehicles are looking like a Messiah with their magical number of "1 rupee per km". The Mahindra XUV400 has a battery capacity of 39.4 kWh which means that it will need ~40 units of electricity for a 100 % charge. The per-unit cost of electricity depends on the slab that you are in & your location, but on average, it’s about Rs. 8 per unit. This translates to Rs. 320 for a full charge. Mahindra claims a range of 456 km on a full charge (ARAI testing) and in the real world, if one drives conservatively, 250 - 300 km seem obtainable. Translated, you’ll be paying just Rs. 1.07 per km which is an incredibly sweet figure.

Want to know more about EVs?



Read GTO's excellent article (Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head) on the topic.


Exterior



Design & Styling



One of the biggest differences between the XUV400 & XUV300 (apart from the powertrains) is the fact that the XUV400 is no longer a sub-4m car. The platform is the same as the XUV300 (SsangYong X100), but to integrate the battery pack, Mahindra had to go back to the Tivoli dimensions. The XUV400 is now 4.2 metres long and has gained 7 mm in height and now stands at 1,634 mm. The width and wheelbase stay the same at 1,821 mm and 2,600 mm respectively both of which are class-leading numbers (better than Tata Nexon EV & MG ZS EV). The overall design with the increased dimensions feels more proportionate and composed.

To differentiate the XUV400 from the XUV300, Mahindra has made some aesthetic design changes. For starters, there's an EV-exclusive 'Infinity Blue' paint. Mahindra has chosen to add copper-coloured accents to the XUV400, the idea being that copper conducts electricity. You get a dual-tone copper roof and copper accents on the grille, bumper, and running board and the Mahindra twin peaks logo has also been finished in the copper shade.

Build Quality, Fit & Finish



Like the XUV300, the XUV400 is also well built. There's a good amount of heft to the doors and bonnet as well. The tailgate and doors shut with a reassuring thud, so the fundamentals are pretty solid. There's barely any flex if you press the door metal with your thumb. The paint quality is just average though. Despite being finished in metallic paint, it lacked the lustre and shine that we've seen on some other cars. Especially when Tata seems to have stepped up their paint game with some of the recent launches. Also, we noticed some paint imperfections (pinholes, rough panels) on some of the cars and Mahindra assured us that these were just pre-production test cars from the first batch and that the customer cars won't have any imperfections.

Wheels & Tyres



The XUV400 is offered with 16-inch alloy wheels shod with 205/65 R16 tyres. Our test car had Bridgestone Turanza tyres that offered decent grip. Thankfully not the Ecopia series which is a fuel efficiency-focused tyre. The spare was a T135/90 R16 Ceat space saver tyre. The recommended tyre pressure is the same as the XUV300 at 32 PSI.

Ground Clearance



Given the heavier battery pack, changes have been made to the suspension. While Mahindra hasn't revealed an exact number yet, it should be closer to the XUV300's ground clearance of 180 mm.

Standard & Extended Warranty



Warranty details will be revealed closer to the launch, but come what may go for the maximum coverage. This is a fresh Mahindra EV, so some niggles could crop up.

Safety



The XUV300 has a 5-star Global NCAP safety rating. And while the XUV400 hasn't been crash-tested yet, we expect it to perform similarly since it shares the same platform. Mahindra has stated that internal crash test simulations with the XUV400 were successful. The car comes with 6 airbags, ABS + EBD, all-wheel disc brakes, IP67 protection for motor and battery pack, adjustable headrests for all passengers, ISOFIX child seat anchors and reverse parking camera and sensors. Front parking sensors and front fog lamps that are offered on the W8(O) variant of the XUV300 have not been included in the XUV400. Our test car didn't have ESP & traction control and thereby no hill-start assist. We were told that the software was still in the development stages and the customer cars would have these features.

Interior



Cabin Design & Quality



On the inside, you now have an all-black colour scheme, but the design and layout have been kept the same. The styling is very functional and there's no WOW factor. It clearly feels dated and would've expected updates on this front. The quality of materials is good, but some areas just weren't finished well. Some of the edge plastics had a rough edge which is not something you expect from a car at this price. This has mostly to do with quality control and we hope that these small issues will be ironed out.

Unique & Noteworthy Features



The XUV400 has all the necessary features and in terms of basic functioning and you won't find anything to complain about. You have projector headlamps, LED DRLs, electric sunroof, 60:40 split rear seats, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, auto headlamps and auto wipers. On the flip side, you don't get front parking sensors, front fog lamps, auto-dimming IRVM, and dual-zone climate control from the XUV300. Compared to the Nexon EV, you miss out on ventilated front seats, rear AC vents, wireless charging, a cooled glovebox and a charger lock/unlock button. The 7-inch touchscreen has been carried forward and will feature connected car apps and show EV statistics among other information. The software is still being tested and wasn't installed in our test car.

Boot Space



The boot space on the XUV300 was terrible at just 257 litres. Now that the XUV400 has grown in length, it has a boot space of 378 litres which is more than the Tata Nexon (350 litres).

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th September 2022 at 16:06.
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Driving the Mahindra XUV400 EV


The Mahindra XUV400 is powered by a Permanent Magnet Synchronous (PMS) Motor producing 148 BHP and 310 Nm of torque. The claimed 0-100 km/h acceleration time is 8.3 seconds!


Before we get to the driving part, let’s get the basics right. There are 3 main components in an EV – the battery, the motor and the controller/charger. The battery is what stores the energy and the motor is what uses that energy to drive the wheels of the car (in this case, the front wheels). The controller/charger converts the energy from the battery into a usable form to power the motor. In more technical terms, the power grid from your house or a charging station is usually an AC. The lithium-ion battery can store electric energy in DC form. So while charging, there’s usually an AC/DC converter that will convert the power grid's AC into DC and store it in the car’s battery. The DC fast chargers that you see, usually have the AC/DC converter inbuilt, which is how they can charge the car’s battery faster. The controller typically sits on top of the motor.

Having driven a bunch of EVs, I should've gotten used to the silence that follows the start-up by now. But nope, the silence is still eerie and can catch you off-guard. With the foot on the brake pedal, press the start-stop button and you get a green light on the MID with a car symbol to let you know that you you're good to go. There are 3 drive modes - Fun, Fast and Fearless, and 5 transmission modes to choose from - P, R, N, D and L. The 'L' mode is not low-ratio (that was my first thought), it's 'Lively' mode which is a setting for one-pedal driving. And while the name 'Lively' is just hilarious, I have to say the mode is a clever integration. Say you're driving in D mode and you lift off the accelerator pedal, the car won't come to a complete halt, but it'll reduce its speed and crawl like a regular automatic car. In L mode, the car will come to a complete halt when your foot is off the accelerator pedal. So, instead of wasting energy in braking with the brake pedal driving, you can actually regenerate energy while driving with the accelerator pedal alone. Once you get the hang of it, this should be convenient and efficient.

The XUV400 media drive was held at the Mahindra SUV Proving Track in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. The massive facility has various sectors to simulate different road conditions and test the capabilities of a vehicle. In the city simulator track, the XUV400 was fairly pleasant to drive. The pedal response in 'Fun' mode is linear and not jerky at all. With a light foot on the accelerator, getting off the line is very smooth and you build up speed gradually. Passengers will appreciate how smooth the drive feels, without any jerks caused by gearshifts or any engine sounds. It is an incredibly refined experience.

Smash the accelerator pedal and you get an instant surge of power. This is the beauty of powerful electric motors. The car is fast and has abundant torque right from the get-go. In fact, the Mahindra XUV400's 310 Nm torque figure is the highest in the segment beating the Nexon's 250 Nm and even the ZS EV's 280 Nm. Mahindra also claims that the XUV400 has the quickest 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 8.3 seconds (MG ZS EV - 8.5 sec, Tata Nexon EV Max - ~9 sec). That is surely thanks to the high torque, but also to the way that torque is delivered at the front wheels. Launch the car from a standstill and there's no wheelspin. The initial torque is delivered cleanly and the buildup of speed is drama-free yet extremely effective. And in all honesty, flooring the A-pedal can get a bit addictive and anyone who experiences the effortless acceleration the first time becomes an instant convert.

Even at speeds, the XUV400 never feels to be short on power. This is another advantage of a powerful electric motor is that when you need to perform a quick overtake, there's no need to wait for a downshift or be in the engine's powerband. Just bury the accelerator pedal and you're off! You'll be doing silly speeds with ease and not even realise it due to the lack of drama (engine noise, gearshifts, etc). That being said, single-gear EVs don't have that higher-end punch that geared turbo-petrol cars do. Keep in mind that if you drive hard, the range drops drastically. This is also why you will see EVs that are driving long distances, stick to the middle lane and cruise at 80-100 km/h (which is the best cruising speed for the current lot of EVs).

There are 3 driving modes to choose from Fun, Fast and Fearless (After Scorpio-N's Zip, Zap and Zoom, these names don't come as a surprise). Unlike some other cars though, these drive modes aren't gimmicky. They're mapped specifically for different driving styles.

Fun Mode: The default mode. The car always restarts in this mode, no matter what mode you last drove in. It is the most economical mode to drive in when you want the maximum range. The throttle response is dumbed down, which actually results in a smoother drive in the city (less of that "torque-pull" effect). Power comes in more gradually when you ask for it. However, even in this mode, the motor does not feel dull to drive. There's enough grunt for day-to-day driving and overtaking. The steering is very light in this mode, perfect for city driving.

Fast Mode: This is more like a stepping stone to the most aggressive setting. Everything is a little sharper than the Fun mode and it is present merely to strike a balance between performance and economy. Even the steering is slightly heavier than in Fun mode. In our brief time with the car, I preferred being in the fun mode as the drive is just that much smoother.

Fearless Mode: The mode when you really want to have fun. The steering gets noticeably heavier in this mode and while 'Fun' and 'Fast' modes will keep you entertained 90% of the time, 'Fearless' mode is for the remaining 10%. The accelerator response is even sharper and the car just feels more eager to pounce. However, it can feel too peaky for city driving and also eats up the battery faster. Use "Fearless" mode when you're looking for fun on expressway runs.

The bonnet is super heavy. Lifting it takes some effort. No insulation sheet is needed under the hood:


Top speed is limited to ~ 155 km/h at which point the motor relaxes to about 50% of power:


Regenerative Braking



Unlike the Tata Nexon EV Max and the MG ZS EV, the XUV400 doesn't come with adjustable regenerative braking. This is a feature that I sorely missed as it gives a more predictive feel while driving. In the XUV400, the regenerative braking varies depending on factors like the speed that you are doing when you lift off and the drive mode that you are in.

Noise, Vibration & Harshness (NVH)



No engine, no sound, no gearshifts! The XUV400 is eerily silent on the inside as well as the outside. So, you will find yourself honking at pedestrians who're simply unaware of the car creeping up behind them. A faint whine from the motor is heard only at high revs, which is beyond 100 km/h and that too isn't intrusive. At high speeds, tyre noise and wind noise register themselves beyond 100 km/h.

Range



The ARAI claimed range for the Mahindra XUV400 is 456 km on a single charge. However, these numbers are very subjective and the real-life range solely depends on how you drive the car. 250 - 300 km should be doable IMHO. Can go lower, depending on how you use the accelerator. We await real-life reports from BHPian owners of this car.

Charging



If you look at the EV market in general, there are 3 types of batteries depending on the chemistry. The XUV400 uses a 39.4 kWh battery pack that is of the Lithium-Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt-Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2), abbreviated as NMC type. The name comes from the composition of the cathode end of the battery. There are other types as well like the Lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) which is used in the Tata Nexon and the MG ZS EV. So, what's the difference? Well, the NMC packs in the XUV400 have a higher energy density, thus more driving range. The downside is that they are made of more expensive materials and have been known to be unsustainable. Hence, some manufacturers recommend charging the NMC batteries up to 80% to avoid long-term degradation effects (Make sure you read the owner's manual for more details). In comparison, the LFP batteries are more affordable, and sustainable, and can be charged to 100%, but the downside is that they have less energy density and thereby lower driving range. So, in real-world driving conditions, the rate of discharge on the XUV400 should be slower than on the Tata Nexon EV. Since our test drive was short, we couldn't check how fast the charge dropped, so we'll see how the reports are from the BHPian owners of the XUV400.

Coming to the charging part, you get the standard CCS2 charging port. Using a 50 kW DC fast charger, you can charge the battery from 0-80% in 50 minutes. With a 7.2 kW AC charger, the battery can be charged from 0-100% in 6.5 hours. If you're travelling somewhere, you can use the portable charger in the boot to charge the car from any 15 Amp socket (the larger 3-pin sockets used for ACs and fridges), which would take about 13 hours to charge from 0-100%. And IMO, this is not a bad duration at all considering it's the most affordable option. GTO thinks a 15A charger is all that 99% of owners will need - his article on the same.

Mahindra is still in talks with third-party vendors for setting up charging stations and more details will be disclosed closer to the launch. Besides, there are plenty of charging stations popping up everywhere, which ought to reduce range anxiety. There are many apps and websites like pulseenergy.io, plugshare.com, etc. that list out all the charging stations near you. End of the day though, remember the golden rule = EVs are best charged where they are parked (either at your office or home).

The CCS type 2 charging port has been placed on the left fender:


Suspension



Ride Comfort



The XUV400 comes with MacPherson Strut suspension up front with an anti-roll bar and a twist beam rear suspension. The difference from the XUV300 is that the front 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 further fine-tunes the damping force by controlling the fluid through piston valves.

In general, it's tricky to get the right balance of ride and handling in the case of EVs based on ICE cars. So, when you talk about the XUV400, there is a hint of stiffness in the suspension. At low speeds, the ride feels a little busy with some movement in the cabin. As you gain speed though, the ride flattens out and it's a lot more comfortable. We couldn't really test the XUV400 on our usual bumps and potholes and city roads as the test track roads were well paved. We will update the post once we get the car to test the car extensively on our city roads.

Handling & Dynamics



When it came to handling and dynamics, the XUV300 was mighty impressive and the XUV400 builds up on it. For starters, the wide track and a long wheelbase give the car a large footprint. And then the additional weight of the battery pack on the floor lowers the centre of gravity. So, despite being a monocoque crossover, the XUV400 is more like a hatchback to drive. The tuning of the suspension is also just right at high speeds with the car staying flat well into triple-digit speeds. It doesn't get bouncy over bumps or road undulations either. The grip levels are good too on fast corners and the car can hold its line well. There's some body roll, but it's never excessive. Lane changes at high speeds or just going through chicanes, the car just feels very predictive with very little understeer. The grip was average from the 205/65 R16 Bridgestone Turanza tyres on our test car.

Steering



For such a balanced handling package, the steering is the only downer. You feel disconnected from the front wheels; more like a gaming arcade steering. It doesn't weigh up adequately at speeds in Fun mode, so you will have to switch to Fearless mode to have some heft in the steering wheel. It is super light at parking speeds which is good for driving around in the city.

Braking



The XUV400 comes with all-wheel disc brakes and ABS + EBD. At the time of testing, the ESP software for the XUV400 was still under development. Hence features like ESP, rollover mitigation and hill hold weren't available on our test car. What this meant was that the car would roll back while starting on an uphill section and there was a lot of wheel spin when I got back on power coming out of a sharp corner. Mahindra has confirmed that the customer cars will have all the ESP-related features.

The stopping power is adequate even when slowing the car down from high speeds. While the brake pedal travels very little before the pads start biting, it feels spongy & mushy (again, a Mahindra trait). The brakes do feel over-servoed and you'll take a couple of km to get used to their bite.

Last edited by Aditya : 15th September 2022 at 14:46.
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Mahindra XUV400 EV Exterior Images


On the design front, the XUV400 is a good-looking car. Differences from the XUV300 up front include a new bumper, sealed-off grille and the new Mahindra twin peaks logo. Mahindra has chosen to go with copper-coloured accents, the idea being that copper is a conductor of electricity. Personally, I'd have preferred something blue as we've come to associate blue with electrification:


While the rear design looks pretty much the same as the XUV300, the tailgate and the bumper are new:


The XUV400 is 200 mm longer than the XUV300 (reference image). And while the XUV300 looked like the rear was abruptly cut off, the XUV400 looks a lot more proportionate:


The XUV400 measures 4,200 mm in length, 1,821 mm in width, 1,634 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,600 mm. The wide track and the long wheelbase give the car a very planted stance:


The rear styling doesn't feel overdone and looks almost contemporary. Overall build quality is satisfactory and the car feels solid:


The headlamp clusters have been redesigned. You have halogen projectors for the low beam. Follow-me-home and lead-me-to-vehicle functions have been provided. DRLs are integrated into the headlamp cluster:


No front fog lamps (offered on XUV300). The copper accents are neatly integrated though. On the XUV300, the LED DRL extends from the headlamp towards the fog lamp (reference image):


Another omission on the XUV400 is the front parking sensors. Both the upper grille and lower grille are sealed off. The air dam is open and also houses a faux skid plate at the bottom:


Full underbody protection :


The running board plastic cladding also gets a copper accent:


Nice-looking 16-inch alloy wheels are offered as standard. They're shod with 205/65 R16 tyres:


Disc brakes have been provided at the rear as well:


Nice attention to detail - Hub caps get the copper Mahindra logo:


A look at the copper-coloured roof with the electric sunroof. Roof rails are finished in black on all body colours:


The new LED tail lamps look good. There's copper-coloured detailing on the side too:


The XUV400 gets a bigger spoiler than the XUV300. Interestingly there's a slit in the spoiler (for better airflow?). See the red pointy thing next to the HMSL? That's the rear washer, but the black coloured cover had come off on our test car:


There's no tailpipe and the tailgate gets the sole XUV400 badge on the right. Mahindra has cut down to 2 rear parking sensors instead of 4 on the XUV300 (reference image):


If you plan to get your car washed from a local shop, make sure you tell them in advance to not pressure wash the underbody:

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th September 2022 at 16:01.
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Mahindra XUV400 EV Interior Images


Interiors have been carried forward directly from the XUV300, with some alterations. For starters, you have an all-black theme with copper accents. Piano black has been used on the center fascia (climate control panel), power window switch panel and air vents. The dashboard’s styling is functional, but there is no "wow" factor and feels dated IMO. The feel and quality of materials used in most of the buttons / switches are good:


Smart leather-wrapped steering wheel has a perforated pattern, piano black inserts and thumb contours. The design is very Hyundai-like. It is sufficiently thick and feels great to hold, with adequate grip on offer. The steering-mounted controls have large buttons, which makes their operation easy. They're backlit, and you can see the buttons clearly at night, but during the day when the light is dim, it's hard to read. The hornpad isn't easy to reach for those with shorter thumbs, but is easy to press:


We hope the QC team is stricter on final production cars. This smeared paint looks awful:


The instrument cluster is simple with two physical dials and a small MID screen in the middle. The left dial shows the % of power being used and regeneration while the right dial is a speedometer. The MID screen is very basic and Mahindra should've updated this with something funkier. Even this MID screen is still undergoing development which is why we couldn't see battery percentage or range here:


Changing the drive modes also changes the background lighting of the dials and you get the notification on the MID too:


The green car symbol appears when you start the car and indicates that you can start driving now:


A look at the side AC vents with the copper accent. Also check out the dummy button panel below which in the XUV300 houses buttons to turn off the traction control, front parking sensors and the auto start-stop system. Here, all of them are blank:


The XUV400 gets a nicer design for the start/stop button compared to the XUV300 (reference image):


All-black theme continues to the doorpad as well. It's pretty functional but looks a bit boring. Some accents on the door handle could've looked nice. Mahindra has gone for basic reflectors at the bottom instead of warning lights from the XUV300 (reference image):


Good-looking buttons for the power windows and ORVMs, but as you can see when not backlit, they're hard to read. The action of the power window buttons is clicky & flimsy. They don’t feel robust either. Only the driver's window gets auto down (XUV300 gets auto up & down). The windows also have an 'extended operation' feature wherein, you can operate them for a while even after the car's engine has been switched off. Useful to catch any window that's been left open. ORVMs get the auto-folding function on lock / unlock:


Seats are draped in black and have contrast blue stitching. This seems odd as one would've expected copper accents for consistency. I'd have preferred if Mahindra had chosen to use the dark blue accents all over the car instead of copper. Seats are wide enough to suit even larger drivers. While the under-thigh and shoulder support offered is enough, lower back support is ordinary. Lumbar adjustment is missing and those with a delicate back are likely to complain. The seats have something that Mahindra calls "dual stiffness foam" in them, but I felt they could have been firmer, which would have made them more suitable for long drives. The headrests are adjustable but are on the firmer side. A convenient center armrest has been provided as well:


Under the front passenger seat, you will find the Telematics Gateway Unit or the TGU. In simple terms, a TGU is a telephonic interface between the vehicle and the cloud, essentially for the connected car features that Mahindra plans to include on the XUV400. The 'Reva' cover cracked me up:


Pedals are well-spaced and easy to operate. My shoe size is UK10 and I found the dead pedal to be comfortable:


Another omission in terms of features is the auto-dimming IRVM from the XUV300:


The centre fascia is primarily finished in piano black and gets copper accents:


The infotainment software is still under development and our test car was fitted with the same system as the XUV300:


The car's battery percentage (49% here) was indicated at the bottom though:


There are a few changes here. For starters, the XUV400 doesn't get dual-zone automatic climate control like the XUV300. In fact, this is a manual HVAC unit! Our test drive was too short to comment on the AC performance. Another change is that since you get drive modes, the button for 'Steering Modes' from the XUV300 has been conveniently swapped with 'Drive Modes'. For some reason, the rear defogger button was missing despite the rear windscreen being equipped with it:


Would've expected a wireless charging pad here by now. Also, note that the XUV400 has one less USB port than the XUV300 (reference image):


This is a nice-looking gear selector. It's simple and looks classy with a piano black finish. 'P' is a separate button (very BMW-like), and the 'L' mode lights up only when you move the gear lever out of P mode:


The gear unlock button is wide and very ergonomic too:


The glovebox doesn't get illumination or ventilation. Check out the rough top edge of the glovebox. Not expected at this price point:


An electric sunroof sure attracts a lot of customers in India:


Due to the width of the car, the rear seat can accommodate 3 average-sized adults. Larger adults are likely to find the space tight though. While the seatbase is largely flat, the seatbacks have some contours to hold you in place. All 3 rear occupants get adjustable headrests, but only the side passengers get 3-point seatbelts. The middle passenger gets a lap belt which is so not done as the XUV300 offers 3-point seatbelts for all passengers (reference image):


With the front seat in my driving position, I have about 2.5" of knee room to spare. With the front seat moved all the way back, I have barely any knee room. The seatbacks of the front seats are hard which isn't cool at all! It would've made sense if the front seats were ventilated, but that's not the case:


A look at the maximum and minimum legroom available:


Now, you get a well-sized boot. At 378 litres, the boot space is enough for a family's weekend travel:


The spare wheel is a 16-inch steel rim shod with a T135/90 R16 Ceat tyre. Note that the speed limit with this tyre is just 80 km/h:

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th September 2022 at 16:37.
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Old 11th September 2022, 16:07   #5
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th September 2022, 17:59   #6
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omkar View Post

The XUV400 uses a 39.4 kWh battery pack that is of the Lithium-Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt-Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2), abbreviated as NMC type. The name comes from the composition of the cathode end of the battery. There are other types as well like the Lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) which is used in the Tata Nexon and the MG ZS EV. So, what's the difference? Well, the NMC packs in the XUV400 have a higher energy density, thus more driving range and a longer lifecycle. The downside is that they are made of more expensive materials and have been known to be unsustainable. Hence, some manufacturers recommend charging the NMC batteries up to 80% to avoid long-term degradation effects (Make sure you read the owner's manual for more details). In comparison, the LFP batteries are more affordable, and sustainable, and can be charged to 100%, but the downside is that they have less energy density and thereby lower driving range.
NMC batteries is potentially an area of concern. It is well established that LFP batteries are more robust, better suited to high temperatures and retain their charge longer. NMC batteries are known to loose their capacity much sooner and have to be charged carefully in the interest of longevity.

LFP batteries are considered a better type of battery for automotive applications, especially for tropical countries. Despite the size and weight penalty due to the lower energy density. Really surprised that Mahindra has chosen to go down the NMC road, unlike everyone else.
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Old 11th September 2022, 18:21   #7
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

Nice interview, Omkar. Wish I could rate the review, but could not find it. Still would say, I would give 5 stars for the review.

Though I still do not understand why M&M hurried to unveil and also allowed to review XUV400, which looks like a product that is still under development. Pressure from it's sole rival (the Nexon EV)?. The glovebox , HVAC unit and the backside of front seats look out of place.

Performance seems to match the the Nexon EV by a decent margin, but Mahindra should have given adjustable/ programmed Regeneration feature based on the drive modes (Priority much?).

The black and copper combination looks good here. The other color that matches the copper color is white. Blue color should have come with dark blue/ white inserts, which would give it a more sporty/ ev blue vibe.

Hope Mahindra goes through the forum and makes the required corrections before making it accessible to buyers.

Last edited by Gautham_v6 : 11th September 2022 at 18:32. Reason: Spelling mistakes.
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Old 11th September 2022, 18:51   #8
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

Excellent review. I am waiting for an electric XUV from M&M for some time now. Looks like the market is expecting Mahindra to roll out a version ASAP so they are showcasing a WIP product. Overall look and feel are excellent. Need to be fine-tuned as you have highlighted
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Old 11th September 2022, 19:06   #9
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

Excellent review. I tried rating it 5 stars but was met with an error for some reason. This will bring some much needed competition to the electric SUV segment. However, regenerative braking levels need to be added at the earliest, as the Nexon EV already offers them. I just can't seem to decide on whether or not the copper coloured accents suit the car or not. I feel like Mahindra has missed an opportunity by not offering colours other than black for the interior, since it robs the feeling of space from it. Front parking sensors should also have been provided. A fresher dashboard design wouldn't hurt either.

Great to see frequency-selective damping in action here, it's a feature which isn't appreciated nearly enough! I'll be curious to see the final form which the infotainment system takes, since that is a major draw for buyers, especially for EVs.

Last edited by GForceEnjoyer : 11th September 2022 at 19:08.
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Old 11th September 2022, 23:20   #10
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

I love XUV300. However this might be one of the ugliest looking EV inside out. The interiors are not suitable for an EV and the exterior color combination is gaudy.

If Pratap Bose was ready to take credit for Scorpio, I wonder if he'll be willing to credit for this monstrosity.
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Old 12th September 2022, 03:32   #11
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

That amazing looking gear selector has bowled me over. And that inotainment system does the exact opposite. Its named Xuv 400 but doesn't do 400km. Superb looking seats. But has tacky window buttons that aren't backlit. And that glove box looks weird / cheap for no reason. But has a real useable boot for an ev. What a conflicted car.

Poor Xuv300/400/Tivoli in every avatar seems to get the step motherly treatment. Conflicted car with conflicted parentage...
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Old 12th September 2022, 08:05   #12
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

This looks like a half baked product from M&M, early adaptors be ready to play the role of QA testers. What's the hurry M&M? I don't understand. Prices in Jan'23 and deliveries in Dec'23? No update on price protection if booked in Jan'23.

So many missing features
  • No regenerative adjustment
  • No fog lamps
  • No wireless charger
  • Dashboard design from 90's
  • 7"inch HU looks outdated
  • Not even a lamp in glove box
  • No auto dimming IRVM
  • No rear AC vents
  • No auto AC
  • No dual zone climate control

A suggestion to Mahindra, please remove the useless sunroof and add above features in the final product please.
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Old 12th September 2022, 08:10   #13
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

Ugly looking car both interior and exterior wise. That copper accentuates the ugliness and, never thought I would say this, makes me wish it were chrome as it would look better.

Apparently, it uses Lithium-Ion battery supplied from LG Energy which was recalled in the US due to QC issues. Even Kona used the same batteries but not sure if Indian one was affected by the recall. Hopefully, the batteries supplied to Mahindra have a proper QC.

I think BYD has zoomed much ahead with their blade battery tech with Lithium Iron Phosphate. Even without the blade innovation, Lithium Iron Phosphate are much more suited for the hot Indian weather and the long life of battery tech which we expect. They offer better safety too. Hopefully more manufacturers start realizing that and bring in that tech. I realize it is probably not possible at the price range Nexon and this XUV400 would be sold at.

I guess would have to wait for BYD to bring in their cars. Maybe Atto 3 will be the answer, but it will be competing with ZS EV and Kona.
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Old 12th September 2022, 08:17   #14
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

This is a very exciting development, and good that its moving quite fast, and the timelines are well articulated.

It is another major boost to the electrification story in India, and it is a nice feeling that the domestic players are taking the lead in shaping this story.

Notably Mahindra has chosen the NiMC over the LFP. It must have been a well thought through decision, but I am still wondering about the choice. Does it offer any significant cost or other advantage over LFP?

Last edited by ajayc123 : 12th September 2022 at 08:18.
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Old 12th September 2022, 10:17   #15
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Default Re: Mahindra XUV400 EV Review

The specs for Xuv400:
39.4 kWh Li-ion battery pack powers a 148 BHP & the ARAI claimed range for the Mahindra XUV400 is 456 km.

Nexon EV MAX:
40.5 kWh battery pack powers a 141 BHP & ARAI-certified range of 437 km.

So how does XUV400 manage better range vs NEV Max?

Things that do not add up:
1. XUV is a bigger vehicle
2. Almost the same battery pack
3. More powerful engine/motor for XUV400.
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