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Old 1st January 2023, 11:30   #1
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Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

This is an initial ownership report of my powerful large Korean hatchback, a Pearl White Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-01.jpg

1. The NVH levels and refinement are excellent.
2. The engine offers quite some torque and is fun to drive.
3. Material quality is very good.
4. The car is feature rich.

1. Imperfect ergonomics: The rear seat has rather little under-thigh support; the front arm rest is intrusive.
2. The boot is not sufficient for many use cases.
3. Ingress and egress is not really easy for the elders.
4. This is a new untested engine. Reliability remains unknown.
5. The steering is lifeless.
6. Lots of cost cutting in terms of feature reductions: A useless geo-fencing feature.

The Context

I began driving in a 2009 IndigoCS petrol. In 2017, it was replaced by a 1.3-litre diesel pre-facelift S-Cross Sigma. From 2011 to 2019 I drove a WagonR Vxi too.

The less said about the IndigoCS, the better. The WagonR behaved typically. No headaches, no serious maintenance issues. The S-Cross, at five and a half years and 45,000 km, serves us well. It offers high mileage and low maintenance, it is a BS4 diesel, it is mostly easy to drive, and it is easy on the pocket too. It has just begun to show signs of ageing though. I have written about that car here (Maruti S-Cross : Official Review).

The convenience (bordering on necessity) of having two cars was very appealing. With the family concerned about safety and the appetite for more highway use and driving, a safer car was always welcome. This is the rational basis (or should I say the ostensible basis) for the decision.

In 2019, when we sold the WagonR, the plan was to replace it. I test drove the XUV300 petrol and diesel then, as well as the Nexon petrol. For various reasons, however, the decision was postponed. But my appetite remained.

The First Rendezvous

My first taste of the XUV300 was thus the test drive in 2019. At that time, I remember thinking that the ride quality seemed a little firmer than the S-Cross, but basically on every other front, it felt much nicer to drive and much better put together. The diesel engine was outstanding, but the petrol was nice too. Cabin insulation impressed me even then; the S-Cross doesn’t fare very well on this. The handling was good for its stance. The bottom half of the centre console was certainly an aesthetic failure, and the absence of a dead pedal was annoying, but I was willing to look past that.

The factors that made postponing the decision easier were: (i) the W4 variant was too barebones; (ii) the feature distribution across variants in general was not ideal; (iii) it didn’t seem value for money; and (iv) even then, there was talk about the new MStallion TGDi engine and I wanted to wait and see if that made for a better buy. However, all things considered, the postponement was a victory of mind over heart and prudence over adventure.

The Itch

Ostensible basis aside, things in my mind were very different. When I test drove the S-Cross in March 2017, I drove the IndigoCS to the showroom. In that context, the 1.3-lire diesel seemed to be rather torquey. It was like a toddler eating chocolate for the first time. I have learnt a lot more about cars and driving since. People around me (whose cars I get to drive often) drive cars which are actually powerful relative to the S-Cross: A 2012 Figo, a 2019 BS4 Harrier, a 2018 320d, a 2022 Nexon petrol AMT, etc. Unfortunately, these cars, coupled with my increasing interest in cars, team-bhp’s effects on my mind, and my increasing driving experience gave me a taste for torque which the very large good boy in me is somewhat embarrassed by.

Having driven the aforesaid 320d extensively including up the hills of Valparai (and our S-Cross down those hills on the same trip), having had more than a taste of the Figo, the Harrier, an i20 or two, and a taste of a diesel Vento, the S-Cross’ turbo lag felt larger than ever. But every time I felt like it deserved some harsh criticism, the S-Cross would redeem itself with some nifty handling or some good high-speed manners. More and more reading on team-bhp and watching of reviews and comments on cars also opened my eyes to the maintenance nightmares that newer cars can bring. As somebody from Wheels Wisdom told me, “the most important thing you need in buying a new car is luck.” In that context, we have been lucky with the S-Cross.

But, that turbo lag.

I was excited by the launches of the Kushaq and the Taigun. The pricing, particularly of the trims with the 1.5-litre TSI engine was discouraging. The spree of complaints about fuel pumps, EPC warnings, AC effectiveness, door-panel rattling, noises from the brakes, etc. exposed me to what quasi-German car ownership was like. So I prudently stayed away. I couldn’t, however, resist a test drive of the Taigun which I ended up taking around Deepavali 2022. Prudence (of which I am gifted some amount) kept pushing the decision away.

The XUV700 was a tempting option. But my use case did not justify that expenditure or size. I didn't miss out on a (rather brief) test drive of that car too in its petrol automatic guise.

The launch of the XUV300 TurboSport, therefore, came at an opportune time. On paper, ~129 bhp for ~₹5 lakh less than ~148 bhp seemed a reasonable compromise from the VW 1.5L TSI engines especially considering that in the three years since its launch, there hasn’t been too much criticism on the XUV300’s maintenance/ reliability. I was told that its diesel engine and even a few of its petrol engines did develop trouble, but I was also told in the same breath that this new engine was expected to be more reliable.

The Test Drive

I have already written about the test drive here (Mahindra unveils 130 BHP XUV300 TurboSport. EDIT: Launched at Rs. 10.35 lakh). So I won’t cover that again.

But after the test drive, for the first time, I thought I would buy the car.

The Booking

So, on the 14th of November, I booked a Pearl White (single tone) Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport in the W8(O) trim.

I didn’t need to do too much lobbying at home. I had the encouragement of the Finance Ministry (which is more than I expected) and the reluctant approval (which is as much as I can ever get for anything) from the Home Ministry.

I went to PPS Mahindra, Indiranagar to make the booking. I had to fill up an order form and a letter saying that I had filed recent income-tax returns (so that the rate of TCS could be 1% instead of 5%, apparently). I had to furnish copies of my PAN card, Aadhaar and most recent acknowledgement for filing an income-tax return.

The Allocation and the Payment

The SA was optimistic that he would have a vehicle allocated to my booking the same evening, and he actually came through on that promise. A proforma invoice reached me the next day. Over the next few days, having arranged finances, I made the payment of the full price. I chose to avail insurance myself.

The price was as follows.
Sale Price: 9,88,372
GST: 2,86,628
Ex-showroom Price: 12,75,000
TCS: 12,750
Registration (road tax, RTO fees, etc.): 2,42,356
FasTag: 400
Price Paid to Dealer: 15,30,506
Add: Insurance premium: 35,480
Add: Rear parcel tray: ₹2,200 (mud flaps, a Ganesha idol and floor mats were offered for free)
TOTAL PRICE: 15,68,186

When the car went for its first free service, the service station informed me that extended warranty was available for the fourth year at ₹9,439 and for the fourth and fifth years at approximately ₹18,000. I purchased the extended warranty for the fourth year. At the time of purchase, the dealer stated that the warranty rates were not available.

A note on financing at this stage: There is actually more than one option to take loans if you wish to buy a car – the first is the vehicle/ car loan, and the second is a loan or an OD against fixed deposit. If you have more than sufficient float of FDs to meet emergency requirements, lien-marking some portion of them to take a loan against them might be a good idea. Some merits and demerits of loans/ ODs against FDs are as follows.
  1. In most banks, there is no sanctioning process or paperwork. Many banks permit the process to be undertaken entirely online in a matter of a few minutes by simply opening an OD account.
  2. The interest rate is only one or two per cent (100 to 200 basis points) above the rate of the FD. So if you select the FD tenor carefully, you might save quite a bit of interest. This load is usually 100 basis points in public sector banks and 200 in private sector banks.
  3. The flip side of the FD tenor is that the tenor of the loan cannot be longer than the tenor of the FD. So there will be some administrative inconvenience at the time of renewal whenever the FD matures. I’m not sure how it works, but you might have to temporarily repay the OD and then reopen it again the next day. It is possible that banks have some kind of solution for this.
  4. There are no EMIs. You pay at your discretion. For those of you who trust your discipline, or don’t have a routine monthly income or operate a seasonal business, the freedom from the routine of an EMI may help. But for most salaried employees, this may be a demerit.
  5. There are no pre-payment or foreclosure charges. Private sector banks in particular are rather harsh both with charges and limits for prepayment, and charges for foreclosure.
  6. If you choose to borrow on an FD, the security is the FD itself. The vehicle is thus not hypothecated.

The Pre-delivery Inspection

In my post on the test drive referred to above, I have already described the delays and inefficiencies of PPS. The same happened with PDI, which took place 8 days after the booking. First, PPS did not permit PDI before making full payment. Second, PPS did not permit taking photographs of anything but the chassis number and engine number at the time of PDI. I didn’t really fight them for either of this though. Third, PPS promised the PDI at 3 P. M. only for the car to arrive at 5 P. M. I had already expected inefficiency and delay, so I had brought work with me and sat in the showroom and worked for an hour and a half. The other disadvantage was that PDI began when the sun was already setting on an otherwise gloomy day. They informed me that they had stopped permitting customers to undertake PDI at their yard (in Yelahanka) and thus brought the car to the showroom.

I was (and remain) very impressed by the finesse of this product. I did a PDI of a Nexon in July, 2022. That was good too, but it was a little rough around the edges (sometimes literally). For instance, I found gel-like/ wax-like adhesives for hard materials like plastic and metal having oozed out of their designated spaces to be exposed and somewhat sticky. Panel gaps were inconsistent too. Absolutely none of that with the XUV300. I didn’t expect this level of quality. I have read the team-bhp official review pointing this out, but I didn’t fully appreciate it until I looked at the car under a figurative magnifying glass.

There were only a couple of issues in the PDI.

The first was that the manufacturing week and year of the tyres were on the outer wall only on the front two tyres. On the rear tyres and the spare, they were on the inner wall. PPS assures me that the tyres are identical and can be rotated. But their SAs generally answer all questions with great confidence and no knowledge, only to give you the most palatable and appropriate answer to sufficiently evade the meat of the question. They do not attempt to answer; they only attempt to assuage.

The second was that the car had already done 74 kilometres. I would have been comfortable with ~50. But considering that the car was otherwise fine, I didn’t make too big a deal out of it. Of those 74 km, 22 were attributable to the journey from the yard to the showroom. The SA explained to me that the cars would have come by train from the plant to the yard, and that there would be some distance from the railway station to the yard which the car must have driven. This seemed reasonably plausible but he had forgotten that he had confidently told me two days earlier that the cars would come by truck. There have also been reports (Mahindra XUV700 Review) on this forum of PPS’ people at yards misusing cars.

Anyway, with some apprehension and some hope, and considering that everything seemed okay with the car otherwise, I gave the green signal and an invoice was raised on me that evening. The SA tried to get me to agree twice to invoicing before PDI. He did so gently and I gently and politely refused.

A Hiccough

The PDI was on a Monday, I secured insurance Tuesday, and the car was to be registered on Wednesday. On Wednesday, my SA calls me and informs me that due to an error on the Vahan portal/ website, all cars are now being registered with the body type as “hard top” and said that he needed my approval by email for that. He informed me that the XUV300 TurboSport was to be registered as an SUV but that all registrations were being done this way. I see an RC of a friend’s XUV300 (registered in October 2021) in which the body type is shown as “Hatch Back.” I asked him to send the email.

The dealer sent this: “Greetings from Mahindra.
As discussed with our sales Executive Mr xxx on xxx of xxx for the same issues, please find the attached screenshot for your reference, Vahaan portal has the error on body type instead of SUV it popping as HARD TOP by default, this is to keep you informed that the registration has been hold until the error gets cleared, as 2nd option we have to register the vehicle with same we required your confirmation, please make a note dealer will not be responsible to make changes once after registration done.

This resulted in some minor altercations. I first asked if this would be an issue later on in my ownership. He said no. I asked if it wasn’t an issue, why he needed my approval. He said he was only intimating me. I said if he is only intimating me, he could go ahead and register the vehicle. He said he needed me to state that I had received the intimation. I said I would do that. Then he changed track again and said he needed my approval. He reassured me that it would cause no problems later. I said if that was the case, he could have gone ahead without approval. I asked whether this was a correct statement on the RC. He said all cars are now being registered that way. I said, if his answer is yes, then he didn’t need my approval. I also pointed out to him that it would be very difficult for me to change the RC later. He said no change was required later. That brought me back to why, then, he needed my approval if there was nothing wrong and no change was required. I also pointed out that the email said that the dealer would not be responsible for changes only because changes were required. If no changes were required, I asked him to resend the mail without that line. He refused. We went around in circles little, but I was not going to budge on this, and I was ready to bat patiently until stumps.

I called a trusted advisor at Wheels Wisdom. (It is entirely beyond the call of his duty to even address these issues, by the way, but that’s just how nice WW people are.) He told me: (a) that these errors do occur; (b) that he had seen a case of a Jeep vehicle which had been registered with the wrong body type; (c) that in that case, the Jeep dealer had agreed to and in fact had undertaken the rectification of the RC subsequently; and (d) that only the dealer/ manufacturer would be in a position to undertake that subsequent rectification because the RTO apparently asks for a declaration of some sort from the manufacturer of what the vehicle’s correct body type is. Knowing the ebbs and flows of bureaucratic processes, I don’t know how much of this remains true today.

So I went to the showroom. We had to find a way to work our way up the organizational hierarchy to somebody who could take a decision on this, who understood what was at stake for him, and who could be persuaded to declare in writing that the dealer will undertake responsibility for subsequent correction. The brahmastra we used to make our way up the hierarchy was the fact that we would cancel two bookings with that dealer (somebody else known to us had made a booking too) if this condition was not met. We nearly walked out of the showroom (having never once raised our voices or acted antagonistically) having said this. The Manager asked for time until the end of the day, to which we agreed. We also asked him to let us know how long it would take to refund the full price on cancellation. But then they discussed amongst themselves and saw the seriousness of the situation. That brought out the COO of the dealership. We patiently reasoned with him and stood our ground. Finally, he agreed to the contents of the email. Typically, he made it seem like his subordinates were ill-informed and casually passed the buck, denying (I suspect falsely) that he had instructed his subordinates a particular way.

The revised email was as follows: “Due to a Changes on the Vahan portal, all cars being presently registered are showing body type as "hard top." We are thus unable to register any vehicle with any other body type such as "SUV." Since you have booked an XUV300 Turbo Sport, the body type should be "SUV." This change is beyond our control and is prevalent across dealers and manufacturers.
We request your approval to proceed with the registration with body type as "hard top." We undertake, if the RTO permits subsequent rectification of the registration certificate, to undertake that rectification for you on your behalf.

Knowing PPS’ mixed reputation across all brands including Ford, this representation might actually mean nothing. But at least we have it.

I approved registration.


Delivery was scheduled for 1500 hours on a particular day. Realising my punctuality and their own inability to be punctual, my SA changed the time to 1600. They were on time, for a change. I was there by 1545 and took a quick look at the car again to check for any major defects and to match the VIN. Everything seemed in order. My family came in a little late and we took delivery at about 1630. The SA gave me a thorough and eye-opening demo of the car. I must appreciate his competence and knowledge on this front. Also, despite dishonesty being a bit of an occupational hazard for him (which is why I don't hold it against him), he was unfailingly courteous at all points- never a raised voice or an unsavoury tone.

On the delivery, I have only two complaints. Firstly, I was promised floor mats, a rear parcel tray and mud flaps; the floor mats arrived more than two weeks after delivery. Secondly, the HSRPs were received and fitted only the day after delivery despite multiple promises that they would be available along with delivery. I suppose I was condemned to continue dealing with that dealership for a few more days.

Upon delivery, I took the car to the Shakti Ganapathi Temple on Thippasandra Main Road for a pooja. To my ignorant eye, the archakas seemed orthodox, learned, thorough and courteous. I like this temple and can’t believe I hadn’t been there before.

A Disappointment

I purchased a Mahindra car being aware of their poor service record in the confidence that I would be supported by Wheels Wisdom. Unfortunately, only after taking delivery did I learn that WW had stopped offering their services for cars within the warranty period. I checked with customer care through their website and was informed that the reason to stop was complications in on-ground travel logistics. Again, I suppose I am condemned to deal with Mahindra service for a few years.

Niggles & Other Disappointments

In my first six weeks of driving, there have been no major niggles. There are some things that don’t work very well though.
  1. The idling start-stop system seems to stop perfectly fine. But it does not thereafter start unless the gear lever is in neutral, even if the clutch is fully depressed. It takes a second or so for it to wake up and start. So if you fully depress the clutch and shift out of neutral on your way to first, even if the lever hasn’t slotted in first, the car gets into some kind of limbo between start and stop where the car vibrates like it is cranking/ stalling, but keeps doing so without actually starting or stopping. The battery light stays on and flickers a little in this process. This settles down when I press the actual start button upon which the vehicle turns completely off. I can then turn it on normally. If you have depressed the clutch and fully shifted to first before the car can start, it won’t start. I’m not sure that this is a niggle. The only disadvantage with this is that when I switch it off the infotainment system turns off, and you’ll have to start navigating on Google Maps through Apple CarPlay afresh if you need it. The easy workaround is to simply consciously wait for the car to start before shifting out of neutral.
  2. Apple CarPlay mostly works fine, but it does abruptly disconnect when faced with more than one task at a time - say Google Maps navigation and a video playing (of course, only the audio gets through Apple CarPlay).
  3. On a couple of occasions, the touchscreen infotainment system itself has fully turned off even when the car was in motion. Re-starting the car solves that problem.
  4. Then there is the annoyance of the radio being automatically on when the car starts. This has been noted on the XUV300 official review thread on this forum and BHPian Eco_Driven has offered a solution here (Mahindra XUV300 : Official Review). The solution is to hold the power button of the infotainment system until it turns off, and then turn off the car. When you re-start the car, the infotainment system remains off. I can confirm that this works.
  5. The W8 (Optional) variant is advertised as having geo-fencing and speed fencing. It does, but shockingly, only when the phone with the Bluesense app is connected to the car by Bluetooth. Therefore, these features are useless. The service station informed me on the first service that “Kotak,” apparently the people who create/ deal with the infotainment systems, informed them that the true geo-fencing and other such features are available when not connected to Bluetooth only with the AMT variants. The TurboSport does not have an AMT variant at all.

I have received about three phone calls from (apparently) scamsters who knew I had purchased a Mahindra car, offering me free holidays and movie tickets. They begin conversations saying that they are from some hotel or the other, and on some questioning, betray that they have only set up camp at the hotel (which too might not be true). They never disclose the name of their organisations and don’t respond to requests to send an email from their official email ID. A bona fide person would have, at the very least, asked for my email ID if they didn’t already have it.

The Engine, the Clutch and the Gearbox

There is no doubt that this is a peppy engine. Until about 1,500 rpm, there is turbo lag. As I have pointed out in my review of the test drive, this turbo lag doesn’t feel annoying. {This is particularly because the other car I drive is the 1.3L MJD S-Cross which has considerably less torque before the turbo kicks in.} The turbo does come in at 1,500, but you can only properly feel the car pull forward at 1,700 or so. You will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of torque in the low range, notwithstanding the lag. You won’t need to shift down for sudden acceleration as much as you’d think. From 1,700, it revs cleanly until at least 3,500 rpm. Once the turbo is working, power delivery is linear and smooth. It won’t surprise you except in good ways. Because of the quietness of the engine and the high levels of refinement in general, I find myself looking at the tachometer often to shift up on time. I have caught myself past 3,000 rpm on occasion because I couldn’t hear how high the engine was revving. To be fair, the engine doesn’t feel stressed even at 3,000-3,500 rpm. At that level, it doesn’t sound too bad either. On the instrument cluster, the MID recommends shifting up at roughly 2,250 rpm, and, under normal circumstances, I have mostly been shifting up between 2,250 and 2,500 rpm. There is enough torque between 1,700 and 2,500 for you to address most situations including a somewhat quick overtake on a highway. You won’t need to push it further than that except on the rare occasion or simply for the fun of it. The engine is comfortable at highway speeds. 100 kmph is roughly 2,200 rpm on the 6th gear while 120 kmph, I presume, is about 2,500 rpm.

The engine’s idling behaviour is interesting. On a cold start, it idles at above 1,000 rpm for what I guess must be 30 seconds before settling down to its normal idling level, which is roughly 600 rpm. This is so low that you can feel vibrations because the engine is barely staying alive. I suppose this is a fuel efficiency hack from Mahindra.

The car will pull from 800 rpm at low speeds, although it is mostly comfortable only above 1,000 rpm.

The clutch, though light, has a long travel after its biting point. This has no real effect on driving per se, but makes it hard to find a comfortable seating position. This is attributable mostly to the fact that your left and right legs need to be at different distances from the pedals for comfort because of the strange position of the biting point. If you have to position yourself to depress the clutch pedal fully, when you don’t have your foot on the pedal, you have to bend your foot upwards at the ankle more than you’d like. With your feet off all three pedals, the clutch pedal is actually noticeably closer to the driver than the brake pedal. Beyond the annoyance of it, this doesn’t seem to be causing any difficulty.

It is harder to find the half-clutch position on this car than it is on the S-Cross. There isn’t as much of a sense of assuredness and security on slopes. The hill start assist does help, although it doesn’t seem to work all the time. I have yet to understand the preconditions/ triggers for it to work.

The gearbox is easy enough to deal with. It is slightly notchy though. Shifting from first to second and back is not smooth. The gear ratios are mostly good except for first and second on which there is room for improvement. The lowest comfortable point in the second gear is at a materially higher level than the highest comfortable point in the first gear. This makes crawling in slow city traffic inconvenient at times. On a related point, at low engine speeds, throttle inputs produce sprightly/ uncomfortable results. When you’re already on part throttle, giving it more throttle is a very smooth experience. But when you’re going on and off the throttle in slow traffic, the engine tends to cough up power in jerks. That is a little unsettling/ disorienting for the driver. I’m sure it isn’t the most comfortable for the passengers either. So, at low speeds, in first or second gear, manipulating the clutch and the gearbox, though not physically difficult, can be troublesome because of the somewhat jerky results. I wonder if this is just a small-capacity petrol engine thing. Despite all this, it isn't a trouble at all to drive it around the city.

Fuel Efficiency

Without going into things in too much detail considering that it is still early days, in thick city traffic with regulated use of the idling start-stop function, you will be able to extract 10 kmpl. On the highways, if you cruise at triple digit speeds, I presume you will get around 12 kmpl. But if you cruise at 70-80, a much higher figure is certainly achievable.

The Ride and the Handling

The ride is firm. It isn’t firmer than you’d like, but you will sometimes wonder if it could have been softer. The handling is good enough. When viewed in the context of the handling and the dimensions of the car, you realise that Mahindra (or should I say SsangYong) have really nailed the ride-handling balance. This is a reasonably heavy car, but it is also, like most cars in its segment, tall. Unlike the S-Cross, which has a lower stance and considerably less trouble around curves, there is a little body roll in the XUV300. That body roll is contained within acceptable levels thanks to the firm ride. There is nothing much else to report on the suspension. However, on the first few speed breakers after a cold start, the front suspension (presumably the dampers) can be heard sliding/ rubbing in and out. After a couple of such events each morning, it turns silent. In sum, the ride is firmer than the Nexon, the handling is better than the Nexon, the ride is softer than the EcoSport, the handling is not as good as the EcoSport.

The Steering

The real fly in the ointment in this car, and the fact that confirms its Korean DNA, is the steering. It is mostly free of feel and feedback. At high speeds, it sometimes gives you a suggestion that it may offer you something, but then it disappoints. Unlike some other Koreans though, the steering does weigh up nicely at high speeds. However, this weight is artificial and is not accompanied by feel or feedback. This weight also seems to come suddenly at a particular speed and not build progressively with speed. The steering modes (comfort, normal and sport) might be a gimmick, but I find them useful. They actually make a difference. I use normal by default. I might use comfort in particularly slow traffic or on narrow lanes on a tired day. When driving around the city in normal, I always thought I would need sport on the highways. But then with the added weight at highway speeds, sport becomes a touch too heavy, so I end up using normal most often on the highways too. I think, however, this is mostly personal preference. I think different people will react to this differently and that all modes have their uses. For me too, it is still early days with the car, and I can’t rule out the possibility that my preferences will change. But there is, sadly, next to no connection with the road.

Noise, Vibration & Harshness

I can’t praise this car’s NVH levels enough. I have discussed the engine’s refinement. But outside ambient noise, road noise, etc. are well masked too. Noise from the wind is material from about 90 kmph. I presume it becomes intrusive at about 110 kmph. In its segment, the insulation is still really good. The stock tyres (MRF Wanderers Ecotred) are somewhat noisy. At idling RPMs, you will feel vibrations on the gear lever. If you don't depress the clutch absolutely fully (well past the perceived biting point), you will feel a brief vibration on the gear lever in the course of the shift. There are some mild vibrations on the gear lever when you are on the throttle and at an engine speed before the turbo has kicked in.

There was, occasionally, some mild rattling from within the middle of the dashboard. But it seems to have sorted itself out and disappeared. These tiny issues don’t really bother me. As I’ve noted, the product has a lot of finesse overall and I am inclined to forgive these things.

First Free Service

I had a good fuss-free experience with PPS Motors’ Service Station for the first free service. As noted above, I purchased extended warranty for the fourth year at this point. While they offer free pickup and drop, I chose to visit the service station myself.

Exterior Images

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The characteristic tail lights on the periphery with the horizontal brake lights in two parts on top, and the reverse light on the inside half at the bottom. In the darker picture, the black spot is where the indicator is.

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The red trim badging is a signature of the TurboSport trims of the XUV300. The font makes it very hard to distinguish between the 6 and the 8 on the W6 and W8 trims. This is a problem across all XUV300s. I quite like the deep metallic red trim badging in the TurboSport versions.

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Another characteristic of the TurboSport variants, the TGDi insignia. (All photos are courtesy an enthusiastic cousin.)

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The red bits on the front are another TurboSport specialty.

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The new “twin peaks” Mahindra logo on the serious-looking front grill.

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Just the DRLs.

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The DRLs with the low beam and fog lamps on. While the throw of the head lights (both high beam and low beam) is good, the intensity is just about sufficient.

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The DRLs with the high beams and fog lamps on.

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The headlight cluster.

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Some nice character lines on the bonnet and the sides.

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The car is wider on the back than it is on the front. This can take some getting used to.

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The abruptly cut off rear because of the adaptation from the Tivoli is obvious.

Interior Images and Comments

The ergonomics are acceptable, but could have been much better. A major complaint is the front arm rest. For me, at anything other than the highest position of the driver’s seat, the arm rest makes it very inconvenient to be in any of the even numbered gears. That plus the position of the biting point of clutch means that any comfortable driving position is a compromise. Storage spaces are sufficient. Head room at the back is sufficient for most normal-sized Indian adults. The rear seats are wide and will seat 3. But it will become cramped on a long drive. You probably can’t do a long drive with five people in the car anyway because of the lack of boot space. The rear arm rest has two cup holders and is well positioned. There are no rear AC vents, 12V sockets or USB points for the rear seats. The AC, nevertheless, is effective.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-17.jpg

The driver’s seat has height adjustment. Here it is at its lowest position. Note the black leatherette seats and the all black interior, another specialty of the TurboSport variant.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-18.jpg

Here is the driver’s seat at its highest position with the gear in second gear. The distance between the gear lever and the arm rest is too short and their relative heights make things inconvenient too.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-19.jpg

Look at the awkward position of the left wrist. For reference, the person in the picture is a smidge under 5 feet and 9 inches tall.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-20.jpg

There is enough storage space. Each door will accommodate a one-litre bottle and another smaller bottle in addition to the longer storage space for papers, pieces of cloth, etc.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-21.jpg

Even from the picture, you can see that the clutch is a little further forward towards the driver than the other two pedals. The “sporty” pedals don’t make a substantial difference. But shoes with particular kinds of patterns on the soles can get stuck briefly on the rubber bits on the pedal. Sliding your foot up and down the pedal is only possible with the right kind of sole.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-22.jpg

The fit and finish and the quality of the buttons and material in general inside the cabin is mostly very good. The mirrors have auto-fold. You can set them to open up when you start the engine and fold when you lock the car. The driver’s window gets auto up and down functions.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-23.jpg

Traction control can be turned on and off. There is a head-light leveller. The idling start-stop system is annoying at times, but I like to use it in really crowded traffic. The beeping from the front parking sensors can be turned off using the bottom right button in this image. The MID will, nevertheless, show visuals of obstructions with lines. While the cabin mostly has hard plastics, they are of a good quality and don’t feel low rent.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-25.jpg Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-24.jpg

Cruise control settings and voice command button are on the right side of the steering wheel. The steering wheel offers good grip both in terms of friction on the surface and in terms of ridges/ patterns for the fingers. The voice command function only accesses the infotainment system’s native voice functions, but not Siri on Apple CarPlay. (Or maybe I just haven't figured that out yet.)

Media and phone controls are on the left side of the steering wheel. The wiper stalk in the background has two knobs/ switches. One controlling the rear wiper and washer and another controlling the front wipers. The car comes equipped with rain-sensing wipers which I find to be very accurate and useful. The intermediate setting doesn't let you adjust the time-interval between two sweeps, but on automatic mode, it does so itself. There is a button at the end of the wiper stalk which, if pressed, will automatically wash and wipe the front windshield with two rounds from the water jet interspersed with the wiper. The car comes equipped with a rear wiper and washer too. The rear washer takes a few seconds to spray washer fluid but the wiper is engaged before the washer before the fluid actually flows.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-26.jpg

The right-side stalk is for the headlight (outer knob) and the fog lights (inner knob) and the indicators. The inner knob provides for the rear fog light, but the car doesn’t come equipped with them so if you try to push the knob up, it springs back down.

Last edited by naadopaasaka : 3rd January 2023 at 20:48.
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Old 1st January 2023, 18:36   #2
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport - Initial Ownership Report

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-27.jpg

The MID shows the door open indicator, including for the boot lid, and shows which particular door/ boot lid is open. This is in addition to a red indicator outside the MID on the instrument cluster.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-28.jpg

There is a distance-to-empty indicator which is accompanied by an instant fuel efficiency gauge and an average fuel efficiency indicator. There is a gear indicator which also tells you when you should shift up or down.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-29.jpg
Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-30.jpg
There are tyre pressure and temperature monitoring systems. (Active TPMS, fortunately.) The spare tyre’s indicator will show up on the screen only if it falls below 27 psi. The pressure of tyres, if low, is highlighted. This is in addition to a yellow indicator outside the MID on the instrument cluster.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-31.jpg

There are two trip meters and a digital speedometer.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-32.jpg

There are two USB ports (one to connect to the infotainment system and another for fast charging) in addition to the only 12V socket in the car.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-35.jpg

On the far left amongst the horizontal switches is the light for the rear defogger. Next to it is an indicator to show whether the front passenger airbag is off. The switch for the front passenger airbag is a rotary dial on the left side of the dashboard. The vacant space next to that airbag indicator is where the rear seatbelt warning lights used to be. On the right of the hazard light swtich are the controls for the MID and the steering modes.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-34.jpg

Ergonomically, the gear lever is higher than I’d like.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-36.jpg

The two cup holders are practical but won’t hold one-litre bottles.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-37.jpg

The arm rest has deep but narrow storage space underneath it, at the base of which is fabric lining which is a nice touch.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-38.jpg

The start-stop button feels nice to use. The orange light in the picture turns green when you depress the clutch, indicating that you can then start the engine.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-39.jpg

There is a convenient storage space above the glove compartment on the front left of the dashboard for wallets and phones.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-40.jpg

The glove-box is very deep, lighted and cooled.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-41.jpg

There is a vanity mirror on the front left sunshade. The light comes on when the vanity mirror is opened.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-42.jpg

There is a sunglass holder, along with the controls for the sunroof and two reading lamps. These reading lamps can be turned on separately, and can also be set to work with the doors.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-43.jpg
Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-44.jpg
The sunroof is a feature I don’t care for. But it works fine and is smooth. I have never used it. In these pictures, it is only partially open.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-45.jpg

The mic for voice commands is in front of the driver’s side sun shade and is very effective.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-46.jpg

The car comes equipped with an auto-dimming IRVM.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-47.jpg
Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-48.jpg
Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-49.jpg
The boot floor can be set at two levels. The lower level offers more space, and the higher level offers a smaller loading lip.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-50.jpg
The rear bench is not deep enough, leaving passengers asking for more under-thigh support.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-51.jpg
Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-52.jpg
The left seat is at its farthest forward position while the right seat is at pushed all the way back. Again, the person in the image is a smidge below 5 feet and 9 inches tall.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-53.jpg

There are lights in the cabin behind the sunroof too.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-54.jpg

The car is equipped with 6 airbags and a host of other safety features.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-55.jpg

Head room is sufficient for all average-sized Indian adults. The cabin is wide enough to accommodate three in the back seat.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-56.jpg

The rear seats fold in a 60-40 configuration.

Last edited by naadopaasaka : 3rd January 2023 at 20:56.
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Old 1st January 2023, 18:39   #3
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport - Initial Ownership Report

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-57.jpg

The rear-parking camera is placed snugly below the Mahindra logo. Apologies for the out-of-focus photo.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-58.jpg
Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-59.jpg
The rear-washer is nicely integrated too.

Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review-60.jpg

The roof rails seem functional, but there is a sun roof.

At the time of writing this paragraph, I have done about 1,900 kilometres in a little over a month. (That is, of course, a somewhat high number not representative of my actual use patterns.) I am experiencing no particular remorse with the car. I thoroughly enjoy driving it and am pleased with it. But with modern cars' depreciating (pun intended) reliability and Mahindra's reputation, I look to the future with enthusiasm that is tempered with circumspection. For the present, I am having fun.

Last edited by naadopaasaka : 3rd January 2023 at 21:00.
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Old 4th January 2023, 05:09   #4
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re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th January 2023, 10:33   #5
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

Great review, many thanks for sharing a report of the latest enthusiast machine on the block! It's on the top spot of our homepage today . The XUV300 doesn't get the same attention as Mahindra's bigger SUVs like the XUV700, Scorpio-N or Thar, yet it is one heck of a crossover. I found it to be quite premium and frequently refer to it as a "Mini-Creta". Great engine, lovely interiors, sorted suspension...and the market amply rewards it. Many will be surprised to know that the XUV300 is a consistent ~5000 units / month seller. In fact, for 4 of the last 5 months, it has been at the 6000 units / month level. The XUV300 is a major success story and one that could be even stronger if Mahindra gave it smooth & proper Automatic gearboxes.

Wishing you many fun road-trips & smiles in your fast crossover .

Last edited by GTO : 4th January 2023 at 10:35.
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Old 4th January 2023, 11:19   #6
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

Congratulations on this sweet turbo machine! XUV3OO is an extremely potent machine on sale today coupled with your great review. In fact, Nexon scores a bit less on engine refinement and as a package as well against the 3OO.

I've driven a 3OO petrol AMT of a friend. Car amazed me with it's refinement and I felt quite happy driving the car at respectable speeds throughout. It doesn't make you feel like the engine is stressed at any point in time. Mahindra surely has come a long-long way in terms of their overall execution levels.

3OO deserves a bit more love from Mahindra for sure. If this car gets a 7OO's 50% love and treatment from it's maker, it'll further make the competition sweat more.

I'm sure this new engine must be a cracker of a motor. Perhaps look at giving it a nice pair of alloy and a good set of tires to complement the overall package

Wishing you lakhs and lakhs of kms with your steed!

Last edited by gururajrv : 4th January 2023 at 11:20.
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Old 4th January 2023, 14:19   #7
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

Thanks for writing such a nice and detailed review!

The XUV300 is a massively underrated car and except for its small boot space, there is literally nothing to fault the car for.

The car is an excellent road companion for a family of 2, even on long trips as the boot is just about sufficient for 2 people on a 2 weeks trip. And with a roomy cabin, it is great to carry friends/family around town when they visit. This was our perfect usecase and we bought the car.

We recently did a 2500km trip during the last week of Mumbai and the car was excellent! For ~150km I drove my brother-in-law's Innova as well on the Mumbai-Pune expressway and couldn't ignore the fact that my XUV300 felt far superior driving on the same road. Not a fair comparison, but it is what I felt.

Congratulations on your purchase and wishing you many happy miles.
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Old 4th January 2023, 17:58   #8
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

Nice detailed write up!

Not to nitpick but you mentioned “initial ownership report of my powerful large Korean hatchback”, is this a typo or there is some Korean connection with this Mahindra car that I might be missing? Just curious to know.
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Old 4th January 2023, 20:36   #9
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Great review, many thanks for sharing a report of the latest enthusiast machine on the block! It's on the top spot of our homepage today .


Wishing you many fun road-trips & smiles in your fast crossover .
Thank you for the kind words and for putting it on the homepage! I'm just so happy that I am finally able to offer something to the community from which I have learnt and continue to learn so much.

Originally Posted by gururajrv View Post
Congratulations on this sweet turbo machine! XUV3OO is an extremely potent machine on sale today coupled with your great review.

3OO deserves a bit more love from Mahindra for sure. If this car gets a 7OO's 50% love and treatment from it's maker, it'll further make the competition sweat more.

I'm sure this new engine must be a cracker of a motor. Perhaps look at giving it a nice pair of alloy and a good set of tires to complement the overall package

Wishing you lakhs and lakhs of kms with your steed!
Thanks for all your wishes. I hope Mahindra and I can prove the long-term reliability of this vehicle and its freshly minted engine. I think Mahindra could gain by directly addressing the criticisms against the car in its marketing. The boot, for instance, is absolutely not as small as it is made out to be. Again, it isn't big, but it isn't cramped either. As to the alloys and other mods, maybe in due course.

Originally Posted by krishnakumar View Post
Thanks for writing such a nice and detailed review!

Congratulations on your purchase and wishing you many happy miles.
Thank you for your kind words. I agree with most of what you've said. I love that people on this forum thank others for detailed write-ups in a world in which brevity often thrives at the cost of substance.

Originally Posted by SinghShu View Post
Nice detailed write up!

Not to nitpick but you mentioned “initial ownership report of my powerful large Korean hatchback”, is this a typo or there is some Korean connection with this Mahindra car that I might be missing? Just curious to know.
Thanks. The XUV300 is the SsangYong Tivoli with a bit of its rear chopped off to attract a lower tax rate in India. So it is mostly Korean.
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Old 4th January 2023, 23:02   #10
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

Congrats for the new car

This engine was slated to make its way into the EcoSport as well but sadly it was discontinued before that could happen.

Wish you many happy miles
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Old 5th January 2023, 12:02   #11
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

Exceptional, unbiased & detailed ownership reviews of cars have started going to our homepage reviews box. It's the ultimate stamp of trust from Team-BHP (as a platform) because lakhs of visitors every month check out reviews from there & make purchase decisions.

Your review has also been included here. Thank you so much for sharing .

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Old 5th January 2023, 18:41   #12
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Your review has also been included here. Thank you so much for sharing .
Honoured. Thanks. Happy to contribute to this wonderful community.
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Old 5th January 2023, 20:01   #13
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

I purchased the XUV300 just a year ago. The power and performance on this one is even better. I wish I waited for a year and bought this one instead. I also love the new logo, the dark non-chrome grill, and red inserts.

The only place where the older one seems better is with the 215 tyres and the alloys design. If you just change them, it will go well with the overall personality of the car. is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 25th January 2023, 12:22   #14
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Re: Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport | Ownership Review

I purchased my XUV300 Turbosport on 23-Jan-23. The same mono-tone Pearl White W8(O) from India Garage. A Dec-22 manufactured vehicle (I guess). One sign of cost cutting from the Oct-22 vehicles is already seen. The 'NAVI' button next to the volume knob is gone. There's no more built-in navigation based on MapMyIndia. Only source is the wired Android Auto / Apple Car play.

The button now reads 'INFO' and is a short cut to the car info screen that shows fuel economy and trip logs. I asked if a previous version of the firmware could be loaded with the onboard navigation, but they said no (quite expected).

Hopefully that's the only feature cut out. The torque is surely addictive ❤️. Will write more in the coming days.

XUV300 seems to be the only car in the Indian market to keep cutting out features and bumping up the price
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Last edited by subramanyam84 : 25th January 2023 at 12:30.
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