Mahindra XUV700 vs Tata Safari vs Toyota Innova Crysta

If I wanted a 3-row SUV in the segment, most definitely the Mahindra XUV700 for me. For what it offers, it has been superbly priced.

BHPian Aditya recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Mahindra XUV700

What you'll like:

  • Handsome styling matched to solid build quality. Has street presence, feels robust
  • Very spacious interior with comfy seats and sorted ergonomics. 6-footer passengers welcome!
  • 182 BHP turbo-diesel & 197 BHP turbo-petrol make for a potent line-up
  • Smooth 6-speed torque converter. Automatics available with both engines
  • Sorted suspension with good road manners & high-speed stability
  • AWD available for the adventurous, unlike most FWD crossovers in the segment
  • Loaded with features like radar-based driver assistance system, pop-out door handles, panoramic sunroof, driver memory seat, 360-degree camera, 10.25" infotainment & instrument cluster etc.
  • 12-speaker Sony audio system is fantastic! You'll enjoy its sound quality
  • Safety features include 7 airbags, ESP, all-wheel disc brakes, hill hold, hill descent control, driver drowsiness detection, TPMS, ISOFIX...

What you won't:

  • Negligible boot space with the 3rd-row seat up. Either 5 onboard, or 7 with a roof-top carrier
  • Cramped 3rd-row seat is best suited to children only. A sliding middle row is sorely missed
  • Petrol AT is thirsty due to its hefty weight, 197 BHP & torque-converter AT
  • Some cabin plastics & a few rough areas don't feel premium in an otherwise loaded SUV
  • Missing features such as an auto-dimming IRVM, ventilated seats, paddle shifters, full-size spare wheel, ambient lighting, rear sunblinds...
  • Concerns over niggles & bugs in a freshly baked, complex Mahindra. We saw 2!
  • Mahindra's after-sales service is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble
  • AWD is available just with the Diesel AT, and not the MT or petrol motor

Link to Review

Tata Safari

What you'll like:

  • The iconic brand “Safari” is back! We agree with using the legendary nameplate for this car
  • Stunning looks & strong road presence. Solid build too
  • Classy, spacious cabin with comfortable seats & a chilling air-con
  • Extra 3rd row of seats brings lots more practicality & utility
  • Superb captain chairs available as an option for the middle row (top variant only)
  • Extras over the Harrier include rear disc brakes, TPMS, e-parking brake, auto-hold, boss mode…
  • Fantastic 9-speaker audio system. Sound quality & bass are enjoyable
  • 168 BHP 2.0L diesel offers good driveability and a punchy mid-range
  • Smooth & competent 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Sufficient ground clearance + terrain response system for rough and wet roads
  • Topnotch safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP, rest break reminder, hill hold, brake disc wiping & more
  • Features such as the panoramic sunroof, Eco & Sport modes, auto headlamps & wipers, cruise control…

What you won't:

  • Heavy steering gets cumbersome at parking / u-turn / crawling speeds (<5 km/h)
  • 3rd-row access is too difficult in the captain seat variant
  • Negligible boot space with all the seats up - a paltry 73 liters
  • Safari AT’s focus is on smoothness & comfort; gearbox is not the most responsive
  • Concerns over niggles & long-term reliability. Our test car had a problem too!
  • Service visit every 6 months / 7,500 km (12-months is the norm today)
  • Diesel engine does get loud above 3,500 rpm & its engine note is quite sad too
  • No petrol option (almost all competitors offer it). No AWD for enthusiasts either
  • Although improved, the Safari's steering @ 120 km/h is still a level too sensitive
  • Tata's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble
  • By 2021 standards, we’d expect wireless charging + front / 360 camera + ventilated seats
  • We don’t agree with the excessive chrome (outside), impractical white interiors & 18” rims (bit firmer ride)

Link to Review

Toyota Innova Crysta

What you'll like:

  • Indestructible build & durability. The Innova is known for its bullet-proof reliability
  • Spacious, flexible & practical cabin. An extremely comfortable long-distance commuter
  • Upmarket interiors. The ZX AT variant is very plush
  • Powerful diesel engines with user-selectable driving modes
  • Balanced suspension & road manners. High-speed stability is rock solid
  • Top-notch safety kit. 7 airbags, ABS, ESP, TC, Isofix & 3-point seatbelts for all
  • Feature packed! Leather seats, LED headlamps, mood lighting, cruise control & lots more
  • Toyota's excellent after-sales service and fuss-free ownership experiences

What you won't:

  • Hefty price tag! 3 - 4 lakh higher than the competition
  • Top ZX variant is unavailable with a middle-row bench seat (8-seater)
  • Lower variant's interior looks too basic
  • 2.4's NVH package still has holes to fill (engine clatter, dancing gear lever)
  • Heavy steering at parking / low speeds. Can get cumbersome in the city
  • Poor sound quality from the ICE. Cheap speakers beg for an upgrade

Link to Review

Hyundai Alcazar

What you’ll like:

  • A 3-row family car that's well-built inside out
  • User-friendly interiors look really good (brown shade is awesome) and have quality parts
  • 2.0L NA petrol & 6-speed AT deliver a very smooth and refined driving experience
  • Economical 1.5L diesel is available in MT & AT variants. Offers good driveability
  • Comfortable ride quality with neutral road manners
  • Unladen ground clearance of 200 mm is perfect for Indian roads
  • The Alcazar's safety package includes 6 airbags, ESP, all-wheel disc brakes, auto-hold, TPMS etc.
  • Impressive kit (fully digital instruments, 360-degree camera, 2nd-row wireless charger, panoramic sunroof, paddle shifters, Bose sound system, cooled seats & loads more)
  • Hyundai's competent after-sales service & wide dealer network

What you won’t:

  • Oddball love-it-or-hate-it face. We find the Alcazar's front design to be weird & overdone
  • 2nd-row legroom is mediocre (captain seat variant). Compromises have been made to accommodate the 3rd-row & boot
  • 3rd-row seat is best suited to kids only. Not really a place for adults
  • Rs. ~3 lakh OTR premium over the Creta on the higher variants is too much!
  • Nothing for enthusiasts here. The 2.0 AT is tuned very conservatively
  • Diesel’s 113 BHP & 250 Nm – although adequate – are the lowest in the segment
  • The Creta 1.4L DCT is a lot, lot more fun to drive
  • Competitors like the Tata Safari, MG Hector Plus & XUV500 offer way more spacious cabins
  • Some misses (no petrol AT 7-seater variant, auto wipers, illuminated window buttons, full-size spare tyre on top trims etc.)

Link to Review

MG Hector Plus

What you'll like:

  • Big size & lots of bling for the money! We find the Hector to be well-priced
  • A spacious cabin that can easily seat 5 adults. Massive 587-litre boot too
  • Fiat-sourced 2.0L diesel is simply fantastic
  • Compliant ride quality. Suspension is tuned for comfort
  • Lots of kit (panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, electric seats & tailgate etc.)
  • ‘Connected’ Tablet ICE with an embedded SIM & lovely sound quality
  • 5-year / unlimited km warranty with roadside assistance
  • Top safety equipment includes 6 airbags, ESP, HSA, all-wheel disc brakes, TPMS & more

What you won't:

  • Awkward styling on the side & rear profiles. Looks weird from some angles
  • Sloppy high-speed handling, noticeable body roll & easy understeer
  • The petrol engine is “adequate” at best. Its guzzling Automatic variant is unimpressive
  • No Diesel AT (Alcazar, XUV500, Safari offer this combination, which we love)
  • Some annoyances like the ~ 6-meter turning radius, strange rpm meter…
  • Small after-sales network. Service quality & long-term reliability are big unknowns
  • Don’t get blinded by the British branding. This is a Chinese car

Link to Review

Here's what GTO had to say about the matter:

If I wanted a 3-row SUV in the segment, most definitely the XUV700 for me. Mahindra has hit it out of the park with the car. I don't care for the ADAS (didn't even use it in the mighty S-Class), but I love the styling, powerful engines, nice ATs, space, features etc. For what it offers, I consider the XUV700 to be superbly priced as well.

Mahindra has done an "XUV500" with the XUV700. The new car has created the same hype & euphoria that the original did exactly 10 years ago.

If I needed a chauffeur-driven workhorse for the family, I'd pick the Innova Crysta with captain seats.

Here's what BHPian abhishek46 had to say about the matter:

Voted for the Toyota.

The reasons are:

  • 'Proven' & Abuse-friendly Engine & Mechanicals.
  • Very Good Service Experiences.
  • Spacious Interior along with the best 3rd row (as per my assessment).

The Tata Safari is the most 'macho' & desirable, however, it is well-known that it still has some niggles.

One year down the line, when Tata irons out all the niggles, this could be a top choice.

The XUV700 is yet to be officially delivered, to even a single customer.

No one knows how it will fare, in real-world usage, from a reliability point of view.

The Alcazar with its 1.5L Diesel & lack-lustre space management does not even stand a chance.

Here's what BHPian Shreyas Agarwal had to say about the matter:

Voted for the Toyota Innova Crysta.

It was a pretty tough choice between the XUV700 and the Innova.

XUV700 offers much more features, a more powerful engine and a more refined experience overall at a much cheaper price tag, in comparison. It's very easy to see why it's coming out far ahead in this poll.

But when I look at the XUV700 and Innova from a practical standpoint, I see more value in the Innova. Here's why:

  • You get way better boot space with all rows up in the Innova. (pretty important for me as I do a few 6-people + luggage trips a year)
  • Better last row seats. The last row seats in the XUV700 offer very little space and couple that with the fact that you can't adjust the 2nd row at all.
  • The 2nd row of the XUV700 while being spacious is not comparable to the Crysta. The adjustability of the 2nd row does allow for much higher space when you aren't carrying a full house.
  • Prospective niggles in the XUV700. If BHPian ram87's scoops are correct, Mahindra has already made way for a first recall before delivering a single car. He mentions that the first lot will have issues with brakes. We don't know what will happen when cars hit the road.

Crysta is a proven car. Mine has already completed 1.1 lakh km and feels good to go for another 1.1.

All in all, if I were looking forward to actually carrying 6-7 people and luggage or being chauffeured around I would go for the Crysta.

If my usage involved driving myself and possibly with only 4-5 people on most occasions I would go for the XUV700.

Since I mostly do the former, my vote goes out for the Crysta.

Here's what BHPian mayankk had to say about the matter:

As a recent buyer, I don't see my choice affected by any of these fresh launches. Hector it is.

XUV, Safari: not touching with a barge pole. Mahindra has historical baggage with electronics. Plus, this looks too similar to the old XUV.

Tata, apart from the drool-worthy design, has even worse baggage, and not just with electronics. The cherry for that car is Tata just doesn't seem bothered.

The only new Tata or Mahindra to buy is one which is 2-3 years old.

Hyundai is just too small, and overpriced.

Innova is just some feet of a car, as Jeremy would say. Super reliable, comfy probably, but no character. And overpriced.

The Hector is not a looker, but there's nary a complaint from people who own it for more than two years now. The price is fantastic, the quality is sublime. For the easy driver, with a family, or the backseat passenger with a chauffeur, it's just optimum.

Here's what BHPian raghukodali had to say about the matter:

Voted for the Toyota.

2.5 years and 40,000 km later, the Crysta has just become a part of life. It grows on you and I have seen that it will do whatever you ask it to do without any fuss.

It is a boring car but in a good way. Never throws a surprise. When you need to concentrate on other things in life, it will become transparent and work as a simple tool to get you where you want to go. If you are in the mood for a good drive, put the Crysta in the power mode and get onto a highway and you can have all the fun.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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