The Mahindra XUV 500 is a top vehicle in its class but with the advent of the Jeep from America its sales have dwindled and a face-lift was necessary
I was among the first to own a Mahindra XUV 500 the flagship vehicle of Mahindra Motors. This vehicle comes in 5 variants and I bought the W-10 which is the top variant with a sunroof. It was the top model in its class and cost about Rs 20 Lakh. At that time and for the next two years this SUV held its own as the number one vehicle in its class on Indian roads. The vehicle was a little short on power as it generated 140 BHP with a 2299cc M-Hawke engine developed in-house by Mahindra. Patrons overlooked this and the vehicle is a familiar sight on Indian roads.
At that time there was no automatic transmission which was introduced later. Within limits, it was a good vehicle but things changed with the advent of the Jeep in India.
Jeep is the top SUV company in the world. Its an American company and some of its products are legendary like the Jeep Wrangler. It introduced a variant priced about the same as the XUV 5000 in India and soon Mahindra began to feel the pinch. The jeep very soon began to capture the market as its engine developed 170 BHP. The SUV was backed by its name and pedigree, as JEEP was the original vehicle the company developed during World War II.
The Jeep Compass model introduced in India is also more rugged and tougher and has a better shelf life than the XUV.It has caught the fascination of the Indians and the vehicle is a hot seller in the Indian market. In contrast, the sales of the XUV have dipped. This phenomenon needed a solution and Mahindra has given the XUV 500 a facelift. One will have to see how much this will affect sales and whether Mahindra will get back its top position in this segment.
The new XUV has been made sleeker, with a better console and grill. It is also having a 4X4 model and automatic transmission. The car is good but again its difficult to match a cult vehicle like the Jeep. Mahindra is advertising the new model on TV and the press and one will have to see how much it will carry conviction as the Jeep is a world-class vehicle and it's not easy to match it.
Mahindra along with Tata produce the rugged vehicle and their jeeps are regularly used by the army. They have an SUV on the road, the XUV 500 which is robust 4x4 drive vehicle that is both rugged and cost-effective.
Coverage of weekly Car Show and Oldies Groove at Bobo's Cafe in Somers, NY.