The Mahindra XUV500 brought in a fresh take on Indian SUVs in terms of design. Taking its inspiration from the Cheetah, the facelift model too retains the same design but with additional razzmatazz. The dual barrel headlight cluster features new LED guide lights, which are not DRLs; it replaces the previous LED strip seen under the headlights. It also gets static bending cornering lamps neatly placed behind the halogens, light up only while steering the vehicle to either sides.
The new Mahindra XUV500 gets an updated and more upmarket radiator grille finished in piano black with chrome accent. To make it shine a bit more than before, there is more chrome around the new fog lamp housing along with glossy black angular inserts replacing the whiskers of the cheetah for a cleaner front. The front bumper gets more of rounded contours than cut edge scoops as seen earlier. This gives it a more muscular and well defined look. There is also an aluminium finished bash plate under the front bumper.
The new bonnet design of the Mahindra XUV500 has given the messy lines a miss for a tidy layout. It gets a subtle bulge on both the sides running parallel to the strong and macho front wheel arch. Importantly, it gets a hydraulic assist removing the need to flex your muscles and lift it. There is a minor change on the new door handles design. The distinct shoulder line, which gives the side a bold profile, gets a mild chrome line running along the glass area.
The dashboard now adopts a more refreshing and premium dual tone beige and black colours, running all along the cabin. It surely has made a lot of difference as it is no longer is an eye soar. It feels more airy too. There are not many changes in the overall structure of the Mahindra XUV500 but the quality of buttons and knobs has improved. The earlier rough edges around the buttons have been replaced by well finished ones.
Twin pod instrumental cluster of the Mahindra XUV500 doesn’t get any update except for a new colour of backlight. It is the central infotainment which has got many new additions. Firstly, the size of the screen has got larger and importantly, the user interface has got a complete makeover. It looks the best in class with detailed view of every option. The 7” touchscreen infotainment screen has a better resolution and is very convenient to operate. It helps occupants connect phones, pair music, use navigation and also gives detailed information regarding periodic servicing of the vehicle with the help of Mahindra Apps compatible with any smart phone.
The figures remains same as the mHawk 140 Diesel Engine makes 140 bhp of power and 330Nm of torque. It comes paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. There is a new engine cover with strong lettering to make it look tidier than before and a new hydraulic assist much like more premium SUVs, small yet effective touch there.
Shifting through those gears wasn’t an easy task earlier as it felt heavy and notchy. They have addressed this issue by improving the shift quality and also better the final ratio. This has affected the efficiency numbers, which has gone up marginally and also made it easier to drive inside the city with a stronger delivery at lower engine revs.
To make it feel more stable on highways and to further improve the potential of its suspension setup, the shock absorber springs have been tweaked to a great extent. Throw it on a pothole, make it climb uneven surfaces and then do a sudden steer, everything is dealt with great ease except for the last one, where the body roll interrupts the well found dynamics.
Even the in gear acceleration, the Mahindra XUV500 feels a lot better. The shift quality could have been better as the lighter clutch makes it eager to shift often. Impressive is how the motor keeps generating strong numbers, no matter what gear you hooked on to. The steering compliments this by being correctly weighted at lower speeds and then getting a bit heavy at higher speeds. Giving the occupants enough confidence are the four break discs mounted on all four wheels and also the parallel running stability programme, to make sure you are in safe hands or paws always.
The Mahindra XUV500 has been in the industry for five years now and still continues to be a one of a kind in its segment. The competition has fast caught up with the likes of the Renault Duster, Hyundai Creta and also the newly launched Tata Hexa. But then if you are looking for a premium SUV and do not want to shell out a premium for it, the XUV500 is the SUV that you should get.