2021 Mahindra XUV700 powerful, luxurious, and performance-oriented

Mahindra has set a new standard in the SUV and AI-assisted cars in the Indian market. Launched on the eve of India’s 75th independence day, Mahindra set a very competitive price of Rs 12lakh for the base model of its 5-seater version. At that time only the price of the five-seater version of XUV700 was released to the public. The price is not the only thing that created a storm among car enthusiasts. So, what does the 2021 Mahindra XUV700 offer apart from the competitive price? Let’s find out.

2021 Mahindra XUV700 front & side
Image credit: Mahindra

2021 Mahindra XUV700 – The overall design

The Exterior design elements

As the name suggests the XUV700 is a step up over the XUV500 and in that regard to give it more presence, it is bigger, it is longer so it’s a sizable car. This change in proportions just makes the lines flow better. It looks more mature. The lines are softer and cleaner. So it may not look as striking as the XUV500 but it is big enough to look confidently straight at its rivals. The overall design in terms of the details, you’ll see there’s no one element asking for attention and because of that it just looks better. It looks more memorable and likable. While this is all new especially the grill and the logo.

There is that XUV DNA that’s calling out to you. For instance the dual C-shaped LED DRLs. These are an evolution of the design we’ve seen on the XUV500. Of course, being an XUV it packs in a lot like the swipe style turn indicators and full LED headlamps, LED fog lamps, and cornering lamps as well. So, you’ve got something that’s packed and distinctive.

The real party piece on the XUV700 which you would want to talk about is the door handles. When Anand Mahindra, the CEO of Mahindra & Mahindra group, went to look at the XUV700 in his development phase, he saw the design and said “don’t spoil it by putting door handles. keep the look nice and clean”. That’s how the 2021 Mahindra XUV700 got its flush door handles. There are two variants of these pop-up door handles the one is the simple mechanical kind which just pops out when you use it. It retracts right back in and then there’s the motorized kind which pops out when you unlock the car and then goes back in when you lock it. There is a probability that people will prefer the simple mechanical version. It’s simpler and it works just fine.

2021 Mahindra XUV700 in Red with front DRLs

XUV700 is a completely new SUV but it still has the DNA of its older version. Just stand in front of the vehicle and look at the side profile by just tilting your head and you will soak the XUV DNA. If you look at the wheel arches the way they flare out and if you look at the window line the way it kinks up past the b pillar this is all typical XUV. The rear, it’s not the best angle but certainly looks more appetizing. The tail lamps can look a little too sharp but on the move, they do the job. They light up beautifully and give it a premium look. Interestingly the tailgate is entirely made of plastic to accommodate these sharp lines. Of course, that is gonna help save weight on a car that is much bigger. The XUV700 is lighter by 160kilograms.

2021 Mahindra XUV700 – The interiors

Starting with the boot. Now you have enough space here on offer for small overnighters even with all three rows in use. If you need more luggage, of course, you can drop one of these seats down. But if you really have a priority for luggage you can opt for the five-seater variant which will most likely be offered on the lower two variants. Whereas the seven-seaters will be the higher variant. The third row is not really bad. Even for somebody who’s five feet six inches short. So if you want to accommodate kids on the third row it’s gonna be pretty easy. You’ve got enough foot room here to sit comfortably. The under-thigh support as can be expected from a third row is not all that great but you’ve got a great glass area in the third-row region. So the view out is nice.

You’ve got air conditioning vents on both sides, with blower controls. You’ve got one charging socket at the right rear. No USB ports but you do have cup holders on both sides. Now, this doesn’t look like much but there is enough room here. So if you had to spend time here you could do easily an hour or so without complaining. The inside story is a strong point with this kind of knee room. Well, that’s if the front seats are pushed all the way back. If you push it forward well you could do this but realistically even with the taller passenger in the front, you can get plenty of knee room, and again there’s foot room to stretch out.

Overall, it feels like an airy cabin. So you can spend time here for longer distances. With these supportive seats, it is a comfy place to be. The flat floor and the wide cabin make the XUV700 comfy for five or seven people. So families will love it. But if you’re the one who’s going to drive, the front seat experience is welcoming.

Integrated driver and central screen. Mahindra XUV700

When you open up the front driver side door, the seat slides back to welcome you inside. You can say that this feature is borrowed from the Mahindra Alturas G4 which Mahindra has discontinued. The driver’s cabin or the front seat is very well and thoughtfully designed. This is a great place to be again from the basic standpoint because your view out is good. You’ve got a great view of the ORVMs and back there. For a vehicle that’s big as 2021 Mahindra XUV700, it’s important that the driver can view each side of the vehicle easily and there should be fewer blind spots. XUV700 does its job very well in this area. It makes you feel more comfortable. The seats are supportive.

If you look at its cabin it’s such a mature-looking cabin. Nothing feels overdone. In fact, the materials here are a soft-touch finish. Here, really nicely done. There is some hard plastic used inside the cabin but it all looks like quality stuff. It also has some really cool little wood finish which gives it that richer feel. you have got switched for your powered seat. So the front seat experience in the XUV700 certainly is a big step forward.

The XUV700 will treat you well in every row.

The features list

Now, I’m not just saying it because it’s long. It’s because it’s really well spread out. If you look at the base MX variant that gets an 8-inch touchscreen system and a 7-inch digital display for the driver. Then if you step up to the AX3 you get a few more goodies like the AdrenoX system with the two 10.25-inch displays. And if you step up to the AX-5 that’s where you get curtain airbags that stretch all the way back to the third row. So this is a feature-packed car. If you look at the details like infotainment. It works really well. There are some really interesting features like there’s a DVR feature which allows you to capture the feed from all the cameras. Kind of like a dashcam. There’s a lap time recorder also.

And finally, if you talk about the AX7 that’s where you get all the bells and whistles like the dual-zone climate control. If you’re wondering about the sony 12-speaker sound system and the wireless charger well those are going to be part of a tech pack. The letters at the end of the badges indicate the packs luxury and tech. We think the pack that we’d want is the one with the sony sound system because it’s fantastic.

So what else does the AX7 top-end variant offer you?

The XUV700 doesn’t just want to keep you safe when you’re in an accident it wants us to help you avoid an accident altogether. That’s where the top-end variant comes in. First radar-based dash technology. Basically, you’ve got features like lane keep assist which actually steers the car for you to keep you in your lane. It’s got a lane departure warning. It’s got auto emergency braking which means you can avoid collisions. When you start driving the XUV700 you realize that the eight Aztec actually works in Indian conditions. So like when you don’t have proper lane markings it still senses the edge of the road and steers you in the right direction. So it feels helpful and not annoying.

2021 Mahindra XUV700 rear

You have adaptive cruise control which understands that distance between cars in Indian conditions is typically lesser than in other countries and it adapts accordingly. You have auto emergency braking which in the chaos of Indian roads keeps a calm head. So this is tech that seems to work in our conditions and it’s properly helpful.

Now, this is going to be offered with the manual transmission options and the automatic. With the automatics of course getting a greater degree of control and helpfulness. And of course, electronic safety aids include ESP and all the add-ons with it like Hill hold, Secondary collision mitigation. Well in terms of airbags you get seven on the top-end variant.

2021 Mahindra XUV700 – Engine, Transmission and performance

In terms of powerhouse and transmission, you have a choice. There’s petrol, there’s diesel, manual, automatic and all-wheel drive as well. It’s got a good amount of grunt which means whether you’re planning overtakes it just doesn’t break a sweat. It gets going easily and smoothly. If you want to hustle it the gearbox might feel a bit slow but it is smooth. You’ve got the grunt from the engine to make up for it. For the record that’s 380 Nm of torque. We wonder how quick will it be. The bigger question is just how thirsty will it be. The heavier Thar returns about 9 to 12 kilometers per liter with the same engine obvious in a lower state of tune.

The diesel comes in two states of tune156PS for the lower MX variant and the other one with 185PS for higher variants. The engine is really easy to use. It’s got good torque right from low revs. So driving it around isn’t really a hassle. There is one thing that’s a little bit clumsy and that is the clutch. It’s a really long travel clutch. But most people would want the automatic. To make this diesel engine more exciting it gets drive modes. There’s zip, zap, zoom, and custom. The zip mode is basically for your calm commuting within the city.

When you use the Zap mode, the steering wheel’s unresponsiveness improves so that’s for when you’re in a bit of a rush and the zoom mode as the name suggests is when you’re in a proper rush preferably out on the highway because that’s when the throttle responsiveness gets really sharp. You get real spin coming out of corners if you’re not careful. All the modes also adjust the ESP which kind of pushes the braking intervention that much further. If you use the custom mode that gives you one additional little bit of control which is the settings for the air conditioning system.

This has a new chassis that is way stiffer than its previous generation. It’s got an upgraded suspension design and components. You have FSD dampers which are basically meant to tune out a lot of the roughness or the imperfections and you have a multi-link suspension at the rear. What you get with that is a vehicle that you aren’t fighting with anymore because this just tackles road surfaces with so much more confidence. It doesn’t get upset over bumps. It doesn’t feel twitchy at higher speeds.

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This is a confident machine and something that you will enjoy spending time and traveling with. Now when it comes to comfort the XUV700 got you covered because that suspension can soak up big bumps with ease. It just kind of glosses over all of that. If you’re looking to go off-road, there is a good amount of ground clearance on offer. But we don’t have exact numbers right now.

Talking about off-road the all-wheel-drive system will enable you to go further down the rough road if you choose to venture out. But it’s an on-demand system so it’s primarily improving stability and enabling some rough road ability rather than being an off-road-oriented setup. There are a few chinks in the 2021 Mahindra XUV700’s armor. For instance, the cabin experience could have been better with better sound insulation. It’s good enough to be acceptable but not good enough to make you feel absolutely cocooned. And then there’s the suspension setup which is a bit on the soft side, especially at the rear. So every time you accelerate you can feel the squatting at the rear. If the suspension were firmer the XUV would feel flattered and would improve its long-legged ability to the nth degree. There is the fun quotient.

When you think of 200 horsepower, it gets your blood racing but the way it handles is neat. You wouldn’t call this exactly fun for that it would need a bit more engagement from the steering wheel. Well, a little less understeer but to its credit, the XUV does so in a very predictable and a very gradual manner. So it’s got a very safe air about it. There are other misses too like some design bits. Did you manage to miss out on this special door pad that rises up strange indeed apparently? It’s because there needed to be room made for the switches for the powered seats.

The drive modes are only available on the diesel but the really annoying bit is this drive mode button. There’s nothing more than calling up the mode menu on the screen. You have to actually reach out to the screen to change the modes which don’t make sense. In terms of quality, there are some bits that feel plasticky but they look fine.

There are some feature misses basic ones for instance of the four power window switches, it’s only the driver switch which has auto up and down and the IRVM isn’t auto-dimming. The rather wow feature misses. There’s no ambient lighting and there are no ventilated seats on offer. In the back seat, there are no sun shades for these large windows. The second row doesn’t slide. It’s not on rails. So yeah it’s interesting to see where Mahindra’s cut back to save and cost which is on some extra features. It does have its shortcomings.

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In the way 2021 Mahindra XUV700 drives, It could be a bit more engaging. In terms of the cabin experience, it could be a bit more polished, and in terms of the features list, it does have a few holes. But this vehicle comes across as a sensible, very usable, and a very likable machine that is coming with some incredible segment-first technology for safety and coming in at the price very competitive in its nature.

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