JOHANNESBURG, South Africa. – Mahindra’s XUV500 sport utility vehicle has been enhanced with an automatic transmission option. The six-speed transmission will initially only be available on the front-wheel W8 derivative.
Sanjoy Gupta, chief executive officer of Mahindra SA, said: “Our XUV500 has been extremely well received since launch in October 2015. However customer feedback indicated that there was significant demand for an auto.”
The Aisin transmission has since been approved for the XUV500 and added as an option in South Africa.
The transmission, Mahindra explains, links a torque converter to planetary gears for smooth, precise gear shifts. “It offers the best of both worlds, achieving the quick responses of a manual transmission with the refinement, convenience and ease of use associated with automatics.
“The six-speed design has been optimised for both response and fuel efficiency, thanks to a carefully selected ratio set that ensures brisk acceleration and midrange tractability, while the overdrive sixth allows economical open-road cruising.”
There#s also a ‘creep’ function to cope with stop/start city driving and a manual override still offers an enthusiastic driver the option of shifting gears.
The auto transmission is linked to the XUV500’s turbodiesel engine, a 2.2-litre four-cylinder mHawk 140 turbodiesel that makes 103kW at 3750rpm and 330Nm from 1600rpm with, Mahindra claims, a potential for 7.4 litres/100km.
The all-independent suspension uses front MacPherson struts and amultilink rear set-up, the latter, the automaker says, tuned by Lotus.
Aesthetic highlights for the seven-seater include a gloss-black grille with chromed accents and black mesh inserts. “Cleanly styled headlights,” Mahindra adds, “with a curved diode daytime running light signature add to the XUV500’s cheetah-inspired front design.”
The rear is framed by tall, longitudinally arranged, tail-light clusters and the wagon runs on, multi-spoked 17″alloy rims shod with all-terrain tyres.
Upholstery is leather; there’s a 19cm, full-colour touch-screen display in the centre stack in the W8 units for access to the XUV500’s comprehensive infotainment features, among them satnav with voice prompts and a multi-speaker audio system, Bluetooth for hands-free telephony and music streaming, iPod-compatible USB sockets, and a reversing camera.
AUTO LIGHTS, WIPERS
There are three rows of seats to accommodate seven people .
W8 models have auto headlights and windscreen wipers, auto aircon, remote central locking, cruise control and a multifunction steering-wheel.
Power windows and exterior mirrors, an air-cooled centre console and a charging point for each row of seats are included.
The W8 models’ crash protection features include front, side and curtain crash bags and side-impact bars.
Active safety systems comprise anti-lock all-disc brakes. stability control and hill-hold with descent control.
PRICES, SERVICE AND WARRANTY
The New Age XUV500 is available through Mahindra’s national dealer network. Recommended retail prices are as follows
Mahindra XUV500 W4 – R272 995
Mahindra XUV500 W6 – R319 995
Mahindra XUV500 W8 – R354 995
Mahindra XUV500 W8 AWD – R374 995
Mahindra XUV500 W8 a/t – R389 995
Prices include a five-year or 150 000km warranty and a five-year or 100 000km service plan. Services intervals 20 000km intervals or every 12 months, whichever comes first.