Seven-seat Mahindra XUV500 goes auto

MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra
MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra

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.”

MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra
MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra

The Aisin transmission has since been approved for the XUV500 and added as an option in South Africa.

SIX-SPEED AUTO/MANUAL

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.

MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra
MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra

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.

MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra
MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra

 

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.

MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra
MAHINDRA GOES AUTO: Image: Quickpic/Mahindra

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.

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