The Sub 4m SUV segment is quite growing yet challenging, Mahindra was one of earliest to break the monotony with Quanto. But after the initial glory its sales and popularity came down as a defused rocket and one of the main reasons behind is Ford EcoSport. Both serve in the same segment, comes in almost similar price range but the results are contradictory. As a result of poor sales, Mahindra discontinued Quanto and come up with NuvoSport which is nothing but a facelift of Quanto with new a name. Mahindra’s latest compact SUV TUV300 has been doing well so another vehicle in the fray of same category might surprise few. With NuvoSport, Mahindra is targeting Ford EcoSport and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza that might be really tough ask. What does NuvoSport has different up its sleeve? Let’s find out.
- In order to succeed, one must do different and right things but both seem to not going NuvoSport’s way. The base price of the SUV starts at Rs. 7.42 lakh while both EcoSport and Brezza undercut NuvoSport by decent margin.
- The top spec version of erstwhile Quanto is available for Rs. 9.87 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) which is at par with its rivals.
Engine and Performance:
- Under the revised bonnet is a three cylinder mhawk 100 diesel motor carried over from TUV300 but delivers more power. The most powerful SUV in the segment produces 100PS [email protected] and 240Nm of torque between 1600-2800rpm which are similar to Quanto. The vehicle is available with 5-speed manual gearbox as standard with an option of AMT.
- The mileage figures have been improved marginally by 0.25 to 17.65 Kmpl and Mahindra has given the SUV two driving modes- power (default mode) and Eco. In the Eco mode, the output drops to 72bhp in order to up the fuel efficiency which somewhat makes SUV underpowered.
- Crank the engine, it feels refine till 1500rpm mark and after that you get to hear some noise along with vibrations via long gear lever.
- There is an initial lag till 1500rpm mark which is expected from a 3-cylinder motor but it is under control and it behaves well up to 4000rpm before fizzing out. It is very responsive off the line which makes city drivability and maneuvering in the traffic breeze.
- The NuvoSport is not meant for outright performance as it runs out of breath quickly and doesn’t feel that possess 20bhp more power than TUV300.
- Mahindra claims that NuvoSport is based on new ladder frame chassis but still its tall stance makes turning slow and corner carving a bit tight, 2200kg of weight is to be blame here.
- Ride quality is much more improved than Quanto it can easily absorb small potholes thrown at it but bigger bumps is hard to digest for NuvoSport due to soft suspension.
- One thing we noticed while our test drive that as the SUV surpassed 80-90 km mark, there was a lot of movement inside the cabin. Braking performance is adequate but we would love to have more feedback from the pedal.
Space and Dimensions:
- If one thing which stands out among it has to be space, despite sub 4m profile NuvoSport is offering a seven seat (5+2) layout like TUV300.
- Starting with first row seats which are comfy, soft, large and offers great front view with no shortage of support either
- The 2nd row seats are most impressive part of the segment which have abundant of headroom, legroom and shoulder space even for those who are tall.
- The last row has two jump seats which are not comfortable at all and doesn’t hold you either and even seat belts are also missing. We will recommend you to use if necessary or you can fold it down to have huge boot space with low loading height.
- The Mahindra NuvoSport is a facelift of Quanto but the good thing is that it looks absolutely different from its predecessor.
- The front fascia is the most pleasing point of the SUV as it receives new grille, new fender, bull dog shaped air dam with faux silver skid gives some aggression to the face.
- The headlamps flapped by LED DRLs on top, company’s signature toothy grille, new hood with air scoop add more character to the design.
- Unfortunately the side and rear design does not able to compliment or lift the digestible front aesthetics as it reflects parts and bin of Quanto, though the SUV gets fair amount of black cladding all around.
- Apart from new alloy wheels, mhawk badges and chrome treatment under the windows, sides are identical to Quanto with same roof and doors.
- At rear also, apart from more black-ish color shade, fresh pair tail lamps and new cover for spare wheel you get Quanto with NuvoSport name plate.
Interior and safety:
- Mahindra has done a huge mistake by not offering new interiors, major chunk of cabin is similar to Quanto. The dashboard, door paneling and even AC vents are carried over from the positively ancient Quanto.
- Even the quality, fit and finish is not up to the mark, the TUV300 feels more premium and top notch higher in quality segment. The plastic lacks crispness and feels tacky.
- It comes with some changes such as the central console now houses a 6.2 inch touchscreen infotainment system with multi connectivity support, upgraded instrument cluster, faux leather upholstery, new wide multi-function steering wheel, front-rear armrest which most of the competition gets.
- It misses out some of necessities such as rear AC vents, cooled glove box, automatic climate control which should be provided with sub 10 lakh SUV. Overall, Brezza and EcoSport offer more in terms of both quality and equipments at this price range.
- On the safety front, the SUV gets dual front airbags, ABS (anti-lock braking system) with EBD (electronic brake force distribution) optional on the base variant while remainder receive it as standard. However the NuvoSport misses out reverse parking camera.
Mahindra is definitely a better package than Quanto with ladder chassis, fresh front design but is it superior to the competition? And the answer is no. Mahindra should have opted for an aggressive approach to make it distinguish from Quanto though it might cost them more but it might have brought the outcome worthwhile and competitive. The sore points of NuvoSport are off course quirky side and rear design, lackluster interiors and short equipment list which were present on Quanto too.
The NuvoSport is meant to take on Vitara Brezza and EcoSport but abovementioned cons flanked by poor pricing strategy are making things worse for NuvoSport to give a fight to competition. If space, decent drivability and power engine are your criterion than NuvoSport is for you, if not then go for Maruti Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport and Mahindra TUV300.