Reviewing the 2023 Mahindra XUV700: A speedy test drive

Mahindra, the Indian auto giant, is preparing to launch its latest offering in the medium SUV segment – the 2023 XUV700. This is Mahindra’s second attempt to win over the Australian market, following the lacklustre performance of its predecessor, the XUV500, in 2012. However, the new XUV700 promises to pack a punch, with a commendable ride, handling, and engine transmission combination. Mahindra has gone all out to ensure that this car competes with established seven-seat players like the Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Nissan X-Trail.

The XUV700 has gone through rigorous testing at Mahindra’s state-of-the-art SUV proving track outside Chennai, India – a perfect test-bed to sample the company’s new family SUV. The car boasts a mid-sized seven-seater SUV with significantly improved performance over its predecessor. This new SUV is bigger, lighter, and features a more rigid structure that delivers a better ride and handling experience. The XUV700 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that makes 149kW and 380Nm, with a six-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive and 2.2 litres turbo-diesel versions are available in other markets.

The XUV700 will feature a wide-ranging suite of advanced driver assistance systems, including forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, and six airbags covering all three rows, but buyers will have to settle for a white synthetic leather-look seat trim – the only colour available in Australia. The XUV700 has currently obtained a five-star Global NCAP safety rating, although NCAP testing is not as strict as ANCAP.

Externally, the XUV700 follows the medium SUV playbook with aggressive-looking tail-light assemblies, bold face and grille, and pronounced creases on its flanks and across the tailgate. The XUV700 is 100m longer than the XUV500 it replaces, 30mm shorter in height, and retains the same width, resulting in more pleasing proportions.

The interior of the XUV700 impresses with swathes of white faux leather spread across three rows of seating and the dash – an impressive and luxurious look for a budget-friendly SUV. The car features two 10.25-inch screens housed inside a single widescreen panel across the dashboard and hosts Mahindra’s new infotainment set-up and the XUV700’s digital instrument cluster.

Mahindra Australia is still to confirm pricing for the XUV700, but the car is expected to face stiff competition from established brands, including Honda, Mitsubishi, and Nissan. The XUV700 needs to impress on more than just price if it wants to compete with the established order. The car is expected to launch in Australia on June 15th.
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