Mahindra TUV300 mHawk100 Review
What is it?
The TUV300 is a Compact SUV with more emphasis on the SUV part. It sits on a ladder frame chassis unlike other compact SUV’s and when it comes to going off the road, its small approach and departure angles, high ground clearance and wading capability means off-roadability is only limited by an absence of four-wheel drive. It is quite capable on tarmac as well with good ride and handling characteristics.
It is an update to address the power deficit the original TUV came with. The 84bhp three-pot motor felt underpowered for a vehicle that weighed close to 1600 kilograms. Mahindra seems to have addressed this grievance with a more powerful 100bhp motor.
Externally there is no difference except for a badge atating ‘powered by mHawk100’. On the inside is the same authentic SUV’sque commanding driving position and well-appointed cabin with two new updates. The rear seat gets more cushioning at the base for more under thigh support though for my 5Ft8in frame felt like it could do with some more. The seat also gets mounting points for ISOFIX seats. The second update is with the engineers doing away with the invisible man in the cabin and voice alerts limited only to seatbelt and handbrake warnings.
The earlier motor now gains from lightweight materials like aluminium cylinder heads and composite materials and has been massaged for more power and torque with a wider torque band. On paper the power output seem promising the motor maintaining a flatter torque curve from as low as 1500rpm and staying till 2800rpm and more than 90 per cent of power output available from around 2800rpm and heading uphill till the redline. The fuel efficiency is an ARAI quoted 18.04kmpl.
Fun to drive?
On the road, there is a decent surge in power that you will be hard pressed to notice thanks to the way the twin-stage turbocharger delivers it. The twin stage turbo has two impellers on a common shaft and have separate valves directing exhaust gasses on the impellers to activate them. The smaller impeller works at low rpm levels to reduce lag and fill the initial torque gaps while the larger impeller takes over at mid to high rpm range to provide max boost. This system modifies engine characteristics to behave more like a petrol mill. The power delivery is linear throughout and while you miss out on the shove associated with traditional turbo motors, you get a linear surge with highly minimised turbo lag which should do well in low-speed city driving. The issue here is that the bump up in power isn’t as noticeable due to the associated kerb weight of 1590kg which is quite a lot for a compact SUV and high speed highway runs might be a bother. In addition the motor gets an AMT option with optimised shifts and a creep function. The ride is SUV-like with brilliant absorption characteristics though it could do with a bit more secondary damping dialled in, especially at the rear as at slow speed, judders associated with small speed breakers and rumble strips are felt by the occupants. The body-roll is well controlled with anti-roll bars at the front and rear and the approaching limits of the vehicle are signalled well in advance by the 15-inch Ceat tyres. The brakes have good initial bite and the vehicle tracks straight under hard braking.
The TUV300 mHawk100 will be sold alongside the 84bhp version and will come in two variants sitting at top of the range. The T8 mHawk100 will retail at Rs 8.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and the T8 AMT mHawk100 is priced at Rs 9.72 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) which is just a 8,500 rupee hike over the top-end 84bhp version. With added power, the TUV300 makes for a viable prospect as a compact SUV delivering an authentic SUV vibe for an affordable cost. It is quite capable off-road as well. Now all it needs is a four-wheel drive system.