2022 Mahindra Scorpio-N: Specifications, features and price comparison
When the Mahindra Scorpio was first launched back in 2002, the only intention of the SUV was to go head-to-head and end the dominance of its main rival, the Tata Safari. It’s been 20 years since then, and the all-new Mahindra Scorpio-N now faces a whole new set of rivals including the likes of the Volkswagen Taigun, the Hyundai Creta, 7-seater options like the Hyundai Alcazar and the Kia Carens, in addition to its traditional rival, the Safari and its smaller sibling, the Tata Harrier. Our review of the Scorpio-N should be out soon, but until then, here’s how the claimed “Big Daddy of SUVs” stacks up against the competition.
In terms of overall dimensions, the Mahindra Scorpio-N does flaunt its size advantage to the fullest, being the largest SUV here. Interestingly, the Tata Safari is just 1mm shorter than the Scorpio in terms of length, but the Mahindra claws back everywhere else, with greater width and height that should translate to better space in the cabin for the passengers. On the other hand, the two sub-4 metre twin pairs present in this lot, namely the Volkswagen Taigun and Skoda Kushaq along with the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, are closely matched in terms of their dimensions, being underpinned by the same platforms. In terms of wheelbase, it is the Kia Carens which comes out on top, with a wheelbase of 2780mm
Save for the Tata Harrier and the Safari along with the Volkswagen Taigun and the Skoda Kushaq, all these SUVs can be had with the choice of a petrol or a diesel powertrain. The Scorpio-N is powered by the same mHawk diesel and mStallion petrol engines that do duty in the XUV700 and the SUV is the most powerful of the lot, with 172bhp of power on the diesel and 200bhp of power on the turbo-petrol engine. The Harrier and the Safari can only be had with a diesel engine, and in terms of power, they are hot on the heels of the Scorpio-N, with 168bhp from the 2-litre FCA-sourced diesel. The Kushaq and the Taigun continue to soldier on with their 1-litre and 1.5-litre TSI petrol engines that produce 113bhp and 148bhp respectively, with diesels now no longer a part of Skoda-VW Group's India lineup. The Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and the Carens can be had with a choice of three engines – two petrols and a diesel with each of them offering plenty of engine-gearbox combos to choose from. The Alcazar is powered by a 2-litre nat-asp engine and 1.5 turbo-diesel, the smallest oil burner in this lot, and the MG Hector Plus is the only one to get mild-hybrid tech on its petrol engine, which produces 141bhp of power.
All the cars are similarly matched in their feature sets, with the top-spec variants offering touchscreens for infotainment and steering mounted controls, coupled with phone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As is the tradition, the Hyundais are well specced with connectivity options via Bluelink and the same holds true for Kia’s UVO Connect suite of features as well. Both the Hyundais and Kias also get slick touchscreens that are responsive and easy to use, and while the Tata Safari and the Harrier are not too behind in terms of infotainment, the screen with massive bezels does take away some of the charm, along with the fact that your phone does not project the full size of the screen. The Hector’s Tesla-like infotainment system does take a bit of getting used to but it does pack in a lot of kit, including the built-in Gaana music app for entertainment and the iSmart suite of features which this internet-enabled car offers such as the ability to turn on the air conditioning remotely and geofencing capability too. The Mahindra Scorpio-N however is packed to the gills with equipment, with its claimed largest in class sunroof, the infotainment system powered by AdrenoX, a 12-speaker Sony 3D Sound System with a subwoofer, 6 airbags and a proper shift on the fly low-ratio transfer case for the four-wheel drive system. Unlike the other SUVs present here, the Scorpio-N is the only one to be based on a body on frame construction which should endow it with better capability off the tarmac.
The Kia Carens is the most affordable of the lot here, with prices starting at Rs 9.59 lakh for the base petrol and diesel manual trim. It is closely followed by the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos, which only seat 5 but do offer a better driving experience than a 7-seat MPV. Prices for the Volkswagen Taigun and the Skoda Kushaq are nearly a lakh higher than that of the entry-level Seltos and the Creta, although the Taigun and Kushaq do feel nicer to drive if you’re an enthusiast. The MG Hector and Hector Plus are priced on the more expensive side of the spectrum, only undercutting the Harrier and the Safari which offer a better SUV-like package and the Hyundai Alcazar. But the true masterstroke is the pricing of the Mahindra Scorpio-N, competitively beginning at Rs 11.99 lakh for the base petrol manual, going all the way up to Rs 19.49 lakh for the top-spec diesel manual. Mind you, all the variants taken here are manuals, as the prices for the Scorpio-N's AT and 4x4 variants will only be revealed in July. That said, Mahindra has priced the SUV at a very attractive price point, and considering the package that it offers, the waiting period for the Scorpio-N is going to be really long!