2024 Mahindra XUV700 first drive review

To counter the renewed threat from Tata Motors, Mahindra has revamped its flagship XUV700 for 2024. Is it enough to give it a fighting chance? We took the petrol-powered version for a spin to find out
The 2024 Mahindra XUV700 gets a menacing dark variant
The 2024 Mahindra XUV700 gets a menacing dark variantShot by Avdhoot A Kolhe for evo India

When the Mahindra XUV700 was launched in 2021, it signalled a new era for Mahindra. It was the first vehicle to wear their new twin-peaks logo – a statement of intent from Mahindra to show the world that it was ready to go toe to toe with the big guns. It had powerful petrol and diesel power plants, a robust monocoque, optional all-wheel-drive, and it got ADAS – a first for an Indian automaker. But the competition doesn't stand still. Tata Motors steadily upgraded the Safari and Harrier, culminating in the thoroughly refreshed models launched last year. And Toyota threw a wrench in the works with the all-new Innova Hycross. Mahindra has now responded by giving the XUV700 a minor mid-cycle refresh. Is it still the segment benchmark? Let's find out.

2024 Mahindra XUV700 styling

It would be unfair to call this update a facelift because, on the face of it, nothing has changed. The 2024 Mahindra XUV700 is now available in a new Napoli black paint scheme on all variants, while the top AX7 and AX7L can be had with a stealthy all-black theme. This encompasses gloss black roof rails, a black grille, and black 18-inch wheels. Together with the Napoli black paint job, this all-black theme looks decidedly more menacing than the regular XUV700.

If colour is more your thing, then all the other shades previously available on the XUV700 can now be paired with a Napoli black roof for a dual-tone theme. The rest of the XUV700's exterior remains unaltered. It continues to feature impressive LED headlamps and taillamps with sequential turn indicators, along with its distinctive smart door handles, which I must admit are growing on me.

2024 Mahindra XUV700 interior and equipment

The biggest change to the 2024 Mahindra XUV700 is the addition of captain's chairs in the middle row of the top AX7 and AX7L variants. Seating capacity goes from seven to six, but the enhanced comfort of the middle row more than makes up for it. The captains chairs are nearly identical to the front seats and are armchair comfortable, offering impressive bolstering, under-thigh support, and even individual armrests.

Front passengers are now treated to ventilated front seats; however, activating them requires one to dive into the infotainment screen, as no dedicated button has been added. The seat memory function has also been updated to now incorporate the outside rear view mirror position. In terms of aesthetics, the air vents and console bezel are now finished in dark chrome, while the seats and door panels continue to be trimmed in white leatherette, providing a nice contrast to the dark exterior.

On the tech front, Mahindra’s Adrenox suite is now capable of over the air updates and now boasts 13 additional features for a grand total of 83 connected car features. The new features include service reminders, alerts for low batteries, and brake pad wear, among other critical malfunction alerts, which are meant to mitigate the risk of failures and improve reliability. Additionally, the new M lens function allows drivers to scan symbols on buttons and telltale lights to find out what they mean.

The XUV700 also retains its impressive array of safety features, including seven airbags, ABS, ESP, driver drowsiness detection, and a robust monocoque that earned it a five-star G-NCAP rating. Add to this the suite of ADAS features, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist, and you have one of the safest cars in the country.

The XUV700 retains its impressive array of ADAS features
The XUV700 retains its impressive array of ADAS featuresShot by Avdhoot A Kolhe for evo India

2024 Mahindra XUV700 engine and drivetrain

The 2024 Mahindra XUV700 continues to be powered by either the 2.2-litre turbo diesel or the 2-litre turbo petrol. The turbo diesel is available in two power outputs: the base model gets 153bhp and 360Nm, while the higher variants get 182bhp and 420Nm with the manual and 450Nm when mated to the automatic. The petrol variant we had on test produces 197bhp and 380Nm of torque and can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

The petrol engine is just as refined and powerful as before, with plenty of bottom-end grunt to haul this three-row SUV to 100kmph in under ten seconds. The engine also stays refined and smooth all the way to the redline. The ratios on the six-speed automatic are also well matched to the torque of the engine, and it is rarely left hunting for gears.

2024 Mahindra XUV700 ride and handling

In addition to safety, the other upside of the Mahindra XUV700's high torsional rigidity is its impressive handling. For our test, we headed to some wonderful winding roads around Tamhini Ghat, and the XUV700 didn't disappoint. Body roll is present but well controlled, and the 235-section tyres generate a respectable amount of grip. The steering is light and reasonably precise; however, it does not transmit any substantial feedback on what the front tyres are up to.

The ride quality is similarly impressive, and the XUV700 soaks up the rough stuff with aplomb. The suspension is particularly adept at soaking up the expansion joints on our motorways, which, when combined with its effortless performance, results in a first-rate mile muncher.

The 2024 Mahindra XUV700 improves upon an already impressive car
The 2024 Mahindra XUV700 improves upon an already impressive carShot by Avdhoot A Kolhe for evo India

2024 Mahindra XUV700 verdict

The 2024 Mahindra XUV700 is an incremental improvement on what was already a very impressive car. While the competition has caught up, the XUV700 is still a well-rounded package that comes in both petrol and diesel guise and with optional AWD. Ex-showroom prices for the 2024 Mahindra XUV700 range from Rs 13.99 lakh to Rs 26.99 lakh for the AX7 diesel AWD with all the bells and whistles. The question of whether or not it can take on the updated Tata Safari will require a full comparison test, but thankfully, you won't have to wait too long for that. Stay tuned!

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