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In the first part, we compared the Tata Harrier with Hyundai Creta. Now, we compare the Harrier with the Mahindra XUV500, who, in terms of price, remain rather close variant-to-variant. The gap increases with the higher variants, but even the top-end manual XUV is little under a lakh more than the Harrier. Time to get our hands muddy and wade through those spec sheets!
The Mahindra’s biggest advantage over the Harrier is the third row of seats. If you want a seven-seater at this price-point, the XUV500 is the go-to car. Nothing can touch it. It also gets AWD and the option for an automatic, though it jacks up the price and not too many people opt for the latter. Putting that aside, what else does an XUV offer that the Harrier doesn’t? Not much more in terms of safety — both get six airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP and traction control. The Harrier additionally gets ISOFIX mounts for child seats, though the XUV gets a tyre pressure monitoring system. It all seems pretty even-steven until you notice that the XUV500 has something that Indians seem to have a perpetual hard-on for – a sunroof. No, not even the top-end Harrier gets one.
The XUV also gets a bigger, more powerful engine at the same price-point. The 2.2-litre diesel motor makes 17bhp and 10Nm more than the Harrier, and you can tell the difference on the open road. The Harrier’s motor feels more than adequate so long as long as it is in the ‘Sport’ drive mode, but on the highway, the XUV needs a little less effort as it picks up pace. The Harrier does pip the XUV500 when it comes to outright driving dynamics though — it is far more controlled over a fast road and the suspension is better tied down with less scuttle shake and less head toss. The XUV, meanwhile, has a vague steering and can be all over the place on a twisty road.
Coming to the base variants, which are separated by less than Rs 10,000, they both miss out on a lot of features that the higher trim cars get — they only get two airbags, don’t get ESP or Traction control or Hill Descent control. They also miss out on the reversing camera, leather interiors and even fog lamps. Additionally, the Harrier completely misses out on basic stuff like a music system, a rear wiper and defogger and a split-folding rear bench, while the XUV gets them (and a third folding bench) at nearly the same price.
When it comes to outright value, the XUV500 does one-up the Harrier. But the XUV is showing its age. Its fit and finish cannot match the Harrier and the infotainment screen doesn’t get bits like Apple CarPlay. Nevertheless, on first impressions, the XUV doesn’t look like it’ll stand a chance but the fact that it gets a lot more like the option of AWD, seven seats and even an automatic makes you appreciate it more. It might just have the upper hand here.