First launched in 2011, the XUV500 has spearheaded the Mahindra brand’s push into the highly competitive SUV segment with a thoroughly modern, powerful, spacious and well-equipped vehicle. The XUV500 – with its Cheetah-inspired styling, high comfort levels, seven-seater cabin and muscular turbodiesel drivetrain – has since become a regular sight on SA roads.
Now a series of significant updates and improvements are set to add new lustre and appeal to the XUV500. The upgrades include a complete overhaul of the SUV’s aesthetics, with particular emphasis on the front-end styling. In addition, the interior execution has also been upgraded.
The most compelling changes are to the front of the XUV500, where the grille, headlights, bonnet and fog lamps have all undergone a substantial redesign. The new grille design is smarter, utilising a glossy black finish with subtle chrome accents, as well as a more prominent Mahindra badge, while the lower air intake has been reshaped to provide a stronger visual integration with the grille. Black mesh inserts are consistently applied to both the main grille and the lower air intake, creating a more consistent appearance.
The headlights on either side of the grille are also completely new, with a cleaner, more resolute appearance and a new, curved LED daytime running light signature. New, bolder fog lamps are mounted in restyled apertures that are linked to the lower edge of the headlights.
The redesigned front-end styling is accompanied by new, stylish 17-inch alloy wheels. The multispoke wheels are shod with 235/65 R17 all-terrain tyres. At the rear, the tall longitudinal tail-lights benefit from a new internal tattoo design, while the tailgate is garnished with a more prominent, chromed Mahindra applique.
The spacious cabin of the New Age XUV500 has undergone some important upgrades as part of the model update. Perhaps the most obvious improvements are the plush all-back leather upholstery and the large seven-inch, full-colour touch screen display located in the centre stack.
Bright and clearly legible, the new touch screen is standard fare on the W8 flagship model and provides intuitive, convenient access to the XUV500’s comprehensive infotainment features. These include integrated satellite navigation with voice prompts, as well as a multi-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and music streaming, iPod-compatible USB sockets and a reverse camera.
The new XUV500 has a comprehensive line-up of active and passive safety features, all in the interests of motoring peace of mind. The top-range W8 is fitted with dual front, side and curtain airbags, together with seatbelts for all seating positions, side impact protection bars and crash protection crumple zones.
The active safety systems comprise an all-disc braking system with ABS anti-lock control and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), as well as electronic stability programme (ESP) with roll-over mitigation. The W6 and W8 versions of the XUV500 also feature hill hold and hill descent control.
The new XUV500 retains its predecessor’s powerful, efficient turbodiesel drivetrain. The 2.2 litre four-cylinder mHawk 140 turbodiesel engine makes use of a variable geometry turbocharger to produce 103kW of maximum power at 3 750rpm.
The impressive torque peak of 330Nm is reached at just 1 600rpm and sustained to 2 800rpm, ensuring athletic responses, excellent in-gear tractability and superior lugging power. At a claimed 6.5 litres/100km for the combined cycle, linked to CO2 exhaust emissions of just 171g/km, the XUV500 also counts efficiency among its talents.