The world of compact SUVs has almost exploded in the last few years with companies like Renault, Ford and Nissan leading the way. Soon after that, companies like Fiat and Mahindra followed the same suit. The automotive world has its share
of transformations too, the latest coming from the Mahindra stable. It's got a new face, a new look and a new name; but you can still identify which car it is, under all that cosmetic conversion. It's called the NuvoSport and the name took us by
surprise as well.
Mahindra NuvoSport 2016 is another compact SUV from the house of Mahindra that looks formidable.
The name is self-explanatory; Nuvo is new and the Sport is to bring out its outgoing aspect. Mahindra has specified that the NuvoSport is for those who want a bit of adventure and the look has been changed keeping that part in mind. Yet you can't
help but see through the cosmetic changes and deduce that this indeed is the Quanto. Now, the Quanto, when it was first launched, turned quite a few heads because it was the first sub-compact SUV to come equipped with 7 seats.
But there was a thin line between calling it an SUV or an MPV and that's where the company had lost the plot. Not anymore, now Mahindra seems to have put all its critics to rest with the NuvoSport and yes, it is an SUV!
Mahindra NuvoSport comes loaded with mHAWK Diesel engine with 2-stage Turbocharger that has a displacement of 1493 cc.
The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission system or a 5-speed automatic transmission system based on the type of model you have chosen.
The mHawk 100 comes with a two-stage turbocharger, which tries to kill the lag; but if the needle slides below 1500rpm, the response time of the engine drops significantly. Mahindra also has a Power and Eco mode in the car, which can be used, as per your driving conditions.
In the Eco mode, the revs are restricted to 3500 rpm and the torque drops, as if it had suddenly discovered gravity. There is a vast difference in the way the car drives, in the Eco mode, as there is less power on offer as well. The engine sips, just the amount required and not any more.
Mahindra claims a fuel efficiency figure of 17.45Km/l (ARAI certified); and this, according to the folks there, is not in the Eco mode. Mahindra also says that the NuvoSport can easily do 1000 kms on a full tank and that's quite a claim.
To begin with the NuvoSport is based on the same platform as the third generation Scorpio and is made up of stronger composite materials.The exterior of the compact SUV has been in talks ever since the Mahindra NuvoSport images started to make rounds on the Internet. The exterior is quite different from the rest of the compact SUVs that we have come across, with the vehicle featuring quite a boxy design.
Mahindra has made it youth centric and this is the second car tagged with that phrase - the first being the KUV100. Well, it's all muscle up front; right from the bulges on the bonnet, to the flared wheel arches and the intake on the hood (which is functional). The front grille takes inspiration from the Scorpio and the plastic cladding on the sides add a bit of ruggedness and that's specifically to bring out its SUV DNA.
The front may be new, but it's the side profile that harkens to the past and that's where the NuvoSport reminds you of the Quanto. The rear too is similar, but it now comes with a new wheel cover - one which is very similar to the TUV300. On the styling front then, Mahindra has worked hard to make it as refreshing as it can and it's tried to do the same with the cabin too.
However, the compact SUV uses a sportier theme and has a muscular stance with contemporary daytime running lights. There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to Mahindra NuvoSport colours, including Molten Red, Rust Orange, Regal Blue, Diamond White and many more.
The cabin looks a bit premium now, because of the new dials and the new steering wheel. It comes with features like steering mounted controls (which weren't available in the Quanto), a 6.2-inch Touchscreen system, Bluetooth, Aux-In, USB, a Kenwood Audio system with Navigation, radio and also a CD player. There are rear parking sensors as well as cruise control. One has to admit that all these features are more than those on the TUV300, but what it shares with its sibling is the engine.
The two jump seats at the rear can be used by children and though I tried to squeeze myself onto them, it gets a bit cramped and uncomfortable after a while. What's new is that the seats, in the second row, recline and this means that the passengers there have added comfort. There are a whole bunch of cubby holes as well and there is a parcel tray under the driver's seat, which makes you wonder, why it's there and not under the passenger seat.
Besides that, there are arm rests, on the front two seats and the second row. The reclining seats do affect the third row and no one can sit there if you're in a mood to relax.This will also open the flood gates to luggage space and there is 412-litres of it already. The second row seats now come with a 60:40 split, which was not seen in the Quanto; and yes, they can be folded down, to expand the space to 850-litres.
Mahindra NuvoSport features are quite compact when it comes to braking and safety department, with the compact SUV featuring dual airbags for both the driver and the passengers.
We further see the ABS with EBD feature that delivers more control to the driver, especially while tackling sharp corners.
Although the competition in the compact SUV segment is fierce with the presence of Hyundai Creta, Maruti S Cross, Nissan Terrano, Nissan Duster and Ford EcoSport, the biggest competitor for Mahindra NuvoSport will be the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara Brezza. Vitara Brezza looks sporty and different, and is priced in the same margin as Mahindra NuvoSport. It will be interesting to see which one of the two comes out to be the top choice.
So, the Quanto is ready for its second coming and this time Mahindra has given it a lot of thought - it shows in the price as well. The NuvoSport starts at ₹ 7.35 lakh and tops out at ₹ 9.76 lakh (ex-showroom, Thane); the company has positioned it above the TUV300. With more features and an AMT, as NuvoSport's USP, the consumers are now spoilt for choice, in the sub-compact SUV segment. However, NuvoSport competes against the likes of the new Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport and even its own sibling - TUV300 - in this space, but doesn't really stand out as a distinct front runner. What it does, though, is make it more competitive.