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Mahindra lacks power but exudes excitement for the public!

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MacPherson front. The Mahindra SUV New Age 500 looked the part.

The New Age XUV 500 SUV might not be your WoW factor but it certainly won hearts of many, who inquired from the retail price to fuel capacity to torque, among others.

With the increase of fuel today, for Mahindra as we tested the diesel model this was a pleasure experience as we negotiated our way from Joburg to Rustenburg before heading to an unplanned journey to rugged Zeerust, near the boarder gate of neighbours Botswana.

Yes, all in one evening and we only had to refill as we made the trip back home.

This 7-seater Indian SUV made was launched in the country last year, and one must point out its’ still popular on the road with its newly added features and improved design.

Starting at the front, the grille, headlights, bonnet and foglights have been restyled, with a glossy black finish offset by chromed accents. There are new black mesh inserts in both the grille and the lower air intake, which has been re-shaped to match up better with the grille.

The bonnet has been reshaped to make it look wider and flatter, and the headlight clusters have been completely redesigned, with a new, curved line of LED daytime running lights, while bigger foglights are mounted in restyled openings that link up with the headlights.

From the side, there are stylish new multi-spoked 17 inch alloys, shod with 235/65 all-terrain rubber – but a more subtle change is the revised door handles, with a more open shape that’s easier to to get your fingers inside.

The tail-lights have a revised diffuser pattern, and the tailgate gets a more prominent, chromed Mahindra badge.

The most obvious changes inside are the all-black leather trim with silver accents, and a big new seven-inch colour touch-screen display in the centre stack that accesses the car’s satnav, multi-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity and rear parking camera.

The new screen created its own problems, so the centre-stack cowling has been reshaped to help the screen stay bright and legible even in direct sunlight, while the binnacle for the three-dial instrument cluster in front of the driver is new designed in, rather than added on to the top of the dashboard.

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Lacked power. Despite its spacious leg room it lacked when coming to power as we tried it on some hills in Rusty.

The top W8 variant now comes with auto headlights and wipers, climate control, power windows and mirrors, cruise control and a multifunction steering wheel.

The New Age XUV500 retains its predecessor’s 2.2-litre turbodiesel four, delivering the same 103kW at 3750 revs and 330Nm from 1600-2800rpm, driving the rear wheels via a six-speed manual’box – although an all-wheel drive W8 is available for those of us who like to get our playtoys dirty on occasion.

Also unchanged are Lotus-tuned front MacPherson struts, multilink rear suspension and power-assisted power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.

The only snag: it lacked power. Period…

It comes with a five-year or 150 000km warranty and a five-year or 100 000km service plan.

Services are at 20 000km intervals or every 12 months.

Retailing Prices

XUV500 W4 – R262 995

XUV500 W6 – R304 995

XUV500 W8 – R339 995

XUV500 W8 AWD – R359 995

Verdict:

1-10 Performance: 5

1-10 Fuel/Diesel:  7

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