Mahindra unleashes XUV300 to take on Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Creta

SUV maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, which is feeling the heat from India’s bigger car maker Maruti Suzuki, has announced its latest offering — the five-seater XUV300 — to take on Vitara Brezza, India’s largest selling SUV.

The model will be launched in the 1st half of February 2019, Mahindra said.

The XUV300 belongs to the same class of ‘compact SUVs’ as Hyundai Creta, Ford Ecosport, Renault Duster and Tata Nexon, which have found favor with city dwellers in India who want SUV looks, but not the bulk.

The Mahindra XUV300 is based on the rather successful Korean model Tivoli, made by SsangYong, a company acquired by Mahindra a few years ago. The Tivoli has sold 2.6 lakh units over 50 countries since its launch in 2015, the Indian auto maker said.

Mahindra did not announce many details about the XUV300, hitherto known by its prototype code name S201. 

Pricing details remain a mystery, but are expected to be comparable to those of main competitor Vitara Brezza, which starts at 7.3 lakhs. 

Brezza, meanwhile, is among the cheaper ‘urban SUVs’, with competitors like Hyundai Creta costing Rs 9.5 lakhs and above.

Mahindra desperately needs a strong contender in the five-seater SUV market. Its previous launches, such as the TUV300, have struggled to shake off the Baleno/Bolero looks.

And going by the pictures, the XUV300 would be a welcome departure from the boxiness seen in M&M’s mid- and entry-level SUV offerings. Given the right pricing, the model could revive Mahindra’s fortunes in the mid-range SUV market.

On the topic pricing, the company plans to offer both a petrol and a diesel variant of the XUV300, indicating that the starting price could be closer to that of Vitara Brezza rather than Hyundai Creta.

“The XUV300 is an all-new product that is built on a global platform and comes with many segment firsts,” said Rajan Wadhera, President Automotive Sector, M&M.

Pawan Goenka, Managing Director of the company called the XUV300 a “next generation aspirational” vehicle similar to the recently launched Marazzo and Alturas G4.

“Our new breed of vehicles are products of engineering excellence, offer high refinement and are built on global platforms,” he said.

In terms of styling, XUV300 has a front that is curving back in a car-like fashion and looks more like its bigger cousin XUV500 than like any of the traditional Mahindra models like Baleno, Bolero or the TUV series.

It has headlamps integrated with fog lamps, dual LED DRLs and LED tail lamps.

The XUV300 will be manufactured at the company’s manufacturing facility at Nasik, in Maharashtra.