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Mahindra xuv700 driving on the road

Mahindra XUV700 First Drive: Should You Consider this 7-Seater Midsize SUV?


Mahindra, an Indian SUV maker, has been harbouring its plans for global expansion for a long time and while we have seen its products in the Australian market before, this time it is aiming at the lucrative but highly competitive midsize seven-seater SUV space.

Its main competitors in Australia will likely be the Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan X-Trail, but in our first drive, we found the Mahindra XUV700 offers more of an Isuzu D-Max-like drive, albeit only a front-wheel drive vehicle in our market. Mahindra also has the Scorpio N which is a proper 4×4 but the XUV700 (call it ‘X-U-V-seven-double-oh’) is its more luxurious sibling with more features around the cabin. Replacing the outdated XUV500, the car is new from the ground up from platform architecture to the overhauled interior and new engines.

Mahindra xuv700 rear end

Mahindra XUV700 | Image: Mahindra

It cuts an imposing stance, due to its ample size—a length of 4695mm—and we found the styling to also be quite handsome. There’s a more traditional upright SUV silhouette flanked by a large grille along with sharp-looking LED headlamps. The roof tapers slightly without endowing it with crossover-like proportions while the flush door handles add to the effect. It’s certainly one of the better-looking SUVs in its class.

Inside too, there’s plenty to like with dual 10.25-inch screens jostling for space amidst a clean but crisply styled interior. The white faux leather upholstery looks nice but will be a dirt magnet for sure. The exact feature list for the Australian market is yet to be revealed but expect the usual suite of technology and comfort features. Some highlights include a 12-speaker Sony audio system and active safety features such as autonomous braking/lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.

Mahindra xuv700 dashboard

Mahindra XUV700 | Image: Mahindra

Expect the Australian spec AX7L top-end trim level to get wireless smartphone connectivity, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control and a 360-degree camera. There are also no complaints about the space on board and the all-important third row offers similar proportions to other models in its class. In saying that, it’s best used for short journeys.

The Australian market will get a 2.0-litre turbo petrol with 200bhp/380Nm and a 6-speed torque converter automatic. Unlike the 4WD Scorpio N, the XUV700 is front-wheel drive but still feels tough and has ample ground clearance for some token off-roading. Up front, the engine is refined and has enough power to move this heavy SUV (1860 kg) while the automatic transmission is well-paired and offers smooth shifting.

Acceleration is linear but does not taper off when pushed hard and even at high speeds, the XUV700 feels stable. With such a large SUV, there is body roll of course but it is well controlled.

The XUV700 does tick quite a few boxes in terms of being a capable family three-row SUV and aggressive pricing will enable it to gain a sizeable amount of market share in this cut-throat space. Priced from about AUD$40,000, it’s the best Mahindra we’ve driven yet and an interesting take on a midsized SUV.

Check out the Mahindra XUV700

Mahindra xuv700 front end

Mahindra XUV700 | Image: Mahindra

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