Mahindra dealerships have now begun accepting bookings for the diesel-automatic version of its compact SUV – the Mahindra XUV300. The XUV300 AMT variant will launch in July and is expected to cost Rs 50,000 more than the XUV300 diesel-manual (Rs 8.49-11.99 lakh).
The diesel-AMT combo is expected to be offered on the higher variants of the XUV300; the base W4 is expected to continue with the 6-speed manual. Besides the addition of the Marelli-sourced 6-speed automated manual unit, the XUV300 auto is identical to its manual counterpart.
When the Mahindra XUV300 launched in India at the beginning of the year, it was a very compelling product. Despite prices being a bit on the higher side of the compact SUV segment, the XUV300 came with a pleasant diesel engine (the 1.5-litre unit borrowed from the Marazzo MPV) and excelled in areas such as features and safety kit. A major chink in its armour, however, was the fact that it did not come with an automatic option, unlike rivals like the Tata Nexon and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. With the XUV300 diesel-AMT, Mahindra hopes to plug this gap in its line-up. However, the XUV300 petrol will continue to fall behind rivals like the Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon and Hyundai Venue, as it is not expected to get an automatic option.
While it may cost a significant premium over its rivals – the Nexon diesel-AMT costs Rs 8.94-11.00 lakh, while the Maruti Brezza AMT is priced between Rs 8.70-10.65 lakh – the XUV300 makes a compelling case for itself. Our review of the XUV300 AMT showed that the transmission adds a degree of convenience to what is already an easy-to-drive, comfortable, powerful, fuel-efficient diesel and feature-rich SUV. However, it will now have to also go up against the rather nice Hyundai Venue. Time will tell if the XUV300 AMT will help Mahindra’s sales.