KUV100 is Mahindra’s new entry into the compact hatchback segment. Built on a new platform, the KUV is the SUV amongst the hatchbacks with its larger dimensions. Mahindra has stacked up the KUV with features and technology to ensure that the new entrant has the firepower to compete with the established players in the segment.
Mahindra has carried forward the butch lines of the XUV500 and the styling seems to be inspired by SsangYong. The tall design gets a high bonnet and a pronounced shoulder line that accentuates the length of the sub-four metre car. The slim headlamps with DRLs give it a premium look. The ground clearance is 170mm despite the 14-inch wheels. The sloping roofline towards the back makes the car look a bit smaller from behind. The rear door gets a Chevrolet Beat-like window mounted door handle.
The tall-boy design ensures enough headroom for the front as well as good headroom for the rear passengers in spite of the sloping roof. The seating is upright which results in good cabin space despite the smaller dimensions. There is a sixth seat available if you want to squeeze in between the driver and the front passenger and it also gets a lap belt for safety. The gear lever is mounted on the dashboard to provide legroom for the front middle passenger. The top-end versions get black interiors while the lower versions feature grey. The four-speaker music system gets Bluetooth and USB connectivity along with steering mounted controls.
Engine and gearbox
The KUV is built around a monocoque chassis with a transverse mounted engine powering the front wheels. The KUV gets two engine options – the petrol mFalcon G80 and the diesel mFalcon D75. The 1.2-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine develops 82bhp of power at 5500rpm and 114Nm of torque while the 1.2-turbocharged litre diesel 3-cylinder engine will deliver 77bhp of power at 3725rpm and 190Nm of torque. Both the engines will be mated to a five-speed transmission and may get an AMT option in future. The G80 engine is a micro-hybrid with start-stop technology while the diesel D75 gets driving modes like Eco and Power.