What’s a Mahindra KUV100 then?
Until now, Indian carmaker Mahindra has exclusively produced huge, agricultural SUVs. The new KUV100 is different, as it is the company’s first small crossover.
What do I need to know?
It really is small. Tiny, in fact. It measures just 3,675mm and 1,705mm wide, so it’s only marginally bigger than a Japanese Kei-car. How much space the five-door body contains remains to be seen. though Mahindra sells the KUV100 as a six-seater, unbelievably.
There’s a choice of petrol or diesel engines, both 1.2-litre, three-cylinder units. The petrol produces 82bhp and 84lb/ft of torque, while the diesel musters 77bhp and 140lb/ft. Mahindra doesn’t quote any performance figures, either because it’s irrelevant in a country as congested and with such bad roads as India, or because they couldn’t find a stopwatch with a long enough battery life to measure them.
The KUV100 is quite well equipped for an Indian-market car, with Bluetooth, infotainment, front airbags and front wheel anti-lock brakes – the rear axle makes do with drums – as standard. The top-spec K8 model comes with everything you’d expect of a comparable European or Japanese car.
The KUV100 is aimed at a younger buyer than traditionally walks into a Mahindra showroom. Pawan Goenka, director of parent company Mahindra & Mahindra, said: “The launch of KUV100 is a defining moment in the automotive history of Mahindra. KUV100 is our first foray into ground-up petrol engines and with it we are defining a new SUV sub-segment and targeting a new customer group.”
How much does it cost?
Around 480,000 rupees, equivalent to £5,000 or so.
When can I buy one?
Right now, if you live in India. If not, you’ll probably only ever get behind the wheel if you’re brave enough to hire a car for that once-in-a-lifetime holiday.
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By Only Motors