Yep, you read that last word right! Cub.
Because Mahindra and Mahindra made us believe its blockbuster XUV500 was a Cheetah, and they’ve made no mistake in deceiving us that the KUV100 is another cat. But it’s a smaller, youthful version… so we’d call it a cub!
1.The KUV100, speaking of the nomenclature, comes right below the two-month old TUV300. But you can see everywhere in the car that KUV looks more inspired from its eldest brother XUV500.
The silhouette is similar, so are the muscles on the sides. The Chevy Beat-like rear door-lever is a good one and the facia looks good, though it could have been better, with a bigger signature Mahindra grille.
We expect Mahindra’s designing camp to evolve after it recently acquired Italian design firm Pininfarina. Frankly, TUV300 was a box we didn’t wanna carry, and KUV looks better.
2. With KUV100, Mahindra has introduced an all new mFALCON engine family with options of both petrol (mFALCON G80) and diesel (mFALCON D75) from 1.2 to 1.6 litre. The engine will also sport in the SsangYong Tivoli, a Korean crossover which will hit India in 2016.
3. Known for its powerful, muscular diesel utility vehicles, Mahindra was the one hurt most by Supreme Court’s recent order banning sale of diesel vehicles above 2000cc from Jan to March 2016. So mFALCON is very crucial as it’ll help Mahindra heal the wound.
4. The 1.2 litre three-pot G80 petrol engine is an all-aluminium MPFI power house that generates 82bhp of power and 115 Nm of torque while the 1.2 litre three-cylinder D75 CRDe mill will beturbocharged to churn out 77bhp and 190Nm of torque.
5. Mahindra seeks to target the young first-time buyers with this car especially after the boom of compact SUVs and success stories of Creta, EcoSport and Duster. Real good news would be if Mahindra manages to bell this cat under Rs 6 lakhs to attract entry-level buyers as well as not bite into TUV300’s market.
Mahindra is calling it “the young SUV for the kool & trendy”. If only their vechicles become cool with their drive quality and Mahindra improves their after-sales service, young buyers will get in the showrooms for bookings ahead of the Jan 15 launch.
Any comments on the car? Tell the author on Twitter @GulshanMWankar with #HTAuto.