Mahindra & Mahindra on Friday launched its much-awaited compact sports utility vehicle KUV100 priced at Rs 4.42-5.91 lakh for the petrol and Rs 5.22-6.76 lakh for the diesel variant (ex-showroom Pune).
Mahindra has managed to strike the chord with Swift, DZire and Hyundai Grand i10 buyers with seven new colours and four variants and three other variants with additional safety features in the KUV100. Bookings for the new offering will start from January 18.
Mahindra has brought its all-new 1.2-litre mFALCON engine family, with options of both petrol (mFALCON G80) and diesel (mFALCON D75). Mahindra has experimented with the seating arrangement in KUV100 managing to put a small extra seat between the front two seats, which could also be used as an arm-rest by the driver and the co-passenger when not needed.
The top SUV maker has been riding successfully on its mHAWK and mEAGLE engines for years. The 1.2 to 1.6 litre mFALCON engines will also sport in the SsangYong Tivoli, a Korean crossover which will hit India later this year.
The ARAI certified mileage of 25.32 kmpl (diesel) and 18.15 kmpl (petrol), which Mahindra has claimed to be the best-in-class for a compact-SUV. Mahindra has tried to go “Kool” by offering performance enhancers in KUV100 like Engine Start/Stop (ESS) micro hybrid technology and Power/Eco mode in the diesel variant.
At the launch, Mahindra Group chairperson Anand Mahindra also spoke about how “the Olas and Ubers of the world” are causing a major change in the car buyers’ demographics.
“Large fleet owners will buy and lease based on cost and features that we provide. And of course, the car’s design must complement the personality,” Mahindra said.
This is Mahindra’s much hopeful comeback in the petrol segment after it was hurt the most by the diesel sales ban in the NCR from January to March.
The recently teased Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza will take a cue from this figure ahead of its launch at the Delhi Auto Expo in February.
After the September-launched TUV300 did not receive much warmth in the market, for its not-so-great boxy looks, the curved and well-carved KUV100 turned heads all over, reminding Mahindra loyalists their love at first sight with XUV500.
Though Mahindra plans to target the “young and cool” first-time car buyers with the KUV100, they also plan to go to the drawing board afresh to make something for the ever-increasing private taxi services in the country.
In a recent conversation with Hindustan Times, Mahindra Group’s executive director Pawan Goenka spoke of changing its strategy based on the changing demographics of car buyers in the passenger cars market, especially owing to mass cab owners.
“We have to design in a way that is right in a way for that particular segment, and we have to look at vehicle design to answer, why would you want to buy the vehicle, if using a taxi is cheaper and less troublesome for you? How do I get you to buy a vehicle? So making, cars an object of desire rather than an object of mobility is the paradigm shift that we have to do,” Goenka had said.
Mahindra hopes KUV100 will help compensate the loss of sales due to the registration ban on over-2000cc diesel vehicles till March 2016. And at this price and the buzz around this “cub”, Mahindra seems to have hit the bull’s eye.
So what are your views on the KUV100? Tell us using #HTAuto