First Drive| New Mahindra Verito
The very practical facelifted Verito saloon offers great value and now has more family-car appeal.autos Updated: Dec 05, 2012 13:34 IST
The very practical facelifted Verito saloon offers great value and now has more family-car appeal.
Mahindra’s Verito has gone under the knife and it’s safe to say that it's much easier on the eye now. The Verito (formerly Logan) still looks boxy, but thanks to the redesigned front and rear, it has a softer edge. The front, now with multi-element headlamps and a Skoda-like chrome grille, lends the Verito a more upmarket look. The new bumper, with its large front air dam, looks aggressive and the overall effect is quite positive. The new tail-lamps and the rear bumper reduce the visual bulk and the crisp creases that run from the bootlid and merge with the tail-lights add to the appeal too.
On the inside, the updated two-tone dash looks richer and the ergonomics have been improved drastically. The window switches are moved from the centre console to the door pads. The old single-DIN music system has been replaced by the two-DIN unit from the Xylo, and gets modern features like Aux-in and USB ports. Even the AC controls are new and more modern looking. Space and practicality, the Verito’s trump card, still remain and at this price and size, it doesn’t get any bigger. There is loads of space up front and even six-foot-plus people will fit comfortably. The driver’s seat, however, doesn’t get height or steering adjustment, so you have to live with the high driving position. The rear bench is very comfortable and, thanks to the car’s width, sitting three abreast is not an issue. You won’t complain about the large boot either.
As the updated Verito is more or less the same under the skin, it feels similar to drive. The saloon comes with 1.4-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engine options. We drove the D6 variant, which is powered by the same 65bhp 1461cc dCi motor as the earlier version. This means there is no hesitation at low revs and driving it in traffic is very easy. The once jerky and slightly heavy clutch now feels much lighter and more progressive, and the engine feels smoother and better insulated. But, once past 3500rpm, the power tapers off and it’s best to shift up a gear and stay in the power band. And this is still one of the most efficient engines around too.
The suspension has been raised slightly and it feels more pliant, and bump absorption is much better. It works more silently too. But its softer setup means some of the agility from the earlier car is now lost; the lighter steering only adding to this.
The updated Verito, with its more upmarket image, is surely a step forward. It may still seem old next to a modern Maruti Swift Dzire, but when it comes to space, practicality and economy, there are very few cars that come close.
Price Rs 5.27-5.49 lakh (petrol), Rs 6.25-7.14 lakh (diesel) (ex-showroom Delhi)
Type 4 cylinder, 8 valve 1461cc
Power 65bhp at 4000rpm
Torque 16.3kgm at 2000rpm
Gearbox 5-speed manual
Wheel base 2630mm
Boot volume 510 litres
Ground clearance 172mm
Wheels 14inch alloys
Tyres 185/70 R14
Tank size 50 litres