Sunday, 12 April 2015

The First Drive of Mahindra Quanto

The First Drive of Mahindra Quanto

Quanto is a compact SUV launched in 2012 from Mahindra & Mahindra. Being a Mahindra product it was among the most awaited cars of 2012.

For many years now, Mahindra & Mahindra has been known as a leader in the SUV market in India. Mahindra & Mahindra has changed the scenario of the competition prevailing in the Indian SUV market by launching one path breaking vehicle after another. This SUV maker is highly trusted by consumers and has a good availability of service stations in the remotest part of the country. This makes Mahindra a name to be reckoned by consumers in general. After the government announced the financial benefits and tax exemptions for automobiles that are powered by engines with less than 1500cc calibration, and length smaller than 4 meters, Mahindra intelligently crafted its new SUV  “Quanto” to fit in the parameters of Government and budget of most of the Indians as well. The year 2012 saw the launch of quite a few SUVs, and Mahindra Quanto was one of the most awaited SUVs of the year gone by.

The all-new, 241bhp 328i uses a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol motor with a single, twin-scroll turbocharger. It loves to be spun hard and is torquey too, thanks to direct injection and the turbo. So, while there is a tiny bit of lag, this motor has a strong mid-range - which is now its strongest point – and it has an extremely strong top end too. Like the diesel, this motor doesn’t feel refined at idle and it emits a coarse snarl at high revs. Performance, however, is sizzling hot. 0-100kph takes 6.4 seconds, 180 comes up in 22.1 seconds, and from the way this car howls past 230kph, you can tell hitting the limited top speed of 250 is only a matter of finding the right stretch of road.

It was being assumed Renault’s key SUV Duster would give Mahindra Quanto a tough challenge on roads. But Quanto took the challenge bang on and carved a niche market of  its own in a very little time. Mahindra has been thoughtful enough to keep the pricing of its SUV competitive, so that Quanto stands out amongst so many SUV contenders in the market. The response has been so good so far, which proves that Indians customers look positively to good quality SUVs with competitive prices. One of the biggest query in most of the automotive enthusiast's mind  about Mahindra Quanto is whether it has a DNA of its own, or is just the smaller version of Xylo. But the SUV is  definitely going to be a big hit in the year 2013, in the Indian markets.

Although if you notice the front of this SUV, there is hardly any difference from its bigger sibling, Mahindra Xylo. But the back of Mahindra Quanto has been totally redesigned and bears no resemblance with the other models of Mahindra. The rear wheels of the SUV have been made to bear less load by replacing a big rear glass window by quarter glass window. The tail gate has been designed to open sideways, and it also houses the spare wheels of the SUV. The tail lamps are like fresh breeze and seems like wrapping around the tail of Quanto. The other firsts in terms of Mahindra Quanto’s design are the presence of alloy wheels, these are small and are just 15 inches in size. These give Quanto a gawkier look than ever, and the SUV looks like a mean machine on the road. 

Although the length of Mahindra Quanto is less, you won’t feel cramped inside the SUV as it has a good wheelbase of 2760mm. Although entering in the  higher cabin of Quanto might be a bit inconvinient , but once you are inside the SUV, seats will definitely provide you the comfort and cozinees you must be looking for. The height of front seat of Quanto provides a better view of the road ahead. The controls are  placed very ergonomically, and can be easily accessed by the driver. The top end model of Mahindra Quanto has been loaded with sevral additional features. The Mahindra Quanto C8 comes with several extra features like the dual airbags, parking sensors, power windows, fully loaded music system with aux connectivity, MP3 player, etc. that make driving this SUV from Mahindra a fun experience. 

Mahindra Quanto, when considered for long drive definitely provides a comfortable experience with the plenty of leg room provided in the middle row. Along with it, the flat seats ensure that the much needed under thigh support is there. In the 7-seater Mahindra  Quanto, the passengers of the last row have to enter the SUV from the tail gate. The seats in last row of Mahindra Quanto may not be that comforting and can be considered only for rides within the city. The seats of the middle row have been provided with fixed headrests to give more space to last row. This might be a matter of concern for those conscious of height of headrest. If you do not have any passengers in the last row, then you can fold up the seats, and get some good luggage space for your weekend travels.

Mahindra Quanto belongs to sub – 1500 cc segment, the exact engine capacity of this vehicle is 1493 cc. The SUV comes fitted with a CRDI engine, but it has 3 cylinders, instead of 4. You will appreciate the power of this SUV by Mahindra on highways as it has a torque of 240 Nm, and a power of 100PS. Although Mahindra Quanto has 3 cylinders, the engine is quite refined. When the engine is kept on the idle mode, vibrations are hardly audible. If you are looking for an SUV which takes top speed as soon as you press the accelerator to the floor, then Mahindra Quanto might not be the right SUV for you. This SUV from Mahindra takes 17.41 seconds to reach from 0 to 100 kmph. If you love cruising at a lower speed, then you will fall in love with Mahindra  Quanto’s engine. The suspension of this SUV is a double wishbone in the front, and the five links at the rear of the SUV. As the top of Mahindra Quanto is very heavy, you will experience body roll at top speeds on the highway.  This SUV requires wider turning radius for changing directions suddenly.

The USP of this Indian SUV is its competitive price. The base price of Quanto starts from 5.82 lakhs (ex- showroom Mumbai), and the top end Quanto C8 comes at a price of 7.36 Lakhs. This has made a wider section of the society get a hold of this premium segment SUV on the Indian roads. The 55 liter fuel tank ensures that you are tension free when you hit the road with Mahindra Quanto, and distance is not a limiting factor for the owner of this SUV. Long drives wouldn’t be an expensive idea if you are choosing to travel in Mahindra Quanto. The air conditioning system of the SUV is also  quite effective, and is in  perfect coordination with Indian climate. So, you can just hop in Quanto, and explore the unknown.

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