Sunday 12 April 2015

Full drive of Mahindra and Mahindra latest SUV- Quanto

Full drive of Mahindra and Mahindra latest SUV- Quanto

Quanto, Mahindra & Mahindra?s latest compact SUV, has been in market since 2012 and is being assumed as one of the best sellers in 2013.

Mahindra & Mahindra, the Indian tractor giant, is all set to make a swing at the SUV segment with its SUV Quanto, company’s new car model in 2012. Mahindra & Mahindra’s another SUV Xylo is the building block of Quanto SUV and the makers have made a sheer attempt to merge a mini MPV and SUV into one. Mahindra Quanto SUV is ready for the game directly with its competitors for the best SUV competition.

Mahindra &Mahindra is known for its Utility Vehicles (UVs) and the number of SUVs in the Mahindra stable is constantly growing but the fact remains that Mahindra Xylo has been its most appreciated as its top most SUV. The Bolero rules the 6 - 8 people transport segment, Scorpio is again one the best selling SUVs in India and its iconic XUV500 has broken all records in SUV category for the volumes sold in 15-16 lakh rupee vehicle range. So it was expected that sooner or later Mahindra & Mahindra will come up with small sized SUV by mixing up the MUV and SUV technology. The engineers of Mahindra& Mahindra have worked smartly to get a MUV model from Xylo SUV base. When you look beyond Mahindra Quanto structure you would realise that Xylo base is carved out into a sub-four metre seven-seater mini-SUV and has been given a new unique look when there are so many sub-four meters SUVs around in the segment that is the largest selling segment in Indian auto industry.
Mahindra doesn’t mind product overlapping as number of sub-10 lakh UVs are present in the Mahindra & Mahindra showrooms. A company official, once quoted a famous line of Andrew Grove as –‘Cannibalise your own business; if you don’t, someone else will do it for you’. The total capital costs spend by Mahindra &Mahindra on the SUV Quanto project is Rs.100 crores. The sale expectation figure of Quanto SUV has been kept at a moderate level of 2,000 units per month. Since Mahindra Xylo SUV also has the same base the figure therefore nearly go up to 4,000 vehicles from same base. The present production capacity for both the MUV stands at 120 units per day, which can be increased to 280 units. Apart from normal car buyers Mahindra Quanto SUV will cover various sections related to cabs, hotels and the police force. Mahindra &Mahindra is also planning to take the vehicle to Tier II & Tier III towns where rough road drive is preferred rather than luxury.

The Xylo SUV base has been fitted into the sub four metre category by Mahindra & Mahindra in order to get the advantage of excise duty benefit. There is little to distinguish between both the Mahindra SUVs ( Xylo and Quanto) except the side strips. The body-on-ladder configuration was an essential feature of Mahindra Xylo and took this SUV configuration to the next level, ladder-type chassis. Mahindra Quanto SUV has the same base, and the double wishbone independent set-up of the suspensions in the front and a five-link set-up having coil springs at the rear that is all taken out directly from the Mahindra Xylo. The engineers have done brilliantly as the base is further tuned and the sheet metal with side door frame are used such effectively that a large saving is made all new tooling outlay.
Bonnet and all the doors are also directly lifted from Xylo SUV while the rear windows looks more like quarter glasses. The tail lamps of this Mahindra SUV have been given a new and stylish look and are placed a little higher than they were in Xylo. The use of black strips along the pillars of Mahindra Quanto SUV hides the extra mass. There is a mounted spare wheel on the rear door thereby adding to the sturdy look of SUV Mahindra Quanto. However, when one looks inside the tail gate one can think that there is less space, as two side-facing jump seats are installed by Mahindra to make it a seven-seater SUV. The third seat row is more of a marketing advantage, having third seat means complying with lower emission norms since there are more strict rules for 5-seater SUVs.

The rear seats of Quanto SUV would prove better for kid’s usage but not for regular travel and also seatbelts are missing in rear seats. The wheel arches and the strake running from front to rear of the SUV below the belt line in addition with the full length floor boards on both sides could look hackneyed but will go with the overall structure of Mahindra Quanto.

Fit & finish are quite good but doesn’t match to the standards of the Bolero, but that is acceptable as Mahindra & Mahindra has designed SUV quanto by keeping in mind the price constraints. The Ertiga & Duster both are monocoque body-on-frame UVs and it is expected from all SUVs that they are better suited for load carrying and must be capable of operating on all the terrains. Mahindra & Mahindra has kept in mind that the customer base from Tier II & Tier III towns will inevitably use Quanto on rough terrains and will overload the Quanto. So one can also see that the tyre pressure sticker reads "7 or more" entry.

Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata vehicles always face problems in terms of their weight. The increasing weight has severe effects on the vehicle in terms of performance, dynamics and efficiency. Both the companies have yet to find a way to reduce weight in their vehicles and sometimes the weight plays a villain for sales of their vehicles. 1,640 kilos, that is the weight of the base model of Mahindra Quanto which is 500 kg more than Renault Duster and 400 more than that of Maruti Ertiga. Toyota Innova has nearly the same weight but has advantage of larger number of people moreover. Mahindra & Mahindra is also planning to launch Quanto 4x4, a 2.5L diesel engine variant that will probably add another 150 kilos to the existing weight of Quanto. Maybe after that Mahindra & Mahindra can apply for the Guinness book of world records in the category of heaviest sub-four metre vehicle in the world.

The Korean-inspired toothy front grille of the Mahindra Quanto SUV was first introduced in Scorpio. The pictures of Mahindra Quanto SUV however do not seem flashy but the vehicle will prove best alternative to the large hatchbacks which are presently ruling the large Indian auto industry. But the most important matter is of course what is under the hood in Mahindra Quanto and will it be able to fulfil the expectation of the customer. If Mahindra Xylo’s large car engine, m Eagle 2.5-litre engine would have been fitted in Quanto, it would have made it awkward, unmanageable and would have further added to the existing whooping weight of Mahindra Quanto SUV. While the major auto companies all over the globe are talking about sustainability and paying more attention to down-sizing Mahindra & Mahindra has shown that they are a much spirited company and can implement the talks. Mahindra & Mahindra already produced a 2.2-litre manifestation from m Hawk engine family and now has come up a three-cylinder inline unit displacing 1493cc engine.

The 1493cc automobile engine of Mahindra Quanto SUV has the distinction of being first three-pot unit from an all-Indian car company and feature Bosch common rail direct injection. It is the first of its kind in Indian auto industry to employ a dual-stage turbocharger. In country like India where traffic conditions are harsh, a high initial torque thrust is required in vehicles; the dual-stage turbocharger is a perfect device to provide that. A badge can be seen on the engine that reads ‘mCR100’, here m stands for Mahindra, 100 being the output in bhp and CR for common rail. The engine via five-speed gearbox drives rear wheels. The intercooler under the hood is mounted on top of the engine.

The Mahindra XUV500 also has the four-cylinder mHawk engine. The thought process that prevailed while designing the engine was to have the twin-cylinder engine displace 450cc per pot. So that the triple can go up to 500cc per cylinder and meanwhile each of the four cylinders would replace 550cc apiece. The new mCR100 engine is developed on the same line of thought and churns out a power of 100bhp at 3750rpm and an extraordinary torque of 240Nm at 1600-2800rpm spectrum. All these facts straight away declare Mahindra Quanto SUVas the winner among hot diesel hatchbacks like Hyundai i20, Fiat Grande Punto and Maruti Suzuki Swift. But all these hatchbacks have the advantage of weight factor and balance the power-to-weight matter. Mahindra Quanto loses in this league.

You usually steps into a SUV or MUV coming to Mahindra Quanto one has to climb into it. Seats and floor are raised a little bit. The elder customers may face problem while the younger ones will not face any, while getting in this new car model. Senior citizens further might ask for help when getting out of the rear seats through rear door as the rear seat is placed even higher than the front.

Mahindra Quanto SUV impresses in the first look in terms of interiors and again you can see the Xylo affect. Interior design, space and quality are same as that in Mahindra Xylo, while the Xylo's ordinary and cheap wood finish is no more in the Quanto SUV. Though the colour chosen is neutral, the seat's yellow upholstery seems to be very flashy. Interiors are easy to keep clean as they not so light coloured. The quality of interiors is not that good but acceptable at this price point.  There are also some rough edges and ill-fitted parts present in the interiors.  Uneven panel gaps also look odd and interior quality cannot be compared to that of the Dzire or i20.

The front glass area is huge and the cabin is also very spacious. Mahindra Quanto can give you the perfect experience of SUV drive as the driver’s seat is little bit higher up and presents a brilliant view of the road ahead.  This is Mahindra Quanto’s one of the biggest advantage. All the windows of this SUV start early so that the lateral view is also complete and further making the cabin bright. However reversing must be careful since the rear seat placed high. The raised rear seat blocks the rear view to a point and one could miss a vehicle parked behind.

The AC is efficient and the temperature of the cabin was can be kept in comfortable range on a hot day even without sun films. The people on the 3rd seat row may need a higher speed of blower.
The 2-DIN audio system comes with four installed speakers and 2 tweeters. The Verito also has the same system. Input for the USB, AUX and an SD card slot is provided but the system lacks Bluetooth connectivity. The illuminated glove box doesn’t run deep enough and there are 7 bottle holders inside, a one litre bottle can be fitted in each. Pocket doors are present in every gate but have sharp edges therefore one must carefully pick things from side pockets.

The performance aspect is the most important for any type of vehicle. The performance of Mahindra Quanto SUV is more than adequate keeping in mind that it is a UV, but close to large sized hatchbacks in terms of performance. The action of engine is quick and once the vehicle got into third gear the enormous torque comes into play for a great forward motion.
Mahindra Quanto has good driveability in-town, strong-legged capability on the highways and is not hard on one’s pocket too. It is not a sports car so expecting a performance of that degree would be coming too hard on the vehicle. In this full drive the Mahindra Quanto SUV delivered much than expected in road test. The claimed mileage of the vehicle is 17.21kmpl which is very impressive for a SUV of such weight and built. The ride quality and handling in comparison with some other hatchbacks is one of the best. The weight of steering wheel is perfectly balanced and allowed a smooth steering making the vehicle fit for the city buyers.

The price positioning is always one of the trickiest questions for any of the automaker. The price should not be too low, not too high, it just have to be perfect. Mahindra 7 Mahindra with its XUV5OO has already shown that it is capable of delivering good value-based proposals. Mahindra Quanto SUV has best new car price review and pricing starts at Rs 5.82 lakh for the base C2 model and increases up to Rs 7.36 lakh for the top-spec C8 variant (ex-showroom, Mumbai). Mahindra Quanto would be the best car to buy and is definitely the best alternative of large premium hatchbacks.


Post a Comment