DRIVEN: The new Mahindra XUV300 hits the road to Paternoster

Mahindra has launched its new compact SUV, the XUV 300, in South Africa. Wheels24's, Leigh-Ann Londt experiences the new model.

This SUV is not just a fun, safety-packed vehicle but it is also very economical and affordable. Over a weekend I drove the new model to Paternoster. I was fairly impressed.

For the size of the vehicle, powered by a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel, the XUV300 is surprisingly nippy. Its engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission resulting in a very smooth driving experience. The built-in satnav is also a boon when navigating along the West Coast. 

SEE: GALLERY: New Mahindra XUV300

The Mahindra is far from sluggish where speed is concerned. It pushes out 300Nm, nearly double the amount of torque when compared to my Toyota Corolla RXI 20Valve. It doesn't need to be geared down for extra speed, and it's able to overtake with ease. 

mahindra xuv300

                                                                                            Image: Wheels24 / Leigh-Ann Londt

The engine, combined with stop/start functionality makes it a rather economical offering too.

The smart rain-sensor and light sensor is one of the best features of the Mahindra. The dual-zone aircon wasn't needed as we faced some thick misty weather along the West Coast, but the heater warms up instantly keeping you cosy, happy, and ready to keep going. 

mahindra xuv300

                                                                                              Image: Wheels24 / Leigh-Ann Londt

This SUV is ideal for a small family over weekends, looking for vehicle that's affordable and practical. The Mahindra XUV300 looks small on the outside but it is very spacious inside, with a well-designed, unique interior and seats both the driver and passengers comfortably.

mahindra xuv300

                                                                                            Image: Wheels24 / Leigh-Ann Londt

When driving through the gravel roads of Tietiesbaai, hardly any bumps were felt, the SUV took it on quite well. Overall I find the XUV300 to be fierce-looking in front, but sportier and unique when looking at the roof-racks above with a simple, yet elegant sunroof between it.

SEE: DRIVEN: Looking for a stylish compact SUV? Mahindra's new XUV300 arrives in South Africa

mahindra xuv300

                                                                                            Image: Wheels24 / Leigh-Ann Londt

The new future ahead for Mahindra's "Do it your way" looks promising as the XUV300 was a good come back after the XUV500. I also find Mahindra to be a true challenging brand in general and it has already changed the perceptions of many South African customers for the better.