In a country where ‘badaa hai toh behtar hai’ is the mantra for all things from lassi glass to cars, the Mahindra Scorpio then fits the description alright. It has seen its glory days when the options for extra large SUVs were limited and pockets not so deep. Even with the growing competition, the old-school SUV’s charm hasn’t waned, at least in the rural markets, and same competition also means it is much easier to get a reasonable deal on one of these in the used car market.
If you are looking for a mobility solution more than comfort, a used Scorpio might be a viable option.
Why I’d buy it
Fits all sizes and takes any number of passengers, it might just be an incentive to start your own taxi service. Also, you will rarely see one broken down by the side of the road, and in case it does, any roadside mechanic can fix it.
Get a white one if you are in a habit of hurrying around, flash the headlamps and everyone from pedestrians to smaller vehicles will dart out of the way in a jiffy…as an added measure, use the horn liberally. Then, when you are tired of it, get in touch with Rohit Shetty’s crew and chances are he might cast it in one of his flying car stunts.
On a serious note, the Scorpio is apt for going over bad roads in rural India. The ground clearance is good enough, there is hardly anything that breaks and the ride quality is already so bad that taking it on dirt roads won’t make much of a difference to the passengers. The mHawk engine is fine, it packs a decent punch and has almost acceptable fuel efficiency, especially in one of the newer cars.
Why I’d avoid it
There is hardly anything that feels car-like. The ride at high speeds on the highways is downright scary, People will take it for granted that you are either a baddie or a driver, people at every junction are going to wave hoping for a ride. Also many of the cars available in the second-hand market, despite having white number plates, have been abused as taxis.
Plus there are bigger and meaner machines available on the road today, so if I have a larger budget, I might even consider looking at one of them.
Version I will buy
White one with plenty of chrome and stickers. There might be a few with special number plates for… you know (wink, wink)
Price: Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh
Engines 2.6-litre – 75bhp/200Nm, 2.2-litre mHawk 120bhp/280Nm
Gearbox: five-speed manual, automatic
Fuel efficiency: 10.3kmpl and 15.4kmpl