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    Mahindra XUV300 vs Hyundai Venue Diesel Manual Comparison review

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    Ninad Ambre

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    महिंद्रा xuv300 इक्सटीरियर

    Introduction

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    The SUV segment in India is undoubtedly the fastest growing one. More so, even the sub-compact SUV space has seen quite some excitement over the past few years. The older players like the Ford EcoSport, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Tata Nexon have been joined by the newer ones like the Mahindra XUV300 and the Hyundai Venue. We put these new kids on the block through our exhausting road test to see what all they bring to the table and how they outpace each other.

    Size and appearance

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Gone are the days when SUVs were boxy and bulky and these two compact SUVs prove this exact point. Mahindra has got the right mix with the XUV300 which is based on the SsangYong Tivoli and borrows a lot of traits from the cheetah-inspired XUV500. Similarly, the Venue is considered to be a baby Creta and gets those SUV traits. Boxy yet well shaped with a compact footprint, both the SUVs prove to be exciting prospects. Yet, I’m not too fond of the Venue’s grille or rear section, and definitely would give brownie points to the chiselled XUV300 with its striking tail lamps.

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Cabin Comfort and Space

    Mahindra XUV300 Interior

    Both of these small SUVs offer roughly the same passenger space inside their cabins, as well as similar feature content. The Venue's interior styling is more pleasing to the eye, and material quality seems slightly better, too. On the other hand, the XUV's interior design is handsome though mundane, and yet in both cars the cabin isn't channelled with upholstered dash or centre console. That said, the plastic finish, texture, fit and fitment is evidently better in the Venue. Finding the right driving position with a good view of the road ahead is also easy in both. But with the XUV's slightly smaller rear windscreen, the Venue provides better rear-ward visibility.

    Mahindra XUV300 Interior

    The XUV's faux leather seats feel premium and are well padded to offer good comfort like in the Venue. And yet, Hyundai’s dark coloured part-fabric and part-leather seats should work in the long run for the owners. It goes without saying that the light colours in the XUV add to its ambience and sense of space. But when in the rear seat, the taller window line, lack of under thigh support and air-con vents hamper what could have been an even more comfortable place to be in. This is where the Venue scores high and despite the dark interior, its second row feels better to be in with better under thigh support, good view out of the window and rear air-con vents for breath-taking comfort.

    Mahindra XUV300 Interior

    Practicality is another column where the Venue earns an extra mark. Sure, both have more than sufficient storage and stowage places with more than four bottle holders. And even though trunk volume feels sufficient in both, between the two - the Venue gets a bigger 350 litres boot versus 257 for the XUV. Likewise, with their 60:40 rear seats folded, this Hyundai will still swallow more luggage than the Mahindra.

    Mahindra XUV300 Interior

    Enough kit?

    Mahindra XUV300 Interior

    Both the Venue and the XUV300 come standard with touchscreen infotainment systems that support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Albeit, there are some differences. Although this Mahindra's infotainment system gets a CD player, which the Hyundai misses, the tab-like screen in the Venue looks prettier, is feature-laden, more responsive and paired to an Arkamys music system that sounds better. It also benefits from a new telematics system with modern age features like SIM-enabled GPS and GSM services.

    Mahindra XUV300 Interior

    And then, the XUV300 offers LED DRLs, projector headlamps, automatic climate control, cruise control, button start etc.; but so does the Venue, which has a standard equipment list that includes sun-roof, keyless-entry, reversing camera, parking sensors, ABS, EBD, and hill-hold like the Mahindra. Sure the Venue’s glove-box is cooled, but when it comes to safety features, the XUV 300 has an upper hand with seven airbags as against the Venue's six. Dual-zone climate control is offered on the top-spec XUV, along with rain-sensing wipers, sunglass holder, middle rear three-point seatbelt , headrest, a TPMS system and traction control. And these are all the features that are unavailable on the Venue altogether.

    Mahindra XUV300 Interior

    On the road

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Hyundai has powered the Venue with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder diesel engine producing 89bhp at 4,000rpm and 220Nm at 1,500rpm. Meanwhile, the XUV300 is more powerful with the Marazzo's 1.5-litre four-cylinder mill, but tuned to produce 115bhp at 3,750 rpm. Its peak torque output is rated at 300Nm at 1,500rpm making it the best-in-class figure. At start-up, the Venue's engine prominently feels quieter and refined. That said, the XUV's oil-burner is also quiet but not as smooth as the Hyundai.

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Both get a six-speed manual transmission set-up that provides smooth and fuss-free shifts. However, the shifts are short and more precise in the Venue, while there are little longer throws in the XUV. Also, the difference in power outputs is quite apparent from the word go. Though the Venue's low-end torque doesn't feel dead, it becomes truly alive only post 2,000rpm when the turbo spools in. The XUV, in comparison, takes off better with a good surge of torque the moment you step on the throttle. In fact, this strong mid-range makes it even handier, especially when you are pulling away from traffic. That said, the Venue doesn't struggle either but builds up speed and keeps the momentum going without any hiccups at mid-range. Yet, since the XUV moves through its power band quickly, you tend to automatically shift more often. Thankfully, like the one in the Venue, the XUV’s clutch is light but still has a longer travel. Although overtaking felt easy in both, it’s hard to miss the XUV’s extra output, which makes it feel a tad more effortless on the highways.

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Coming to the handling bits, the Normal and Comfort settings for the steering in the XUV don't show an apparent change in feel. But when in Sport mode, it lends a well-weighted and direct feel which makes the XUV feel more agile in comparison. In fact this gives you an extra bit of confidence to toss it around and have some fun at the wheel too. On the contrary, the Venue, which is surely more competent than other Hyundai siblings, still isn't as engaging or rewarding like the XUV. This Hyundai comes off more like a relaxed one, unlike the Mahindra which offers a better experience to drivers who care more about driving.

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Now for the ride, Mahindra is known to provide a robust suspension set-up and the XUV too gets one. Uneven roads, broken patches, small bumps are easily dismissed at slow speeds. The Venue too has an absorbent ride despite the fact that it feels slightly firmer. However, both document a noise over sharp-edged potholes and the damping could have been better insulated. Yet, straight-line stability in both is impressive and they even show sure-footedness over uncharted terrain. The Venue still has an edge with 10mm of more ground clearance to clear obstacles with aplomb.

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Acceleration and driveability tests

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    The Mahindra XUV300 is more powerful, while the Hyundai Venue is lighter. So we didn't really expect either to outpace each other in terms of acceleration. And as expected we had similar results in our straight-line performance metrics. The 0 to 100kmph mark took 13.88 seconds in the test of the XUV300, while the Venue needed 12.87 seconds to hit the same mark. Even in the 20-80kmph run in third gear, the XUV300 took 9.16 seconds and the Venue 10.29. However, the XUV300’s higher torque came to the fore in the 40-100kmph run in fourth gear as it took just 10.54 seconds, while the Venue performed this run in 14.05 seconds. Even in braking tests, both put up similar timings well under three seconds especially for the 80-0kmph test.

    Fuel efficiency

    Mahindra XUV300 Interior

    Fuel economy or 'kitna deti hai' is undoubtedly more important to many Indian buyers, and both the diesel Venue and the XUV carry the ARAI-claimed fuel-economy estimates north of 20kmpl. In our testing, however, only the Venue was impressive as it was able to deliver 19.46kmpl on our highway fuel-economy test route and 15.26kmpl in the city. The XUV managed 19.11kmpl over the same highway run and 13.76kmpl in the city.

    Mahindra XUV300 Interior

    Verdict

    Rank 2 Points 392

    Mahindra XUV300 - Price Rs 14.51 lakhs

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Both of these compact SUVs bring in quite an interesting proposition; especially with the looks, premium interiors, tractable and frugal engines and a good list of features for the price. Sure then, it came across as a daunting task to find a winner, but our comprehensive point system makes it easier for us. With an impressive balance between practicality and driving fun, the XUV300 still couldn't match up to the Venue's interior quality and price by a whisker. But still, for buyers who are more concerned with the driving experience, this Mahindra remains to be our solid recommendation.

    Rank 1 Points 394

    Hyundai Venue - Price Rs 13.10 lakhs

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Judged not only by data, the Hyundai Venue is undeniably a better buy than the Mahindra XUV300. For a product that is cheaper by Rs 1.5 lakhs, it offers a slightly up-market cabin with better quality of materials. Also, it's more fuel efficient, offers more relevant and modern equipment, and even more space for cargo. No wonder it suits a broader spectrum of buyers.

    Mahindra XUV300 Exterior

    Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi

    Specifications

    CAR NAMEMahindra XUV300Hyundai Venue
    Variant1.5 W8 (O)SX 1.4 (O) Diesel
    ENGINE
    FuelDieselDiesel
    InstallationFront, transverseFront, transverse
    Displacement4 cyls, 1497cc4 cyls, 1396cc
    Power115bhp at 3750rpm89bhp at 4000rpm
    Torque300Nm at 1500rpm220Nm at 1500rpm
    Power to weight80.42bhp per tonne 71.2bhp per tonne
    Torque to weight209.79Nm per tonne176Nm per tonne
    Gearbox6-speed manual6-speed manual
    CHASSIS & BODY
    Kerb weight (measured)1430kg1250kg
    Tyres215/55 R17215/60 R16
    SpareFull-sizeFull-size
    STEERING
    TypeRack and pinionRack and pinion
    Type of assistElectricElectric
    Turning circle10.610.2
    BRAKES
    FrontDiscsDiscs
    RearDiscsDrums
    ABSYesYes

    Test Data

    CAR NAMEMahindra XUV300Hyundai Venue
    Variant1.5 W8 (O) DieselSX 1.4 (O) Diesel
    PERFORMANCE & BRAKING
    0-20kmph1.19s1.80s
    0-40kmph3.33s3.52s
    0-60kmph5.36s5.50s
    0-80kmph8.87s8.97s
    0-100kmph13.88s12.87s
    0-120kmph19.42s19.7s
    20-80kmph in 3rd gear (kickdown)9.16s10.29s
    40-100kmph in 4th gear (kickdown)10.54s14.05s
    80-0kmph25.35m, 2.27s26.14m, 2.39s
    FUEL ECONOMY
    City13.76kmpl15.26kmpl
    Highway19.11kmpl19.46kmpl
    Tank size42 litres45 litres
    Range690.48km781.2km
    INTERIOR MEASUREMENTS
    Front
    Legroom(Max/min)850/620mm820/620mm
    Headroom980mm940mm
    Shoulder room1300mm1250mm
    Backrest height650mm610mm
    Rear
    Legroom(Max/min)890/620mm830/600mm
    Ideal legroom740mm650mm
    Headroom920mm970mm
    Shoulder room1250mm1220mm
    Seat base length490mm510mm
    Backrest height590mm660mm
    Boot257 litres350 litres
    Length/width/height590/1050/610mm720/1070/570mm
    Loading lip height840mm810mm

    Score Sheet

    ParametersMax pointsMahindra XUV300 1.5 W8(O)Hyundai Venue SX 1.4 CRDi
    DRIVING FEEL
    Steering response201413
    Directional stability251818
    Engine characteristics251717
    Gearbox201517
    Visibility1077
    Intermediate results1007172
    SPACE
    Front Space251210
    Rear space251211
    Feeling of space201514
    Boot space/flexibility20912
    Payload1088
    Intermediate results1005655
    IN THE CABIN
    Comfort equipment251413
    Operatibility151010
    Feel of quality201213
    Front seats/ingress201516
    Rear seat/ingress201414
    Intermediate results1006566
    PERFORMANCE
    Acceleration251416
    Top speed1066
    Driveability302825
    Braking251920
    Environment1089
    Intermediate results1007576
    ROAD MANNERS
    Ride quality302121
    Turning circle151313
    Handling201413
    Manoeuvrability151111
    Safety20129
    Intermediate results1007167
    PRICE
    Price451415
    Resale1078
    Warranty1077
    Fuel efficiency352628
    Intermediate results1005458
    Total600392394

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