The TUV300 Plus shares its ladder frame chassis and the 2.2-litre, four cylinder diesel motor with the Scorpio. That said, to compensate for the extra weight, Mahindra has dished out 20 more horsepower over the standard car – the TUV300 Plus delivers 120bhp and 280Nm through a 6 speed manual which sends power to the rear wheels. So how does it drive?
Starting off with the engine, it is surprisingly refined when you are doing city speeds and picks up revs in a smooth manner all the way till 3,000rpm, post which you can hear some diesel clatter. As for the actual go, it is effortless and pulls strongly till the midrange, exhibiting plenty of gusto while hauling the car forwards. Be it in the city or on the highway (until speeds of 120kmph or so), the torque build up is meaty and even with a full load of passengers, the TUV300 Plus never feels like its struggling. The 6-speed manual, meanwhile, also impresses with its light and precise shift action. The clutch is light, too, and easy to modulate meaning even newbies would be able to pull away from standstill without stalling or bunny-hopping this massive vehicle. The only downside to the driver-train are the long throws of the gearbox and the fact that there is no shift lock for reverse which happens to be right next to the first gear.
As for the ride and handling, the TUV300 Plus handles just fine around town, with a moderately heavy steering and good composure. At highway speeds, however, the steering feels imprecise and doesn’t give you the confidence to maintain triple digit speeds. The ride quality also gets a little bouncy at the rear end so if you go through a severe undulation at speed, there is a certain amount of dip and rebound. Having said that, if you keep it below the speed limits there is no questioning the incredibly cushy ride no matter how rough the road surface gets. It’s supple yet predictable and much like the Scorpio, manages to smother almost everything in its way. Of course, the lateral movements that are typical of a ladder-frame construction, are still there when you tackle bad roads but all said, there is no stopping this massive, big wheeled vehicle even if the road is riddled with potholes.