1 - Interior Space
The TUV is one of the few sub-four metre SUVs that can actually seat three abreast at the back without the occupants having to smell each other’s armpits! Even at the front, there’s so much space between the driver and the co-driver that we’d recommend the TUV if you fight with your spouse often. And of course, there’s enough and more headroom in here to stretch even!
The boot too is decently sized. Now, the side opening door isn’t the most practical, and neither is the high loading lip height. But, get past the two, and you can stuff a lot of luggage in there.
2 - Cabin Comfort
Firstly, for a diesel, the NVH on the TUV isn’t half bad. It also has comfy seats. These are big - be it the captain fronts or the bench rear - and these offer good thigh and back support as well. But yes, the seats could do with a bit more contouring.
The TUV doesn’t move around on the go too much either. Show it broken roads, bumpy roads, or no roads at all, and it would rarely send a rude shock down any of its occupants’ spine. If ever. It does jiggle a bit over bad roads, like most ladder frame SUVs do, but one can easily live with it.
This, the top spec TUV300, retails for around Rs 12.3 lakhs in Mumbai. And for this money you get a detailed driver information system with a gear indicator. You also get a touchscreen multimedia system. There’s height adjust for the driver. The outside rear view mirrors are electrically powered. And there’s a whole array of cup and bottle holders, and stowage options as well.
3 - All round Visibility
The TUV has great visibility. The large glass area helps. But, it also has a relatively thin A-pillar. Plus with the high seating, the short dashboard, and the squarish but well defined edges, it is very easy to place the TUV in traffic making it quite easy to drive even in chock-o-block traffic.
You also get these huge rear view mirrors, and now there’s a reversing camera to compensate for the high rear windshield and the tail gate mounted spare.
4 - Diesel powertrain
One of the biggest highlights for me when it comes to the TUV300, is its engine. It is different from the one that powers the XUV300. This one is a 1.5litre diesel as well. But, it has three cylinders instead of four. And it makes 100bhp. But more importantly, it produces 240Nm of peak torque from 1600rpm. But it doesn’t seem to have any turbolag! We are in first gear, nowhere near the throttle. And the TUV just picks up its weight and begins motoring effortlessly. And it will chug along off the throttle as long as you like.
But here’s the beauty of it. We are under 1000rpm, but the moment I get on the throttle, the TUV takes off like it heard a gun go off! This torque and this pull at lower rpm makes the TUV300 a very likeable SUV, be it in the city or on a dirt trail. And did we mention it had a light clutch action? Well, it does.
5 - Go Anywhere
A body-on-ladder frame has its shortcomings - weight and refinement. We will talk about that next. But, this construction also brings ruggedness into the mix. And with a rear wheel drive setup, the TUV can in fact tread where other two wheel drive compact SUVs might struggle. Off road or no road are two situations that come to mind.