Unlike the Nexon AMT which can be had with both petrol or diesel power, the AMT’s pairing on the XUV is limited to the 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that we are fans of. Also found in the Marazzo, this engine makes 115bhp at 3,750nm and 300Nm between 1,500 and 2,500rpm. Straightway, the most impressive thing about it is that it makes maximum torque from as low as 1,500rpm which is always good for low speed drivability. Naturally, the XUV300 is effortless right from the word go – be it low speed pulls or highway passes, any manoeuvre is done with ease thanks to the strong bottom end and mid-range. This engine pulls particularly hard in the midrange, with a steady flow of torque right until 4,000rpm.
The XUV300 is also among the most silent performers in its segment. It gets a little loud when you wring it, but the engine is plenty refined and has more than enough grunt to get up to speed with minimal turbo lag. As for the crux of this test, the six-speed AMT, it is by far the least intrusive automated-manual we have encountered in this segment. At low speeds, the way it responds to the throttle is commendable and the back-and-forth motion between gear changes is surprisingly minimal. The only thing we do not like about this AMT is the built-in creep function which could have been more refined. Designed to help with crawling ever so slowly in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the slightest push on the throttle ends up with you jolting forward. It’s best, then, to cover the brake pedal when driving in traffic.
What about ride and handling, you may ask? Over bad roads, the XUV300 AMT is just as unruffled as the rest of the range. Low speed bumps and undulations are dealt with minimal vibrations and a lot of plushness. Similarly, the ride remains composed at highway speeds and the bump absorption is well controlled as well. As for handling, the feedback from the steering can be changed using different modes namely Normal, Comfort and Sport. Honestly, there isn’t much difference in normal or comfort but in sport, the steering delivers more of that crucial weighty reassurance at everyday speeds.