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Mahindra XUV300 vs Hyundai Venue Diesel Manual Comparison review

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.

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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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Hyundai Venue Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Mumbai₹ 7.86 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 8.17 Lakhs onwards
New Delhi₹ 7.57 Lakhs onwards
Pune₹ 7.86 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 7.93 Lakhs onwards
Ahmedabad₹ 7.48 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 7.8 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 7.49 Lakhs onwards
Chandigarh₹ 7.48 Lakhs onwards
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