Mahindra's new kid on the block, the KUV100, has stirred up the compact hatchback segment by offering enticing looks, practical equipment and safety features; all at an aggressive price tag. Its closest competitors are the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Grand i10. Let's see if the latest entrant from Mahindra makes a very good case against these two in terms of specifications.
Looks and styling
The Maruti Suzuki Swift was recently refreshed with minor changes to the exterior including a new grille, restyled fog lamps and a revised front bumper. Despite all these additions, the exterior looks more or less similar to the old model. The Hyundai Grand i10 was launched in India in 2013 and has been enjoying a good demand despite any cosmetic changes.
The Mahindra KUV100 is the most aggressive looking hatchback of the lot with a tall body and sharp character lines that boost up the meaty and sporty look of the car. At a length of 3,675mm, it is the shortest hatchback here but is the widest and tallest car with 1,715mm of width and 1,665mm of height. The KUV100 is the only hatchback in this segment to get integrated DRLs and follow me home headlamps. The additional body cladding also helps the car to earn some extra brownie points over its rivals.
While the Grand i10 came packed with features right from the start, Maruti Suzuki recently added some more features to the cabin of the Swift. Both these cars have a lot of practical features and the KUV100 has also come close to match up to these competitors. A multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth-compatible music player, USB, Aux-in, power windows, dual airbags, ABS etc. are standard in the top-end variants of all the three cars.
However, the Swift is the only hatchback to get automatic climate control and speed sensing door lock. The Grand i10 is still the most feature-rich car with add-on parking sensors and internal 1GB memory for the integrated 2-DIN music system. The ORVMs in the KUV100 are only electrically adjustable, unlike the retractable ones in other two. The KUV100 misses out on start-stop button in the cabin but gets start-stop technology in a bid to save fuel. While the Grand i10 has the biggest boot with 256litres of storage space, the Swift has only 205litres, it is the KUV100 that comes close with 243litres of boot space.
Additionally, Mahindra has offered the KUV100 as a five- or six-seater. They have done this by incorporating some space for the third person in the front. The six-seater version gets a front flat bench type seat and the five-seater gets conventional bucket-type seats.
Engine and Gearbox
Mahindra's mFalcon G80 1.2-litre engine is the only three-cylinder unit, unlike the four-cylinder 1.2-litre K Series mill in the Swift and the 1.2-litre Kappa Dual VTVT motor in the Grandi10. Producing 83bhp of power in the Swift and 81bhp in the Grand i10, both at 6,000rpm, the torque figures of 115Nm and 114Nm in each come at 4,000rpm. The KUV100's petrol powerplant produces 82bhp at a lower 5,500rpm and 115Nm of torque at 3,500rpm. The ARAI-certified fuel efficiency figures are at 18.15kmpl, 20.4kmpl and 18.9kmpl for the KUV100, Swift and Grand i10 respectively.
On the diesel front, the Swift's 74bhp 1,248cc DDis mill is the only four-cylinder mill as the other two get three-cylinder engines. The Grand i10 gets the 70bhp 1.1-litre U2 CRDi motor and the KUV100 is powered by a more powerful 77bhp mFalcon D75 diesel mill. Fuel efficiency figures of the KUV100, Swift and Grand i10 stand at 25.32kmpl, 25.2kmpl and 24kmpl respectively. The five-speed manual transmission remains the same in all cars, for the exception of the Grand i10 that stands out with its automatic variant paired to a four-speed automatic gearbox in the petrol guise.
All the three cars have been targeted at young professionals in India aged between 25-35 years and priced aggressively. When compared to the top-end Zxi variant of the Swift priced at Rs 6.24 lakh, the comparable KUV's K8 six-seater petrol is priced at a lower Rs 5.99 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). However, the Asta (O) variant of the Grand i10 undercuts both these prices with Rs 5.87 lakh as its ex-showroom New-Delhi price.
The oil-burner KUV100's K8 six-seater priced at Rs 6.84 lakh is slightly expensive than the Grand i10's Asta CRDi priced at Rs 6.74 lakh. However, it is still cheaper than the Swift's ZDi priced at Rs 7.29 lakh.