The car buyer in India today has it good in terms of choice and one of the biggest choices that seems to be in front of them is whether to buy a SUV or a sedan. The SUV has long moved past its utilitarian nature and is today an encompassing force gently consuming everything in its path. The sedan on the other hand has been the traditional player in this part of the market. It’s the first step up from a budget hatchback.
The two cars that we are looking at today are the Mahindra XUV300 which is a compact SUV. Almost unique to India, the compact SUV is the latest guise for the compact car market and this car brings quite a bit to the table. The Hyundai Verna on the other hand is a modern iteration of the aspirational car for the A and B segment graduates and embodies everything that is expected from a car in this price bracket.
Let us look at the cars individually and then together. The XUV300 is basically a compacted version of the Ssangyong Tivoli. It is underpinned by the same platform but has sufficient number of
Mahindra design inputs to make it stand out. The grille, shape of the headlamps as well as tail lamps all help give the XUV300 its Mahindra identity. It’s a similar story with the Verna. The family look is identified via the grille, the design of the wheels as well as the design of the tail lamps. Together, both machines look purpose built for one singular task, maximum comfort and dependability but also fun when you need it to be.
In terms of features, both cars are similarly kitted out in terms of the basics of a car in this part of the market. Touchscreen infotainment system, climate control, leather upholstery, soft touch plastics and space enough for four to move in decent comfort. However, the XUV300 offers more features in the form of dual zone climate control and steering modes. The Verna is longer but has the same wheelbase as the XUV300 due it having a significant boot. This is not a bad thing at all as the Verna is quite spacious for four to travel in good comfort.
Engine and gearbox
The XUV300 is offered with two engine options. A 1.2-litre turbo petrol producing 110bhp/200Nm and a 1.5-litre diesel producing 115bhp/300Nm. Both are offered with a six-speed manual with an AMT option expected to arrive later this year.
The petrol range in the Verna comprises a 1.4-litre petrol as well as a 1.6-litre petrol. They produce 99bhp/132Nm and 121bhp/151Nm. It’s a six manual across the range with the 1.6 also being offered with a six-speed AT. The diesels are a similar tail with a 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre four-cylinder producing 89bhp/220Nm and 126bhp/260Nm. Here too it’s a six-speed manual and for the latter a six-speed AT.
The Mahindra XUV300 is priced in the range of Rs 9.06 lakhs to Rs 14.37 lakhs (On-road Delhi) while the Hyundai Verna is priced in the range of 9.23 lakhs to Rs 16.89 lakhs (On-road Delhi).