Normally, when we do these spec comparisons, our policy is to use the top-of-the-line models to bring out the facts. However, we have decided to make an exception this time. An option of a mid-spec model and that is the focus of our comparison today. The contenders this time are the Mahindra XUV500 in the W6 trim and the soon-to-be-launched Tata Hexa in the XM trim level. They both are mid-level models and are volume movers for the automaker. Both can be had as manuals or automatic but do not have the option of an AWD system.
At the outset, we can see that despite being lower down the food chain, both vehicles do not lose out on size, width or presence. Both get 16-inch steel wheels and basic black grille. The projector head lamps are standard for both cars but the Hexa manages to get one up thanks to the chrome package and LED tail lamps. The Hexa also exceeds the XUV500 in terms of length and wheelbase. As we had said when comparing the top-spec models, the choice here too hinges on what kind of SUV body style the buyer prefers.
Both these mid-levels models are in a higher price range but lack the features of the top spec models. They are evenly matched in terms of safety and have the basic things like seven seats, fabric upholstery and a plethora of stowage spaces. Both get standard AC units, adjustable driver’s seats, 2-DIN music system with a monochrome display. Where the Hexa sports soft touch plastics for the dashboard, the XUV makes up with scuff plates for both rows, glove box with a laptop holder as well as a proper two-tone colour combination. From these we can see that the manufacturers have done enough to make the car worthy of the price tag but at the same time remove enough features so that the price is not too high. The Hexa in a sense has replicated its rival in the cabin almost feature for feature.
Engine and gearbox
Both the cars are offered with a 2.2-litre diesel engine. In the XUV500 this mill produces 140bhp/320Nm while in the Hexa it produces 153bhp/400Nm of torque. Both can be had with a six-speed manual or a six-speed AT. The Mahindra is a monocoque front wheel drive while at Tata is a more traditional ladder on frame rear wheel drive and has a major ace up its sleeve thanks to the drive modes it has on offer for the automatic variant. These have been dubbed the auto mode, comfort mode, dynamic mode and rough road mode. These alter the response of the throttle, brakes and steering and will definitely promise a more involved driving experience.
Pricing (ex-showroom Delhi)
The Mahindra XUV500 in W6 MT form is priced at Rs 13.48 lakh while its AT sibling is priced at Rs 14.29 lakh. We believe that Tata will have a pricing quite similar to that of the XUV500 and may possibly even undercut it.