Considering that the XUV300 accelerated and braked better than the Nexon, it would seem that the Mahindra would ace the lap-times as well. Let´s go with the Mahindra first, this time around. It has got 110bhp power, 200Nm of torque and a 6-speed gearbox transferring the power to the front wheels. The XUV300 suspension is set up quite well too and it has a good balance of ride and handling. While it does not have driving modes, it does get a steering mode which, when dialled to sport, weighs it up.
Going around the track, the baby XUV has plenty of grunt for its size to power out of the corners. The steering, even in sport mode, does not offer too much feel but the turn-ins are quick. What really messes up the XUV's party is the intrusive ESP which keeps acting like a possessed nanny. It kept cutting the power at crucial times when the most drive was needed to shoot out of a corner or when corrections were needed during mid-corners. That hampered the XUV´s true potential by a fair bit and it finally completed the lap in 2m22.08s.
The Nexon was up next. As far as the capabilities are concerned we had already tried the diesel Nexon at the track last year and it proved to be quite an entertaining drive. This time with a lighter petrol engine upfront, it could only get better.
And it did. The Nexon was an absolute blast to belt around the track. Good feedback from the steering along with a very neutral chassis meant that the Nexon could easily be coaxed to drive the way we wanted. The Nexon's lift-off and oversteer properties also helped greatly in corner entries. Lap time? Surprise surprise, the Nexon went around the track in 2m19.59s, almost 3 seconds quicker than the more powerful but restrained XUV300.