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Aditya Chatterjee Aditya Chatterjee Wednesday 29 May 2013, 2:31 PM

The Mahindra XUV500 which is a flagship model of Mahindra was made as the Indian manufacturer’s answer to global SUVs. No one had any idea that an Rs.14 lakh car would be sold using lottery system. Before launch, it was highly anticipated to be priced at Rs.21 lakhs but then Mahindra dropped a bomb by announcing prices much lower than that. Taking inspirational cues from cheetah, the XUV500 looks like a carnivorous machine. It is available in three variants and is priced between Rs.1201445 to Rs. 1468852.

The Skoda Yeti is an exceptionally well designed urban crossover. It may not fall in the typical looking SUV as t has more class than the usual. The Skoda Yeti does not have even an ounce of flab anywhere on the body. Even though it looks international, it could not do much for the Czech car maker as it failed to lure. It is available only in diesel variants with an optional 4x4 and 4x4 drive trains. It is available between Rs. 1511327 to Rs. 1883475.

Mahindra XUV500 Vs Skoda Yeti Exterior

The Mahindra XUV500`s looks are by far the best available at that price and more. The pouncing cheetah inspired lines that run on the XUV500 leave an impressive mark on everyone eyes it. Mahindra XUV500 is a sign of a very matured Mahindra. The global SUV by Mahindra proudly carries and lives the tag. However, the majority feedback that we got about the XUV500`s looks was that it seemed inspired from Mitsubishi’s Outlander, which to some extent we agree too.

Mahindra XUV500 Vs Skoda Yeti
Mahindra XUV500 Vs Skoda Yeti
 

The twin barrel static bending projection headlamps give it a smart front look. Its design is no similar to any of Mahindra`s previous models. The headlight cluster also has LED stripes of parking lights. The layout of the LEDs could have been better had it been made with a flowing design and not just simple straight line design. It looks like a aftermarket fitment design.

The Yeti is not a conventional looking car on the Indian roads. With a European styling, its short height and length gives it a squared design which might not be too appealing at first but what you get is great all round visibility and the boxy body means it’s easy to park.

The car sits decently high from its 7 spoke alloy wheels with some good suspension. The blacked out A, C and D pillars you get a very roomy feel. The external styling cue overall is impressive- some of this being the waistline that has a slight bulge and runs parallel to the roof line, the roof rails are high from the body of the car and on the rear you have a nice square shaped booth door with the traditional c break lights of Skoda! The bumpers while not painted across all models, come with under trays that very smartly prevents damage to the under body.

Mahindra XUV500 Vs Skoda Yeti Interior

Inside the Yeti, the central console has just enough space for a cup holders and your mobile. The centre arm rest is adjustable to different heights, once opened you will find the aux-in input for the CD player and subsequently space. The arm rest also houses the rear A/C vents and an ashtray. So this means this car doesn’t allow a driver to smoke (maybe for safety reasons) but allows the passengers to indulge. The dashboard also houses the dual airbags; a striking feature is that the passenger airbag can be turned on or off. The drivers and passenger seats come with height adjustability and lumber support. The seat can be adjusted in such a way that you can choose to the see the whole bonnet of the car or nothing at all, it’s like an instance switch between suv and sedan.

The rear passenger seats can comfortably fit 2 people while 3 (although there’s a seat for the 3r person) can be a bit of a squeeze. All three seats are adjustable; they move forward and backward and even recline because of this there is ample knee and headroom. The centre seat can fold down be used as an arm rest for the passengers. It’s got a big useful squared booth, with ample of space. If more space is required then you can fold the seats down or tumble them forward or even remove them if you need to. You also get handy hooks for your shopping backs. Skoda even threw in a bungee net to strap down your luggage.

The interior of the Mahindra XUV500 comes in dual tone. The upholstery is finished in premium quality leather. As one enters in the cabin, one notices matte aluminum finish don’t to the door handles. The handbrake lever also seems to be aesthetically designed.

The guiding lights on the door are a very nice touch added along with the guiding lights affixed in the mirror.The steering wheel is a length and rake adjustable. It has controls for audio, cruise control and voice recognition.

Mahindra XUV500 boasts of a 3D cluster-in-cluster layout for instrumental panel. The twin pod clusters sports a tachmoter and a speedometer. The speedometer pod also has information on tyre pressure, ESR ON/OFF and engine temperature.

The tachometer pod has information on gear engaged, fuel left and trip meter. The digits and dials claim a 3D effect. However, the positioning of the digits especially in the speedometer is a bit too much outwards along the outer circumference of the pod. If one wishes to find the exact speed of travel, it takes little more than a stare to figure it out. The cluster-in-cluster design feels messy as it hides a majority portion of the dials.

Mahindra XUV500 Vs Skoda Yeti Performance

The Mahindra XUV500 is powered by a 2179cc mHawk140, Direct injection diesel engine with 5th generation Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT). The mill is capable of producing a peak power of 140 bhp at 3750 rpm and a torque of 330 Nm at 1600 - 2800 rpm. It is powered by a 6- speed manual shift. The mHawk unit is borrowed from the one presently slogging on the Mahindra Scorpio. The one used in XUV500 is a tweaked version of the same displacement engine. The one on Scorpio produces a power of 120 bhp at 4000 rpm and a torque of 290 Nm at 1800 – 2800 rpm.

Mahindra XUV500 Vs Skoda Yeti.
Mahindra XUV500 Vs Skoda Yeti.
 

XUV500 is little sluggish when in 1st gear. It takes time for the power delivery to be executed on the wheels. Shift her to the 1st gear and give her some throttle, One notices the wheels loosing traction and generating all the squeaks but then the vehicle fails to respond quickly. The power delivery however improves in subsequent rpms. The gear ratio is very balanced and the transmission is super smooth. In normal city driving conditions, where one needs to change gears often, the XUV500 is a treat to handle.

About the Yeti, the ride quality is a bit soft and bouncy. At low speeds you will feel minor bump in the cabin; well another downer is the slippery clutch. In traffic at low rpms you could just stall in the middle of the road, which is embarrassing. On the highway it handles like a dream, its picks up almost from any gear you won’t find need to down shift unless you really need to. The steering is sharp and crisp, so turning in and out of turns is easy. You may find that the car tends to over steer while taking hard corners but then you have the ESP which keeps you on the tarmac.

Mahindra XUV500 Vs Skoda Yeti Conclusion

The average family guy will never find anything to complain about since this SUV is mainly targeted for city use. The Yeti makes a lot of sense for those select few who do not want to splurge on the 4x4 but still want to experience a smart SUV. An automatic gear box would have nailed it. Nevertheless, the Yeti 4×2 is built for a purpose and it fulfills it with flying colours. The Yeti 4×2 is a superb option for those looking for a quality SUV at an affordable price

The XUV500 has made many who wished to go for a premium SUV change their minds and give this a serious thought. The value for money appeal of the XUV is the luring point for all.

The looks of the XUV500 and the features offered are totally stellar. The interior fit and feel though needs to be improved a lot. This however finds justification at the price it is offered in. I don’t agree to that though, Mahindras could have kept it a little dear priced and could have come up with a more matured interior fit and finished product.