Please Tell Us Your City
Aditya Chatterjee Aditya Chatterjee Saturday 24 November 2012

Mahindra and Mahindra have completely transformed from a mundane tractor and jeep making company to a proper utility vehicle manufacturer. Their decisions have helped them improve the brand image of the company and the recently acquired Korean SUV brand SsangYong Motor vindicates the same 


After getting a complete image makeover with the Mahindra Scorpio, this company overhauled its strategies and decided to penetrate in the utility vehicle market with a never seen before aggression. Identifying a segment and bringing a product for it has been the winning mantra for Mahindra. 

The compact sub 4 meter SUV segment was one such market which was left untapped excluding the Premier Rio, which couldn’t create any excitement. Famously called Mini Xylo, the Quanto had every eye on it even before its launch as it was the most anticipated product by Mahindra and Mahindra. 

Mahindra Quanto

We recently had a brief experience with the Mahindra’s entry level SUV, the Quanto to find out if the Quanto successfully challenges all odds and establishes itself as the next BIG player of the compact SUV market


The Mahindra Quanto is a compact SUV which fits in the sub 4 meter SUV bracket. The smaller dimensions help in cutting the price and availing the tax benefits. The Quanto borrows heavily from elder brother Xylo which is very evident in its styling.

Mahindra Quanto

Initially, while Mahindras were testing the Quanto, it had the face of the old Xylo which was not appealing. However it was very obvious that the Quanto got the updated Xylo facia when being launched. The front face of the Quanto is very similar to the Xylo but little smaller which is realized after a close look at the front profile.

Quanto gets the new Mahindra toothed radiator grille which gives it a family look. Raised headlamps with an aggressive line flowing all the way to the hood, give it a very prominent design. The front bumper is rather simple and features minimalistic profiles on it with fog lamps. It has a wide front windshield design which gives a better view from inside.

Mahindra Quanto

It begins with a front heavy design on the side but then ends very sharply. This doesn’t work in favor of the Quanto as the design makes it look as if the Xylo has been slapped with a tail gate very abruptly. The 15 inch wheels which have been selected to increase the internal cabin space also feel a tad smaller.

However, it does not look all that bad to be turned down completely. It is characterized as a SUV which can be seen from the mild flares on the side profile. The B, C and D pillars are wrapped in black. The waist lines run straight till the rear. Also, there are big windows like the Xylo so it feels a lot spacious inside. The rear quarter glass has the butterfly type opening arrangement which opens just for ventilation.

Mahindra Quanto

To give the Quanto a sporty element, there are roof rails on top and also it comes with a foot board which is very useful for passengers to clamber inside the cabin. The wheelbase of the Xylo has been retained in the Quanto as a reason of which there is no extra flab at the rear profile. It has a ground clearance of 180mm which is decent for its size if not very impressive.

With the spare wheel on the rear tail gate, the similarity to a hatchback ends very distinctly. The spare wheel also gets a very snazzy cover on it for the C8 variant. The tail lamps feature in a wrap around fashion on the D pillars. The D pillar also has horizontal stacks in black. The spare wheel on the rear tail end saves the design from going dull and bland. The Xylo sans the boot makes a Quanto. A subtly ending rear profile could have been a better design on the Quanto as comparatively, the rear profile of the Xylo looks better.

Mahindra Quanto

A centrally placed foot board is given under the rear tail gate to aid the passengers get inside. This board is placed at a very low position as it becomes the first victim while endeavoring the Quanto on an off-road tarmac. Overall, the design of the Mahindra Quanto is interesting. It is a smarter and a dapper version of the Xylo.


If on the outside, lack of a boot is the only distinguishing factor, inside the Quanto, it’s precisely same as the Xylo. The front dashboard has been directly lifted from the Xylo and so have been other things.

Mahindra Quanto

The ride height feels tall. Steering wheel which assures of a better grip has no steering mounted controls. These controls probably will be seen in the future iterations of the Quanto. Seating inside the Quanto is very spacious and surprisingly so as the Quanto is a shortened the Xylo but impressively the space inside the cabin has been left untouched.

The Quanto however displays some improvements over the Xylo in terms of the materials used. The fit and finish is sadly the same and has space for tremendous improvement. The Aircon vents on either side come in chrome rings. The buttons and knobs too have been shared from the elder sibling.

Instrumental panel has a speedometer, tachometer along with the engine temperature and the trip meter. The design of the instrumental panel is very basic. The Quanto also carries a digital drive system which seems to offer a better response than the one in Xylo as this unit is easier to handle. The small screen displays the distance to empty, average fuel consumption and the current speed followed by the outside temperature, gear engaged and time.

Mahindra Quanto

Inside the Mahindra Quanto, the cabin is spacious with generous headroom and legroom. The front row seats have height adjustment settings along with lumbar adjust. Also assisting the driver and the co passenger are arm rests which are of true benefit in long journeys. Seats in the top end C8 variant come in fabric which has mild design on them to give it a better profile. The front row and the second row seats are identical to that of the Xylo. The small let down is the comfort of the seats which tend to be on the flatter side. The seats can be improved with adequate cushioning.

The last row jump seats are merely for kids. It is very uncomfortable on long journeys for average sized individuals. There are majorly two obstacles for this discomfort which is the handle to get inside the last row and secondly the hinge design for the tail gate. Through the journey, these two will keep poking the passengers. Also the base of the seats is too small for normal sized passengers.

Mahindra Quanto

Plastics and trims on the Quanto are decent; they have been improved but still lack quality finish. The tall central panel sports the micro hybrid switch on the top followed by the music system panel which also features USB and AUX-in connect. The music quality of the speakers is average. It has a 4 speed Air Conditioner which cools the cabin adequately and the absence of a rear Air Conditioning vent is not felt much.

It has small utility spaces throughout the cabin. There are two glass holders one after the other beside the gear stick. The front doors have a special provision for bottles and other for miscellaneous articles. The front row seatsa also offer foldable snack trays for second row passengers. Fold the last row seats and it translates into a good luggage space.


This compact sub 4 metre SUV gets a compact 1.5L, 3 cylinder mCR100 engine which has a twin stage turbo charger. This pint of an engine produces a maximum power output of 100 bhp at 3750 rpm and a torque of 240 Nm at a range of 1600 to 2800 rpm. This engine is equipped with a 5 speed manual transmission.

Mahindra Quanto

 It also comes with Mahindra’s innovation called the Micro Hybrid which effectively kills ignition if it senses the engine is idling for more than 2.5 seconds in Neutral gear. This feature is indeed very helpful and helps keep the fuel consumption in control especially in bumper to bumper traffic.

The all new mCR100 engine, which is Mahindra’s first small capacity engine, is surprisingly refined. In spite of the fact that this is a 3 cylinder arrangement which normally lacks the smoothness of larger pods, it performs really well. At idle, the engine rpm is barely audible. The smaller displacement also helps Mahindra to avail excise benefit and in turn pass on the benefits to the customers by pricing it lucratively.

Mahindra Quanto

The twin-stage turbo chargers mainly helps get an optimum torque in low rpms. It does its bit in hauling the Quanto at low rpms. The Quanto is derived from the Xylo so the overall mannerisms remain similar. Tall ride height makes the Quanto produce the same body roll as the Xylo.

It has a refined small engine but then the engine lacks the enthusiastic feel. The engine is not a rev friendly unit and has to be pushed really hard to churn out optimum performance. On highways, the motor seems to drop on power especially post 3800 rpm. Gear shifts remain notchy as the Xylo. The engine feels to run out of breath on highways and needs to shift gears sooner than normal. However, on city roads, the engine performs fantastic.

Mahindra Quanto

With the twin stage turbo, maneuvering the Quanto through the city traffic is easy as it offers low end torque. The steering responds positively and better than the Xylo as this one does not have an extended overhang at the rear.

We grilled the Quanto through some off road patches too. It is obvious that no sane Quanto owner will take it on an off-road tarmac but then it was our curiosity which made us do something as insane. It performed better than what we had expected from it. Yes, it did feel low on power delivery and on torque display but then it managed to impress us with its suspension setup.

Mahindra Quanto

The suspension setup in the Quanto is the same doing its duty in the Xylo except for the minor tweaking that Mahindras have done to make it sync with this smaller design. The small tyres however don’t contribute in favor of the Quanto as on occasions it tends to lose on traction which is already a demerit of the high body roll of the design.

On the positives of the Quanto, the braking is the first to start with. The amount of confidence the Mahindra Quanto displays in braking is phenomenal. We tortured the mini Xylo with some aggressive braking test and it came out with impressive results. It doesn’t loose on the grip and stays grounded without creating any drama.

Mahindra Quanto

It is a perfect option for intra city commute which will not make the Quanto endure challenging situations. Its compact dimensions are simply wonderful and don’t make you feel lazy to throw it anywhere unlike in normal sized SUVs which are plagued with parking hassles. Steering it through traffic is also very impressive. The park assist system displays safe distance against an obstacle on the rear view mirror which is also helpful.

During our review test, we drove a particular patch in an ideal way and managed to squeeze an optimum average of 21 kmpl (with the AC ON), the worst mileage figure that we got from the Quanto was 11 kmpl, after putting the small SUV through some grilling sessions. This new engine from Mahindra is indeed a fuel efficient unit and is one of the best assets of the Quanto.

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
Make Mahindra
Model Quanto
Variant C8
Engine Displacement 1493
Power in PS / RPM 100 / 3750
Torque in Nm / RPM 240 / 1600-2800
Transmisson Manual 5 speed
Front Brake Disc
Rear Brake Drum
Ground clearence mm 180
Tyre rating 205/65 R15
Fuel Tank Capacity L 55
Average Mileage in KMPL 17
Seating 5+2
Key Features C2 C4 C6 C8
Price (Ex-Showroom Mumbai) 581990 634782 685766 736548
Electronic Power steering Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adjustable steering Yes Yes Yes Yes
Front Power windows No Yes Yes Yes
Rear Power windows No Yes Yes Yes
Central locking No Yes Yes Yes
AC with heater Yes Yes Yes Yes
Integrated audio system No No Yes Yes
Driver sear height adjust No No Yes Yes
Body coloured  handle and ORVM No No Yes Yes
Rear Window demister No No Yes Yes
Rear washer and wiper No Yes Yes Yes
Front Fog lamps No No Yes Yes
Tubeless tyres Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual airbag No No No Yes
ABS with EBD No No Yes Yes
Micro Hybrid No Yes Yes Yes
Maruti Suzuki
Variant C8 Zdi ZLX GLX
Ex-showroom price Mumbai  (in lakhs) 736548 913492 694805 670000
Engine Displacement (cc) 1493 1248 2523 1248
Power in PS / RPM 100/3750 90/4000 62/3200 72/4000
Torque in Nm / RPM 240/2800 200/1750 195/2200 183/2400
Front Brake Disc Disc Disc Disc
Rear Brake Drum Drum Drum Drum
Ground clearance (mm) 180 185 180 200
Fuel Tank Capacity (L) 55 45 55 45
Seating  7 seater 7 seater 7seater 5 Seater
Key Features
Tubeless tyres Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear Wash and wiper Yes Yes Yes Yes
Arm rest for driver and co driver Yes Yes Yes Yes
Height adjustable driver seat Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reverse assist Yes Yes Yes Yes
Engine Immobiliser Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power steering Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tilt steering Yes Yes Yes Yes
Keyless entry Yes Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear Defogger Yes Yes Yes Yes
Integrated  Audio system Yes Yes Yes Yes
ABS Yes Yes No Yes
 Dual Airbag Yes Yes No No

So is the Mahindra Quanto worth a recommendation? Yes, definitely.. The Mahindra Quanto is indeed a value for money proposition. The features that the Quanto offers at the base variant which is air-conditioner and power steering is fantastic especially at an price of Rs.5.81 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Nasik). The top end C8 variant is priced at Rs.7.36 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Nasik).

Mahindra Quanto

The other compact SUV in the same segment is the Premier Rio. However, the Rio cannot even reach near the Quanto. It’s a smaller vehicle and not as refined as the Mahindra Quanto. This is in addition to the lack of servicing network of Premier. Premier had updated the Rio with some cosmetic changes and a multijet engine sourced from Fiat but even then the Rio fails to gather any attention. Lack of post sales support by the company makes the consumer skeptical for this product. On the other hand Mahindra’s service backup is unparalleled.

The Mahindra Quanto is a very smart decision by Mahindra and Mahindra. The company identified the proper segment and has made a very precise product catering to it. The launch timing and the pricing of it were perfect. The very fact that the company got over 10,000 bookings just two months after its launch and also was forced to ramp up the production from 2500 units to 3500 units at its Nasik plant speaks volumes about the Quanto’s success.

Quanto is enjoying the present and the future too seems bright. There are already discussions doing rounds about Mahindra offering 4 wheel drive option and an automatic transmission variant in the future iterations. The success of Mahindra Quanto has also inspired other manufacturers to come up with a shorter version of their SUVs. The going so far for the Quanto is smooth but still an American threat is just few months away. Ford Ecosport, which is Ford’s most awaited model will launch early next year. This one promises to set a new benchmark for compact SUVs with its features and the price at which it would be offered.

Mahindra Quanto

Smaller dimensions, fuel efficient engine and attractive pricing will make the Mahindra Quanto spear ahead of the competition as presently it is second to none. It successfully challenges all the odds of the competition and comes out as a strong player.  

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