With the popularity of the Compact SUV’s growing than ever among the Indian masses, manufacturers are fighting tooth and nail for dominance. The oldest player in this Compact SUV segment is Ford’s Ecosport, launched in 2013. It is a global model and is currently in its 2nd generation. Next, comes Tata’s Nexon, launched in 2017 and Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza, launched in 2016. These three cars have been fighting for dominance in the sub-4-meter compact SUV segment. Alas…! Enter player 4, the Mahindra XUV300. The XUV300 packs in some really good features and some of them are a segment-first too. Let’s see how the players in the hottest segment fare with each other in this Comparison.
The XUV300 looks neat and clean. No quirky bits here nor excess of chrome. The front gets the XUV500 like chrome-pin grille. The vertical LED DRLs that neatly merge into the foglamps takes inspiration from Cheetah’s tear duct and is reminiscent of the XUV500. It gets squared off headlamps and the taillights are LED units. A thin chrome stripe runs atop the entire length of the grille and mergers into the LED DRLs. It gets body cladding all around and the XUV300 sits on 17-inch alloys. Unlike the front end, which is edgy and typical SUV-ish, the rear is a bit curvy. The D pillar is blackened and gives a floating roof effect
The Tata Nexon
The Nexon, in comparison to its rivals, is a curvy SUV with funky styling bits that make it stand out. Tata has thrown in a mix of styling elements such as the sloping, coupe-like roofline, angled rear and white ivory-white finished belt line and fog lamp surrounds. The Nexon will definitely draw polarized opinions. The tailgate, for example, is heavily worked upon and has a mix of colors such as black, white and the actual body color. The headlamps are swept back and it’s rather a long sweep. It extends up to almost half of the bonnet’s length. The lower part of the grille gets a tasteful application of chrome in the form of humanity line. This merges neatly into the chrome bits in the headlamp. There are two creases that run on the short bonnet and are in line with the headlamps.
With the Vitara Brezza, Maruti’s engineers have pulled off a clean and conservative design. It is simple yet superb in comparison to its rivals. The front end has a thick chrome insert in the grille with the Suzuki logo. There are contours surrounding the indicator and the fog lamp clusters. The is sufficient body cladding all around the vehicle. The rear is quite similar to the S Cross and the black cladding continues at the rear a breaks the simplicity and monotony, in a good way though. There is a thick chrome stripe with the Vitara Brezza engraving just about the number plate holder at the rear. Overall, the design isn’t too loud and manages to please all. It is also well propotioned to others in comparison.
The Ford Ecosport gets a trapezoidal grille with chrome slats that re-iterate the typical ford SUV design. It is complemented by the sweptback headlamps, that result in the aggressive front end. It also quite funky when compared to XUV300 and the Vitara Brezza, but not as funky as the Nexon. The tail-mounted spare wheel completes the traditional SUV looks. There are muscular lines that merge into the A-pillar. The black cladding all around the car accentuates the SUV look. There are also small quarter glasses that merge into the rear windscreen.
The interior of the XUV300 is done in black and a light beige. This renders the cabin of the XUV300, a roomy and an upmarket feel. The addition of the sunroof, only adds to it. The use of chrome is also very minimal, restricted only to door handles, a small ring on the gear lever, the hand brake lever button and then some. The AC vents are surrounded by piano black inserts. Another welcoming addition to the cabin is adjustable headrests to all the rear passengers. The driver seat and the front passenger seat are height adjustable. The height of the boot floor can be adjusted, making it easy to load and unload the luggage.
The Tata Nexon
The Nexon too, gets a black and beige interior, with bits of piano black and chrome inserts. The interior is designed with function-over-form in mind. The upper part of the dashboard is black and the lower part is beige and a thick silver insert runs in the middle. The infotainment screen sticks out from the center of the dashboard, as seen in German cars. The AC vents get chrome surrounds. The three-layered dashboard layout is carried over to the door pads too. The top is black and the lower is in beige while the thick silver insert runs in the middle. The Nexon’s door pads have a well thought out umbrella holder. The drive mode selector is a rotary one, like in the landrover.
The Vitara Brezza gets an all-black interior and minimal use of chrome. There are no wow factors in the interior and it is neutral. The interior shares a lot of parts with other Maruti cars. The power window console was the one seen in old gen swift and the steering wheel is way too common. The AC vent and the center fascia get a piano black insert around them. The silver touches on the dashboard and the door, break the monotony of the rather all black dashboard. Despite being all black, the cabin does not feel claustrophobic. The roof is finished in grey to brighten the things up.
With the 2018 update, the Ecosport gets an all-black interior. The old one had a black and grey interior. The steering, dashboard and the instrument cluster is all new. There are bits and pieces of silver and piano black than lights the otherwise all-black cabin. The all-black interior and the narrow cabin space makes the interior less airy and look more cramped. The Ecosport’s instrument cluster looks like the one from the 90’s. There are neither borderline nor chrome rings surrounding the speedometer and the tachometer. The MID looks very small. The instrument cluster design does not do justice for the Ecosport’s branding and positioning.
The XUV300 gets many segment-first features such as dual-zone fully automatic climate control, three steering modes, front parking sensors, and heated ORVMs. Other features include a instrument cluster with multiple color illumination options, leather seats, a height adjustable driver’s seat and height adjustable front seat belts, push-button start, electric sunroof, a tyre pressure monitor, a tyre position display, a reverse camera, auto-dimming IRVM, automatic headlamps and wipers, electrically folding and adjustable wing mirrors, cruise control. The infotainment unit is a 7-inch touchscreen.
The Nexon gets a cooled and illuminated glove box with two cup holders. The storage area on the center console is huge and gets a sliding cover that looks upmarket. The ORVM and power steering are electrically adjustable, while the ORVM is electrically foldable. The tailgate too is electrically operable. The power windows can be operated up to 3 minutes after the ignition is turned off. The top variants of the Nexon get fully automatic climate control. The standout feature is the ConnectNext Infotainment system by Harman with 4 speaker and 4 tweeters. The 6.5-inch floating infotainment screen supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There are three drive modes viz, City, Eco and Sport to play with.
There is nothing wow about the Vitara Brezza when compared with its rivals. It gets a smartplay touchscreen infotainment system with 4 speakers. All the 4 doors get storage space for 1L bottles and some spare space to store knick-knacks. The steering wheel is tilt adjustable while the rear seat can be folded to increase the boot space. There’s a storage tray under the front passenger’s seat where valuable items can be kept. The instrument cluster can be illuminated in 5 different colors. You get cruise contol too, for those tirless long journeys.
The Ecosport has fully automatic AC, auto headlamps, electrically adjustable ORVM with indicators, front armrest with storage, rain sensing wipers, rear view camera and electric sunroof. The infotainment unit is an 8-inch touchscreen unit with SYNC 3 along with 4 speakers and 2 tweeters. Another useful feature is the tire pressure monitoring system.
On the safety front, the XUV300 has first in class 7 airbags, disc brake on all 4 sides. Dual airbags, ABS with EBD is standard on all trims (W4, W8 and W8). Other safety equipment includes ESP with rollover mitigation, Hill Hold assist, Front parking sensors, Corner braking control, ISOFIX child seat anchors, speed sensing door lock, impact sensing door unlock.
The Tata Nexon recently scored the 5 star NCAP rating for adult occupant, becoming the first Indian car to do so. It gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, front cornering fog lamps. Other safety features are park assist with a camera and ISOFIX child seat anchors, day and night IRVM, Seat belt with pre-tensioners & load limiters.
On the Vitara Brezza, there are front dual airbags, ABS with EBD, Reverse Parking Sensors and ISOFIX. The Maruti has also scored a 4-star rating in the Global NCAP crash testing.
The Ecosport has 6 airbags, ABS, traction control system, electronic stability control system speed sensing door lock and impact sensing door unlock. Dual airbags with ABS is standard across all variants.
The American is the longest of all the Compact SUVs in comparison here, at 3998mm while the XUV300 and the Vitara Brezza fare next at 3995mm. Tata Nexon comes close at 3994mm. The XUV300 is the widest of them all at 1821mm, while the Ecosport is the tallest of the Compact SUVs in comparison at 1647mm.
|Aspect||Mahindra XUV300||Tata Nexon||Vitara Brezza||Ford Ecosport|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||-||209||198||200|
|Boot space (Litres)||-||350||328||352|
|Fuel tank (litres)||42||44||48||52|
Comparison: Engine and transmission
The XUV300 draws the power from 1.2L turbo petrol (110 BHP/200 Nm) and a 1.5L Turbo Diesel(115 BHP/300 Nm). The power is transmitted to the front wheels via a 6-Speed Manual transmission. The XUV300 will soon get an AMT and an Auto box at a later date.
The Nexon draws its power from a 1.2L, 3 cylinder Turbo Petrol (108 BHP/ 170Nm) and a 1.5L, 4 Cylinder Turbo Diesel (108 BHP/ 260 Nm). Transmission options include a 6-Speed MT and a 6 Speed AMT (on XMA and XZA+).
The Vitara Brezza is the only car to get a Diesel-only engine option here. It is powered by a 1.2L, 4 Cylinder Diesel engine that develops 88 BHP and 200 Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a 5-Speed MT.
With the Ecosport, you can choose three engines. A 1.5L, 3 Cylinder petrol (121 BHP/ 150Nm) mated to a 5-Speed MT or a 6-Speed AT, A 1.0L GTDI Ecoboost engine (123 BHP/170 Nm) mated to a 6 speed MT and 1.5L, 4 Cylinder Diesel engine (98 BHP/205 Nm) mated to a 5-Speed MT.
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