Mahindra has finally unveiled the name of its much awaited compact SUV. And as many predicted, it has been christened the “XUV 300”, after its big brother the “Five Double O”. This new baby cheetah is based on the successful Tivoli SUV of the Ssangyong, a brand Mahindra acquired in 2011. Not much has been revealed except the official images of the car, so lets dig deep into the details.

Right off the bat, the XUV 300 has a crisp, clean and no-nonsense look. The front and rear wheels are pushed to the edges to give this car a class leading wheelbase. The resemblance to its big bro XUV 500 is uncanny thanks to the sharp rectangular headlights and the straight grille with the chrome studs (even the LED elements have the same pattern as those of the 500). What’s unique to the XUV 300 is the Renault Megane like C-shaped headlamps that look fantabulous! The quirky bits like the blackened C-pillar and a window line kink near rear are also present to reaffirm the fact that it is a compact and not a full sized SUV. Mahindra also has confirmed that this car would get 17″ diamond cut alloys.

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The rear looks more funky and modern than the front. The high black cladding reduces the visual bulk and along with the split LED tail lamps and the spoiler make the rear look like a sporty hot hatch, before the aluminum scuff plate and the high ground clearance reiterate its SUV DNA. Loading the boot will surely take some high lifting, judging by the position of the boot lip. Overall the XUV 300 looks to be the car that the TUV 300 was meant to be at first.

On the inside, though the teaser images showed a maroon-white dashboard (throwback to the first gen XUV 500??), the final images show a traditional black beige colour scheme with silver accents. The design looks premium, especially the central console with the 7″ touchscreen. A swollen glovebox and deep door pockets with molded bottle compartments promise space won’t be an issue with this car. The teaser images also showed an automatic gearbox, which would be on the cards atleast in the future. For present, a six speed manual stick looks to debut for sure.

The mechanicals have been kept under the wraps but a petrol and diesel engine are on the way. Class leading torque and BS-6 norms compliance are also promised. The Tivoli already is the highest rated car for safety in Korea and along with the seven airbags that it comes with, the XUV 300 could pull a Nexon for the Mahindra at the NCAP tests. A sunroof and discs on all wheels are also on the goodie bag of the XUV 300.

The already crowded compact SUV segment will get one more contender next year in the form of XUV 300. Though competition is fierce with the Maruti Brezza tearing up sales charts, followed by the glamorous Nexon and the edgy Ecosport, the XUV 300 has potential to carve its unique own identity. Guess there’s no stopping the mini off roadies!!

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