Mahindra XUV 3XO First Drive Review: Going Big on Features, Safety, Power... and Looks?

The Mahindra 3XO makes big promises on all fronts – from features and safety to styling and value proposition. But does it deliver on these promises?

By Manav Sinha | Photography Sunil Chauhan | on May 24, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

The full variant name of the car under review here is the Mahindra XUV 3XO AX7L. While the name may seem somewhat confusing, resembling a randomly generated password, Mahindra’s intentions behind the 3XO are refreshingly simple and straightforward. They are betting on the simple idea that customers want a compact SUV for their everyday runabouts and weekend getaways – one with striking aesthetics that doesn’t compromise in terms of performance, safety, or features.

To achieve this, Mahindra has thrown everything in the mix. The result is a car that promises to be a champion on paper. But the burning question remains – how is it to drive? Has Mahindra successfully translated its lofty ambitions into a satisfying product? We take the 3XO for a drive on a sunny day in Nashik to find out.

Mahindra XUV 3XO First Drive Review: Design

The Mahindra XUV 3XO sports a striking design. While it’s essentially a facelift version of the XUV300, you won’t be able to make that connection, given the extent of changes to its exterior. At the front, there is a bold fascia with a solid gloss black panel on the upper half, which seems a bit EV-like. This panel extends into the vertically stacked headlamp cluster, outlined by the new C-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL).

Mahindra XUV 3XO Front Three Static1

At the back, the 3XO features what is, perhaps, the hottest design trend currently in the Indian automotive sector – the connected LED taillamps.

Also Read: Mahindra XUV 3XO MX1, AX5, AX7 and More Variants Explained

In profile, however, it has a familiar silhouette, given the overall shape of the car remains the same as that of the XUV300  – yes, I am referring to the sharply cut rear end, which seems like an attempt to keep the car under 4 metres to help it qualify for lower taxation. That said, Mahindra has also made some noticeable adjustments, such as the cutouts on the cladding over the wheel arches and equipping higher variants with sporty 17-inch rims, which are particularly striking when viewed from the sides. 

Mahindra XUV 3XO First Drive Review: Interior

The interior of the 3XO, interestingly, hasn’t received much action in terms of design changes. Consequently, the cabin is similar to that of the XUV4OO – the EV version of the XUV300 – but this similarity is purely limited to aesthetics. Because the moment you step into the cabin, you notice a marked improvement in the levels of fit and finish and the quality of materials used. The top-spec version comes with a soft-touch finish on the dashboard, complemented by contrast stitching, which lends a premium air to the cabin. However, the generous use of gloss black surfaces may pose a challenge in terms of keeping them smudge-free. That said, this maintenance task pales in comparison to the upkeep required for a bright cabin like this, especially in dusty environments.

Mahindra XUV 3XO View Of Steering Console And Instrumentation1

The biggest highlight of the cabin is undoubtedly the screens. Positioned atop the dash is a 10.25-inch touchscreen, with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, and next to it is a 10.25-inch all-digital instrument cluster taken from the XUV700.

The rear seat offers plenty of space. Mahindra claims that the 3XO offers the widest cabin space for rear-seat passengers in the segment – a claim that seems quite credible. I can easily imagine three adults sitting comfortably in the back, at least for short trips. There are adjustable headrests and three-point seatbelts for all three passengers, further enhancing comfort and safety. The seats are well-cushioned, and the bench is very comfortable. I would go as far as to claim that it offers the best rear seat experience in the segment. However, passengers taller than 6 feet might find headroom slightly constrained due to the sunroof mechanism.  

Mahindra XUV 3XO First Drive Review: Let the Spec Wars Begin!

In terms of features, the 3XO seems to offer almost everything you could wish for. The 3XO also gets eSim-based connected car tech, along with a high-resolution 360-degree parking camera, a Harman Kardon sound system with four speakers, two tweeters, and a factory-fitted subwoofer – a thoughtful touch indeed. Additionally, you have dual-zone climate control at the front, auto-dimming Inside Rear View Mirror (IRVM), segment-first electronic parking brake with auto hold, a 65W USB charging port – good enough for charging a laptop – and, of course, a massive sunroof, touted by Mahindra as the largest in the segment. The only drawback worth noting is the 295-litre boot, which falls short compared to its competitors.

Mahindra XUV 3XO Sunroof Top1

On the safety front, it now gets Level 2 Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS). Additionally, it comes with six airbags, electronic stability control, and ISOFIX child seat mounts as standard across variants. Higher-end models also get features like a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and a blind view monitor.

Also Read: Mahindra XUV 3XO Crosses 50,000 Bookings within 60 Minutes of Commencement in India

Given all these features, it’s quite surprising that the 3XO misses out on ventilated seats, especially considering that Mahindra has comprehensively covered all other fronts.

Mahindra XUV 3XO First Drive Review: Picture Perfect, then?

Well, almost! You see, our test car was powered by the 1.2-litre direct injection turbocharged petrol engine, making it the most powerful car that you can buy in the segment by a mile. Featuring a new 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission, this drivetrain is incredibly refined, offering smooth gear shifts with minimal head nods. Plus, the engine doesn’t exhibit a typical three-cylinder clatter. Additionally, the cabin offers excellent sound insulation, enhancing the driving experience to rival that of vehicles from the segment above.

Mahindra XUV 3XO Rear Three Quarter1

In terms of performance, the car is outright quick as expected. It even has a slightly stiffer chassis and suspension setup, which instils enough confidence to fully exploit all that power and torque. However, if you do decide to go all out, the biggest enemy of small displacement turbo engines – turbo lag – rears its ugly head. There’s hardly anything going on under 2,300rpm, but there’s a considerable improvement past that mark.

That said, after spending what seemed like an eternity navigating through Nashik’s bustling city roads and traffic, what I can tell you for certain is that it works brilliantly as an everyday commuter. 

Mahindra XUV 3XO First Drive Review: Verdict

The XUV 3XO marks a significant leap for Mahindra in the fiercely competitive compact SUV space. Impressively, it does all of that with a starting price of ₹7.49 lakh, which goes all the way to ₹15.49 lakh (all prices are ex-showroom) for the top-spec model – the one we drove for this test.

Mahindra XUV 3XO Side Profile1

If you are looking for a compact sub-4-metre SUV, all you need is to decide where you stand in terms of its exterior design. Regardless of your answer, the fact remains that the 3XO offers a compelling package that deserves a second look.

  • Mahindra XUV 3XO

Engine: 1,200cc / 3-Cylinder / Turbocharged

Fuel: Petrol

Transmission: 6-Speed AT / Front-Wheel Drive

Power: 128.7bhp @ 5,000rpm

Torque: 230Nm @ 1,500-3,750rpm

Price: ₹7.49 – 15.49 Lakh (Ex-Showroom)

X-Factor: The 3XO offers a compelling package as a value-for-money all-rounder.

•  Feature Loaded

•  Performance

• Boot Space

•  Cabin Maintenance

Tags: Mahindra Mahindra XUV 3XO

Write your Comment

Please tell us your city. This allows us to provide relevant content for you.