I really thought the Mahindra Scorpio-N would make it to the top. I really did. Firstly, it is mahoosive – even towers over the Range Rover – comes loaded to the gills with equipment and technology, and, like all recent Mahindras, takes a big leap forward in terms of engineering. But the devil is in the details, and that’s where the Scorpio-N falls short.
The interior is spacious and you do get a very nice Sony sound system on the higher-end variants, but lacks the finish that we saw in the XUV700. Some of the plastic bits even have rough edges to them. I personally love the way the Scorpio-N looks and would’ve given it a 4.5/5 in terms of design if I could, but that’s the beauty of having an unbiased jury – your personal preferences do not matter. Not everyone on the jury liked the way it looks, especially the rear end. And then there’s the matter of features.
The touchscreen infotainment system is nice on paper – eight inches, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto – but in reality, it isn’t very bright, nor very high-res, and, like the XUV700, it still doesn’t support CarPlay. Come on, Mahindra! Even the rear-view camera is one of the worst I’ve used recently.
But that’s the end of its problems. The Scorpio-N is a riot to drive, and I mean that in the best of ways. Any bump at any speed – the Scorpio-N simply flattens it. The ride quality is fantastic, and the only reason it gets a low score in that category is that its handling isn’t great (no surprises there!). Plus, calling the traction control and ESP intrusive would be an understatement.
The fact that Mahindra offers a plethora of drivetrain options, all of which are really good, helps its score there. The diesel auto we had on the test would be our choice. With 172bhp and 370Nm, it covers ground faster than any Scorpio before it, without compromising in terms of refinement, while the 6-speed AT shuffles through gears smoothly.
The Scorpio-N isn’t very fast on the track, but what about in the real world? It’s one of the fastest SUVs money can buy. Cars jump out of the way, you can ignore the very existence of potholes and the tall height means the view out is more commanding than an air traffic control tower. I’d like mine in white, with 23-inch rims and a fancy number plate. Outlaw spec!
- Mahindra Scorpio-N (Lap Time – 01:22.6)
|COMFORT / SPACE||5||3.5|
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||3.5|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||18|