Pessimists usually view the brand generally renowned for making tractors as some Third World tractor maker, yet with the recent South African dispatch of the Mahindra XUV300 and S11 Pik Up, that could all change.

Up until just recently I’m embarrassed to concede that I’d never given the Mahindra brand a lot of credit. I had arrogantly boxed the Indian aggregate as fundamentally a tractor maker that wasn’t in a similar alliance as the Germans and Japanese when it came to building vehicles.

That misguided judgment changed when I got the opportunity to get in the driver’s seat of the XUV300 – articulated “XUV three-double O”. An immediate contender to the famous Ford EcoSport, the Hyundai Creta and Renault Captur, the XUV300 comes in both petroleum and diesel motors, mated with a six-speed manual transmission. The entry level is a 3-cylinder 1.2 turbocharged petroleum motor, supported by 81kW and 200Nm.  With top-tier class safety, loaded with seven airbags, I was intrigued.

The nearly 4m-long XUV is a serious looker, with its LED indicators, double tone rooftop rails, 17″ wheels, silver front and back slide plates. As per Mahindra, the structure of the XUV was propelled by a cheetah. I don’t know whether an African wildcat struck a chord when I looked at this particular vehicle, however it unquestionably was a looker, helping me on occasion to remember the smart Audi Q2 and head-turning Range Rover Evoque.

The 17.8cm infotainment framework with worked in navigation is pretty easy to understand and is perfect with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto incorporated. In accordance with its pledge to safe driving, Mahindra has concocted a clever application called Mahindra Bluesense which tracks your driving propensities and scores them as indicated by a lot of environmentally friendly metrics. Past outing information can be put away on the application which can be gotten to by means of your telephone or smartwatch.

Be that as it may, how was it to drive? Astonishing really. The 1.5 turbo diesel had abundant force, particularly in Sport Mode, while the 6-speed manual gearbox was smooth and exact, working with almost no moving exertion. The suspension felt strong and all around planted and keeping in mind that doing some rock driving it felt like there was a lot of grasp and insignificant body roll. Anticipating a lot of shakes and clatters, the XUV was shockingly polite with scarcely any lodge commotion or motor vibration. My greatest issue is that we don’t yet have an auto form yet clearly that is on the cards.

By Noni Nchwe