Mahindra XUV700 first impression

More tech for 2024!

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A runaway success from the day it was first showcased, the Mahindra XUV700 has been the source of major wanting for thousands of waiting customers. But in the wake of the rejuvenated Tata Harrier/Safari lineup, there were some obvious gaps in the feature set. In a bid to correct these anomalies, the “mildly” refreshed 2024 version of the XUV700 comes in hot with a new paint job to announce its arrival.


Napoli Black as it has been christened is the closest to Mahindra’s own “Dark Edition”, with a blacked-out grille, 18in gloss black wheels and a shade of black that is black, unlike the midnight blue from before. The treatment does make the XUV700 look more menacing and in profile, does make for a handsome-looking full-sized SUV. However, the Tata Harrier/Safari twins do steal its thunder when it comes to the front grille treatment by just edging it out with a smarter, more modern take on air inlets. 

Some of the big refreshes come on the inside of the XUV700 and a particularly thoughtful one is the integration of the ORVMs with the memory seat function. So every time you select one of the three-seat memory presets for your driving position, the ORVMS automatically fall in place for that seating position too. It’s pretty handy and makes you realise what you were missing in other cars almost instantaneously. That’s a win.


Turn it on and the twin-screen sporting the Adrenox operating system comes to life and while they look identical to the earlier version, Mahindra has added 13 new features to the list of connected car features. These will also be made available to existing owners via a software update and the list includes Prognosis, M lens, Ecosense leaderboard, Welcome greeting, toll diary, Ask Mahindra concierge and more. Most are targeted at making it easier to troubleshoot malfunction warnings in the car and offer you preventive maintenance and measures along with a direct helpline for assistance with in-car features. A great idea for the tech-challenged demographic who may find themselves behind the wheel of a giant gadget!

Another big update comes in the form of captain seats in the second row and ventilation for the front row of seats. But making it a multi-step procedure doesn’t bode well for convenience while on the move. Buried into the climate control menu of the Adrenox system, the on-screen-only controls for the seat ventilation require taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds when it could’ve just been a toggle switch on the bank of buttons located right below the climate control hard keys. The fans themselves whirr away at an alarming pace, creating quite a ruckus in the cabin and are louder than most other cars with a similar feature. Thankfully, the 12-speaker Sony 3D audio system is more than capable of drowning out this noise with immersive audio that can be tweaked to your liking. Depending on the kind of music you listen to and the mood you’re in, you can choose to create a wider, more open soundstage or an intimate, direct attack that is great for R&B, hip-hop and electronic music. One of the highlights of the XUV700’s tech suite, but bear in mind that it tends to favour louder volumes to come into its own.


Comfort and performance both are of very high order in the XUV700. The suspension soaks up everything you throw at it, without the need to shed speed even! The 200hp petrol engine is still a beast and the automatic transmission is mated well enough to avoid any jerks or head butts. The steering is a bit too light, which can be disorienting for a car this size but it also makes it easy to manoeuvre around town effortlessly, so in the larger scheme of things, it’s only a good thing! Seating on the second row is a relaxing experience for the chauffeur driven and though it misses out on the powered adjustment of the boss-seat mode, it does have a handy lever with which you can push the front passenger seat forward and free up additional legroom. The Tata Safari though even throws in seat ventilation for the second row of seats which the XUV700 misses out on. The seat cushioning and comfort are fantastic though and getting into the third row is as easy as tumbling the captain seats with just one tug.


Winning over the competition with the inclusion of a petrol engine or the option of a 4WD drivetrain, the XUV700 remains the driver’s choice. The spruce-up does give it a new lease of life but the competition is still fierce and little omissions like the lack of an electric tailgate, USB-C port for the front row, auto-dimming IRVM and cooled second row of seats stand out like a sore thumb. It boils down to styling, cabin design, tech and drivetrain and the options have never been more closely matched. The only winner here is you, the customer!

Stuff Says

An accomplished full-size SUV that gains a few extra features but is still playing catch up to newer rivals.