Mahindra XUV700 Tech Review

Mahindra's flagship SUV is filled with gadgets. Here are the best ones!

₹ 26,40,000

Announced in the middle of a COVID lockdown, Mahindra’s long-gestating flagship SUV, the XUV 7-double O is the stuff of history books. More than 50,000 bookings on the very first day and the number continues to swell, forcing delivery timelines to stretch well beyond a year for the enthusiastic customers. But besides being the most powerful SUV in its class and the added charisma of Mahindra DNA that guarantees reliability and true off-road capability, what has captured the interest of many first-time SUV buyers is its blend of luxury and technology. 
Three rows of seating are aided by dual-zone climate control up front, vents for the second and third row, while the third row also gets fan speed settings. The driver also gets motorised seat adjustment with memory function for three presets. Quality of the switchgear is a mixed bag, but the knurled knobs for climate control and the rotary selector look nice and work well. The blend of physical buttons with the large screen real estate is tasteful and practical. 
The giant slab of single-piece glass that conceals two individual 10.2in screens is clearly inspired by Mercedes’ recent layout, complete with the hood to prevent glare. But, it’s done so well, you don’t mind the flattery. Resolution is crisp and the sheer amount of information to be accessed can honestly be overwhelming, so let’s break it down.

Infotainment: Almost overloaded

Based on Android P, Mahindra dubs its system AdrenoX and it forms the basis of everything you will control on the touchscreen or through the accompanying connected car app. The rotary dial on the centre console is surrounded by four shortcut buttons and one of the niftiest customizable options here is the function for the rotary dial. It can be set up to be a selector or a big, physical volume knob...just how a volume control should be! 

The screen resolution is 1080p, although via the USB slot, you can even play 4K resolution videos, when the vehicle is in park or neutral mode. Although Apple CarPlay support is still being worked upon, our test car came with a pre-production version of wired Android Auto and as expected, it worked seamlessly with our OnePlus device and also comes with a selection of games that will keep your digits busy during those 180sec traffic signals.

Connectivity comes in the form of two USB-A ports up front, along with a wireless charging pad and a single USB-C slot for the rear passengers. The third row gets a boot, no pun intended. It seems sufficient, but wireless Android Auto and CarPlay the expectation for a car of this calibre and technical wizardry.

But where it does excel is voice assistance, which comes courtesy of Amazon Alexa in this case. It’s effortless in its integration and execution, taking less than a minute to set up, and opens up a whole world of commands, requests and quips that no native automaker-powered AI voice assistants come close to. You can even ask Alexa in the XUV700 to control your smart home devices, so say for instance, your Dyson air purifier at home can be switched on and your room could be infused with fresh air before you arrive at your doorstep! 
In-car functions like opening windows, sunroof, media, navigation and HVAC controls can be voice-controlled via Alexa too, and the response time is staggeringly fast. Unlike other voice assistants, the Alexa-powered system reacts to your voice instantly and you don’t have to repeat the wake word multiple times just to get its attention. It’s down to the Qualcomm 6150 octa-core processor, great integration of services and the hi-res screens that all come together and enhance the experience. Finally, we have Voice and AI in a car that works!

Monitoring your XUV700 remotely is a fun experience too through the AdrenoX Connect app that besides letting you in on vehicle status, fuel range, tyre pressure, remote start and other vitals, also lets you add your calendar events, smart home devices or book a service appointment. It’s a well laid out UI with three primary screens for maps, car status and trip history and a home screen that shows you the most sought after info like current vehicle location, fuel range and last trip summary.
It’s when you get to the 10.2in screens, that things get a little bit overwhelming. On the surface, it’s a clean layout, both for the infotainment screen and the digital instrument cluster. But start digging into the menus and it quickly gets overcrowded with too many granular settings that are all over the place. The infotainment home screen itself is split into two halves and you can further swipe down to bring up additional features and swipe up for even more apps, while the main tiles reside in the middle. Between Zomato, Thrillophilia and India Today apps, you can also get live information, which may or may not be distracting depending on your ability to adapt into chameleon-like vision with an eye each on the screen and the road.

What is nice though are the media controls which can be easily cycled through and there are a ton of choices as sources. Alexa will play from Hungama Music, you could play via a USB drive or connect your smartphone with Android Auto and play Apple Music, Radio and a Bluetooth source. The audio settings are also always at hand on any source screen to take charge of the stupendous Sony 3D sound system.

Audio: Sony pro max

12 speakers scattered across the cabin strategically means that the XUV700 is the first car this side of a Burmester-equipped Mercedes to get “height” speakers. Four roof-mounted speakers immerse you in the music with just the right amount of fill that helps enhance the scale and size of the soundstage. The options run deep, letting you choose from a variety of 3D sound modes like Immersive 3D, Stage, Party and Breezy.

Any of these modes then can also be adjusted for their sound field size between large, medium and small. It’s all a matter of taste and genre of music you listen to. Large scale orchestral music will benefit from the Immersive 3D mode where you can get a real sense of the concert hall the music was recorded in whereas Party is a more focused but dynamic sounding mode where the reverb time is cut and the presentation is more suited to hip-hop or rap. 
Ultimately, what worked best for me was the Immersive 3D with sound-field level set to medium, which proved to be ideal for rock music, letting the vocals and guitar soar while keeping a tight leash on the bass and mids to anchor it all. It’s a sound that has the ability to shorten even the longest of journeys and highlights the importance of a great audio system on a daily basis to enhance the feel good factor of being in a car.

ADAS: Look ma, no hands!

Not the first car in the segment to have semi-autonomous driving features, the XUV700 feels more finely tuned to Indian conditions. Things like lane-keep assist work well when the roads are marked and the Pilot Assist will come in handy by using the car in front as a guide even when there aren’t any markings. The efficacy of these in India, again, is dependent on traffic and road conditions around you. 
Features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition and High Beam Assist can and do come in handy but they have their moments and until the infrastructure, driving manners and road conditions improve in tandem, most of these are great marketing tools. Activating them is a chore though, having you scroll through menus and drill down till you hit upon the right sub-menu. The digital dials are crisply laid out with great clarity but the labyrinth of options across the menus could do with some tidying up.

Even the top of the line AXL variant we have on test doesn’t get ventilated seats, which seems to be an odd omission at this price. The XUV700 gets a huge panoramic sunroof though, which they call the skyroof, and knowing how we Indians love our glass tops, this could be enough to make up for it. 
Minor assistance features like the Blind View Assist that shows you a camera feed from the ORVMs the moment you use the indicator is great to eliminate blind spots while turning and the resolution from the 360-degree cameras is great as well. It’s not exactly the smallest car on the road but you never feel the size while parking thanks to eyes all around. 

Drive: Stately interstate express

On the road, the XUV700 has a confident stance and a very evident Mahindra DNA. Which basically means you don’t need to slow down for potholes or broken roads. The 200hp petrol engine is well mated to the auto box and you won’t miss paddle shifts at all. It goes about its business in an unassuming fashion, until you put a heavy foot on the throttle and the front wheels spin away with a screechy dose of torque steer. It may be an AWD variant, but there is obvious front bias in a bid to be economical on an everyday basis. 
The brakes tend to get a bit grabby and need better modulation and pedal feel, but overall, this is a car that is perfectly suited to intercity runs with its comfortable ride, supportive seats and a commanding driving position that offers excellent all-round visibility. Dynamically, body roll is very well controlled and you never feel that you’re in such a big vehicle, especially once you gain cruising speeds.


Appealing on multiple levels, the XUV700 is an accomplished SUV that ticks almost all the boxes, leading to its unsurprising early success. This, despite its odd styling cues that don’t bode well with everyone, so it clearly has got more things right than wrong. The prospect of seven seats, seven airbags, 5-star safety rating, and all the tech that could give cars twice its price an inferiority complex, makes the XUV700 a package that is hard to ignore.

Stuff Says

The undisputed leader in its segment when it comes to audio quality, connectivity and sophisticated tech, the XUV700 matches the hype!
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Integration of dual screen design

  1. Alexa voice assistant is natural and easy

  1. Sony 3D audio best sounding in the segment

  1. Rides beautifully and high on comfort

  1. Ventilated seats get a miss

  1. Apple CarPlay yet to be implemented

  1. Too many options and apps all over the UI

Engine: 4-cylinder turbo-petrol
Power: 200bhp/380Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
Fuel tank: 60lts
Wheels: 235/60 R18