Mahindra has bolstered its local product line-up with the introduction of the new KUV100 small crossover, which becomes available this month.
The new KUV100 is targeted at buyers who would ordinarily be looking for a small hatchback, but the Mahindra offers additional ruggedness (thanks to its raised ride height), plus a modicum of versatility (characteristics typically associated with SUVs). The KUV100 is available with petrol and diesel engines driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual 'box.
"The KUV100 seeks to offer access to the benefits of SUV ownership, but linked to the affordability and lower running costs of a small hatchback. The result is a vehicle with broad appeal offering a strong value proposition," says Sanjoy Gupta, CEO of Mahindra SA.
The KUV100 is built on an all-new monocoque platform that is both wider and taller than a hatchback of a similar length. The front end is defined by a recessed grille with a large, lower air intake. The headlights with integrated turn signals are relatively slim, with daytime running lights featuring on high-spec models. Contrasting body cladding is found on the front bumper, wheel arches and sills, while a front scuff plate adds to the KUV100’s rugged look. Roof rails and a rear spoiler are fitted to all derivatives in the KUV100 range.
The KUV100 has a ground clearance of 170 mm and comes fitted with 14-inch wheels as standard. High-spec models gain chrome inserts on the grille, alloy wheels, silver rear door handles, a roof-mounted antenna and front and rear fog lights with chrome surrounds.
The Mahindra KUV100 offers both petrol and turbodiesel engines.
The 3-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol engine produces 61 kW and 115 Nm of torque and is claimed to consume 5.9 L/100 km, while the 3-cylinder, 1.2-litre turbodiesel engine (57 kW/190 Nm) is said to have a combined fuel consumption of 4.4 L/100 km.
The KUV100 range consists of 5 derivatives and is available in 3 levels of trim. The range kicks off with the K4+, which is only offered with the petrol engine. This model rides on 14-inch steel wheels and features a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, electric windows, air-conditioning, manual central locking and a folding rear bench.
The next level up is the K6+, which can be had with both the petrol or turbodiesel engine. The K6+ adds features such as chrome accents for the grille, colour-coded door handles and exterior mirrors and door-side cladding. The B-pillars on this model are black and the derivative gains a roof-mounted antenna.
Inside, this model gains an infotainment system with a 3.5-inch display, multi-information display, Bluetooth and USB port. A multifunction steering wheel, a 6-speaker audio system and a cooled glovebox are also fitted. The K6+ also gains piano black inserts, a rear centre armrest, keyless entry and an anti-theft alarm.
The gear lever in the Mahindra KUV100 is mounted in the dashboard to save space.
The final trim level is the K8+, offered with the petrol or turbodiesel engine. In addition to the features mentioned above, the K8+ adds daytime running lights, alloy wheels, front and rear fog lights, silver-accentuated rear doors handles and start-stop system for the turbodiesel derivative.
On the inside, the KUV100 features a stubby gear lever mounted in the dashboard, which affords the driver and passenger with more space. The seats are upholstered in fabric and the boot can accommodate 243 litres, increasing to 473 litres when you fold the rear seatback flat. A underfloor storage area is also included for additional stowage.
The steering wheel is tilt-adjustable and there are front and rear cup holders in the armrests as well as bottle holders in the door mouldings.
In terms of safety, the KUV100 features ABS with EBD, corner braking control and dual front airbags.
Mahindra KUV100 prices in South Africa (February 2017)
1.2 K4+ Petrol R154 995
1.2 K6+ Petrol R177 995
1.2 K6+ Turbodiesel R195 995
1.2 K8 Petrol R187 995
1.2 K8 Turbodiesel R205 995
Pricing includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty on all models, and a three-year/50 000 km service plan on the K6+ and K8 derivatives (optional for K4+).