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Force One SX vs Mahindra XUV 500: Which is better?

January 22, 2014 10:18 IST

Force One SX vs Mahindra XUV 500: Which is better?

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Both the vehicles are as big as a compact one-room apartment and have three rows to seat your family and anyone else who wants to hitch a ride with you. 

The love story with big, brawny SUVs refuses to end. Believe it or not, it's not because they are practical choices, not when the roads are shrinking by the day. 

It's all about having a commanding presence - and an inflated ego - on the street. For a very long time, SUVs were out of reach for most, but in the last couple of years the market has changed and SUVs of all sorts are running around.

Of course, there are many who won't compromise on anything but the colossal, for that is what makes an SUV an SUV.

Among the plethora of these monsters on the road, we check out the credentials of two home-bred, full-sized SUVs - Force One SX and Mahindra XUV 500.

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Image: Mahindra XUV
Photographs: Courtesy, Mahindra
Tags: SUV , Mahindra

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Force One SX vs Mahindra XUV 500: Which is better?

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Yes, both the vehicles are as big as a compact one-room apartment and have three rows to seat your family and anyone else who wants to hitch a ride with you. But scratch the surface, and Force One and XUV 500 are as similar as chalk and cheese. 

The Force is slightly longer in length than the Mahindra and has the typical boxy and rugged SUV attributes that dwarf vehicles standing beside it.

The XUV is the product of modern design and looks more contemporary. The Mahindra vehicle's cheetah-like paradigm gives it a sporty flair.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Force Motors
Tags: SUV , XUV , Force

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Force One SX vs Mahindra XUV 500: Which is better?

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Climb into the Force One and the light beige interiors make the cabin seem like a spacious train compartment. What catches your attention is the shiny plastic which is a major turn off as it emits the disagreeable smell of cheapness. 

The wooden panels on the centre console try their best to give the One SX a premium look but in vain.

Not everything is gloom and doom though, as the leather upholstery is of a high quality and the seats are large and extremely comfortable.

All the three rows provide more than substantial knee room though they lack thigh support.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Force Motors
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Force One SX vs Mahindra XUV 500: Which is better?

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As enticing inside as it is from the outside, the XUV sweeps you off your feet when you enter the cabin. The contemporary interiors make you feel like Captain James T Kirk in charge of Star Trek Enterprise. 

We loved the centre console which comes with a touch screen and has navigation maps. Though the XUV may not be a hardcore SUV, this monocoque vehicle comes with the hill-descent function.

The cabin comes in two options of black or walnut, but the former gets our thumbs up.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mahindra

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Force One SX vs Mahindra XUV 500: Which is better?

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The seats are sculpted as if by a skilled artist and each contour and curve is made to provide additional support to your back. This seven-seater too has oodles of space.

The One SX and the XUV command respect and dictate terms on the road. The driver's seat lets you look down on the pesky hatchbacks and sedans as they quickly make way for you.
When you are behind the wheel of the One SX you get the feeling that you are driving a 2.5-tonne vehicle.

Don't get me wrong, it doesn't hamper you while going through rush-hour traffic but, yes, your natural instincts will make you take a quick look in the mirror before essaying a turn.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mahindra
Tags: XUV , Mahindra

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Force One SX vs Mahindra XUV 500: Which is better?

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What surprises is that with 140 bhp to play with, the engine picks up speed before the needle touches 1500 rpm, which indicates its responsive nature. 

You don't have to arm wrestle with the gear stick as the second or third gear is sufficient for city traffic. But here's a caveat: the shift has a mind of its own as it doesn't slot in without a big thrust.

Also if you use the heavy clutch regularly, chances are that you will end up with bulging calf muscles. Though the One SX is not a 4x4, with its solid chassis and excellent suspension set-up, it can take on broken roads and dusty gravel tracks with ease.

The ride quality is phenomenal and one of the best in the segment.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Force Motors
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Force One SX vs Mahindra XUV 500: Which is better?

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The XUV feels like an agile cat until you hit a sharp turn where it starts to feel unsure and heavy. The steering wheel is vague - it does not communicate with you, so you start anticipating how it will handle. 

The best thing to do is to slow down while taking a curve. Step on the gas and you get a reasonable acceleration but when you hit 1500 rpm, the turbo kicks in and it feels like the afterburner is switched on.

The 2.2-litre engine provides a punch at low speeds, ensuring it is fun to drive. As for the gear transmission, let us that say the XUV's is the lesser of the two evils.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Mahindra
Tags: XUV , Mahindra

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In all honesty, both the vehicles need fine-tuning. Both these hulks suffer from severe body roll and can be quite unnerving on twisted mountain roads. The Force One SX is an old school SUV - a juggernaut that goes over fairly anything in its path. 

The cabin fit and finish as well as the quality of its interiors need improvement.

The XUV is an eye-catching, fully-loaded, gadget geek's delight. It stands out with its distinctive looks and though the interiors appear better than the Force One, it could also do with some upgrading.

We opt for the XUV 500 because as a total package it is ahead by a nose.


Photographs: Courtesy,Force Motors

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