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Rediff.com  » Business » Verito Vibe: A frugal hatch for practical buyers

Verito Vibe: A frugal hatch for practical buyers

July 12, 2013 10:59 IST

Verito Vibe: A frugal hatch for practical buyers

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Faisal Ali Khan

The Mahindra Verito Vibe offers the same cabin space with a smaller boot and cheaper price, writes Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com

Compact cars are becoming the hot favourite of Indian car buyers. A quick look into the top selling cars will reveal why sub 4-metre cars have become so popular. The reduced duty on compact cars makes the segment too lucrative to ignore.

Now Mahindra has chopped off the boot from the Verito, making it more like a hatchback in the process and calling it Verito Vibe.

The Verito Vibe comes at a cheaper price thanks to the reduced duty but does it offer the same experience as the regular Verito sedan?

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Verito Vibe: A frugal hatch for practical buyers

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The Verito Vibe is identical to the Verito in almost every way, except the rear of course. At the front, the Vibe gets carbon finish instead of chrome, while the side flaunts the new alloy wheels.

The rear of the Verito Vibe is all new, with the boot now chopped off, the Verito looks more like a hatchback than compact sedan.

The vertically stacked tail lights are not very modern in appearance while the rather large visual makes the vehicle look a bit ungainly at the rear. The front and rear simply don't match.

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Verito Vibe: A frugal hatch for practical buyers

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The Verito Vibe’s interior is identical to the Verito. The cabin is spacious although quality of materials is not up to the mark and the plastics are very hard.

Mahindra has used beige to give the Verito an airy feel. There are quite a few cubby holes inside the cabin and the centre console gets piano black finish which looks good.

The instrument cluster gets multi-information display including distance to empty feature. The seats are a bit hard but legroom and headroom are generous inside.

Every passenger get an adjustable headrest too. The AC works well and the audio system offers decent output.

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Verito Vibe: A frugal hatch for practical buyers

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The boot of the Verito Vibe offers a decent 330-litre of space, which is very good for a compact car. However when you factor in the small loading bay, practicality goes for a toss.

The boot doesn't open with the rear windscreen like a hatchback but instead has hinges like a sedan. This makes the Verito Vibe quite confused, is it a hatchback or a sedan?

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The hinges make the boot door a bit heavy to operate and the narrow opening limits luggage retrieval and you have to bend quite a bit to put stuff and remove it.

There is no rear wiper and washer either.

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Verito Vibe: A frugal hatch for practical buyers

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The Verito Vibe is underpinned by the same mechanicals as the regular Verito. The vehicle has quite a big steering, which is very heavy to operate at low speeds. This steering doesn't weigh up at high speeds and feels a bit dead.

There is quite a bit of body roll too and feedback is lacking. However where the Verito Vibe pleases thoroughly is the way it rides. The car simply gobbles up bad roads and glides over tarmac, taking potholes without a hiccup.

Brakes offer good stopping power and overall the dynamics of the Verito are more comfort oriented which will appeal to majority of the buyers.

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While the Verito sedan is offered with a petrol and diesel engine, the Verito Vibe is only offered with a diesel engine (the Verito's petrol engine won't give Mahindra excise duty benefits as it is a 1.4-litre unit).

The 1.5-litre k9k diesel engine is sourced from Renault and produces 64 PS of power and 160 Nm of torque.

This engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The much acclaimed dCi unit offers terrific performance in the city with almost no turbolag from the motor.

There is plenty of torque lower down the power band which enables drivability in the city.

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Stand on the gas and the Verito Vibe will sprint from 0 to 100 km/hr in around 16 seconds, with the top speed being 160 km/hr. This motor shows a lot of eagerness at low revs and only starts to lose steam post 3500 RPM.

The gearbox has short throws and shifts smoothly and the clutch is very light too. The Verito Vibe is very efficient and returns a mileage of 16-17 km/l in the city.

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The Mahindra Verito Vibe is not the most appealing product in the segment but it does make a strong case for itself with its terrific ride quality, generous cabin space and fuel efficient diesel engine.

The hinged boot is not very practical but it does end up shaving Rs 80,000 off from the Verito's price.

Thus the Verito Vibe is a worthy choice for practical people looking for a frugal hatchback for five occupants.

The Verito Vibe is offered in three variants (D2, D4, D6) priced between Rs 680,000 and Rs 783,000 (on-road, Mumbai).




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