The new generation Mahindra Scorpio is vastly improved and drives much better than before, says Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com
When Mahindra launched the Scorpio in 2002, it became an instant hit and over the years, the popularity of this vehicle has only soared. The Scorpio is one of Mahindra's most important products and the company has now given it a comprehensive update, calling it a new generation model. The new Scorpio is in its third generation and has been tested extensively across the country.
Mahindra hasn't changed the overall shape of the new Scorpio and the vehicle is unmistakably a Scorpio. However, the new design highlights give this SUV a fresh appeal.
The front section is vastly revised, it gets new headlights with twin projectors and an LED eyebrow for the parking light. The grille is new as well and so is the bumper.
The changes to the design make the Scorpio look more edgier. The hood now features a better integrated scoop for the top-mounted intercooler.
The changes to the side are minimal with new wheels while the rear gets new LED tail lights, black applique on the centre and black cladding in place of the reflectors.
There is a drastic change to the interiors of the new Scorpio. While the cabin space remains largely the same as before, the car gets an all new dashboard that looks very appealing.
Some ergonomic issues have been resolved, like the power window controls have been shifted to the door but still there are some flaws inside the cabin.
Once you shut the door, accessing the door pockets is extremely difficult and so is the case with adjusting your seat. The new dashboard borrows the steering wheel and infotainment system from Mahindra's flagship, the XUV500.
The Scorpio has good space on the inside, the seats are supportive but a bit too upright at the rear. There are plenty of features on offer, including Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, climate control, automatic wipers, automatic headlight, voice assist, park assist, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring, cornering lights, service reminder, etc.
The fully loaded cabin of the Scorpio makes it a loaded package but fit and finish should have been better. There are plenty of exposed wires which isn't a good thing for a vehicle which costs upwards of Rs 10 lakh.
Powering the Mahindra Scorpio are a set of engines, the smaller 2.5-litre 75 HP motor is aimed at rural consumers while the 2.2-litre mHawk mill is the mainstay model. This 4-pot mill generates 120 HP of power and 280 Nm of torque, giving it quite the punch.
Low-end performance is excellent and turbolag is very well contained. Driving in the city, one will appreciate how quick the Scorpio is right from the word go.
It has a strong mid-range which helps in highway performance and 0-100 km/hr comes in under 14 seconds, making it quite fast for its size.
Where the Scorpio lacks is in the top-end, it simply doesn't have the grunt post 4,000 RPM but that's acceptable as the performance is slick where it matters most. The NVH levels are good too and the vehicle now sports a new 5-speed gearbox which comes from the Xylo.
The new transmission offers smooth shifts although it does feel a bit notchy once in a while. Mahindra has improved the mileage of the new Scorpio, the model now returns an ARAI claimed fuel economy of 15.37 km/l.
The Mahindra Scorpio has been known for not offering good dynamics and thus the company set out to make the vehicle better in this regard.
The new Scorpio sports an all new chassis which uses a hydroformed frame, it is almost 100 per cent stiffer than before and further changes to the suspension has led to an improvement in handling.
The car still has quite a bit of body roll but is more sure-footed to drive now. It feels more stable than before and the turning radius has also reduced.
The ride quality is very good and while braking performance is adequate, more stopping power would have been appreciated.
The Mahindra Scorpio was selling in good numbers before the new model arrived and with the new generation car, Mahindra will continue to find huge demand for its top-selling SUV.
The Scorpio sees vast improvements in quite a few areas and the updates to the interior boost its appeal further.
Priced between Rs 971,000 and 15.35 lakh in Mumbai, the new Scorpio offers good value and performance while retaining its macho appeal and comfort.