Mahindra launches Nuvosport, positioned above TUV 3OO in the lineup

Mahindra’s sub-four meter Utility Vehicle portfolio is a packed space already with the TUV 3OO and KUV 1OO covering a wide price spectrum between them. Both of them are relatively new and just when you thought Mahindra is done with this segment comes the Nuvosport. Yes, that’s how Mahindra has christened its Ecosport challenger, straying away from its obsession with names ending with the letter ‘o’.

If you feel the Nuvosport looks familiar, it’s because it actually is. Remember the Quanto, Mahindra’s first attempt at cracking the sub four-meter Utility Vehicle segment that failed miserably? The Nuvosport is nothing but a restyled Quanto.

As usual, Mahindra’s design team has given the Nuvosport a busy fascia that looks more aggressive and in-your-face. Revised headlights now have LED DRL brows above them while the slim radiator grille sits in between a massive air dam in the bumper and a functional hood scoop. With the revised frontal styling, Mahindra has succeeded in injecting some character in the Nuvosport that its predecessor sorely missed. The same can’t be said about the sides and the rear that are carried over from the Quanto with minimal changes. Thick plastic cladding and smarter alloy wheels are the only noticeable changes in profile while the smoked taillights and the roof-mounted spoiler are new at the rear. Sadly, with its towering height in a relatively lesser length, the Nuvosport is as disproportionate now as the Quanto was before.

The interiors borrow a whole lot from the Quanto too but noticeable changes like the steering wheel with integrated audio, phone and cruise controls and the center console with the 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system are an attempt to make Nuvosport’s cabin match with the times. The top-end N8 variant gets features like cruise control, leatherette upholstery, Digital Information System, height-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, electrically adjustable mirrors, speed-sensing door locks, reverse parking assist, start-stop system, follow-me-home headlamps, puddle lamps and adjustable armrests for the driver and the passenger.  Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Dual Airbags are standard on all but the base variant which gets these features as optional extra. 

Like the TUV 3OO, the Nuvosport has two jump seats behind the second row bench, making it a 7-seater. While it does offer undeniable flexibility in times of need, let’s not forget the fact that it’s an extremely unsafe way for occupants to travel. Those seats don’t even get lap belts!

Powering the Nuvosport is a re-christened version of the Quanto’s engine -  a 3-cylinder, 1.5-liter, turbocharged unit now dubbed the ‘mHawk 100’. The suffix denotes the 100 horsepower produced by the engine at 3750 rpm while the torque output is 240 Nm between 1600 - 2800 rpm. A 5-speed manual gearbox is standard across the lineup while the mid and top variants also get the option of a 5-speed Automated Manual Transmission (AMT).

In the pecking order, Mahindra has positioned the Nuvosport as a premium alternative to the similar-sized TUV 3OO. Priced between INR 7.35 Lakhs for the N4 variant and INR 9.76 Lakhs for the top-end N8 AMT variant ex-showroom Thane, the Nuvosport is aimed straight at the Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Ford Ecosport. 

The Nuvosport might lack the visual finesse externally and internally to fight those two smart-looking pseudo SUVs but Mahindra has got the momentum in its favour, thanks to the quick-selling TUV 3OO and KUV 1OO. Will that be enough for the Nuvosport to achieve what the Quanto didn’t? We have our fingers crossed!

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