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As far as the MPV market goes, the Toyota Innova Crysta and the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga are still at the top. These two models have proven that if the packaging is right and the product is reliable, then the sales are bound to be certain.
However, there is still a large price gap between the diesel models of the Ertiga and the Innova Crysta. To fill that gap efficiently, it was necessary that the new entrant should drive well, have a good built, is comfortable and most importantly, be priced well too. Enter the all-new Mahindra Marazzo.
The Marazzo has been developed by the Mahindra North American Technical Centre (MNATC) in Michigan, USA. The MPV looks and feels much different from any other car from the company's portfolio. The word 'Marazzo' means shark in the Italian dialect. It's built on an all-new platform and Mahindra has gone all the way to the depths of the ocean and taken the design inspiration from a shark.
At first, when you take a look at the Marazzo, it isn't just about razor-sharp edges or an intimidating appearance but also about the completeness which people want. At the front, the car gets chrome bits on its grille which give it an aggressive look. The grille almost looks like a shark is smiling at you. It also gets blacked-out headlamp clusters that feature projectors but sadly comes with a halogen unit rather than an LED. A pair of DRLs are also present beside the foglamps but only the top end trims get it.
Moving on to the side, the first thing that will strick your attention are the 17-inch alloy wheels. The wheels are machined and shaped in the form of shark fins which look really cool. Moreover, the prominent C-shaped body crease slightly reminds us of the Ferrari 456.
At the rear, the tail lamps take inspiration from the predator's tail. There is also a thick chrome slat at the rear joining the tail lamps. The overall body structure is built to look agile and ferocious. The blacked out B and C-pillars add to the overall look of the Marazzo and the small portion that's blacked out on the D-Pillar gives the MPV, a floating roof-like structure.
Step inside the car and the Marazzo's interiors offer an upmarket feel. The top of the dashboard gets a matte grey finish while the middle section is finished in gloss black. It also gets some textures on the left-hand side. The bottom half of the dash is finished in ceramic white. The perforated beige leatherette seats and beige-coloured roof together give the cabin a spacious feel.
The car gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system on top of the centre console. The infotainment system features navigation, Android Auto connectivity, an eco-driving guide and other vital information including distance-to-empty. However, Apple CarPlay is not present and is expected to be offered later. There's two USB ports and a 12V socket for the driver and front passenger, while rear seat occupants get a common USB port, for charging only.
There's a lot of storage spaces and cubby holes, including a deep cavity right at the top of the dashboard. The is also a glovebox present right in between the driver and passenger seats, which I feel is really low and oddly-placed. Bottle holders are present on all four doors and there are individual ones for the third-row passengers, as well.
Speaking about comfort, the seats of the Marazzo are really good and comfortable. The driver and passenger seats get manual lumbar support while manual seat height adjustment is present only for the driver. Also, the test car that we got was the top-end M8 variant which was a seven-seater and features captain seats for the second row. The front and second-row seats get a foldable armrest which further adds to the level of comfort.
However, the third row is not meant for tall passengers as there is less legroom on offer. On the contrary, getting into the third row is pretty easy as the left-side second-row seat can be flipped down using just two fingers.
One major highlight in the Marazzo's cabin has to be the roof-mounted air-conditioning system for the second and third rows. The rear-seat occupants could choose to have a direct blast or get a diffused blow from separate vents on the roof. Mahindra has patented this technology calling it the Surround Cool Technology.
The car comes with a rather small 190 litres of cargo space which can barely fit two suitcases. However, with the third row down, the MPV offers a decent 690 litres and with the second row also down, 1055 litres are on offer.
Powering the Marazzo is an all-new 1.5-litre diesel engine which produces a healthy 121bhp and 300Nm of peak torque which kicks in at just 1500rpm. We are also expecting this engine to be used in Mahindra's upcoming cars. The Marazzo tips the scale at 2 tonnes and this new engine does a fairly good job in pulling the behemoth.
The engine is mated to an all new six-speed manual gearbox which offers precise shifts. The Marazzo uses a body-on-frame chassis with a front-wheel-drive setup. The clutch feels really light when compared to other cars of this size and will not tire one out. Although one might end up stalling the car quite a few times because there is very less feedback from the clutch.
High-speed stability is very good and the steering wheel offers nice feedback and does justice to the size of the car. Unlike all the other MPVs, the Marazzo has some amount of body roll which is fare enough for a car this size.
As far as ride quality is concerned, the car performed really well especially on potholes and uneven roads. The suspension travel is not too long and it is possible that the car will do well, on undulations. The Mahindra Marazzo uses double wishbone suspension at the front and a twist beam setup at the rear which enables a good ride, despite the ladder frame. Surprisingly, the engine doesn't have the typical diesel clatter even at idle, neither does it sound so on the go. I felt that the overall ride quality was fantastic and it felt smooth sailing on the open tarmac.
The car also has two modes on offer: Normal and Eco. In Normal mode, the throttle response is kind of sharp while on selecting Eco, the throttle response drops; in turn helping in saving fuel. Also, the Marazzo feels a bit sleepy in the beginning but post 1500rpm, the car starts pulling.
On the safety front, the Marazzo comes with dual airbags as standard. It is also equipped with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist and Isofix child seat mounts.
Promeet Ghosh Thinks!
The Mahindra Marazzo is quite an impressive offering from the company. All of this comes at a really reasonable price of Rs 13.90 lakh, ex-showroom (India) for the M8 top-end variant. Well, at this price range you are getting a lot of features in the Marazzo.
If somebody is not willing to buy the Ertiga which is slightly underpowered or the Innova Crysta which costs more, the Marazzo will be the perfect choice for them. Moreover, in terms of style, space and comfort along with higher equipment levels, the Mahindra Marazzo certainly ticks a lot of boxes.