Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

Mahindra revealed the eXUV300 concept electric SUV at the 2020 Auto Expo signalling its intent to step back into the world of EVs with what it does best - Utility vehicles.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

A few weeks back, after delays caused by the godforsaken pandemic and supply shortages, Mahindra finally revealed its electric lineup for the future in the form of the all-new electrified twin peaks XUV and the Born Electric brands.

However, one EV that was missing on the 15th of August in England was the production version of the eXUV300 concept. However, that has now changed with the arrival of the all-new Mahindra XUV400.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

So does the all-new XUV400 herald the dawn of Mahindra's return to the top of the Indian electric market, or should we wait for the upcoming InGlo platform-based electric lineup from either the electric twin peaks XUV or Born Electric? We drove a pre-production version of the upcoming Mahindra XUV400 near the manufacturer's facilities in Chennai to find out...

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

Mahindra XUV400 Exterior Design - Retweaked XUV300 With A Few Extra Copper Details

The new electric Mahindra XUV400 is a retweaked version of the internal combustion engine-powered XUV300 with a few obvious eXUV300-inspired tweaks and of course, the new copper-coloured highlights.

At the front of the electric XUV400, Mahindra has quite sensibly closed off the front grille section and front bumper thanks to the lower cooling requirements of the EV.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

The closed-off front grille sports the new twin peaks logo as well as arrowhead-shaped inserts, all of which are finished in copper. Other copper highlights can be seen under the wraparound headlights and on the front bumper, along with the sides sills of the SUV and on the twin peaks logo at the back. The other major copper highlight comes in the form of the roof that has been finished in a glossy copper shade.

The overall profile of the new XUV400 remains identical to the XUV300 despite its increased length and the electric SUV rides on the same set of 16-inch alloy wheels that we see on its ICE sibling. The taillights, though the same shape, feature new arrowhead-shaped inserts.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

The new Mahindra XUV400 is offered in five colour options: Arctic Blue, Everest White, Galaxy Grey, Napoli Black and Infinity Blue all of which feature a dual-tone roof option in a Satin Copper finish.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

Mahindra XUV400 Interior & Features - More Of The Same

Step inside the new XUV400 and the changes once again are minimal when compared to its ICE-powered XUV300 sibling. While the overall layout remains the same, the interior is now finished in black and there are copper inserts for the surrounds of the air vents, sound and A/C controls and the twin peaks badge on the steering wheel. The biggest visible change comes in the form of the new gear selector that also features a satin copper surround.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

The seats are comfortable and feature ample bolstering to keep you in them. The XUV400's seats sport blue stitching which looks quite nice. Where the new XUV400 doesn't feel nice is when you move your fingers around the car. There is hard plastic almost everywhere and the piano black surrounds for the central console are an absolute finger magnet and will start to look splodgy after only a few hours of touching buttons and moving dials.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

Speaking about the centre console, the 7-inch supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay like the one seen on the XUV300. However, unlike its ICE sibling, the new XUV400's infotainment unit runs Mahindra's new AdrenoX software and sports the automaker's Blue Sense+ suite of connected car apps. This allows for features like OTA updates and detailed route planning. However, we were unable to test out these features on the XUV400 we drove as it was a pre-production unit with a few kinks to sort out.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

The new XUV400 comes packed with features including dual-zone climate control, a single-pane sunroof and cruise control among others. The new XUV400 also packs in all the safety tech possible with 6 airbags, all-wheel disc brakes, ISOFIX anchors for child seats and IP67 dust and water resistance rating for both the motor and battery pack.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

Mahindra XUV400 Powertrain & Dimensions

The Mahindra XUV400 is the first of a lineup of multiple electric SUVs that the carmaker plans to bombard the Indian market with.

The XUV400 sports a single electric motor that power the front axle of the new SUV. The Mahindra XUV400's permanent magnet synchronous motor produces 147.5bhp and 310Nm of peak torque which is sent to the front wheels by a single-speed gearbox.

The Mahindra XUV400 features three major driving modes which affect the power delivery, regen and steering feel. The three modes are dubbed fun, fast and fearless. Also seen is a new single pedal driving mode named 'Lively'.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

The electric motor is fed by a 39.4kWh high-density battery pack that delivers a claimed range of 456 kilometres in modified Indian Driving Conditions (MIDC).

The battery pack offers three different charging speeds thanks to a CCS2 type charging connection. When plugged into a domestic 16A domestic socket (around 3.3kW AC) the 0-100 per cent charging time is a massive 13 hours. That charging time can be halved if you plug the XUV400 into a 7.2kWh plug point. The fastest charging speed on offer is 50kW DC charging and if you can find one of these chargers then topping the battery pack from 0 to 80 per cent takes just 50 minutes.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

The Mahindra XUV400 is a well-proportioned SUV measuring 4,200mm long, 1,821mm wide and 1,634mm tall. The wheelbase of the Mahindra XUV400 electric SUV is 2,600mm long and features a 378-litre boot.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

Mahindra XUV400 Driving Impressions - Surprisingly Spirited

The Mahindra XUV400's electric powertrain gives the all-new electric SUV a rather spirited driving mode thanks to the instant availability of torque from the motor. Mahindra claims that the XUV400 will sprint from 0-100km/h in just 8.3 seconds and onwards to a limited top speed of 150km/h.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

The three different driving modes - Fun, Fast and Fearless - change the steering feel, regen and performance from the go faster pedal. In 'Fun' mode, the top speed is limited to 95km/h and the steering feels very light and the throttle response is rather lackadaisical. The 'Fast' mode uses around 90 per cent of the power from the motor, which allows the XUV400 to sprint to a top speed of 135km/h thanks to a quicker-responding throttle pedal while the steering feels heavier compared to Fun mode.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

In the 'Fearless' driving mode, the steering feels slightly heavier and you get the full output of the motor when you put your right foot down hard. While Mahindra claims the production-spec XUV400 will be limited to 150km/h, we were able to push the pre-production unit even further to 160km/h at Mahindra's test track. The three modes also feature different regenerative braking modes with regen levels getting lower as you switch from fun to fast and then to freedom.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

Mahindra has also added a new single pedal driving mode called 'Lively' which allows one to drive around using just the throttle pedal. While brilliant for those pissed off at traffic jams, this mode is also one for those bereft of deriving any pleasure from driving a car.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

The Mahindra XUV400's suspension is a bit on the stiffer side. The steering feels quite light at slower speeds and it weighs up quite nicely which inspires confidence at triple-digit speeds. This along with the low centre of gravity means that the XUV400 is quite happy to be pushed into a corner with body roll being negligible. We were only able to drive the new Mahindra XUV400 on the smooth tarmac at the carmaker's test facility in Chennai. So actually talking about how the new EV takes on India's rough roads is something that will have to wait for a proper test drive.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

The Mahindra XUV400 sports disc brakes all around. The brakes offer good bite and are quite progressive and the pedal is also easy to operate offering minimal travel. The regen braking system on the Mahindra XUV400 is quite nice and helps bring the electric SUV to a quick stop.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

We weren't able to test Mahindra's range claims as our pre-production unit didn't offer any outputs regarding the same. We'll have to wait for a full test to report back on a real-world figure for the range. However, NVH levels of the XUV400 were very good, though tyre noise does tend to creep into the cabin at higher speeds.

Mahindra XUV400 First Drive Review - The Dawn Of An Electric Revival?

Thoughts On The Mahindra XUV400 - A Rather Nice Starting Point

The Mahindra XUV400 sees the Mumbai-based carmaker return to try and wrest back control of the Indian electric car market from Tata Motors. The all-new XUV400 is larger and more powerful than its Tata rival and offers a higher claimed range. These features along with the fact that the new XUV400 will be a new 'Mahindra SUV' should ensure that more people flock to EVs when it arrives in January 2023.

As for us, we hope to drive the new Mahindra XUV400 in the real world soon to get an even more detailed view of what this new dawn for Mahindra Electric has to offer to the world.

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Article Published On: Sunday, September 11, 2022, 16:03 [IST]
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