Sub-Compact - hatchback
Well it already seems that Mahindra's investment into Pininfarina design house is paying off in a big way. With their biggest competitor going strong with their investment in Jaguar / Land Rover, it just seemed inevitable that Mahindra was going to do something to fight back. Yes we know that Tata is famous for the cheapest car in the world, but an investment in Jaguar / Land Rover and a Formula 1 team, is paying off big to their stockholders. So what is the best way to fight back. You can either purchase your own luxury mark, or do the next best thing. Purchase one the best design houses in the world. Seems Mahindra got smart with their money and bought the design house instead as this will pay off for their cars.
Their investment in Pininfarina was not just about better designs, but about moving up the global automotive chain. If Mahindra really wants to compete with the likes of GM, Mercedes, Ford, Toyota, or Hyundai, they need to get serious about their bread and butter rides. Sure there is big money in luxury and exotic brands, but when the economy fails, there's less money to go around. Well then why not make your bread and butter brand better to help your bottom line. This theory has worked before and you can see it now with the launch of the Genesis brand from Hyundai.
The release of the KUV100 was not just a step in the right direction for Mahindra, but a step into the future for this automotive brand. As you may have noticed that the automobile that the KUV100 is replacing is rated above and it really is not good in any way. But the new KUV100 is better in every way. Sure the Mahindra quality may still be there, but the change to the design language will help this brand and this model succeed.
As for the new KUV100, this is sure the hit both on the road and on the street. For starters the character lines scream aftermarket culture. Add to this the wide wheel wells, evil lights and creased hood and you have the makings of both a desirable cross-trek and street cruiser. I'm sure that within 18 months someone will have both versions out.
The next best thing for this model to help bring in more money to Mahindra, and more choice to the consumers, would be three additional variations:
1 - Cross-trek version (lifted with more body cladding, larger wheels and a front-centre bush guard and skid plate)
2 - Street version (lowered with larger wheels, thin light spoke wheels, large rear integrated wing, rear fins, large front air ducts, hood intake and front spoiler)
3 - Coupe version (cut back the rear a bit to create the conception of a coupe like profile)
If Mahindra adds a bit more, then maybe they will be able to get more. Lets just hope this is just the beginning of long list of great designs from Mahindra. Next up for revision will hopefully be the Bolero, Bolero Camper and Bolero Truck.
OVERALL SCORE: C
Front End: C
Good: Smooth head lamp to character line integration
Bad: Could use a bit more for the ducts
Rear End: C
Good: Anyone can pick out who and what this is
Bad: Lets bring in the lights
Good: The best lines in the country
Bad: Cheap wheels
Overall Appeal: C+
Good: A new age for Indian automobiles
Bad: A little too much of the cheap plastic
AutoLooks Buy List Approved: Yes
Recommended Tuner: Yes can't wait
Trend Setter: Yes
Brand Value: Increase
AutoLooks Stock Market: Buy it now