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We drive the Mahindra KUV100 NXT K8

More character for Mahindra’s quirky crossover…

Mahindra’s latest KUV100 NXT launched just over a month ago (October 2018) to offer more character from its styling upgrade, and more premium spec on its range-topping variant, the K8. We’ve been test driving over the last week and have been pleasantly surprised by how punchy and fun-to-drive it is, even in the city!

Mahindra’s flagship KUV100 NXT K8

  • In terms of design, the KUV100’s rear design sees the biggest change, with rear combination lights, more defined body lines and a new tail-gate spoiler.
  • The flagship K8 gets integrated and redesigned roof rails and 15 inch allow wheels for a bolder and sportier look.
  • Side mirrors now get side turn signals while headlights are equipped with LED daytime running lights.
  • On the inside, the K8 variant gets new fabric upholstery, piano black detailing and a new temperature control panel.
  • A new gearshift indicator display that prompts you as to which gear to change to.
  • Intellipark reverse parking sensors
  • Electrically foldable mirrors

…to name a few.

So what did we think?

I’ve grown pretty fond of the KUV100 after my week spent with it. It has a unique sort of personality with its quirky styling and punchy driving quality that really suits the type of driving environments I find myself in on a daily basis (city and suburbs). Despite it being such a small SUV, if I had to close my eyes behind the wheel (and I would never, so don’t panic) I could easily have thought I was driving a big burly bakkie. I love its 1.2 mFalcon D75 turbodiesel engine – the big sound of it on acceleration is quite exciting and boosts one’s confidence. Our diesel test unit offers 57 kW of power and 190 Nm of torque.

Also read: Surviving a family road trip with the Mahindra XUV500 Auto 

Its 5-speed manual gearbox (despite being situated high up on the centre console – you get used to this) is responsive and a real pleasure to operate.

While its interior has certainly improved, I wouldn’t go as far as calling it ‘premium’ – but rather, unpretentious and practical, and best suited for busy and active families who’ll be jumping in and out of its cabin very regularly.

My only gripe with the KUV100 is its ‘pull and twist’ handbrake, and I’d hoped that Mahindra would have replaced it with a regular handbrake by now, as it can become a real hassle to operate – especially on inclines. For what it’s worth I suppose it adds to the uniqueness of the KUV100.

A raised ride-height and higher-than-normal ground clearance also gives you that ‘big bakkie’ feeling and in terms of safety, features such as dual front airbags, ABS and CBD are now standard across the range. On the K6+ and K8 variant, EBD is also available.

Overall, the new KUV100 NXT K8 has really impressed me, especially when taking its competitive pricing into consideration. It might not be at the top of my list when it comes to styling, but that comes down to personal preferences, and its excellent ride quality is really what has stolen my heart.

Pricing

The range is as follows:

KUV NXT K2+ Petrol:                                             R134 999 (incl. VAT)

KUV NXT K4+ Petrol:                                             R163 999 (Incl. VAT)

KUV NXT K6+ Petrol:                                             R187 999 (incl. VAT)

KUV NXT K6+ Diesel:                                             R204 999 (incl. VAT)

KUV NXT K8 Petrol:                                               R199 999 (incl. VAT)

KUV NXT K8 Diesel:                                                R219 999 (incl. VAT)

All models feature a full 3-year / 100 000 km standard warranty plus a 2-year / 50 000 km powertrain warranty. All K6+ and K8+ models also have a 3-year / 50 000 km service plan as standard.  Service intervals for both the petrol and diesel models are 10 000 km and all vehicles have a 3-year roadside assistance plan.

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