Mahindra Scorpio Review & First Drive

Mahindra Scorpio Overview

The Mahindra Scorpio is one of the most popular SUVs sold in India, thanks to a reputation that has been solidified over more than a decade. It was Mahindra’s first truly modern SUV and with multiple updates over the years, it kept up with the needs of the market, while catering to a wide range of customers.The new-generation Scorpio features some attention grabbing design and new features, while maintaining its nature as an abuse-friendly SUV. Let’s explore what the Scorpio has to offer.

Mahindra Test Drive

Make no mistake, the Mahindra Scorpio is still an old-school SUV underneath. It might not be the most comfortable offering in its segment, nor is it great at handling. However, it makes up for all that with its usability. The Scorpio’s mHawk engines are a tractable lot and are a boon in the city commutes as well. Add to that the practicality of the 7-seats and the roomy Scorpio can easily act as a great family car too.The Mahindra Scorpio with its rugged demeanour can easily take on almost every challenge that the Indian roads can throw in its path.

Mahindra Scorpio Design

Not much to cover here. The grille has let go of the whiskers and now wears 7 slats adopted from the Imperio pickup. Sounds familiar to any other well known SUV brand? Anyway, it does make the Scorpio look more imposing which goes hand in hand with its generous proportions. It also gets a slightly tweaked bumper with new fog lamps with cornering function to complete the new front look. Check for Mahindra Scorpio in seepennywork

The alloy wheels are still 17-inchers, but the new simple 5-spoke design looks mature. You now also get turn indicators on outside mirrors which makes the SUV feel more premium. The rear has been worked on to look more mature as well. Gone is the chunky cladding and angular lines, instead replaced by a clean design with taillamps that get red lenses instead of transparent ones. That said, we liked the older ones better. But aside from these minor differences, it’s the same old Mahindra Scorpio.

Mahindra Scorpio Cabin

In this update, Mahindra has put in efforts to fix some of the issues with the cabin. Starting with the upholstery, now you get faux-leather on the seats, gaiter and the gearknob. This makes the cabin feel a little more upmarket, but the quality of the same on the seats is a little aftermarket-y. Other than that, Mahindra has managed to fix the issue with storage spaces. Now, you get a sleek rubberised pocket for your mobile in front of the gear knob with a re-positioned 12V socket. Behind the gear knob, you now have a flat rubber coated section for keeping things like your wallet. Also, you now have a deeper can and bottle holder which can otherwise store coins and keys amongst other things. Last but not the least, there’s a sunglass holder which is apt for keeping aviators, but will struggle to accommodate a larger frame.

While these have been fixed, other things like the storage pockets on the doors being hard-to-access, the low placement of the infotainment system making it difficult to reach and inaccessible seat height adjuster still persist. Even the small and rather pointless mobile holder is still there on the rear doors. Why? The bolstering on the front seats is still not adequate and while there is ample leg, head and knee room on offer in the middle bench, the backrest angle is on the steeper side. And in this seven-seat configuration, the third row, well it’s still not a row, rather two jump seats facing each other.

In terms of tech, there is still the old 6-inch touchscreen infotainment system which offers information such as tyre pressures, range, average fuel efficiency, navigation and media. What’s new is that it now features dynamic bending guidelines for the rear camera. Also, like the earlier model, the Scorpio facelift continues to get cruise control, automatic climate control, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and auto start/stop for the engine as part of Mahindra’s micro hybrid tech. An addition here is that the driver-side window now automatically comes up once you lock the car. Mahindra really should have taken this opportunity to update the infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or at least MirrorLink, but all three are still absent and you have to make do with a basic Bluetooth connection. The instrument cluster has also remained unchanged with two analogue dials for speed and rpm, and an MID screen with trip information, gear change indicator, and fuel gauge.

Mahindra Scorpio Performance

The biggest changes are under the hood though. The Scorpio’s 2200cc, inline four cylinder, mHawk engine gets a new Borg Warner turbocharger that has helped in bumping power and torque figures up. The new Scorpio now offers 140PS produced at 3750rpm now as opposed to 120PS produced at 4000rpm earlier. Peak torque produced stands at 320Nm, offered from just 1500rpm as compared to the 280Nm produced 1800rpm onwards earlier. Variants have also been changed, and engines and performance will vary variant wise.

The base S3 variant will use the 2.5-litre m2DICR engine producing 75PS, while the S5 and S7 variants will get the mHawk in the same state of tune as before, offering 120PS and 280Nm. The S7 will also be offered in the 140PS trim though, along with the new top of the line variant, the S11. The more powerful S7 and the S11 also get the brand-new 6-speed gearbox, while lower variants will continue using the same 5-speed gearbox as before. We only drove the S11 briefly at Mahindra’s own test track, and the differences in performances were noticeable instantly.

The new gearbox comes with a self-adjusting clutch that Mahindra claims will offer consistent feel without calling for more effort over extended usage. The clutch pedal indeed called for very little effort while gear changes were more positive sans the older unit’s rubbery feel. While the reduced clutch effort should make for more comfortable drives in traffic, the positive shifts should offer a more engaging feel. The revised VGT makes for a sprightlier feel as soon as you start moving, as peak torque is now available earlier.

The punchy feel continues as revs go up and power delivery is linear with a consistent surge beyond 3000rpm. We couldn’t test the new Scorpio for acceleration, but I am certain it will post noticeably quicker 0-100kmph times in a VBOX test. The engine also feels calmer with lesser vibration, while NVH levels are better, making for a quieter in-cabin experience even at above 100kmph. Of course, having an additional gear helps matter, as the engine is revving lower now at say 100kmph, which should also improve fuel efficiency over longer drives.

The six-speed gearbox uses a new shift pattern too, and to slot into reverse you now need to push the lever further to the left beyond first. This is slightly confusing and will take some getting used to, as I ended up engaging reverse instead of first several times, though thankfully as a safety feature a loud beep informs you that reverse gear has been engaged and not first.

Mahindra Scorpio Rideing

The Scorpio’s biggest USP is its driving dynamics. It drives just like a hatchback and you even sit higher in a command position, which is what most of the Indians like. The Scorpio’ ride is decent, however it is on the softer side and also long suspension travel. The ride is smooth and composed on smooth tarmac and doesn’t even feel bouncy at high speeds, which was a problem in the leaf spring Scorpio of the early 2000s. However, it is a tad jittery on rough and uneven surfaces.The handling on the other hand is decent for city driving. There is lots of roll in the body, when driven quickly around bends. The steering wheel is also heavy at low speeds, which increases the effort to park.

Mahindra Scorpio Safety & Features

Airbags for driver and co-passenger are offered on S4+ onwards in the range missing out on the entry level variants. ABS with EBD and panic brake indication is also available on variants above the S4 trim. Other safety features aboard include collapsible steering column and side intrusion beams, digital immobiliser, anti-theft warning, seat belt reminder lamp, speed alert and auto door lock while driving.

Loaded on features, the Mahindra Scorpio comes equipped with dual projector headlamps, new LED parking lights and LED tail lights. The SUV comes with a four-spoke power steering that gets audio controls, automatic climate control, height adjustable driver’s seat, front seat armrests and fabric upholstered seats. Customers also get electrically adjustable ORVMs, follow-me-home headlamps, anti-pinch power windows, charging points for first and second rows as well as cruise control. The SUV also comes with rain and light sensors and is available in four colour options.

Mahindra Scorpio Price in Hyderabad

Mahindra Scorpio On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 10,91,503 to 19,57,102 for variants Scorpio Getaway 2WD and Scorpio S11 4WD respectively. Mahindra Scorpio is available in 8 variants and 8 colours. Below are details of Mahindra Scorpio variants price in Hyderabad.Check for Scorpio price in Hyderabad at Carzrprice.

Mahindra Scorpio Verdict

On the whole, the Scorpio retains its old-school feel while feeling more modern and car-like to drive with its higher performance and new, vastly improved transmission. Better brakes are a welcome change too, while the ride quality didn’t let me complain, on the test track at least. The reverse camera is a value addition though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not on offer just yet. Mahindra tells us it is working on offering the connectivity though. Pricing for the refreshed 2018 Mahindra Scorpio begins at Rs 9.97 lakh for the base, S3 variant and goes up to Rs 14.78 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi) for the top of the line S11 variant you see here. Given its changes and improvements, the Scorpio, billed as one of the original Indian SUVs, continues to offer a likeable feel to those looking for an old-school SUV.

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