The competition in the sub-Rs 20 lakh SUV segment is rising by the day. The excise duty hike on SUVs has hampered the growth of even well-established brands. Mahindra, for one, is further facing the heat as newer rivals continue to eat into sales of its flagship offering - the XUV500.
Currently sold in W6 and W8 variants priced between 11.75 lakh and 14.35 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai), the XUV500 has witnessed a significant drop in sales in recent times thanks to the advent of much cheaper compact crossovers like the Renault Duster and the Ford EcoSport. Now with the launch of the Nissan Terrano just around the corner, the XUV500 is bound to have a hard time finding buyers.
Mahindra in defense is readying a new base-spec W4 variant of the XUV500 which will carry a lower price tag to lure buyers. Expected to be launched by the end of this month, the new W4 variant loses out on many features in favor of a more affordable price tag. Mechanically however, the W4 remains unchanged with the same 2.2-litre diesel engine powering the car. Producing 140PS of power and 330Nm of torque, the turbocharged 4-cylinder unit is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The new W4 variant makes do without automatic wipers, automatic headlamps, 6-inch touchscreen multimedia system, DVD player, tyre pressure sensor, and ESP. On the outside, Mahindra has eliminated the roof rails, dual exhaust tips and front foglamps. The cost-cutting doesn’t end there; the W4 variant also lacks cruise control, power-folding rear-view mirrors, puddle lamps and premium fabric upholstery.