Mahindra has launched the 2017 Mahindra KUV100 NXT in India, updating the previous KUV100 which was launched less than 21 months ago. The sped-up timeline comes as Mahindra faces stiff competition in the compact SUV segment from volume sellers by Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors. While launching the Mahindra KUV100 NXT, Mahindra MD Dr Pawan Goenka had compared its pricing to the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Tata Nexon. Both these compact SUVs would ideally compete with KUV100 NXT's larger sibling the Mahindra TUV300. Seeing as how a major update to its larger sibling may take some time, and that the KUV100 has no direct competitors, Mahindra has pitted the KUV100 NXT against these relative bruisers. We find out whether Mahindra has brought a knife to a gunfight by comparing the KUV100 NXT with the Vitara Brezza and the Nexon.
The biggest difference is, of course the size. The Mahindra KUV100 NXT has received a 25mm increase in length to 3,700mm, while the Vitara Brezza and the Nexon are just 6mm and 5mm, respectively, shy of the 4-metre mark. That is a nearly 300mm difference. In the wheelbase department too, the KUV100 NXT measures more than 100mm smaller than both the competitors. A more compact cabin and smaller boot space will hence be a given. Similar is the case with in the width department, with the KUV100 NXT at least 55mm narrower than the Tata Nexon. However, the smaller SUV wins out by standing taller at 1,655mm, which is 15mm more than the Vitara Brezza and 48mm over the Nexon.
Comparing firepower among the diesels, the Tata Nexon (1,497cc) and the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza (1,248cc) both have four-cylinder units while the Mahindra KUV100 NXT gets a turbocharged 1,198cc three-cylinder motor. The NXT produces 78PS/190Nm, modest against the 110PS/260Nm output of the Nexon. The Vitara Brezza engine produces 89.7PS/200Nm, higher than the NXT but not by a big margin.
However, despite this, it is the Maruti Suzuki that that races to the ton quickest at 12.4 seconds, with the Nexon more than a second behind. We have not yet tested the NXT, but powered by the same engine as its predecessor, it may not do much better than the 15.2 seconds we recorded on the KUV100. In terms of price, it is the smaller compact SUV that wins out with a Rs 2 lakh difference between its top-spec K8 variant and the Tata Nexon XZ+, while the Vitara Brezza ZDI is costliest at Rs 9.72 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Where the Mahindra XUV100 NXT really shines is in fuel efficiency. The mFalcon D75 diesel motor is good for an overall figure of 19.9kmpl, edging past the bigger engines by nearly 3 kilometres per litre. And it will need to do be more frugal, considering its fuel tank capacity is 9 litres lower than the Tata Nexon, and a whopping 13 litres than the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza.