Mahindra Quanto : First Drive
Smart thinking thy name is the product development team within Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Starting off with the sound building block that is the Xylo, the wily folks at M&M have done the deal to carve out an under four-metre seven-seater mini-MUV and pushed it head long into confrontation with the large-size hatchbacks. And with an all new three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine and a sorted ride to offer the much needed alternative to the ubiquitous large hatchbacks which constitute the largest selling segment in the Indian car market, Quanto-nomous is how it has turned out to be, states Adil Jal Darukhanawala after a short opening stint behind the wheel of India's newest compact MUV
Ergonomics adequate but could have delivered even more!
Getting to the ergonomics of the cabin, the driving position is the familiar set-up from the Xylo and it is a much praised layout with comfortable posture and good peripheral vision for the driver to have a wide span view of proceedings around him. The control switches, the pedals, the gear lever and the steering wheel all play their own role in providing that essential tactility and also the inherent cohesive relationship between them as they are pressed into service. The instrument panel is all analogue and there is a central information console – Digital Drive Assist System in Mahindra-speak placed on the top of the dashboard which does its job of dishing out the gen on journey speed, temperature and fuel efficiency. Speaking about temperature and yes even with a smaller engine the HVAC system is pretty quick in cooling the large expansive cabin an then maintaining it for as long as you complete your drive. All this without a drop in the engine performance, clearly a sign where the hatchbacks do wail as they are found wanting.
Speaking of ergonomics, I found the ingress and egress for the rear door to be a bit tricky solely due to the fact that the middle bench seat has been placed just about far back so as not to interfere with the fold-up rear seats and just about delivering enough keen room to keep the mom-in-law happy on the middle bench! Yes there is a compromise here due to making it and classifying it as seven-seater but again it would be buyer who could make the decision to use seven or five seats. Problem is even is even if he wants to use five, he needs the adjustability to be built in and this is not there, as yet! The quality of the seat cushioning and the upholstery plus the overall cabin build quality is very good and there are no qualms on this front plus the fact that there are arm rests for both driver and front seat passenger, under seat trays for storage, bottle holders in easy reach for all and also a 2-DIN music system integrated into the dashboard, depending of course on the trim specified.
Like other offerings we have seen from Mahindra & Mahindra in recent years, the Quanto comes highly specced with ABS and EBD on the two top line versions along with air bags for both driver and front seat passenger. There is also the Intellipark Reverse Assist System with projector screen for the rear camera built into the cabin-mounted rear view mirror and many other details which indicate that a good deal of effort went into tailoring equipment for the breed of customer the firm wants to bag with the Quanto.
Readers' opinions ( 42 )
by ET Photography: Kunal Khadse
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