Mahindra Quanto : Road Test
The Quanto isn't just about being a chopped up Xylo, but also about it having one cylinder lower than the bigger MUV's engine. Despite that, it aims big but is it really everything that Mahindra promises it to be?
It’s been a no brainer now that you really think about it. So what if there’s a restriction on the length of a car to get that excise duty advantage – there’s nothing in the rule book that defines the height limit, right? Move over tall boy, you’re being stunted by the Quanto’s sky-high roofline! It’s big, but Mahindra has done a great job in giving it an identity that is in line with the Xylo’s styling, yet makes a mark for itself in the visual department. There’s not much to mention on the front, but it’s the rear that really sets the Quanto apart with its tailgate-mounted spare wheel that gets a swanky plastic shroud.
Then there are those minuscule tail lamps that neatly integrate with the black cladding of the D-pillar. The rest of the Quanto is pretty uneventful in design terms but that’s alright because it does what it set out to do – intimidate. If you consider just the proportions on the Quanto and with no reference to really measure its size against, it actually doesn’t look too different than a tall boy hatch and that is the brilliance of the car’s design – it manages to give its buyer something really big yet visually acceptable, or pleasing even! Compare the Quanto number-to-number with the car it’s been derived from and you’ll actually notice that there is no change in the wheelbase – 2760mm, or the ground clearance – 180mm. So then it’s pretty clear that all Mahindra had to do was to discard a quarter of the Xylo from the rear to come up with the Quanto – probably something that was planned all along.
The shapes on the interior are straight off the Xylo too – though the Quanto is a good example of how playing with a little bit of colour and finish can completely transform a cabin. It’s like having put the Xylo’s cabin through an episode of extreme makeover to make it into this vibrant, young space which discards all that rather shoddy fake wood finish on the bigger MPV. The seats are exactly the same too – the same plush comfort on the front, but move to the rear bench and things start to change. Since the wheelbase is the same as on the Xylo, there’s absolutely no problem with roominess there and yes, this is still a vehicle for ‘happy legs’.
But the reduction in length and the fact that Mahindra still chose to plonk in two foldable seats in a third row means that the seat back on the second row has been made a lot more upright than it is on the Xylo – and trust us, that is not a good position to be sitting in, especially on long drives. As long as you’re driving around for short distances though, it should be okay for the guys in the back. The third row on the other hand, takes it to the extreme. You’d fit in there only if you’re petite and that’s not an exaggeration. First off, there’s barely any shoulder room thanks to mid-bench seat back on one side and the grab rail on the other.
Then the tailgate slants inward toward the roof enough to make you have to tilt your head to avoid ending up with a huge gash every time the Quanto goes over a bump. And if you’ve got another unlucky soul sitting in the jump seat opposite you, get ready for some knee banging. We’d much rather prefer if that row wasn’t there at all – it would have helped get a little more comfort from the bench as well as freed up more vertical space for luggage in the boot, which is in fact adequate, but you know how everyone just wants that much more.
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