Mahindra XUV 3XO: First Drive Review

  • May 3, 2024
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The Mahindra XUV 3XO is much more than just a facelifted and name-shifted version of the XUV300!

Mahindra XUV 3XO

The Mahindra XUV 3XO is a sub-compact SUV that falls into the same segment as the Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Kia Sonet, and Hyundai Venue, and it will also compete with Skoda’s upcoming sub-4 metre SUV. The XUV 3X0 itself is the updated version of the Mahindra XUV300 which was a smaller version of the SsangYong Tivoli compact SUV.

While the Mahindra XUV3XO is offered with petrol and diesel engine options, it is available in a larger, electric version, known as the XUV400.


Mahindra XUV 3XO

The Mahindra XUV3XO has been styled aggressively and with a sharp focus on grabbing attention. The front sports aggressively styled and large headlight clusters, outlined by LED daytime running lights that double up as the indicators. The grille and large black panels up front and muscular lines on the bonnet make the XUV 3XO look very aggressive but also express the connection to the XUV700 quite clearly.Mahindra XUV 3XO

Unlike its predecessor, the XUV3X0’s design is not subtle at all. Those who like stand-out styling will love this new look but for some, it can seem a little loud or overstyled too. While entry-level variants get halogen projector headlights, higher variants get bi-LED projector headlights.

Mahindra XUV 3XO

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The side profile features up to 17-inch alloy wheels while 16-inch steel wheels come as standard from the base MX1 variant. While the body panels have detailing similar to the XUV700, the side profile still looks a bit awkward as the rear looks abruptly cut. Here it becomes apparent the XUV 3XO is, at its core, a large SUV that was chopped to fit into the sub-4 metre regulations*

Mahindra XUV 3XO

(*Cars under 4 metres in length  with petrol engines smaller than 1.2 litres or diesel engines smaller than 1.5 litres in displacement are taxed at a lower rate)

At the rear, the XUV 3XO sports a new connected LED tail light setup with prominent ‘XUV3XO’ badging at the rear.


Mahindra XUV 3XO interior

At first, the interior of the Mahindra XUV3XO will seem familiar if you’ve experienced the XUV300. However, Mahindra has made significant changes to make the cabin feel richer. There is a generous use of soft padding on the dashboard as well as the door pads while the plastics have a smooth finish. The beige and black interior theme looks tasteful but the beige portions are prone to staining very easily.Mahindra XUV 3XO interior

Besides the premium interior quality, what uplifts the XUV 3XO’s cabin experience is the sense of space inside. The cabin is wide so even passengers with a hefty build don’t feel like they’re seated too close to each other, the headroom is accommodating even for users over six feet tall, and the front seats slide far back, helping users over six feet to stretch their legs a bit and get comfortable. The driving position itself is commanding and you have a good view over the bonnet.

Mahindra XUV 3XO interior

The XUV300’s rear seat space was a big selling point over its rivals, and that continues to be the case in the Mahindra XUV3XO. A 6-foot-tall passenger can easily fit behind his own driving position with space to spare and the cabin width helps seat 3 at the rear, making this one of the few sub-compact SUVs that function well as a true 5-seater. Even in variants that have a sunroof/panoramic sunroof, there is headroom to spare for tall passengers.

Mahindra XUV 3XO interior

The cabin has been laid out practically too. Both door pockets can fit 1-litre water bottles, with more storage available in the front doors. There are cup holders in between the front passengers, a large glovebox and a central armrest with storage underneath.


Mahindra XUV 3XO

The Mahindra XUV3XO comes with an expansive features list but thankfully, the entry-level variants are well-loaded as well. Here’s a look at the feature highlights:

Mahindra XUV 3XO sunroof

  • Sunroof: While the top-spec AX7 grades get a panoramic sunroof, a single-pane sunroof is available from the MX2 Pro variant. The XUV3XO is the first car in its segment to offer a panoramic sunroof (called Skyroof).

Mahindra XUV 3XO

  • Dual-zone climate control: There are individual temperature settings for the front passengers while rear AC vents come as standard. We tested the XUV3XO on a day with temperatures crossing 40 degrees Celsius and both front and rear passengers found the AC performance to be strong.

Mahindra XUV 3XO

  • 65W type-C USB charger: Offered in the front row and will be useful for those who have larger devices such as laptops to charge as well. A standard type-C charge port is available in the rear row

Mahindra XUV 3XO infotainment

  • 10.25 inch touchscreen: The touchscreen and its interface have been derived from the Mahindra XUV700. The display resolution is straightforward to use and responsive. While a 10.25-inch touchscreen is offered right from the one-above-base MX2 variant, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available only from the MX3 variant onwards.

Mahindra XUV 3XO digital driver's display

  • 10:25 inch digital instrument cluster: Like the touchscreen, this display has also been derived from the XUV700 and is operated via steering-mounted controls. Aside from accessing drive data and the on-board navigation display, the driver assistance features (like adaptive cruise control, lane-assist, and auto-braking) are also controlled from here. While it’s easy to understand the different menus, the response time needs to be quicker for it to be more intuitive to use while driving. This screen also displays the blind-view camera feed that’s linked to the indicator.

Mahindra XUV 3XO speaker

  • 7-speaker Harman Kardon music system: The speaker setup includes a subwoofer and offers good sound quality. Mahindra also offers a great deal of flexibility for the equaliser and frequency settings but the Tata Nexon’s JBL music system is better still

Other Features

Cruise control

60:40 split-folding rear seat

Leatherette upholstery

Electronic parking brake

Auto-dimming IRVM

Push-button start

Auto-engine start/stop

Cooled glovebox

Wireless phone charger

Driver seat-height adjuster

While the features list is loaded, there are some notable misses: ventilated front seats, a parcel tray, and powered driver’s seat adjustment.


Mahindra XUV 3XO

6 airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX, rear parking sensors, and electronic stability control come as standard in the Mahindra XUV3XO. Higher variants add either a rear camera or 360-degree camera, linked with the blind-view camera functions that shows the exterior mirror-mounted camera display in the instrument cluster. The XUV 3XO also gets front parking sensors and in the range-topping AX7 L variant, advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features (front camera and radar-enabled) such as:

  • Collision warning system (can be set to early, normal or late)

  • Auto-emergency braking

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Lane-keeping aid

  • Auto high-beam assist

  • Traffic sign recognition

Mahindra XUV 3XO

We experienced the ADAS suite and found the system to be usable in erratic Indian driving conditions. Features such as adaptive cruise control, however, work best with a patient driving style as the system will make the car slow down or brake when intrusions into your lane are expected. While this is manageable on empty highways, you may find yourself switching the system off on crowded expressways.

Note that the XUV 3XO does not have rear ADAS features such as blind spot monitoring (visual alert on ORVM) and rear cross traffic alert.


Mahindra XUV 3XO

The claimed boot space of the XUV 3XO stands at 295 litres (up to the backrest) or 364 litres when measured up to the roof. Unlike the XUV300, the XUV 3XO gets a space-saver spare tyre (not a full-sized spare tyre) but the boot space hasn’t changed by much. It’s best to split your luggage into multiple small bags rather than one large suitcase. Four small trolley bags can be placed easily or one medium-sized bag along with some soft bags. Mahindra XUV 3XO

If you have the need to fit large suitcases, the Kia Sonet, Hyundai Venue, and Tata Nexon are more accommodating. 


Mahindra XUV 3XO





Claimed Fuel-Efficiency

1.2-litre, 3-cylinder turbo-petrol (direct-injection)



6-speed manual | 6-speed automatic

20.1kmpl | 18.2kmpl (MT|AT)

1.2-litre, 3-cylinder turbo-petrol



6-speed manual | 6-speed automatic

18.89kmpl | 17.96kmpl (MT|AT)

1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel



6-speed manual | 6-speed automated-manual transmission (AMT)

20.6kmpl | 21.2kmpl (MT|AMT)

Driving The 1.2 Petrol Automatic

Mahindra XUV 3XO

At 130 PS, the XUV 3X0’s direct-injection turbo-petrol engine (earlier introduced in the XUV300 TurboSport) is the most powerful engine in its segment. However, what strikes you first is its refinement. There are some vibrations at startup but once you get going, it feels and sounds smooth and doesn’t get loud even when you push the engine hard. 

Mahindra XUV 3XO

What’s good about this engine is that it has the punch to make overtakes and highway driving easy, even if you have passengers and luggage on board. It also delivers good driveability in smooth flowing traffic. However, when you’re up against stop-and-go traffic at very low speeds (under 30 kmph), the turbo lag is noticeable. In essence, the experience is a little jerky as the initial performance is dull before surging when the turbocharger gets engaged. While this doesn’t make it difficult to manage, it can require some adjustments in your driving style.

Mahindra XUV 3XO

The new 6-speed automatic transmission delivers very smooth gear changes even with hard throttle inputs and even downshifts are buttery smooth. It complements the engine’s behaviour perfectly and makes the XUV3X0’s driving experience polished.

While the claimed fuel-efficiency figures of this engine range between 18-20 kmpl, small turbo-charged engines often manage 10-12 kmpl at best in heavy city traffic and around 15-16 kmpl for highway drives.

Driving The 1.5 Diesel Manual

Mahindra XUV 3XO

The XUV3XO diesel too impresses you first with its refinement. Even at the redline, vibrations and noise levels are controlled very well. While there is some noticeable turbo lag here as well, the diesel engine still offers good performance and ease of use. The clutch pedal is light to use but it does have a long travel which can become an annoyance during daily commutes in the city.

Mahindra XUV 3XO

Like before, this engine is offered with an automated-manual transmission (AMT) as well that adds a layer of convenience but do not expect it to be as smooth to use or responsive as the Kia Sonet’s diesel automatic.

Ride & Handling

Mahindra XUV 3XO

The XUV 3XO’s ride comfort is a major reason to consider buying one. The car stays settled through potholes or broken roads and suspension noise is controlled impressively. On our first drive, the 3XO was driven from Nashik to Pune (just over 200 kilometres) with 3 passengers and luggage on board and it delivered good high-speed control and stability. While there is a little bounciness to the ride over high-speed undulations, the suspension settles quickly and feels comfortable over long distance drives.

Mahindra XUV 3XO

While Mahindra does offer steering modes (normal, comfort, sport) with the XUV3XO, you will probably stick to normal mode and just leave it there. The steering is light and easy to use in city traffic and offers good control at 80-100 kmph as well, making this an easy car to live with.


Mahindra XUV 3XO
The Mahindra XUV3XO offers a cabin that’s premium, practical and spacious, a features list that’s expansive yet sensible, and engines that could be a little smoother but deliver strong performance. While the styling can be polarising for some, the big SUV aggression in the XUV3XO’s design could actively be the reason why some buyers would want one. 

Mahindra XUV 3XO

Where it excels is in delivering the big car experience at a more reasonable price and in a smaller size, while giving you a well-loaded car without forcing you to reach for its most expensive variants.

Mahindra XUV 3XO Video Review

Mahindra XUV 3XO
Mahindra XUV 3XO
Rs. 7.49 Lakh
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