For those of you following our updates, on the Mahindra Marazzo MPV, we’ve shared almost all the details; but of course, you were eagerly waiting for the review; and we were equally eager to drive it, because this time around the company has gone to the depths of the ocean, to find inspiration, for its new MPV; and one that has a lot riding on it, for the company. The design of the Marazzo is inspired by a shark and there’s proof; if you thought I was kidding.
o begin with, the name ‘Marazzo’ is Italian for shark and bodes well with the company’s search for names ending with ‘O’. The research team for that name certainly needs to take a bow. The styling, however, adds to that claim. The front grille sees 6 slats and a chrome element, representing the sharp teeth of the shark. Then, there are the C-Shaped tail lamps, which take inspiration from the tail of the predator and the overall body structure is built in such a manner, as to make it look agile and even ferocious. The blacked out B and C pillars add to the overall look of the Marazzo and the tiny bit that’s blacked out on the D-Pillar creates the illusion of a floating roof and that’s a nice touch.
It also gets projector headlamps and they’re similar to what we’ve seen on the XUV; sadly they’re not standard on the car and neither are the triangular fog lamps, with the LED DRLS. The DRLs give it a unique character and we really wished at least these were standard, given the trend in the industry.
The Marazzo is based on an all new platform, which has been patented, by the company, as a body on frame front wheel drive and this ensures there’s more space, in the car, because the engine has been moved forward, to create additional room inside; even though the Marazzo is just 4585 mm long, which is the same as the XUV500. Now, compare that to the Innova or even the Hexa and you’ll notice it’s shorter, by almost 170 mm. However, there’s more space between the wheels of the Marazzo compared to the Innova; and that’s what we went to check out next – the cabin.
There’s a lot that adds to the premium touch of the Marazzo. The dual tone finished dashboard, the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with haptic touch and even the leatherette upholstery, which provides good under-thigh and lumbar support. The quality of materials used has really improved; and that’s thanks to Mahindra North America and Mahindra Research Valley, Chennai putting their heads together.
You feel the difference and that’s a big thumbs up; but the climate control unit is still taken from the XUV and that’s probably the only thing that sticks out. There’s a cooled glove box and even cruise control, as also Android Auto. Sadly, even this car misses out on Apple Carplay, which could have been a great feature considering the car’s premium positioning; and it certainly is a big miss.
There are of course two more rows behind the driver’s seat and you can either get a 7 seater configuration, like the car we had with us, or an 8-seater, with a full bench in the second row. The first thing that strikes you, when you are seated in the second row is that there’s good knee and head room. There’s even a USB charging point here; but what goes missing is a rear AC vent and that’s because it’s been mounted on the roof; and yes, it’s standard on the Marazzo. Of course, there are other features, like charging points and cubby holes, which make life easier, for passengers. But, I was really keen to get into the last row, to check out the space on offer.
I really thought that there’d be more space in the third row; but I was stuck here and I couldn’t get out, because my knee was jammed into the seat of the second row. So, there’s space for 3 children and just 1 adult at the back and that’s really disappointing. But, to be fair, the third row isn’t that great even in an Innova now is it?
The Marazzo comes with 190 litres of cargo space and if you compare that to the 128 litres on the Hexa and 300 litres on offer on the Innova; well, you understand that Mahindra has found a middle ground, which is good. With the third row down, it comes to 680 litres and that’s good enough to push in a baby elephant, for sure. With the second row down, there’s a massive 1055 litres on offer. Sadly, the seats do not fold down flat and that again is a miss.
So, in short, it’s quite a big car and weighs close to 2 tonnes; but, does the 1.5-litre diesel engine do it justice? It sort of does, because there’s 120 bhp on offer. There’s 300 Nm of torque on offer and that kicks in pretty early, at 1500 rpm. It’s an all new engine, according to Mahindra and lots of aluminium bits have been used, to keep the weight down. The shifts on the new 6-speed transmission are nice and crisp, as they slot in well and the clutch is ever so light, making it even better to drive and you’d be surprised at how easy it is to drive around in. High speed stability too is very good and the steering wheel is nice and compact and does justice to the size of the car.
If you’re wondering whether there’s an automatic, there isn’t one yet but it’s in the pipeline. A petrol version too is in the making but it will only be available once there’s a strong demand for it. The engine currently caters to BS-IV emission norms, however, changes will be made to the same engine, to make it BS-VI complaint and that’s yet another big step, for Mahindra.
In the teasers, though, Mahindra has also been promising a smooth and silent MPV, so is it really? The answer to that is – not really! The sound of the engine creeps in, as you go past the 2500 rpm mark and so it’s not very silent. What’s interesting though is that there’s no tyre noise that seeps into the cabin; and these are 17-inch wheels; so this certainly is a big improvement.
As far as ride quality is concerned, though we need to drive this one a little more, especially on pothole ridden roads, the suspension travel is not too long; so, it’s possible that the car will do well, on undulations; but we can’t say that for sure because it was a controlled environment, I was driving in; and of course given that it was smooth tarmac, it was smooth sailing.
On the safety front, the Marazzo comes with dual airbags and ABS with EBD and Brake Assist and Isofix child seat mounts, as standard equipment, on the car, though with a big car like this, we’d expected it to get more airbags for rear passenger’s safety.
All said and done, Mahindra has certainly put itself out there and outdone itself with the Marazzo. The quality of the fit and finish is far superior to anything we’ve seen, from the company; and we wonder if this is the turning point of the company’s fortunes. The new Mahindra Marazzo MPV is priced below Hexa and Innova Crysta, but gets into the Ertiga and Lodgy territory. Although the folks at Mahindra maintain that it’s a niche product and doesn’t have any rivals.
|Mahindra Marazzo Variants||Introductory Prices|
|Mahindra Marazzo M2||₹ 9.99 lakh|
|Mahindra Marazzo M4||₹ 10.95 lakh|
|Mahindra Marazzo M6||₹ 12.4 lakh|
|Mahindra Marazzo M8||₹ 13.90 lakh|
Nevertheless, we all know about the megadalon, lurking in the seas, in the form of the Toyota Innova Crysta; and it’s been at the top of the food chain, ever since it was launched. It’s an uphill task then for Mahindra; but, there is no denying that the Marazzo certainly has the ability to create a dent, in the sales of the Meg!