Friday, September 26

Scorpio 2014: The affordable SUV leaps a generation

The Scorpio next gen from Mahindra and Mahindra


From UV to UV+comfort to UV+comfort + 4x4 + AT, Scorpio was still UV deep inside. And It was time for a total redesign. 

Reborn: 2014 Scorpio Next Gen



The 2014 Scorpio is almost entirely a new model excluding the side door panels while it retains some features that connects with the older models. (Mahindra is still lazy at times or is it to keep that Scorpio feel intact)

Mahindra sought to go ahead and built a platform with help from specialist engineering shops and resulted in an all new Modern chassis suspension framework that meets international safety specs. 


For 2014 Scorpio, Mahindra chose to retain its m-hawk engine while mating it to a tweaked Xylo's gearbox, better tyres, wider and longer wheel base and some weight reduction. 



On the exterior, 2014 Scorpio as always, keeps its aggressive tall stance. But honestly speaking, the its front is an overworked mashup of.all recent SUVs, Sides remain almost unchanged and the rear is seems to be a puzzle for M&M. All together it still maintains its mean beast looks. Hope the projector lamps and DRLs are better than XUV 5OO




The interior is a whole different world. Mahindra has addressed all the negatives of previous model with a beautiful modern dash and console, some tech and good seats. But the rework did introduce a new set of niggles but bearable considering its a Scorpio.




The real change and the best thing is its ride quality. Gone are the wobbles, passengers tossed upon and the body roll. it now offers a near sedan like comfort on highways and  more adept on curves while retaining its original charector of taking on all type of terrain effortlessly. 

The Scorpio is now a true blood SUV. Moving up from being a UV dress-up. 





The 2014 Scorpio takes bad roads in a composed way, run that gravel or country trail at 50kmph without being tossed around, go 4x4 crossing the stream, run over the dunes, cruise the highway and take you back to work after that weekend adventure. 

To my disappointment, 4x4 is available only as optional extra, limited to s4 and s10 variants. 

It is a market reality that the Indian SUV concept is about having a huge UV or Truck stance with such intimidating looks that other cars will move aside giving you the right of passage. Much of the 20+ lakh SUVs never leave the Tarmac. Toyota even introduced a 4x2 soft variant of Fortuner upon customer feedback. 

2014 Scorpio next Gen will be the most affordable 7seater SUV* in Indian market and yet remain the most capable among them. 


*7 seater : its a compromise between in cabin luggage or seating. But Scorpio can take the 3rd row passengers better than many of the MPVs available on Indian market
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Image courtesy : www.mahindrascorpio.com
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Evolution 

Since the time Mahindra moved on from their soft top UVs based on the old Jeep, Scorpio has been their poster boy. Since the 2000's Scorpio has been the best seller UV and propelled M&M to the mainstream Car market. 

A fresh and successful rebranding strategy, the Mahindra Rise campaign, along with customer engagement programs and off-road events, Scorpio soon found favour among the off-road enthusiast city dweller. Thus came a range of tweaks and feature add ons, trying to meet both ends of the spectrum. 

By the last update which brought in the m-hawk engine, Scorpio became the best affordable SUV option and the first diesel 4x4 AT option. Feature add-ons were like after market job with electronics for newly added features being placed below the front seats. The engines did get better no serious effort was put on quality of make.

After initial spike in XUV500 sales, Scorpio returned to be the SUV of choice for its top end models from the new urban India. But, The Innova, Xylo lot offered a better highway people mover option carving out a part of Scorpio sales. The new set of faux MiniSUVs started to carve off a major chunk of Scorpio sales as a 4x2 soft roader and Scorpio now appeared ancient relic.