Mahindra Quanto Review
Compact 7-seater MUVMonday, November 18, 2013
Mahindra cars tend to carry an O at the last of their name and the newest member of this family, Quanto is no different. This sub 4-metre car will promote one of the least known segments in India which was also started by an almost unknown car, Premier Rio. This is a segment of compact SUVs which are smaller in size and easy on pocket. Recently launched Renault Duster is also a part of this segment but due to its high pricing and bigger dimensions, you can’t compare that car with Quanto and Rio. We won’t say Quanto was a much awaited car as Mahindra never talked about the development of such product and didn’t even showcase it at Delhi Auto Expo 2012. Mahindra is promoting it as a daily commuting product for the masses. This car is placed ahead of Mahindra’s famous MUV Bolero and will bridge down the gap between Bolero and Xylo.
A car should not be more than four meters in length in India to get the benefits of excise duty and till now we have only seen entry level sedans like Maruti Swift Dzire and Tata Indigo CS enjoying these benefits. Mahindra has also managed to qualify for the same condition by cropping the length of Xylo. Rather than creating a new platform, Mahindra has used the same platform of Xylo for Quanto. When you look at Quanto for the first time, you can easily notice the resemblance of this car with its elder sibling Xylo. Quanto sports the same updated face of Xylo with minor changes and we must say Quanto looks better than Xylo from its front. The car shares its front bumper and grille with Xylo but its body colored bar just above the grille with a logo of Mahindra differentiates it with its elder sibling. The bonnet also has prominent lines over it. Other bits like headlights, air dam, fog lights and surrounds are similar to that of Xylo.
Similar to Xylo, Quanto also doesn’t look like a proportionate car when you see it from either side. It feels as if Xylo has been cut abruptly to make it short in length. The front side fender and wheel arches are very identical to Xylo. The top variant comes with six-spoke 15inch alloy wheels, side footsteps with puddle lamps and black colored roof rails. The car stands really tall with full size side and quarter glasses. You may find it a bit awkward from its side, may be because we are not habitual of seeing such cars but after some time you can accept its designing. To give it a feel of SUV, Mahindra has mounted the spare wheel on its rear gate. Tail lamp is very simple and sober. Its rear glass with wiper adds sporty character to this car. Rear bumper with a foot step has been placed really low. The overall appearance of the car is neither exciting nor boring.
Open the gate and you will find the high seating of Quanto waiting for you. Once you get inside, it’s hard to differentiate if you are in a Xylo or Quanto. You will have to look around once or twice to spot some of the differences, especially at its front. Its interiors use the same dual tone colors of Xylo. There are familiar door trims, inside door handles and plastic in this car. The car has full size seats for five people with two jump seats at the back which is an additional advantage in this car. The width of Quanto is similar to Xylo which means it’s an extremely spacious car offering appropriate knee room and shoulder room. It is also perfect for tall people as its tall design gives you ample amount of headroom.
Comfort and Convenience
Apart from the space inside, seats of Quanto are very comfortable especially in the front. The driver seat is height adjustable. Front seats have adequate amount of back and under-thigh support. Mahindra also offers individual central arm rests for both front passenger and driver which are very useful on long journeys. The rear seats are also comfortable but they offer less back support in comparison to the front seats. The four spoke power steering wheel is tilt able. The car has a powerful AC with heater, power windows (driver side express up and down), rear demister, and digital clock. Other features include rear washer with wiper, intellipark reverse assist, central locking and internally adjustable outside mirrors.
Dashboard and Storage
Dashboard is a let down inside Quanto as it shares its dashboard with elder sibling Xylo. This dashboard is not attractive and it takes away the appeal from this car. We expected Mahindra to bring something new for this new car. It has a sense of familiarity and in this case, it’s not a good thing. It has that unconventional central console and central AC vents. Side AC vents have chrome surrounds and texture, design and plastic quality of the dashboard is not satisfactory. When you touch the plastic and the buttons used on the central console, you can sense the harshness. Instrument panel is also very basic with green backlight which feels down market and should have been given a new design. As far as storage is concerned, there is much space inside this car. The dashboard features a roomy glove box which acts a good storage space. There are five bottle holders and six magazine pockets in this car with two pockets on the back of front seats. The car also features two cup holders, floor console with lid and foldable snack trays at the back of front seats. Other than these, Quanto has a boot capacity of 690 litres with jump seats folded.
Mahindra Quanto comes with a company fitted audio system with rod antenna. This music system is integrated in the central console which is a CD, radio and MP3 player with AUX and USB connectivity. The car also sports a 12 V accessory socket.
Engine and Gearbox
Other than size, getting an engine with a lower displacement was also a task for Mahindra to get the excise benefits. The machine used in the Quanto is the reduced version of their 2.2Lmhawk engine. Mahindra took one cylinder out of that engine and now it fulfils the excise conditions with a lower displacement of 1500cc. This three cylinder 1.5L common rail diesel engine now generates a maximum power output of 100 bhp at 3750 rpm with utmost torque output of 240 Nm ranging from 1600-2800 rpm. This engine is mated with a five -speed manual gearbox.
Acceleration and Performance
Mahindra had to make some changes in this engine but still after those changes the refinement and the turbo pulling of the engine has remained intact. Most of the vehicles of Mahindra are known for their responsiveness and minimal turbo lag, Quanto is no different. The five speed gearbox works accurately with this engine. However, the smoothness of gear transitions could have been better but gear ratios are perfectly matched and there is no need of frequent gear shifting. The engine is very good in terms of refinement. Press the throttle and there is hardly anything which restricts you. Yes, it heavyweight is a matter of concern as the car feels on the slower side especially on highways with full seating. The car picks up really well in city traffic as the turbo starts to kick in as early as 1500rpm. Even when you are at high speeds, the engine makes very less noise and vibrations are almost absent.
You can’t complain about the power delivery either. The power and turbo doesn’t kick in suddenly and you can always sense the response from this engine. Due to its heavy size, Quanto takes more than 17 seconds to complete 0-100km/hour but once it starts going it can easily cross the speed of 150km/hr. If we compare this car with recently launched Rio with Fiat’s 1.3L Multijet engine, it’s on the slower side due to its heavy size. The initial responsiveness of Rio is better than this but once you take these both cars on highways, soon you will see Rio following you in your rear view mirror. Mahindra Quanto is not a car which surprises you with its power and performance but it can certainly impress you in the city with its responsiveness and turbo pulling.
Despite weighing around 1640kgs, Mahindra Quanto manages to give you a fuel efficiency of around 14-15km/ltr in city conditions while expect these figures to increase by 2-3km/ltr on long runs. These figures are very impressive and moreover to get such fuel efficiency, you don’t have to compromise on power either.
Mahindra Quanto is available in four variants namely C2, C4, C6 and C8. The top-of-the-variant ‘C8’ of Mahindra Quanto comes with host of comfort, styling and safety features like ABS, EBD, dual SRS airbags, reverse parking sensors, power steering, power windows, AC, tinted class, rear washer plus wiper, rear defogger, 2DIN music system, electrically adjustable outside rear-view mirrors, remote central locking, mobile charging points, front fog lamps, driver seat adjustment, digital drive assist system, sun visors, alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, grille and door handles. The interiors of Quanto are same like Xylo with similar design for the center console, steering wheel, door pads and similar buttons to control the AC and power windows. To price the base variant (C2) aggressively Mahindra has to do away with lots of features like remote central locking, power windows, front fog lamps, music system, rear defogger, digital drive assist system, body coloured bumpers, rear defogger, wheels covers and tinted glass.
The top variant of Quanto features dual front SRS airbags, ABS, parking sensors, child lock on middle plus on rear door and digital immobilizer.
Suspension and Brakes
Mahindra Quanto shares its suspension system with Xylo which of course is an advantage for this car. The heavy weight of this car is easily taken by this suspension system and Quanto feels a generation ahead of Rio in terms of suspension. It gives you utmost comfort inside as most of the bumps are easily digested. Even if you go off-road with this vehicle, this car has an upper hand over every other hatch or sedan in this case. The heavy suspension of this car gives it an additional support on high speeds and gives you confidence while you throw it around corners. To stop this heavy car, Mahindra has installed disc brakes at its front with drum brakes at the back. The top model also features ABS for precise braking.
Ride and Handling
Mahindra Quanto with its large wheelbase of 2760mm gives you a comfortable ride. It also helps this car to stay grounded at high speeds and helps you while changing lanes frequently. Although its heavy size results into considerable body roll even after good suspension which is quite evident around corners. The R15 size of tyres also disappoints you as the size of the vehicle demands bigger tyres for extra stability. The handling of this car is very light but with a minimum turning g radius of 5.4m, it’s not easy to park this car in tight spaces. Even in traffic, it’s not that convenient but thanks to its good all-around visibility, it’s not an issue. Even if you take it off road, it doesn’t disappoint you much. With a ground clearance of 180mm, its ready to cross every obstruction and the car handles really nice on uneven conditions which you generally miss while driving a hatch.
Mahindra Quanto comes with a 2 years/50,000 kilomteres warranty program from Mahindra.
Like Mahindra Xylo, the Quanto is also available in six attractive shades: Diamond White, Toreador Red, Java Brown, Mist Silver, Fiery Black and Rocky Beige. Mahindra Quanto looks best in toreador red and black. Mahindra & Mahindra has used red Quanto for all the promotional photos, wallpapers, brochures and videos.
The most fascinating thing about Quanto is its pricing. Quanto ranges from ?5.99lakhs-7.57 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). Mahindra has launched this car with a killer price tag. At this price, Quanto is even cheaper than some of the premium hatchbacks. If you talk about its rival, Rio then undoubtedly it’s a much better option. This car looks much well-built and stylish then Rio. The engine is very powerful and most importantly it’s a car from India’s third largest car manufacturer which is known in the market which means easy maintenance and services.
Mahindra Quanto comes with a reliable, powerful and fuel efficient engine with acceptable looks. If you compare it with other premium hatchbacks and compact entry level sedans then it has an upper hand as it’s a seven seater with maximum space in its segment. Yes, there are some quality issues especially inside the cabin which aren’t in the favour of this car. Otherwise those who want exclusivity and want to stay away from regular hatches and sedans, it’s a perfect option. Moreover the car has an ability to give you some off road experiences with pleasing performance and fuel efficiency. For us, Quanto is a complete value for money car but those who are quality conscious; it’s not the one you are looking for.