Mahindra Scorpio Review
Refreshed & ImprovedWednesday, April 24, 2013
Overview of Mahindra Scorpio
‘Old is gold’, that’s a famous saying and it perfectly applies in the case Mahindra Scorpio. This flagship SUV of Mahindra introduced them to the modern world. Before Scorpio, Mahindra was only known for its MUVs which were limited to rural India only. Scorpio was the first vehicle of Mahindra which was designed for the global market. The car has proved to be one of the best SUVs ever launched in India. It took Mahindra a long time to showcase it but after its launch, Scorpio took no time and became the first choice of many SUV buyers. It’s been over a decade that people are familiar with Mahindra Scorpio yet it is still one of the best selling cars of Mahindra. Earlier its only competition used to be Tata Safari but now there are many others lining up for competition which includes the recently launched Renault Duster and upcoming Ford EcoSport.
Major Changes Made in Last Facelift of Scorpio in 2009
- All-new front grille
- Multi focal head lights with integrated turn indicators
- All-new front fog lamps
- Signature front grille like the Bolero and Xylo
- Muscular looking front bumper
- New rear bumper with built-in foot step
- Gear shift knob like the Xylo
- Dash integrated music system
- Dual tone outside rear view mirrors
- New working bonnet scoop
- Side cladding with "Scorpio" embossed in them
- Electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors
- Chunky door handle
Mahindra Scorpio Exterior
In the past decade, Mahindra has made several changes to Scorpio in terms of styling but the basic structure and design has remained the same till now. Mahindra has always marketed Scorpio as a mighty muscular car and the strong visual appearance of this car has been a big advantage of it. It is not beautiful and elegant, it’s aggressive and macho. Mahindra has slightly tweaked its panels to make it look fresh. Scorpio still manages to grab your attention instantly. Face of the car looks much alive now with new clear lens headlights and revised front bumper which visually looks less bulky. Its large radiator grille has a chrome logo of Mahindra on it. The revised bumper has noticeable lines and big air dam with new big fog lights.
A full size air intake sits on the top of bonnet which looks very sporty. The side profile of this car has not changed much as it still has those big bulgy wheel arches with sport roof rails. The top model features body colored door handles and ORVMs with colored cladding. New Scorpio comes with new 16 inch wheels which enhances its side stance. It looks extremely tall at the back with square shaped rear glass and boot gate. Its top model features body colored rear spoiler with rear wiper .The rear bumper is very thin and has new reflective lights. Its tall taillights match with its rear profile. Scorpio looks much expensive than its actual price and frankly speaking cars like Duster seem to be a hatch in front of it.
Mahindra Scorpio Interior
Interiors of Scorpio have always received mixed reactions as many people feel that this car doesn’t feel that modern from inside. However new dual tone colors have been used inside to improve things. These colors are black allure and tan plus beige, which improve its internal aura. It has that familiar four spoke steering wheel with an awkwardly positioned gear knob. Both are wrapped in leather which makes it look premium. The car now has new bright dials and fire resistant upholstery. Door panels are fabricated inside. The quality of plastic, buttons and fabrics inside is just acceptable but its fit and finish remains a matter of concern. In this department Scorpio feels a thing of the past as new cars like Duster feels a class apart and you can feel the difference in these both cars from inside. The new color scheme is better inside than before but Mahindra has to bring some major changes to its interiors.
Comfort and Convenience
High quality of fabrics has been used in the seats of Scorpio. The high seating of Scorpio gives you the feeling of being in a real SUV. Driver gets the perfect visibility of road which makes it easy to drive in city traffic. Scorpio is very roomy and spacious from inside. There is ample amount of space for the front passengers. Legroom, headroom and shoulder room everything seems perfect. For more comfort the front seats comes with individual armrests which are very useful on long rides. Rear seating is also very comfortable with proper head room and legroom which can be increased by sliding the seats back.
Scorpio comes with 7 and 8 seating option which is an advantage over cars like Duster. The passengers in its 3rd row get less under thigh and back support. Second row seats also get centre armrest for rear passengers. Scorpio is stuffed with many features which include electric fold-able and adjustable ORVMs with rain and light sensors for better visibility. It has tilt able power steering, central locking and power windows with anti-pinch function (driver side only). Scorpio is equipped with a powerful AC and heater with rear vents. For your comfort, it has cruise control for easy high speed cruising on highways. Other salient features include voice assist system, follow me home type headlights and phone charging facility for the front and rear passengers.
Dashboard and Storage
Design of the dashboard has not changed and looks pretty aged. Dual tone colors are used on this dashboard with wooden finished central console. The buttons used on this dashboard feels down-market and overall positioning of things could have been improved. It has a deep glove box in it. Centre bezel, IP and console have new storage spaces inside. Mahindra Scorpio comes with a boot capacity of 460 litres which can be extended further by folding the rear seats.
Music System of Mahindra Scorpio
Mahindra Scorpio is packed with a double din music system. This audio system is a radio, CD and MP3 player with SD card compatibility. There is also USB and Aux –in ports in it with four powerful speakers. Audio controls are mounted on its steering wheel and confirms you a safe ride. It also has a 12V accessory socket.
Engine and Gearbox of Mahindra Scorpio
Mahindra offers Scorpio with three diesel engines. Two of these are 2.6L engines with different power and torque output. One of these two engines is specially tuned for its pick-up version known as getaway which is least known and used amongst these all three engines. The maximum power and torque output of this engine is 115 Bhp and 277 Nm which is achievable at 3800 rpm and 1700 rpm respectively. Mahindra promotes Scorpio with its most powerful 2.2L mHawk engine with inter-cooler.
This engine produces a peak power of 120 Bhp at 4000 rpm with a torque output of 290 Nm coming as early as 1800 rpm. This common rail diesel engine is available with manual as well as automatic transmission. The manual transmission uses a five speed manual gearbox while its automatic variant is available with six-speed gearbox. Scorpio is also available with a less powerful engine which yields out a power output of 75 Bhp at 3200 rpm with a torque output of 200 Nm available at 1400 rpm. Its 2.5L DI engine is mated with a five- speed manual gearbox.
Acceleration and Performance
Let’s first talk about the much popular 2.2L mHawk engine. This engine is one of the most powerful engines in its segment. From refinement level to gear ratios and power delivery, everything seems to be in the favour of this engine. The best thing about this engine is the way it pulls up the torque at early RPMs. Given the size and weight of this vehicle, Scorpio has almost no turbo lag. With a little press of throttle, it responses really well. That’s the biggest reason why it has been successful car in urban areas as in city traffic it’s easy to move in this car without frequent gear shifting. Gear ratios are well matched and with its 6speed automatic transmission things get better. High speed cruising is pleasing with this engine.
It’s very silent and refined motor and is comparatively less noisy than engines used in Tata Safari and Renault Duster. It reaches 100km/hour in less than 16 seconds which is even better than some of the hatches and reaches a top speed of 160km/hr. No matter how hard you use this engine, it will never disappoint you. With its four wheels drive, off roading is fun and the car impresses you on almost every terrain. The early power delivery with four wheel drive system makes it one of the best off roader available in India. The 2.6L DI engine is on the slower side and manages to reach 100km/hour in less than 22 seconds and can go pass the speed of 150km/hr. This engine lacks power at high RPMs but it doesn’t vibrate and makes less noise than Safari’s engine. The 2.6L engine used in its pick -up is more powerful than the DI engine. It reaches 100km/hour in 19 seconds and responses really well. This engine is also available with four wheel drive system. When compared to its biggest rival Tata Xenon, it feels on the slower side and less powerful but certainly its refinement level is much better than Xenon.
Mahindra Scorpio Mileage
The 2.2L mHawk engine used in Scorpio is very fuel efficient. Despite car’s heavy weight and power packed performance, this engine manages to return a good fuel efficiency of around 8km/ltr in city conditions and around 14 km/ltr on highways. The other two engines also give almost identical fuel efficiency to the mHawk engine.
Ride and Handling
Mahindra Scorpio is a gem in this department. Mahindra has assisted very light and responsive power steering with Scorpio which confirms you a stress free ride while driving this beast in city traffic. Its turning radius of 5.6m makes its handling much like any other sedan. Scorpio feels best when driven at high speeds. Ride quality of Scorpio feels very comfortable as you hardly feel any bump inside thanks to its soft suspension. The R16 size of tyres holds the road firmly and the car feels very balanced even at sharp corners. Mahindra has specially given new treatment to its suspension for its 4 wheel drive system. Scorpio with a ground clearance of 180mm is one of the best Indian off roaders. It gives you sheer excitement while off roading. Steering and suspension of Scorpio is commendable as they play a vital role while off roading.
Braking and Safety Features
Mahindra has made all proper arrangements to stop this giant whenever needed. The car has disk brakes at its front with drum brakes at the back. For more precise braking it also offers ABS in its higher variants. Other safety features include Front Dual airbags with collapsible steering column and immobilizer.
Variants of Mahindra Scorpio
Mahindra Scorpio is available in eight variants:
- LX 4x4
- VLX 4x4
- VLX Automatic
- VLX Automatic 4x4
The VLX variant of Scorpio comes fully loaded with these features:
- Dual SRS front Airbags
- Music System Gets Front Speakers With Built-in Tweeter
- Speed Warning Alert
- New Twin-pod Instrument Cluster with higher data accuracy
- LED Driven ‘telltale’ bulbs, fuel and temperature gauges as bar graphs
- Integrated tyre pressure monitoring system
- Large central LCD display
- Blue-vision bulbs which give out a whiter output similar to Xenon headlamps for improved night time visibility
- Bluetooth Connectivity for your mobile phone to let you take calls without taking your hands off the steering wheel
- Mahindra Body Function Module placed below the drivers seat which helps diagnose problems without opening the bonnet
Shades Available in Mahindra Scorpio
Mahindra Scorpio is available in five shades:
- Diamond White
- Fiery Black
- Rocky Beige
- Java Brown
Scorpio comes with a 2 year/50000 kms warranty from Mahindra with a 2year extended warranty program.
Mahindra Scorpio is very competitively priced; Mahindra has perfectly filled the spot between Xylo and their premium XUV500. Even after one decade Scorpio has that charm which SUV buyers look for. It looks macho and dynamic; Mahindra has stuffed it with all features which you expect from a car of this segment. The engines are also very powerful and efficient, specially the mHawk engine. The drivability of this car with its performance has been the biggest USP of Scorpio. It’s perfect for every terrain; it is one of the cheapest SUVs which is available with a four wheel drive system.
Performance, style, space, comfort, vital features and much more, these all characteristics makes it a complete value for money car and undoubtedly with its low maintenance and high resale value, we don’t think any of its competitors will be able to beat it. Right now its biggest rivals are Tata Safari and Renault Duster. Safari has already lost to Scorpio due to its poor refinement, high maintenance and price. Duster is a nice alternative but it lacks the 4 wheel drive variant and it also doesn’t feel as powerful as Scorpio, moreover Scorpio looks much bigger than Duster. Soon there will be new competitors like Ford EcoSport and Maruti Suzuki XA alpha but till then we think this ‘mighty muscular’ SUV will keep on ruling this segment.