The long over-due face-lift of Mahindra‘s infamous Quanto compact crossover is finally here. The company today launched its face-lifted and rechristened version – NuvoSport – for prices ranging from INR 7.35 lakhs for the base variant (N4) to INR 9.76 lakhs for the top-end N8 trim. The spruced-up sub-4 metre mini wagon features an AMT option and a micro-hybrid technology for the first time, ABS and dual-front airbags, steering-mounted controls, and AVN touch screen infotainment system depending on the trim.
The NuvoSport, at the first instance, breaks the brand’s stereotyped naming convention ending with the ‘O’ sound. The company is trying to giving a new lease of life to the slow-selling Quanto by setting up a new nameplate. Personally, I feel that the new name appears to butt the popular EcoSport from Ford, one of the most popular sub-4 metre crossover in the segment. But how far can the new NuvoSport grab the sales of the EcoSport is a million dollar question.
Also Read: Mahindra Quanto: Quantum leap??
Design wise, the NuvoSport is equally fresh-looking and dreary at the same time. The all-new styling up front is the most exciting of the lot – a much taller hood line with a mix of angular styling that includes sculptured hood, sharper-looking hexagonal grille flanked by angular headlamps and standalone LED DRLs above them, more broader lower grille, rounded fog lamps and a silver skid plate. On the sides, the matt-black plastic claddings run all over, matching the muscular 16-inch alloy pattern, and there are clear lens tail lamp assemblies and roof spoiler at the rear. Otherwise, one can hardly find any improvisations in the NuvoSport in comparison to its predecessor.
Inside, the new dual-tone gray-black dashboard’s design and layout are largely the same as the out-going car, except for certain new additions like the steering-mounted audio controls, a 6.5-inch AVN touch screen infotainment system and the tilt adjustability of the steering wheel.
The NuvoSport is equipped with the same mHawk 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder, 12-valve turbo (2-stage) diesel, yet the engine is calibrated to dual driving modes – Economy and Power. In the Eco mode, the engine churns out a 72.6 PS and 180 Nm of torque, while the output gets a boost up to 101 PS and 240 Nm of rorque in the Power mode. Buyers can choose between the regular 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT (Automated Manual Transmission). Mahindra claims an ARAI-approved mileage of 17.35 kmpl.
Equipment levels and option packaging of the NuvoSport are fairly decent. The ABS (with EBD) and dual front airbags are optional in the entry-level trim, and standard in all other trims. Other safety features includes Collapsible steering, Side Intrusion Beams, Digital Immobilizer, and an ‘Intellipark’ Reverse Assist. The car also boasts remote keyless entry and seven seats (although the rear jump seats same as the Quanto: unbearable!!). The crossover is available in 6 trim levels – N4, N4+, N6, N6 (AMT), N8, and N8 (AMT).
Yet, the major weakness of the Quanto remains totally untouched. The insanely high and upright seating inside and the taller, disproportionate stance outside gives a sense of imperfection to the buyers. For those who doesn’t care much on that front, the NuvoSport is a great choice in the sub-4 metre SUV segment, whose biggest plus are reliable engine and competitive pricing. Because, in the looks department, the NuvoSport still could hardly match its rivals (including EcoSport for sure!). In a nutshell, the NuvoSport seems to fight back the likes of the EcoSport, Maruti Vitara Brezza, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, and Hyundai Creta, along with a host of other premium cross-hatchbacks like the Hyundai i20 Active, with a new, renewed hope.