Tata pioneered the affordable EV space in India with the ubiquitous Nexon EV. The brand continued this with the Nexon EV Max while launching the more affordable Tiago and Tigor EV. From a numbers point of view, Tata is clearly ahead of the game, thanks to its early EV adoption. However, more brands are coming into the fight with all-electric vehicles and one such offering is the Mahindra XUV400. Aimed directly at the best-selling EV in India, the Tata Nexon EV, the Mahindra promises a lot, including a good range and an exciting price point.
Mahindra is responsible for one of the earliest electric cars in India but it lost out to its home-grown rival in the EV race. With the XUV400, the SUV giant hopes to claw back some lost ground and find its way into one of the fastest-evolving segments in India. Launched in January 2023, the XUV400 is largely based on the XUV300 which uses a conventional ICE engine. The XUV400 is available in two main versions: EC and EL, with the latter being the one that offers the most range and performance. Prices for this EV start from Rs 15.99 lakh to Rs 19.19 lakh for the range-topping version.
If you are looking for a new car within a budget of Rs 20 lakh, chances are the Mahindra XUV400 is on your radar. But, is it the perfect first electric car for you? Or is it not? We try to answer these questions and more:
Mahindra XUV400 Specifications
Mahindra XUV400 Motor and Gearbox
Permanent magnet synchronous motor
Mahindra XUV400 Dimensions
Mahindra XUV400 Safety
2 airbags as standard
ABS with EBD
Rear Parking Sensors
All-Wheel Disc Brakes
Reverse Parking Camera
Electronic Stability Programme
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Hill Hold Assist
Hill Descent Control
Mahindra XUV400 Feature Highlights
7-inch touchscreen infotainment system
Why you should consider the Mahindra XUV400
There are many reasons why you should pick the Mahindra XUV400 over the Tata Nexon EV. But to make this guide more definitive, here are the three main reasons why the XUV400 might be perfect for you:
Performance On Tap
Mahindra has played the numbers game strongly with the XUV400. For starters, it features two battery packs – a 34.5 kWh unit and a 39.4 kWh unit, both producing an identical 150hp and 310Nm of twist. In contrast, the Tata Nexon EV Max features a 40.5 kWh battery pack that punches out 141 hp and 250 Nm of peak torque. These figures are comparatively lower than what the Mahindra offers. Thanks to these numbers, the performance is also brisk with the 0-100 kmph mark coming up in just 8.3 seconds according to Mahindra. These output figures also put the XUV400 right into the mix of all compact SUVs in India as well. If the idea of a fast electric car excites you, the Mahindra XUV400 remains a brilliant choice.
Mahindra’s next ace up its sleeve is the impressive maximum driving range of 456 km on a single charge. Do note that this is an MIDC figure and in real-world conditions, one can expect anywhere around 350 km, which is still commendable for an EV today. For reference, the Tata Nexon EV Max has a claimed range of 437 km (ARAI) which is lower than the claimed range for the Mahindra XUV400. EVs have come a long way since its inception and the Mahindra XUV400 is one of the few long-range EVs in India that is available on a budget.
Ride Quality And Boot Space
Mahindra has borrowed the suspension tech from its bigger SUVs such as the XUV700 and the Scorpio-N for the XUV400. The dampers use frequency selective damping that alters the damping in real-time according to the road surface for the best ride and handling balance. The XUV400 tackles bad roads easily and it also handles well for a compact FWD electric SUV. Boot space is an important criteria for many buyers out there and if you belong to that group, the Mahindra XUV400 manages to ace this department with a boot space of 378 litres, which is better than its ICE counterpart. Although this might not look like a huge figure, according to compact SUV standards, the XUV400 does offer great boot space and it is certainly better than the 350 litres of its main rival, the Tata Nexon EV.
Why you should not consider the Mahindra XUV400
The Mahindra XUV400 is faultless on paper, but there are still three reasons why you should look at the competition and here are why:
The biggest Achilles heel of the XUV400 is its cabin which features a design that reminds us of a bygone era. It can be a good thing or a bad thing depending upon the buyer. The cabin design is carried forward from the XUV300 with a new mashup of colours to give it some novelty. However, the layout remains the same and the interior misses out on the modern feel that the competition offers. That said, the cabin is put together rather well and the quality levels are up to today’s standards. If you prefer a cabin that is contemporary, especially considering it is an all-electric car, the Mahindra XUV400 might not be the car for you.
Omission of Important Features
Yet another reason why you should not consider the Mahindra XUV400 is down to some missing features. Mahindra has covered all the basics and the SUV offers 6 airbags, a 7-inch touchscreen system, keyless entry, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, etc. However, it misses out on some crucial kit such as sunroof, wireless charging, ventilated seats, rear ac vents, climate control ac, digital cluster, ESP, traction control, TPMS, etc. These are some major misses and since the competition offers all these features, the XUV400 trails behind when it comes to outright equipment.
Mahindra XUV400 Variants
As mentioned, Mahindra has kept things simple with just two main variants – EC and EL. Both these variants are offered with either a 3.3 kW charger or a faster 7.2 kW charger adding to a total of 4 variants:
EC 3.3 kW
Rs 15.99 lakh
EC 7.2 kW
Rs 16.49 lakh
EL 3.3 kW
Rs 18.99 lakh
EL 7.2 kW
Rs 19.19 lakh
Mahindra XUV400 Variant to buy
The XUV400 EC comes with a 34.5 kWh battery pack while the EL comes with a 39.4 kWh battery pack. If you primarily use your car for urban commutes, the XUV400 EC is the better buy as the claimed range of 375 km is adequate for city commutes. However, if you want an electric car that can do longer journeys and be the only car to do-it-all, we strongly suggest the EL variant with the claimed 456 km of claimed range. As for the charger, it is ideal to get the 7.2 kW version as it can charge to 100 percent in a shade over 6.5 hours while the smaller 3.3 kW charger takes a leisurely 13 hours!
Mahindra XUV400 Warranty & Service Cost
The carmaker is offering a standard 3-year/unlimited km warranty for the XUV400 while also offering an 8-year/1,60,000 km warranty for the battery and the motor. Since these are the two most important components, the 8-year warranty is a great add-on. Since the XUV400 is also an EV, the annual service costs are also on the affordable side with an estimate of Rs 17,500 for 5 years which is cheap.
Electric cars are gaining popularity every passing day with more carmakers committing to explore EVs in India in the near future. However, with a budget of under Rs 20 lakh, your options are strictly limited to two SUVs: the Tata Nexon EV and the Mahindra XUV400. Tata is a well-established product and one that is setting the sales charts on fire. Thanks to this, it is also hugely popular and chances are your neighbour or colleague also drives one. The Mahindra XUV400 is a standout choice as it is the less preferred electric SUV. Yet, it offers more performance and range than the Nexon EV. Yes, it does miss out on some important features and the cabin feels outdated in comparison. But if you can live with these, the Mahindra XUV400 is an impressive EV and one that can definitely be your first step into the world of electric motoring.