Mahindra TUV300 vs Ford EcoSport

The compact SUV segment of the Indian auto industry is exploding. Similar to the dot com bubble of the ’90s, our country has seen a massive influx of players in this particular segment. Indian manufacturer Mahindra has always been a major player in the SUV segment for years. However, the car maker did not enter the scene until only recently. With the all new TUV300, Mahindra has finally entered the arena currently dominated by cars such as the Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster and the Nissan Terrano. We take a look at how the new 2016 TUV300 fairs against one of the most critically acclaimed cars of this generation: the Ford EcoSport.

Exterior

2016 Mahindra TUV300:

Indian car makers have never been at the forefront of design. Although it has had its fair share of misses (read Xylo), Mahindra has managed to produce some of the best looking cars to ever hit dealerships here in India. However, the TUV300 is a miss. Unlike the XUV5OO or the 2015 Scorpio, the all new TUV300 features a more retro styling with design cues borrowed from the first and the latest generation of SUVs such as the original Jeep Wrangler and the Renegade. However, in a time where sharp sleek bodies are fast becoming the norm, the TUV300 already feels like a relic of the past.

The 2016 Mahindra TUV300 is one of the only crossovers with an actual focus on off-roading
The 2016 Mahindra TUV300 is one of the only crossovers with an actual focus on off-roading

2014 Ford EcoSport:

The Ford EcoSport has always been a good looking vehicle. One of the first cars to don the American car maker’s new design philosophy mainly characterized by its large grille and swept back headlights, the EcoSport still keeps up in the aesthetics department against the likes of some of the best looking cars currently on sale such as the Nissan Terrano and the more recent Hyundai Creta.

orange ford ecosport
The Ford EcoSport is an urban cruiser that offers little in terms of true SUV capabilities

Interior

2016 Mahindra TUV300:

The interiors of the 2016 Mahindra TUV300 more than make up for its drab outer shell. Mahindra has fitted its latest compact SUV with a familiar beige and black cabin that is complemented by a piano black finish for the center console. While the infotainment system does offer all the standard features of top end media systems, it sports a slightly underwhelming display.

Interiors of the all new Mahindra pseudo-SUV is rather underwhelming
Interiors of the all new Mahindra pseudo-SUV is rather underwhelming

Unlike the EcoSport and other rivals, the TUV300 manages to be a six seater with two foldable seats present on either side of the boot. Although the seats’ small size and lack of proper leg space disallows for absolute comfort, the feature provides the TUV300 with a bit of versatility unseen in its segment.

2014 Ford EcoSport:

The 2014 Ford EcoSport’s interior is a standard affair. The car features the American car maker’s familiar SYNC infotainment system complete with steering mounted controls and standard connectivity options. However, the EcoSport has aged considerably and the small monochrome display and plethora of buttons make the EcoSport feel rather obsolete.

ford ecosport dashboard
The dizzying array of buttons on the center console may prove tiresome to use during travel

The American crossover offers ample head room and an acceptable amount of legroom. However, larger passengers may feel slightly uncomfortable in the back seat.

Under The Hood

2016 Mahindra TUV300:

Powering the 2016 Mahindra TUV300 is a sole 1.5 l m_HAWK diesel engine that produces 84 bhp @ 3750 RPM and 230 Nm @ 1500 RPM. Surprisingly, unlike the EcoSport and other rivals, power is sent to the rear wheels via a 5 speed manual with an option five speed automatic as well.

The TUV300 is one of the only comapct SUVs to provide rear wheel drive
The TUV300 is one of the only comapct SUVs to provide rear wheel drive

2014 Ford EcoSport:

Ford offers a multitude of engines with the petrol range starting with the 109 hp 1.5 l naturally aspirated unit to the 1.0 l EcoBoost engine while diesel enthusiasts have to make do with a sole 89 hp 1.5 l TDCi engine.

Ford's EcoBoost engine is one of the best in the market
Ford’s EcoBoost engine is one of the best in the market

Verdict

Despite the eyeball-grabbing design and wide range of engines available on the EcoSport, the dated interiors and features fail to impress. Although the TUV300 is almost on par with EcoSport in terms of cabin features and fails mostly as a style icon, the TUV3oo’s tried and tested m_HAWK engine and rear wheel drive ensures that the car is enjoyable on the streets.