Mahindra Scorpio Performance & First Drive

Mahindra Scorpio Overview

Recently, Mahindra launched the Scorpio facelift – basically a mid-life update of the current generation SUV. With the facelift, Mahindra has skipped making any major updates on the exteriors or interiors, but has decided to alter the drivetrain to make this the most powerful Scorpio yet. So, do the added power and new transmission make any significant changes in drivability, especially when it has been the major strength of the SUV in the first place?There’s a lot brewing in the SUV space in India and Mahindra, being one of the biggest players, has been losing out on some of that action off late. The onset of the compact SUV space and also the subcompact SUVs, has really tilted the scales in their favour, which is why iconic cars like the Mahindra Scorpio have suffered but Mahindra has new plans for its flagship model and the Scorpio now gets an update in the hope of making up for some lost ground. Book a test drive for Scorpio in Tryaldrive

Check for Mahindra Scorpio On Road Price in Mumbai

Mahindra Scorpio Exterior

The Scorpio has received a much needed facelift. In terms of looks, Mahindra has not fiddled too much and the Scorpio still makes for a familiar sight. Up front, there’s an all-new grille and this one replaces the blade-like chrome slats of the previous model with a more traditional seven-slotted design. The front bumper has been redesigned and there are new fog lamps too as also a skid plate. At the rear, it’s cleaner now and the tailgate is all new. Mahindra has completely done away with the plastic appliqué that surrounded the number plate in the previous model and that’s why we say that the rear is simple and clean. All these changes have made the Scorpio look and feel more contemporary and there’s a hint of sophistication too but we’re glad that Mahindra hasn’t over done the chrome just to make it look premium.

Mahindra Scorpio Interior

Changes inside are limited to revised upholstery and a leather wrapped steering wheel and gear lever. That said, I would have liked a bigger touchscreen unit as it is the same as before. The screen’s positioning could have been revised as part of the current update as well. The Scorpio now gets a reverse parking camera and while the resolution is good, using the display is a chore given its low placement, particularly in harsh light. I would have also liked some more space on the driver side door panel, as there’s a nice indent for the arm when in the driver’s seat but the space between the indent and the window sill isn’t enough to move your arm freely.The biggest changes are under the hood though. The Scorpio’s 2200cc, inline four cylinder, mHawk engine gets a new Borg Warner turbocharger that has helped in bumping power and torque figures up. The new Scorpio now offers 140PS produced at 3750rpm now as opposed to 120PS produced at 4000rpm earlier. Peak torque produced stands at 320Nm, offered from just 1500rpm as compared to the 280Nm produced 1800rpm onwards earlier. Variants have also been changed, and engines and performance will vary variant wise.

Mahindra Scorpio Performance

The Scorpio still continues to be powered by the same 2.2-litre diesel engine, but the S7 and S11 variants get the XUV500’s more powerful tune with the new BorgWarner turbocharger. This gives it 140PS of power and 320Nm of torque – 20PS and 40Nm more than the older tune. What’s more impressive is that this power and torque is made lower down the rev range. And to better utilise this gain, you now get a 6-speed manual transmission. Slotting in gears is easier now, but the reverse gear will give your arm a proper workout. Thankfully though, clutch action is light, with linear travel. The Scorpio has a reputation of being easy to drive. The bump in power has further helped this cause, with the engine delivering power effortlessly. You can keep it in 2nd and 3rd gear all day long in the city. And then to pick up speeds, just stomp the accelerator and it responds with no fuss. The acceleration is impressive and there is a linear torque delivery from 2000 till 4500rpm. Driving sensibly, the Scorpio managed to return 13.2kmpl in the city. The 100kmph mark is hit quite early too – 11.68 seconds to be exact. Considering the Scorpio’s size, this is quite impressive.

In the city, the engine is not loud till about 2500rpm, but is still audible. It is a little vibey but that can’t be felt much on the steering. However, the moment you hit a patch of broken road, the seats begin squeaking and there is some or the other sound constantly in the cabin. Even on the highways, there is a fair amount of wind noise from the A-pillars which gets tiring over time. That said, the addition of a 6th gear has made highway drives more calm, with the engine now running at a lower rpm trying to keep the NVH levels in check. This also helps the Scorpio manage 15.6kmpl on the highway. Even the brakes on this facelift are mighty impressive. The feel from the pedal is spot on and the ABS helps the car come to a dead stop without any drama in an impressive 48.09metres.

Mahindra Scorpio Driving

The six-speed gearbox uses a new shift pattern too, and to slot into reverse you now need to push the lever further to the left beyond first. This is slightly confusing and will take some getting used to, as I ended up engaging reverse instead of first several times, though thankfully as a safety feature a loud beep informs you that reverse gear has been engaged and not first.The Scorpio continues to use Mahindra’s third generation body on frame chassis that was introduced in 2014, while the suspension has been tweaked to handle the additional power. This shouldn’t affect ride quality though and the new Scorpio offered a good ride on the test track which has smooth, even tarmac. The brakes have been beefed as well and the new Scorpio uses revised brake pads and new brake boosters to improve braking.

Mahindra Scorpio Safety

The Mahindra Scorpio is pretty healthy in terms of braking and safety, except the base model. The top-end Mahindra Scorpio car has dual safety airbags, tyre pressure monitoring system and seat belt warning. ABS, along with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) is also given in the top model. However, child safety lock and vehicle immobilizer are added as standard across all the variants.

Mahindra Scorpio Cost in New Delhi

Mahindra Scorpio Ex-Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 9,18,385/- (Scorpio Getaway 2WD) to 16,18,143/- (Scorpio S11 4WD). Get best offers for Mahindra Scorpio from Mahindra Dealers in New Delhi. Check for Scorpio price in New Delhi at Carzprice

Mahindra Scorpio Conclusion

On the whole, the Scorpio retains its old-school feel while feeling more modern and car-like to drive with its higher performance and new, vastly improved transmission. Better brakes are a welcome change too, while the ride quality didn’t let me complain, on the test track at least. The reverse camera is a value addition though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not on offer just yet. Mahindra tells us it is working on offering the connectivity though. Pricing for the refreshed 2018 Mahindra Scorpio begins at Rs 9.97 lakh for the base, S3 variant and goes up to Rs 14.78 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi) for the top of the line S11 variant you see here. Given its changes and improvements, the Scorpio, billed as one of the original Indian SUVs, continues to offer a likeable feel to those looking for an old-school SUV.

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