All new Mahindra Scorpio has been officially launched in India – We recently got to test drive the 2022 Scorpio
Scorpio has been one of the strongest home-grown brands in the Indian automotive space. Since its debut around 20 years ago, Scorpio has become one of the most well distributed models across the country. You can find a Scorpio owner in urban metropolis jungles of Mumbai and one even in the remotest villages of Leh and Ladakh.
In the last 2 decades, Mahindra has brought in 2 generations of the Scorpio and now, after testing the Z101 (Scorpio N’s internal name) for almost 2+ years, Mahindra finally launched the much awaited Scorpio N (third generation model) on 27th June 2022 at a starting price tag of INR 11.99 lakhs. We were invited for Scorpio N’s Media drive and here are our first impressions from the same.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Review – Exteriors
Design is technically a subjective department, however we strongly believe that everyone will broadly agree that the 2022 Scorpio N looks intimidating and dominating, staying true to its tagline of being the Big Daddy of SUVs.
2022 Scorpio N happens to be the second Mahindra product, after the XUV700 to get the all new twin-peak Mahindra logo. At the front, it gets a 6-slat grille with a healthy amount of chrome. Lighting duties are taken care of by Double Barrel LED Headlamps. Top-end trims also get LED Projector Fog Lamps, LED DRLs and LED sequential Turn Indicators.
On the sides, highlights include 17” (MT)/ 18” (AT) Alloy wheels and massive wheel arches. Mahindra has tried to reduce overall glass area in 2022 Scorpio N when compared with the previous generation model, and the change is most visible when we look at the SUV from the side. While some might welcome this change, we thought that the change along with the side profile gives an MPV-ish kind of look to the SUV, something which wasn’t as per our liking.
At the rear, Scorpio N gets Volvo inspired tail-lamps and a considerable amount of sheet metal. Interestingly, over the past few years, a considerable number of models from multiple OEMs have taken inspiration from the iconic Volvo Tail-light setup. In our consideration, it is the front of the SUV which looks the most promising and probably has been designed with maximum amount of attention too!
Talking about specifics, the Scorpio N is 206 mm longer and 97 mm wider than the previous generation Scorpio. Its wheelbase too has gone up by 70 mm, however it happens to be 125 mm shorter in height, when compared with the previous gen model. All of it has helped in increasing space on the inside and better handling characteristics of the car, more of which we will discuss in upcoming sections.
Interestingly, Mahindra has also added some Easter Eggs in Scorpio N’s design. Starting from the Scorpio N’s logo, which too gets a typical Scorpio Sting, there are 2 other locations where Mahindra has added a sting-inspired design. You get to see one of those at the front, on the LED DRLs and the other is on its side, in the form of a sting-inspired chrome lining of the shoulder line.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Review – Interiors
For stepping inside, you will either have to climb your way in or walk your way in, depending upon your build. However, once you are seated on the driver’s seat, Mahindra has ensured that you do feel like the King of the Road. During our drive experience, we crossed many C and D segment SUVs, however, their relative road presence made them feel like hatchbacks or crossovers at-best.
Talking about interiors, Scorpio N has a revolutionary upgrade in terms of its cabin feel and experience when compared with the previous generation Scorpio. Quality of plastics, usage of soft-touch materials and even the seating upholstery has improved considerably from the previous model.
However in terms of quality, it still isn’t a match to a typical Korean or a German SUV around the same price tag. Yes, there are considerable improvements, but you can still come across some panel gaps and plastic switches with questionable form factors. Surprisingly, cubby holes which are on offer aren’t very practical, something which is common with the previous gen Scorpio too, despite a complete design overhaul.
Being a Mahindra, Scorpio N gets an extensive list of features. These include an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Sunroof, 7-inch driver information cluster, AdrenoX with Built-in Amazon Alexa, Wireless Android Auto, 12-speaker setup from Sony, dual-zone climate control, push-button start/stop, Front and Rear Cameras, cruise control, powered Driver Seat and much more!
We have absolutely no complaints in terms of Mahindra missing out on any essential or a desirable feature. In-fact, at this price point, Scorpio N gets the most extensive feature list, something which was even claimed during the product presentation during the launch.
However, we might have been more content if there were fewer features but which worked in a much more fluid and dependable manner. The touchscreen system is partly laggy, feed from the rear view camera looks substandard (especially in 2022) and the navigation system finds it hard to detect your current location. We hope that Mahindra will be able to fix at least some of these via some software upgrades in the near future.
Mahindra is offering 2 seating configurations on the Scorpio N, including a 7-seater and a 6-seater option. 6-seater option gets Captain Seats in the second row while the 7-seater variant gets a bench-seat. Third row seats are front-facing, a departure from previous gen Scorpio’s seating configuration.
This change should help Scorpio N to get a better safety rating too. Rear row seats, as is the case with most 7-seaters of the segment, are best suited for children, and not fully grown adults. Seating comfort and space on the first and second row of seats is good and adds up to the premium feel which Mahindra has tried to bring into Scorpio N’s cabin.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Review – Safety
On the safety front, as the Scorpio N hasn’t been crash-tested by G-NCAP yet, we don’t know the official safety rating. However, going by Mahindra’s past record and offered safety equipment, we believe that Scorpio N should get a 4 or a 5 star safety rating.
Key highlights include 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, all-wheel disc brake setup, tyre pressure monitoring system, driver drowsiness alert, front and rear parking sensors, roll-over mitigation system, hill hold control, hill descent control and much more!
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Review – Powertrain
Mahindra will offer the 2022 Scorpio N in four broad trims, namely, Z2, Z4, Z6 and Z8. Overall, there will be 36 variants, with multiple permutation and combinations of powertrain options. During the drive, we could experience 3 of these trims, namely, Top-end Petrol AT 2WD, Top-end Diesel AT 2WD and Top-end Diesel AT 4WD.
We have seen and experienced both the petrol and diesel motors which are on offer on other new-gen Mahindra products (new Thar and XUV700, albeit in different states of tune). Both the engines provide considerable power and thrust to ensure that you never feel underpowered at any given point of time. Turbo lag is also well contained and power delivery is smooth. AT works well and maybe, Mahindra should think of adding in paddle shifters, maybe in the facelift (another 2-3 years from now).
The Drive experience also included an off-roading circuit, which helped us to experience Mahindra’s all new 4Xplor 4WD system. After going through the course, we can confidently say that like the previous generation Scorpio, Scorpio N is extremely dependable in terms of its go-anywhere capabilities. High ground clearance, good approach and departure angles and a trustable 4×4 system, all shall help it to traverse through some of the toughest possible terrains, something which most of its C and D segment counterparts can’t even think of.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio N Review – Driving Dynamics
Ride Quality of the 2022 Scorpio N feels far better than that of the previous generation model. Biggest upgrade is that you don’t get tossed around as much, as was the case with the previous model. NVH levels are decent and the vehicle gets a well-tuned suspension. Steering feedback is adequate and even provides you confidence to take on corners with aggression.
Mahindra has announced that it will be starting test drives of the SUV in 30 cities from 21st July 2022 and bookings will open up from 30th July’22. Pricing for the automatic and 4WD variants haven’t been announced as of now. The announced pricing of the other trims will only be applicable for the first 25,000 bookings, something we have seen Mahindra doing with the XUV700 too. Interestingly, Mahindra will continue to sell the previous generation Scorpio, along with the Scorpio N. Previous gen Scorpio will be baptized as Scorpio Classic and its line-up will consist of only 4 trims.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Review – Verdict
To sum it up, Mahindra has deployed its time tested strategy, yet again. We saw Mahindra achieving success with a similar approach with the XUV500, and in the recent past with Thar and XUV700. The Scorpio N feels like a dependable go-anywhere urban SUV with a good value for money proposition (at least, based on the initial pricing).
The combination of dependability, long feature list and attractive macho looks has usually worked in Mahindra’s favour and we are sure that Scorpio N will certainly pull away customers from showrooms of Hyundai, Tata and Kia. However, Mahindra still has a long way to go in terms of bringing in vehicles which can set segment bench-mark in terms of quality. Despite its shortcomings, Scorpio N’s waiting period should shoot up to similar levels, as is the case with XUV700 and Thar.