Mahindra Scorpio Facelift Review: First Drive
Exteriors – Engineers at Mahindra have managed to give the Scorpio a kind of new look without affecting its underlying character. In fact, new Scoprio is sculpted to be more aggressive than the 12 year old model, at the same time it has an elite appeal. Look of earlier Scorpio still hasn’t aged out completely and Mahindra has ensured no fan of the nameplate would have any reason to complain about the new iteration’s pose. It is fascinating to witness how every component going hand in hand to make the face of Scorpio is redesigned and yet its style and the sense of intimidation it imposes are carried over unharmed.
To mention all features seen up front of new Scorpio, it sports new dual projector headlamps with Advanced Static Bending Technology, LED eyebrows commonly known as DRLs, new fearsome front grille, catchy bonnet scoop and road armour front bumper.
Side profile of new gen Mahindra Scorpio remains almost identical to previous model. Part that is notably different is front fender, redesigned to accommodate new headlamp assembly. It also wears new decorative element that surrounds side indicator that is called silver-finished fender bezel. One will also notice new modish 17 inch alloy wheels when gazing at the new Scorpio from side.
Rear facade of 2014 Mahindra Scorpio has good number of changes that not only freshens the model up, but also makes it fashionable. When people were expecting the revamped SUV to host spare wheel at tailgate, mostly to augment its rugged appeal, Mahindra took a different direction to add a hint of macho, even there. Rear gate gets two tone finish, bare black plastic panel with silver motif on top and at the centre surrounding number plate indent. Somehow the appliqué has reduced boxiness of Scorpio’s back, possibly by its shape and projection. Another highlight at the back is new LED tail lamps that glow in the shape of ‘D’, encasing turn indicator lamps and first time ever fancy blue lights. Apart from what’s mentioned, there are a number of tweaks and detailing that elevates the presence of new Scorpio, which will be shown when it is parked next to the model it has replaced. On top of that, Mahindra offers a handful of diverse accessories to distinguish your Scorpio from the already loaded stock version.
Interiors – Just like how Mahindra amped up the attitude of Scorpio’s exteriors, interiors are given similar upgrade; retaining the force of personality with new suit to wear. Dashboard of new generation Scorpio is redesigned to add elegance through edginess, and new equipment. Centre console gets new 6 inch touch screen infotainment system with inbuilt CD, DVD, USB, Aux-in and Bluetooth connectivity; GPS navigation and Fully Automated Temperature Control (FATC). Interface of the touch screen system is user friendly and buttons are tactile enough, not the best. Further tech bits in Scorpio facelift include engine immobiliser, dual front Airbags, ABS, rain sensors, automatic headlamps, intellipark (reverse / parking sensors), tyre-tronics (realtime individual tire pressure and temperature monitoring system), well acquainted micro-hybrid technology and the like; most of which are carried over from previous version.
Scorpio has borrowed XUV 500’s spory steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise controls. Ahead of the steering wheel, the instrument panel catches the eye with trendy display of dials and information. Another thing to be happy about in the new Scorpio is that power window buttons are moved to door panel, from centre tunnel near gear lever in earlier version. AC vents in 2014 Scorpio are new, with thin chrome surrounds that are contemporaneous. Seats of 2014 Scorpio get new upholstery in blue grey theme that improves cabin aura.
Utility pockets and storage compartments in Scorpio’s cabin are almost similar to old model, meaning you will still find it difficult to shove all your immediate requirements in places you can reach. Apart from few cubby holes at centre shaft, there is not much useful storage facilities even though the car is humungous. Door panels still don’t have bottle holders.
Performance and drivability – New Mahindra Scorpio is powered by same old engines. 2.5-liter 4 cylinder m2DiCr diesel unit with Micro-Hybrid technology churning out 75 bhp max. power @ 3,200 rpm and 200 Nm peak torque @ 1,400 – 2,200 rpm, is offered in base variant mated to 5 speed manual transmission. Remaining five variants of new generation Scorpio get 2.2 litre mHawk engine with VGT and Intercooler, pushing 120 bhp @ 4,000 rpm and 280 Nm @ 1,800 – 2,800 rpm, also paired with 5 speed manual gearbox. There is no notable change in acceleration or engine behaviour in new model but gear shift quality is slightly improved with new 5MT320 gearbox. Slotting is smoother in comparison to older assembly but throw remains long and loose. S4 and S10 variants of new Scorpio get shift on fly Four Wheel Drive (4WD) as option.
Rest of driving mannerisms are significantly ameliorated in 2014 Mahindra Scorpio, starting with steering, which could’ve been more in hand if it had telescopic adjustment; however steer-ability is good. Turning radius is said to be 5.40 metres in 2WD version and 5.65 metres in 4WD mode. One of most addressed issue in earlier Scorpio SUV was body control; thanks to new 3rd generation chassis, new Cushion Suspension Technology and rear Anti-Roll bar, the condition seems to have been sorted out. Same has marginally improved ride quality as well. Braking performance is similar to previous version of Scorpio.
Verdict – In short, new generation Mahindra Scorpio has not only almost all the fixes owners of earlier model felt needed, but also the kind of appeal new age SUV seekers would appreciate. Its a job well done by Mahindra, improving value-for-money quotient of Scorpio.
This first drive report covers mostly about whats in the new Scorpio, rather first impression. Detailed road test review coming soon.
Price list of new generation Mahindra Scorpio (ex-showroom Mumbai):
Mahindra Scorpio S2 – Rs 7.98 lakhs
Mahindra Scorpio S4 – Rs 8.60 lakhs
Mahindra Scorpio S6 – Rs 9.77 lakhs
Mahindra Scorpio S8 – Rs 10.84 lakhs
Mahindra Scorpio S10 – Rs 11.46 lakhs