Mahindra has taken the wraps off the XUV700, putting to rest the rumour mills and eagle-eyed fans on the lookout for camouflaged cars. The seven-seater SUV, following in the footsteps of the popular XUV500, has some big shoes to fill.
At first glance, the XUV700’s aggressive design feels like a step up from its predecessor. Similar improvements are carried over indoors too with plenty of premium touches, and enough space for a large family. Under the hood are two powertrain options – 2.0L turbo-petrol producing 200hp and 2.2L diesel engine producing 185hp.
While everyone talks about the XUV’s power, performance and macho presence, what we are more interested in is its geeky side. Mahindra has packed the SUV with smart features, and here’s a look at some of them.
The XUV700 gets a very Mercedes-Benz-esque 10.25in dual-screen layout that is divided into two. One part shows a digital instrument cluster, and the other shows the infotainment system. The cockpit domain controller software architecture is built with multiple operating systems – Android, and QNX. The controller, on the other hand, runs Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms developed in collaboration with Visteon.
Under the hood is AI-powered AdrenoX, which controls every aspect of the system. Support for up to 60 connected car tech means there’s a lot you can control via your smartphone, even before stepping into the SUV.
In-car infotainment systems have become a basic requirement, and as advanced as some of the smartphones. The XUV700 supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. And yes, there’s wireless support.
You also get to “speak” with your car through Amazon Alexa. It supports voice commands, so you can simply say, “Alexa open the skyroof”, and the large panoramic sunroof will open.
Spatial sound on wheels
The XUV700 is equipped with a custom-built Sony 3D sound system consisting of 12 speakers, and a 445W 13-channel DSP amplifier. Powered by Sony’s Sound Building Blocks, you will get a much wider sound field than just plain stereo, which is the current trend. DSEE, which aims to restore some lost information from your compressed music files, is also a feature carried over from Sony Walkman music players.
An interesting feature is what Mahindra calls ‘Smart Door Handles’, and is something we have seen on Teslas and other cars in the luxurious segments. These are basically retractable door handles that sit flush with the car’s body, and will pop out when you reach near to open the door.
Speaking of retractable things, Mahindra gave the briefest of glimpses at the SUV’s powered seats. Besides the fact that you will be able to control their position, and recline via buttons, the seats also temporarily move back to give you plenty of space when you are about to get into the cabin. It certainly feels like a feature designed to spoil consumers.
We have started seeing cars become more intelligent, and it's only a matter of time before they could surpass humans. Advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) is such an intelligent system that uses an array of sensors and cameras to assist drivers in different conditions.
We’ve seen it on SUVs like the MG Gloster, and now the XUV700 becomes the first in its class to get it. Drivers will get to tap into assistive driving technologies like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking using both cameras and radar, lane departure warning, smart pilot assist and more.
Safety with a personal touch
There are plenty of safety features packed into the SUV, but what stands out is how Mahindra is personalising some of them. We all know how frustrating those speed-limit beeps can get, so Mahindra is letting you set your loved one’s voice as an alert, asking you to slow down. It remains to be seen if such a personal touch is effective or whether it too becomes frustrating fast.
There’s also a built-in driver drowsiness system, wherein the SUV will nudge you when it detects that the driver is not at its optimum self. It will also ask the driver to take a break before continuing.