This year, Mahindra's ventured into quite a few different segments - with the XUV, the Rexton as well as with the Quanto. The Quanto is Mahindra's first venture into the "Mini SUV" segment under 8 lakhs. In this segment, the competition the Quanto has is the Premier Rio and the Renault Duster. But, the Quanto also faces competition from the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. When first looked at, the Quanto seems like a mini Xylo, actually more like someone took a Xylo, chopped it into half, and then stuck on a rear tailgate. But, after a while, the design begins to grow on you, and you actually start appreciating the Quanto. Essentially, the Quanto is a sub 4 meter Xylo and hence, it enjoys sub 4 meter taxation rates.
Here's the pricing list from Mahindra for the Quanto. Note: all prices are EX SHOWROOM MUMBAI.
The variants are well spaced out, with prices starting from just 5.82 lakhs ! That's similar to the pricing of Hatchbacks like the i20, the Brio and the Swift !
The "+" ve's:
- Starts from 5.82 lakhs !
- Still is quite an SUV. Has 180 mm of Ground Clearance.
- A seven seater.
- Doesn't break a sweat on India roads.
- Boot becomes expansive with third row folded to the sides.
The "-" ve's:
- Weird styling. Proportions seem weird.
- 3rd row of seats is cramped.
- Build quality not like that of a similarly priced i20 or Brio.
The interiors evidently scream "XYLO" ! The dashboard is the same one as that of the Xylo. The steering wheel is directly lifted from the Scorpio. The dashboard lacks the quality offered on similarly priced cars like the i20 or the Ertiga. I, personally wasn't too happy about those triangular aircon vents on the dashboard.
The steering wheel is big, bulky and has evidently been picked up from the Scorpio's dashboard. The lack of on steering music controls is a sore thumb. But, the large horn pad will be appreciated by many.
One feature of the interiors which differentiates the Quanto from many other cars is the inclusion of an A/C minute counter below the digital tripmeter. This is a digital instrument which tells you how many minutes the air conditioner of your vehicle has been used.
The front seats have two armrests. This is appreciated because, it's a nice addition, especially for long drives. However, what I didn't like is the Yellow "squiggle" design seat upholstery. It doesn't seem color coordinated at all.
There's part sharing going on here - both the Verito as well as the Quanto utilize the same in dash music system from Nippon. It's quality is ok. It could be miles better.
Make two people sit here, and you've got yourself two enemies for life. These seats are only aimed at children and short people. Otherwise, fold them up and get an expansive 690 liters of boot space - more than you can get in any hatchback in this segment. The Quanto can actually be pretty nifty and useful for your weekend getaways if you're a family of around four.
The boot becomes quite expansive when the last row of jump seats is folded up. It'll gobble up your luggage for those airport runs, or for your weekend escapades...
Notice that the 3rd row of seats comes with butterfly windows. This is an excellent thought on Mahindra's part and this makes it comfortable to sit in the last row, even with the air conditioning switched off. This is something which isn't available in SUV's double it's price like the XUV, and quadruple it's price like the Fortuner.
The rear door is plain. No frills here. Except, the chrome ring around the round door handle breaks the monotonous grayish trim.
When you see the Quanto, it's evidently a Xylo at the front. But, it looks like a Xylo which has been improved upon. The Xylo's body colored bulky and ugly looking grille has been dumped and Mahindra has incorporated a tweaked Grille which is not as large as the one in the previous Xylo, as well as, it is black.
Mahindra seems to have made no design changes to the front bumper of the Quanto. It's exactly the same part as the Xylo's. The foglamp design too is the same. Everything at the front is just so similar that it'd be normal to mistake this car to be a Xylo.
The alloy design on the car is pretty good too. But, the tyres seem a little too tiny and knobby on this car.
The side profile of the Quanto looks awkward. It does look like a stunted Xylo. It seems like the designers at Mahindra picked up the Xylo, chopped off the last row, and replaced it with a really short rear. Quite a few elements look out of place on the Quanto. The door handles are unusually low. The windows aren't proportioned well - they look a tad too laarge on the Quanto. (That's not a typo - they do look verrry large).
The spare wheel is a full size alloy. It's mounted on the tail gate and has quite a stylish looking cover too - the black and silvery aluminum finish looks nice !
The tail lamps are squarish and compact - but, they look good on the compact Quanto's rear. The black accented design above the tail lamps are similar to those on the XUV 500.
Under the Hood:
Under the Quanto's hood is an "mCR100" 3 cylinder 1.5 liter diesel engine. You may read "3 cylinder" and feel that the engine would be pretty pathetic. But, with this engine, Mahindra has set an excellent benchmark for 3 cylinder diesel power plants. The engine produces 100 Bhp @ 3750 RPM and 24 kgm of torque from 1600 to 2800 RPM. That is amazing for a vehicle of it's price. There's no other 5 lakh rupee diesel car which produces so much power as well as torque ! The car has an ARAI rating of around 17 kpl.
The Quanto has it's positive's and negative's. But, it's an excellent car under 6.5 lakh rupees. If you're looking for a car which can seat seven under 6.5 lakhs, and is compact, look no further than the Quanto. But, if you're looking for better build quality as well as a better looking car, look elsewhere.
- Naayl Humza,
14 year old car enthusiast.