Mahindra has built a solid reputation over the years as the maker of no nonsense, able and solid people movers. The Scorpio, XUV and Thar have cemented the carmakers image as the maker of class leading SUVs. Mahindra now wants to reinvent this image from just being a SUV maker to being a multiple segment player and the new Marazzo is proof of this. Price-wise it slots between the Maruti Ertiga and the ever popular Toyota Innova, but can it pull away buyers from both?
The Marazzo MPV wasn’t created in India but is the first car to be created by the Mahindra team of engineers and designers at the company’s North American Technical Centre (MNATC) in Michigan, USA and it shows. The car looks sleeker than anything Mahindra has on sale till date. It’s a smooth and easy on the eye silhouette that won’t offend anyone. A strong character line runs right across the car, and there are strong cuts around the bulging wheel arches. The front end with its faux-LED lamps above the main beams looks nice. The grille too is typical Mahindra design. The chrome strip at the boot lid looks smart too and is sure to win many admirers. Overall, it’s a well-balanced design and one which looks very proportionate as well.
Special mention has to be made about the captain seats on the Marazzo. These seats can easily beat the best in the business for sheer comfort as well because they have good cushioning, excellent support and generous legroom as well. The large windows at the back also give you a sense of roominess. The front seats offer decent comfort as well. The quality is very good too but some parts could have been better. The controls for the AC vents are from the XUV and feel a bit downmarket in an otherwise high class cabin. The infotainment system too looks outdated with old school fonts and isn’t the easiest to navigate through either. The last row of seats is decent for two adult occupants as well but not as generous as the Innovas.
Engine, performance and gearbox
There’s only one engine option. You get a 1.5-litre diesel with 121bhp. That’s around 32bhp more than the Ertiga and around 26bhp less than the Innova’s 147bhp motor. The first thing buyers will appreciate is the inherent refinement of the engine. At idle, it’s hardly audible and even when you mount up the revs, the engine sounds like a distant murmur. What is also commendable is the engine’s low end response. The car doesn’t need over 2,000 revs to get going. All you need is around 1,400-1,500 revs to make the car feel lively. This makes it a nice and easy car for driving in the city.
There is plenty of power available in the mid-range all the way till about 3,500rpm. Revving the engine past this mark doesn’t produce any visible power but only adds to the noise. The good part is that the gearbox is a six-speed unit and this helps flexibility of the engine. At highway speeds the car is doing 90-100kph while the engine is spinning at about 1,500-1,600 rpm adding to the quietness in the cabin. However with over 1.6-tonnes of weight to move around acceleration isn’t the briskest and the Marazzo prefers to be driven in a sedate manner rather than being pushed too much.
Ride and handling
The steering offers decent feedback, but it isn’t the most communicative around. Also the steering wheel rim itself is rather thin for such a big car and Mahindra should make it chunkier to hold. The ride comfort is pretty good and at faster highway speeds the car feels very stable too. It can easily take on the Innova for sheer relaxation as well. The car does suffer from plenty of body roll though, but that’s typical of most MPVs.
The Marazzo is a well-rounded package that does most things well. It looks good, drives well and comes loaded with plenty of kit that will keep buyers happy. Also, price wise it slots between its main rivals, making it good value.