The Indian subcompact SUV market is growing rapidly with new model launches. The latest entrant in the segment is the Mahindra XUV300. The bestselling vehicle in the Indian sub-4 meter compact SUV segment is the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, followed by the Tata Nexon which is a new model that launched in September, 2018. The next in line in terms of sales is the oldest model in the segment – the Ford EcoSport. Mahindra & Mahindra already has another contender in this segment – the TUV300, but that is not selling as well as its other rivals in India. Thus, Mahindra has brought in the all-new XUV300, which is based on the Ssangyong Tivoli.
The new Mahindra XUV300 indeed seems to be a very nice new contender in the hot subcompact SUV segment. However, being a Mahindra vehicle it’s pricing has not pleased many Indians. We are comparing the base models of the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Ford EcoSport and the Mahindra XUV300 to figure out which one is worth its bucks the most.
(Note: the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is the only diesel powered vehicle in this comparison, as it doesn’t yet have a petrol version).
Exterior Design & Features
The Vitara Brezza looks sporty, yet elegant and its base variant LDI comes with steel wheels, split rear combination lamp, an LED high mount stop light and roof spoiler.
The Tata Nexon grabs attention with its trendy, impressive looks. The entry-level XE model gets body-coloured door handles and wing mirrors, door side body cladding, LED tail lights, roof rails, flared wheel arches and a shark-fin antenna.
The Ford EcoSport is still loved for its smart design and its base Ambiente model flaunts halogen quadbeam reflector headlights with chrome housing, high mount stop lamp, black door handles and wing mirrors and dual reversing lamp.
The new Mahindra XUV300 looks aggressive with its sort of low-slung boxy looks. Its base W4 model comes with steel wheels, body hued door handles and ORVMs and LED tail lights.
Here, we go for the visual appeal of the trendy Nexa and the subtle stunner Vitara Brezza.
On the inside, the Brezza gets tilt steering, a multi-information display, front accessory socket and central locking system, front power windows with auto-down function for on the driver's side and electrically adjustable wing mirror.
The Nexon gets a nice 3-tone interior colour scheme, electric power steering wheel with tilt adjustment, remote central locking system, electrically adjustable and electrically foldable ORVMs, all power windows, and, a cooled and illuminated glove box with two cup holders, wallet holder and card holder, a USB and a 12V charger.
The EcoSport gets fabric upholstery, an audio system with Bluetooth, a device dock, and courtesy front and rear lamps.
The XUV300 offers electric tailgate release, one-touch lane change indicator, a smart steering system, electrically-adjustable ORVMs, all-4 power windows with driver’s side express down function, central locking, padded front armrest with storage, height adjustable front seat belts and a 12V accessory socket.
The XUV300 and the Nexon are pretty similar here, but the XUV300 is the winner.
The Nexon boasts the highest 5-star crash test rating from the Global NCAP, which makes it India’s first car to achieve this feat, and also currently the safest model in the country. The SUV comes braced with dual airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child-seat anchorage, front occupants’ seatbelt reminders, rear sensors and park assist.
The Vitara Brezza and the Ford EcoSport also comes with very similar safety features to that of Nexon. However, these two models don’t have the proud NCAP 5-star rating.
The XUV300 gets braced with dual airbags, corner braking control, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat anchors, seat belt reminder, passenger airbag deactivation and panic braking signal.
Although all 4 models are similarly equipped with safety features, theTata Nexon is the winner in this category for obvious reason.
Compare Engine Specifications
The Tata Nexon packs in a 1.2L petrol engine generating 108.49 bhp and 170 Nm, and is paired to a speed manual transmission.
The Ford EcoSport boasts of the biggest engine - a 1.5L petrol mill offering 121.31 bhp and 150 Nm, and is coupled with a 5 speed manual transmission.
The Mahindra XUV300 also gets a 1.2L petrol mill offering 110 bhp and 200 Nm, and is mated to a 6 speed manual transmission.
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is the only diesel model in this comparison. It gets powered by a 1.2L diesel motor delivering 88.5 bhp and 200 Nm, and is paired with a 5 speed manual gearbox.
The Ford EcoSport’s new big Dragon series engine makes it a winner in this section.
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza LDI (Diesel) is priced at Rs. 7.67 lakhs.
The Tata Nexon XE (petrol) is tagged at Rs. 6.63 lakhs
The Ford EcoSport Amebiente comes priced at Rs. Rs 7.82 lakhs
The Mahindra XUV300 W4 is priced at Rs. 7.90 lakhs
The Nexon wins hands down in this section with its most affordable tag.
Now, it is clear why some people are not pleased with the Mahindra XUV300’s pricing. It is more expensive than the diesel Brezza and the previously most expensive model in the segment, the EcoSport. The Tata Nexon is our pick with its cool, stylish looks, good features, decent specs, top safety rating and cheapest price tag.