Pretoria - Anniversary specials are usually highly specced, often with fancy decals and badging, and therefore more expensive.

Not always. Indian carmaker Mahindra, best known for tough workhorse bakkies, has launched a more affordable entry-level version of its XUV500 mid-sized SUV to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its South African subsidiary.

Mahindra SA boss Ashok Thakur said: "Often a motor company launches a higher-priced model to mark an anniversary but we decided to introduce the W4 model of the XUV500 - which, at R249 995, is R30 000 less than the existing XUV500."

SO WADDAYA GET FOR 250K?

Mechanically the W4 is identical to the rest of the XUV500 range, with a 2.2-litre mHawk turbodiesel delivering 103kW and 330Nm to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

OK, it does without some of the bells and whistles of the W6 and W8 derivatives, but it still has projector headlights, a four-speaker radio/CD/MP3 audio system with iPod and USB capability and connectivity, air conditioning, electric windows, electrically-adjustable side mirrors, power steering with a tilting-adjustable steering column, remote tailgate opening and fold-flat second and third rows of seats for load versatility.

GIVING BACK

Thakur explained: "We're very pleased with the progress Mahindra has made in the 10 years we've been in this country, and we believe giving something back to the motoring public with the well-priced XUV500 W4 is a more fitting celebration than an expensive special edition."