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Mahindra XUV500 gets efficiency boost

The phrase 'micro hybrid' can be more than just a little misleading, but in common motoring speak it means something far cry from the advanced petrol-electric powertrains that we find in 'proper hybrids' like the Toyota Prius.

As is the case with Smart's MHD, the micro-hybrid badge points to no more than the fitment of an idle-stop system.

Mahindra XUV500.

Now India's first 'micro hybrid' has reached South Africa in the form of the Mahindra XUV500 that now has an idle-stop function as standard.

The system switches off the engine once the car has been stationary for at least 2.5 seconds with the transmission in neutral, and switches it on again as soon as the driver depresses the clutch pedal.

This basically means that you save a bit of fuel when trundling around town, although Mahindra has not supplied any comparative figures.

After consulting with South African customers, Mahindra has also changed the interior colour of the XUV500 from beige to black.

As before, the XUV500 is powered by a 104kW/330Nm 2.2-litre commonrail turbodiesel engine, mated to a six-speed manual transmission and it's available in 4x2 and 4x4 guises.

The XUV500 also has fully independent suspension and was awarded with a four-star Australian NCAP safety rating.

Prices range from R249 900 to R299 900.

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