Johannesburg - As one of South Africa’s most affordable high-riding seven-seaters, the Mahindra XUV500 might not be the most sophisticated offering around, but it’s hard to beat when it comes to overall size and cabin space for the money.

The front-wheel-drive SUV, first introduced in 2012, has been given an extensive makeover for 2018, complete with freshened up styling, added features, a more affordable automatic model and revised engine and suspension.

Upfront, new headlights flank a redesigned grille featuring numerous chrome garnishes and it now extends deeply into the bumper, which also boasts a fresh design along with its counterpart at the back of the XUV. From behind you’ll also notice new taillights with a more triangular design, as well as a redesigned tailgate and larger rear spoiler.

Mahindra says it has refined the suspension and engine too, although the 2.2-litre turbodiesel that’s standard across the range continues with the same outputs of 103kW and 330Nm. As before it’s available with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, but Mahindra has added more auto options in the form of the more affordable W6 (R359 995) and the new range-topping W10.

Talking model grades, the range still kicks off with the W4 at R299 999 (up from R282 995), and this base version comes with air conditioning, an audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows and mirrors, dual front airbags and ABS brakes.

The W6 adds automatic climate control, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel (now also reach adjustable), rear parking sensors, voice control and chrome inserts on the grille and tailgate.  

The W8 gains an 18cm touchscreen infotainment system with reverse camera and satnav, black leather upholstery as well as side and curtain airbags.

The new W10 flagship model piles on additional luxury in the form of push-button keyless start, automatic sunroof and a six-way adjustable electric driver’s seat

All XUV500s are sold with a five-year/150 000km warranty and five-year/100 000km service plan.

Mahindra XUV500 prices

W4 manual - R299 999

W6 automatic - R359 999

W8 manual - R374 999

W8 automatic - R403 999

W10 automatic - R419 999

IOL Motoring