The next-generation 2021 Mahindra XUV500 is expected to be launched in India in the first quarter of next year. With this update, Mahindra’s flagship will become more competent and propel itself back into the forefront in its segment. When it entered the Indian market back in 2011, the Mahindra XUV500 was lauded for revolutionizing the Indian SUV genre. Compared to its predecessors and rivals at the time, the XUV was unlike any other SUV. Its unibody construction, modern design, features and safety equipment easily made it one of the best all-desi cars around.
However, times have changed and the XUV500 has to now face far more contemporary and well-equipped vehicles. That is a challenge that the outgoing, outdated XUV500 simply cannot hope to win. Thankfully, the next-gen model is right around the corner and it seems to be more than capable of taking on its rivals. In recent times, there have been spy photos of the 2021 Mahindra XUV500 all over the internet. These leaks of test mules clearly show a vehicle that is gearing up to enter showrooms with much enthusiasm. And if all goes according to plan, we should see the best version (thus far) of the XUV500 launching soon.
Among the many changes, one of the most blatantly obvious is going to be in the 2021 XUV500’s exterior styling. While the infamous “cheetah-inspired” design theme won’t be altered in its entirety, there will be new front & rear bumpers, new LED headlamps & tail lamps, a revised front grille and hood, plus black lower body cladding. Moreover, the side profile has been sketched to look more modern and easy-on-the-eye. The ‘claw-like’ grab handles for the doors have now been replaced with traditional but better integrated door handles. Rest of the changes along the side profile of the 2021 XUV500 are harder to figure out as the test mules were all covered up in camouflage. However, the design for the new multispoke alloy wheels will look sportier and add to the overall presence of this SUV.
Mahindra has gone to great lengths to modernize the interior of the 2021 XUV500. So much so that it barely seems to have any significant commonality with the outgoing model. One of the biggest upgrades you will notice in the next-generation XUV500’s cabin will be at the front – it is a thoroughly modern affair. If those spy images are anything to go by, Mahindra seems to have outdone itself. Higher trims of the 2021 XUV500 will now come with large dual screens for the driver and the infotainment system – exactly like you will in newer Mercedes-Benz cars. Of course, they might not be of the same quality but it is still impressive to see such premiumness in a Mahindra SUV.
That is not all, as there is more to this interior than just the two digital screens. The 2021 XUV500 also gets a stylish flat-bottom steering wheel, a dual-tone interior color palette, and an Audi/BMW like rotary knob with hard buttons to control the infotainment unit. The leather-wrapped gear lever looks upmarket too, while the manual parking brake lever has been chucked in favor of a modern electronic switch. The latter is coated in a piano black finish and also tipped with some chrome for that premium look and feel. As for the seats of the XUV500, they are now larger and upholstered in higher-quality fabric with contrast stitching. Even the switches located on the center stack, just beneath the HVAC controls, look more expensive and tactile in their appearance. In general, the interior of the 2021 Mahindra XUV500 will not only feel more premium than its predecessor, but it will also have more features.
Under the hood, the 2021 XUV500 will offer two powerplants – an all-new petrol engine and a revised mHawk diesel mill. Of the two, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is the one to look out for. It has been tuned by Mahindra specifically for the upcoming XUV500, so it now belts out around 190hp and 380Nm of torque. If true, this will make it one of the most powerful engines to be offered in any petrol-fueled SUV in the segment in India. An updated 6-speed manual transmission will be available with both petrol and diesel engines, while a 6-speed Aisin automatic gearbox will be on offer in some variants. Given the host of upgrades and introduction of better equipment, the 2021 Mahindra XUV500 will cost more than the outgoing model. However, if the automaker has also improved its build and material quality, the higher asking price will be completely worthwhile.