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Mahindra laid the foundation of rugged 4X4 UVs way back in the late 19th century.
Mahindra had the license to manufacture utility vehicles derived from the Willy Jeep CJ3B platform for the Indian police and armed forces and administrative departments of the Indian Government.
Mahindra was already manufacturing the legendary Jeep in India; however, by the 90s, there was a need for a utility vehicle that could cater to the masses.
Hence, the idea of the Mahindra Armada was born, an SUV/MUV centred around the masses, meant to expand Mahindra's reach in the Indian market.
The Mahindra Armada was finally launched in the year 1993 as a successor of the MM540.
The Mahindra Armada was based on the Jeep platform and was an updated version of the MM 540 and MM 775, centred mainly around the masses.
Like the MM 775, the Armada came with a hardtop body configuration; however, Mahindra improved the built quality.
A 62 hp 2.1-litre diesel engine powered the Armada initially. Later, Mahindra gave the Armada the 2.5 litre Peugeot sourced diesel engine.
In 1998, Mahindra launched the second generation of the Armada and named it the Armada Grand.
The Armada Grand featured improved exterior and interior styling and better features.
The Armada Grand was discontinued in the year 2001 and was succeeded by the Mahindra Bolero.
The Mahindra Armada was powered by a 2.1-litre (2122 cc) XDP 4.90 diesel engine that churned out 62 hp of max power and 140 Nm of peak torque.
Mahindra had also introduced a 2.5-litre (2498 cc) diesel engine that makes 72 hp of max power and 152 Nm of peak torque.
The Mahindra Armada was available only in Diesel.
The Mahindra Armada featured a 5-speed manual transmission.
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The Mahindra Armada was one of the most iconic SUV/MUVs launched in the Indian market. The Mahindra Armada was based on the Jeep platform and was launched in the year 1993. Initially, it featured a 2.1-litre diesel engine; however, Mahindra later introduced the 2.5-litre diesel engine in the Armada.
The Second generation Armada, known as the Armada Grand, was launched in 1998. The Mahindra Armada Grand was a more luxurious version of the Armada. It featured round headlamps, a classier plastic grille, included features like power window and power steering and came with an electro-mechanical 4×4 drive selector. In 2001, Mahindra ended the production of the Armada Grand.
The Mahindra Armada Grand was available in four variants in the Indian market - Std, AC, Grand 2WD, Grand 4WD. Top features on the Mahindra Armada Grand included power window, power steering, 4X4 drivetrain option, and Air Conditioning.
Pricing for the Armada Grand began at around Rs 6.50 lakh and went up till 7.30 lakhs (ex-showroom) for the top-end 4-wheel drive variant. In the Indian market, the Mahindra Armada faced stiff competition from the likes of the Tata Sumo and the Tata Sierra.
The build quality of the Mahindra Armada was much better than Mahindra's previous utility vehicles.
The Armada was one of the rare vehicles to offer MUV as well as SUV credentials together in a vehicle.
While the Armada was a capable SUV offroad, it had a long wheelbase and a spacious cabin like a MUV.
The Peugeot sourced diesel engine on the Mahindra Armada was extremely reliable.
The Armada Grand was equipped with some segment-first features like power steering and power windows.
The Armada Grand also came with the option of a 4X4 drivetrain.
Despite being an incredibly spacious vehicle, the Mahindra Armada had a very uncomfortable ride quality.
Despite having a 2.5-litre engine, the Armada Grand was very slow and had a top speed of just 115 km/h.
The first generation was an incredibly tough and tiring vehicle to drive, and it was only the second-gen Armada that was offered with power steering.
Being an old and heavy vehicle, the Armada was an absolute fuel guzzler.
The braking of the Mahindra Armada was not upto the mark. The bite was quite poor, so stopping the vehicle required quite a lot of effort.
At a price of almost Rs 7.30 lakhs for the top of the line variant, the Armada wasn’t a very affordable vehicle.
The Mahindra Armada was a revolution for the Indian automotive industry, especially for the UV vehicle market. It was one of the rare utility vehicles that were designed for the mass market. It had a unique SUV and MUV combined body configuration. The Armada was available in both 2-wheel and 4-wheel drivetrain options.
The Armada was a fairly large car with almost 4,341 mm of length, 1,800 mm of width, 1,783 mm of height, and 2,680 mm of wheelbase. It had a seating capacity for upto eight passengers, with the option of folding the rear seats. Furthermore, the Armada became much more desirable with the introduction of the second generation model, which was regarded as a more luxurious variant of the Armada. The Armada Grand came with some great features like power windows, Air conditioning and power steering. However, the ride quality of the Armada was still very uncomfortable. Overall, the Mahindra Armada was a great package during its generation.
The Peugeot sourced diesel engine on the Mahindra Armada was incredibly reliable, and the build quality of the vehicle too was quite good, certainty meant to last for ages. When compared against its arch-rival, the Tata Sumo, the Armada had better space and practicality on offer. The power steering option on the Armada Grand did make driving quite a lot easier. However, like most other older cars, the Armada wasn't a high-speed vehicle and had a top speed of just 115 km/h.
Being an extremely old vehicle, finding a Mahindra Armada in good condition isn't very easy. Nevertheless, the Mahindra Armada was a legendary vehicle, and to own one, would be the dream of many car enthusiasts.
Body Type SUV
Fuel Type Diesel
Seating Capacity 10
Fuel Tank Capacity 60