6 Reasons Why the Mahindra Scorpio-N Is Worth the Two-Year Waiting Period
6 Reasons Why the Mahindra Scorpio-N Is Worth the Two-Year Waiting Period

We spend time with Mahindra’s hot-selling new version of Scorpio to find answers to the question on the minds of a large number of SUV buyers in 2022. Is it worth the wait?

Two years is a long amount of time when you are waiting for your new car to be delivered. But somehow, that doesn’t seem to faze buyers of the Scorpio-N. This is especially true of the base Z2 and the diesel trims of the Scorpio-N, the variants most in demand. Mahindra, over the last couple of years, has introduced three outstanding products to the market. As a result, their order books are overflowing and the Scorpio-N, just like the XUV700 that debuted a year ago, is selling like hotcakes.


So, what is it that has customers flocking to Mahindra showrooms? We spent some time with the top-of-the-line Z8L 2WD variant of the Mahindra Scorpio-N and here are the six things we absolutely love about it.


Design Refresh



With something that has been around for more than two decades, a design update is a hard job to do. Err too much on the safe side, and you can have a product that will be called boring, and try to be too radical, and it can just as easily be ridiculed. Mahindra has tried to find a middle ground. The muscular, brawny silhouette is retained but some of the design characteristics of the Scorpio have been given a miss. This means that things like the stacked tail lamps are there, they no longer have a quirky shape and light signature. Depending on who you ask, the Scorpio-N’s tail lamps look like that of the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R or of any number of recent Volvos.


That said, the Scorpio-N gets a far more mature overall design than the Scorpio ever had. The classic two-box shape is retained but the SUV doesn’t appear as squared off. It is smoother and details are better integrated with the overall design. The headlights are slimmer, and the grille, too, is restrained, with the only details of note being the vertical slats and the new Mahindra logo finished in chrome. Lower down on the bumper, you will find the fog lamps and DRLs.


There isn’t as much plastic cladding around the car, and on the sides, the flared wheel arches add some character to the sides, as do the 18-inch alloy wheels. The Scorpio-N is 206mm longer than the last-gen car and also gets a 70mm longer wheelbase while being wider by 97mm. The result is an SUV that definitely looks larger and that is part of its appeal.


Space and Comfort



With the increased dimensions and some very good packaging, the Scorpio-N does feel roomier on the inside than its predecessor. You still get the commanding driving position that has been a hallmark of the Scorpio. However, you no longer have to sit bolt-upright like before. There is enough and more cushioning for the front seats and it is easy to settle into a good driving position. While you are there, you are met with higher quality materials and fit and finish that are eons ahead of any Scorpio before this. Everything, from the switchgear to how the dashboard is put together, screams quality. Several elements have been borrowed from the XUV700 and that can only be a good thing.


The middle row can be had with captain seats or a more conventional bench setup. The captain seats are obviously the more comfortable option and do improve access to the third row. It has to be said that no matter what you decide to go with, there is ample head, knee, and shoulder room in the second row. The seats themselves are very comfortable with good support all around. Head to the third row and you will find that space is now at a premium, and it is nowhere as much as it was in the last-gen Scorpio. You do sit facing forward, but the space is best suited for kids or adults with a smaller frame, and that too only for shorter journeys. It is evident that Mahindra has made a choice to focus a lot more on the middle row and has compromised when it comes to space in the third row, even though the car is now much larger overall. With the third row up, luggage space is also severely limited. If you aren’t someone who typically travels with six or seven people on board, you’d be perfectly comfortable in the Scorpio-N.


Packed With Features



As you settle into the driver’s seat, you are greeted by the chunky steering wheel (borrowed from the XUV700) with the twin peaks logo. The upright dash features an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Mahindra’s AdrenoX suite. The UI is easy to use, and the touchscreen is fairly responsive as well. There is wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and the connected car features include remote access, an SOS function, and some good old-fashioned Alexa integration. The instrument cluster, unlike in the XUV700, gets analogue dials with a 7-inch display between them. There are other useful additions like a wireless phone charger, a sunroof, auto headlamps and wipers, a powered driver’s seat, drive modes for the diesel and off-road modes for the 4WD variants. There are front and rear cameras and sensors along with parking guides on the Scorpio-N that make it a lot easier to live with on our congested roads. Mahindra’s commitment to safety is evident and the Scorpio-N comes with ESC, hill descent and hill hold, six airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system, and a drowsiness detection system.


Powerful Engines



You can choose between a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol and a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine for the Scorpio-N. First seen on the Thar, the motors produce 203hp of power and 380Nm torque and 175hp of power and 400Nm of torque respectively. As with all other aspects of the Scorpio-N, the engines have changed tremendously in character. The petrol is the punchier of the two, although both the petrol and diesel engines return commendable 0-100kmph times (the diesel is a second slower with a time over 11 seconds). That’s seriously impressive for such a large SUV. But it is not the performance to be had that will blow you away. It is how Mahindra’s latest SUV delivers it. The Scorpio-N is a step-up when it comes to refinement, especially so for a ladder-frame SUV. All that power, both for the petrol as well as diesel, is delivered effortlessly in the lower half of the engines’ respective rev ranges. This, coupled with the far more sophisticated and refined powertrains (our test car was a torque converter automatic; both the petrol and diesel automatics are paired to torque converter units), ensures that the drive is a lot more relaxed.


Exceptional Ride Quality



This is easily the aspect that stands out the most to me. Mahindra has made huge strides when it comes to the ride quality of its SUVs. And when I say huge, I mean huge. The Scorpio-N remains unbothered no matter what you throw at it. Mahindra has worked hard behind the scenes to make this possible. The Scorpio-N is a staggering 500kg lighter. The suspension is all new as well. There are double wishbones up front and a five-link set-up at the rear which uses a Watt’s Link set-up to better manage lateral movement under load. In addition to all that, there’s frequency-dependent damping.


What all of this translates to is a much more comfortable ride over our terrible roads than any other car in the price range. The Scorpio-N seems composed on seriously bad stretches of road, and you can carry a good amount of momentum effortlessly. There is a bit of bounciness at low speeds, but that is perfectly acceptable for an SUV like this. All the work going into the suspension also means that the Scorpio-N handles corners very well. There is sure-footedness when taking corners at a speed that was lacking in previous generations.


Competitive Pricing



There is no conventional ladder-frame SUV currently in the price range to compete with the Scorpio-N. Starting at Rs. 11.99 lakh (ex- showroom) for the base petrol variant and going up to Rs. 23.90 lakh (ex-showroom) for the top-of-the-line diesel AWD with automatic transmission, the SUV straddles more than one segment. Its competitors are all in the monocoque SUV segment. The Tata Safari, given its butch looks and size, is probably the closest competitor. But even it loses out when it comes to what Scorpio-N offers in terms of features.


For most buyers, it might just be a choice between the XUV700 and the Scorpio-N. They are similarly priced but are different when it comes to the architecture, with the XUV, as a result, being more sophisticated and the Scorpio-N being a lot more rugged. That’s a good problem to have for Mahindra.


Images: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

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