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It doesn’t roll a lot. Its wheels are perfectly proportional to its compact but deceptively wide and tall body. Its steering feel can be adjusted in three ways: normal, comfort and a firmer sport setting. It'll not scorch the tarmac. The newly launched Mahindra XUV300 (pronounced “three-double O”) enters SA chiefly aimed at the fiercely contested compact crossover segment that’s dominated by Ford with its Ecosport and Renault with its Captur. On its cheeky box-like aesthetics the Indian vehicle is a doppelganger to the Suzuki Vitara, another segment protagonist. It's not really being marketed as a mud-plugger of sorts though. The two engine derivatives and four grade walks on sale are exclusively fitted with front-wheel drive underpinnings and a ground clearance of 180mm. It’ll suffice for travel on most gravel tracks. The aggressive frontal styling, roof rails and blackened wheel arch padding complete the SUV look.

The compact Mahindra is available in an 81kW and 200Nm 1,2l t...

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