It’s rare that we begin a review with a price tag, but it’s a little hard to ignore the fact you can buy a 7-seat SUV with lots of bells and whistles for $39,990 drive away. The 2023 Mahindra XUV700 AX7L has the potential to shake things up, and properly so.
From the outside, it has a staunch and solid look. A subtle, almost downplayed, contoured bonnet meets the prominent LED headlights and daytime running lights. Peering out from the top are silver roof rails, which are colour-matched to the silver on the front lip.
Move on over to the side, and you are drawn to the height and space. The Mahindra XUV 700 AX7L is fitted with 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, with black lined wheel arches, providing a tasteful break between the body colour and the rubber.
Smart door handles (the kind that are hidden until you unlock the car) feature, as well as electric folding mirrors. The rear finishes well, with a subtle spoiler on the tailgate, and an adequately sized rear window.
Arrowhead LED tail lights are etched into the body, like the front end, although the reversing camera could have been better hidden. At 1.75m tall, 1.89m wide and 4.69m long, it’s an altogether well proportioned vehicle.
Hop into the Mahindra XUV700, and you are delighted by the sense of luxury and technology. For instance, it’s hard to ignore the massive display panel, spanning almost halfway across the dashboard, which houses two HD 10.25-inch screens.
Each serves a different purpose, one for infotainment, while the other is the digital instrument cluster. In the case of the former, it features wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and connects to an awesome Sony 12-speaker 3D sound system.
A wireless charging dock is located in the centre console, along with two USB-A ports. A single USB-C port features in the middle row. The leatherette seats are comfortable and feel premium, and in the case of our test vehicle, were in a lovely shade of white.
Obviously, there’s the potential for that to get mighty dirty, depending how rough you treat your SUV. The second and third rows easily folds away in a 60:40 configuration. There’s also a large glass roof panel that lets in plenty of light, and decent cup holders.
The driver’s seat automatically retracts when you turn the vehicle off, making it easier to get in and out. On the safety front, the 2023 Mahindra XUV700 AX7L offers six airbags, and an advanced driver assistance system that includes adaptive cruise control.
You’ll also find forward collision warning and lane departure assist among other safety tech, although the XUV700 isn’t ANCAP rated as yet (at the time of writing). The middle row grabs ISOFIX anchor points on the outer seats too.
Under the hood is a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cyclinder petrol engine delivering 149kW of power and 380Nm of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Considering its size, it’s 8.3-litres/100km of fuel usage is pretty reasonable.
The driving experience in the 2023 Mahindra XUV700 AX7L is great, with one exception. It’s responsive under acceleration, and handles well. When changing lanes, a camera view of the lane shows up on the instrument panel, helping reduce blind spots.
Likewise, when reversing, a 360-degree surround view pops up on the infotainment screen to help provide spatial awareness. That one exception though is a veritable pain in the proverbial. The automatic stop/start is garbage.
On several occasions, the XUV700 went into a deep sleep and failed to wake back up again, requiring us to throw it into park and hit the start button. If that’s not bad enough, it also shuts off the air-con and just blows fan air during these moments.
That could have been an issue with our test vehicle specifically, but either way, the good news is you can turn off the stop/start feature by flicking a switch located near the steering wheel. Job done.
All-in-all, the 2023 Mahindra XUV700 AX7L packs in a tonne of tech, is nice to drive, and based on its price, offers one hell of a deal for an SUV. It can be had in Everest White, Midnight Black, Dazzling Silver, Red Rage, and Electric Blue.
It comes with 7-year 150,000km warranty, and 7-years roadside assist. To find out more about the 2023 Mahindra XUV700 AX7L, visit the Mahinda Australia website or contact your local Mahindra dealer. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.
Our test vehicle was provided by Mahindra Australia for review purposes.