Grand SUV Comparison: Mahindra XUV700 vs Tata Safari vs Hyundai Alcazar

The Mahindra XUV700 has been the talk of the town and the 70,000 bookings that it received at the blink of an eye but here's where the true test of this SUV lies as it gets pitted against some of its well-established rivals like the Hyundai Alcazar and the Tata Safari.
31-Dec-21 05:31 PM IST
The Mahindra XUV700 is the newest entrant in the mid-size three-row SUV segment.
  • The Mahindra XUV700 is the newest entrant in the mid-size 3 row SUV space
  • The Tata Safari still retains that old school SUV charm.
  • The Hyundai Alcazar looks very urban and feels premium on the inside.

What defines a modern three-row SUV! Well the mantra is simple. Something which is a comfortable family mover with enough space for six or seven, can handle challenging terrains with ease and feels 'premium'! And that's exactly what we have today. In fact, not one but three of them, but the question is, which is the better one?


True test of the Mahindra XUV700 lies as it gets pitted against some of its well-established rivals like the Hyundai Alcazar and the Tata Safari.

The Mahindra XUV700 has been the talk of the town and the 70,000 bookings that it received at the blink of an eye very well substantiates that. But here's where the true test of this SUV lies as it gets pitted against some of its well-established rivals like the Hyundai Alcazar and the Tata Safari. Then there's even the MG Hector Plus which too is a three-row version of the Hector and is available in the same six or seven seater layout. But sadly MG is not able to provide us with a test car yet.



While the XUV700 has a very contemporary and sharp, the other two definitely have that family face flavour.

Very apparently, all these SUVs are very different to look at. While the XUV700 has a very contemporary and sharp, the other two definitely have that family face flavour and are inspired by their respective compact SUV derivatives. Tata Safari builds up on Harrier's design and definitely looks very well-rounded, urban and yet has the butch appeal of an SUV. Even the Hyundai Alcazar on the other hand has that Creta sense very much intact but looks more sophisticated and MPVish. The Mahindra XUV700 on the other hand is the showstopper. It looks striking and that brawny sense of an SUV is very appealing. Yes! The front end looks a bit overdone especially with those floating DRLs, but it's still charming and gets you all the attention.

Dimensions Mahindra XUV700 Tata Safari Hyundai Alcazar
Length 4695 mm 4661 mm 4500 mm
Width 1890 mm 1894 mm 1790 mm
Height 1755 mm 1786 mm 1675 mm
Wheelbase 2750 mm 2741 mm 2760 mm

Having said that, all three of them surprisingly are very different when it comes to dimensions.The XUV is the longest of the lot while the Tata Safari is the widest. But it's Hyundai Alcazar with the longest wheelbase. Let's see how that reflects on the inside.

Well on the inside, all three SUVs have their hits and misses and we begin with the oldest of the lot.

Interior & Tech


The Tata Safari feels widest on the inside and you get a really high seating position.

Alright, so the first thing that you notice is that you get a really high seating position, which gives you a commanding view out of the windscreen and the steering is really good really chunky to hold. And apart from that, as far as infotainment is concerned, you have the 8.8-inch touchscreen and of course, it also gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and apart from that you have these drive modes here. The updated model that Tata launched after the launch of the Safari, and in that updated model, you also get wireless charging and ventilated seats.


The Tata Safari has the most spacious cabin and comes with flexible seating option.

The second-row scores high on comfort and practicality. The seat can be slid forward to make room for the third-row passengers and even the front passenger seat can be adjusted from the second-row to make more legroom for the boss seat. And then there is a 60:40 split, centre armrest with two cupholders, AC vents and the sunroof is quite big to give you that more airy feel. You do sit a bit knees up in the third-row but the space is actually good for shorter commutes. For features you have air-con vents here, charging ports and also dedicated storage space for your phone.


The Hyundai Alcazar feels very premium on the inside and the quality of materials used is best-in-class.

And now we come to the Hyundai Alcazar. Well, the Alcazar instantly feels a bit too compact and you're not in the best position and end up feeling quite cramped. The space is not too good for an adult of my size and is best recommended for kids. For features, there are air-con vents, two USB ports on both sides, cupholders and place to keep your mobile. But the second-row is bit of a mixed-bag. You can slide forward or back the seats or even recline them. And these are captain seats, which also is an option on the Safari as well, but these are not as big as the ones that we saw on safari. The seats on the Tata Safari offers better thigh support than these on the Alcazar. They're comfortable but under thigh support could have been even better, In terms of features, there is wireless charger in the second-row which is a segment-first. There are AC vents, USB charging point and also a phone holder. And then you have some storage space like this tray holder that can carry up to 3.5 kgs of load. And finally I get these sunblinds as well, again a segment-first.


The Hyundai Alcazar instantly feels a bit too compact compared to the XUV700 and Safari.

Here in the driver's seat the first thing that you notice is the two-tone upholstery. The cabin looks and feels very premium and you have a sleek 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Again Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and connected car technology are onboard and you get a premium Bose sound system as well. The Tata Safari gets a JBL Harman sound system and the Mahindra XUV7OO has a Sony Sound System. Then you also have ventilated seats with three levels, wireless charging as well.


The Mahindra XUV700 scores high in terms of seating comfort and space but the second-row sets cannot be adjusted to make more room in the third-row.

And finally we are in the second row of the XUV700 and similar to the Safari, It feels very comfortable in the second row. The thigh support is good and you do get AC vents, centre armrest and 60:40 format for the seats to recline them. But a major drawback here is that you cannot slide them forward to create more space in the third-row. But can still slide forward the front passenger seat by doing something similar to what we did on the Safari. As far as features go, it gets a Type C charging point and a small phone holder as well. Not to mention, the Piano black treatment and wooden finish on the doors is something nice and has a premium touch. And Yes! You do get quite a big sunroof and while you do get a feel of that in the third-row, the kneeroom is only marginally better than the Alcazar. You still sit knees up and the space is cramped. It's even short on headroom and you constantly fear about bumping your head on the roof. So again, this place is best suited for kids in the family. Even in terms of features there is just a single 12 volt charger here while in other two cars we have USB ports. You also get just one cupholder and there isn't any space to keep your phone.


The first row of the Mahindra XUV700 feels the most modern and is loaded with tech.

Coming to the first-row, it does miss out on ventilated seats and that's a big miss because the other two cars get in the top-spec models at least. And of-course this along with the Hyundai Alcazar gets blind spot monitor. So, the moment you switch on the indicator towards the left or the right, you have a small display here on the instrument console which shows the traffic coming from behind you. Apart from that you have this Mercedes styled you know twin screens on the dashboard. It gives the dash really premium and refined look and though this colour looks nice. But in Indian dusty conditions, maintaining it going to be a difficult bit. In terms of connectivity, Yes! This comes with Mahindra, a dream lines connectivity technology. You also have apple carplay android auto, and it has wireless charging. And then, the top-spec luxury-line Mahindra XUV700 AX7L with us also comes with the advanced driver assist system or ADAS, bringing in more driver assist features like forward collisions warning, cross-traffic alert and lane change alert among others.

Performance And Dynamics


One thing that particularly impressed us on the Safari has been the ride quality.

So we have told you all about the features and the comfort that Tata Safari offers and it's now time to get behind the wheel. The Tata Safari gets the tried and tested fiat-sourced 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Kryotec diesel engine that belts out 168 bhp at 3750 rpm and 350 Nm at 1750 - 2500 rpm. The oil-burner is mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a Hyundai-sourced six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission. With us is the automatic.

Tata Safari Specifications
Displacement 1956 cc
Max Power 168 bhp @ 3750 rpm
Peak Torque 350 Nm @ 1750 - 2500 rpm
Transmission 6-Speed MT / 6-Speed AT

And if you talk about the driving dynamics of the car, the handling in particular. So this particular car, it's a media car, and I feel I sense that there is some amount of play in the steering. The steering itself is not very, you know, feedback oriented, it is light. It does weigh up at higher speeds, but the overall sense of confidence that you get when driving the car. And as far as braking is concerned, the brakes on the Safari are quite adequate and a bit more bite would have been reassuring. One thing that has impressed the most on this car has been the ride quality of course that stands out and is one of the highlights on this car. Even in the third-row the right quality is good, the lateral movement you don't feel it that much here and even for the space so I'm comfortable for shorter commutes.

Hyundai Alcazar 2.0-litre Petrol 1.5-litre Diesel
Displacement 1999 cc 1493 cc
Max Power 157 bhp @ 6500 rpm 113 bhp @ 4000 rpm
Peak Torque 191 Nm @ 4500 rpm 250 Nm @ 1500 - 2750 rpm
Transmission 6-Speed MT / 6-Speed AT 6-Speed MT / 6-Speed AT

Okay then.... Let's get to the most compact SUV of the lot. You get both petrol and diesel engine options in the Hyundai Alcazar. It's is the same Creta sourced 1.5-litre, four-cylinder CRDi unit belting out 113 bhp at 4000 rpm and 250 Nm of peak torque between 1500 - 2750 rpm. he one with us is the petrol variant with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder MPi motor under its hood. The petrol mill is relatively a high-revving engine with 157 bhp at 6500 rpm and 191 nm of peak torque at 4500 rpm. Both engines are available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox.


The Hyundai Alcazar feels peppier and more zippy to drive in the city.

To begin with, the throttle response is quite nice. Although you feel a sense of lag in the bottom end which is fine, which is not a deal breaker by any thought of the imagination. And if you talk about the ride quality, it is plush, neither too stiff nor too soft. It gives you the right balance between both and if you talk about the handling, yes the steering weighs quite nicely and if you compare it to the Creta I would say that the handling of the Creta and the Alcazar are more or less similar. So it is a comfortable car to drive. It is a comfortable car to be in if you're going for long drives and yes, the top-end it is slightly lacking but it's alright. The bottom is really strong. It's not a tall SUV and that works in its favour when it comes to body rolls. We can spend more time in this car without getting tired so stuck in a traffic jam for example, moving traffic, or even on the highway for long rides. But you're not comfortable in the third-row and we won't prefer this area to spend long hours and for a longer travel. For kids in the family, probably this space is ideal though the width is still tight.

Mahindra XUV700 2.0-litre Petrol 2.2-litre Diesel MX 2.2-litre Diesel AX
Displacement 1997 cc 2184 cc 2184 cc
Max Power 197 bhp @ 5000 rpm 153 bhp @ 3750 rpm 182 bhp @ 3500 rpm
Peak torque 380 Nm @ 1750-3000 RPM 360 Nm @ 1500 - 2800 rpm 420 Nm @ 1600 - 2800 rpm (MT) / 450 Nm @ 1750 - 2800 rpm (AT)
Transmission 6-Speed MT / 6-Speed AT 6-Speed MT 6-Speed MT / 6-Speed AT

And finally we come to the newest kid on the block. So the Mahindra XUV700 too is offered both with petrol and diesel engine options and the latter one- the 2.2-litre, four-cylinder CRDi diesel is offered in three different states of tunes. While in the base MX variant it can be revved more but is a bit humble at 153 bhp and 360 Nm of peak torque and is offered with the six-speed manual as standard, in the AX manual trim it churns out 182 bhp at 3500 rpm and 420 Nm of peak torque at 1600-2800 rpm. The torque output goes up to 450 Nm at 1750 - 2800 rpm when mated to the six-speed auto gearbox.


The Mahindra XUV700 is offered with both petrol and diesel engine options.

We've got the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with us which has been quite in demand. It belts out 197 bhp at 5000 rpm and 380 Nm of 1750 - 3000 rpm across variants and irrespective of gearbox options. And speaking of the gearbox, even this one is available either with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Now the petrol like the other two is offered with the front-wheel-drive setup as standard, while the diesel gets the all-wheel-drive (AWD) system as an option in the automatic iteration.


On the highway at higher speeds the Mahindra XUV700 pleasantly surprises with its handling and body manners while the ride too feels settled and not overly stiff.

The new petrol mill is a is a rather peppy engine. The bottom end shove is nice, the mid-range is really strong if you're driving this car in the city or out on the highways going on a long drive, you will enjoy this car and why I say so is because we spent a lot of time with this car because when we drove the XUV700 to Ladakh to Umling La which is the highest motorable pass on the face of this earth. The driving dynamics the handling of the car is perhaps the best amongst the three SUVs that we have here today. The car doesn't get out of shape. The feedback from the steering is really nice and even if you're cornering hard like we did on all those mountainous roads is feels very agile and eager. The XUV700 is also giving the safari some tough competition in respect to its ride quality. You can spend good time here without getting tired and on both dynamics wise and ride quality wise the SUV Scores very highly. Even in the third row in terms of ride quality and even handling when you are making those lane changes, it's much sorted and I feel it better then both cars Alcazar and the Safari. Just that I feel quite hemmed in because of tighter headroom and this short window area if that would have been made better.


The Mahindra XUV700 has the right balance between ride quality and handling while the Hyundai Alcazar feels very easy to drive in the city, courtesy compact dimensions.

So while the Hyundai Alcazar feels peppier and more zippy to drive in the city, on the highway it feels a bit stressed when revved to the red. The Tata Safari on the other hand is quite the opposite! It feels in its element on the longer and open stretch, while in city it feels a bit too bulky and cumbersome to cut through the traffic and isn't as tort with its body manners. But it's the Mahindra XUV700 with the right balance. You don't feel the length and bulk behind the wheel and it's pretty easy to drive in the city. On the highway at higher speeds it pleasantly surprises with its handling and body manners while the ride too feels settled and not overly stiff.


Well! Before the final answer, there's one very important aspect that we at carandbike have been stressing for a long time - 'Safety'. Recently we learnt about the XUV700 bagging a full 5-Star crash test rating in adult occupant safety and 4-Star for child occupant safety by the GlobalNCAP and if you haven't yet, do check out our exclusive crash test report video at carandbike's Youtube handle. Now the Tata Safari and Hyundai Alcazar are yet to be tested for safety. But all three SUVs get more then requisite safety features like ABS with EBD, electronic stability program (ESP) and Traction Control and also front, side and curtain airbags. The Mahindra XUV700 scores slightly higher as its curtain airbags extend to the third-row as well!


Models Mahindra XUV700 Tata Safari Hyundai Alcazar
Petrol Rs. 12.49 lakh - Rs. 21.29 lakh NA Rs. 16.30 lakh - Rs. 20.00 lakh
Diesel Rs. 12.99 lakh - Rs. 22.99 lakh Rs. 14.99 lakh - Rs. 23.18 lakh Rs. 16.53 lakh - Rs. 20.15 lakh

And finally everything boils down to the prices. The Mahindra XUV700 undercuts both models at the base variant by over Rs. 2.5 lakh while only the range-topping luxury trims are around Rs. 1.5 lakh more expensive than the equivalent Alcazar. The Tata Safari with all the bells and whistles costs over a lakh more than the fully-loaded AWD Mahindra XUV700. So without any second guessing, the Mahindra XUV700 has a big edge being the most affordable of the lot and by quite a margin, pretty much explains those overwhelming booking numbers!



All three SUVs have their own strengths and weaknesses.

In terms of look and design, the Tata Safari stands out. It has bold muscular appeal, a solid road presence and also the ride quality of the Safari on broken roads is really really good, and this car is really spacious as well. The Alcazar really scores higher in terms of features and for an urban buyer this looks very modern, and obviously the compact dimensions help in city driving conditions.


The Mahindra XUV700 is the most advanced and balanced SUV in the lot. It takes on the good qualities of both the Safari and Alcazar and builds on them. And so the newest SUV in the segment is the best SUv in the segment.

But it is the XUV700 which really takes on the good qualities of both the Safari and Alcazar and builds on them. It is a well-rounded package and when it comes to dynamics and performance it clearly takes the lead and that is why in this exclusive comparison of ours the newest car in the segment is also the best car in the segment.

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