Mahindra XUV 3XO T-GDi AT First Drive: Revitalised Sub-4M SUV Guns For The Top

Five years on from the launch of the XUV300, Mahindra has given its subcompact SUV a new lease of life, along with a fresh name. Does it have the ingredients to make it one of the top names in the sub-4m SUV segment?

By Girish Karkera


8 mins read


Published on May 2, 2024

Follow us on



  • The XUV300, launched in 2019, has now received a comprehensive upgrade and a new name – XUV 3XO.
  • Six-speed Aisin torque-convertor automatic is new to the turbo-petrol line-up.
  • Features added, but price undercuts equivalent variants of rivals.

Valentine’s Day of 2019 was a special occasion for Mahindra, as it had launched its first ever subcompact crossover in India on that day. Named XUV300, it was a tad late to the sub-4m party, and ended up playing catch-up with segment leaders such as the Maruti Suzuki Brezza and Tata Nexon. Despite its inherent robustness, validated by a five star rating in the Global NCAP crash tests, a lack of features and dour interiors compared to competition remained a cause for worry. So, five years since, Mahindra has given it a complete makeover and a new name – XUV 3XO.


Also Read: Mahindra XUV 3XO Launched At Rs 7.49 Lakh; Gets Level 2 ADAS, Dual-Zone Auto AC


Mahindra 3 XO 28

The 3XO's face has nothing in common with the outgoing XUV300.

Design & Dimensions

Designed in house at Mahindra's studio in Mumbai and honed at its R&D facility in Chennai, the XUV 3XO is a facelifted version of the XUV300 and not a new generation. It is being built at its Nashik plant. Design changes are restricted to the front and rear. Silhouette and side panels remain mostly untouched, with the only obvious difference in profile being the addition of larger, 17-inch alloy wheels, with a marginal increase in ground clearance. 


Mahindra 3 XO 23

Still identifiable as the XUV300 when viewed in profile; note 17-inch alloy wheels.

While the 300 had a slightly more upright stance, the 3XO is clearly in the crossover zone from a design standpoint. It looks wider and more horizontal than before, and some SUV fans may not like that. The front is reminiscent of the bigger XUV700, which is good. The rear looks a bit overdone with the protruding tail-lamps; the infinity light bar is a good touch though.


Also Read: Mahindra XUV 3XO vs Nexon, Brezza, Sonet And Venue: Dimensions, Engines, Prices Compared


Mahindra 3 XO 20

‘Infinity’ light bar accentuates the width of the XUV 3XO.

Cabin & Features

Just like the exterior design has a hint of big brother XUV700, the view from the driver’s seat is also familiar. Sitting high and tall with a large steering wheel in your hands and a large, all digital instruments display has XUV700 written all over it. The overall trims and colours also give that sense. 


Mahindra 3 XO 2

The 3XO's overhauled cabin has more than just a hint of XUV700 to it.

There are two interior colour trims on offer – black and white. Unlike the XUV300, there is a 10.25-inch touchscreen, similar to the one we see on the all-electric XUV400. The user interface is simple and colourful, but a tad laggy. We had trouble connecting our phone to the system, but it could be because we drove a pre-production model. The 3XO has wireless charging, and will also get wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support via an over-the-air update in the time to come. On the AX trims, there is a full digital instruments display as well, which is the same size as the central touchscreen. The displays are similar to those on the other XUV models with interchangeable layouts. You can even mirror the map. While indicating, the central area also shows views from the side cameras.


Mahindra 3 XO 36

Larger 10.25-inch touchscreen is a tad laggy, but has a simple and colourful interface.

The steering is large and easy to grip with controls for media, telephone and adaptive cruise control. The top trim gets Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including autonomous emergency braking, which triggers along with audio alerts, and lane keep assist, which remains unobtrusive in operation. 


Mahindra 3 XO 41

Lower portion of the centre console still looks dated.

The lower portion of the centre console still looks a bit dated with its large buttons. These are to operate the dual-zone auto climate control, and are practical to reach and operate. There is a new 65W Type-C charging port too. Lots of storage spaces adorn the car such as multiple bottle holders in the doors and on the centre console. The front armrest has a storage space, and the glove box is cooled, too.


Also Read: Mahindra XUV 3XO Vs Nexon, Sonet, Venue And Brezza: Features Comparison


Mahindra 3 XO 43

Wireless charging included; 65W Type-C port added too.

There are some misses. Mahindra has used leatherette for the seats, but it doesn’t look too premium. While the white looks great, keeping it clean may be an uphill task in our weather and dusty conditions, especially given the way an SUV is used. The presence of seat perforation is not to be confused with seat ventilation – it’s not available on any variant. The touchscreen size is great, but it has a bit of a lag while operating. Visually, it has done a great job of taking attention away from the lower half of the console, which still looks too old-school despite the best efforts of the designers. And while the 3XO does have rear AC vents, we would have liked to see dedicated AC controls for the rear passengers, too.


Mahindra 3 XO 37

Panoramic sunroof adds even more of an airy feel to the 3XO's cabin.

The rear seats themselves are well bolstered just like at the front. The backrest is angled well too to provide adequate thigh support. Legroom and headroom are more than adequate for adults. Hip room looks better than others in the segment. The floor is almost flat which is good news for the middle passenger in the rear seat. Importantly, all three get three-point seat belts. The view is great, too, with the inclusion of the panoramic sunroof, but frankly, we wouldn’t mind a smaller sunroof given our hot climate. Boot space is still less than competition, but the usable space in the 3XO is more (295 litres) than what we saw in the XUV300 (257 litres).


Mahindra 3 XO 39

Rear seats comfortable and spacious; three-point seat belts and adjustable headrests added for all three passengers.

Engine & Gearbox

As before, the XUV 3XO is available with a choice of three engines – a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol, a 1.5-litre turbo diesel, and a 1.2-litre T-GDi from the mStallion family. The T-GDi unit churns out 19 bhp and 30 Nm more than the standard turbo-petrol engine. This can be had with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. The latter is a third generation torque-convertor automatic gearbox from Aisin.


Mahindra 3 XO 34

At the top of the range sits the 1.2-litre T-GDi engine.

The standard 1.2 turbo-petrol can also be had with the new Aisin automatic, while the diesel is available with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) that Mahindra calls ‘AutoShift’. This version has a certified fuel efficiency figure of over 20 kmpl. We reckon it would be around 15-16 kmpl in the real world. The T-GDi is rated at 18-20 kmpl (estimated 14-15 kmpl real-use) while the base turbo-petrol is claimed to return 18-19 kmpl, which would mean around 13-14 kmpl in normal driving conditions.


Also Read: Mahindra XUV 3XO Fuel Efficiency Figures Revealed: Diesel-AMT The Most Frugal Option


Mahindra 3 XO 19

Performance is strong, thanks to the near-130 bhp output of the T-GDi version.

Driving & Performance

Like other engines from this family, the T-GDi, too, feels super refined from the moment it starts and settles into idling speed. Floor it, and you are instantly gratified with a surge of torque. You can get the sense of speed as the gearbox climbs through the cogs. There is no hesitation and given a decent stretch you could do 0-100 kmph in just over 10 seconds and cruise effortlessly at 90-100 kmph all day. Overall NVH has improved, too, with this makeover.


Mahindra 3 XO 14

Softly-sprung 3XO is prone to exhibiting body roll in the corners.

The 3XO has independent suspension at the front and semi-independent at the rear. Ride quality is soft. The upside to that is bad roads are not felt inside the cabin, but the downside is that there is a bit of body roll around fast curves and during quick lane changes. The steering is light, which is great for tight spaces but not ideal for emergencies at higher speeds. The 3XO gets disc brakes at all four wheels. Brake feel is a tad spongy, but the bite is sufficient. Wide tyres provide ample grip at all times. The XUV 3XO does feel a handful at times on the highways, like a big SUV would, but is small enough to slingshot through traffic.


Also Read: Mahindra XUV 3XO: Variants Explained


Mahindra 3 XO 10

Prices for the XUV 3XO range from Rs 7.49 lakh to Rs 15.49 lakh (ex-showroom).


Born out of regulation, the sub-4m segment started off with sedans but is now dominated by SUVs from all brands, which means we have a lot of options. The XUV300 used to make a significant contribution to Mahindra’s auto sales, but wasn't in the top 3 of the consideration set for most Indians. That changes with the 3XO. The makeover has brought the freshness of new features, and Mahindra has been able to keep prices in check too, with the 3XO ranging from Rs 7.49 lakh to Rs 15.49 lakh (ex-showroom). A plush ride and the new automatic gearbox are added pluses. It may look more crossover than SUV now, but remains tough, ticking all the boxes that make it a genuine all-rounder that most middle-class Indians need.

Stay updated with automotive news and reviews right at your fingertips through carandbike.com's Google News

Related Articles

Latest Reviews

Research More on Mahindra XUV 3XO

Popular Mahindra Models