Middleweight Mele – Nissan Magnite vs Mahindra XUV 300

Nissan Magnite vs Mahindra XUV 300

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The compact SUV segment is a hotly contested space in India with the likes of the Nissan Magnite vs Mahindra XUV300 taking on rivals such as the bestselling Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Hyundai Venue and the Kia Sonet.

One of the most sought-after features of the sub-compact SUV segment is the interior space it offers for the front and rear passengers. The Nissan Magnite and Mahindra XUV300 have a seating capacity of 5 passengers but it is the XUV300 that has a longer wheelbase and offers more cabin space than the Nissan. The Mahindra is the widest in this segment while the Nissan Magnite is the narrowest which translates into smaller interior space.

The Nissan Magnite has better ground clearance and has a large luggage space in this segment. However, it has a very small fuel tank capacity of 40 litres as compared to the Mahindra XUV300 which has a fuel tank capacity of 42 litres.

 

 

Nissan Magnite Vs Mahindra XUV300: Design

The Nissan Magnite gets sleek designed headlamps with L-shaped turn indicators and LED Daytime Running Lights that take up most of the space at the front. There is a dominating grille and the front bumper has skid plates with contrasting colours.

The Nissan Magnite has 16-inch, diamond-cut alloy wheels which offer good ground clearance. The rear has the same sharp design that impresses with a bold emblem on the tailgate, a sports spoiler and sleek rear tail lights.

The Mahindra XUV300 is actually based on the South Korean SsangYong X100. Projector headlamps dominate the front which features a slated grille. The headlamp panels also integrate the Daytime Running Lights and fog lamps.

The XUV300 gets side cladding made of plastic over the wheels and is fitted with 16-inch alloys and a floating roof design. It seems as if the XUV300 has been made to fit the compact SUV exterior, but overall, it looks proportionate due to the tailgate design and rear LED lights.

 

XUV300 Vs Magnite: Engine

The Nissan Magnite is available with two petrol engine options (Naturally aspirated and turbocharged). Both are 1.0 litre, but one option has a turbocharger. The naturally aspirated engine produces 71 bhp and 96 Nm of torque, while the turbocharged version has a maximum power output of 98 bhp and 160 Nm of torque. The naturally aspirated version comes mated to a 5-speed manual whereas the turbocharged variant gets a CVT gearbox (Continuously Variable Transmission).

However, compared to the XUV300, the Magnite lags behind in performance. The Mahindra XUV300 gets a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 108 bhp of maximum power and 200 Nm of torque. It meshes with a 6-speed manual transmission.

The XUV with 200 Nm of torque has quite the pulling power and has better linear power surge due to its large twisting force.

The Nissan Magnite does not have a diesel engine on offer, but the Mahindra XUV300 gets a 1.5-litre diesel with the option of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. It produces 115 bhp of maximum power and 300 Nm of torque. The XUV has the most powerful diesel unit in this segment and produces the highest amount of torque as compared to its rivals.

 

Nissan Magnite Vs Xuv300: Features and Variants

The Nissan Magnite is available in 5 different variants namely the XE, XL, XV, XV Premium and XV Premium (option). Some of the notable features of the Magnite include 16-inch alloy wheels, dual tone interiors, skid plates for the undercarriage, functional roof rails, automatic windows, an LCD instrumentation binnacle (3.5 inches), electrically adjustable OVRMs, automatic climate control, and a 6-speaker audio system that has steering mounted controls.

It also gets an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rearview cameras and push-button start. The Magnite is indeed filled with a lot of features in an attempt to persuade customers and of course, make their driving experience more convenient and comfortable.

The top-end version of the Nissan Magnite, the XV Premium gets an LED projector, cruise control, a 360-degree camera for safety, and a tyre pressure monitoring system. With the XV Premium (option) variant, a Nissan connect feature is available which has integration options for geofencing, vehicle status, roadside assistance, service booking and service history.

The Mahindra XUV300 comes in four versions, W4, W6, W8 and W8 (option). The W4 variant is equipped with 16-inch wheels, black interior (fabric seats), LED lights, body-coloured door handles, twin airbags, a braking system featuring ABS with EBD, corner brake control, all-round disc brakes, ISOFIX child seat anchors, electric tailgate release function, a central roof light, 12-volt electrical outlet, adjustable headrests,  parking sensors, automatic ORVMs, a connectivity app, power windows all round, smartwatch connectivity, an infotainment display system, and Bluetooth/Aux/USB connectivity for phone calls and for the audio system.

In the W6 version of the Mahindra XUV300, there are some additional features. Remote locking doors, a 7-inch infotainment screen with GPS navigation, Electronic Stability with rollover mitigation, steering mounted controls, and special follow me home and lead the way headlamps.

The XUV300 W8 variant comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, hill start assist, front and rear fog lamps, defogger for the rear windscreen, ambient lighting, anti-theft alarm, leather covering for the steering wheel and gear knob, cruise control, adjustable seats, illuminated sun visors, rear armrest with cupholders, dual-zone automatic climate control, illuminated glove box, electric OVRMs, voice commands and USB charging ports.

The W8 (option) is the top-end version of the XUV300 and comes with all the bells and whistles like 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, 7 airbags (front and rear), parking sensors, heated side view mirrors, dual-tone functional roof rails, three-point seatbelts for the rear seats along with a seatbelt reminder, sunroof and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

 

Long Term Review

The turbocharged engine of the Nissan Magnite is the highlight of the compact SUV. It is for those who don’t mind trading off some efficiency for power when you need it. A light tap on the throttle and the engine just keeps pulling past the 2000 rpm mark providing brisk acceleration. It may not be the most refined engine in this segment, but it works very smoothly once the engine has had a chance to warm up.

The CVT gearbox also gets a lot of plus points due to its refinement. Its tuning is so well done, that you don’t receive kickbacks from the gearbox while it changes ratios, and the so-called rubberband effect of CVTs is not present. Smooth modulation of the throttle is enough to get a jerk-free ride, and passengers will feel at ease. 

Some of the negatives of the long-term test of the Magnite are the basic features inside the cabin that don’t seem to have been well thought out. For example, the sport button is not placed on the dashboard, on the steering or near the gear shifter, but on the gear lever itself. Further, it is a small unmarked button that you wouldn’t have seen or even known that there was a sports option unless you pressed it by mistake.

Another pain point is when you switch off the ignition, you have to manually unlock the doors. For everyday use, this can become quite frustrating as automatic unlocking of the doors would be much more convenient.

Overall, the Magnite is a good long-termer. These issues mentioned here are only minor gripes and will not hinder your overall driving experience. The Magnite remains an excellent compact SUV with a strong engine and transmission combination. The cabin is comfortable too and copes well with long-distance drives and many kilometres on the clock. For daily driving and short commutes, the Magnite does exceptionally well.

The Mahindra XUV300 is comfortable to drive in the city and on the highway. The engine and transmission combination works nicely and is a huge improvement over the older generation Mahindra compact SUVs. However, even though it is a smooth drive, in stop-and-go traffic within the city, it isn’t completely at ease. The brakes are a tad grabby and difficult to modulate while the car crawls forward. 

The XUV300 requires light use of the throttle while the transmission shifts through the initial gears without much hassle. However, the transmission still manages to jerk ever so slightly between gear shifts and this seems unavoidable. Still, the Mahindra XUV300’s automatic transmission is one of the better transmissions you can get. For highway driving, it is best to use the tiptronic mode, because when it comes to overtaking the gearbox doesn’t drop down enough gears to provide the acceleration you require. The gear shifting in manual mode is not necessarily super quick, but you get good control and keep the engine in the right power range at all times.

 

Advantages of the Nissan Magnite

Nissan changed the game when it comes to compact SUVs in the market. Here are some plus points according to owners of the car

It is quite spacious given the compact dimension. With a length of 3994mm, width of 1758mm and height of 1572mm there is ample space on the inside. There is also a lot of ground clearance making the vehicle easy to drive over speed breakers and potholes.

The engine is small but powerful, especially the turbocharged unit. Both the naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines are 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder power plants. The turbo engine offers quite a punchy drive and can belt out 100 bhp of maximum power and 160 Nm of torque.

The transmission is available in two versions, a 5-speed manual and a CVT transmission. Both gearboxes are refined and easy to use and offer good driveability at all speeds.

Owners like the long list of features on the Nissan Magnite, some of which are first in the segment, such as wireless charging for your phone, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration on the infotainment system, a JBL premium sound system and rear AC vents.

Speaking of features, the Nissan Magnite gets a 360-degree camera which means it has cameras on all four sides of the exterior which makes parking in tight spots an easy task.

 

Advantages of the Mahindra XUV300

With the Mahindra XUV300, the best part of the top-end variants are the long list of features which includes keyless entry and start, automatic headlamps and comprehensive driver information system. With all these bells and whistles, you could say the XUV300 is good value for money.

Interiors are very premium and because of the XUV300s tall stance, passengers can get in and out of the vehicle with ease, just by slipping in and out. The front and the rear seats are equally comfortable.

The cabin is also very practical and there is a lot of head and knee room. The seats are comfy and you get cup holders all around. Also, the front and rear passengers get armrests which makes it all the more practical.

Coming to the engines, the XUV300s 1.5-litre diesel unit is very lively and a breeze to drive around with. It is smooth, refined and very quiet for a diesel. Be it in the city or on the highway, the engine works well with the 6-speed manual transmission and returns good fuel economy as well.

The petrol engine is a fine unit as well, with lots of torque and linear power delivery. Being a turbo it does suffer from a bit of lag, but it isn’t too noticeable and above 2000 rpms it works fine. It is not the fastest engine you could drive, but it picks up speed with ease and works exceptionally well with the transmission just like the 1.5-litre diesel. 

 

Nissan Magnite Vs Mahindra XUV300: Comparisons specs, features and price

 

Nissan Magnite

Mahindra XUV 300

Avg. Ex-Showroom Price

Rs.5.88 lakh

Rs.8.41 lakh

Engine

1.0 litre

1.2 litre turbo

Fuel

Petrol

Petrol

Power (bhp@rpm)

71 bhp @ 6250 rpm

109 bhp @ 5000 rpm

Mileage

18.75

17

Transmission

Manual 5-speed

Manual 6-speed

Overspeed warning

Yes

Yes

NCAP rating

4 star

5 star

Airbags

Dual front

Dual Front

ABS with EBD

Yes

Yes

Air conditioner

Manual

Manual

Parking sensors

Rear

Rear

Steering Adjustment

Tilt

Tilt

Seat adjustment

6 way adjustable

6 way adjustable

Upholstery 

Fabric

Fabric

Interior colours

Light Grey

Black and Beige 

Warranty (years)

2

3

Warranty (km)

40,000

Unlimited

 

Nissan Magnite 

Pros

  • It has a modern design that is appealing. A muscular exterior makes the compact SUV stand out from the crowd. 
  • The cabin is spacious with good interior space for occupants. Headroom and knee room are ample.
  • Powertrain and transmission options are smooth and refined. They are also potent enough to be daily drivers and excel on the highway as well.

Cons

  • Steering is a bit slow and could do with some more responsiveness
  • Controls are a bit heavy, some drivers may find it difficult to handle the vehicle with ease
  • The suspension could be better because it gives a harsh ride at high speeds
  • After sales network is not the best, number of service centres and dealerships could be increased in number to cater to a wider audience

 

Mahindra XUV 300

Pros

  • Engine options are potent and powerful. The power unit works well with the gearbox options and are formidable on the road
  • Ride quality is really good due to the absorbent suspension all round. The car handles high speeds well and keeps the vehicle planted to the ground even when the ride gets bumpy.

Cons

  • Exterior dimensions look a bit disproportionate and the car looks like it has been shortened to fit into the compact SUV segment.
  • Interior fit and finish are not the best. It misses out on a premium feel, and you would expect the quality to be better.

 

Ride and Handling Dynamics

The Nissan Magnite is a light and easy compact SUV to drive through traffic since the car has small dimensions. The car’s NVH levels could do better, with a little bit of harshness creeping into the cabin even at idle. However, the light steering and nimble handling make up for this disadvantage and give the Nissan a short turning radius.

The engine and transmission work perfectly together and makes for a smooth and comfortable ride as expected from a Japanese compact SUV. With the ample amounts of torque, gear changes are not required when you would expect one, and the transmission is a refined unit. Although the powerplant feels energetic and ready to go at all times, some of the sound from the turbocharged unit seeps into the interiors which is due to the lack of sound dampening material.

The turbocharged unit does not suffer from turbo lag and the Magnite gets anti roll bars for better ride and handling. The cornering dynamics are decent for a car of this size, but it feels a bit light at high speeds.

The plus points of the Magnite include a good suspension, refined powertrain and decent ride quality. It also gets an ‘economy’ function that makes driving more frugal. The CVT transmission is really useful for city driving from a convenience point of view. Of course, the manual gearbox is the sporty option if you really want to make full use of the engine power range. However, the CVT is responsive enough for spirited drives. It does give you a fair amount of acceleration without racing the rpms too much.

The Mahindra XUV300 drives perfectly and is a well-rounded package. Torque from the engine kicks in low from around 1500 rpm and maintains its pulling power all the way to about 3500 rpm. This means there is strong mid-range power, but anything below 1500 rpm and the car starts to lag a bit.

In city conditions, this works well, and on the highway, it has decent power for overtaking and maintaining speeds. You don’t have to work the throttle and gearbox for the XUV300 to perform. Gear shifts are smooth and novice drivers will find the experience quite pleasant.

Ride and handling on the XUV300 are smooth and rough roads and obstacles are creased out with ease. However, there is a bit of body roll around the corners because of the soft suspension but in city driving, it is hardly a bother.

 

Conclusion

The Nissan Magnite makes good sense for the buyer on a budget looking for a refined package with lots of features. It is surely a strong player in the compact SUV game and is up against the likes of the Tata Nexon, Toyota Urban Cruiser, Kia Sonet and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. The Magnite is a good-looking car and turns heads due to its unique and eye-catching design. It is one of the better-looking Nissan SUVs.

The Mahindra XUV is a well-rounded package and one of its main rivals is the Hyundai Venue, so it needs to be good value for money, especially on the feature list. The XUV300 ticks all the right boxes in the subcompact SUV segment. It has been selling well since its launch and buyers like the engine, transmission and handling dynamics of this SUV. The top-end variant is the most in-demand because of its features offered, and budget pricing.

The subcompact segment has always been hot, and it has many contenders. The Mahindra XUV300 stands out as being India’s safest car, a rating provided by NCAP safety standards.

The Nissan Magnite is a smartly designed SUV and well-proportioned to take on city driving. It has a spacious and practical interior which makes it an excellent family SUV. The comfortable ride quality means that bad roads can be tackled with confidence. The turbo petrol version packs a lot of punch and offers excellent driving characteristics with dependable power when you need it. It also boasts of an impressive feature list that is sure to wow buyers.

The Mahindra XUV300 is comfortable even on bad roads. The interiors are premium in their look and feel and the sub-compact SUV includes class-leading safety and convenience. The steering offers good feedback and is stable as well as fun to drive while offering lots of grip. The diesel engine is particularly powerful and makes highway driving a breeze.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q1. Which is cheaper, the Nissan Magnite or the Mahindra XUV300?

Ans. The Nissan Magnite is priced at Rs. 5.88 lakh while the Mahindra XUV300 is available for Rs. 8.41 lakh. This makes the Nissan Magnite the cheaper vehicle to buy between the two.

Q2. Which car has the better fuel economy between the Nissan Magnite and the Mahindra XUV300?

Ans. The mileage for the Nissan Magnite XE version is 18.75 kmpl and for the Mahindra XUV300 W4 1.2 petrol version, the mileage is 17 kmpl. Therefore, the Nissan Magnite is the most fuel-efficient vehicle of the two.

Q3. What is the difference between the W8 and the W8 option in the Mahindra XUV300?

Ans. The variants have feature differences. In the W8 (option) version, extra features included are 7 airbags, including knee and side airbags, leather interiors, tyre pressure monitoring system, parking sensors (front), diamond cut alloy wheels (17 inches), sunroof and dual tone roof rails.

Q4. Which is better, the Tata Nexon or the Mahindra XUV300?

Ans. The two cars are closely matched, but the Mahindra XUV300 has a slight edge over here. This is due to better features such as 7 airbags, dual-zone automatic climate control, and it gets a premium-looking cabin which looks upmarket compared to the Nexon.

Q5. Is the petrol or the diesel version of the Mahindra XUV300 better?

Ans. Both the engines are good. The 1.5-litre diesel produces a maximum power of 115 bhp and a maximum torque of 300 Nm. The petrol has a power output of 110 bhp with a torque figure of 200 Nm. They get a smooth 6-speed auto shift transmission which is a refined and easy-to-use gearbox. The fuel economy on both versions is comparable.

 

 

Colin Dias

Colin Dias

Automotive enthusiast. Heavy Metal fan. Classic car aficionado.

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