First Impressions of the TUV300 (With a Thar Up Close) !

On my way back from work in the evening I noticed a Xylo in a similar red color parked behind my Thar in the parking building in office. I spent a couple of minutes trying to get a decent photograph with all the harsh lighting and multiple other vehicles cluttering up the space.


I notice there is a TUV300 also there on the same floor and with empty spots available around it. Quickly abandoned the Xylo and moved the Thar close to it to get a better look and get some photos.

First Impressions on the Exterior:

It was a T8 version and seemed to have been just brought from the showroom as it had ribbons, flower garland and a paper on the front windshield with the owners name that wished him happy motoring. Poor chap probably had work to finish and had to do his first drive right back to office!

I don’t like this angle of the TUV300. There is a problem with the high sides and small skinny tires. Also too much of body color without any contrast.


Bonnets almost at the same level. TUV bonnet slightly higher.


Rear visibility will be a challenge with the high rear tire and rear seats. I struggle to back up with the Thar in tight spots.
The rear of the TUV300 ends a bit abruptly.
Side view is ok. The Thar is not visible in this angle is parked just after the TUV300. Door angle will take some getting used to. Take care opening the doors else you will hurt your head.


View from within the Thar.One of the very few other vehicles that has the same seat height as the Thar.


The paint quality seemed nice and color was good and the TUV300 definitely had presence. I was most surprised at the overall height of the vehicle and the height of the bonnet. The driver seating position is around the same height as the Thar.  This commanding seating position is what the whole SUV driving experience is all about for city dwellers where you get to see over the roofs of other vehicles. I think Mahindra have really got this facet right.

Tires look very skinny @ 215 . Up-sizing to 235 or going crazy till 245/255 may drastically alter its appearance (Don’t complain if your Fuel efficiency comes down as well) for better.

Overall appearance is really boxy but in a good way I feel. The photos without any other vehicle in the background do not do it justice. Up close in person it doesn’t look too awkward.

Wish its front had been better designed. The huge rectangular lower grille and almost square fog lamps don’t go very well with the upper grille and angular headlamps. With a rectangular headlamp design this may have been a true Bolero successor and really could have taken off well. Its current design has split the opinion of most people and most are really confused whether to like it or not. Some people on the floor saw it and came over to take a closer look and among the 4 that were there – 2 seemed to like it while 2 didn’t !


I was surprised to see the Dimensions as it shows the TUV is longer and wider than the Thar:

Thar TUV300
Length 3920 3995
Width 1726 1835
Height 1930 1839
Wheelbase 2430 2680

The width and height of the TUV show the reason for its square boxy look.

Tried my best to get the lens flare out but the parking lot lights seemed extra bright and my poor cell phone camera was not able to manage at all.

PS: Am still waiting a chance to go to the dealership for a TD as they didn’t want to bring a vehicle all the way for me :-(.

15 thoughts on “First Impressions of the TUV300 (With a Thar Up Close) !”

  1. Hi Sushil,

    I drove the TUV300 quite extensively when I reviewed it for CarToq. Though the seating position is high in the TUV, you can’t the edges of the bonnet. You get a cooped in seating position. I’m 5’7″, and it was a struggle to see the bonnet edges, even with the seat at its highest position. So, that’s a bummer there.



    1. Thanks for writing Jay. I am 5’7″ as well and even in the Thar you cannot see the left front edge. One gets used to it in no time but the view over other cars is something well worth the money I feel.

  2. Thanks for that great post. I was in fact searching for a comparison of thar and TUV sine my family is divided over which one to buy. this will be the third vehicle in the family. I drive close to 55 km a day to office and back – and use a honda city. I badly need a vehicle which can take me through the bad road of Kerala and give a good road presence! Thar is my choice and TUV is my wife and kids choice – I am the minority here! Will need to think again based on the comparison in this website!

    1. Hi Vinod. Thanks for writing in. If you have other vehicles for your family and like the Thar then any day it is the better choice. 4×4 ability, power steering and more powerful engine. The newest Thar interiors are spruced up as well. You may have to really work on your family :-).

      I drive around 50 km per day and love it. It is my daily drive for close to 3 years and 3 months now and have done over 30000 km with it.

      I will post a long term update soon. My earlier posted Thread is on Team bhp if you are interested.

      All the very best in convincing your family. This is a fully “heart” decision. If you think too much you won’t buy it. Set realistic expectations in level of refinement and product quality and you will enjoy yourself.

      Do let me know if you have any questions about the Thar and will be happy to answer.

  3. Hi Sushil, Yes, I do agree on the “heart” based decision. Thought of taking test drive of both Thar and TUV (automatic) with family on Saturday. My wife and kid are concerned with the fact that during long drives, we may have to again depend on our good old Honda city (2010)- if I opt for Thar. They fear it is a two seater vehicle and wont be comfortable for a long drive. We normally go for long drives every six months – around 2000Km span across a week. They are also concerned about the safetly features of Thar during such drives. Honda always gave us peace of mind during long drives with the safety.

    Second advantage they see with TUV is, it s a closed vehicle unlike open thar. Also the TUV we are opting is an automatic one (I have not done test drive of automatic, so cant comment on the comfort/power angle).

    Now coming back to some questions, how much mileage are you getting on Thar? How comfortable is the front seat? Is it possible to convert the back seats to bucket seats?what are the options available for hardtop? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Vinod. Yes safety is an issue. No ABS/Airbags and soft top. Best not to do 2000Km trips with wife and kids in it.

      I have done Chennai to Aluva and Chennai to Coonoor in the Thar and managed because it was only 3 of us (wife and 7 year old son). I do know we wont be able to use the Thar for much longer for long trips. I maintained speeds under 110 and took a relaxed drive – got there without feeling tired or stressed.

      A friend with 2 teenaged kids has also done long trips in the Thar.
      What we have both done together is fabricate a frame with a cushion that makes the entire rear space a bed with space underneath for luggage. Will upload photos later.

      As for FE in the city traffic I get between 10.5 to 13 depending on how I drive and AC Usage. On the long highway trips I have managed a consistent 14+. Best so far was 15.11 Kmpl and managed Aluva – Chennai on a single tank with AC on all the time)(60L tank of which I used only 49 Liters !!!).

      Front seats are absolutely fine for me and I have not changed them or the rear seats. People have converted the rear seats to front facing benches or even done single seats. The same friend I mentioned has added some additional padding to his Thar’s front seats for his comfort.

      As for hard tops checkout the hardtop thread for the Thar on TeamBHP. Many options exist in fiberglass/metal and range from 50 K till around 2L. Do check with RT Auto Catalyst in Kottayam ( -lots of photos there) for hard tops as well as other accessories which are available in plenty – your budget is your only limit.

      As for the TUV Automatic I believe it may seem a bit underpowered but do take a test drive and let me know how it feels. Its definitely a safer bet than the Thar.

      TUV in black seems to be the best looker of the lot saw one both yesterday and today. But park a Thar and TUV next to each other – Thar wins any day in the heart category :-).

  4. Hi Sushil, had a test drive of TUV Automatic – the AMT gear system is slightly diff from the one you normally find in Maruti or Tata. The gear is always at the centre position. towards right you have neutral, left you have D or run, straight up or down is gear +&-. Right bottom is the reverse. The gear nob will not stay at any position, it will just return back to the centre position – something like your PS3 joystick.

    The test vehicle has some issues with hand break, it was difficult to reverse using accelerator alone. Pick up was ok, no that great, but i didn’t feel any power issues in the vehicle in the range of 40 – 60 km. Couldnt drive any faster as the test drive was around 11 pm in Saturday traffic.

    I managed to drive it through a really bad road (no road at all). TUV managed without much issues. AC was powerful and front seats were comfortable.

    After that i had the test drive of Thar – its a rough and tough vehicle. But the the power feel you have when you are inside Thar…it is different. 🙂 I am trying hard to convince my wife on Thar.

    I had one specific thing to ask about Thar. It seems the breaks were not that powerful like my honda/ ritz. Is it like that for all Thars? The sales guy gave me some stupid reasons like weight of the vehicle and all. Which was not convincing. Could you please advise?

  5. Hi, Got delivery of Red TUV 300 AMT on Friday. There was one RED TUV 300 which came in,but the guy who booked cancelled it. So TVS approached me as the next person on the list for an AMT. Changed by booking from black TUV to Red.
    Till today clocked around 170 KM. Sushil, is there anyway I can put some pictures here? Drive is good, since i was driving a Honda city and felt the tall boy design is very good. That gives a good road command. Found it to be a attention grabber – at least for now as you don’t have more than 2 or 3 TUVs on road in Trivandrum. Initial ride was bumpy,so was wondering whether the tyre was over inflated. Got it checked and all fine. My friend intact owns a MRF tyre centre and he said its natural for a Mahindra. He also commented the ride is better compared to his Fortuner – not as bumpy. Dont know if its because i got used to the ride – it seems to have settled down. There is a small rattling sound from the left front side. Seems to be from the dashboard – not always, but when i am accelerating and auto is about to change the gear. Not from the engine bay of course. You will feel the gear change similar to any AMT. Open for questions on the vehicle!

  6. Hi Vinod. First Congrats on the new TUV300 !

    Please email me your photos and will be glad to put up a separate post for you. Would really appreciate if you could answer these questions via email along with photos that way a lot of typical questions are avoided. I will share a draft with you with data you already shared with a user ID where you can update content directly..

    Which dealer did you get it from and how was your purchase experience ?
    Any freebies received at time of purchase?
    What are the accessories you added on and what do you feel are must haves for someone buying this vehicle ?
    Any good points/features that stand out ?
    Any irritants or negatives that stand out ?

    The TBHP official review thread of the TUV has couple of owners talking about noise from front left door. Maybe that is the same for you.

  7. Which dealer did you get it from and how was your purchase experience ?

    I bought it from TVS Trivandrum. Initially had booked a black T8 AMT, with an estimated delivery period of Jan 2016. I got a call 30th October from the sales executive saying there is a cancellation and one Red T8 AMT is available. I went to showroom to see the vehicle on 31st. I saw the vehicle, but couldn’t open and see the inside as they couldn’t find the key! So I just took some snaps from the outside and came back. Told the executive that I will confirm by Monday.

    Monday,, after convincing my wife on the colour, I called the executive and confirmed the colour. They wanted me to send a mail to someone in Mahindra about the colour change. I did that and requested for a PDI checking. Then started the drama. I send my friend for the PDI checking, and the sales head says the vehicle has not yet arrived. My friend asked about the vehicle which was shown to us on Saturday. Sales head Mr Aji informed us that the vehicle that was shown was billed to Kottayam showroom and so was send back to Kottayam. The vehicle billed against my name is in transit. There seemed to be a clear communication gap between the Sales head and Sales Executive. Finally Sales head blamed all mistake on the sales executive and said the vehicle will arrive on Wednesday and I can do the PDI.

    PDI, well was quite easy – since this is a new model. 25km on odometer. No scratches.

    I requested for a delivery on 6th (Friday) and here comes another bomb – Sales exe confirmed that there is a PDI checking from Mahindra and it will take 3 days. I wanted to understand what exactly is that and why it is taking 3 days? Finally some talks between me – sales exe – sales head, they agreed on 6th.

    TVS confirmed delivery on 6th at 2.30. Went there with my wife and kid. After signing necessary papers, they explained the warranty, road side support etc. Then went to the delivery centre to take delivery of the tank. They had the lemons purchased.

    Any freebies received at time of purchase? – nothing, just a packet of laddu. Nothing else.
    What are the accessories you added on and what do you feel are must haves for someone buying this vehicle ? – no accessories. I needed the wheel cladding for that butch look. however, TVS required a months time to get that. So for the time being, the vehicle is virgin – no added accessories.

    Any good points/features that stand out ? – So far I am enjoying the drive. High seating position compared to my Honda city, I have that SUV driving feel!
    Any irritants or negatives that stand out ? There is a rattling sound from the leftside of dashboard. On further evaluation, i foud that this is coming from the airbag unit vibrating and touching the plastic portion of the dashboard. Seems some nut/screw is loose there. Called the service desk and they asked to bring the vehicle next Saturday.

    I can see a screw lying at the bottom of the engine bay. Which is in fact glued to the metal part. Glued by the body paint. Hopefully, during assembling, the screw fell down and got glued itself to the body during paint job :).

  8. Hi Sushil – clocked around 800+ Km in the TUV. Today when I started the vehicle, it won’t start – just changed back to Auto mode and again back to neutral – the engine starts. But the AMT warning light is there. Called TVS – asked me to bring the vehicle to the service centre. Now need to check what’s happening?

  9. Hi, Being a long time – clocked around 4500 km in TUV. Went for a long drive of 2200 KM (Trivandrum – Madurai – Coimbatore – Mysore – Shravanbelagola – Belur – Murudeshwar – uduppi – Mangalore – Kasargode – Calicut – Cochin – Alleppy – Trivandrum).

    Tested TUV to the core – Hairpins, best roads, worst roads, no roads. Thanks to the robust build, TUV performed well. Highway speed is limited to around 100km (even I didn’t try to push it further as first service was not over). Got an average of 16.3 Kmpl.

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