Mahindra has launched its latest MPV in India named the Marazzo. The name ‘Marazzo‘ is Italian for Shark and styling, however, adds to the claim. With the Marazzo, it seems like Mahindra is leaving no stone unturned to grab a slice of the segment that’s been locked out by the Toyota Innova Crysta at one end and by Maruti Suzuki Ertiga at the other.
The 7 seater MPV gets all-new chassis, a new engine and gearbox, new mechanicals and crucially comes with a fresh design language. Well, we are going to test the ability of this Ocean Lion on the road. So let’s dig into it!
What’s it like on the outside?
In terms of Styling, the Marazzo resembles Shark a lot. Bits like the fangs on its grille and shark-fin shaped spokes on the alloys do look aggressive. The grille almost looks like a shark baring its fangs in a smile, it does looks aggressive, perfectly balanced well by the rounded edges of the projector beam equipped headlights, while LED daytime running lamps are positioned into the fog lamps. The fangs gets a little gold touch that looks classier than ‘regular’ chrome.
Then, there are the C-Shaped tail lamps, which take inspiration from the tail of the Shark and the overall body structure is built in such a manner, as to make it look agile and even vicious. There’s a sharp crease on the doors that adds character to the sides and looks appealing. From some angles, particularly the area between the shoulder line and roofline it does remind of previous generation Toyota Innova.
If the styling isn’t very unique then the chassis certainly are. The Marazzo uses a hybrid chassis that combines a ladder frame and a monocoque, which Mahindra says is the first of its kind – the company has even filed a patent for the design. We certainly don’t know any ladder-frame MPV with a transverse engine, offering a front-wheel-drive which according to Mahindra, posed its own engineering challenges.
However, the front wheel driven ladder frame results in more space in the cabin.
What’s it like from the inside?
Like the exterior, the interior design is changed too and doesn’t resemble to any of the previous-gen Mahindra cars.
There’s a lot that adds to the premium touch of the Marazzo. The dual tone finished dashboard, the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with haptic touch and even the leatherette upholstery, which provides good under-thigh support. As a Mahindra, quality of materials used has really improved; and that’s thanks to Mahindra North America and Mahindra Research Valley, Chennai for putting their heads together.
Now due to the ladder frame the Cabin of Marazzo looks quite spacious and airy. There are sun shades in the second row, one-touch mechanism of the second row seats makes the third row easily accessible. Also, the second and third rows can be easily folded to be able to move your whole house.
The cabin is loaded with enough space to house your bottles. You can plug in multiple devices, but the access to the port point was a little too low for comfort. The 7-inch Touch Screen Infotainment system is equipped with Haptic and Capsense Technology and is compatible with Android Auto so you may have good company on Google Music during longer drives. However, for iPhone lovers, sadly, there isn’t Apple CarPlay.
Like the charging ports, even the armrest on the driver’s seat acted as a hindrance while changing gears. You’ll certainly notice one change, in the handbrake lever. The hand brake design has been taken from an Aircraft throttle and looks good.
Being an MPV you would expect lots of storage spaces and cubbyholes. All door pockets in the marazzo, can hold 1-litre bottles, while the centre console has a total of four cup holders. The pair of cup holders between the front seats can be removed to provide a deep box to store stuff with a smart tambour cover. The cooled glovebox is large and there’s a pretty deep storage box on top of the dashboard as well.
The roof-mounted cassette-style air-conditioning unit is quite unique and Mahindra says it offers even and diffused cooling for all three rows. Mahindra also filed patent for this AC. With a roof mounted air-con unit there’s no possibility of a sunroof at all, which in an MPV is hardly a deal breaker. Whilst on the subject of roofs, we just loved the high quality knitted headliner, which feels so much nicer than the scruffy one you get on the Innova.
Well, being an MPV, owners really pack the family in and that for long drives so the seats should be comfy. And on this side, Marazzo doesn’t disappoint you. The front seats offer good lateral support and are designed to take large frames but the pair of captain seats in the middle row are truly impressive. Firstly, the seating position is just perfect so you sit nice and high without bending your knees. Under-thigh support is decent thanks to the long seat base and the arm rests, too, are perfectly positioned. The only complaint we had was that the cushioning was a bit too excessive in the lower back region, however it’s fine. The captain seats slide back and forth so there’s enough legroom even for tall people as well. The huge rear window gives a fantastic view of the outside and if the sunlight bothers you, window blinds (standard on the M8 variant) can be rolled up to block the sun. Now, this is impressive. Isn’t it? For those who are interested, the Marazzo will also be available in an 8-seat configuration with a 60:40 split folding arrangement. But i will recommend a 7-seater.
Space on the third row is generous, and tolerable even for adults, however, kids would be more comfortable here.
In terms of safety, the car comes with ABS and dual airbags (for the driver and co-driver) as standard. Useful bits of equipment are reverse parking sensors and a rear-view camera, that shows guidelines and also helps you in parking with audio visual guidance. However, features like keyless entry and a push start/stop are missing.
How it’s like to drive?
The Marazzo comes with an all new engine, actually it’s the D12 oil burner from the KUV100 which got an extra cylinder, results in increasing displacement to 1.5-litres and thus got badged D15 in the process. Crank the engine and the motor comes to life with a quite minimal noise, such is the level of refinement and once you get going too, the engine purrs along in silence, which i have to say is impressive.
The motor produces a decent 121 BHP and 300 Nm torque. Mid range on this car is great, power delivery is linear, however, redline comes in early at just 4300 RPM. On part throttle, the motor works brilliantly well but get the pedal to the floor and it simply leaves you wanting for more, more so when you want a quick overtake on the highway. The other big surprise is how light the clutch is – possibly the lightest we’ve experienced on any seven-seater.
The motor does have some weak points- it’s a poor power to weight ratio. As i mentioned above, there’s only so much a 123 hp engine in a car that weighs over 1.6 tonnes! Hence, flat-out acceleration isn’t very impressive and the Marazzo builds up speed slowly. It doesn’t have a sense of urgency and builds up speed in a slow manner. This clearly means that overtaking, specially on a single-lane road would need patience, especially when the seven-seater is loaded.
The 6-speed manual gearshift is light and easy to slot. However, it somehow misses that precise, rifle bolt feel.
What about Ride and Handling?
The steering is the best we’ve seen so far in any Mahindra car. It has got decent feel off-centre and weights up consistently as you pile on the lock. Due to its variable assist unit, it feels light at low speeds and gives you confidence when you go quickly. Directional stability, too, is excellent and our test car which rode on 17-inch alloy tyres held its line well through fast corners. So, overall, the handling is good. Now due to Mahindra’s all new ladder frame which offers front wheel drive, the driver seat gets superb viewing angles and taking sharp turns in this car is easy and possible.
Should i buy one?
Yes, performance isn’t as great as we would like but overall it’s a sophisticated car that has got a new design language.
Priced from Rs 9.99 lakh to 13.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it slots between the Maruti Ertiga and the Toyota Innova and has enough potential to grab a share!
Mahindra Marazzo Specifications-
* Engine: 1497cc, 4-cylinder, Diesel
* Power: 123 PS @ 3500 RPM
* Torque: 300 Nm @ 1750-2000 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed Manual Transmission
* 0-100 km/hr: 15.29 Seconds
* Suspension: Double Wishbone (Front), Twist Beam (Rear)
* Tyre Size: 215/60/17 (Front & Rear)
* Brakes: Discs (Front & Rear), ABS
* Safety: Dual Airbags, ABS, ISOFIX Mounts
Mahindra Marazzo Dimensions-
* Overall length x width x height: 4585 mm X 1866 mm X 1774 mm
* Wheelbase: 2760 mm
* Turning Radius: 5.25-metres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 45-litres