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I Saw This Bizarre Mahindra SUV in New Zealand

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author photo by Doug DeMuro April 2018

Behold, a rather unusual sport-utility vehicle. I was walking through a parking lot in New Zealand, and I spotted this: The giant fender flares, the weird door handles, the endless odd cuts and lines throughout the body, the weird taillights. The rear bumper, with little bulges on it that look like the kind of thing municipal governments install on ledges to stop kids from skateboarding. Someone was just driving this around like it was a normal occurrence.

For me, of course, this was not a normal occurrence, because this is a Mahindra. You probably know Mahindra as an Indian company that makes small, utilitarian pickup trucks, but they make more than that; they also, apparently, make this SUV. It was badged as the Mahindra XUV500 W6 Automatic, which is, of course, a highly appealing name for any product, as long as that product is a mid-priced DVD player.

Now, I assume you'll want to know about the XUV500, so I've looked it up on Wikipedia, and here's what I've discovered: It came out in 2011, and it didn't begin offering an automatic until 2015. I really should've gone around the front, because things get even crazier up there. The grille appears to take up the entire front of the car, and then there are plastic pieces formed around it. It's really a lovely thing.

As for powertrains, the XUV500 appears to offer either a 2.2-liter diesel or a 2.0-liter diesel, both of which I must assume are 4-cylinder engines. The "W6" actually refers to the trim level; you can get a W4, a W6, a W8 and -- for the big spenders -- a W10. The W6's primary draw is that it includes airbags and disc brakes. According to Wikipedia, the correct pronunciation of "XUV500" is "XUV Five Double-Oh." Wikipedia also says the XUV500 is sold in India, of course, but also Australia, Chile, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa. Those lucky, lucky places.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
I Saw This Bizarre Mahindra SUV in New Zealand - Autotrader