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OFF-ROAD TEST

Mahindra Scorpio S10





9 February 2017


Micro price, maxi fun
The latest Mahindra Scorpio SUV still offers a lot of 4×4 for the money. In its latest, new-look guise it gets a ‘S10’ behind its name, as well as a ‘Micro Hybrid’ emblem on its tailgate. So is it still tough enough?

aftab-shivdasani

TOUGH GUY
Aftab Shivdasani
Claim to fame: Indian actor Aftab started his career when he was just 14 months old. Since then, he’s appeared in countless Bollywood productions, including several action films. However, he is best known for his role as Prem Chawla in the comedy trilogy Masti (meaning fun).
Great quote: “That act is nothing! I will show you the real deal!”

The latest Mahindra Scorpio is a curious case of function, with a degree of flash.

Under the revised skin it is all function, with a ladder-frame chassis, transfer case and the brand’s 2.2-litre mHawk turbodiesel engine that produces 88kW and 280Nm of torque. The SUV rides on an independent suspension set-up, which is said to have been further improved and refined for enhanced stability and comfort.

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‘Flash’ because it comes with a host of features that don’t seem entirely plausible, nor necessary. Like a calm voice that tells you ‘to fasten your seatbelt’, or that warns you that a door is open. So no beeping, just a voice telling you why that light is flashing on the dashboard.

Another curious addition is the ‘Micro Hybrid’ nomenclature on the rear door. This bold statement actually refers to the Scorpio’s stop-start system, which shuts down the engine when stopped and automatically restarts it when you are ready to take off again. How that correlates with hybrid we’re not entirely sure, but this addition seems to have been bred in a marketing boardroom instead of an engineering meeting.

Be that as it may, for R300 000 you still get a heck of a lot of 4×4 for your money. New additions include the headlights with LED ‘eyebrows’, a new grille and bumpers, as well as new 17-inch alloy rims.

On the inside, there are plenty of standard amenities, too. These include a six-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in GPS navigation, a ‘rain-sensing’ wiper system, rear parking sensors and cruise control.

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In the 4×4 tests, the Mahindra got the job done. The eight-seater wagon features an electronic, shift-on-the-fly 4×4 selector dial (between 2H and 4H). On the rocky mountain tracks, the Scorpio’s 180mm clearance did require a bit more planning, but it got through okay. In the sand, the
mHawk engine’s 85kW did battle to drag the Mahindra over some of the bigger dunes, requiring the driver to build up some momentum before hitting the base of the dunes.

The S10 put its hand up to be counted in the Tough Test, though – despite recording plenty of airtime as it was hustled along at great speed over bumpy terrain, it never missed a beat.

So, in many ways, the Mahindra Scorpio S10 is similar to Indian actor Shivdasani. Functional and tough, rounded off with a bit of flash.

However, when all is said and done, the ‘micro’ sticker price of R300 000 (includes a three-year/60 000km service plan) really is its biggest asset. For many potential clients, that price will be a good enough reason to park an S10 4×4 in their garage.

Mahindra Scorpio S10
Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Power:85kW
Torque: 280Nm
Transmission: Five-speed manual
4WD System: Part-time 4×4 (2H, 4H and 4Low)
Traction Aids:None
Ground Clearance: 180mm
Price: R299 994

Illustration: Tauriq Loofer
Photos: Jannie Herbst and Deon van der Walt