Mahindra, a company known for UVs and SUVs is making its first big swing at the hatchback market with a UV itself! To call the Quanto a UV is just part of the deal. It's also a mini MPV and SUV rolled into one, or at least that's what the attempt has been. But is it a market that's waiting to be created? After all Mahindra have always used flanking as a strategy to get past its competitors and the Quanto is just that.
At first, it's hard to say whether the Quanto is a looker or not. Up to the C-pillar, the Quanto is very much a Xylo, the vehicle on which it is based. There is very little to distinguish the two, except probably that the side-strips give the game away. That's when you look beyond it and realise that Mahindra have re-engineered it to fit into the sub 4-metre category, to avail the excise duty benefit. The rear windows are more like quarter glasses, though these can be opened a bit ajar, ala the Toyota Qualis. The tail lamps are new and are place higher up while the use of black plastic strips along the pillars helps mask its mass. The rear tail gate is new and what you get with it is a mounted spare wheel to add to the pseudo-macho appeal of the vehicle. Look closer and you will also notice a rear step, which becomes amply clear why Mahindra have offered it once you open the tail gate. Inside, you get two side-facing jump seats to make it a sort of seven-seater, though strictly it's best for kids or decent sized adults. We, though would recommend it only in cases of emergency since they don't come equipped with seatbelts.
On the inside the mini-Xylo aka Quanto is pretty much the same affair. The dash, controls and front seats are pretty much from the Xylo. The Quanto is offered in four trims - C2, C4, C6 and C8 with the last trim offering both twin airbags and ABS as standard. It also comes equipped with the Xylo's digital display system that tells you the outside temperature, distance to zero and other important nuggets of information. The steering boss though is borrowed from the Scorpio and the dash and seat trim are in a new colour, which we find a bit out-of-sync with the rest of the car. The second row seems to have a new seat setup that's more upright and feels more like a bench rather than a comfortable sofa. The seat squab and back rest are narrower and of a harder material, which is fine on long journeys but on shorter trips it's a bit uncomfortable. There's also no provision of a central arm-rest in the top-end C8 trim that we test-drove. You also don't get twin-row air-conditioning like the higher variants of the Xylo and the air-con now gets an electric fan instead of a viscous one. The cooling is still good in the car, despite its large glass area.