Nothing is as exciting as to see a car that is built from the ground up. Since a new car launch these days will mostly be a facelift or a new body on an existing engine and an existing platform. KUV100 is one such exciting new car. The engine, platform, design everything is new.
While the front has SUV inspired design, the rear-end is a typical hatchback. Those Evoque-sque headlamps look nice but at the same can’t help thinking it’s a bit overdone. The curves and lines on the side could’ve have been much simpler. But that’s not important.
What’s important is the all-new ‘mFalcon’ family of engines that KUV100 features. The 1.2-litre petrol motor produces 82 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 115 Nm of torque between 3,500-3,600 rpm. The 1.2-litre turbocharged diesel unit produces 77 bhp at 3,750 rpm and 190 Nm of torque between 1,750-2,250 rpm. Both are mated to 5-speed manual transmission. The diesel impressed us with its 190 Nm of torque which is available at as low as 1,750 rpm; the petrol didn’t disappoint as well. The engine feels very refined and the 82 bhp of power feels just perfect for a car of this segment. The 5-speed manual has short throws and does its job pretty well.
One more important thing to talk about here is the practicality of the KUV100. There’s lots of space not just for humans but for storing things as well. Space under the seat, space under the floor, space in the door, space everywhere. Lots of knee room, lots of headroom. The 6-seater version may not be convincing to many but trust me, it does help in those rare occasions and when you’re not using it, it becomes a comfortable armrest. The positioning of the gear lever perhaps takes a while getting used to but by no means uncomfortable. Another thing that’s impressive is the quality of materials used for a car of this segment. The dashboard looks and feels nice, the instrument cluster feels nice. Overall, the build quality is quite impressive.
Talking about the safety, the ABS + EBD is standard across the model range and airbags are available in +(plus) variants of the 7 trims and for K8 trim, airbags come as standard. In fact, the K6 and K8 trims have an impressive amount of feature list. Now if all of your friends have either Swift or an i10 and if you always wanted something different, then perhaps this is the one that you might want.