Which of these petrol-powered sub-4 metre SUVs offer the best performance in terms of acceleration, braking and economy on the open road? Let’s find out

The sub-4 metre SUV segment continues to grow in popularity and we’ve recently got our hands on the new petrol-powered Mahindra XUV300. While not meant for sporty performance, acceleration and braking are important aspects of daily use as well as road trips. Of course, fuel economy is a big concern as well when it comes to the petrol-engined variants.

First, let’s take a look at the engine specifications of these sub-4m SUVs:

Engine Specifications

Model Engine Power Torque Transmission
Mahindra XUV300 1.2-litre 110PS 200Nm 6MT
Tata Nexon 1.2-litre 110PS 170Nm 6MT/6AMT
Ford EcoSport 1.5-litre/1.0-litre 123PS/125PS 150Nm/170Nm 5MT, 6AT/6MT
Honda WR-V 1.2-litre 90PS 110Nm 5MT

In terms of engine sizes, the Ford has the biggest unit on offer and the most powerful as well. However, it’s the smaller Ford turbo-petrol engine that makes the most power while the 1.5-litre engine puts out 2PS and 20Nm less. All the other competitors here use a 1.2-litre petrol engine. The XUV300 has the torquiest turbo-petrol engine on offer. In terms of transmissions, Mahindra isn’t yet offering an automatic option but only a 6-speed manual with the petrol engine. The Nexon petrol comes with both 6-speed manual and AMT option while the WR-V only gets a 5-speed manual. Ford, meanwhile, offers a 6-speed manual with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine while the 1.5-litre engine comes with a choice of a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed auto.

Given the variety of engines, transmissions and available data, we will only be comparing real-world performance of the petrol-manual versions of all these sub-4m SUVs.

Performance Tests

0-100kmph Quarter Mile 30-80kmph (3rd gear) 40-100kmph (4th gear)
Mahindra XUV300 12.39s 18.47s @ 122.63kmph 8.65s 14.11s
Tata Nexon 11.64s 17.81s @ 123.21kmph 10.91s 19.09s
Ford EcoSport 1.5P 12.12s 18.26s @ 123.64kmph 10.2s 17.59s
Honda WR-V 15.31s 20s @ 113.24kmph 11.67s 20.54s

While not the most powerful or torquiest car here, the Nexon was the quickest to accelerate from zero to 100kmph and quickest to cover the quarter mile as well. However, the XUV300 was the quickest to accelerate up to speed in specific gears by quite some margin.

The Honda WR-V with the least torque was the slowest in all tests and the most powerful EcoSport turned out to be the second quickest in accelerating from a standstill to 100kph and completing the quarter-mile.

Braking Distance

100-0kmph 80-0kmph
Mahindra XUV300 41.59m 25.44m
Tata Nexon 40.63m 25.58m
Ford EcoSport 1.5P 47.93m 29.81m
Honda WR-V 42.21m 26.09m

The XUV300 is the only sub-4m SUV to get disc brakes on all four corners while the rest have disc brakes up front and drum brakes at the rear. The Mahindra covers the shortest distance when coming to a halt from 80kmph. However, from 100kmph, it is second to the Tata Nexon. The Ford EcoSport has the longest braking distance in both tests.

Fuel Efficiency

Mileage (kmpl) Mahindra XUV300 Tata Nexon Ford EcoSport 1.5P Honda WR-V
City 12.16kmpl 14.03kmpl 12.74kmpl 13.29kmpl
Highway 14.25kmpl 17.89kmpl 17.59kmpl 18.06kmpl

In terms of real world fuel economy, the Nexon was the most frugal in city driving, ahead of the WR-V and EcoSport in that order. The Mahindra XUV300 was the thirstiest of the lot in both conditions, worryingly so on the highway. The Honda was the most efficient on the highway, ahead of the Nexon and the EcoSport, in that order.

Source – Cardekho.com