Mahindra XUV700- Design , Feature-Rich Tata Safari- Suspension Hyundai Alcazar- VFM , Interiors
Mahindra XUV700- Expensive, Waiting Period Tata Safari- Noise and Vibrations Hyundai Alcazar- Space and Engine
Let’s start with the most car-like SUV in this group – the Alcazar. It’s the easiest to get in, and feels the most luxurious here (never thought I’d say that for a Hyundai!). And this is really down to the two-tone interior with mocha brown leather trim, gloss black finished surfaces and just the right soft cushioning on the seats with a great sinking in vibe.
The dash layout is identical to that of the Creta, with a fully digital customizable instrument cluster. The second row of seats could have been more spacious, lack side lateral cushioning on the ends of the 7 seat bench on test, but do offer a recline function. But a glaring omission was missing cupholders in the centre armrest for on-the-go coffee lovers like me! Regarding the third row seating, best left to kids or adults you’re less fond of.
Step inside the XUV700 and first impressions are lasting ones! You’re greeted with a plush white interior trim, a really wide slab of black glass in the form of a twin-screen setup, powered driver seats with controls on the driver’s door pad – straight off from the latest Mercedes SUV lineup.
The seating position is nice and high-set, with good ergonomics and most controls within easy reach. The seat cushioning is accommodating for plus-sized adults too but you will be nudged around while attempting some high-speed cornering. The second row of seats are comfortably firm, with a great sense of space aided by the panoramic sunroof. The left rear passenger also gets the boss button to move the front passenger seat out of the way to increase legroom. The third row is the most comfortable in this group, but not in the league of a traditional 7 seater MPV.
The Tata Safari, for the larger than life-size and imposing stance, the interior is starting to look dated. The sea of black on the top level of dash trim seems more hard-wearing and even though it is the roomiest of the lot, ingress and egress is not the easiest unlike the other two. The second-row captain seats are large and firm, but the under-thigh support is on the firmer side which can be a tad uncomfortable on long journeys. Ingress to the last row is relatively easier thanks to the space between the captain seats, but once seated comfort and space is at a premium for average-sized adults.
The XUV700 and the Alcazar trump on the technology and features warfront with the Mahindra boasting of segment-leading ADAS safety functions, and more active safety features than many cars or SUV’s in this class. The digital instrument screens are also crisp and easy to navigate but we did miss some useful everyday options like ventilated seats, rear sun-blinds and an auto-dimming mirror. Hyundai was always at the forefront to pack as many comfort features in its cars, and the Alcazar doesn’t disappoint. It only really misses out on the ADAS safety technology in this trio. The Safari plays the modern co-existing with convention card with its part digital instrument cluster, smallish but super bright infotainment screen, hard-wearing plastics and controls while missing out on 360-degree parking cams, blind view mirrors, dual-zone climate control and any ADAS functions in this test.