Mahindra mPACT XTV review

Brent Lilley recently checked out a range of Mahindra products at Hikuai on the stunning Coromandel Peninsular, including the Mahindra mPACT XTV.

Mahindra has recently teamed up with American company Intimidator to offer a range of American-built Mahindra badged side-by-side utility vehicles to the market, and while I got my first look at the mPACT XTV at the National Fieldays back in June, the test day was my first chance to see how it handled the conditions out in the real world.

The mPACT XTV is available in a range of configurations, a standard wheel base with either a diesel or a petrol engine and a long wheel base with an extra-large cargo bed also with either engine. It was great to have a standard wheel base petrol model and a long wheel base diesel on the test day for comparison.

Both the engines are produced by Kohler which has long standing reputation of quality small engines in the United States. The 750cc petrol engine is electronically fuel injected producing 25hp and in my experience delivered responsive power on demand. The diesel on the other hand is 1000cc engine producing 26hp which although is less responsive as you would expect it does have loads of low down torque and just kept going and going on the hills. Both use the same sized fuel tank with a decent 34-litre capacity.

The transmission is the same in all models, a CVT (continuously variable transmission) through a gearbox which gives hi, lo, neutral, reverse and park that are selected via a lever on the dash.

Four- wheel drive is selected with a toggle switch on the dashboard. Diff lock was also selected on via a toggle on the switch which was great to see, definitely made a big difference on steep terrain. Braking comes in the form of hydraulically operated disc brakes on all four corners which really helped hold the machine back on steep descents, interestingly the hand brake also locks the four wheels.

The ride quality was impressive and can be largely attributed to the Independent dual A-arm suspension setup found on all four corners that give around 250mm of travel to take the punch out of the rough ground. Interestingly, I found the long wheel base model noticeably smoother. A solid fully welded steel chassis is well built and takes the weight of the 545kg cargo capacity.

The 900 by 1500mm cargo tray provides plenty of space, although I wasn’t a huge fan, the massive 1500 by 1800mm cargo tray on long wheel base model will please many who have a big load to cart around.

The verdict

For me, it was great to have a firsthand look at these relatively new machines. I’m sure most will agree that there are already a lot of options in the side-by-side and UTV market; however, the mPACT range brings some new features to the table, especially the long wheel base model and its extra-long tray, which I’m sure will have a wide variety of uses and not just on farms.

A big plus for this range was the impressively sturdy and stable handling, even on steep slopes that I’d normally think twice about in other vehicles.

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