Need a CSUV for a semi-rural area to replace our old Mahindra XUV500

We are looking for a car with only the essential features but the availability of an authorised service centre nearby is crucial.

BHPian khanmaj recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello BHPians,

Trust you and your loved ones are doing well.

I am very confused right now. I need your opinion on this post. I am looking forward to getting a car for my brother by November first week. It must a CSUV. Our 10-year-old XUV500 has clocked more than 225K on the odometer and now we have decided to let it go because of the age of the vehicle & frequent issues. I also have a Tiago here in Delhi which is going to complete 3 years soon. I have never had any issues with this little beast and it has run around 16K so far. The after-sales service has been satisfactory from Tata.

The new car would be a replacement for the XUV500 and the need is to get a small car with high ground clearance hence the CSUV. The car will be used in my hometown which is a semi-rural area in UP and the big service centres of all the manufacturers are in Lucknow which is around 200 Km from my place.

My brother is a newbie driver. He learned his driving on the XUV and he will be the one driving the new one.

Considering the above scenario and the authorised service centre availability, we have decided to get only the essential features in the new car as less electrical is equal to fewer points of failure. Now the main point – budget. It should not exceed 9.5L OTR.

The car must be very reliable and durable with less maintenance. I have shortlisted the below based on the requirement and the budget.

  • Nexon XE or XM (OTR 8.6 and 9.6L)
  • Brezza Lxi (OTR 9.2L)
  • Sonet 1.2 P HTK (OTR 9.2L)

The required features

  • Power Windows
  • Good headlights
  • Loaded with active & passive safety features
  • Steering mounted control
  • Back camera
  • Rear defogger would be great
  • Child safety & speed sensor lock

I have driven both Nexon and Brezza and found the driving dynamics and the handling is more than adequate at both low and high speed. I have not driven the Sonet though as most of the dealers don’t have the 1.2 P available for the TD. Here are the pros and cons of the above vehicles. This is purely my POV.



  • Superb handling and powerful 1.2 L turbo petrol engine across variants
  • Best safety features provided from the base variant
  • Ground clearance and amazing front fascia
  • Projector headlamps


  • Less refined 3-cylinder engine. NVH level is more than others in the segment
  • Service centre is still a gamble at least in the non-metro cities
  • Fit and finish is not as good as others in the segment

Both XE and XM variants are within the budget and the XE variant is more value for money considering the features we need and it has all the safety features available. I can get the audio system (Andriod Auto & Apple CarPlay) and camera installed from the aftermarket. The XM does not provide either of them anyway. The only thing which creates doubt in the mind is the unexpected niggles and issues that crop up in Tata cars every now and then.



  • Gem of a car with a 1.5 L NA petrol engine
  • Reliability and easy to maintain
  • Handling and drivability is more than ok
  • Maruti is known for good service centre support


  • Very bland and basic interior in the Lxi variant
  • The ugly black cladding reminds me of the Kwid
  • Maruti cars are known for rattling issues after a couple of years of ownership

The Brezza Lxi should have been our default pick but the all-around unnecessary plastic cladding looks ugly (no offence to any owner). This is the only car from Maruti which I can consider buying, the rest I would not even take a look at. The interior looks cheap and they have not given a headrest on the back seat. This is unbelievable a car costing north of 9 L does not even have a fixed headrest This makes me literally furious. They can put the cladding but not the headrest. Seems they are consuming some Columbian stuff.



  • Loaded with all the necessary features and has 4 airbags
  • The 1.2 L Petrol NA engine is refined
  • Good looking car and both interior and exterior feels premium


  • Not sure if the 1.2 L is sufficient for such a big car
  • It has the weakest engine among the shortlisted cars
  • Halogens headlamps
  • Kia cars are new to us, not sure how they will age
  • No first-hand experience with their service centre

Sonnet made the entry in the list after I saw the Brezza facelift which misses on some very basic features. This is a downgrade from the older generation Brezza. Both Nexon and Brezza are in the market for a very long time but the same cannot be said about Sonet.

Now, I have tried my best to provide you with the scenario, affordability, and requirement. Please help me here to make an informed decision. I would have taken any car from this list had I been using it but here the main deciding factor is the service centre availability and distance from my place. My brother would not be able to make frequent visits to the service center in case of minor niggles hence looking for something which requires only the annual visits for the service. Also, a special request from the Sonet 1.2 L owners to share their experience with the car in terms of reliability and the engine powertrain.

Here’s what BHPian shancz had to say about the matter:

Also, take a look at the XUV300 W4, might just make it price wise but see if the essential features are present.

Check if any existing stock of the older Brezza is available for a discount.

The Nexon has been around for quite a few years now and nothing major has occurred so you shouldn’t worry much about the niggles but the service experience could be hit/miss.

No idea about the Sonet.

Here’s what BHPian AZT had to say about the matter:

Is there any reason you are not looking at Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite? Renault should have a service centre in all major locations. I just checked the S-Cross base variant. It should also come at ~ 10 l OTR so maybe you can check that out as well if it has all the features you’re looking for.

Here’s what BHPian itsmeparvathy9 had to say about the matter:

The 1.2 litre turbo petrol on the Nexon (118 bhp of power and 170 Nm of torque) and 1.5 litre NA petrol on the Brezza (102 bhp of power and 137 Nm of torque) are much better performers than the 1.2 litre NA petrol of the Sonet and Venue which churns out just 82 bhp of power and 115 Nm of torque.

As regards refinement, the 4-cylinder Brezza and Sonet are more refined than the 3-cylinder Nexon.

The Mahindra XUV300 is a good choice but the W4 Petrol will cost 9.55 lakhs on road and is a bare-bones variant of the car, although the engine is great.

My recommendation would be that you buy the Tata Nexon XE Variant for 8.61 lakhs on road and spend the amount you save on the rear camera, touchscreen and accessories required.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Source: Read Full Article