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Mahindra Scorpio Classic review: The fun of the old SUV in the new design, as practical as before

Earlier this year, Mahindra launched the much-awaited Scorpio-N SUV which received an overwhelming response from the customers. Within 30 minutes of the opening of the bookings for the Scorpio-N, one lakh bookings were received. While the Scorpio-N has become a separate brand, the old Scorpio cannot be easily discarded by the company. The SUV is still selling in good numbers and garnering good bookings every month. Hence, Mahindra has decided to keep it in production under the ‘Scorpio Classic’ moniker.

Design & Style

Mahindra Scorpio Classic is built on the principle of retention and one thing that it has retained very well is the design and styling. It has been given the same boxy, classy and muscular look that has been running in Scorpio for years.

The same familiar design is found in front of it. It retains the clear-lens wraparound headlamps, the bonnet with muscular lines and the iconic hood scoop. However, the hood scoop is no longer functional and Mahindra has chosen to retain it as an aesthetic element. The grille is new and has six vertical chrome slats. It also gets the new Mahindra Twin Peaks logo.

Not much has changed in terms of front bumper design. It now gets very basic LED DRLs above the cornering lamps. The skid plate at the bottom is finished in matte silver. The wheel arches and quarter panels further enhance the muscular design and styling.

The first thing to catch your attention are the new alloy wheels in the side profile. The dual-tone diamond-cut alloy heels certainly look good and add to the styling of the SUV, however, sometimes it feels like the black finish on the wheels takes away the charm.

The cladding is now body-coloured and the new Scorpio badging is more pronounced on it. The SUV also gets a new mHawk badge on the quarter panel. The silhouette of the side profile has not been changed and this is a good thing for Scorpio fans.

Another signature Scorpio element at the rear is now back. The tall tail lamps on the new Scorpio Classic have been redesigned. This was a design element that first appeared in the 2006 Scorpio facelift but was dropped in the 2014 facelift. After a hiatus of over seven years, the tall tail lamp is back.

Apart from the tail lamps, other changes at the rear include a new Scorpio Classic badge, a prominently placed Twin Peaks logo and the S11 badge just below the Scorpio badge. The boot still offers more space and the large spoiler has been retained. Overall, the Scorpio Classic retains the old Scorpio design and styling.

cockpit and interior

The Mahindra Scorpio has always been a practical SUV and the interiors reflect the same. The Mahindra Scorpio has never come with a list of features, rather it only gets the features which are most important for a driver. The same nature of this SUV has been retained over the years.

It gets new beige upholstery, however, the overall interior layout remains the same. The seats are as flat as they always used to be and its fabric still feels a bit raw and rough, like it can handle the abuse. The first thing you notice when you sit on the driver’s seat is the steering wheel.

This steering wheel is borrowed from the XUV500 and is a muscular looking unit. In this, many features like cruise control, music can be controlled. Behind the steering wheel is an analog-digital instrument cluster in a blue backlight. It is definitely borrowed from the old Scorpio and gives a slightly modern look to the cluster.

MID is very short but still it shows a lot of information. It displays gear position indicator, odometer, two tripmeters, temperature gauge and fuel gauge. This MID is flanked by a large analogue speedometer on the right and a tachometer on the left.

Its dashboard is quite compact. At its center is a new 9-inch infotainment unit which is Android-based touchscreen and has good touch performance. The interface is like an Android tab and gives users the feeling that an Android tab has been inserted into the dashboard . The UI can definitely be improved a bit.

The SUV comes with six speakers as standard. These speakers produce bass notes very well, while the mids and high notes are not as good and the EQ tweaking is mediocre. The dashboard and center console layout remain unchanged, with faux wood trim adding to the premiumness of the SUV.

Premium features are not offered in Scorpio Classic. The finishing of the edges is not good at many places. Let us tell you that Scorpio has always been like this in terms of finishing. The company could have definitely improved its finishing. We found the connectors of the rear defogger open and this is indeed a major lapse.

Comfort, Practicality and Boot Space

The Mahindra Scorpio has always been a practical SUV and we get to see the same with the Scorpio Classic. Its seats are wide and comfortable. Contouring is missing on the seats and it feels like a flat bench, especially in the middle row.

The seats could have used a little more underthigh support. However, the leg room, knee room and head room are all excellent and it is difficult to find fault with the space offered by the SUV. Mahindra Scorpio is available in multiple seating configurations.

We chose a seven-seat SUV for review. It has two in the first row, three in the middle row and two bench seats in the last row which are side facing. There is also a nine-seater version, in which the first two rows remain the same, but the rear jump seats are slightly wider.

There is another variant which is for seven passengers. In this, the bench seat in the middle is replaced with captain seats and the rear jump seats are replaced with bench seats. However, when it comes to practicality, this configuration is the least useful. Mahindra claims that the Scorpio Classic has 460 liters of boot space, but it actually offers more.

Engine Performance and Driving Impressions

The first generation Mahindra Scorpio was powered by a 2.6-litre turbo-diesel engine which made it the most powerful SUV in its segment. In its final version, this SUV was made available with a 2.2-litre mHawk engine that generated 140 Bhp power and 320 Nm torque. Although now Mahindra has updated this engine.

The Mahindra Scorpio Classic is powered by the next-gen 2.2-litre mHawk engine. The output figures in this engine have come down a bit. This engine generates 130 bhp power at 3,750rpm and 300Nm of torque between 1,600 and 2,800rpm. This is 10 bhp and 20 Nm less than the older mHawk engine and hence there is a slight drop in performance.

The Scorpio Classic accelerates from 0-100km/h in 13 seconds, which is just a second slower than the old Scorpio. However, it is not so easily visible when it is being used in real conditions. This SUV is still capable of driving three-digit speed on the highway. A 6-speed gearbox has been given for transmission.

The gear lever is now cable operated. It simply means that the gear lever does not wobble and vibrates to such an extent that one would think it would fall. Apart from the new powertrain, Mahindra has also equipped the Scorpio Classic with a new suspension system borrowed from the Scorpio-N.

Adaptive dampers play a major role in improving ride quality. It absorbs bad roads and potholes very well. There is a sense of body roll in this and there is nothing one can do to reduce it.

The new Scorpio Classic is not available in 4-wheel drive in even one variant. However, knowing that it is a capable platform, we tried it off-road as well. It was easy enough to lift the rear wheels in the air as the SUV didn’t display much articulation prowess. However, it also demonstrated how capable the Scorpio really is in rear-wheel drive form as well.

Overall, the Scorpio Classic is a practical and capable SUV that will make you feel like driving the Scorpio of yesteryear. The company really needs to improve on its finishing. However, Scorpio buyers tend to overlook these shortcomings.

Security and Key Features

The Mahindra Scorpio Classic is a simple SUV and hence, it gets the basics even in terms of safety and features.

Mahindra Scorpio Classic Safety Features:

– Dual Airbags

– Panic Brake Indication

– Collapsible Steering

– engine immobilizer

– Anti-theft warning

– seat belt reminder

– speed alert

– Auto Door Lock

– ABS with EBD

Mahindra Scorpio Classic Key Features:

– 9-inch touchscreen infotainment

– Six Speakers

– Automatic climate control

– AC vent in second row

– Hydraulic Bonnet Struts

– Steering-Mounted Controls

The Mahindra Scorpio Classic is a perfect example of how a brand can retain its classic car. It is one such SUV which despite being 20 years old is still in high demand. Now, it has been introduced in a new design with a new powertrain, suspension and some comfort features. Whether to buy it or not totally depends on your need and personal decision.

If one needs a premium SUV with loads of features, great ride and handling and a host of powertrain options, then the Scorpio-N is the best option. However, if practicality and comfort are more important than a tech-laden SUV, the Scorpio Classic is still a good SUV.

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