Mahindra Scorpio-N first-drive review: Re-born Scorpio bares modern stinger

Mahindra Scorpio-N storms into the SUV space as the fourth major launch from Mahindra in recent times. Looking to build on the success of the Scorpio, Scorpio-N however is an all-new product.
By : Shubhodeep Chakravarty
| Updated on: 30 Jun 2022, 10:03 AM
Mahindra Scorpio-N joins the likes of Thar, XUV700 and Bolero Neo as the new-age SUVs that promise comfort and style while still holding on to robust traits.
Mahindra officially launched its Scorpio-N SUV for the Indian market. Price of the Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV begins from of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>11.99 lakh for the Z2 Petrol MT variant and goes up to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>19.49 lakh for the Z8 L Diesel MT variant.
Bookings for the Mahindra Scorpio-N will begin online and at Mahindra dealerships from July 30, 11 am onwards. The automaker has planned to start deliveries of the Scorpio-N SUV in the upcoming festive season. 
The cabin of the newly launched Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV sports a premium look and features a 12-speaker Sony system with 3D surround system.
The Mahindra Scorpio N also features 20.32-cm infotainment screen which is compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. 
The Mahindra Scorpio N also comes with the widest sunroof in the segment, rich coffee black leatherette seats, six-way power adjustable seats and 70+ connected car features.
Mahindra Scorpio N is 206 mm long, 97 mm wide and has 70 mm more wheelbase compared to the Scorpio Classic. It rides on R18 and R17 diamond cut alloy wheels, and sports signature double barrel LED Projector headlamps, tall stacked LED tail lamps, shark-fin antenna and electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs, among other exterior features.
The Mahindra Scorpio-N features an mStallion petrol engine that can create power output of 200PS and 380 Nm while the mHawk diesel engine is capable of delivering 175 PS and 400 Nm. The automaker says the new SUV delivers the lowest CO2 in its segment. It has six-speed manual as well as auto gearbox options and is also equipped with first-in-segment shift-by-cable technology.
Mahindra Scorpio-N joins the likes of Thar, XUV700 and Bolero Neo as the new-age SUVs that promise comfort and style while still holding on to robust traits.
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Mahindra officially launched its Scorpio-N SUV for the Indian market. Price of the Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV begins from of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>11.99 lakh for the Z2 Petrol MT variant and goes up to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>19.49 lakh for the Z8 L Diesel MT variant.
1/7
Mahindra officially launched its Scorpio-N SUV for the Indian market. Price of the Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV begins from of 11.99 lakh for the Z2 Petrol MT variant and goes up to 19.49 lakh for the Z8 L Diesel MT variant.
Bookings for the Mahindra Scorpio-N will begin online and at Mahindra dealerships from July 30, 11 am onwards. The automaker has planned to start deliveries of the Scorpio-N SUV in the upcoming festive season. 
2/7
Bookings for the Mahindra Scorpio-N will begin online and at Mahindra dealerships from July 30, 11 am onwards. The automaker has planned to start deliveries of the Scorpio-N SUV in the upcoming festive season. 
The cabin of the newly launched Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV sports a premium look and features a 12-speaker Sony system with 3D surround system.
3/7
The cabin of the newly launched Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV sports a premium look and features a 12-speaker Sony system with 3D surround system.
The Mahindra Scorpio N also features 20.32-cm infotainment screen which is compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. 
4/7
The Mahindra Scorpio N also features 20.32-cm infotainment screen which is compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. 
The Mahindra Scorpio N also comes with the widest sunroof in the segment, rich coffee black leatherette seats, six-way power adjustable seats and 70+ connected car features.
5/7
The Mahindra Scorpio N also comes with the widest sunroof in the segment, rich coffee black leatherette seats, six-way power adjustable seats and 70+ connected car features.
Mahindra Scorpio N is 206 mm long, 97 mm wide and has 70 mm more wheelbase compared to the Scorpio Classic. It rides on R18 and R17 diamond cut alloy wheels, and sports signature double barrel LED Projector headlamps, tall stacked LED tail lamps, shark-fin antenna and electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs, among other exterior features.
6/7
Mahindra Scorpio N is 206 mm long, 97 mm wide and has 70 mm more wheelbase compared to the Scorpio Classic. It rides on R18 and R17 diamond cut alloy wheels, and sports signature double barrel LED Projector headlamps, tall stacked LED tail lamps, shark-fin antenna and electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs, among other exterior features.
The Mahindra Scorpio-N features an mStallion petrol engine that can create power output of 200PS and 380 Nm while the mHawk diesel engine is capable of delivering 175 PS and 400 Nm. The automaker says the new SUV delivers the lowest CO2 in its segment. It has six-speed manual as well as auto gearbox options and is also equipped with first-in-segment shift-by-cable technology.
7/7
The Mahindra Scorpio-N features an mStallion petrol engine that can create power output of 200PS and 380 Nm while the mHawk diesel engine is capable of delivering 175 PS and 400 Nm. The automaker says the new SUV delivers the lowest CO2 in its segment. It has six-speed manual as well as auto gearbox options and is also equipped with first-in-segment shift-by-cable technology.

For well over two decades, the Mahindra Scorpio has been an indomitable force in the SUV market in India and its machismo image as a strong and no-nonsense vehicle has been highlighted as much by its many customers over these years as it has by Bollywood action thrillers that portray it as a physics-defying automotive engineering marvel. Is there anything that the Scorpio cannot do - fly, bite, roar and race? At a time when SUVs are a dime a dozen in the Indian passenger vehicle segment, Scorpio has thus far retained its inherent strengths of being a capable drive option without pampering its owner or passengers inside.

But evolution is inevitable, even among cars. Past laurels and claimed gravity-defying capabilities alone may not keep you going strong. And this is perhaps why Mahindra has been testing the new Scorpio for a considerable period of time, eventually launching it this past week as an entirely new package. Named Scorpio-N, the latest Scorpio will be sold alongside the existing model but apart from part of the name, has nothing in common with it. The Scorpio-N hopes to benefit from the moniker but is confident of paving its own special path forward and replicate the success that Mahindra has had with the updated Thar and the XUV700.

The Mahindra Scorpio-N is offered in seven body colour options.
The Mahindra Scorpio-N is offered in seven body colour options.
The Mahindra Scorpio-N is offered in seven body colour options.
The Mahindra Scorpio-N is offered in seven body colour options.

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Mahindra has been perfecting a simple art for success in the SUV war, one that is based on four fundamental pillars - masculine yet stylish design, robust build, premium and upmarket cabin, and a feature-loaded package. Whether it is the updated Thar or the new XUV700 or even the Bolero Neo, these four crucial aspects have become massively integral to concentrated efforts of dominating the SUV space because, well, raw muscles alone won't quite cut it for the new-age Indian customer.

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And as such, the new Mahindra Scorpio-N too appears as a very real manifestation of all these four factors coming together. Mahindra claims that the top variants will even take on D-segment SUVs and while that is a massively bold claim, does the Scorpio-N have what it takes to obliterate its direct rivals?

Mahindra Scorpio N VariantsPetrol MTDiesel MT
Z2 11.99 lakhs 12.46 lakhs
Z4 13.49 lakhs 13.99 lakhs
Z6--- 14.99 lakhs
Z8 16.99 lakhs 17.49 lakhs
Z8L 18.99 lakhs 19.49 lakhs

Here's the first full-drive review of Mahindra Scorpio-N:

Mahindra Scorpio-N visual highlights:

Scorpio-N has been built from the ground up as a completely new product. As such, it is yet another fresh take from Mahindra about how modern SUVs, according to it, ought to be like - dominating road presence but with plenty of stylish cues from every side and angle.

Mahindra Scorpio-N has a solid road presence even if it is shorter in length than the Scorpio.
Mahindra Scorpio-N has a solid road presence even if it is shorter in length than the Scorpio.
Mahindra Scorpio-N has a solid road presence even if it is shorter in length than the Scorpio.
Mahindra Scorpio-N has a solid road presence even if it is shorter in length than the Scorpio.

Part of that dominating road presence comes courtesy a slatted grille with plenty of chrome additions on it and a muscular bonnet with strong character lines. And the stylish cues come from the all-new twin-pod housing for the projector LED headlights and the C-shaped LED DRL units which appear like the stinger tail of a Scorpion - mighty clever!

The C-shaped LED DRLs have a Scorpion-like design, complete with the menacing stinger tail.
The C-shaped LED DRLs have a Scorpion-like design, complete with the menacing stinger tail.
The C-shaped LED DRLs have a Scorpion-like design, complete with the menacing stinger tail.
The C-shaped LED DRLs have a Scorpion-like design, complete with the menacing stinger tail.

There's also the new Mahindra logo for SUVs - first shown on the XUV700 - but even if one removes this, it is amply clear that this here is a vehicle from the Mahindra camp.

This is also true from the side with the Scorpio-N standing on 17 or 18-inch wheels depending on the variant. There is nothing radical about the design of the alloys, or the entire side profile of the vehicle for that matter, but it is clean profile meant to underline the road presence of the vehicle. Longer, wider and with a longer wheelbase than the Scorpio, the Scorpio-N benefits from large windows, humungous ORVMs, chrome on the door handles and a chrome underline under the window which shapes in to resemble a Scorpion tail again. And although the newer model is lower by over 100 mm than the Scorpio, it does get sidesteps and has a ground clearance of over 180 mm.

A look at the side profile of Mahindra Scorpio-N.
A look at the side profile of Mahindra Scorpio-N.
A look at the side profile of Mahindra Scorpio-N.
A look at the side profile of Mahindra Scorpio-N.

But move to the rear profile and the dominating presence diminishes a fair bit. Visually, the Scorpio-N somehow appears narrower than what the number would suggest and the vertically-oriented LED tail light units resemble light design we have previously seen on other models. In fact, there is even a bit of Xylo-like overall rear design, complete with the side-opening door carried forward from the Scorpio. Could Mahindra designers have equipped the vehicle with an upward-opening trunk door, especially since the third row inside gets conventional bench seats and not jump seats? Sure. But not.

A look at the rear profile of Mahindra Scorpio-N.
A look at the rear profile of Mahindra Scorpio-N.
A look at the rear profile of Mahindra Scorpio-N.
A look at the rear profile of Mahindra Scorpio-N.

Mahindra Scorpio-N cabin highlights:

Step inside the Scorpio-N and the complete overhaul is even more evident over the Scorpio. On the contrary, there is some degree of influence from the XUV700, complete with the black and brown colour theme on the dashboard, side doors and upholstery. The dashboard itself has plenty of brushed satin addition and houses the vertically-oriented air vents and the eight-inch AdrenoX-powered infotainment screen. Personally, I feel the screen size could have been at least two inches bigger but that aside, it is quite easy to use and responds to touch inputs precisely.

A look at the dashboard layout inside Mahindra Scorpio-N.
A look at the dashboard layout inside Mahindra Scorpio-N.
A look at the dashboard layout inside Mahindra Scorpio-N.
A look at the dashboard layout inside Mahindra Scorpio-N.

The software inside the screen on our test unit was, however, a pre-production version which meant it was also quite buggy and often went off without any reason. I believe, and hope, that this is fixed on units sold to actual customers.

The infotainment display screen inside test unit of Scorpio-N had its occasional stutter but customer units are likely to get updated screens.
The infotainment display screen inside test unit of Scorpio-N had its occasional stutter but customer units are likely to get updated screens.
The infotainment display screen inside test unit of Scorpio-N had its occasional stutter but customer units are likely to get updated screens.
The infotainment display screen inside test unit of Scorpio-N had its occasional stutter but customer units are likely to get updated screens.

I also wish that the driver display on offer was an all-digital screen rather than the semi-digital cluster. It, however, is sufficiently large.

The center console has been designed well and houses the gear unit although hard plastics all around here makes the otherwise premium appeal lose a bit of its sheen. There is also an electric sunroof but going by what several rivals are now offering, it could have been a panoramic glass rather than the conventional size it is at present.

The Scorpio-N gets several charging options for smartphones - from USB and type-C USB ports to wireless charging pads and 12V sockets.
The Scorpio-N gets several charging options for smartphones - from USB and type-C USB ports to wireless charging pads and 12V sockets.
The Scorpio-N gets several charging options for smartphones - from USB and type-C USB ports to wireless charging pads and 12V sockets.
The Scorpio-N gets several charging options for smartphones - from USB and type-C USB ports to wireless charging pads and 12V sockets.

But as far as space and comfort are concerned, the Scorpio-N fares reasonably well with generous leg room, knee room and head room for passengers in the second row. Under-thigh support is also quite impressive which means that long-distance travel in this vehicle is likely to be quite a comfortable experience. Do remember though that the Scorpio comes with both six as well as seven-seat configurations which means dedicated seats in the middle row would further increase the comfort quotient.

Complete with an armrest in the middle, the second-row seats inside the Scorpio-N are the best place to be in.
Complete with an armrest in the middle, the second-row seats inside the Scorpio-N are the best place to be in.
Complete with an armrest in the middle, the second-row seats inside the Scorpio-N are the best place to be in.
Complete with an armrest in the middle, the second-row seats inside the Scorpio-N are the best place to be in.

The all-important third-row seats are, well, nothing much to write home about. The tumble down function on the second-row opens the entry area fairly well but space is still rather limited. The bench seats aren't too comfortable either and there are no dedicated AC vents here. Instead, one gets a cup holder on either side and a 12V charging point.

Third-row seat space is at a premium inside Scorpio-N.
Third-row seat space is at a premium inside Scorpio-N.
Third-row seat space is at a premium inside Scorpio-N.
Third-row seat space is at a premium inside Scorpio-N.

Even if one does decide to fold the last-row seats, these don't form a flat bed entirely which means luggage stored here may toss and tumble if there's an excitable driver behind the wheel.

And why won't one be excitable when behind the wheel of the Scorpio-N?

Mahindra Scorpio-N drive highlights:

The Scorpio-N is offered in two engine options and two transmission choices. There is the mStallion turbo petrol engine that's good for 200 bhp and 380 Nm of max torque while the 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine offers two separate tune states depending on the variant. The Z2 variant has an output of 130 bhp while Z4 and upper variants see the diesel motor putting out 172 bhp with 400 Nm of torque.

Since diesel is still the darling at Mahindra, our test unit was a Z8 variant with the diesel engine mated to an automatic transmission box. And in this guise, the Scopio-N is quite a bully.

A look at the Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV in action.
A look at the Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV in action.
A look at the Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV in action.
A look at the Mahindra Scorpio-N SUV in action.

There is loads and loads of power at the beck and call of throttle inputs, and the sensible response from the motor at the press of the accelerator gets the vehicle moving with a sure-footed sense of purpose. While adequately capable in low-speed city traffic crawls, the Scorpio-N truly plays on the front foot when being aggressively pushed to pull ahead. Triple-digit speeds come without any fuss while the stability is typically Mahindra which means a reassuring aura when hurtling forward. This is also helped big-time by a solid steering-wheel set up that is flexible enough for tight turns and yet rock-steady on straight lines.

But if there's one thing that shines more than all else, it is the automatic gearbox. Crisp and precise, the AT unit is one of the best I have ever seen on any Mahindra and it slots the right number with charming ease to help the Scorpio-N do its thing. Not once was I second-doubted when looking at overtaking a vehicle ahead, the Scorpio-N completing the task effortlessly each time.

Mahindra Scorpio-N has an eager drive nature on clear stretches, helped enormously by a capable diesel motor and an automatic gearbox which keeps ticking the right numbers tirelessly.
Mahindra Scorpio-N has an eager drive nature on clear stretches, helped enormously by a capable diesel motor and an automatic gearbox which keeps ticking the right numbers tirelessly.
Mahindra Scorpio-N has an eager drive nature on clear stretches, helped enormously by a capable diesel motor and an automatic gearbox which keeps ticking the right numbers tirelessly.
Mahindra Scorpio-N has an eager drive nature on clear stretches, helped enormously by a capable diesel motor and an automatic gearbox which keeps ticking the right numbers tirelessly.

But for all its superb mix between city and highway drive traits, the Scorpio-N still has some of the flaws that Mahindra vehicles tend to have. The brakes are a tad too soft which means these need to be pressed harder to gain the desired stopping bite. The suspension, perhaps because it is tuned to tackle off-road conditions as well, is a bit too jumpy and there is also a fair degree of body roll for passengers in the middle.

But all in all, the Scorpio-N knows it is in its rugged nature that many would find solace and as such, Mahindra is offering the vehicle with both 4x4 and 4x2 configurations. The 4x4 gets Mahindra's latest 4XPLOR Intelligent Terrain Management System with four off-road modes - sand, mud, grass and snow.

Scorpio-N in action off the tarmac.
Scorpio-N in action off the tarmac.
Scorpio-N in action off the tarmac.
Scorpio-N in action off the tarmac.

Pricing for the AT and AWD variants, however, are awaited.

Mahindra Scorpio-N verdict:

Scorpio-N is pompously aware that it has all the ingredients to find favour among SUV buyers. It is not just about butch looks and raw aggression but a certain sense of finesse and new-age additions. Here is a product that widens the list of options - both for buyers as well as for Mahindra.

 

Rating
4.5 out of 5
Price
1199000
Product Name
Scorpio-N
Brand Name
Mahindra
Pros
  • Strong visual cues
  • Premium cabin
  • Exhaustive feature list
  • Multiple engine and transmission choices
Cons
  • Limited third-row space
  • Pricey top variant

Scorpio-N isn't the most spacious of vehicles and a bulk of the cutting-edge features are reserved for the top variant(s) which carry a sizable price tag, especially when compared to its direct rivals like Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Tata Safari and others. But if the success of the Thar and XUV700 is anything to go by, the Scorpio-N too is more than likely to benefit from handsome looks and a premium cabin, complete with a plethora of engine and transmission choices.

Bookings for the Scorpio-N start from July 30 with deliveries scheduled to begin from this festive season on a first-come-first-serve basis. It is also important to note here that the prices announced so far are introductory and valid only for the first 25,000 bookings.

First Published Date: 30 Jun 2022, 10:01 AM IST
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