The Mahindra Scorpio is billed as a cut-price, family-friendly 4x4 package with seats for six and a generous list of comfort and off-road features bundled in as standard, all while undercutting its major competitors.
Just how good is the Mahindra Scorpio, then, and is it deserving of a spot on your list of family-friendly, four-wheel-drive wagons? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
Mahindra Scorpio Competition
|GWM Tank 300|
|Mitsubishi Pajero Sport|
|Toyota LandCruiser Prado|
Starting Price: $41,990
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Mahindra Scorpio range kicks off from $41,990 drive-away for the Scorpio Z8, with prices rising to $45,990 for the range-topping Scorpio Z8L.
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Mahindra Scorpio-N (Z8) Specifications
|Transmission||6 SP AUTOMATIC|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||3500 / 1750|
|Fuel tank size||60.0|
|Fuel usage specs||7.2 / 0|
|ANCAP security rating||Unrated|
For more details and other variants, check Mahindra Scorpio-N car page.
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What Features Does the Mahindra Scorpio Have?
Mahindra’s entry-level Scorpio Z8 comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloys, and receives LED headlights, tail lights, indicators and fog lights, as well as keyless entry & start, cruise control, a rear-view camera, double-wishbone front suspension, a low-range transfer case, Watt’s linkage rear suspension, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, leatherette upholstery, a 4.2-inch instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
Stepping up to the range-topping Scorpio Z8L adds a forward-facing camera with parking sensors, a wireless phone charger, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a 7.0-inch instrument cluster and an upgraded 12-speaker Sony sound system.
LED headlights, tail lights, fog lights & indicators
Keyless entry & start
Double-wishbone front suspension
Watt’s linkage rear suspension
8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Forward-facing camera with parking sensors (Z8L)
7.0-inch instrument cluster (Z8L)
12-speaker Sony sound system (Z8L)
Is the Mahindra Scorpio Comfortable to Drive?
The Mahindra Scorpio comes fitted with off-road suspension that makes it quite comfortable on a mix of Australian road surfaces, though the overall package is no where near as refined as its main rivals.
The Scorpio comes powered by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit that produces 129kW of power and 400Nm of torque which is transferred to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
On the road, the turbo-diesel unit is surprisingly refined and stays reasonably quiet as you’re bumbling around town, while acceleration up to speed is effortless thanks to the ample torque sitting low-down in the rev range.
That is, however, one of the Scorpio’s let-downs, considering it comes packing 400Nm of torque while most of its rivals offer 450Nm, and even higher than 500Nm in some cases.
“The Scoprio falls noticeably short of power, torque and towing benchmarks set by its rivals, though it’s reasonably well-behaved around town.”
The end result is a braked towing capacity of 2500kg, while most of its peers hit the 3000kg and the segment leaders can tow up to 3500kg.
Having said that, the Scorpio does have a weight advantage on its side, which helps it pick up speed around town, while the lightweight steering rack makes it more user-friendly to drive around town than you might expect.
There’s a noticeable difference between the Scorpio and its rivals when it comes to the overall ride quality, though Mahindra has taken the time to tune the suspension for Australian roads.
The end result is slightly bumpier around town than its rivals, while actually becoming more comfortable as you pick up speed where it feels compliant and sturdy.
All up, the Scorpio is reasonably well-mannered, and while it doesn’t pack the largest power, torque or towing figures on the market, it’s quite a compelling package for the money.
What Off-Road Specs Does the Mahindra Scorpio Have?
Right out of the box, the Mahindra Scorpio comes packed with an impressive amount of off-road equipment for the price point.
As standard, you’ll find a multi-link suspension system at the front, Watt’s linkage suspension at the rear, mechanical locking rear differential, a low-range transfer case, and separate driving modes for mud, sand and snow.
This hardware, combined with a generous heaping of torque from the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel gives the Mahindra Scorpio the following off-road abilities.
Ground clearance: 227mm
Approach angle: 27.2 degrees
Breakover angle: 23.5 degrees
Departure angle: 21.3 degrees
Is it Fuel Efficient?
Mahindra says that the Scorpio’s 2.2-litre turbo-diesel unit is rated at 7.2L/100km on a combined cycle, which makes it reasonably efficient for a large 4x4 platform, with efficiency figures close to that of its major rivals.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
Step inside the Scorpio’s six-seater cabin and the first impressions are pretty cracking for the money, though look closely enough and you’ll see the fit and finish leaves something to be desired.
The driver and front passenger pick up a comfortable set of sets with a huge amount of headroom and a great view out of the large windscreen that adds to the sense of space up front.
In spite of the space, practicality and storage options are pretty limited in the front of the Scorpio’s cabin, with a storage tray sitting behind the gear lever, an air-conditioned glove box, a single cup holder and some measly storage volume inside the arm rest.
Move to the rear of the cabin and there’s no issues accommodating tall adults in the second row of the Scorpio, meaning you won’t hear any complaints from kids seated in the rear, who also pick up a set of air vents and USB ports, and ISOFIX anchors for child seats.
“The six-seat layout is great for long-distance drives, though there’s virtually no boot space with the three rows of seats standing.”
As a six-seater, the second row of the Mahindra’s cabin features a pair of comfortable captain’s chairs with a narrow access area into the third row, while both can be folded with a single touch for easier access.
Space in the third row of the Scorpio’s cabin is more suited to young children, with a noticeable lack of legroom for taller occupants, though it matches the mark for most three-row 4x4 packages that are all targeted to young kids.
Boot space with all three rows is minimal, with only enough space for a couple of backpacks or smaller grocery bags, while space increases to a more usable 686L with the third-row folded down.
Is it Safe?
Safety is not a particularly strong suit of the Mahindra Scorpio, which is yet to be tested by ANCAP here in Australia, though it has scored a five-star safety rating from GNCAP.
Significantly, the Mahindra Scorpio does not receive autonomous emergency braking (AEB) tech, which the company says will be included on a mid-cycle upgrade in the future.
For now, the Scorpio makes do with no active safety equipment whatsoever, with curtain airbags, rear parking sensors with a rear-view camera - that upgrades to a front-facing camera in the Z8L - rounding out the mediocre list of safety equipment.
Our Verdict: Is The Mahindra Scorpio Worth it?
The reality of the Mahindra Scorpio is that its enticing price tags do come with some significant caveats, namely the complete disregard for active safety equipment which is, quite rightly, a strong focus for family buyers.
We’d recommend checking out the Mahindra Scorpio as a reference point for the family 4x4 wagon segment, though waiting for an upgrade with added safety tech seems a better plan of action for your next purchase.
On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, don’t forget to reach out to one of our car-buying specialists who can help find you the best possible price.
Five Mahindra Scorpio Specs You Need to Know
Part-time 4x4 system with locking dif and low-range transfer case
No ANCAP safety rating
Six-seat cabin layout
Combined cycle fuel economy figures of 7.2L/100km
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