Two years is a long time for a new car to be registered in the minds of prospective buyers. It’s also ample time for a less-than-ideal car to be sent hurtling towards oblivion, rendering it useless not just for the customer but also for its makers. The Mahindra Scorpio-N comfortably sits in the former camp. It has made quite an impact on the mid-sized SUV segment, and although carrying a badge revered by many, it has proven itself to be a worthy product. So much so that even if it had to be marketed with a different name, there’s a strong likeliness that it would’ve performed as brilliantly, if not better. To understand how it feels nearly two years after its launch, we take it out for a quick refresher of a drive.

It was in June 2022 that Mahindra unveiled what was going to be the next chapter in the brand Scorpio’s life. Immensely popular in its original avatar (and still doing fairly well, as the Scorpio Classic), everyone was keen to see the new Scorpio, they must’ve been apprehensive about it, too. Given the brand recall that ‘Mahindra Scorpio’ has, there certainly was a lot at stake. We got a first taste of how well-equipped this SUV was, at Mahindra’s pre-launch showcase and drive at their Chakan plant.

More refined

While with the same rugged attitude, and the 4WD, go-anywhere ability to back that up, the Scorpio-N seemed to justify its name, but it wasn’t like the erstwhile Scorpio. Despite being perennially ready to take on the rough terrain, it certainly felt more refined, better equipped, and most importantly, more rounded. As is the case with many new cars, the all-new Mahindra wasn’t exactly free from niggles, but the brand proactively dealt with those swiftly.

A year later, we took the Scorpio-N to the ever-so-wonderful endless plains at the Rann of Kutch. Miles and miles of driving over rough terrain and the Scorpio-N didn’t break a sweat. It further concreted that not just for the urban jungle, if a mid-sized SUV is what you’re after, you just can’t ignore the Scorpio-N, for it happily proved itself time and again. There have been many drives with the Scorpio-N since then and the SUV hasn’t disappointed.

Now, two years after it was first announced, despite steady demand, the waiting period isn’t as long. It has since then made its mark around the globe, with journalists from as far as Australia and South Africa praising the car. This not just speaks volumes about the product but also about how Mahindra has shaped itself to be a global automotive player.

Premium and not too scant in terms of features, the Scorpio-N’s cabin is also put together really well

Premium and not too scant in terms of features, the Scorpio-N’s cabin is also put together really well

‘Boxy’ design

As far as its shape goes, the Scorpio-N leans towards the ‘boxy’ end of the spectrum, but it has a fair bit of modernity in its design. The amalgamation is such that it’s imposing and rugged on the one hand, while on the other, it’s ready to be a daily driver in the city. The large ground clearance, pronounced wheel arches and the overall stance are essentially all a part of Scorpio-N’s ‘flexing’ routine. The LED headlamps, a chrome strip running along the window line (made to depict a scorpion’s tail) and backwards-tilted chrome slats on the radiator grille all exude a touch of design sophistication and modernity. Codenamed Z101 and spotted multiple times undergoing real-world testing much before its official launch, the Scorpio-N successfully left a lasting impression. We can comfortably say it still has the same effect two years later.

On the inside, the Scorpio-N presents a very different story. One would expect it to have a more utilitarian interior, especially if the previous iterations of the Scorpio are anything to go by, but the new one is a stark contrast. Firstly, and unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of room inside, even for passengers in the second and the third row, which makes it quite a practical vehicle to own. Where the Scorpio-N potentially ups its chances of being used as a family car is in the generous appointment of soft-touch materials. Premium and not too scant in terms of features, the Scorpio-N’s cabin is also put together really well, reassuring that owning one isn’t going to be a dreadful experience filled with rattles and squeaks. Some features are available only on top-spec models, but Mahindra hasn’t skimped on essentials in lower-spec variants. Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available, and they enable routing telephony, navigation and even some entertainment functionalities straight to the 8-inch screen.


Another remarkable improvement that set the Scorpio-N apart is the overall refinement. As a result, this is a quieter cabin, but the noise insulation is superb, too, ensuring that while you put your Scorpio-N through its paces on harsh terrain, the occupants inside aren’t inundated with stray noises. We can thus safely say that if you are after a well-put-together cabin that’s a great place to be but don’t mind a slightly shorter list of features, the Scorpio-N has you covered.

The star of the show has to be the driving experience because if you’re putting your hard-earned money into something like the Scorpio-N, there’s a strong chance you’re passionate about cars and driving. A 2.2-litre diesel engine powers the SUV, making 172 bhp and a strong 40.8 kg-m. The engine feels refined and that’s not just in the way it sounds but also in how it delivers all that power. It’s smooth and specced with an automatic gearbox, it makes the Scorpio-N extremely easy to drive regularly.

Driving the Scorpio-N is a mixed bag. It won’t let you forget that it is after all a conventional SUV not in any way trying to masquerade as a road-focussed crossover. So while one shouldn’t expect it to be entirely free from body roll, it comes with an innate ability to decimate bad roads. On the move, it’s hard to not appreciate the responsive steering setup and also the confident braking performance that the Scorpio-N boasts — thanks to the all-wheel disc-brake arrangement. While it might seem to be perfect for cruising on bad roads, its on-road performance isn’t bad, either, making the Scorpio-N worth considering, especially for those who want a bit of both practicality and driving fun. What about the fuel economy, one may wonder. We can comfortably say that the Scorpio-N if driven sanely, can return 18.33 km/l on the highway and about 14 km/l in the city. These figures aren’t too far from Mahindra’s claimed fuel economy of 16.23 km/l. That’s not bad at all now, is it?

Two years since its arrival, a quick drive in the Scorpio-N proves why people are willing to queue up for one. The SUV’s rugged appeal is complemented by a bold design (which still makes heads turn), strong performance from the diesel engine, improved overall refinement, space and unsurpassable ride comfort. It might be up against some established cars which might be richer in features, but the Scorpio-N is still a prominent and powerful player in the segment. The previous iteration might’ve left big shoes to fill, and the Scorpio-N has very pretty nicely stepped into those. It’s a well-rounded SUV which looks and feels great, without needing to break the bank.