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Spec comparo: Mahindra Marazzo vs Renault Lodgy Stepway vs Toyota Innova Crysta

Mahindra’s Marazzo is hot news right now, and it is pretty obvious what Mahindra is targeting. No car exists in isolation and we’re putting the Marazzo up against two other seven-seaters – the Renault Lodgy Stepway and the Toyota Innova Crysta. The Lodgy has been around for a while, and has received a few updates over its life cycle. It is a solid product, but somehow never picked up in terms of sales compared to some other MPVs. The Lodgy is available in a standard variant and the Stepway variant, with the latter being a little longer in terms of dimensions. We are considering the Stepway for this comparison. The Innova Crysta is newer, but it isn’t new by any measure – it was launched in 2016 and recently tweaked it as well. There’s no denying the popularity if this MPV, right from taxi operators to large families, it is the go-to MPV when the budget permits it.

The Mahindra Marazzo stacks up interestingly against these two, in terms of dimensions, features and engines. Let’s break things down and see what they look like on paper.

Dimensions and space
In terms of sheer length, the Marazzo sits between the Lodgy Stepway and the Innova. Where the Lodgy is 4522mm, the Marazzo is slightly longer at 4585mm. The Innova is another 150mm longer than the Marazzo. Interestingly, at 2810mm, the Marazzo has the longest wheelbase of any of the cars here and this translates to a fair amount of space on the inside. The Marazzo also gets a front-wheel drive layout with a transversely mounted engine, should technically allow for better room on the inside. At 2760mm, its wheelbase is 10mm more than the Innova’s, and the Innova’s rear-wheel drive layout doesn’t do it any favours. That said, the Innova is still a spacious car. How the space is actually used can only be judged when we actually have the cars with us.


The Marazzo comes with two seating layouts, a seven-seat and an eight-seat layout, as does the Innova and the Lodgy Stepway. They all get the option of captain seats or a bench for the middle row, and a third row that can seat three.

Engine
The Marazzo only comes with one drivetrain option – a 1498cc turbo-diesel motor. Outputs stand at 119bhp and 300Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and there is no automatic on offer as of now. The Lodgy Stepway, on the other hand, comes with one 1461cc engine tuned to two different outputs. You can have it with 84bhp and 200Nm, mated to a five-speed manual or 108bhp and 245Nm mated to a 6-speed manual. Again, there’s no option of an automatic.

The Innova gets three engine options – one petrol and two diesel motors. Neither of the other two cars here get a petrol engine so we aren’t going to bring it in to the picture. In terms of diesels, the Innova gets the option of a 2393cc or a 2755cc engine. The smaller engine makes 148bhp and 343Nm, while the bigger one makes 171bhp and 360Nm. It does get an automatic, but only on the 2.8-litre engine.

Again, the Marazzo slots itself in between the Lodgy and the Innova in terms of performance. It is significantly more powerful than the lower-output Lodgy, while it remains a touch more powerful than the higher output one as well. The Innova meanwhile, with its larger engines, is significantly more powerful than both the Marazzo and the Lodgy. It is also significantly more expensive but we’ll come to that in a bit.

Features
The Marazzo gets dual airbags as standard across the range, while the Innova gets three airbags in lower variants and seven airbags in higher variants. The Lodgy meanwhile only gets dual airbags in the top-of-the-line variants while base variants get no airbags. They all get the other expected safety features like ABS and EBD. The Innova additionally gets vehicle stability control and hill-hold assist.

Higher variants in all three MPVs get touchscreen infotainment systems as well. The Marazzo gets an 18cm one, with all sorts of connectivity options including Android Auto (but no Apple CarPlay). The Lodgy meanwhile gets a 7-inch system that it shares with the rest of the Renault range as well – however, there’s no Android Auto here. The Innova Crysta also gets a touchscreen as well, and it is available right from the lower variants (the Marazzo and Lodgy only get them in higher variants).

All of them get cruise control, foldable seats to increase boot space and rear AC vents for the second and third row. The Marazzo has an interesting take on the rear AC vents, mounting them longitudinally, along the length of the vehicle for better cooling. The Innova, meanwhile, gets automatic controls for even the rear temperature controls.

Pricing
Mahindra just announced the prices of the Marazzo and they are pretty competitive with the base variant starting at Rs 9.99 lakh. However, if you want one that is properly kitted out with all the bells and whistles, it will set you back Rs Rs 13.9 lakh for the M8 variant. If we look at the Lodgy Stepway closer to the Marazzo in terms of performance, we have to look at the 110PS one. Available in only one variant, it costs Rs 11.81 lakh.

The Innova Crysta is a way more expensive. Toyota has created such a good reputation for the product that they manage to charge a fair premium and still command a fair premium. The base Innova with the 2.4-litre engine starts at Rs 15.77 lakh, and goes up to Rs 20.71 lakh. The 2.7-litre is even more expensive, starting at Rs 17.18 lakh going up to Rs 22.01 lakh.

Clearly, the Mahindra offers the best value amongst the three cars, and does so without scrounging on features. It offers you everything you’d expect of a vehicle at this price point. The Lodgy is slightly more expensive, and the Innova significantly more so. However, all this is just stacked up on paper. These MPVs can only be given a final verdict when you climb in to them and see how comfortable they actually keep you. On paper, the Marazzo has what it takes to take the competition on and come out on top, but does it really? We’re going to have to get all three cars together to find out.

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