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Mahindra Verito 1.5 D6
Driven June 2011
You probably know by now that Mahindra and Renault have gone their separate ways and Mahindra will solely manufacture the Logan in its Nasik plant. And to bury all traces of the just-broken association, Mahindra has removed all Renault and Logan badges from the car and renamed it Verito.
Apart from the name change, the Verito gets some design tweaks as well. Starting with a mildly reworked grille with the Mahindra logo replacing the Renault logo in the center. The fog lamps get a rectangular design with matte black bordering. The wing mirrors have been changed, with broader, better looking mirrors, which improves all-round visibility. The rear gets an integrated spoiler whose appeal is more visual than functional.
These minor changes make the Verito look better than the Logan but the chrome roof-rails are a bit over-the-top, giving a cheap aftermarket feel to an otherwise simple but smart looking car. Get in and you're greeted with that oh-so-familiar Logan cabin. The layout is very much the same. The plastics quality may not be top-notch, but it's still much better than whatyou get on some rival cars. The information display sits right in the center of the speedo-RPM-meter cluster. And it tells you everything you need - kpl, average speed, range etc. All this information can be toggled between with a button on the wiper switch, which is especially convenient when the driver wants to switch between information on-the-go.
Sure, there are some quirks as well, but let's just put that down to its French roots. The steering feels a bit big for a car, and you'll sorely miss bottle holders on the front door pocket. Apart from this, the fuel tank opener is located where you find the hood release lever in other cars. And the hood release lever is on the front passenger side. This led to an embarrassing moment at the fuel station where I spent a few seconds looking for the tank-opener lever.
With diesel obviously being the popular choice among customers, we tested the diesel variant of the Verito. This is the same turbo-charged 1.5 litre diesel unit you'll find under the Logan’s hood, and after all these years of new cars with better diesel engines, the Verito’s oil burner still impresses. It pumps out 65bhp and 160Nm of torque - okay, so that might not look like something to brag about, but it feels adequate.
When driving in the city the Verito’s well sorted gear-ratio see to it that minimal gear changes are required. This is also thanks to the motor generating all its peak power at 2000rpm. This particular engine is capable of pushing the car to a top speed of 162kph, and still delivering an average of 17.1kpl. Plus the lack of turbo-lag makes this car particularly drivable around the city.
If you are the types who is on a budget and still want a bit of driving pleasure from your machine, then the Verito can play that game too. The steering is direct and communicative. You might find it a bit hard to manoeuvre from a standstill, but it gives perfect inputs while on higher speeds or taking a fast corner. Body-roll is kept to a minimum and the tyres provide plenty of grip even in heavy rain. Even when the car was being tested for a 0-100kmh run on a wet track, it managed to lay down all its power to the ground with minimal wheel-spin. The timings are nothing to sing home about but the car managed to a 100kph in 15.35 sec. It must be said the car ticks a lot of right boxes for and makes a strong case for itself, if looks can be ignored.
With Mahindra taking full responsibility for after-sales service for the Verito, you can certainly think of buying this car. It's a simple car that will make you smile every time you get behind the wheel. And yes, do avoid the roof-rail option.