The spectacular growth in vehicles sourced from China (over 60 per cent between
2021 and 2022) shows that Australian buyers are willing to think outside of the
Japan/Korea square. In contrast, despite being about to pass China as the world’s
most populous country, Indian vehicles are all but invisible on Australian roads.
Most of the few that are around come from India’s leading manufacturer, Mahindra, or
to give it its full-name Mahindra & Mahindra, abbreviated to M&M. Best to just call it
Mahindra though to avoid comparisons with the popular chocolates.
Basically, only two Mahindras have been on sale here over the past decade – the
Pik-Up utility and XUV500 SUV. We don’t actually know how many have been sold
because the company has chosen not to submit its numbers to the national VFACTS
Mahindra is now looking to boost its Australian profile with the recent launch of its
Scorpio medium-large SUV. It’s been on sale in its native India since 2002 but the
latest (third generation) model is the first to be sold in Australia.
Not surprisingly, Scorpio’s price will be the main attraction with two versions on offer,
Z8 and Z8L, priced at $41,990 and $44,990 respectively. These are driveaway prices
but only available until June 30, 2023.
Another big selling point will be a seven-year, 150,000km warranty for private buyers.
Unusually, at launch the three-row Scorpio only comes with six seats although a seven-
seater is expected to follow.
infotainment screen, 4.2-inch instrument cluster, twin-zone climate control, and USB-A
and USB-C ports in the front and centre-rows.
The higher-spec Z8L adds a 7.0-inch enhanced driver’s screen, powered driver’s seat,
12-speaker Sony audio system, wireless smartphone charging, and wireless Android
Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Both models are powered by a four-cylinder 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine with outputs of
129kW and 400Nm at 1750 rpm, paired to a six-speed Aisin automatic transmission
with all-wheel drive. A petrol engine is available but at this stage will not be coming
Safety features are limited to front, side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control,
ABS brakes with electronic brake distribution, tyre pressure monitoring, reversing
camera, and Isofix child seat anchors. The Scorpio Z8 has rear parking sensors only,
Z8L adds front sensors.
The major omission is about-to-be-mandated autonomous emergency braking, but also
missing are active lane keeping, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and
rear cross traffic alert.
Scorpio does come with hill hold and hill descent control as part of its emphasis on off-
road performance. With that in view it underwent a six-month testing program in
Australia including 120,000km in snow at altitude in the High Country as well as the
heat of the Red Centre.
Its 4XPLOR intelligent terrain management technology allows shift on the fly between
2WD and 4WD modes.
Five body colours are available: Deep Forest, Napoli Black, Everest White, Red Rage,
and Dazzling Silver.
We’re looking to get into the new Mahindra Scorpio shortly for our normal extensive
review and will publish our findings then.