REVIEW | The 2021 Mahindra Scorpio S11 isn't just for farming
Some of you will agree when I say we generally typecast people to cars. A yellow Kia Picanto, for instance, is likely something a member of the fairer sex would drive. Not that a man could not pull it off too.
When I visit Eldorado Park, I know I am in Polo and Golf territory. When I see a muddy single cab Toyota Hilux with thick bars at the back to carry livestock, I know a Van der Merwe from a farm is driving it. More than half the time I am correct.
I must have broken certain stereotypes when I recently had the Mahindra Scorpio S11 on test. This iconic Indian brand has become synonymous with farmers for its strength and durability.
I undoubtedly surprised many people when they saw a Van der Oliphant emerging from this sport-utility vehicle, not fitting the perceived owner profile.
To be fair, its cousin, the Mahindra Pik Up, is the workhorse responsible for the farming associations. It continues to contribute immensely in the agricultural industry countrywide.
The brand also does compact offerings including the KUV100, KUV300 and TUV300. There is also the well-established XUV500, aimed at the loftier end.
The magic word for the Scorpio is affordability but that does not equal poor quality. Sure, it lacks the premium status enjoyed by pricier competitors but its toughness would petrify them stiff.
Inside, it uses sturdy plastics and coarse fabrics. Some effort has also been put into comfortability with semi-leather upholstery and foldable individual armrests in the front. A slot on the centre console keeps smartphones closer to the AUX and USB ports. Simple but convenient tech in the S11 includes a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and an HD reverse camera. It has a leather-trimmed steering wheel with satellite audio controls. Cruise control is included.
The Scorpio is a smooth drive but wind intrusion can be felt when you hit 120km/h because of its boxy shape. It rides on stylish 17-inch alloy wheels. The seven-slat grille – bold and imposing – is complemented by a beefy bonnet scoop.
The wide-opening tailgate gives you easy access especially, when you have to fold those seats to load luggage. While seating is for seven, front occupants get the best share of legroom.
Its 2.2-litre, four-cylinder mHawk turbocharged-diesel engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with a claimed consumption of 7.2l/100km, producing 103kW and 280Nm.
The Mahindra Scorpio S11 six-speed manual 4x4 goes for R349,999 and R329,999 for the 4x2. A relative bargain for the amount of car you are getting. Unfortunately, there is no automatic version.
Although the brand has found its niche in the commercial field, you should not be surprised the next time you spot a Mahindra in the suburbs.