This Mahindra could have been brilliant!

Alas, it's not.

Here's something you've never heard before: The Mahindra XUV300 is one helluva drive and one of the most enjoyable foot-planting experiences I have had in a while. ​

The 1500 turbodiesel is rather lovely to be honest - yes, said with pretentious accent and all - and we're rather impressed. The experience was sturdy, soft, almost eloquent and, hear this, it was all very nice to look at. Indeed, we liked it very much until we didn't...

For tell us Mahindra: Why in car-god's name is it so raggedly-built and why does its interior feel like a poorly-made flea market toy? It's shocking to be honest, which is genuinely disappointing because it really didn't have to be. This thing could have been seriously good and one look at it will tell you why - it has all the ingredients to be pretty damn awesome so why isn't it?

Mahindra has shot themselves in the foot.

Indeed, a little more love building it could have changed these very words, but I just have to say it even though I don't want to: There’s more chance of Zuma admitting guilt than there is of us spending R325k on this, and that there is the truth of it.

For now...

Indeed, let's take a step back for a minute and meet something South Korean. It's called the Kia Picanto and it is by no means fancy. Nor is it in any way whatsoever the competitor to the XUV300 and its very appearance in this here article is merely to prove a point.

It costs some R150,000 less than this Mahindra and inside it feels 150,000 times better made. That should say it all.

So, if you care for it, a riddle: There will come a time when Mahindra of the future will become the Kia of today, as the Kia of yesteryear was once the Mahindra of the moment. Riddle explained: Mahindra will eventually be good and this car is proof. It's fantastic if you weren't OCD enough to care about the build quality of flea market toys. 

As such, and both sadly and encouragingly, Mahindra is achingly close, but is still left wanting.

It is genuinely disappointing. Genuinely. Because, hear this Afrika: It's some drive. And, if that was all that mattered, we'd buy it today.