Mahindra Scorpio N Launch review

Scorpio N – Mahindra is a large business conglomerate founded and headquartered in India.

They have marketed a Ute in Australia since 2007, but have now launched a large SUV, the Scorpio N, which broadens their market appeal.

While a more family/urban medium sized SUV, the XUV700, is coming later in the year, the Scorpio N is very off-road capable and is targeted at those who seek adventure trips.

It is very competitively priced with some good features but some important ones missing,


 Scorpio N Exterior

The Scorpio N comes in two variants, the Z8 and the Z8L. Unlike a range of other brands, the “L” does not stand for long wheelbase. Both variants are on the same platform and same power train with features being the difference in the variants.

The vehicle is not quite the longest in its class but is the tallest, giving it an upright stance. Fortunately, it avoids the extreme boxy shape of their ute that looks like the designs were modelled with Lego blocks.

The high roof gives good window area, and the overall appearance is a common one of functionality rather than efforts at being stylistically different.

It is built on a ladder frame chassis which is a design that is made for good off-road performance. It adds skid plates for better undercarriage protection.

Ground clearance is 227 mm and it has an approach angle of 27.2 degrees and a departure angle of 21.3 degrees.

Nice touches include LED lights for all its illumination, except the brake lights, and roof rails.

Mahindra to Introduce Scorpio-N in Australia in 2023.

 Scorpio N Interior

There is only one interior colour scheme based on rich-coffee black leatherette material and includes leatherette steering wheel and gear nob covers. I found the colours and overall effect was neat but a bit conservative.

The second row of seats is a captain’s chair layout provide only two individual seats but with arm rests. The were comfortable but there was not much room between them to get access to the third row of seats.

The third row has significant limitations. There are no Isofix anchor points at the base of the seat nor rear anchor points for a child seat tether strap at the back. Furthermore, there is not much leg room for adults.

Overall the vehicle is a six-seater at the most with the last two seats suiting few people, especially on a long trip.

The dash layout in front of the driver has analogue dials with a 4.2 monochrome digital information screen between them in the Z8, and a 7 inch colour screen for the Z8L. There is an 8 inch touch screen infotainment system in the centre.

With the third row of seats folded up there is only moderate room for cargo and even when it is folded down it is not spacious.

Mahindra to Introduce Scorpio-N in Australia in 2023.


Both models have the same 2.2 litre turbo diesel 4 cylinder with a modest maximum 129 kW but a solid 400 Nm. The maximum torque is rated for a limited rev range of 1750 rpm to 2750 rpm. The engine needs the addition of Ad Blue feed from a 20 litre tank which Mahindra says should be enough to only need filling up at service intervals.

The engine is coupled to a 6 speed automatic gearbox.

It is the off-road drivetrain features that the Scorpio is strongest. The 4 Explore system has four settings: Normal, Snow, Mud & Ruts, and Sand, and there is a mechanical locking differential and brake locking differential. Four-wheel drive can be selected on the fly up to 80km/hr.

Fuel and pollution figures are rated as follows

Mahindra to Introduce Scorpio-N in Australia in 2023.

 Scorpio N Features

Both models have a good range of features for the price including:

  • Dual zone climate control
  • Cooled glovebox
  • Active carbon filter
  • Apple car and Android Auto although they say the apple car play requires firmware update by your dealer
  • Rear camera
  • USB read and charge point
  • USB C charge port in the 2nd row
  • Automatic headlights and automatic wipers
  • Sunroof
  • Cruise control
  • Full size spare wheel

Z8L Features (Over and above Z8):

  • SONY 3D Immersive Audio 12 Speakers with Sub-woofer
  • 6-Way Electric Driver’s Seat
  • 7in colour TFT Drivers Side Cluster
  • Front Offroad Camera with Parking Sensors
  • Wireless charging

Sadly, the features that are lacking are particularly in the area of safety including:

  • No Automatic Emergency Braking
  • No Adaptive cruise control
  • No Blind Spot monitoring
  • No lane keep assist
  • No Speed sign identification
  • No steering column reach adjustment
  • No rear cross traffic alert

Mahindra says that some of these features will become available.


Driving Impressions

Around the city and on the open road, it is not unduly rough, but it is not class leading. It is clearly aimed at competitors such as the Toyota Fortuner rather than the Nissan Pathfinder. Equally it is not as agricultural as a Jeep Rubicon.

The power is not enough to aggressively accelerate up hills. It has a towing capacity of 2,600 kgs, which if you were to get to the limit, would require some thinking ahead as you approached various road conditions.

The vehicle does come into its own in off-road situations. We took the car over a four-wheel drive course where it tackled mounds, rough patches, potholes, steep hills and water crossings. It felt competent and relatively comfortable inside.

Mahindra to Introduce Scorpio-N in Australia in 2023.

 Scorpio N Safety

In the recent past, some Indian brands have received some poor reviews in terms of road safety.

At the launch we spoke to Joydeep Moitra vice president head of international operations who said that the Indian government has been pushing hard to set high standards of safety and emissions:

“We leapfroged to Euro 6B [pollution standards] equivalent two years back and in two years the government has now forced us to go to Euro 6D emission equivalent kind of a regulation. So government is pushing through regulation on safety, on emission. On safety, we literally had no regs few years back last year”.

But while this is a step in the right direction the lack of safety features in the Scorpio is likely to remove it from the list of any fleet operators with clear quality specifications.

The Scorpio has an overseas safety rating of five stars but it would not get this if tested in Australia with our more stringent test requirements.

Three All-New Mahindra Scorpio's went through a rigorous independent testing program of 120,000 kms over six months in Australia

 Scorpio N Pricing

Like previous manufacturer brands entering our market in the past from Japan, Korea and more recently China, Mahindra has a clear strategy of low pricing to entice customers to their little known brand.

At launch pricing which is schedule to last to 30 June 2023 has the base model Z8 at a drive away price of just $42,000 and the up market Z8L at $45,000 driveaway. These prices are around $8,000 to $20,000 + cheaper than their likely competition.

These prices are some $8,000 to $20,000 cheaper than the vehicles they would like to compete against.

Mahindra is backing its build quality with a 7-year, 150,000 km warranty for private buyers and seven years roadside assistance. They have not announced a capped price servicing agreement yet.


  • Price
  • Off-road capability for small family with off-road adventure aspirations
  • Some good features for the price


Not so good

  • Lack of safety and highway driving features
  • Only 6 seats at the best
  • Modest power and not class leading towing

Three All-New Mahindra Scorpio's went through a rigorous independent testing program of 120,000 kms over six months in Australia

Overall Rating    


Behind the Wheel 6
Comfort 7
Equipment 8
Performance 7
Ride and Handling 7
Practicality 8
Fit for Purpose 8
AWD/Towing Capability* 9/7
Technology/connectivity 8
Value for Money 9



Scorpio N

Overall Length 4662mm
Wheelbase 2750mm
Width 1917mm
Height 1857mm
Wheels 18in Alloy
Tyres 235/60 R18
Max ground clearance 227mm
Wading Depth Not Available
Approach 27.2 degrees
Rampover 23.5 degrees
Departure angle 21.3degrees
Turning Circle KTK N/A
Kerb Weight 2085/2100kg
Payload (kg) 525/510kg
GVM (kg) 2610kg
GCM 5155kg
Towing Capacity 2500kg
Tow Ball rating N/A


About David Brown 604 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto