Review: Mahindra 750 mPact Flexhauler XTV

By: Barry Ashenhurst

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The Mahindra 750 mPact Flexhauler is the company's first attempt to win fans at the top end of UTV Town. Is it tough enough to run with the big boys?

Mahindra 750 mPact Flexhauler XTV
The Mahindra 750 mPact Flexhauler
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Reg Grant and I have been reviewing ATVs and UTVs for 10 years and this is the first time we’ve encountered Mahindra – as a brand and a product.

As a brand, Mahindra describes itself as a "$19 billion confederation of companies", which sounds ominous but at least gives us an idea of its size and reach. It has interests in manufacturing cars, tractors, boats of various types, two-wheelers, and among the federation has branches that deal in IT, hospitality, real estate and financial services.

KEY SPECS

Our test vehicle was delivered on time and, as promised, an XTV 750 S Flexhauler, made in the US and retailing here for $19,990. All Mahindra UTVs get seatbelts and ROPS, so you’re up for the government rebate if you switch from an ATV to this UTV.

Our test vehicle also had a heavy-duty tray with drop-sides, an electric ram to lift and lower it, a dual-range CVT, front and rear hitches, alloy wheels and a limited slip diff. The machine seats three, is just over 2.8 metres long and 1.6 metres wide. Weight is 712kg. Nothing unusual in any of that.

The instrument dial is a little small and difficult to read on-the-run. Doesn’t matter; no-one reads anything but the fuel gauge anyway.

The foot-long shift lever looks like something Polaris would make, a flagpole in the middle of the dash, but the shift action, though new-machine notchy, worked okay and always picked up the gear we wanted. There’s no handbrake but there is a P in the gearbox.

General build quality was average. In shallow creek crossings, water entered the cab through the overlapping join between the upper and lower sections of the dash.

On the bright side, the Mahindra’s steering felt nice and so did the four-wheel discs. Suspension was dual A-arms and ride quality was so good we couldn’t find a reason to complain about it.

The stationary Kohler engine
The CVT operates smoothly but lacks effective sealing, causing belt slippage after creek crossings

OH, LOOK AT THIS!

Power comes from a 747cc Kohler stationary engine, an unconventional arrangement in a modern UTV. Kohler makes good engines - Polaris uses them – but a stationary engine tends to limit this vehicle’s potential.

Mahindra doesn’t publish output figures but our guess is about 25hp. We’d be surprised if this machine could climb a steep hill with its rated payload capacity of 540kg plus three big blokes. Top speed is 60Km/h and so, all things considered, it needs more power. It also could do with engine braking.

Lifting the bench seat gives access to the CVT. It has intake and exhaust hoses high up. Good, but the latter (see pic) is a twisted intestine that will cause trouble down the line. The CVT is poorly sealed too. Water got in, causing belt slippage after creek crossings.

The roomy and comfortable cab
The cab is roomy and comfortable with decent grab-handles. The glovebox is large but the only dry storage area

The news is better down the back. The cargo bed is solid and well made and gets a checker-plate floor. Latches are simple and easy to use, and an electric ram raises and lowers the cargo bed, saving you a visit to the E-Room with Nurse Stoneface and her diesel-powered hernia extractor.

Fourteen-inch alloy wheels are home to 27-inch rough-terrain rubber that worked well on our test course. Ground clearance is said to be 12 inches. We didn’t measure it, but since 10 inches is the norm, Mahindra is saying that this machine has more clearance than any other UTV.

Its four-wheel drive system handled roughish terrain okay, despite belt slippage, but this is more of a site vehicle than a genuine rough-terrain load carrier.

THE VERDICT

If this machine retailed for $12,000-14,000 it’d represent decent value for money. But at $19,990, it’s about the same price as a Can-Am Defender HD8. For that you get probably the best utility vehicle on the planet, with 50hp, 680kg payload capacity and the cleverest cab in the business.

ONE STOP SHOP

Mahindra offers plenty of accessories for these machines. A sample:

  • Thermoplastic roof
  • Aluminium roof
  • Lexan front windshield
  • Back panel
  • Rear-view mirror
  • Rear tubular bumper
  • Nerf bar assembly (both sides)
  • Rear rack
  • Power steering kit
  • Two-gun, floor mounted rack
  • Two-gun above head rack
  • Under-seat storage

 

MAHINDRA XTV 750 FLEXHAULER PRICE & SPECIFICATIONS

MAHINDRA XTV 750 FLEXHAULER
Engine Stationary 747cc Kohler 
Transmission CVT Transmission
Seating for 3
Tow Capacity 952kg
Cargo Bed Capacity 544kg
Overall Length 2,870mm
Overall Width 1,600mm
Weight 712kg
RRP $19,990

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