Mahindra’s revamped Scorpio gets minor cosmetic changes along with some major ones under the skin.
With over eight lakh Scorpios having rolled off the factory floor, Mahindra wouldn’t just pull the curtain on one of its most iconic SUVs, would it? Hence, the Scorpio Classic. Sure the “big daddy” Scorpio-N is the evolved successor, and in that, a very good one, but for the thousands who adored the simplicity of the ‘OG’ Scorpio, the introduction of the Classic is great news.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Classic: exterior design updates
On the outside, Mahindra has retained the Scorpio’s charm by not interrupting much with the overall styling. The grille up front gets a redesign with chunky chrome strips and the new twin-peaks logo. The headlamps, which are still halogen units, get a slight redesign inside the housing, and the bumpers get a new look as well. What is also new for the Classic is the ‘Galaxy Gray’ paint shade. The bonnet scoop has been retained, albeit for aesthetic purposes only, and the sharply raked windshield is characteristic of a Scorpio helping it retain its boxy look.
Over to the side, the 17-inch alloy wheels get a refresh, and you have new accents on the door as well. What is carried over is the chunky body-coloured cladding and the sharp kink in the roof that helps give it a tall stance.
The rear has an air of familiarity since Mahindra brought back the long reflectors over the tail-lamps. There is a ‘Classic’ badge on the side-opening tailgate, and the squared off look with a big spoiler completes the design. Safe to say, Mahindra wanted to make sure the essence of the Scorpio isn't lost, and by the looks of it, they have succeeded.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Classic: interior and feature updates
Hop inside (quite literally) the Scorpio Classic, and it is like stepping inside a time machine. The flat and upright dashboard, high seating position and chair-like fabric seats are reminiscent of previous Scorpios. New bits for the Classic include a faux-wood panel on the centre-console and a new 9.0-inch Android-based touchscreen with a USB hidden right under it. The screen is fine for most part, but with no Apple CarPlay or Android support, you need to make use of the third party applications that aren’t all that intuitive.
The steering too has been refreshed and gets the basic controls for media and calling.
Some ergonomic flaws, however, remain, like no bottle holders in the front door pockets, and an extremely narrow cavity to access the seat height adjustment.
At the rear, the wide bench can easily accommodate three abreast, and the flat floor allows for foot space too. However, there isn’t much room to stretch, and the long seat squab does intrude your under thighs. What is good though is the theatre-like view and superb headroom thanks to the kinked roof. No USB ports here, but you do get AC vents.
However, the Scorpio’s calling is its third row with the jump seat layout. You can also get a seven-seater version with a bench at the back, but traditionally, the jump seats have found more buyers. And to be fair, it is quite practical for getting in and out in comparison to any third row, but it definitely lacks in terms of safety with no seat belts, and not much in the form of impact protection. The jump seats can also be folded up to open a decent amount of storage that is quite usable.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Classic: engine, gearbox and performance
Visual changes apart, where the Scorpio has vastly improved, is the performance and cabin refinement thanks to a new second generation 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine. The all-aluminum 130hp motor is 55kg lighter than the previous engine and more efficient too. However, what you notice immediately, is how silent and vibe-free it is.
That said, once you set off, the sharp throttle response requires some getting used to. Even in third gear, the car feels eager and excited as you press on the accelerator. However, compared to the older engine, which had 10hp more, the Classic is slower in a 0-100kph dash. Where the older car boasted of a rather respectable time of 11.8secs, the Classic clocks in at a rather leisurely 13secs. It is evident in the power delivery, which is a lot more linear and the surge in acceleration is gradual. Mahindra claims 77 percent of the 300Nm torque is available right from 1,000rpm, which is why you never struggle to get going. Overtakes are brisk and the engine is relatively less noisy at high rpms.
The Classic is available with only a 6-speed manual gearbox that is now cable-operated, which results in less vibrations and better refinement. What is also impressive is the gearing. Compared to the older, faster Scorpio, the Classic is only marginally slower at 20-80kph (9.48secs) and 40-100kph (12.82secs) times. The throws are shorter too, and it is quite light to shift as well. The clutch too is light, and has a good amount of consistency.
What is a bit of an irritant is the auto stop/start function. While it may help gain a higher economy, it tends to shut off the engine frequently in crawling traffic, which in turn switches off the AC compressor. And on a hot day, it will get to you. Best then to keep it on in moderate traffic conditions.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Classic: ride comfort and handling
Mahindra has also retuned the suspension to account for the change in weight, and while it does make light work of a bad patch of road, it still is a bit busy on a flat surface with cracks and potholes. You tend to bounce around in the cabin, and there is a good amount of side-to-side movement as well.
The stiff suspension is to counter the top-heavy feel in corners, but despite that, the Classic leans a fair bit, courtesy the tall height and narrow wheel track (distance between the centreline of the wheels). That said, when the road gets tough, it sure has an air of indestructibility thanks to the good ol’ body-on-frame chassis. The steering effort, especially at low speeds has reduced, but it isn't all that noticeable and you wouldn't get the smooth effortless feel like on other more modern SUVs.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Classic: price and verdict
The Scorpio Classic is available in two variants only – S and S11 – with prices ranging between Rs 11.99 lakh-15.49 lakh. The price for the top-spec does overlap with the base trims of the bigger Scorpio-N, but the Classic has a completely different playing field. It caters to a wide audience: those who like a tough, no-frills SUV for fleet operations; those that have a wide use of that third-row jump seat layout; and those who want something bigger and better than the Bolero. It might have become a niche now, but it still has enough going for it to have a piece of the pie.
2022 Mahindra Scorpio Classic video review