Text and photos by Neil Pagulayan
Not long after the Philippines National Police acquired the Mahindra Enforcer as their new patrol vehicle, you probably noticed soon after they had another new vehicle on the road —the Mahindra Scorpio SUV. This new vehicle is intended to be used as their “cruiser” or for admin or supervisory duties. It’s not just for our police force. We take a look at the civilian Scorpio to get a feel for the capabilities of this vehicle.
From the outside, you’ll notice its boxy look is an indication of functionality over form and it does look masculine. The two-tone paint job of our test vehicle provided a more civilian feel than the full white police vehicle livery. The silver cladding highlights the muscular flairs. The hood scoop is a nice touch, but when you open it up, you’ll find the intercooler is actually not where the scoop is, but in front of the radiator.
The Scorpio is a four-door wagon with a rear door. Its length is 4,430mm, 1,775mm wide, 1,975mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2,680mm. Ground clearance is adequate at 180mm, with 16-inch inch steel rims to roll on.
Under the hood is the NEF TCi four-stroke 2490cc turbocharged diesel engine that puts out 105Hp at 3,800 rpm with torque of 258Nm at 1,800rpm. It’s mated to a five-speed manual transmission that drives the rear wheels.
Inside is spacious interior with the driver’s seat giving a commanding view of the road ahead. The steering wheel could have used some tilt adjustment upwards as I found my leg hitting the bottom of the steering wheel whenever I got in or out of the vehicle. The center console has four cup holders and a lot of cubby holes to put things. It comes equipped with arm rests on the front seats as a huge plus.
The second row is spacious enough to seat four in a pinch, but more comfortably seats three. They have two large air con vents built into the center console to cool the second row. It may not look like it’s enough to cool the vehicle, but the Scorpio’s air conditioning is powerful enough to chill the entire cabin on a hot day.
Among the standard amenities are power steering, keyless entry with central locking, power windows and side mirrors, and an AM/FM/CD/Aux entertainment system.
This mid-sized SUV does seat more than other brands in the same category that typically seat only seven. The Scorpio, by contrast, seats nine in relative comfort. The high ceiling in the rear is good for taller passengers seated all the way in the back.
On the road, you’ll find the acceleration takes some “getting there” as the turbo kicks in higher up on the rpms. You’ll barely notice this though in city traffic jams. Once you do hit the turbo’s happy range, there’s quite a bit of power to spare. Torque is where the Scorpio shines, especially with a full load of passengers or cargo, with the engine giving maximum torque early in the power band.
Handling is as expected for a tall SUV: a little bit on the soft side than firm. I feel it works well compared to its competitors as it offers a more comfortable ride and smoothens out a lot of the bumps you find on the roads here in the Philippines. It’s not a 4×4, but it can handle rural dirt roads with ease, which is pretty much all the capability you’ll need if you’re not an off roader anyway.
The PNP made a wise decision getting this vehicle. They definitely got value for our hard earned tax money with a vehicle that can handle what the job throws at them and more. The civilian version we drove is almost exactly the same as the police version and is priced at P965,000. It comes in Red Rage, Diamond White and Fiery Black.
Whether you have a large family or you’re just looking for an SUV that can carry you and your friends comfortably, is economical and won’t break the bank, the Mahindra Scorpion is the one for you.