Mahindra launched the XUV700 a few months ago, and irrespective of the speculations and hype, it is a great car. The design, engines, technology, everything about this car has evolved to the next level. While everything had a positive response, one particular aspect got a lot of stares and negative reviews. That is the Mahindra XUV700‘s Plastic Tailgate. In this article, we explain what it is and if it is something to worry about as a buyer.
Prerequisite knowledge: Other cars with Plastic Tailgate
Before we get into the details, we would like to show you a list of cars and their respective safety ratings that already exist with a plastic tailgate.
Range Rover Velar: 5 Stars
Volvo XC60: 5 Stars
Land Rover Discovery: 5 Stars
Jaguar F-Pace: 5 Stars
Volvo V90: 5 Stars
Jaguar I-Pace: 5 Stars
Citroen DS7 Crossback: 5 Stars
This itself should convince you that plastic tailgate itself does not mean it is cheap and compromises safety. Now, let’s get into the details of why Mahindra used the plastic tailgate and what are its pros and cons.
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What is the Plastic Tailgate?
The plastic tailgate is technically a thermoplastic or also known as composite tailgate, which contains a glass-filled plastic polymer. With respect to safety, the composite tailgates offer better durability than metal sheets. To increase crash protection, the external panel has a stiff and thicker structural brace behind it. The inner panel contains reinforced metal inserts that act as a backbone. Just like other units, the composite tailgate too has passed torsional rigidity, over-slam durability, sun load, and oil canning tests.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Plastic Tailgate
The only disadvantage of the Mahindra XUV700‘s Plastic Tailgate is the higher cost of manufacturing. This is due to the complex procedures involved in bending glass fibre uniformly. So contrary to popular beliefs, it costs more for Mahindra to make it, so the discussion of Mahindra implementing it to save costs or, as people call it, cost-cutting goes out of the window.
The advantages are many, including better weather corrosion resistance, a higher strength-to-weight ratio, and weight reduction. A typical thermoplastic unit can be 20-30 per cent lighter than a steel panel measuring the same size while at the same time being stronger. It is also easier to implement the desired shape and design in the case of thermoplastic.
Why did Mahindra choose the Thermoplastic Tailgate?
The answer is – Design. In order to achieve the design, shape, and size that the engineers at Mahindra wanted, they chose the composite tailgate. The finer details on the sharp cuts and creases can be achieved with a fair deal of flexibility on the thermoplastic tailgate.
As you can see in the images above, the thermoplastic tailgate used does not compromise safety, and it is definitely not preferred to cut manufacturing costs. Our intentions are not to promote the car but to bust myths surrounding the plastic tailgate used on the XUV700. It is more robust, lighter to operate, and good to look at; what else can you ask for? So, if you have already booked one, there is nothing to worry about, and you can take a chill pill. If you wanted to book one and were concerned only about the plastic tailgate, now you know that you can book this absolute cracker of a car with peace of mind.