Return of a smart investment

by Andy Bryenton

There is a fleet of new options on the market for farmers looking to update or upgrade their utility truck, from the luxurious to the tough and dependable. Amid this surge in popularity for the classic ute as a vehicle that does it all — from the high street to the back paddock — a new offering from Mahindra stands out for utility and value.

The Genio has proven extremely popular in its home market on the Indian subcontinent, where Mahindra is the biggest name in diesel power. In fact, the brand is all but ubiquitous on Indian roads — and on the trails which serve as roads in the hinterland. 

With a testbed as tough as this, it’s no surprise that the Genio is built tough, able to handle hard knocks, which the average Kiwi environment rarely serves up. The real surprise is the sheer value for money represented by the upgraded, facelifted second generation of this multi-purpose truck — an area in which the Genio punches well above its weight.

Here’s an example — despite having the requisite modern car-like handling, and a turning circle just a touch over 6 metres, the Genio can be fitted with a huge 2.7-metre deck, packing the ability to lug more than 1,200 kilograms. Under the hood there’s no compromise on power, with a thoroughly modern 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine providing 280Nm of torque. With a Bosch common-rail system designed in Germany and a chain drive setup to reduce vibration and noise, this is a power plant that stands proudly among its rivals as quiet and competent.

The biggest news is aesthetic in this new iteration, though. A bold new design adds visual appeal, while the cabin is well appointed with comfortable seats, handy storage solutions and charging points for all your modern devices.

Once again, the Genio has the hallmarks of sturdy build quality, engineered to handle the demanding environments of the subcontinent, from the tropics to the Himalayas. What’s best of all, this compact but brawny little ute with its handy load capacity and smart road handling comes in around the $20,000 mark.

That’s pause for thought in a sector where utes can top out at three times this figure.