Tata Ace Mega XL vs Mahindra Supro Maxitruck

Tata Ace Mega XL vs Mahindra Supro Maxitruck

The Tata Ace had been around since 2005 and the first proper response from Mahindra was in 2010 through the Maxximo, which though was a good product, did not quite match up to the Ace in terms of versatility and service friendliness. 

Come Oct 2015 and Mahindra has re-engineered, face-lifted and re-branded the Maxximo and the outcome is the new Mahindra Supro. OK! so why not call it a Maxximo Super or Maxximo star or Maxximo XYZ is a natural question which comes to everybody's mind. The answer to that is simple, Mahindra just wanted to erase the baggage of the Maxximo and start fresh with the Supro. The Supro is offered in three variants of varying feature content with the top of the line variant sporting an air conditioned cabin.

TML launched the Ace Mega in Aug 2015. The Ace mega is not exactly an all new product, rather it is a re-engineered an rebadged version of the Ace Dicor which was soft launched in Rajasthan a few years back probably as a pilot. Despite positive word of mouth, TML never was interested in a Pan India launch of the Ace Dicor as the company was simply struggling to even meet the demand of the standard Ace variant.

The Mega with additional load body dimensions is christened the Mega XL and was launched in June 2017. Till the Mega XL, TML did not have a worthy competitor to the Supro Maxi truck which was a bigger vehicle in terms of dimensions.

For starters, the Supro Maxitruck shares the bodyshell and powertrains with the Maxximo with the addition of a turbocharged 900cc engine to the portfolio in one of the variants. This commonrail turbo variant puts out 45 PS of power and 98 NM of torque.  

The Ace Mega XL gets the turbocharged commonrail (DICOR in Tata parlance) motor which pumps out 40 PS of power and 100 NM of torque from an 800 cc twin cylinder engine. This is a big difference from the 16 PS and 38 NM of the earlier 700 cc motor carried by the Ace HT. 

Both the vehicles have near identical GVW at 2100 Kilograms (with the Supro being lighter by about 40 kilograms) and rated payloads of 1 ton each. Add to it the fact that the govt has recently regulated the speeds of all CVs at 80 kmph max which means that there will not be any difference between these two products in terms of on road performance related to acceleration and speed. It's a tie in this round as the products are more or less evenly matched.

Suspension and Mechanicals
The big difference starts here, while the Ace makes do with the conventional leaf spring arrangement for the front and rear, the M&M vehicle has a mac-pherson strut arrangement in the front coupled with a coil spring, with the rear retaining the tried and tested leaf springs.

In an era where the top speeds are limited to 80 kmph for goods carriers, we do not see a merit in going in for an independent front suspension in load carriers and hence the Tata Ace Mega with its rigid front suspension and leaf springs gets our vote.

Perhaps M&M was trying to take on the Super Ace and the Ace Mega with one product and could have zeroed in on the IFS(independent front suspension) with the Super Ace in its sights. The top of the line variant sporting an AC cabin also points to this thought process within M&M. We at overloadindia are of the firm belief that a vehicle for this segment should have leaf springs all around unless speeds in the region of 80 to 100 kmph are to be maintained on a regular basis.

Wheels and Tyres
Another big difference and a pretty big one. The Tata vehicle comes fitted with 165 R 14 tyres whereas the Supro comes fitted with smaller 155 R 13 tyres. The larger contact patch offered by the 165mm tyres of the Mega XL aids in better road holding and braking. Both the vehicles have tube type radials as is the norm in the segment. Mahindra looks seriously confused here. On one hand, they go for the IFS in the interest of speed and on the other hand, they fit smaller tyres which is a compromise. Ace gets our vote here. 

Load body dimensions 
The Supro has load body dimensions (L x B x H) of 2500mm x 1540mm whereas the Mega XL has a load body which is 2520mm x 1430mm x 300mm. The Supro Maxitruck has an edge here in terms of the loading area width as compared to the Mega XL. Supro wins this round.

Running economics and fuel efficiency
While the Supro has an ARAI certified figure of 21.2 kmpl, the Ace Mega claims 21.4 kmpl under standard test conditions. In real life this might translate to about 15 - 16 kmpl for both the vehicles. The two vehicles are expected to have similar cost of running with the Supro likely to be on the higher side due to the occasional wheel balancing requirements necessitated due to the independent front suspension. Ace has a slight edge here but not much and we would like to go with a tie.

Comfort and convenience
Both vehicles offer power steering and the Supro offers an optional air conditioning in the top variant. This is an option the customer pays for and is at best left to the customer to choose. 

The Supro has a wider cabin and also the earlier criticized IFS provides for better ride comfort compared to the Mega XL. The Supro also has a wider co - driver seat good for one and half adults making it a more comfortable place to live and move on the highways. Supro wins this round but then this is a segment where comfort and convenience comes last in the list of the operator's priorities. 

With prices hovering close to 4.75 lacs, the comparable variants of the Ace Mega XL and Supro Maxitruck are similarly priced. 

The Supro ticks many boxes right but then one serious problem seems to have hit them during product conceptualization. It is very clear that they did not want to cannibalize the Mahindra Bolero Maxitruck which is the undisputed champion of the sub 2 ton category in India. Also there was this urge to take on the Dost and the Super Ace which are clearly in a different league altogether. This confusion has proved costly for them in terms of omissions like a front leaf spring, rigid axle and bigger tyres as these are basic requirements in an overload friendly market. 

The Ace Mega XL on the other hand focuses on the fundamentals and does not try to do many things. It sticks to its core business of being overload friendly and hassle free ownership. It is this simplicity of the Ace DNA that makes the Mega XL a worthy member of that family. Add to this, the warranty of 2 years or 72000 kms offered by Tata Motors which is better than the 60000 kms or 2 years offered by the Supro Maxitruck. 

The Ace Mega XL is our pick in this shootout as it conclusively trumps the Supro in most areas important for a load carrier.

For more details please refer our youtube channel : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqKwEuu6TZ8 


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