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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mahindra Xylo test drive review

I’d registered for a test drive of Xylo long back but never heard from Mahindra in that regard. I went ahead with my earlier post on Mahindra Xylo vs Toyota Innova 2009 based on information available in product websites and other sources and few commented that I shouldn’t be reviewing a vehicle without test driving it. Finally got a call from Mahindra’s Mumbai office last week and a test drive was booked for Sunday evening.
Mahindra Xylo E8 outside view
Though most of my earlier views on Xylo still hold good and I aim to revise and update the earlier post soon, this post has some additional details:

My test drive was scheduled for 6PM but the representative called me at 2.30PM saying “Sir I’m in your locality can we pre-pone the test drive?” I said ok and soon a Black Xylo E8 came my way. He promptly asked me for my Driving License before letting me drive. Good that he did so-most of the reps hesitate to ask your DL, thinking that may turn off a prospect.

My first objective was to find out how smooth the transmission is. The Scorpio Vls I’d driven in Sep 2008 had a hard transmission which resulted in good amount of strain on my left arm at the end of 3 days 900 kms drive (Something I didn’t experience in other long drives, the 1300 kms/3 days in Skoda Octavia as well as 1850 kms/5 days in a Swift VDi). As suspected even Xylo had similarly hard transmission. A little extra muscle power will be required while changing gears and this can be stressful on your left arm during long drives.
Xylo reverse guidance system
Intelligent reverse park system is very nice and will be really useful. The rep claimed that Innova doesn’t have this feature while I insisted that new Innova does have Sonar based park assist system.

Ride quality, engine response, maneuverability are all good, but despite the height adjustment one can’t see the edge of the bonnet and lot of judgment will be required during city driving (Even Innova and several cars have this disadvantage). Xylo is slightly more powerful than Innova and 12kmpl in city and 13-14 on highways is the mileage stated by Mahindra rep. If true then it is good enough and scores better than Toyota Innova, but I expect actual economy to be a km or two less per liter than promised, making Xylo at par with the later.

Various digital information related to current speed, mileage, distance to empty etc are displayed in an additional unit above the music system, whereas most of the cars have this information included within the speedo console. On being asked why it is centrally mounted at elevated position, forcing driver to turn his read to read the same, the reply was that in this position everyone in the car can see the information, not just the driver.

I asked him: “Innova has airbags and ABS in its top end 2.5V… Why no adequate safety features are provided in Xylo?”
Mahindra Rep: Sir, our Xylo has been tested extensively on Indian Roads before its launch (he quoted a number-about 1 lakh kms or something). It was found that the vehicle’ braking is very effective even without ABS, hence it was decided that ABS is not necessary.

Airbags have their own problems sir- they are supposed to go off in case of major collisions at the speed of 120-130kmph or more, but they usually go off even for a small hit at 70-80 kmph and once they go off the entire unit needs to be replaced by spending 70-80 thousand rupees…


(You life is certainly worth more than 70-80k and probably that expense can be recovered from insurance-not a convincing enough reason not to have an airbag)

Courtesy lamps are good, though not the way I’d expected them to be. I had thought they will be similar to overhead cabin lamps in aircrafts which passengers can rotate to focus on specific point, but Courtesy lamps in Xylo are just an additional lamp positioned at different passenger positions, so that everyone will have a light point near them to say read a book.

The full flatbed seats are nice. My next wish is that we should be able to drive in sleeping position, without having to sit erect all the time… Seating space for all passengers is adequate. 3 step Lumbar support , even for 2nd row passengers is a good thing and not seen in many of the cars. Length of Xylo is shorter but taller than Innova.

There’s absolutely no luggage space behind the last row (Check photo). One should either go for an overhead carrier, or fold the last row seat to make provision for the big suitcases. Dashboard material continues to be plastic.

Lamps below the door, to lit the space while you get down, are added convenience. So are multi row AC, overhead spectacle box, trays, armrests with cup holders etc.

Rear glass antenna is nothing but some metal strips laid across the rear windshield. (I’d thought glass is made of some special material capable of receiving audio signals). Side profile of Xylo looks dull, but front and rear views are good. mEagle badge was missing on the right side.

The representative didn’t have information on Number of Xylos sold so far or the on road price- He suggested me to get it from local dealership.He also couldn't give a rationale behind not including Skyrack in E8. But he was very friendly and enthusiastic in explaining Xylo’s features. Said he gives 3-5 demos per day and today being Sunday he has 8 Demos to complete, all over Chennai. I still can’t give Xylo a “GO BUY IT without any hesitation” verdict, but is certainly value for money product and deserves serious consideration.



November 2010 Update: Harsha Koda has prepared a nice travelogue, around the joueny he did with his Xylo

In another update, Mahindra Xylo has recently crossed 1 lakh fans on facebook (catching upwith its elder cousin Scorpio which has crossed 2 lakh fans)

26 comments :

mohanbn.com said...

Nice review Shrinidhi.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Mohan..

Finally this post secured a comment...

Laiju Muduvana said...

GoodOne........ keep it up... Can you please compare this with tavera high end....... my id is laijumm@hotmail.com

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Well, I guess Tavera is due for a facelift... At present I would go for Xylo instead of Tavera...

Joseph said...

Xylo is priced less. Thats the coolest thing about Xylo. It'd be very tough for Xylo's competitors to provie this kind of vehicle for the same prize. It has been very attractively prsented on their website www.mahindraxylo.co.in

vivek said...

Mahindra has given some really effective maintenance tips on their site at http://www.mahindraxylo.co.in/care_tips.html ... They are actually for Xylo but I think they can be useful for maintaining any car in general.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Joseph,

Agree on the price front. But Logan was priced so cheap, still didn't succeed due to poor looks and other factors. So money does matter but there're other aspects too..

Vivek,
Thanks.

Joseph said...

@Shrinidhi - I don't know about other cars but as far as xylo is concerned, Xylo has sold 11,300 units after its launch. This number is way above other competitors like Innova which I read has sold about 3000 units. From the way things are going . it wouldn't be wrong to say that other cars (including the sedans0 have been Xyloed. I just like its practicality. "Buy it and rough it out on it."

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Joseph,

Yes, Xylo is a new vehicle in town and is priced well, something Indians are very sensitive about. So yes, it has no doubt done well.

Anonymous said...

I think Xylo is much better for Indian terrain driving. It has better ground clearance as well, so you might prefer Xylo over Innova when it comes to rugged terrain. The price that it carries also makes it a serious choice over Innova if some minor aspects are ignored.

Jitendra Mishra

Sameer Jain said...

The comments given looks like favouring Innova. In India people are crazy for economical car , if not then why sUZUKI got in. So mahindra have put the brave effort to put their economical 7 seater. People like me who cant think of buying innova may feel almost there to buy xylo. I personnaly do not need too smooth vehicle for our too rough roads as i,m always fighting pot holes in delhi and around. I suggest wealthy people should buy Innova and not so wealthy can grab xylo. Expert review given look too reserve to xylo so that means expert cant find much mistakes in xylo so My preference goes for xylo. I drove on test drive find little vibrative then innova ..but not too rough as suggested but little vibrative saving 2 lakhs is wiser choice for me as it means mahindra is offering this vehicle along with driver for 3 years ( Rs.6000 x 36 months). lets see you after 3 years as how can we say it wont have resale value when its not 3 years yet ..so when somebody cant comment on performance how can he comment on resale value. Ironical na ... Sameer Jain

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Jitendra Mishra,
Ok.

Sameer,
Good view. Price, comfort and other preferences differ from individual to individual. Scorpio commands good resale value and we can hope the same for Xylo. But somehow, Mahindra vehicles are not as popular with taxi operators as compared to other vehicles

rejo said...

Hey Shrinidhi,

A very good review from ur side. I had visted a M&M showroom to have a review abt the vehicle. Ur review is excellet. i was also looking at the no. of Xylos that M&M has been able to sell so far and if it is a good sucess in the India Market.

I am currently residing in Baharin. It could be nice if you can add up to the information.

Thanks and regards

Rejo George

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Rejo,
Thanks

What information you think I can add up? I don't have any info related to Behrain.

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

good question... try in a Bajaj showroom?

Rakhi said...

Hi Shrinidhi,

I would like to know if a lady could drive xylo. I'm looking for a 8 seater. Most of them are expensive. I liked xylo, but the issue lies is that I am 5 feet and I don't know whether this would be a good choice. I liked the features of xylo, but not sure whether I will be able to drive the car.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Not impossible, but test drive yourself and find out.

Xylo has driver seat height adjustment, but not sure if this will be adequate for you. Also since front leftmost corner of the vehicle is not fully visible you'll need to be be careful. parking sensor is very useful while parking.

Tavera will be a bit more easier to drive if you ask me. But you're the best judge-drive and find out.

deepu said...

well iam proud to say that im the owner of xylo e8 abs, well i want to say something about xylo.
price is less according the feature they have given, well arranged seating capacity, digital drive system, and power full AC.
if you guys going for tavera, innova or even scorpio stop all and go for only XYLO

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Good to know.. Airbag and ABS were not even an option in the initial days of E8, sales rep had made an attempt to convince me that they are not really necessary...

Now good to see it has been added...

Sandeep said...

I am also browsing internet posts from past 6 months on Xylo. and thinking of buying it. But somewhere i read that M&M may introduce mHawk engine that they have in Scorpio. Do anyone have any word on that? I called showroom, he says that M&M has no plans in near future.

If someone knows about it, then pls share, also let me know, E6/E8. Which one would be better. Max we will be travelling 5-6 people all together.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

No idea about mHawk engine. I too feel unlikely

E8 if you ask me. Now comes with airbag and ABS

Anonymous said...

I loved your blog. Thank you.

Rommel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon snow said...

If we talk about the most powerful off-roaders of India,the first brand which strike in our mind is Mahindra.Its Xylo looks rowdy and perform outstanding on the road.
Mahindra Xylo Review

Shrinidhi Hande said...

OK, but why do you think Xylo is a great offroader?