I drove an XUV500 for the first time since its launch- thanks to Carzonrent offering it on self drive. I’d heard and read a lot about XUV500’s looks, features (and some complaints as well) and was eager to experience it first hand. What I drove was W6 variant, one step below the top of the line W8.
1) Angled headlights for sharp turns (officially known as static bending headlamps)- XUV500 has couple of extra headlamps, positioned at an angle of 30 degrees. If we make a sharp turn, the light switches on automatically, lighting the corner. Brilliant feature- whoever thought of this, take my bows. Very useful during night drives or parking.
|Notice a lamp between two headlights-this static bending headlamp is useful during turns|
2) Lights below the mirror to illuminate walk in path. You’re approaching the car in dark and you don’t know what is there on your path- it could be cow dung, it could be a pit or even a snake. So XUV500 has a white light below the external rear view mirrors (not the turn indicators- this light points downward on the ground). When Follow Me home or Lead me to vehicle function is on, this light glows, illuminating the path, so that you can take careful steps to your car.
3) Ambient light- red coloured light glows at about 3 places- around the front lamp, near the footrest and under the seat- only for front passengers. This is not mood lighting though, just jazzes up the interior with red.
4) Convex mirror to view passengers (called conversation mirror)- you’re seated in driver’s seat and you want to know if all your passengers have taken their seat or while driving you wish to check if people are sleeping or awake. The regular rear view mirror is designed to view vehicles coming from behind and not to keep an eye on the passengers. So XUV500 has an additional convex mirror in which all seats of the vehicle are visible. Super.
5) Lumbar support for first row passengers
6) Cruise Control- tried it for a while- I felt very uncomfortable having to sit there and do nothing, so reverted to manual mode. Also auto transmission and cruise control tend to make the driver lazy, so I avoid them where possible.
7) Dozens of storage areas- there’re 2 glove boxes for front passenger, another box at the centre of dashboard, another large box in between the two first row seats, overhead boxes to keep goggles, water bottle storage spaces all around, additional storage area for 3rd row passengers- think of an item and XUV500 has space for it. However, only limitation is shortage of space to keep big luggage. If you have 7 people and all of them have say 2-3 bags, then without a roof mounted carrier, it will be difficult to manage. Large bags won’t fit in between the last row and rear door. We managed to keep one under the first row seats and in between first and second row etc. Front passenger glove box even has a laptop holder.
8) Micro hybrid technology to save fuel
9) Extra light under boot door- while most car makers expect us to manage with 3rd row light for luggage, XUV generously provided one extra lamp, under the boot door.
10) Attention to every passenger- all 7 seats get adjustable headrests, all 3 rows have charging points, reading lamps and AC units. So no passenger feels ignored or he's sitting in a bad seat.
Above is just W6 variant. W8 variant gets hill hold and hill descent control, ESP, side airbags, telescopic steering adjustment, fold-able mirrors, alloy wheels, GPS, tyre-tronics and leather seats extra.
View some of the Xuv500 photos here. Standby for detailed review and more photos of XUV500.