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My First Test Drive Today

for W8 2WD

Look and Style : On this front, the XUV 500 took me by surprise. The vehicle looks much better than the pr photos dished out during launch on the net. Having lived abroad a long time I am used to PR photos being better than the actual product . In the case of the XUV , the vehicle looked much more polished and refined than the publicity  photos. I think they need a better official photographer. The dimension and proportions and the interior too were extremely good. Just a bit kiddish compared to a European car, in trying to be too clever and different for the sake of being different. It does not have the  quiet sophistication and refinement of a European build, but by far much better than anything that has come from Indian stables, and a massive leap from the old Mahindras. Everything is ergonomic inside and easy to reach, well thought of and designed in terms of user comfort.  The plastics of the various storage spaces could have been better. While the storage spaces are well designed, the material quality is just passable quality. Maybe the great design led to higher expectations , but the price does not allow better material quality. If this has to be an international car as touted by the company, then it falls short on global standards a wee bit, but then again better than any Indian-built car so far comfort On this front, the XUV is excellent. The driver's seat is amazingly firm cosy and comfortable, well contoured with good thigh support. The seats are amazing. The back seat has fantastic space and comfort. This is an ideal vehicle to sit in if you have a driver. Mahindra obviously has learnt their lessons from the back seat discomfort of the Scorpio.  The view from the driver's seat is amazing. lovely low doors. gives you a good 270 degree view. The balance 90 degrees on the rear being a weak patch. Being 6 foot tall , I did have a small problem getting in and out, with my head banging against the door arches. This was not the case with the Scorpio and its high roofs. The leather quality on the leather seats are again not the same quality as an Indian made Skoda in terms of looks and finish but feel comfortable to sit on. Everything is within easy reach, and the cabin monitoring glass is an excellent idea, if you want to keep watch on what your kids are up to. Since the rear window is small. you may have a problem reversing, especially at night. The model I drove did not have a reverse cam, just sensors. so it could be easy to reverse into a ditch at night, if you are not careful. But this would be a geat car for long distance driving. Almost perfect.  Pickup: Its in the drive mechanics on this vehicle , that, in my opinion, is nowhere near a global car. While the engine has a good pick up. After a few seconds,  being a 140 BHP engine . The engine lags and struggles for a second or two after you leave the clutch. The Scorpio has better engine engagement than this vehicle. I would be scared to leave the clutch of this vehicle if I were to stop on a mountain road going up and having to start again. The Scorpio can start and roll even on 3rd gear. this vehicle struggles on second gear. There is a vibration as if the vehicle is struggling when you leave the clutch. However, after a second or two, when the turbo kicks in , it does move well as you feel the power kick in. I would be a bit apprehensive in a start and stop traffic jam or going uphill on a  mountain with this vehicle. Once the rpm crosses around 2000, the engine feels great and in control of the vehicle.  Mileage:-  It was a showroom test drive, so I could not comment on it, except what company brochures mention, which is 12 kmpl within town and about 15Kmpl on the highways.  Best Features:- Its exterior  looks and cabin comfort.  Needs to improve : The drive mechanics and the entire driving experience came as surprisingly immature. The first immediate shock was that my foot on the clutch pedal was stuck against an exposed steering rod column. And as you turn the steering, all the nuts and bolts on the steering rod column were banging against my toes. It was at this very second I decided this was not the vehicle I would buy, at least not for this first release version. The gear does not shift as smoothly as the old Scorpio. It is fairly mushy, It needs huge improvement. The engine has a lot of vibration and noise. Compared to a diesel engine on any global vehicle platform. The suspensions were bad too, I purposely ran it  a bit hard on a minor pothole road. The entire cabin was rattling and everything was vibrating. Its was very disconcerting to me. It certainly did not feel like a new car out of a showroom. surprisingly again, it did not feel as good and stable against the companies own old vehicle the Scorpio. On a speed breaker that I ran hard on, the shock absorber bottomed out with a huge thud. Like the old Contessas used to.  Overall Experience : The vehicle looks brilliant, and is superbly designed in terms of gizmos and ergonomics. Its internal comfort is fantastic. The driving experience, however, is amazingly immature. I decided not to buy this vehicle then and there, especially my foot rubbing against the exposed steering rod column unless future variants show improvement. The looks of this vehicle are fantastic, but the driving experience is not as good as the Scorpio. I wish them luck if they want to win over the global market with this brand . Although I have some doubts knowing what is available abroad at this price range.

On: Oct 10, 2011 | 8338 Views
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