My First Test Drive Today

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  • Appearance
  • Performance
  • Comfort
  • Value For Money
  • Fuel Economy
  • Overall Satisfaction

Pros : Looks , Features, Interior space, Seats

Cons : Drive quality, Gear box, Suspensions. Foot on clutch in constant touch with rotating steering rod

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.

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 Comments Mahindra XUV500
  • Amit |14 Oct,2011 01:13:13 AM

    what a gr8 overall review... i havnt yet seen the car and i already have a feel of it.... may b when i test drive my xperience may vary.....!!!!

  • Ajay |15 Oct,2011 08:34:54 PM

    The review is really detailed and useful. Will keep an eye for the highlighted points when I take a test drive.

  • amit dev |24 Oct,2011 04:18:33 PM

    you are right, even when i did the test drive , could not enjoy the first and second gear, you have to immediately change go third gear after few seconds only, i was excited after seeing features,because at this cost this is a loot. So finally which car , you have bought. I am planning to buy cruze or skoda laura any feedback

    thommy |24 Dec,2011 12:06:29 AM

    dont go for cruze... go for laura.. i really had a bad experience with my cruze n i sold it off after an year. laura demands high maintanence cost but still will give u peace of mind...another option for u is jetta...

  • Kapil Garg |26 Oct,2011 11:15:56 AM

    MAHINDRA' s have launched Rs.14.00Lakh Plus vehicle but their dealers are capabable of selling such high value car. I have booked XUV500 W8-2WD with PRIME AUTOMOBILES, FARIDABAD and their poor attitute towards customer is really pathetic

    Sandeep Jindal |29 Nov,2011 07:21:58 PM

    Agreed Kapilji. Even Sterling Motors, Gurgaon is awful.

    rahul virmani |10 Jan,2012 10:22:29 PM

    kapil g.i comletely agree with 1 out there r attend the customer

  • surender |10 Nov,2011 08:57:32 AM

    Thanks for the feedback, now i have to think again to buy this vehicle.

  • Lovnish Manocha |20 Nov,2011 10:14:28 PM

    I test drove it on 21/11/11 Prons - Good features packed beautifully. Well designed and good looking. Best seats offered by an Indian manufacturer. Value for money. Cons - Found the car gear shifts not so smooth in 1 and 2nd gear. Yes once the car is in 3rd gear and at 40 speed the drive is better. The car does not stick to the road and you feel you are jumping in air at times. That is the reason we stick to European or Japanese car makers. Good for someone who is looking to upgrade from a sedan, does not with to spend much and wants to have the car like feel in deisel engine. Suggestion - Wish Mahindra brings down the price by 1 lac and reduce the features if required.

  • Thommy |24 Dec,2011 12:11:39 AM

    even i have to think again now. im confused with xuv5oo, pajero sport and fortuner automatic.. any suggetions?

    sanjay |06 Jan,2012 06:39:40 PM

    Thommy. all three vehicles are in completely different classes. If I could afford the Pajero sport, wow! i would not even look at these options. At that budget levels, the options are completely different. The Pajero sport is a heavily tested and developed over many generations. In terms of looks, performance, reliability , off road capacity , it would be my pick. Fortuner looks huge outside and feels like a mini car inside. They have taken all the metal on the width of the car and packed it into height. The pick up is slow. The XUV , well wait for mark 3. I think they would have sorted out their problems by then

    Hariprashanth |30 Jan,2012 12:27:30 AM

    Why don't you consider the Force One.. Just try a test drive. You will have a great experience.. Don't forget to write the review here..

  • Vishal |05 Jan,2012 02:49:23 AM

    Awesome review .. I think I have a clear idea in my mind of what NOT to do this season .. I'll look for other options in this price range ..

  • Harmit |06 Jan,2012 09:22:55 PM

    Awesome review!Why cant the car guys write like this?Straight to the bone and cut the crap!I am not even doing a test drive after this!

  • Sushil |07 Jan,2012 01:55:57 PM

    Thanks for the review. It's very helpful . Otherwise I was impressed with this vehicle's inferior and front.

  • rao |19 Jan,2012 12:27:39 PM

    Thanks sanjay. it's very helpful review...

  • wilson |22 Jan,2012 04:20:20 AM

    @sanjay, When u say mark 3 any idea when is the good time to book the XUV500 ? 4 months is the waiting period

  • rajiv |24 Jan,2012 10:22:16 AM

    really wonderful review. you are right, it would be better to wait a while before one should think about getting it.

  • jayanto inccu |16 Feb,2012 02:08:20 PM

    Great review... detailed like a professional reviewer.

  • vikram |22 Feb,2012 01:02:41 PM

    tata aria is best option than this suv. gr8 drive gr8 comfort . gr8 cabin. i just loved it.pick up and overtaking is superb

  • Deepak Patkar |24 Feb,2012 04:21:23 PM

    Very detailed review in a very simple nontechnical language.

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