For past 10 years I was Maruti's (Suzuki) loyal customer, having Maruti 800 my first car in 2004 and then Swift VXi from 2008.
Though my family is very small (3 people) but I love to go for long drives. So when I decided to buy a new car in the beginning of 2016 search for a new car like a trend nowadays, SUV/ SUV type car within a budget around Rs. 15 lacs.
Living in Metro like Chennai, I also preferred to have automatic transmission to have comfortable city drive. When I started the hunt in the beginning of 2016, the there were few options and best was Creta (automatic was only with diesel top end). I waited for the launch of Vitara Brezza and also Honda BR-V. But when I took a test drive of all these cars I didn't have SUV type feeling, especially when you are inside. All these are crossovers compact SUVs.
Of late Mahindra provided an automatic transmission for their W6 model of XUV-500 and which comes around 17 lacs (on road). I took the test drive of XUV-500 automatic, when you sit on driver seat its gives you awesome feeling, very easy to drive. It's a monster vehicle with ease of handling like Nano. The driving position is superb and you get all around view. It took 30 minutes to decide and I have booked XUV-500 W6-AT and got delivery before 15th August 2016.
Within a week we planned a trip to Bangalore from Chennai. It was amazing experience driving the XUV, this is called a real SUV, it marks its presence on road. Most importantly you are above all (other cars or crossovers). The driver position, space is superb. Mahindra has also improved interiors which are superior to any other competitors; the cabin is like the cockpit of a plane. Before buying I had lots of misconception (based on old XUV reviews) that suspension of this XUV is not good, service is poor and so on. All are proving wrong with the new age XUV-500 and the friendly service executives. Believe me, I got VIP treatment when I bought XUV-500.
The handling of automatic XUV is smooth, thanks to 6-speed automatic transmission design from Japan and also a credit to its powerful 2.2-litre turbocharged (140 BHP power) engine, you never feel the lack of power or lack of punch when you drive or overtake. In fact, sometimes I feel it is unfair to provide so much of powers to XUV when you look around most of cars & crossovers are having 1 to 1.6 LTR engines? A piece of advice, when you look for automatic car/SUV look for engine power as well, otherwise there will be drag whenever gears are shifted.
This is a roomy XUV and lots of boxes around, super spacious SUV. I never felt fatigued in my last two trips of around 400 km each. The drive to curvy 'Yeracaud' (hill station close to Salem, TN) hills was smooth and enjoying, I don't need to bother juggling with gears and clutch during hills ride, just enjoyed the nature's beauty.
XUV-500 W6- AT loaded with features like ESP (electronic Stability Program), hill hold and hill descent control, front airbags, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, navigation, steering mounted controls, cruise control, voice command, rain sensing wiper, intelligent lights and much more. Since XUV comes front wheel drive so there is a flat bed in second and third rows. If you fold second and third rows you can literally put mattress and pillow and 2-3 persons can sleep comfortably?. It has all disc brakes so braking is very good.
Mahindra has added loads of curves in its metallic body and with its sheer size, it really looks like a "Cheetah" or "Hulk" on road.
I got a very decent mileage of 16 kmpl on the highways, driving around 100-120 kmph speed. It has a massive fuel tank of more than 70 LTR, you don't need to worry at all on filling fuel for long drives. The city mileage is around 10-12kmpl.
Pros: Styling, Space, driving position and comfort, road presence , powerful and smooth drive, loaded with modern features, best in class infotainment system, superior interior, inside blue lightings are awesome, powerful headlamps and stylish daylight LED.
Cons: No push button for all automatic versions, the rear view could have been improved.
Verdict: If you have a budget around Rs. 17-18 Lacs and love SUV's, long drives. Go for XUV-500 Automatic. You will never regret.
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