OK, so what do we have here? This doesn't seem like a Mahindra from any angle. Preceding to the launch, If its badges were pulled off, nobody other than any of the Mahindra engineers would have recognized it.
I can debate on its looks in five one-thousand word essays, but the crux is simple.
When I first saw the Mahindra Xylo with all of my friends in the Indian motoring journalism community, I recollect some staring at it in disbelief. Some of the leading journalists did not prefer it for its looks.
I've come to know that a car's appearance is entirely determined by the nature of its environment. In the family MPV segment today in India, there are a few vehicles which come to my mind. However, a year later, things will be very different. Tata would have launched their Indicruz, Maruti would have introduced a bigger vehicle and several others would have joined the bandwagon by then.
When you account for all those vehicles in the equation, the Xylo will appear very different. Very different to how it looks now once further competition enters the playing field.
It is easy to imitate the Innova's design to gain applause and acceptance, like how ICML took the Qualis route. Full marks to Mahindra for putting forward an unconventional product in terms of design, which has achieved a lot of popularity with Indian sedan/MPV buyers.
The heart of the matter-
The catch word is 'big.' Get in and there is space all around. You could run a golf tournament inside the Xylo. The huge windscreen and windows give a voluminous feel to the cabin. The steering wheel is awkwardly placed until you sit and get the setting right. We have the E6 variant with us and therefore provision for steering angle adjustment is present. On the base version, I would have found it a lot tougher to get in and drive.
The seats furnish ample support but are on the firmer side. Fit and finish are better than the Scorpio and Bolero, Mahindra should be complimented for the effort gone into improving on its earlier performance.
The dash is well laid out with a nice Nippon stereo sitting in the centre playing my favorite tracks on my iPod through good quality speakers. Good quality speakers are unknown to many who have never considered incorporating in the factory car. The sound system adds to the delight of driving the Xylo.
The gear lever is a bit far from my reach but the chunky knob averts me from complaining too much.We would have liked an all-time parking assistance module with front and the side sensors ( the Xylo has just for the reverse) which works only when the reverse gear is engaged.
We've hardly clocked twenty kilometers, and we've already beginning to get a little worked up with the soft suspension setting. Over a stretch of bad road, we drove hard, and the tendency of it to bounce a bit more than its competition is evident.
Once we have done a few hundred kilometers over different terrains, our opinion might be different. It's still early days with our twin color Xylo that is finding a friend in our camera. Watch out for our comprehensive report in the near future. I can tell you, this car looks like a competent MPV giving you more for the same buck as any of its peers