Test Drive - Mahindra Xylo E6 Part 2/2

06/07/2009 - 12:11 | ,  ,  ,   | Shrawan Raja

you can catch Mahindra Xylo E6 Part 1 in case you have missed it

Interiors Contd -

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Every A.C vent has individual open/close provision, which is a very novel idea. Climate control could have made more people happy, but the abundance of vents all around the cabin keeps you as cool as the car itself.

The centre of the dashboard is occupied by the CD/MP3 player, which plays good quality music as we pointed out in our initial impressions.

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The gear changer is a bit far from the driver' reach, but its sheer size and shape makes up for this. Shifting is easy, needs no bicep mass like the earlier Mahindra models needed.

Sit behind the driver and the head rest is such a size, it permits you to view little or nothing in front. The captain seats are comfortable like how it is relaxing in drawing room couch.

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The 3rd row is bench type with a foldable center arm rest and cup holder. The seats are designed to offer just about the right comfort level to a well-built six footer, it isn't as comfortable as the middle row captain seats.

Let's start the engine -

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Fire up the engine and the cabin hardly feels anything. It isn't a librarian's car, but the vibration and noise are within bearable limits. Nothing annoying.

Guess Mahindra is working on this front already, and an improved Xylo with even better NVH levels is not very far away.

This is the latest CRDE/CRDI engine from the Mahindra stable and the advancement is evident, the test vehicle had nearly done 8,000kms and signs of vibration, unusual sound, jitters or a loose component could be seen, heard or felt. The engine has a gentle roar while accelerating through the gears, this is not like the turbo whine on a Safari VTT or the irritating exhaust note of a Tavera, this is something much more civilized, stylish which you would take a liking.

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Driving the Xylo is not as difficult as it would seem when you look at the size of it. Thanks to the glass area and the driver's seating position, an Eagles view of the road ahead is a standard feature across the Xylo range. The gear ratios are well laid out, but you get to the meat only after you rev past the 2k RPM. This is when the real fun starts, the Xylo has developed a tendency of gripping highways better than city roads, and it's on home turf then. We managed to do 135kmph and the Xylo did not feel like it would give away.

City driving is a bit wobbly guess due to the soft suspension setup. Speed up, hit a crest or a trough, and the Xylo rolls from side to side. Brakes are not bad, due to the heavy rain the brakes needed serious and thoughtful inputs to bring us to a standstill. The brakes tend to lock up very easily and this brought about a few scary situations. ABS should help things, we felt Mahindra should offer it on all the models after driving it on wet roads and pot holes brimmed with rain water.

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We had the rains on the last day of its stay, and we went for a long drive. The tires were doing a brilliant job of keeping the car planted to the wet roads. While returning, our female companion got behind the wheel. She loved the Xylo's turning circle radius which is short for a vehicle of this size. She liked the way the car was able to move off the line, the space it offered for luggage (both the 3rd row and the middle row seats can be folded to house a weather satellite) and the comfort of the seats. Ladies are quick to find fault, at the drop of a hat they detect shortfalls, but behind the Xylo's wheel, she didn't utter a word.

Verdict -

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The fit and finish is much much better than the earlier Mahindras, the interior quality's tale is pretty much the same. Frankly it doesn't seem like a Mahindra product until you've slapped a logo on it. If this is a hint of what Mahindra's would be in the future, Tata, Toyota and the other have a lot to think about.

To sum it up, the Xylo is a very good platform for Mahindra to alter its image as not just a rugged and less refined Utility Vehicle manufacturer. The pricing is a lot lesser than what we all expected and the Xylo is nothing but pure value for money.

We would like to have a few more items tossed in (Airbags and ESP go without saying)  as mentioned in this article on the E10 variant with a 2.6-liter engine lifted out of the Scorpio. Such a car could wipe out the Innova and the competition right from the word go.

Mahindra Xylo E6 Image Slideshow

If you cannot view the slideshow above, then head directly to the Mahindra Xylo E6 Image Gallery

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