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  1. The Xlo - as everyone has already mentioned - is the most comfortable 8 seater available. All of the others - Innova, Ertiga, Scorpio lose out on the last row comfort. Surprisingly, The Chevy Enjoy too has a comfortable last row with good leg room - but it lacks under-thigh support and hence may get uncomfortable on longer rides. Have never sat in the Evalia, so will not be able to comment on it. Go for the Xylo!
  2. About the Baleno Altura in general After selling 7 cars in the Indian market (800, Zen, 1000, Esteem, Omni, Gypsy, Baleno), Maruti Udyog decided to launch its 8th model - the Baleno Altura. The Altura was introduced by Maruti Udyog Limited in 2001 at a time when there was no market for station wagons in India. The Baleno during its time competed with sedans like the Ford Escort, Opel Astra, Honda City and the Mitsubishi Lancer. The Altura however competed with stationwagons from the lower segment - the Opel Corsa Swing and the Fiat Siena Weekend/Adventure - since these were the only other stationwagons available then. The Altura and its competitors The Altura looked much much better than its sedan variant. The best part I like about the Altura is the rear windscreen with the wraparound look. This feature really gave a premium and classy look to the car. Being a lifestyle car meant that the Altura was packed with various features as standard equipment - power windows, power mirrors, alloy wheels. During its lifetime, the Altura went through one facelift which involved minor changes to the grille. Related Links Autocar Shootout : Corsa Swing v/s Siena Weekend v/s Baleno Altura Cybersteering Review : http://www.cyberstee....rs/altura.html (Features / Specifications) : Features and Specifications : Krish Auto Motors Features and Specifications : Vitesse Limited The Hindu : Maruti decks up Baleno, Altura to boost sales (2002) Autocar India test drive of the Baleno Maruti launches new Baleno variant Station wagons yet to pick up pace Exterior You have to admit it - As much ugly as the Baleno looked from the rear, the Altura was as much beautiful. World over if you compare the sedan models with their estate counterparts - the latter has always looked way better. And that applies to the Altura as well. What the Sedan loses in its rear bland design, the Altura gains it and much more in a very classy and elegant. From the front the Baleno and the Altura look the same - there is nothing to differentiate the 2 cars - except for the presence of the roof rails. The headlights were a very unique design - a mix of curves and straight lines. Unlike other Maruti cars, the headlight unit was a clear lens one and the indicators were integrated into the headlight unit itself. While this design looked good, it meant one thing in those days - be ready to shell out huge expenses during accidents or replacements. Most other cars available then - the Honda City, Opel Astra, Ford Escort - had separate units for headlights and tail light which meant replacements were required only on the parts that were damaged. The grille is typical Suzuki-type which went through some changes during its face lift. The pre face lift grille was a typical 90ish grille with a single chrome slat and honeybomb design. With the new millennium came a new grille which did away with all of it. Chrome was the in thing and the face lifted Altura got a 3 slat grille. The Alturas side profile is similar to the Baleno sedan upto the C pillar - post which you will fail to recognise this car as a Baleno. The rear glass has been neatly integrated into the body and does not look out of place. To provide a true estate look, they gave it the wrap around effect which gives it a more upmarket feel. The tail lights - which are the most striking part of the car - are 2 piece ones and carry on the wrap around effect of the glass. The outer unit houses the brake light and the indicators whereas the boot units hold additional brake lights and reverse lamps. If you own an Altura, please be very careful since these lights are very expensive and not very easily available. I have said this before and will always say - Cars of the past were made with such better quality. They don't build cars like these anymore. Compare the Altura with any other 9 lakh car available in the market. This car stinks of quality - Take for example the chrome strip running around the windows. The quality of the chrome is so good that it hasn't started to rust or lose its shine after 10 years. The quality of the door mirrors and the roof rail - these are not painted (i believe) but made of high quality plastic which still shine more than the mods on the new cars. If you see the quality of the mirrors its a rough plastic which fades very easily. Dead front - the Altura clearly resembles the Baleno. The roof railings are a give-away on what exactly is there at the back. Looks much much - much better than the Baleno. If you own an Altura, please be extra careful of those tail lamps. Side view of the Altura. This view gives the Altura a very utilitarian look. The Altura looks best from rear quarter. More exterior shots Notice carefully how the rear quarter looks similar to the Fortuner. The door opens wide and the hatch opens high. Be very careful while opening the hatch in basements. Blackened B-pillar and quality chrome lining around the doors. Manual antenna, power mirrors and the roof rail. 13 spoke Alloy wheels standard
  3. The only options that are available right now in the market are Ecosport, Duster and Ertiga. The Duster and Ecosport and strict 5 seater - so these 2 are ruled out. So you are left with the Ertiga - 12 lakhs can get you the top-end diesel model. Free accessories with the Ertiga include - Maruti Suzuki reliability and large dealer/service network. Other practical options that you could consider are : Xylo - The space king. But then again many of them are used as cabs/tourist vehicles. Evalia : Looks are subjective - i love the looks of the Evalia. It is a comfortable 6-7 seater - but in the end it is a van. You could wait for the revamped Evalia in a couple of months. Innova - A bit expensive - but you could try the base version.
  4. Work in Progress Tail Lights Work starts almost immediatley on the Altura. Tried many sources to obtain the Altura tail lights and got various quotes - the highest being Rs 8000 and that too only one side. We did think of the option of modifying the body to accomodate tail lights from a different car. But the fear of having our car featured in the Wierd and Whacky thread made us think otherwise. The Fiat Siena tail lights come closest in shape to the Alturas lights and would have been a good option. But the problem was that the Siena was also a discontinued model and sourcing a Siena unit would be as difficult as a Altura's. The car awaits its RHS set of tailights. Easily identified in this pic is the color difference bewteen the sedan and the Altura. The sedan is Pearl Silver metallic whereas the Altura is Silky Silver metallic. 02nd March 2013 Finally after hearing atrocious figures - a used set arrives at less than half the price. Although its not in the best condition - have to live with it. The roof rails, rear tail lights, number plates are removed to prepare the car for its painting process. The rear dent is also fixed. 03rd March 2013 The front and rear bumper had to be removed for painting and to fix any minor cracks. After hours of hardwork, the car is back home The dent completely fixed and ready for painting. The crack on the rear bumper completely fixed. The car looks completely incomplete without the roof rails. After 2 weeks, the Altura finally takes shape The first coat of paint applied The new tail lights fitted onto the car The final coat as well as polishing completed. The interiors were also cleaned and polished. The roof rails and emblems have been fitted on the car. Only missing emblem is the Altura one which was broken. Looking for new / replacement ones - else will get stickering done. Mid-March The final things left on the Altura are : 1. CNG installation 2. Locating the hubcaps 3. Painting the alloys 4. New set of tyres 23rd March The Altura is taken to Raju Auto (Vile Parle east) for CNG fitting while our Baleno sedan waits for a regular checkup. The guys are very professional in their work and the fitting is absolutely perfect. Its been almost a year since we fitted CNG in our sedan and it hasnt given any problems till date. As you may know the Altura has its spare wheel in the boot (obviously) which is accessed through the boot (obviously). The spare wheel cover is unlike any cover which come in other cars and the space under the boot also in unlike other cars. You lift the boot carpet to reveal the tray attached with a string. Lift the tray and you will be surprised. The second tray has a lot of storage space and also holds a bucket. It actually resembles a thali plate. Lift this tray then to reveal the full size spare alloy wheel. Fitting the CNG would meant that we would have to cut off the first tray. Since that is an OE fitment, we kept the tray aside and asked the guys at Raju Auto to fabricate a wooden tray. Although the wooden tray looks horrible, it does the job and we didnt have to lose the original one. 25th March CNG finally fitted. 13th April The Altura Logo was made and stuck at the back. Althogh it is a bit bigger than the original logo - we are looking to make the perfect size and the perfect color that would match with the cars color. And finally on 13th April - the Altura was ready : To take off
  5. Prologue Our affair with Estate cars go back to the 1980s when my dad owned not 1, but 2 estate cars - the Premier Safari. I dont have much memories of the car except for the fact that one was blue and the other was red. That was, as far as I remember, the first Estate car we ever owned. The cars were purchased 2nd hand from a religious institution. The cars were with us for a very short period of time (one was even used for a Bombay-Mangalore trip) - and hence no pics or memories of them. From there till the late 90's we owned mostly small cars (M800s) or sedans (Premier Padmini, M1000, Esteems). History Repeats Itself (the first time) Having owned small cars/sedans for almost a decade, we now felt we needed a bigger car. While on the lookout for one somewhere in 1998 - there were not many options then - dad came across a well maintained Tata Estate which was up for grabs. We were excited to have an Estate back into the family - this was also our first diesel vehicle. Which meant that we as youngsters could drive more for less money - with diesel costing just around Rs 10 / litre. During 1998-late 2000, we had owned 2 Tata Estates and really got a good feel of how much of space and versatility an Estate can offer. In 2000, the Estate made way for the Toyota Qualis which subsequently made way for a Mahindra Xylo in 2012. 2010-2012 got a lot of changes to our garage. The Qualis was out and replaced with the Xylo. The Bullet and Yamaha were sold and replaced with a P220. We also acquired a Baleno in late 2011 which was CNG'ed and is used as a daily drive. History Repeats Itself (again) Saturday, 23th Feb 2013 : I had just started thinking of doing up my 2009 P220, when I get a call from my dad. Although this sounded like a good option, I did not want to let go off the bike - since I would still prefer using the bike to office. After checking with my younger bro, we decided on keeping the bike. So - finally - after 15 years - an Estate / Station Wagon is back in our life. Say hello to the Maruti Suzuki Baleno Altura. About this Baleno Altura While we were looking for a replacement for the Toyota Qualis in Jul-Aug 2012, dad came across this well maintained Baleno Altura. Dad gave it a shot and checked with the owner if he had any intention of selling the car. Although he did want to sell the car, the owner too was planning to replace this with a new car. And till then, he intended to keep this car. Months passed and there was not much news on this car. We had almost forgotten about it and had lost hope of getting this car - until last week (23rd Feb 2013) when he finally decided to sell the car. So our stock Baleno sedan has now got some company. Jul-Aug 2012 -Notice there was no dent on the boot. 24th Feb 2013 : We take possession of the car. This car is a 2003 model and has only run around 25000 genuine kms till date. This car was originally purchased by a hotelier for the sole purpose of transporting passengers from the hotel to the airport and back - and was hence using yellow plates. Although my dad knew about this when he purchased the car, my brother and me got to know of it only when we looked at the rear glass and the back of the plates. The rear glass had the "taxi registration" number etched on the glass. The back of the number plate was yellow and had "All India Permit" written on it. The car was used till 2007 after which it was converted for private use (with private plates) and sold to the current owner. Since 2007 the car has not driven or used much and hence it is still in its original condition. 10 years and only 25000 kms. The 12 CD changer - one of the most popular car accessory to be fitted in those days - before the Mp3 player / USB kicked in. The temporary registration sticker still intact under the rear number plate. The previous registration number etched on the glass and the "AIP" yellow plates. The exterior of the car however shows it age with the paint complete faded off, the interiors a bit loose, lots of scratches and small dents, broken or cracked tail lights etc. Mechanically the car is still excellent and not much need except changing the liquids and a detailed service. The suspension and brakes were checked and they are fine – the front axle however tends to make some noise while turning. The stock tyres show signs of wear and tear and would need replacement soon – probably with fatter rubber. The alloy wheels have lost their shine and would need a repaint - the rear ones have also lost their hubcaps. The interiors need to be thoroughly cleaned to give it a fresh and new look. Dented boot, broken tail lights and cracked rear bumper. Alloys (rear ones missing hub caps) Plans for the Altura Basically the car will go through a complete restoration job to bring it back to showroom like condition. There will be no modification whatsoever and the car will be completely stock (except for being fitted with CNG and probably wider tyres).
  6. Birth of the Estate / Stationwagon in India? Wikipedia defines a station wagon as : Practcally speaking a Station Wagon is a 5 seater car with its boot fitted within the cabin area. Now imagine a family of 5 going for a long drive and they have enough suitcases which can fit into either a sedan / station wagon. Both of these would offer almost the similar amount of luggage space - however there are a few positives and negatives for each : Tata was the first manufacturer to introduce the Indian market to the world of Estates / Stationwagons in 1992. And what more better name than naming it after the bodystyle - Estate. The Tata Estate was also the first proper car manufactured by Tata and boasted of many features which were then considered luxurious - height adjustable power steering, all 4 power windows, 15 inch wheels with wide tyres, tachometer, rear wiper. In addition to these luxuries, it also boasted loads and loads of cabin and luggage space - a combination which none of the manufacturers could offer then. The Estate also was a good looker - all thanks to the design cues taken from the Mercedes Benz T Series (E Class Estate). All these factors combined resulted in the Tata Estate being a hit in the market. Mind you - the bodyline (stationwagon) had nothing to do with the success of the Tata Estate. The Tata Estate however had a couple of drawbacks - it was a very unrefined and crude car and was a quality disaster (obviously since it was just a testing ground for Tata). There were other more refined and fuel efficient vehicles in the market - Maruti 1000, Maruti Esteem, Daewoo Cielo which were priced almost the same as the Estate. Also, Tata had launched the mighty Sumo to cater to the UV market (which then was dominated by the Mahindra Armada). People looking for a lot of space and seating capacity moved from the Tata Estate to the Tata Sumo. And those looking for a good refined car moved to the 1000, Esteem, Cielo. Basically it was Tata's own product - the Sumo - which killed the Estate. For the limited period of time that the Estate was manufactured and till the Tata Sumo arrived, the Estate managed to sell in decent numbers. Although the thread title states that the Altura was the 2nd Estate in India - this title ideally goes to the Rover Montego Estate which was launched only for a brief period in 1994. The car, although way much ahead of its time - hardly sold in even decent numbers. Years later as the Indian market and economy opened up - new segment of cars started pouring in. Manufacturers started getting in their expensive models to get a good share of the luxury car market. Maruti Udyog Limited had launched their flagship model then - the new Baleno which had just received a facelift in internationally. Not only did MUL have its presence felt in all the segments - small car (800/Zen), Entry level sedan (1000). mid-size luxury sedan (Esteem), UV/MUV segment (Omni), SUV (Gypsy), high end luxury sedan (Baleno) - it was also leading them in sales. It was now time for them to tap into a segment which was left untouched after the Tata Estate. So in late 2000 / early 2001, MUL launched the Baleno Altura. Fiat and Opel lost no time and decided to jump into the estate bandwaon without even doing an evaluation. They blindly went aheas and launched the Siena Weekendand the Corsa Swing respectively. But this wasnt the end of the Estate market in India. In 2004, Tata tried to make a comeback into the estate market with the Indica based station - Indigo Marina - wagon but that too did not do well and was a flop. Skoda went one segment higher than Maruti Suzuki and launched the Octavia Combi but this too couldnt not re-ignite the market in the way the original Tata Estate did. Why the Stationwagon flopped in India? All these station wagons (including the Indigo Marina and the Octavia Combi) - suffered the same fate - they all flopped. And all due to the same reasons : 1. PRICE : Station wagons were priced more higher than their sedan counterparts. The Altura It was an expensive Maruti at Rs 9 lakhs. Until the Baleno hit the market - the most expensive car in MUL's stable was the Maruti Esteem. At an on-road price if Rs 9 lakh, the Baleno was more then twice the price of the Esteem. And the market couldnt accept such an expensive luxury car with a "Maruti" tag. I believe the same is the case with todays models - the Kizashi and Grand Vitara are amazing cars - but havent been a success. The high price of the Baleno / Altura was also due to it being assembled - rather than manufactured in India. If MUL had chosen to manufacture the Baleno in India and localise most of the parts - the Baleno/Altura may have sold in decent numbers. So Price was the main reason that made look buyers away from this car. 2. PERCEPTION : Stationwagons, in India, were perceived (and still are) as a Utility Vehicle (UV) more than a lifestyle product. Stationwagons are more looked at as vehicles which are used to carry heavy loads or luggages - and therefore was not acceptable socially(?). A first time luxury car buyer would be more image conscious and hence a sedan would suit his needs much more than a station wagon. 3. PRACTCALITY : How practical was a station wagon then compared to the other options available in the market? What more does the station wagon offer that the sedan does not? To understand the practicality of a Station Wagon, lets first understand what a Station Wagon actually is. Sedan +ve's : Boot is deep. Luggage in invisible to the outside world and keeps thieves away. You have good visibility since there is nothing to obstruct your rear view. Sedan -ve's Boot space is limited. Passenger needs to step out of the vehicle everytime something needs to be removed from the boot. Stationwagon +ve's Although the boot starts a bit higher than the sedan, it compromises in offering more height (till the roof). Luggage and load is easily accessible from inside the car. Long items can be easily loaded into the car by flipping all the seats. Stationwagon -ve's Your luggage is visible to the outside world and there are more chances of them being robbed. Just a knock on the rear windscreen is enough to access your boot. If the boot area is fully loaded, it may hamper visibility and hence maybe a pain to park. 4. The MUV/UV : Yes, a big part of the contribution towards the failure of the Station Wagon segment in India is the Utility Vehicle / Multi Utility vehicle. The average individual who considers buying a station wagon is mainly looking out for a comfortable 5 seater with loads of luggage space. This requirement could be fulfilled easily by a UV/MUV at almost half the price and double the seating capacity. Why, then, would someone buy a Station Wagon? During the Tata Estate days, people could chose the Tata Sumo which was much more spacious. During the Altura/Swing/Weekend days, people could chose a Qualis/Bolero/Sumo. The extra space available in a station wagon could only be used as only that - Extra Space. I am sure if the extra space was converted into extra seating capacity - station wagons would have sold like hot cakes. But then again - we already had MUVs / SUVs which could do the same job at a much lesser price and would also run on cheaper fuel - like the Tata Sumo. Mahindra Bolero and the Toyota Qualis. This was the wrong car introduced at the wrong time (and can you imagine - its been almost 10 years things have not changed yet). Like I said earlier, in India nothing killed the stationwagon more than the Multi Utility Vehicle. If you look now as well, no manufacturer would dare lauch a stationwagon in India. You already have cars like the Duster, Ertiga, Evalia, Xylo and Innova which do a much better job in terms of space and comfort. So while the REAL Estate market (property) appreciated in India in the new millenium, the real estate market (cars) only kept depreciating. The Baleno/Altura flopping in the market meant : Production would stop soon and spareparts would be rare and expensive. Resale prices would drop drastically. Second hand car buyers could rejoice cos they could get a 10 lakh car for just half the price (or less).
  7. Its now been almost 6 months and 5300 kms that the Xylo has been a part of our family - and there are no major complaints or issues with it. Family drives (in and around town) have been really good and there are no arguments on who gets to sit in the front, middle or the last row - since each row has its own a/c vent. The Xylo has actually made our life and drive very simple The car went for its first service to the Mahindra service center in Sewri. We did not want to leave the car so my brother took the car to the shop early morning so we could have it ready by afternoon. The following were the list of complaints / issues (minor ones) that we had ready for them : Problem 1 : The ac flow through the front vents was not very powerful - it felt as if there was some restriction in the flow. You could feel the air a couple of inches away from the vent - but then it just disappeared into thin "air". It was worse when the passenger vents were opened. The cabin would cool eventually - but you couldnt feel the air hitting your face. Update : This problem has been resolved and now the air flow is powerful even when the knob is turned to 2/3. The Service Advisor also told us that the vents in the back row are just blowers - nevertheless they do an excellent job in cooling the rear passengers. The best part is that the speed of the rear blowers does not affect the speed or flow of the dash vents. Problem 2 : There was a squeaking sound from the passenger seat which was quite irritating. Update : The culprit was identified as the passenger seatbelt bracket - which has been fixed by fitting some copper washers and now things are quiet on the inside. Problem 3 : Low Mileage. We explained the SA about the low mileage (< 9 kmpl) that we were getting in the city. Update : After the first service the mileage has improved a bit - 9.1 kmpl - well atleast it has crossed the 9 kmpl mark (this was the first full tank on 10th April after the first service) Did a full tank again yesterday after the car had done 626 kms since 10th and the car consumed only 44.6 litres of fuel. I was shocked to see that figure - since it meant around 14 kmpl. No way the Xylo could have returned that kind of figure. Thats when I realised that a week ago - the car was tanked up at around 150 kms (without a reset). So doing the maths, we calculated the 44.6 litre consumption against 476 kms (626-150) - which resulted in a average of 10.6 kmpl. Thanks to the Mahindra Service team. Final Invoice : Experience at the Sewri service station My brother was completely satisfied with the overall experience at the service station. All of the above problems were fixed to our satisfaction. Although we were promised that the car would be serviced within a 3-4 hours - it actually took more than that. But thats perfectly understandable and they guys did a great job. The only part that we were not very satisfied were with the car wash. Even though the car was given a wash post service, there were still grease marks and fingerprints over the body. This could be one area of improvement for the service center. Overall it was a good experience - and as they say "First Impression is the last impression" - I can clearly say that we were impressed. clap:
  8. Thanks everyone for your warm welcome and responses. Apologies it has taken me some time to respond on this thread. Being a newbie am not allowed to post more than 5 - but I guess thats about to change soon after being a regular here. Very true Ramesh, the the Xylo scores the highest point in terms of power and space. And it deleivers both of these much better than the competition. Our family is enjoying each and every drive in this vehicle - there are no complains whatsoever. Do you have a thread on your ownership report? Would love to read it and see your Xylo too! Thanks PrancingHorse!! This Xylo looks much better than the earlier one - its amazing to see how just a change in the grille, blackened pillars and a few other cosmetic upgrades can transform the looks of a vehicle. Thanks Sstar, yes we were happy too that we went in for the mEagle version instead of the mDi. But then have heard news of M&M phasing out the mEagle engine very soon - to replace it with a newer one. CarCrazy, :) Thats a very funny suggestion for the Qualis. At one point of time we did consider doing up the Qualis completely - but then decided to let it go instead. It was one hell of a vehicle - served us for 12 years without a single issue. Regarding ABS, yes its definitely a great safety feature - but like I mentioned, were on a certain budget. Our earlier plans were for a D2 (mDI) which then changed to a E4 (mEagle). The ABS version (at no extra cost) would have been a good option - but then the vehicle was a Feb model. As per the dealer the ABS model is a very popular selling model - if that was the case, why was this car lying in the yard for more than 7 months? It could have been a defect peice? It could have been someone elses rejected car? It could have been a demo car? Or for all we know - it may have been a perfect car. But we did not want to spend 9 lakhs on a gamble. True, defects could be fixed under warranty - but when you pay money for a brand new car - the least you would expect in return is a brand new car. Hence the decision to go in for the later model than a 7 month old one. Hi Ramesh, We already got the body covers from the dealer and use it whenever the car is lying around. We are still contemplating on fitting parking sensors / rear cameras - wil keep this thread updated. Regarding the arm rest, is this available in the market and what sort of modifications are required to fit them? Hey Librankur, I have posted the roof mounted a/c pics in the latest posts now. Engine pictures coming soon. Yes it is possible to convert the seats into a bed - will take a picture of it and post it soon.
  9. Observation : Visibility The best part about the seating position is that you get a good view of the traffic situation on the road ahead - so you can plan your moves. Rear visibility is a huge issue though - with its height and a small rear window - as I shall now demonstrate. Finding a parking space in the city is very difficult. Even more difficult it is, to get out of it once the space behind and in front of you is occupied. Visibility in the front is great and it is easy to get a judgement and maneouvre out of the parking lot. So you finally managed to find an empty space to park your vehicle. You return back to see there is already a car parked behind yours. Now to reverse, you either have to look through the mirror or turn back. Both ways - you will not be able to see enough to make a good judgement. The only thing that will be visible is the roof of the car behind. Here is a scenario if you have a bike behind your Xylo. ORVM - nothing Turn around - nothing If you get off the car and walk towards the back - you'll find a Pulsar 220 parked right behind you. Maybe M&M can keep this in mind when they revamp the Xylo. A larger glass may not necessarily improve visibility when you turn around - but with a larger IRVM - you would get a better view of vehicles behind you.
  10. The Exterior When the Xylo was first introduced - it drew a lot of criticisms because of the front grille - pig faced, stretched upper lip etc etc. Its really surprising how a mere change in the grille design and blackening the headlights can completely transform the ugly Xylo into a handsome vehicle. The redesigned grille and the flat bonnet does give the new Xylo a very beefy character. Great job Mahindra!! Make no mistakes - the Xylo does not just look tall - it IS a very tall vehicle. At 1895 mm - its actually taller than all the other MUV's available in the market. Although the overall design is very squarish - the Xylo does not look like a box on wheels. Look at it from any angle - and it looks humongous - all thanks to the tall bodyline and the 15-in wheels that it rides on. The overall build and paint quality was surprisingly too good for a Mahindra product - but definitely not on par with its Japanese competitors. What you see in the pics is the E4 model which comes without the following features (which were fitted later) Protective door strips Body colored mirrors Blackened pillars (provided by the dealer) Door visors (provided by the dealer) Thankfully the Xylo comes with an integrated footstep as a standard on all its models - which makes climbing in and out of the car very easy. The footstep is really an important feature in any MUV - and more so in the Xylo since the seat height of the Xylo is higher than all the other MUV's. I remember in the earlier days, footboards were available as standard only on the higher models. The lower spec'ed MUV's would get either nothing or a small size footboard (my comparision with the Toyota Qualis). Redesigned front grille / bonnet / headlight. Notice the chrome strip that runs below the grille and is perfectly (surprisingly) aligned with the headlight. The side view : The transparent stickering below the windows. I am still to figure out whats the purpose of this sticker. The plastic cladding on the wheel arch : The door visors and the taping on the B, C and D pillar : The huge rear door stretches from the top till the bumper. You wouldnt be using this door unless you need to access the boot or the spare wheel. Rear door also holds the wiper and the washer nozzles above the stop lamp. The boot holds the rear wiper unit and the wash/wipe container. The door is only accessible from the outside. Notice the absence of a door handle on the inside. It would anyways be useless - unless Mahindra installs forward facing bench seats in the lower spec models. But then it would also need to fix grab handles to help close the door from the inside. If you are using the rear boot - you need to plan your parking very carefully so as to be able to open the boot. The length of the boot door is 30% more than the rear doors - so you need to have a good amount of space at the back of the vehicle if you plan to open it. A flip up boot (like the Qualis) would be useful in such cases. The huge external rear view mirrors are totally in contrast to the internal rear view mirror.
  11. Flexible seating options : An MUV is designed as a people carrier and should carry them in comfort. While the seating in all MUV's available in the market is standard - forward facing - its the arrangement in the Xylo that makes things more comfortable. For instance, the middle row seats can be folded and flipped over so that people sitting in the last row can enjoy unlimited leg space (not that the middle row cannot offer). Below are different combinations that can be used. Imagine a long drive with only 4 people on board. Fold/Flip the middle row seats and 2 people can easily sit in the last row with their legs stretched. Couple that with a good music system, roof mounted screen, a couple of McD burgers and a can of soft drink - its a home theatre on wheels. Flatbed seats : Remove the front seat head rests, slide it all the way to the front and recline the backrest behind and you have a completely flat bed to rest/sleep on long drives / or even when you are stopped and need good rest. This option is good for tourist operators where the chauffeurs can use this option to catch some sleep.
  12. Middle row seating : The Xylo screams space space space from all angles - sorry seats - be it the front, middle and the last row. The only 2 vehicles to where I felt that the legroom was more than adequate were the Tata Safari and the Tata Sierra. My elder brother and me are almost 6 ft tall and we normally drive our cars with the seat alid all the way back. Even with the seats taken all the way back we still had enough of legroom and our knees were not touching the front seat. The seating is comfortable even for the middle passenger since the floor is flat. Check out the leg space with the front seat at its maximum positions. And thats my brother who is 5 ft 8 in tall. Even a 6 ft person would have enough space with the front seats slid all the way behind. Seating 3 people in the middle row is not an issue in the Xylo. There is enough space to seat 3 abreast without a squeeze. You wouldnt have to worry even if there were XXL size adults and things turned hot - the middle row gets its own a/c vent and a 4-speed blower to keep things cool. The mid row seats are placed a bit higher than the front seats - atleast 6 inches higher. The higher seating coupled with my own a/c vents gave me a feeling of sitting in a Volvo bus (the seat behind the driver). The middle row passengers enjoy the following luxuries - individual a/c vents, power windows, cup holder and mobile charging point.
  13. Initial Drive Report - Interior, Space and Comfort Since Space and Comfort was our priority - I will start the review with this and probably move onto the other details as and when we cover more kms on the car. Front Seating Please note that most of my views of the Xylo Will be in comparison with the Toyota Qualis which has been in our family since 12 years. At first glance the Xylo looks smaller and narrower and the first impression that you would get is that it would have cramped interiors. But park is side by side and you Will realise that it is actually wider than the Qualis. Its just that the height makes it look narrower. Getting into the Xylo does require some effort - its more of climbing and hauling yourself into than calling into it. This could be because of the higher seating position - so you have to use the foot board to get in. * Once you get in all initial impressions of it being a cramped vehicle disappear. In the driver seat you are seated much higher than any other MUV. You actually get a feeling of driving a big van than anything else - and I really liked the feeling. Although the seating is high and the huge windshield gives you a good view of the road ahead, you Will not be able to see any part of the bonnet. Everything that the driver needs is within reach - the placement of the music system, the hazard lights, the ac controls on the dashboard. Even the ac controls for the rear passengers are located above the front passenger seat so all you need is to stretch out your left hand. The front seats are very comfortable and do a good job in holding you very firm. I would have preferred the front seat arm rest - but then are a lot of features I would have preferred from the higher models and the price too would keep increasing. Maybe at a later stage , we would consider fitting these arm rest and the entire center console from the E9. The front seat travel is long enough for a 6 footer to easily settle and stretch his legs. The pedals are quite spaced out so that they your foot doesnt press 2 pedals at any point of time. A very welcome feature which was always missed out in our Qualis was the dead pedal - which is placed at a good angle and not too inside the wheel well. It, however is a bit small in size - so someone wearing XL size shoes will have half his shoe out of the dead pedal. The interior is very well laid out and the Xylo also has a lot of storage areas - on the dashboard, doors, and the center console. The seats being placed very high from the floor ensures that there is a lot of storage area to keep small bags. Mahindra does offer an underseat tray as a standard on the higher models - but those trays can only hold small items like books, wallets etc. Without a tray - you get loads of space under the seat. The brown / beige interiors make the car feel very spacious and airy from the inside - but touch those plastics and you will realise that these are not meant to last a lifetime. The dashboard plastic feels to hard and although the texture looks good - it is very much prone to scratches - keys, rings, watches etc. The trim fitting too is not very consistent - with certain panel gaps clearly visible. The door handles, glovebox and the center console cup holder are made up of such a thin material - that they might just break iff you use lot of force. Each door gets its own bottle holder along with a medium sized pocket. The door handles. arm rest and the power window switches are all comfortably placed. The best part of the Xylo and the main reason why it looks and feels so airy - is because of the XXXL sized windows. Each of the door windows cover atleast 40% of the doorsize - including the last row. The steering wheel is height adjustable and feels very firm. The horn button is placed at the center of the wheel and is easy to reach with your thumb. As usual, right side stalks operate the lights / indicators & left hand side operators the front / rear wipers. The speedometer Unlock the car and the area around the keyhole illuminates so you dont have to search for it in the dark. Note the ill-fitting panels. The HVAC Controls. Music system not standard on the Xylo E4. With a single DIN, you get a storage place under the music system which can hold a cellphone. 5-speed blower for the a/c. The E4 model gets only one 12 volt charging point on the center console between the 2 front seats. This one is just a dummy slot. Large grab handle for the front passenger to hold onto. The space behind it seems to have been scooped out from the dashboard and can be useful to hold things like bottles or knick-knacks without any fear of them falling off. All 4 A/C vents on the dashboard can be shut by sliding this control. The controls felt very cheap. The MID above the a/c vents shows only 2 details - Hours and Minutes. To the right of the steering wheels are the controls for Headlight adjustment and the Electric fuel lid opener. Also a huge cubby hole (?) to keep another cellphone. Until the music system is installed, this storage space serves as the music system - place the cell there and in the small place the music sounds loud enough for the front passengers to hear. Round door handles on all the doors - although they look good, they feel too delicate. All the Power to the Driver. All 4 passegner power windows switches along with lock feature. Cabin light and Sunglass holder. For cushioning, the holder has a piece of cheap cardboard inside. Illuminated switches Airy Cabin Controls for the mirrors. Note the circular cutout for the adjustment stalk - looks as if it has been cut by a small kid with a pair of scissors. The Center console - lots of space to keep cellphone, wallet, notes etc. The space between the 2 seats is quite big and Mahindra could have a version introduced with a bench seat in the front to seat 3. The gear lever could be moved to the dashboard. They could introduce such a version (9 seater) in the rural / taxi / tour market (if regulations permit). Such an option was available in the Toyota Qualis and Tata Sumo).
  14. Sunday, 11th November 2012 Sundays is normally a very relaxed day for the entire family and no one wakes up before 9am. This Sunday was very different - everyone was up and ready before 845 am. We called the showroom to ask if we had to get any documents for the delivery - none was required. We reached the showroom and it was packed with a lot of cars - mostly XUV5OO's. Our Xylo was parked at the entrance of the showroom along with our relatives Quanto. While we completed the final formalities - the Xylo was being given a 3M treatment - exterior and interior polishing. Once completed we were handed over the keys with a cross along with "Congratulations and Jubilations" music playing in the background. The guys there also made our family stand together with the car and clicked a picture, framed and handed it to us within 20 mins. Finally we were ready to roll out. We were given some basic details about the features of the car - the location of the spare wheel, how to flip the seats, etc etc. The first stop to be made was a fuel station - where we had to tank up the car. The Xylo has a 55 litre tank - and we expected the dealer to keep atleast 2-3 litres to take us to the nearest pump. We were surprised that the Xylo tanked up at around 46 litres - that means 9 litres was already there in the tank. Thanks NBS!
  15. Post Booking Experience Tuesday, 25th September So on Tuesday got a call from NBS international, the dealer through whom we booked the car. They gave us an offer where we could upgrade to the E4 ABS model for just an additional Rs 28000 - the actual difference being around Rs 59000. Since we had already stretched our budget , we decided not to opt for the offer. Thursday, 27th September I get another call saying they Will try and offer us the ABS version for either no extra cost or for maximum Rs 8000 plus ready delivery. This offer was very tempting to ignore, so we asked him to give us a day to think. The only reason.s i could think of why we are getting this offer were - 1. Stock clearance 2. Someone may have cancelled their booking 3. A defect model. There was no way we could check for option 2. For option 1 and 3, we had to check the car personally. So we asked the dealer to show us the car. The car was at the stock yard and we had to go to mumbra if we wanted to see it. I immediately logged on to team-bhp and searched for mahindra VIN decoding - and there i found a very detailed thread by Wildon. Saved the data on my mobile and we set off today morning in the dealership Scorpio demo car. After a one hour drive we reached the yard, where there were so many vehicles parked. We were shown our model and it looked quite good from the outside. The extra fittings like the running board and mud flaps were missing because they were to be installed at the dealership. Next was to check the VIN number placed under the passenger carpet. Compared it to the note i had saved on my cell. At first I got a bit confused cos the Xylo VIN was 18 digits. Anyways going by the nomenclature, i still tried decoding and was finally successful. The car had a 'B 27 02' sticker on the windshield which i though would mean Batch 27 Feb. But i wasn't sure of it. There were other xylo.s as well with different numbers. So anyways, decoding the number we figured that this was a 2012 Feb model. And that's when the facelift model was launched i guess. So we were being offered a 6 month old vehicle. And the VIN confirmed with the sticker on the windshield. We checked another xylo and compared the VIN with the sticker and we were right. So we decided against going for this model and stick to our non ABS model. Main reasons being : This car is from the initial batch of the face-lifted Xylo. There could have been issues in the initial lot which would have been fixed in the new batch. The car is from a Feb batch - means that it has been lying at the Mahindra yard for the last 6 months. A scorching summer + monsoon - lying in the open. As mentioned to us - the E4 with ABS was a fast selling model - why was this model not sold yet? So am sure that many people may have been offered this vehicle, but somehow did not go for it. And I would not want a car which many others have already rejected. Our proposed car at the Mumbra yard. The footboard and mud flaps were packed and kept inside the car. The VIN number which confirmed that this is a Feb model. A=Jan, B=Feb. The additional confirmation came from this windshield sticker