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Living With Mahindra XUV 500

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Mahinda XUV 500

The in-house conceptualized and developed car was a departure from the usual DNA running on M&M product portfolio, by retaining the core strength associated with Mahindra cars. XUV boasted creature comforts of a car, coupled with go anywhere capability of an SUV, making the car famous among the car buying public. Most of the SUVs will never or very rarely thread their own paths. But the confidence that an SUV instills on our potholed infested roads and the imposing presence makes these genres of car a desirable object on wheels. It had many firsts from Mahindra, transversely mounted engine, front wheel drive and monocoque chassis etc., to name a few. XUV is not a jeep with car features bolted onto, yet it ticked all the right boxes what an aspirational middle class buyer wanted from a car. In-short a butch looking SUV with go anywhere capability without compromising on the creature comforts of any modern sedan.

 

Living With The Car

Yes, it’s a looker.

The car has a love it or hate it design and the Cheetah design, which definitely grows on you, in any case will attract attention.

No doubt it’s a BIG car with bulginess all over. Commanding driving position coupled with good visibility, makes graduation from a sedan or a hatchback to XUV not a herculean task. Interiors are interesting but there are rough patches all over. The 2015 upgrade has ironed many niggles but still the creases are not perfect. Front seats are supremely comfortable with good support all over. Car has acres of interior space unlike the Scorpio especially in the first and second rows. It’s a proper seven seater with decent leg room even in the third row. But it’s better to limit the usage of the third row for children or strictly for short distances. The car is loaded with bucket loads of features like key less entry, push button start-stop, auto climate control and  tyre-tronics to name a few.

Car is powered by M&M’s 2.2 Liter 16 V mHAWK doing duties on the Scorpios but in a different state of tune and dishing put 140 bhp. It’s one of the most powerful motors in the segment and wanting of more power will not be on top of your list. Refinement is good, yet the engine sound coupled with other mechanical cacophony, sweeps into the cabin in the higher revs.

Mahindra have come a long way in the handling department, for the size and high Centre of Gravity, the car has decent handling capabilities. But always keep in mind that you are driving an SUV and not a low slung race car.

Being a diesel along with decent mileage figures which hovers in the range of 10-14 KMPL (depending on the highway/city and how hard you drive) fuel costs are kept under check.

The first service is at 5,000 Kms or 3 months and henceforth every 10,000 Kms. Mahindra comes with three free services valid up to 20,000 kilometers or 2 years whichever comes first. Being a Mahindra customer, you can be assured of reasonable costs for spares as well as service. XUV 500 has warranty coverage for 2 years/ 65,000 Kms, whichever occurs earlier. There is also an optional extended warranty scheme offered by Mahindra known as the shield warranty. This covers the following.

  • Engine Parts
  • Transmission System
  • Cooling System
  • Steering System
  • Fuel System
  • Suspension
  • Electrical System (factory-fitted)
  • Chassis System

Engine Oil Specification: SAE 15W-40 API rating exceeding CH-4 (Quantity: 6 Liters)

This does not include extra labor cost and consumable spare parts like brake pads and clutch plates etc.

Mahindra XUV 500 Spare Parts Prices (Consumables)

  • Front Brake Pad: Rs 4400/-
  • Clutch Plate assembly with flywheel : Rs 20000
  • Engine Oil ( 6.0 lit): Rs 1750
  • Engine oil Filter : Rs 180
  • Fuel Filter: Rs 1500
  • Cabin AC Pollen filter: Rs 1000

Being a Mahindra product, it has its own advantages and disadvantages. XUV 500 has some niggles and it doesn’t age perfectly. Cabin rattles starts up early in the life cycle of the car, though the same can be fixed up during the scheduled services.

Though the service is cheap and easily available the service experience with most of the customers cannot be termed pleasant. XUV 500 is the first car from Mahindra loaded with lots of electronic and electrical stuffs, as they are prone to throw some issues. Customers have faced some teething issues from the infotainment system, tyre-tronics and door open alerts etc. Car pulling to sides while driving straight and off center steering are common. Many felt that being plonked with a potent engine, Mahindra should have put better brakes on the XUV and premature brake pad wear was reported by some customers surveyed. We came across some customers whose clutch gave up early as 7,000-10,000 Kms. We remember same clutch plate plagued some Mahindra Scorpios too.

Total Cost of Ownership

Mahindra XUV 500 was launched in September 2011. The total cost of ownership includes the following expenses incurred by the owner.

  • Depreciation: Like most of the cars, XUV also depreciates highest in the first year. Interestingly we observed increased depreciation in the fourth year, this can be attributed to the recent new launches and also 2015 upgrade for the XUV 500.

  • Insurance Costs (Savings on NCB not taken into account)
  • Periodic maintenance and spares associated
  • Parts like tyres, battery, brake pads, clutch etc considering normal usage
  • No major repair works, accident costs and interest costs are taken into consideration

Verdict

It’s a perfect blend of car and an UV retaining SUV look with comfortness of a car. Of course there are many rough edges, it’s a commendable effort put up by the homegrown manufacturer and from the sales charts it’s evident that their efforts has paid off well. The car continues to do good well in the sales chart, despite competition in the form of Dusters, Terranos, Ecosports and the recently launched Cretas. Launch of these wannabe SUVs put the XUV case further stronger. In terms of sheer value, practicality and road presence XUV is leaps and bounds ahead of them. It’s not a wannabe but a true blue UV with a perfect blend of sportiness and ruggedness to take on that occasional trip Off the Road.

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