Mahindra XUV700 diesel MT delivery: Likes & dislikes post a 300km drive

I have managed to get an impressive fuel efficiency of 18.5 km/l with a mix of city & highway driving.

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Took delivery of my Diesel AX5 5-seater MT today. Have driven approximately 300 km. While I’m penning down the full-fledged initial ownership review, here are my brief thoughts:

Mahindra XUV700 Likes

  • Stylish. The midnight Black is absolutely stunning
  • Comfortable ride, both high and low speed – especially on the 17-inch wheels on AX5
  • The car is extremely stable at highway speeds, and while cornering.
  • Relatively refined diesel engine. Not too intrusive.
  • Extremely drivable; can do silly low speeds in higher gears, and the car still has enough grunt to pull.
  • Good AC performance during summer
  • Light clutch, and well-calibrated accelerator.
  • Kids enjoy the panoramic sunroof
  • Good boot space
  • Supportive seats, with decent legroom
  • Decent headlight throw – low and high beam
  • Good ground-clearance
  • No loading lip in the boot, easy to load heavy luggage.
  • Decent fuel economy of 18.5 km/l – mix of city and Highway – MID.

Mahindra XUV700 Dislikes

  • Flush door handles are a usability nightmare
  • Odd missing features for the price: rear armrest, auto-folding mirrors, centre headrest – come on, seriously?
  • No telescopic steering, seating position isn’t ideal
  • No steering-mounted buttons for the MID
  • Steering is not at all well-calibrated. Too sensitive at high speeds.
  • Turning circle is wider than my Innova Crysta.
  • Parcel shelf is an optional extra
  • Internal materials of my Crysta would outlast those in my XUV.
  • Complicated electronics to control almost every function. I don’t know whether this level of sophistication is strictly necessary. For example, the valet, and service modes – which I assume would be used rarely – require complex control systems. I yearn for the good old days where the worth of a car was just measured by its engine and transmission.

Mahindra XUV700 Niggles

  • Wireless Android auto randomly drops calls
  • Hill hold control warning flashed briefly, got reset after restart
  • Encountered odd noise from the rear on bad roads. Couldn’t tell if it was from the suspension, or from tools moving about in the boot. Did not reoccur after the first day.

In summary, the XUV comes across as a good vehicle that is needlessly complicated. It is a good machine with an unproven electronic brain. I wish that manufacturers would just stick to the basics. Toyota has proven time and again that the market would appreciate simple reliability.

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