First thing first, Apologies for the delay in posting the review but was terribly occupied and could not post it earlier. Also, I am a complete novice when it comes to technical/mechanical info, so please pardon the lack of jargon/knowledge here. It's a review coming right from a lay man's heart :) Reminiscence :
I had a 2008 model pearl white Swift dzire which had started showing age, despite being an absolutely loyal companion for 7 long years. My daughter was one year old when I brought it home and was after my life to change the car. Especially in the last one year or so, whenever she sat in dzire , her words were "baba, I have literally grown old in this car, now puhleeez buy a new car". My wifey, although not much of an enthusiast, had got incredibly bored of it too. By the way, both of them are big time fans of SUVs and Crossovers.
As a teenager, Safari was one mean machine that always made my heart skip a beat but later on, I always thought that I was more of a sedan guy considering the size related practicality. When xuv was launched in 2012, it was love at first sight but way beyond my budget at that time. Though I always kept a tab on the vehicle on different forums and that's when I heard about the pathetic plastic quality, unsettled ride and enormous niggles initial buyers had faced. And that, apart from the limited budget of 9-10 lacs, kept me away from it.
Come 2013 and I noticed Storme. Initially the look seemed bit of a let-down compared to the old Dicor but hearing the good reviews, I found myself interested in it. Kept reading about both Xuv and Storme and participated in discussions on various forums. Did a test drive of Storme last year and was totally blown away by the supreme seating position it offered. Got the first hand idea of how mechanically sound this vehicle was. Started dreaming about owning one and owning the road in other words. Then came the bummer - horror stories about Tata's after sales support and my uncle once had said these golden words "a car is as good as its After Sales Support is".
I know I sound confused. That's because I actually was. Loved both of them equally and had apprehensions about both ( XUV for its niggles and Storme for the pathetic sales and after sales staff ). Hilarious thing being both the vehicles were budget-wise totally out of my reach. Still one day I dreamt about driving a cheetah and next day, it was about owning a Storme :d . Finally I had a discussion in family and decided to stretch the budget by another few lacs . Both the vehicles were due for a facelift and I decided to wait for it. Checked out the Storme's face-lift first. Liked the front grill but rest everything seemed unchanged, barring the interior quality which looked simply plush and very upmarket in black compared to any other suv even a segment or two above it. I never thought that I was expecting a lot when I hoped for airbags on a mid variant and at least a respectable seating space in the last row But TATA proved me wrong and came up with this name-sake face-lift. The lackluster attitude of sales people was the last straw. Asked for a test drive over and over again but there was no test vehicle in sight in any of the Tata's showroom in Delhi NCR ( it's not available till date at Oberoi motor noida :) ) . I was scared to put in about 1.5 million on something that despite being an accomplished vehicle had uncertainty regarding ASS
. Plus my better half was not in favor of buying it any more either. And I rested my case. Idea dropped,for now! NEW AGE XUV500 :
Went to Koncept, Noida to check out the XUV 2015 and the first drastic difference noticed was the manner in the way Mahindra treats its customers. The enthusiastic and courteous sales staff did make the experience pleasing. Saw the face-lift and it evoked some mixed emotions. The front looked much more elegant and mature. The interiors looked plush but being beige, they would be an owner's nightmare to maintain. I was not too sure about the buttons and plastic on the dashboard used but it definitely felt much better to touch. The last row also didn't seem like a cage as told by many members. Me, coming from a small sized sedan might have been the reason why I didn't feel claustrophobic even in the third row. Second row had acres of space and the only negative was its inability to slide back and forth so it could have made that last row a much much better place to be in.
Now comes the best part- the front seats. I had a wide grin on my face when I sat there in the driving seat. It did feel amazingly comfortable. Honestly I didn't test drive the facelift ( sheer stupidity to be honest ) but I had already driven the older version and what I read everywhere made me believe that the drive has only gotten better with the tweaks in suspension. Decision made ! Booking process :
In my opinion the w6 came across as the most vfm
variant. the choice was between silver and red. White was out of question as my previous car was white too. Finally zeroed in on silver as it shines like new even years after, with minimal maintenance efforts compared to the red and other darker shades . had read the test drive review by the esteemed member Akash1886 a few days ago and noticed that he did it at Koncept automobiles itself which happens to be 600 meters away from my office. I shot him a message asking him if he would be able to spare some time for PDI as I was nervous venturing into the SUV segment for the first time and honestly didn't know much about the technical aspects either. His reply floored me. He was gracious enough to assure me that I only needed to tell him the day I plan to do the PDI and he would be there. In fact he asked me the booking date and personally came over to the showroom to make sure that things go smoothly. A down to earth person that he is, never threw his weight around and negotiated the deal really sensibly. Paid a booking amount of 25k. Got the VIN the very next day and we went together for the PDI. The vehicle seemed fine to us and I gave the go-ahead to my loan guy. I had a pre-approved loan offer from my bank and it only took them a day or two for the disbursal. Dent in the wallet :
I got the following quote from the showroom people
Ex showroom :1249000
Registration : 105000
Insurance : 38000 ( after 45% discount for a zero dep )
Handling charges : 7500 ( which akash rightly objected to, and was offered a discount worth 3200 on any accessory we choose. Finalised a reverse cam with dash mounted screen ( mrp: 7200 ) for rs 4000.
My loan guy offered me to get the insurance from him. Apparently he had contacts with every damn insurance company and he emailed me quotes for whichever company I asked for. Chose ICICI Lombard's zero dep for 33084 ( includes road side assistance and key assist) . Twist in the tale:
Went to the showroom on 6th of July to inform them that I would be taking insurance from outside. Got to know that Mahindra had silently increased the prices by 10k for w6. When asked, The sales manager was quick to point out the clause on the booking receipt which has a hand written note saying that the prices applicable will be the ones prevailing at the time of delivery. I was pissed off for sure and I came back and shot an email to Mahindra customer care and a tweet on Mr. Anand Mahindra's handle asking them why I should be paying the hiked amount since it's from Mahindra' s end and not a tax-hike. When I had already got a car allotted to me which was billed to the dealer at the previous price, I should be paying the same too. Was pleasantly surprised to see the response early in the morning from the Customer Care and Twitter both telling me that their regional sales head would be calling me up soon. Got a call within 15 mins and was assured a price protection immediately and the sales guy from the dealer was made to call me up to confirm the same. I fixed the delivery date for 9th of July and waited with baited breath for the D-day :). Anyway, This incident reaffirmed what I had heard about the company : MAHINDRA DOES LISTEN ! AND THE DAY ARRIVES :
Reached the showroom in the morning and confirmed the accessories I would want in my car . At first the sales people were pretty adamant about giving a strict 10 percent discount on accessories but when They realised that I do plan to get more than a few things fitted and being from the automobile industry myself, knew about the options available and the dealers margins, he gave a flat discount on the list which came out to be somewhere around 23-24 percent.
Here is the list :
Front guard and back guard - MRP Rs.9500 and Rs.5500 respectively. ( yes I know the drawbacks but as of now, I will only be driving it in the city at a very sedate average speed of 40 kph or so. Also the areas where I pass by are full of those cycle rickshaws, reckless college student riding their bikes like crazy and the dents and scratches are totally inevitable. So decided on getting it installed for the time being till I get a hang of its size, turning radius, parking distance etc.
Side steps - Needed it esp for my mother and mother in law as Xuv is a bit too tall a vehicle to step in and out of. The new design's MRP was 14500 . I did like the design but it felt very light/flimsy and had metal inserts all over the bar. The design would have let the water settle down on it and rust would be unavoidable IMO
. So settled for the older design ( MRP 11500)
Dash mounted Reverse cam: I got it for Rs. 4000 instead of Rs. 7200 After Akaash had put his foot down on the handling charges.
Illuminated scuff plates : MRP 4000 - Simply look classy.
Alloy wheels ( speed rims- silver) : MRP Rs 46500 in exchange of steel rims.
I did not like the new 'flame' design on the stock W8 and to me, they looked more like wheel covers.
Mahindra live tracking device by Autocop : MRP Rs. 8500
Body side moulding : MRP Rs. 2200
Total : 94900
Will opt for Autoform feather touch seat covers after a while as the present fabric covers look and feel upmarket too. I want to use them for sometime, plus in the meantime, I will get my finances on track too :)
"@Akash1886 for there again to supervise the accessorizing part and without his help , things would not have sailed so smoothly for sure"
Got the 3M nomad mats done from 3M outlet in East of Kailash, Delhi. Trust me guys, its one investment totally worth every penny. They are so easy to clean and does not give out any foul smell even if you spill some liquid or food on it. Also got an AUTOCOP gear lock for Rs 1500 ,although Mahindra does not recommend using it as they say that the vehicle comes equipped with many theft deterrent feature. I chose the good old method, especially after a Fortuner with those so called modern features was stolen from my locality recently.
It was a terribly busy day as I was selling my dzire on the same afternoon. My office work was postponed, the selling deal was rushed through as well and barely managed to reach the showroom at 6 pm , the time when my wife and kiddo were supposed to come. They came, they saw and they were conquered by the majestic stance of Mystique . The billing and delivery process was smoothly handled by their sales manager Mr. Sumit mittal and he handed over the keys, a box of chocolates and a bouquet of flowers to my kiddo who felt immensely special and happy which made me feel proud too.
All three of us sat inside and geared up for the ride back home.. Wore the seat belts , turned the ignition on and it didn't feel like a Diesel engine at all. Caressed the accelerator a little and it growled..easy my boy easy ... And slowly we moved ahead, relishing the smooth drive, vast space.. That inquisitiveness to touch and test all creature comforts and features..the sheer joy in my wife and daughter's eyes..We instantly knew this was just the beginning of a long long journey of love and togetherness.... Initial Impression :
(1) Its a pretty powerful vehicle with a supremely potent and refined engine. Coming from a mid sized sedan, I have to be extra cautious while flooring the pedal.
(2) The driving position is amazing and seats are very comfortable. I had to use an AMRON backrest for my lower back pain in every car I ever drove for more than a few hours. But Never felt the need to use it even after driving it continuously for more than 6 hours.
(3) The interior quality, including the switches , buttons and dash seems to have improved a lot compared to the older generation vehicle. This one seems better put-together.
(4) Acres and Acres of leg space.
(5) Love the new ice blue lounge lighting.
(6) Air conditioning is superb.
(7) Mileage is superb considering its size. ( Got a mileage of about 12 kmpl in 3300 kms driven so far )
(8) The side lamps that light up when you turn the steering wheel is a big boon and very thoughtful addition, especially on the pitch dark roads and those sharp hair pin bends in the hills. Minor irritants :
(1) Absolutely no space in the boot once the third row is up. Even the car cover does not fit in there.
(2) Inability to slide the second row back and forth. That would have created some more leg space for the third row passenger.
(3) First and second gear both are a bit notchy ( though better than the older generation in my opinion ). In fact, I hate the tall throw of the first gear. Could have been shorter and crisper like a sedan. But once you are through to the third gear, its a super smooth journey all the way up.
(4) No soft lining cloth in the sunglasses holder. I got paranoid once because of the rattles on a bad patch and finally noticed that it was my glares moving around in the holder.
(5) The middle headrest on the second row creates an obstruction of view for the driver , since the rear view is as it is very poor in XUV . I have to keep the second row a bit reclined through out to keep the headrest out of my line of sight and get a better view.
(6) Cant turn off the music system without switching off the whole unit. Have to put it on mute or turn the entire unit off. May be a software update will fix it.
Some parting shots of SILVER MYSTIQUE :
That's all folks for now. Looking forward to your valuable comments. Will update the details of its first ever Hill journey soon :) .