just back from 3k(approx) round trip to Kerala and wanted to share 2 reports:- 1) The trip itself and the experience :-
To Journey Pune -> Ganagapur->Hubli->Bandipur->Palakkad-> Allepey(1650 kms) N Main Rd to NH 544 - Google Maps
Return Route Allepey -> Kozhikode->Gokarna->Dharwad->Belgaum->Kolhapur->Pune Alappuzha, Kerala to Pune, Maharashtra - Google Maps
The routes were so due to the some fixed stops we had enroute and we decided on the return journey to try the coastal route Nh17 and crossover to the bangalore highway from Dharwad.
It was my first trip to allepey and even though i knew kerala was called God's Own Country - I now know why exactly!!
Kerala back waters is a unique experience and even though i have been to Venice -> This was something unique and turned out as a pleasant surprise.
Even the beaches of Allepey were beautiful and its nice to see clean beaches (its slowly becoming a rarity in India). i just hope they improve further on the cleanliness and manage the environment well.Its really a paradise in india and no wonder attracts tourists in hordes. Ill try to upload some snaps later. If you havent visited yet, you should absolutely. 2) XUV 5OO
- Firstly my last post said the XUV would go for a service before the trip but that didnt happen - the RM suggested to do it after the trip rather as it was too early. I was a bit apprehensive but really the XUV was mighty to say the least!! We faced no problems whatsoever and beleive it or not the electronics too behaved great including tyretonics - shocking aint it ? lol
Jokes apart mechanically the engine is a gem, i never exceeded 120kmph and the engine was purring at hardly around 2k rpm - easy peasy on the engine!! The entire drive was completely fatigue free and this was the first time i took the XUV on a really long trip and while i was used to civic comforts , i must say the XUV topped all my expectations.
Notes :- a) Firstly the seats
- whoever had any doubts about the first 2 rows dont even bother - they are very relaxing and fatigue free and i managed to cover well over 800kms on a day and still managed to walk off as if it was hardly anything. The driver seat are extremely comfortable, but please take some time to arrange the position of the seat and the steering - yes in terms of ergonomics may be the centre arm rest should slide 2 inches further and that would have been completely ideal. I had a short passenger for most of the journey on the 3rd row seat and surprisingly no complaints except for them feeling jailed in the third row with no doors to get off!! the second row with the recline is very comfy to the passengers and more than enough leg room. b) Fuel efficiency -
I think overall we got over 16.5 , in some clean highway stretches around 19kmpl , whereas it came down to 12-13 in some slow moving traffic.What i loved was a tank full gives u well over a 1000km run - the XUV has a 70ltr tank, so no frequent top ups needed. c) Drive
- the engine is very torquey and and got a good mid range i felt u cud shift to fifth comfortably at 60kmhr and 6th at 80kmhr and the engine was taking it easy at low rpms , never really stretched. With a lot of luggage and 7 passengers never felt overtaking would be so easy and the xuv was rolling heads wherever we went - lots of questions all around. At bandipur we got stopped and were asked questions by a really enthusiastic bunch - all through the journey i could only spot 2 more XUVs - especially in kerala there were none spotted , so people have a lot of curiosity about the vehicle. I used the cruise control frequently but really in india its of very little use as u have to brake every so often and cant use the cruise control for longer times - but i had good fun using it nevertheless. d) Infotainment system
works fine and with the latest software updates i felt the sound was improved, we used to gps in all the journey and it worked perfectly fine. It locks on fast too, never felt any locking delay whatsoever.
Now for the status of my overall niggles
which really has nothing to do with the trip per se, but exists since before :-
i) The perimetric alarms still go off once a while and this especially happens after a long run and when the engine is hot, it sounds for around 10 secs and then rests itself. I am kind of so becoming used to it i inform the security around anywhere i park abt it as a security feature that will go off once lol. But seriously its an issue i expect mahindra to address asap
- they have tried fiddling twice already but no success as yet in fully resolving the issue. i suspect the bonnet sensor, but cant say for sure - great if somebody has faced similar issue and can share their experience towards resolution ?
ii) The infotainment system has a strange issue with fuel efficiency display - it tops up at 15kmpl, even if u reset it it goes till 15 and then maxes out there - a funny problem i think. Its probably not anyone has faced yet as Mahindra thinks its a unique issue they need to debug with my car. Anybody else heard something like this and can think of a pragmatic reason for this ?
Apart from the above two issues, there is no problem whatsoever and the car including the rest of electronics behaved completely fine. Surprisingly even the tyretronics were spot on since the last time mahindra fixed it. Do these issues trouble me a lot ? - not really - but i need mahindra to fix them nevertheless. Its a small hassle to live with for being an early guinea pig i would say.
Overall my experience with the vehicle has been more than satisfactory - it topped all my expectations so far. i hope the longer term experience remains the same, but only time will tell.