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We take a close look at this MUV that recently got a mid-life upgrade

Mahindra is a company traditionally known for manufacturing utility vehicles big enough to serve as conveyance for a large group of people. Ruggedness and bare, basic facilities were the hallmark of their multi-utility vehicles (MUV), the aim being to keep the cost as low as possible. In 2009, Mahindra presented the Xylo, adding a dash of luxury to the segment, which pleased the Indian buyer. Recently, they launched the second version of the Xylo in five variants (D2, D4, E4, E8 and E9) with more engine options, high-tech features and cosmetic tweaks to make that MUV contemporaneous with the current design language.

The original Xylo’s odd-ball design was not exactly proportionate, its rounded edges giving it a rather sloppy character. The new one, however, has more pronounced lines and a better looking front, which endow it with a slightly upmarket look. The front grille is sleeker than before, with black plastic bars and a chrome strip at the bottom, and the headlight unit has clear lenses with a coloured section on the outer edges for the turn indicator. A black plastic strip stretches along the car’s length on both sides, bordering the bottom from the bumper until the end of the rear wheel-arch. While the foot-boards, side protection strips and the B, C and D-pillars have received black treatment, the shoulder line has a matte finish sticker in the same colour as the car. Body-coloured bumpers and outer rear-view mirrors (ORVM) are standard features, except on the D series variant, which has black ORVMs. Front and rear fog lamps are found only on E8 and E9. It has a spoiler above the tail-gate while the tail-light unit has clear lens for the turn indicators. Alloy wheels are standard on the E8 and E9 and the spare wheel, as in the earlier version, is housed under the body.

The cabin has good fit-and-finish for its class with a beige coloured interior and wooden inserts in the fascia and doors. The E9 also gets beige coloured leather upholstery while the rest have fabric. The information panel has analogue gauges for the speedometer, tachometer, engine temperature and fuel while the odometer and trip meter are digital. The top three variants have a small digital display above the centre air-conditioner vents on the dashboard, displaying cabin and ambient temperature, selected gear, speed, time, date, fuel efficiency and remaining range. Cup-holders and cubbyholes are found in many places inside the cabin. The front seats have a snack tray on the back for the centre row passengers, but have no support in the horizontal position. Glove box, vanity mirror, ignition keyhole, engine bay and the underside of doors are illuminated for better visibility in the dark. The E8 and and E9 variants have collapsible arm-rests, lumbar support for the bucket seats while head restraints are found on all. The Xylo’s cabin has good leg-space and headroom in all three rows with a-c vents and illumination in each. Boot space has been compromised by the third row of seats, but can be increased as the second and third rows are collapsible.

The new Xylo has a host of features found in some of the high-end cars. The voice command technology accepts commands from the passenger and gives warnings verbally. Bluetooth connectivity enables pairing with phones to make and receive calls hands-free. Cruise control, parking assist, steering wheel-mounted controls, anti-pinch power windows, rear glass embedded antenna, music system with auxiliary and USB connectivity, front and centre row mobile chargers, tilt steering, tubeless tyres and under-seat storage complete the long list. Safety features include an engine immobiliser, ABS with EBD and two SRS airbags.

Mahindra have offered three engine options in the new Xylo. The 2.5-litre common rail diesel (mDI CRDe) powering the D2 and D4 variants produces 96 PS of power at 3,600 RPM and 220 Nm of torque between 1,400 and 2,600 RPM. The 2.5-litre mEagle diesel engine in the E4 and E8 variants produces 113.5 PS of power at 3,800 RPM and 260 Nm of torque between 1,800 and 2,200 RPM. We tested the E9 variant of the Xylo, which has the 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine borrowed from its sportier sibling, the Scorpio. The mHawk has a power output of 121.6 PS at 4,000 RPM and 280 Nm of torque between 2,400 and 2,800 RPM. It has a five-speed manual transmission, which propels the car all the way up to 161.2 km/h in the top gear.

The Xylo mHawk accelerates to a speed of 100 km/h from standstill in just 13.42 seconds, which is an impressive performance for a car of its size. The Xylo employs disc brakes on the front wheels and a pair of drum brakes on the rear ones. Deceleration from 80 km/h to standstill was achieved in three seconds flat while from 100 km/h it required 3.9 seconds. Along with good performance, the Xylo also managed to return a respectable fuel efficiency of 11 kpl in city conditions while on the highway it returned 15 km to a litre, bringing the average to 12 kpl.

The Xylo’s cabin has good insulation from ambient noise and negligent body vibrations in spite of its diesel engine. The seats provide good comfort and the soft suspension set-up absorbs undulations on the road without rattling the occupants. However, it bounces around a lot when light on load and unsettles the passenger in his/her seat. It fails to inspire confidence while turning into a corner as it gives a top heavy feel and tends to understeer when at speed with a considerable amount of body-roll.

Looking at the complete package, though, the new Xylo turns out to be a highly attractive deal. It offers all the features and cabin comfort of a modern car without compromising on space and still carries a reasonable price-tag in its class. Whereas the base variant costs Rs 8.10 lakh, the fully loaded E9 is priced at Rs 11.25 lakhs (OTR, Pune), thus assuring value for money in case of this upgraded MUV.

The new Xylo turns out to be a highly attractive deal. It offers all the features and cabin comfort of a modern car without compromising on space and still carries a reasonable price-tag

Story: Piyush Sonsale
Photography: Sanjay Raikar


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