Owing to its enormous practicality, spacious cabin nature and ridiculously good value-for-moneynature, Mahindra’s Xylo instantly struck chord with customers. Even today after half-a-decade since Xylo made its market debut, this multi-purpose vehicle bringsdecent monthly sales to Mahindra’s kitty. Praised to skies for its exceptionally good utility quotient, Mahindra Xylo has successfully carved place for itself in highly congested Indian market despite of being its awkward styling; only wrinkle in Xylo’s success story. In fact this design quirkiness in Xylo’s posture has deterred many family customersfrom buying this MPV for their personal usage something that over the years led to increase dependence of this Mahindra on commercial buyer. In spite of noticing very palpable annoyance of personal buyers towards Xylo’s banal appearance Mahindra initially chose not to respond especially as strong commercial response compensated for less personal buyers.
But then with ushering in of new contenders and simmering tensions threatening to go beyond control, Mahindra was finally left with nothing but to fix Xylo’s design blunder. New upgraded version of Xylo launched in market few months back symbolizes improvement efforts Mahindra had put in to improve Xylo’soverall aesthetics. Company claims new Xylo is far more accomplished and soothing design than its outgoing variant. Now up to what extent these claims are genuine, we find through road test of new Xylo.
Xylo overall design theme is not very pleasant on eyes though improvement can be clearly felt in contrast to its predecessor. From head on though things are not very uneasy but move towards the side and things start worsening. Rear portion of this MUV is really a blunder from aesthetic point of view and culprit is the masses of flesh accumulated at rear.
Up front new large grill belongs to lineage of Mahindra with corporate logo sitting at the middle. Front bumper features new look with three part chin section with plastics bits clamped on it. Headlamps now feature a new look but still look meek by MUV standards. Side profile contains plastic moulded wheel arches along with blacked out pillars. Window line is quite high and glass area is not very generous.
Rear view of the old model had been criticized for its quirkiness and new Xylo doesn’t do anything to get rid of that bulkiness. Rear part is still very uneasy on eyes even with the presence of slightly altered rear lamps and integrated spoiler trying to enhance the aesthetic aspect; standard feature on E4 variant. Overall although changes have been made to Xylo external skin still these fails to make any perceivable difference in this upgraded model vis-à-vis outgoing variant. We would like to see some sharp and sculpted edges especially in the rear three-quarter profile that still literally feels unbecoming of a MPV.
In contrast to exteriors, interiors of Xylo are more desirable. Practicality is the theme that Xylo is based on and it delivers it by bucket loads; at least in interior scheme. Beige colour is refreshing and plastic quality is fine too though fit & finish has to go up a notch or higher to match up the benchmark.
Instrument cluster features simple dials without any design flair dispensing the basic information. Steering unit has the convenience of tilt and top of line variant gets mounted controls. Cabin is full of with practical aspects like charging point sitting below the rotary AC controls, bottle holders in doors, roof mounted AC vents and dead foot rest pedal.
Space is the forte of earlier model and new Xylo continues to deliver the roominess aspect by truck loads. There is space, space and some more. In fact Xylo is one of the most spacious MUVs’ on the Indian roads as of now. Even the third row won’t give any reason for complaint even for adults. Front seats are large with good side contouring. Base is firm and Xylo will be comfortable even in long journeys though the more contouring of the base would definitely made things better. Middle row has abundance of space. Legroom and knee room is phenomenal but recline angle is very upright. So we have our doubts for the comfort aspect in long drives. Third row, also, has lot of space especially when compared to other models in the category. What enhances the convenience is the straight seating third row option but that also means that you have no boot space with all the three rows doing the duty.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Xylo’s E4 variant comes with mEagle engine mounted longitudinally with a capacity of 2.5 Liters though top of the line E9 variant gets heart in form of mHawk. Power figures are rated at 112 bhp while torque stands at decent 260 Nm. Engine breathes with the help of 16 valves through the provision of DOHC shafts.
Idle of the engine is impressively refined as NVH levels are minimal. Inside the cabin, the ambience is almost hushed. Slot the gear into 1st one and Xylo starts its stint with eagerness; even the outright performance is not bad at all. Gas up the pedal further and Xylo moves with head and shoulders with its Japanese competitors.
Power plant is rev-happy in nature and mid-range is quite satisfying. Attaining and maintaining the 3-digit speed is not a laborious work for Xylo. There is no power let up and Xylo is happy cruiser on the highways also.
Drivability is good and city driving won’t be a hassle experience as there is more than enough pulling power as warranted in most of the city situations. Even you can approach the speed barkers and tackle the city’s traffic in pretty much higher gear. So Xylo continues to score on the practicality aspect.
Engine is mated with 5-speed manual transmission. Gear lever is quite long and shifts feel somewhat notchy in nature especially when you shift from 2nd to 3rd one. Gear doesn’t slot in very inspiring manner too with Xylo showing absolute lack of mechanical feel that some other contenders do have. Brake paddle fumble too and not anywhere near to reassurance level of Innova and even Ertiga. Xylo leaves with a lot to be desired especially on mechanical front with massive improvement scope especially in transmission department.
Up front Xylo uses independent coil spring and at rear multi-link coil spring to suspend the wheels. Tires are shrouded with 215 mm wide rubber and ratio of height to width stands at 75. Being practical implicitly implies towards the comfort proposition and Xylo scores high on it. Springs are softly sprung and the suspension setting is clearly biased towards the comfort level rather gratifying the driving enthusiasts.
Ride is very supple and soaking. There is ample amount of comfort at the back seats and suspension does a good job of soaking the road undulations; even potholes are taken with aplomb. On highway though the stability is not very good and Xylo suffers from the drag aspect. There is considerable pitching of the nose and ride is far from flat. Cornering hard is not a safe option with Xylo; soft suspension and bulky rear are the culprits for lot of body roll associated with it. Sedate styling is what is expected from you and Xylo certainly doesn’t like to be hustled around corners.
Xylo range starts from Rs7.23 lakh for base variant to Rs10.25 lakh for top of the line model E9.In fact value for money proposition made the Xylo a huge hit when it was launched and new face lifted model also retains this DNA aspect of utility. Xylo looks may not be very pleasing; fails to incite a very positive response, interiors may fail to arrest your attention of first sight but if you want a competent punchy and all-round vehicle that perform well on all aspects; Xylo is right choice for you. It is economical, spacious, can sit 7 persons with sufficient comfort and scores tremendously good at value for money proposition. So if you are not very adamant about the design and interior quality; Xylo certainly makes sense for you.
Style & Substance 3/5 Ride & Handling 3/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 3/5
Power & Transmission 3.5/5 Fuel Efficiency 4/5
Value for Money 4/5