Mahindra XUV700 Owner Review, Hits, Misses, Good, Bad & Ugly
Even for a non-aggressive driver, the XUV700 delivers a fuel efficiency figure of around 10 km/l.
BHPian Mudhalaipatti recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Pre Car Buying
Some old-timers may recollect me as the owner of a Red XUV5OO from a long time ago. My ownership experience was short-lived as I had to fly off to a far off land for almost a decade. This pandemic was already shifting some of my priorities, when a personal encounter with Mr COVID and life flashing before my eyes, made me realize that I should donate at least 20L to an Indian Car Manufacturer.
The 7 seater options are rather limited. Innova is dull and boring and overpriced. I didn’t even test drive it. The safari, while packaged neatly somehow didn’t win my heart. Can’t pinpoint as to what. Perhaps It didn’t have that wow factor as the XUV7OO did. Next is the MG Hector Plus. I didn’t quite like the handling of this one. Also, the missing features in a 7 seater was a deal-breaker. The 6-seater top variant is a joke, especially for the last row passengers. heheh and then the Ertiga. I can think of a nasty analogy for Ertiga being on this list, but then the mods would ban me for a lifetime and then for 7 more lives.
I already had a soft corner for Mahindra (from the earlier XUV5OO romance) and the announcement of the 5OO offspring and that too at the right time galvanized the choice. I wasn’t very impressed with the front design. But then I’m growing older and at least the car should look wiser. That’s what the better half commented.
When the variants were announced, I was ready to drop Mahindra from the list altogether. I felt cheated. There’s a difference between “starting at 12L” and “you get 4 wheels and an engine at 12L”. I know, I know, I’m being a little harsh. I’m still yet to come to terms with the whole product packaging/variants.
I wanted to book the AX7 L variant. But then the wise souls of this forum warned of production priorities for Mahindra and that AX7 L apparently wouldn’t land before Musk lands on Mars. So rather grudgingly had to settle down for an AX7 Manual Petrol. (The real reason – Approval denied by the almighty for an extra 2L for some gimmicks)
I was in a hurry and petrol variants were the ones to roll out of the Mahindra Factory first. After years behind an automatic, I was itching to get back to “driving” and so manual was a no brainer. No other considerations went into choosing XUV7OO AX7 Manual Petrol. A 7 seater was always the preferred one.
Booked the vehicle on 7-Oct with the dealer and then the circus began. I’ll not rant about delivery schedule announcements, as enough has been said already. And wouldn’t pile on folks-in-waiting’s misery.
Poor sales guys at Mahindra dealership, who were kept in the blind throughout the process. Mahindra if you want to direct sell your vehicles, just like Tesla. Do it. Rather than this one leg in one soup scenario. I’ll elaborate on why I feel strongly about this in the coming sections when I talk about the niggles and issues faced.
Now the clock is ticking and between haggling with OLA drivers (trust me on this. I had to haggle the price with OLA auto/cars every time. Will talk about this on a gloomy day) and driving a motorcycle in monsoon rains, my patience was wearing thin. After a nasty rain ride, one day and with no news of a delivery schedule went ahead and booked an Ertiga CNG with an Rs 11K booking amount.
An hour later, after I reach home, the dealer calls me up and utters the magic words. “Your car has been allocated”. After a few back and forth, the dealer suggested the 8th Nov delivery date, while I wanted it sooner. The vehicle arrived at the dealer yard on 28-Oct. I went in for a PDI on 29-Oct and there was a soft delivery of the vehicle on 1-Nov. i.e a nice photo op with fireworks, cake cutting and a bit of over the top deco. And then the Deepavali mood set in and nothing moved. The vehicle was sent for RTPO registration on 8-Nov and finally got to drive home the beauty on the evening of 8th.
Pricing and Discounts
XUV7OO and Discounts don’t go well in one sentence. It’s premium pricing galore.
Vehicle cost is Rs 17.59 lakh
Insurance: First I was quoted an insane 1L insurance, which after haggling brought it down to Rs 72,805. Insurance apparently is through Mahindra and the service provider is Chola MS.
Any idea how good or bad their servicing is? Here is the final insurance doc. Also how to get a full policy document that details the inclusions and exclusions. The call to customer care was not very helpful, as they asked me to use the mParivahan app and that app doesn’t load the policy details after multiple tries.
The next accessories amount to 25K. No negotiation on this. Interestingly didn’t like many of the accessories that Mahindra had on their site. The site looked incomplete and half baked. Hope they improve the offering in the coming weeks and months. Btw I picked only 7D floor mats (The review of this will be out shortly), Illuminated Scuff Plates, Sunshades, Car Cover and Mud Flaps. Only the floor mats were installed and others are in transit. When I go to fix the number plate, I’ll fix the rest. Apparently, to fix the mudflaps, you have to take out the wheels. I declined the side steps and the back crash bar and of course the jarring chrome package. I was heavily “encouraged” to go with all the accessories, which I enthusiastically declined. Now the pricing for the accessories as per the site.
XUV700 Sun Shades (Set of 4 Pcs) for All Variants – ₹1,710.00
XUV700 Sporty Black & Blue Body Cover for All – ₹2,300.00
XUV700 Front and Rear Mud Flap Kit (Set of 4) – ₹600.00
Illuminated Scuff Plates & 7D Floor Mats- I was not provided with the price for these and it is also not available on the site. Excluding these, the cost of accessories comes to 4610 and I expect to pay a total of around 7000. I was told that the dealers would raise a refund request and it would take a month to get the remaining amount from Mahindra. Let’s see. Mahindra, why not allow us to choose what we want and pay for what we want!
And the Final Invoice is below.
Oh did I say anything about the day 1 niggle. That deserves a separate section. Read on.
But first, some more photos before the rains came down.
Having driven this for more than a week, here is the good, bad, ugly list
Welcome Gesture: The fact that the seat moves out of the way when you are hoping in and moves back to your pre-set position once you are seated, is absolutely my top favourite. Makes ingress and exit so much knee cap friendly.
Startup Animation: Man, you have to see it to be amazed. The cool dashboard animation at startup is neat. I love it. This whole screen feels so awesome.
Screen Dimming at night: Another thoughtful gesture, where the middle infotainment system goes dim and almost blacks out with just the Mahindra logo, is cool. Doesn’t disturb the sleeping driver 🙂
Touch screen response: The fact that there are so many configurable items, like the sound of your turn indicator, sound staging etc, There was a lot of cool features already. I hope Mahindra can keep updating this, so we get new features every now and then. Did I already hear a request to add the Fart Horn? You silly folks.
The hat this screen wears is so thoughtful. Avoids most of the glare during daytime. There has not been a bright day so far and so can’t really comment on those super bright days. But it looks to hold up just fine.
Nice Touches here and there: Silver lining or rather chrome lining to the roof lamps
The navigation maps open up on the main screen. This can be enlarged to a full screen, which is kind of cool and less distracting to look at another screen.
The cabin lamps now become reading lamps. Fantastic design. In my 5OO, the whole cabin will light up, sometimes blinding me, when switched off. My eyes would take a few seconds to adjust. Not anymore. These lights are angled, so it shines light only on the steering wheel for the driver and for the passenger, just on their lap, shielding our eyes from the bright light.
The bottle holder in the door is angled and it makes it easy to take out and put it back.
The cabin is super quiet with the engine running and on highways. So quiet that I can barely hear the horn when the music is playing. Nice soundproofing all around. Check out the foam padding on the engine cover. Nice touch.
Also, the Floor Carpet is heavily padded and I guess it helps in filtering out the road noise to a great degree. Heck, even the windshield is certified “acoustic” something. Will the damn rains let up, for me to take some pics !!
Sound Staging – You are able to choose where the sound comes from. Do not know how often we will use this on a daily basis. But it’s nice to show off to kids. If I’m driving alone, I might choose a different setting. This is where the AX7 L Sony speakers would excel. This setup is not bad, but it’s nowhere near the Sony speakers.
Between the 3 display options (Normal, Minimum and Info) for the main dash, I like the Info setup. It gives a nice suggestion to upshift or downshift the gear.
The cabin door handles: These are glossy black and within a day of use, I see scratch marks on them. Wonder what those would look like in the long run. A fabric material or anything that is not glossy would have been nice.
Head Rest: All the headrests have just two heights that can be adjusted to, which is annoying. There’s only one groove. Why not have multiple grooves which allow for more height adjustments of the headrest.
The “Tesla Door Handles”: In broad daylight when you don’t have to search for the handles this thing works just ok. Albeit this is still one input more than needed Step 1 – Locate and push the handle to pop out. Step 2 – Pull the door. However, in the dark, it becomes annoying. Annoying to the core, just to search for the damn door handle. It drove me nuts the first evening and still is to this day. What were you thinking Mahindra [email protected]#$. In a Tesla vehicle (your inspiration), the handle pops out when you walk in. If Mahindra had implemented the automatic door pop out in all versions and not restricted it to the AX 7 L variant, it would have been cool. If Mahindra wanted to separate feature sets across variants, the least they could have done was to have illuminated door handles, when the unlock key is pressed. I don’t want to look like a blind man or worse someone “feeling” his own car before fingering it. I’m that mad at his door handle setup.
We all have seen, how stuffy the door handle wells become after a few years. That’s one of the most scratched surfaces of the car. Imagine how this car would like scratched and ugly the door handle area would be, without the “well” to hide it.
The reverse camera doesn’t come up on random occasions. I haven’t been able to establish a pattern in this short timeframe. But this sure is annoying.
As the boot sequence takes a good 30 seconds or so until that loads basic functions like the volume control don’t work.
And btw the full boot sequence happens after a gap. I.e if you stop and start your car within a few minutes, the software doesn’t seem to boot from start. It just comes up quick. But when you start your car after a few mins, you just have to wait till your coffee is cold before starting off.
First Day Niggles
My PDI was mostly cosmetic and mechanical related. I couldn’t test the AdrenoX connected car features as I was told that delivery has to be prepared and that can happen on the day of actual delivery. Having been forewarned of software glitches, I hardly raised an eyebrow when I couldn’t connect to the car when I drove home the vehicle. This was the error message I was getting.
The problem was the SIM in the car was not active and not locking on to a cell signal.
As you can see in this picture, the image was greyed out.
I was hoping to go in after a week or so by which time the software issue may have been fixed.
Surprise, surprise. The next day morning as soon as the sun was out the relationship manager called and was extremely apologetic and mentioned that a fix is available and that if I want I can come in the same day.
I had set aside time for the coming days and weeks for these service visits anyway and so drove down to the service centre, where the 2 odd GB worth of software update was applied and I was able to connect to the car via my phone.
I was told that the Mahindra team was in full strength at the stroke of dawn to get this issue sorted out, including conference calls with the tech teams. I was told that mine is the first vehicle ever to be actually delivered and driven home in TN. Really ?!!! Its hard to believe considering the number of deliveries so far. Anyway must appreciate the earnestness with which the Mahindra team was involved in resolving this issue.
However, would this story end here? Not really. First, the previous software version loaded in under 5 seconds. While this new one took a sweet 30 seconds. I understand that this version might not have gone through the rigours of software testing and performance testing. However, I can live with it for the time being. But 30 second load time is clearly unacceptable.
Update: The very next day, I was told that a fix is ready and this time, the service mechanic and the RM would come to my place to fix the issue. Talk about being proactive eh. Nice. Apparently, it was a cache clearing issue. Not that that fixed the long boot time, I was informed that the system takes that much time to connect and activate all sensors and stuff. That’s BS. Hope that future upgrades will address this issue.
The second issue was with maps. Apparently, there was a new maps update as well and that resulted in the GPS module not locking in on the map, which rendered the maps really unusable. Took a few more hours to fix it via software update. This is not OTA update yet. The service centres use the USB stick mode for all these.
By this time, a Mahindra employee had driven down from Coimbatore to speak to me about the overall experience and this niggle in particular. Mahindra is indeed treating this vehicle special. I gave him my feedback on a number of items and hope there are resolutions to these issues.
And now some under the hood pics.
The ADRENOX app is a little weird. Sometimes it shows that the headlamps are on, while there are not.
I paired my phone once, however, there are two phones listed on the screen. Deleting one, actually deletes both and you sendup with nothing
Even though my phone is paired and the phone phonebook download is complete, I don’t get to see the call history, phonebook or any other useful information. I’m given to understand that Mahindra is yet to get certification for Android Auto or Apple Car play and until then some of these may not be working. Really Mahindra !!
Double-tapping the button that has a sort of copy/paste symbol brings up the options menu for the driver side main display. However, on more than one occasion double-tapping, single tapping, triple tapping, Chin tapping didn’t work. All it brought out was the almighty’s remark ‘The chimp is thinking eh ?’.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
Even when you lock the vehicle, having the key nearby will keep the boot door unlocked. It will get automatically locked when you/key moves out roughly 6 feet from the car. Also without pressing the unlock button, with just the keys in hand, the boot door opens up.
When you manually close the OVRMs, it doesn’t close flush like 5OO. Very good chance a 2 wheelers nicks it.
Long pressing the unlock button on the key fob, will open the sunroof, driver side window and blow fresh air into the cabin for a few seconds. Nice feature if you want to let off some heat from the car when it had been standing in the sun for a while.
Remotely switching on the vehicle or switching on climate control is disabled in the AX7 variant and is available only in AX7 L *sigh*
I personally find the placement of the door unlocks buttons not so intuitive. This is at the very bottom of the panel and I find it a little challenging to find it and unlock it. With the XUV automatically unlocking when switched off, there are instances where I’m in neutral when I have to dump a body quickly, I can’t afford to fumble you see.
There’s a good gap between the “luggage area” and the seats (when they are in folded position). If you are planning to stuff luggage in this position, make sure nothing slips through the cracks. It might be a bit challenging to retrieve them.
Unlike the 5OO, this is not a flatbed. There’s a small bump in the middle. Barely noticeable, but it is there for the second-row passengers. The price to be paid for lowering the height eh!
XUV7OO is about 10 cm longer than the XUV5OO. And so if you are hoping to reuse your 5OO cover, it might look like your 7OO has no trouser manners.
To get to the last row, you have to fold one seat in the second row. However this folding mechanism works, only and only if you push the lever, fold the seat and tilt it over, all in one smooth motion. If you take a millisecond pause between folding the seat and tilting it, you will not be able to tilt the seat.
If you have enabled StopnGo, when your engine is off in a traffic light, the AC, Entertainment system et works, but not the sky roof. However asking Alexa nicely to open and close will make it work, for those urgent over the top selfies.
Browsing is enabled through the infotainment system. The inbuilt news app is read out by Alexa. Cool feature. I’m told that there’s a daily limit of 2GB and the sim is from Vodafone. After the 2 GB or so limit is reached, some of the connected car features may not work as expected. Try not to watch movies. Speaking of movies, if you load up a USB with movies you can watch movies. I’m told that there may be more apps added in the future. Would love to see Apple Car Play at the earliest.
Nice to have software features
By default, the Adrenox App shows a silver colour AX7 L. It would be nice to have the actual colour, in my case, the red coloured car displayed along with the pic of the actual variant. Also some other information like colour, cylinders are empty. Would be nice to have all the relevant information filled out.
The remote car feature allows only the driver side windows to open and close. The provision to open all doors would be nice.
ALARM BELLS – PRIVACY CONCERNS
I knew the car has a lot of connected car features, but the sheer amount of data this thing is collecting and perhaps storing on the cloud is impressive and at the same time scary. I have been searching all manuals, T&C and there’s no mention of how secure this data is, i.e is this encrypted, can anyone at Mahindra look at this data. How are they using this information?
We have already seen how AADHAAR is being missed by govt and private parties. Does Mahindra share this wealth of data with anyone? If yes, who and under what conditions. How is my personal data protected?
While I understand that our privacy is already compromised with the use of smartphones, this is taking it to another level. Just look at the amount of data that’s collected.
And now the meaty bit. I have driven this vehicle for over 400 km in mixed city and highway conditions. Over dirt roads (i.e state highways) and cratered roads (i.e national highways). And here are my observations.
FE – I wouldn’t call myself an aggressive driver, not a sedate driver either and the FE is roughly around 10Km/L. I was advised against filling the tank full for the initial few days. I expect the FE to improve to double digits, somewhere around 15 km/L or at least that’s my wish. And I was told this was a direct fuel injection setup which should ideally give better FE. Let’s see.
Acceleration – Boy oh boy. The 2 Lt Turbo Charged Engine delivers an awesome adrenaline rush. The joy you get in leaving behind the traffic and never seeing them again is hehe one of the mortal pleasures. However, you would have to tame your habits in city driving.
Braking – Acceleration and Braking should be a good couple. If one is out of balance, you risk your life. Mahindra has done an amazing job a.k.a choosing just the right bite for such a powerful vehicle. But, but, but…be careful. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t get to actually see the vehicle accelerating and so the words stuck to OVRMs should in fact be stuck to the windshields. “Objects in front of you, are closer than they appear”. Or at least for me, I hard braked on a number of instances before finding a fine balance. In those braking situations, the vehicle stopped/slowed down as per expectations, except that the back row passengers were flung in front. I’m sure most of you will not drive like me/maniac, but be mindful of the power of acceleration and the bite of the brakes. I suggest the second-row passengers wear a seat belt as well, just to avoid them being on your lap when you brake.
Suspension – The independent multi-link frequency selective dampers set up in the rear is interesting. Here is why. On highways or other well-paved roads, you feel like you are actually flying. The suspension is so smooth. The almighty, one more than one instance indicated that she feels like she’s cruising.
Now the other extreme, in deep potholed roads, dirt roads, can’t-be-called-a-road, the suspension handles it brilliantly. Sure you do feel the potholes, but it’s much much more subdued than in a similar vehicle. This is one better than the XUV7OO actually.
Now comes the quirk. Have you come across roads, where there are multiple layers of good tar and after some rains or similar event, there’s a pothole on the top tarmac? This is not really a bottomless pit, but the bottom of this pit is another asphalt and the dept of this crater is more than a few CMs. I don’t want to risk my life to take a pic of these potholes. Hope you get the picture *Pun Intended*. You may encounter these on National Highways. These pits are the nemesis of the XUV7OO suspension setup. While the suspension handles real craters with ease, these pseudocraters confuse the living hell of the suspension, I think. You think XUV will handle it and go over it and you feel like a hammer dropped on your head. There’s this nasty thud, makes you wonder if the wheel hit the wheel well. I get a feeling that the suspension is not really tuned for these outliers. Anyway, what do you do to enthuse situations? Identify the real craters and drive over them, identify these pseudocraters and avoid them like plagues or err real craters.
Handling – This is by far the best I have seen. Enough said.
In summary, taking all of the above into consideration, I would consider XUV7OO to be more of a highway rider than a city rider.
What I thought are features that I could compromise in AX7, are now proving to be troubling.
- Absence of telescoping steering wheel adjustment.
- Automatic Door Handles *Duh*
- Dash Camera and continuous recording – This one is interesting and I’m getting mixed signals. I’m told that the camera on the windshield is used not just to read road signs and to alert on speed limits, it actually records footage. Much like a dashcam. And that the ECU supports up to 32GB of memory card, worth 10 hours of driving videos and its loop recording. However, a number of questions are outstanding – Will the recorded videos be visible in the Gallery App. Will users are able to delete them as needed, do we need to go to the service centre to insert this memory card, is the memory card an option to purchase from Mahindra and can it be installed from the market and lots more. There has not been any clear answer from Mahindra. Hoping to get these cleared out in the coming weeks and months.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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