DRIVEN: 2012 MAHINDRA XYLO

Ok, so it is not exactly a looker. You can drive right past it and not even notice it. In the looks department, the Mahindra Xylo MPV is a plain jane and is in fact relegated to taxi duty for the most part all across India. That got us thinking. There had to be a reason why so many opted to use the Xylo as a passenger ferry. We tested one out (the face lifted 2012 version) for a few days, across all different kinds of terrain and over long distances. Here are our impressions.
Plus: Loads of interior space. We were able to fit 8 adults and their luggage (for a day or two) comfortably and not one person complained about feeling cramped at all. That’s saying something. The 2.5L 112HP turbo diesel engine that was fitted to our Xylo also gave a fantastic 14 kmpl. Great mileage in these times is always welcome. The price factor also comes into play here with the Xylo costing between Rs. 7,40,000 (~$14,800) and Rs. 10,55,000 (~$21,100). The engine also produces a decent amount of torque in the mid range which comes in handy for overtaking in tight spaces. The ground clearance is also very very good and we were able to get through several unpaved and rough sections of the road with ease.

Minus: Like we mentioned earlier, its looks aren’t exactly to die for. Going fast doesn’t exactly inspire confidence and we experienced a noticeable amount of body roll through the bends. It is a pretty heavy vehicle and tips the scales at 1750 kgs and this shows in the ride quality. The Xylo also comes with piddly 15″ rims and tires and we think the ride could have been better if Mahindra had fit it with larger rims and tires (in addition to other modifications). Much like other premium manufacturers, not much is offered in the base model. Yes you get features like ABS with EBD, dual SRS Airbags, IntelliPark Reverse assist, Engine Immobiliser, Tubeless tyres, rear washer and wipers, front and rear fog lamps and warning system, but all those options really drive up the cost.

Overall: We are trying to figure out one area that the Xylo excelled in but are having a hard time. It is comfortable and gives you good mileage, but the rest of it, seems average. It is quite the jack of all trades and master of none. This sort of defines the meaning of MPV. It does make sense now why so many travel companies prefer using the Xylo as a taxi instead of using it for personal use.

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