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Old 11th December 2012, 21:27   #31
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
If you do rough roading, bushes give way very soon. How much did it cost. I think upto 30,000kms its covered under warranty(though not all bushes are covered)


Safari(before Storme) does not have rack and pinion. This system is a house of problems. Once your vehicle crosses 30-40K, esp for 4x4s used on rough roads, you will always have steering center pin issues. I think Xenon also has RCBT.
This also makes engine bay cluttered, and working on suspension really difficult.
How is camber adjustment, does the Xenon use Shim system, or is there a screw for camber adjustment?
Center pin is a part of the Steering system, located in the Steering Cross area in RCBT steering of Safari. Again, if you have Rack and Pinion, no worries, however if its the Safari system, expect alignment and tire eating issues to crop up once you cross 40K. You have to frequently get it greased.

So practically, its lockable, since you cannot lift it without opening tail gate.
I hope they make a Xenon on the new Storme chasis. With 1700kg kerb weight, it will be the perfect jungle runner.
I haven't paid any amount for any repair or service so far ever since purchase, except for oil change at 15K Km. All items were replaced under warranty.

Thanks ton for the details on the steering mechanism and associated problems. I looked at the manual but could not find any info on the type implemented in Xenon. I have no idea on the camber adjustment either, however I ensure I get wheel balancing and alignment done every 8-10K Kms. So hopefully there has not been any camber issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Pardus - thanks for the Xenon review and your comments. This provides good insight into your needs and use. For any query that you may have, please feel free to ask, I'll reply.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Dear Behram Sir,
Thanks a ton for your feedback. I am more than happy to share my experiences and to help TML to refine Xenon much better in its next version. I tried to contact lot of TML folks on various social networking sites to give feedback, but none responded back. Now that you are there I hope things get better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Nice review Pardus!!! Looking forward for some more pictures of the Xenon in the wild.

One question: Doesn't the long wheelbase on the Xenon affect the offroad ability especially inside heavily wooded areas where you might have to make tight turns?
@addyhemmige; Yes, tight roads inside forests and hilly terrain are a challenge. My biggest worry was crossing a tight hair pin bend with deep cliffs and the ground giving in due to Xenon's weight. Though I haven't come across such serious terrain yet, there were few which were quite challenging and I had to make tight turns with just few inch gaps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
First congrats & Thanks for the review !

Second sorry for hijacking the thread.

TSK i too felt steering gets little vague around 20K km. (currently on 25K+ km)

Haven't rectified the problem yet so no more info on this.

IMO the FE figures are Quite good as my 4x2 XT also gives 13kmpl on highway.

Actually problem is in Diff Gear ratio & 2.2 VTT's torque at certain rpm band. (this is IMO only)
I feel that xenon is geared to be driven on the highways than City traffic.
i always have to keep RPM in 1900+ range in all gears.
whats your take on this ?

Swap the rear leaf-springs with CFL springs to reduce the bumpy ride. (its in my to do list)

rgds.
Nikhil
@Jeepster: Thanks for your inputs on Steering issue, will keep an eye for any minute difference and get it fixed before its too late.

You are right with the RPM, I too keep it below 2000 RPM in city driving. The moment you cross 1800-1900 turbo kicks-in and the Xenon gushes forward like a bull scaring others all around.

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Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
Hi Pardus, congrats on your ride. IMO Xenon looks best in black. Its feelsa good to know that your ride has helped you enjoy your passion and you are happy with it. The Xenon with that tent in its bay makes itself a very practical adventure vehicle.

BTW, do you have your office in Whitefield area? I have seen a black Xenon with a similar bed cover a couple of times at Graphite India signal and as you mentioned, Xenons are rare even in B'lore. Could that be you possibly?
@ashish89: Nope, I work out of EGL in Domlur. Have visited Whitefield few time recently so you might have spotted me. I haven't come across any pickup with loadbed cover in Bangalore. Wish there are more of them, it would be good to see what they use and how much it cost them.

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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
Wonderful review. Wow - your list of accessories leaves me salivating. What is this Thule bar and how can you mount Hella lamps on them ?

How do you manage turning the Bison on narrow mountain roads ? You say you do with multiple turns. I have spent sleepless nights at times when I had to negotiate narrow roads atop hills. In fact my Safari's length is shorter than Xenon by 2 feet. Still I have a lump in my mouth when driving in mall ramps - leave alone hills.

Keep writing Pardus.
@Prowler: Thule (http://www.thule.com/en/IN) are one of the worlds best roof mounted rack manufacturers. The Thule Load bar mounted on existing roof rail provides spots to clamp on Hella lamps.

When driving on ramps (in malls) sometimes I engage 4H mode (if there is a Q of vehicles lined ahead) to get better traction so that I don't have to floor the accelator to pull the vehicle up and end up burning rubber on cement floor. On hilly terrain refer my response few paragraphs above. I have managed to overcome the fear after few trials and I can decide by looking at the terrain if I can do this or should turn around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Congrats on an excellent review of the Xenon. I always wanted to buy it but TML's responsiveness to answer any customer query regarding the Xenon put me off and that's when I got the Getaway.

I'm quite surprised that SBI rejected your loan as our Getaway is financed by SBI and that too on my wife's name.

I'm waiting for your post on the tonneau cover as I also need to fix something that is as good as your bakflip.

+N to the above.

I get to hear everyday why I drive a pickup and nobody wants to understand need based mobility solutions.

Cheers
@MileCruncher: I too was in similar state, but my drive to make a 5yr dream come true over came these issues and I was better prepared mentally to take on those issues. In essence I had the least expectation from the representatives and made my own research.

Apparently SBI rejected my application due to incorrect interpretation of CIBIL report. They mistook a home loan enquiry to an actual loan. Their unprofessional response and lack of clarity cost me 3 weeks.

You are right with the point on need based mobility solutions. I will post a separate post on people's response to my Xenon and how it has affected my life and image (both good and bad). I am sure this will be a good read for all and not just for prospective buyers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan View Post
A well written review of Xennon, there were very few with some information on t-bhp.
It was good read to go thru your experience buddy! You have covered a lots of details, rated it 5; most of the pictures looked familiar though I keep looking for this beast in basement-2 parking and show it to others as well.
Wish you many more miles with your Bison and drive safe!
@Ketan: Thanks for your feedback. You have seen some of these pictures on my FB profile.
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Old 11th December 2012, 22:06   #32
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

At the next service when they are doing alignment, keep watch. Sometimes, when camber is a little out, they may ignore since it takes 2 hours to set it right(with shims).
I also checked service manual(section about steering maintenance) and it seems Xenon has RCBT.

Last but not the least, do not go for larger tires. Stick to stock size.
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Old 11th December 2012, 22:51   #33
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

Some images from the Xenon's underside.

Engine and Gearbox guard
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Metal guard for 4WD gearbox
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Lower Arm & Torsion bar
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Old 12th December 2012, 12:02   #34
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

Waw! That looks like a right fit in the locales it is seen herewith. What a lifestyle statement it makes! After seeing Xenon XT double cab I always wondered why it cannot be a lifestyle vehicle and there you are with your own.

One Q, inspite of high GC of 200mm, won't the very long WB play spoilsport sometimes off-roading? You did mention the multiple turns required at the hair-pin bends. That could be dangerous on a very narrow mountain pass. Will this also pose tougher problem while wading through highly uneven troubled waters? Safari does better with the same GC but much shorter wheelbase, thereby giving greater approach and departure angles.
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Old 12th December 2012, 13:02   #35
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by parsh View Post

One Q, inspite of high GC of 200mm, won't the very long WB play spoilsport sometimes off-roading? You did mention the multiple turns required at the hair-pin bends. That could be dangerous on a very narrow mountain pass. Will this also pose tougher problem while wading through highly uneven troubled waters? Safari does better with the same GC but much shorter wheelbase, thereby giving greater approach and departure angles.
@Parsh: Yes, the long wheel base is a setback for serious off-roading. There are chances of scraping the underside even with slightest changing in height as break over angle get reduced. I haven't had much problem with departure angle and approach angle. It's the low break over angle which is the biggest drawback. Though there was some need for me to wade through the waters during monsoon, I avoided fearing the damage to the ECU. Did not want to get stranded inside a forest where there is no telephone network and having to walk 4-5km in leech infested terrain to get to main road. If I am correct the wading depth is rated at 300mm for both Xenon and Safari, which according to me is very low.

Refer this image to know Xenon's Break Over Angle
http://www.tataxenonxt.com/wp-conten...8/12/4x4_2.gif

Is there a way to increase the wading depth in Xenon ? If yes, how can we do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
At the next service when they are doing alignment, keep watch. Sometimes, when camber is a little out, they may ignore since it takes 2 hours to set it right(with shims).
I also checked service manual(section about steering maintenance) and it seems Xenon has RCBT.

Last but not the least, do not go for larger tires. Stick to stock size.
@tsk1979: Thanks for your inputs, will make sure I monitor this next time. I have maintained the stock size of the tires and have only change from Bridgestone HT to Michelin AT's. Also as you may know the wheel arch does not accommodate any bigger and wider than 235/70/R16. Even with this stock size there is hardly any space left in the wheel well (refer below image). TML should widen the wheel arch a bit at the bottom.

Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience-wheel-well.jpg

Last edited by Pardus : 12th December 2012 at 13:30.
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Old 12th December 2012, 15:37   #36
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

Fanastic Review Pardus, Was looking at this Pick UP for quite some and I will be following your thread more seriously. She does look very good in Black.
How much of comfort is the rear seat, you mentioned that a person can sit comfortably for 5-6 hours and not more?
Am currently contemplating on buying a SUV and this has been in the list for quite some time. Might not use it for the Serious Offroading bit but then more of highway manners with some decent carriage space which the XUV lacks unless you want to put in a overboard Thule Box. 4+1 seater should be good for me.
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Old 12th December 2012, 16:35   #37
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by Pardus View Post
@Parsh: Yes, the long wheel base is a setback for serious off-roading. There are chances of scraping the underside even with slightest changing in height as break over angle get reduced. I haven't had much problem with departure angle and approach angle. It's the low break over angle which is the biggest drawback. Though there was some need for me to wade through the waters during monsoon, I avoided fearing the damage to the ECU. Did not want to get stranded inside a forest where there is no telephone network and having to walk 4-5km in leech infested terrain to get to main road. If I am correct the wading depth is rated at 300mm for both Xenon and Safari, which according to me is very low.

Refer this image to know Xenon's Break Over Angle
http://www.tataxenonxt.com/wp-conten...8/12/4x4_2.gif
Thanks. The pic makes the aspects clearer. I really missed out on the break over angle which would be more important than others. I didn't know the wading depth was rated same for both Xenon and Safari. Guess, this one still qualifies as a good off-roader. As asked above, do share on how the rear seat comfort is. Does it need to be beefed up or swapped with likes of Innova seats?
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Old 12th December 2012, 19:43   #38
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

Pardus, thanks for a wonderful review. The Xenon undoubtedly makes the Getaway look ugly with its huge rear overhang.

Totally love the foldable cover you've sourced for the rear bay. Is it leak proof as well?

I've had some nice times travelling in the rear of a Mitsubishi L200 during my childhood days in Dubai, so there is some inner connect with the truck/pickup image.
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Old 12th December 2012, 21:40   #39
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Superb review for an all-round offroader.

Some days back, saw a Silver Xenon in my Office parking and was all drool over it.

It's got the mean look. Something no one in the family would approve, else would have gone for it.

I am sure you would have miles of wonderful experience with it. Keep a positive frame of mind and the After Sales would not trouble you much
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Old 12th December 2012, 22:23   #40
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

Hi Pardus,

Great review of a wonderful niche segment vehicle.

I am eager to know your experiences in the wild. You sure will have some great tales to tell with some wonderful pics. Where your jungle tours in south only? Which is your favorite route?

Cheers

Vindy

Last edited by VindyWheels : 12th December 2012 at 22:27.
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Old 13th December 2012, 12:53   #41
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

An amazing ownership review! It's great to see atleast some people in the Indian auto market going for these unusual, yet tasteful buys. Congratz

On the other hand, wait for a peek into the Xenon in an international market very soon!!
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Old 13th December 2012, 13:11   #42
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Default Re: Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience

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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
How much of comfort is the rear seat, you mentioned that a person can sit comfortably for 5-6 hours and not more?
Am currently contemplating on buying a SUV and this has been in the list for quite some time. Might not use it for the Serious Offroading bit but then more of highway manners with some decent carriage space which the XUV lacks unless you want to put in a overboard Thule Box. 4+1 seater should be good for me.
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Originally Posted by parsh View Post
As asked above, do share on how the rear seat comfort is. Does it need to be beefed up or swapped with likes of Innova seats?
The longest I have driven so far is about 9hrs and most of the time I am in the driver seat. Except for one or two instance when I wanted to sleep at the back to rest and let one of my friend drive the Xenon. It was at this time I felt it would have been great to have the seats more reclined, so that my body feels more relaxed. My friends who were seated at the back in these long trips (8-9hr) though never complained.

I wanted to increase the incline and did get the base pushed forward by 2 inches, however could not complete the whole task as it requires time to modify the seat frame. I wanted the base to tilt upward, so that I can make a box at the bottom which will help store some tools. When time permits I will post my thoughts with images on how the seats can be modified and what limitations exists.
With respect to replacing seats with Innova or others, it may require a bit of fabrication to bolt them appropriately. The limited space at the back will again be a problem with respect to inclination. the more you forward the base the less leg space you will have.

My recommendation would be to modify the seat frame to change the angle of both backrest and base. If you increase the incline of the base, then there may not be a need to beef up with extra foam as the incline will aide in thigh support.

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Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Totally love the foldable cover you've sourced for the rear bay. Is it leak proof as well?

I've had some nice times travelling in the rear of a Mitsubishi L200 during my childhood days in Dubai, so there is some inner connect with the truck/pickup image.
The Bakflip (foldable cover) is leak and dust proof. It comes with special rubber angles/beadings in between the folds and also the frames have rubber layers which aide in arresting water when fixed appropriately to the body. The rails have channels to collect any water leakage and drains out through a pipe at the backside.

It's been an year since I have been using it and have noticed some water leakage in the recent trips. Need to yet identify the root cause.

Good to know that you have some connection with Pickups. Most of the junta in India cannot accept it for everyday usage. It will take time to get that attitude changed, until then we should just learn to ignore it.

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Originally Posted by gauravdgr8 View Post

It's got the mean look. Something no one in the family would approve, else would have gone for it.

I am sure you would have miles of wonderful experience with it. Keep a positive frame of mind and the After Sales would not trouble you much
My parents did not know how a Xenon looked until I bought it home. They were shocked and avoided travelling in it with me for a while. My brother who lives in US and see's 100's of pickup's (Ford 150 to 350 models) in his office everyday did not wanted to be seen with it during his wedding. However my friend used my Xenon as primary vehicle and travelled in it instead of his own Scorpio during his wedding. So it's all about personal taste and perception to great extent.

Resale option was never in my mind and I was 100% sure that if for some reason I had to sell it, it would not be an easy task. So knew that no matter what may happen with the quality or fitment I am gonna live with this truck for 6-8yrs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
Hi Pardus,

Great review of a wonderful niche segment vehicle.

I am eager to know your experiences in the wild. You sure will have some great tales to tell with some wonderful pics. Where your jungle tours in south only? Which is your favorite route?

Cheers

Vindy
So far it's been a smooth ride without any interesting incidents with the vehicle. I will post about people's responses/comments/actions later which should be interesting to read.

I have been concentrating my wildlife projects only within Karnataka for now. Have worked extensively in Bandipur and Mudhumalai areas in past but for now my new base will be around Western Ghats.

I am enjoying the new Bangalore-Hassan highway which is one stretch where I can push the engine to the limits.
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Old 13th December 2012, 13:33   #43
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Accessories installed & planned:


4.Bed Liner: The bed liner not only adds good looks but also helps protect scratches and friction sound arising from the items placed in the loadbed. (Rs.10,000/-)
5.Load Bed cover (TONNEAU COVERS): Installed custom built BakFlip Tonneau cover. Getting to have one made was quite a challenge since these type of Tonneau covers are not available in India. Tata Motors provides a fixed model made by Carryboy, however I required one that can be rolled back or folded as per my needs in the field. I contacted couple of manufacturers in US while many rejected citing either there was no market or feasibility due to non-availability of Xenon in US market for dimensions. Finally I managed to interact with the COO and founder of BakLiner who was kind enough to make one specially for me. I provided his engineering team with cad dimensions and photographs of the load bed for them to make one. However the challenge did not end there. I will post more details on this as a separate post.
Thank you for sharing the details for bakliner...let me write to them and see what response I hear. I have owned a TATA TL for over 4 years now, and have been looking out to get a Tonneau cover and haven't managed yet. Somehow I modified a TATA Sierra rear portion to meet my requirement as an interim solution...Great looking truck of yours....Install a good winch and your truck should be a go anywhere mean machine.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 13th December 2012 at 15:01. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 14th December 2012, 11:35   #44
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Thank you for sharing the details for bakliner...let me write to them and see what response I hear. I have owned a TATA TL for over 4 years now, and have been looking out to get a Tonneau cover and haven't managed yet. Somehow I modified a TATA Sierra rear portion to meet my requirement as an interim solution...Great looking truck of yours....Install a good winch and your truck should be a go anywhere mean machine.
Some pics of my pick up...
Attached Thumbnails
Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience-6288823996_689177f1ba_b.jpg  

Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience-3961555027_687e61ac10_b.jpg  

Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience-3225939936_e7a882ce0a_b.jpg  

Tata Xenon XT (EX 4X4) - Ownership Experience-3825242556_51191d924f.jpg  

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Old 14th December 2012, 13:43   #45
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Some pics of my pick up...
This is Amazing.. I have never seen a Tata TL in so many Avatars, thanks for sharing the pictures.

This is what I have been dreaming my Xenon to be. The flexibility to change its look and structure depending on our needs.
  1. A modified Canopy with extra seats for occasions to take more people onboard.
  2. A roof top Carrier/box for that extra load.
  3. A Thule Kayak/Canoe carrier for the watery adventure.
  4. A bike rack in load bed to carry Mountain bikes.
  5. A quad bike.
  6. A flat tonneau cover for the decent clean look.
  7. A bull bar, extra spot lights on top and front bumper for the mean looks.
The flexibility and options to mod are unlimited with a Pickup.
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