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Old 27th August 2011, 22:01   #1
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Default Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

Today I went to Mahindra showroom at kochi (TVS) to see the maxximo minivan. The one on display was the red one. I spent about half an hour with the vehicle for physical inspection and then had a short test drive. My observations are listed here. Request kindly remember that this is a vehicle in the lower segment and hence has to be compared with Tata Magic and not with Tata Venture !!!
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1. Decent fit and finish. There was minor paint job flaws seen, but they told, such vehicles will not be delivered to the customer.
Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van-dashboard_marked.jpg
2. Simple dashboard. Good lockable govebox at the centre of the dash board for keeping papers etc. It is having sufficient interior volume (NOT LIKE THE TINY USELESS GLOVE BOX OF TATA VENTURE).
3. Console and steering looks good. Speedometer is conventional analog type. On one side of the speedometer, there is an LCD multi-function display in the console. There are two push buttons on the side of it. One button for selecting the displayed item and the second button is for setting/resetting the displayed item. The displayed items are total kms run, tripmeter A reading, tripmeter B reading, Clock. The second button is used for setting time, resetting tripmeters etc. There are a number of round round light kind of things around the conventional analog speedometer. They are only for 'show' and not having any function.
On the left side of the dashboard, there is a tray (can be seen in the photo). Inside the tray, there is a round lid which can be opened to fill the windshield washer liquid.
(to be continued...)
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Old 28th August 2011, 08:50   #2
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

Post 2 :
My ongoing observations are based on physical inspection. Driving impressions will be explained later.
Front view :
I was not having a camera with me. All photos are taken either from the team-bhp site or from the mahindra site. Many thanks for the posting by Stratos with good photos.
The front of the maxximo van is not liked by all. I liked the front of the van (much more than the front of tata magic) whereas my son (an engineering student) did not like it (he did not like tata magic front also. He likes tata venture front look). I feel, we should remember that it is a common man's vehicle and made so affordable to them also.
Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van-front-look1_marked.jpg
Mahindra company had ruled out any possibility of fitting an AC in Maxximo van. They said that neither mahindra nor third party can fit an AC with this engine due to space limitations and power limitations. If fitted somehow, the company warranty will be void !
In this situation, the absence of two air vents from the front to the driver and co-driver area is a serious omission. Since the engine, radiator etc are all under the driver and co-driver seats, the area behind the 'smiling grill' at the front seems to be vacant (visibility was poor, so i assume so). Two air vents on two sides - which can be opened and closed could have been provided by mahindra. (Proposed locations are marked in the photos) Such openable windows (spring loaded) are available in the market for fitment on the sides of jeeps and therefore, the owner himself can do it after purchase. One important point we have to take care : By making two openings in the front, the intended airflow to the radiator should not get diverted (thus cooling the passengers instead of cooling the engine ). Therefore, first the airflow pattern to the radiator should be studied and then only the air vents feasibility to be seen. From my experience in my good old days with an ambassador car, these air vents will drastically improve the fresh air circulation inside the cabin and hence reduce the heat build-up inside the cabin. In the ambassador, we used one 2 inch PVC pipe from the front grill to the cabin to provide fresh air !
There are two white reflectors on both sides, which look like fog lamps in the photo. They are just reflectors, not fog lamps.
Attached Thumbnails
Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van-below_dashboard_marked.jpg  


Last edited by KMohanan : 28th August 2011 at 08:56.
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Old 28th August 2011, 09:09   #3
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

What is the price levels and the trim available and a comparo with Tata Ace magic would be helpful.
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Old 28th August 2011, 13:37   #4
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

The onroad price for the 8 seater Mahindra Maxximo Minivan at Kochi is 3.55 lakhs for private registration with lifetax. They do not offer any discounts now. However, the executive told, we will discuss with the manager.

The onroad price for the 8 seater Tata Magic at Kochi is 3.55 lakhs for private registration with lifetax. They offer eight thousand rupees onam discount.

So, there is no appreciable difference in price.

For both Maxximo and Magic 7/8 seater is the difference between their two versions. Price difference is, I think, only less than one thousand rupees for some change in insurance/roadtax.

Therefore, in view of the almost same amount of 3.5 lakhs onroad to be paid for both Maxximo and Magic, if I have to buy one, I will surely go for the Maxximo. There are many reasons which I will explain during my postings.

Also, it is a bit strange for many of my friends on why I got interest in such a lower level vehicle when I can easily buy a Tata Venture. There lies my history which many may not appreciate..
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Old 28th August 2011, 17:44   #5
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMohanan View Post
Today I went to Mahindra showroom at kochi (TVS) to see the maxximo minivan. The one on display was the red one. I spent about half an hour with the vehicle for physical inspection and then had a short test drive. My observations are listed here. Request kindly remember that this is a vehicle in the lower segment and hence has to be compared with Tata Magic and not with Tata Venture !!!
Attachment 600543
1. Decent fit and finish. There was minor paint job flaws seen, but they told, such vehicles will not be delivered to the customer.
Attachment 600545
2. Simple dashboard. Good lockable govebox at the centre of the dash board for keeping papers etc. It is having sufficient interior volume (NOT LIKE THE TINY USELESS GLOVE BOX OF TATA VENTURE).
3. Console and steering looks good. Speedometer is conventional analog type. On one side of the speedometer, there is an LCD multi-function display in the console. There are two push buttons on the side of it. One button for selecting the displayed item and the second button is for setting/resetting the displayed item. The displayed items are total kms run, tripmeter A reading, tripmeter B reading, Clock. The second button is used for setting time, resetting tripmeters etc. There are a number of round round light kind of things around the conventional analog speedometer. They are only for 'show' and not having any function.
On the left side of the dashboard, there is a tray (can be seen in the photo). Inside the tray, there is a round lid which can be opened to fill the windshield washer liquid.
(to be continued...)
I like Maxximos front look as well, and to furthur improve its looks it can be shodded with 13" slighltly lower profile tyres in case its going to be used as a passenger carrier.

Colours offered are really good.

But again 3.55 L for a Non-AC vehicle , for private use?
I will await your furthur posts.

Last edited by silverado : 28th August 2011 at 17:54. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 28th August 2011, 21:43   #6
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
What is the price levels and the trim available and a comparo with Tata Ace magic would be helpful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
I like Maxximos front look as well, and to furthur improve its looks it can be shodded with 13" slighltly lower profile tyres in case its going to be used as a passenger carrier.

Colours offered are really good.

But again 3.55 L for a Non-AC vehicle , for private use?
I will await your furthur posts.
Mahindra themselves give a comparison table between Maxximo and the closest competitor (It is the TATA MAGIC). The comparison is enclosed below. After going through the comparison and examining the vehicle, I find that 3.55 lakhs is a reasonable price.

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This table is taken from the mahindra site Mahindra Maxximo FAQ section.

All the 20 points are obvious for any person who closely observe both the vehicles. But, there are serious disadvantages with the mahindra maxximo vehicle (which mahindra will never tell in the above table). I will come to that in the subsequent test drive posts.
Of course, we can have a brief discussion on each point, if required, which will help to find out which are the most important ones.

Last edited by KMohanan : 28th August 2011 at 22:05. Reason: bold, underline, etc
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:15   #7
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

Post 3 :

I went in and sat in the driver's seat. The seat is very flat like a bench and does not offer good support.
Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van-driverseat_marked.jpg
One surprising observation about the driver seat is that the seat back cannot be slanted backwards. The maximum tilted position is also almost upright. The seat back can be tilted to the front by a good angle !!! But, who can sit in a seat with seat back tilted to the front ? The seat back should have tilting option to the back starting from 90 deg (upright position) by about 40 degrees to the back. Then only, it will be comfortable for the driver to adjust as per his wish. But, here, the rear 'back facing' seat is very close to the driver seat (but not touching) and therefore, the driver seat is almost not tiltable to the back. This is one if the disadvantages. Mahindra should have provided a bit better supporting seat with tiltable seat back.

The forward visibility from the driver seat is very good. When I was a child of may be 8-10 years old, I was a fan of those leyland truck/bus drivers, who engage the gears with a stylish posture and a 'grrrrr' sound. May be, the old child in me woke up for a moment... I liked the 'truck' or 'bus' like front view.
This is one of the reasons why I like to own one, but unfortunately, I do not have any such bus/truck fans in my family. So, not easy to buy one

In the seven seater variant, the co-driver seat is absent. In place of the co-driver seat, what you see is a flat cover which can be opened from front to back by disengaging two locking levers. Once you open the cover, you can see the engine sitting below in between the driver and co-driver seat and a bit backwards from the driver seating position.

In the above photo, if you look through the bottom portion of the gear lever, you can see the engine cover disengaging levers (marked in the photo) below the co-driver seat. In the display vehicle, there was no co-driver seat, since it was a seven seater, and therefore, opening the engine cover was easy. I wonder, how the engine cover can be easily lifted in an eight seater ??? Possibly, you will have to first remove the co-driver seat first and then open the engine cover.

The downside of the engine cover is covered with an acoustic and heat insulator sheet. It looks good, but when the engine runs, nothing of this sort helps to prevent ENGINE NOISE from coming inside the cabin !!! Whether the 'heat prevention' is effective ? Can be seen only after driving the vehicle for a sufficiently long distance.

Last edited by KMohanan : 30th August 2011 at 21:17.
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:55   #8
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

I somehow doesn't like the front looks of the Maxximo. It appears like a vehicle assembled in a haste. Just one look of the Venture and the difference is immediately visible. The new Super Ace now available is with the Venture front end and has a mature stance.
Even the new Ace Zip looks a lot lovelier.

Last edited by rajeev k : 30th August 2011 at 22:22.
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Old 31st August 2011, 10:38   #9
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
I somehow doesn't like the front looks of the Maxximo. It appears like a vehicle assembled in a haste. Just one look of the Venture and the difference is immediately visible. The new Super Ace now available is with the Venture front end and has a mature stance.
Even the new Ace Zip looks a lot lovelier.
Please have a look on the competitors for maxximo. Force Trip van from Force Motors, tata magic from Tata Motors. On road price of Force Trip is also more than 3 lakhs. The photo of maxximo is also given for easy comparison.

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There is no doubt, venture is far better than Maxximo. But, Tata venture on road price is about 5.5 lakhs and therefore, does not fall in the maxximo category. If one can afford, venture, then the best choice is venture itself - Lookwise and Qualitywise.
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Old 31st August 2011, 21:06   #10
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

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Originally Posted by KMohanan View Post
There is no doubt, venture is far better than Maxximo. But, Tata venture on road price is about 5.5 lakhs and therefore, does not fall in the maxximo category. If one can afford, venture, then the best choice is venture itself - Lookwise and Qualitywise.
True, but look at the picture from TATA Motors' web site. I was refering to this Super Ace with the Venure front end. A ":magic" version of this would sell well as this would be much lesser than Venture price wise.
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Old 31st August 2011, 21:49   #11
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

I think this segment is slowly warming up for Private vehicles who consistently need 5+ seating capacity.

I am also interested in the TATA Venture, as I often feel the need for 5+ seating, but the old engine is putting me off, though its good enough.

Mahindra has upped the ante by providing a 2 cylinder CRDe engine in this segment. They seem to be following TATA's footsteps in every direction for their product portfolio.

The share auto's are a mix of ACE and Maxximo now a days.

When seen on road, the Maxximo looks smaller than the ACE.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 21:05   #12
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

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True, but look at the picture from TATA Motors' web site. I was refering to this Super Ace with the Venure front end. A ":magic" version of this would sell well as this would be much lesser than Venture price wise.
Rajeev, You correctly said what I was waiting for a long time and then got disappointed. The original magic was not acceptable to me mainly because the engine was too small for fitting an AC and the top speed was only 55 kmph. Even if we manage to fit side and rear glasses to the magic, the above limitations cannot be resolved. Then, when tata launched the super ace with bigger engine, ac and power steering, I was very happy thinking that a simple magic version will come out of that. But, I think, tata has done more research that needed and finally arrived at the venture, which is a good vehicle, but priced too high for a common man.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 22:29   #13
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Default Post 4 : Maxximo Test Drive

Once again, thanks to Stratos for a number of good photos which I like to use here for clarity.

The front door pads were looking very basic. The 'door opening lever' (internal lever) was 'looking' so weak as it it would break after some days of use. But, when operated, I find that the lever is very strong and I think it is good enough for a long term use.

Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van-doorpad_marked.jpg

I came out of the driver compartment and was about to enter the rear section. There is a foot step provided by the company (not an extra fitting). This also does not look 'strong'. But, I stepped on it and stood for some time, again stepped down and then up... The step is reasonably strong. I looked down to see the ground clearance. The bottom of the step is not the lowest part of the vehicle. So, I assume, it will not reduce the ground clearance.

Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van-sidestep.jpg

I entered the rear section of the vehicle. The space between the rear seat is insufficient. I agree with Stratos in his comment on the 'launch' thread that one can sit comfortably as long as there is no passenger sitting in the opposite side. The opposite side passenger will have keep his legs in between your legs. Therefore, the passengers travel in a 'stitched' fashion, may be, good for keeping up family relations

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Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van-legspace.jpg

The rear side of the vehicle is the place where it wins over tata magic. There is a striking similarity with sumo grande rear. The door opens sideways. The door is not lockable with key from outside, You have to engage the 'lock lever' from the inside of the rear door first and then close the door from outside which will lock the rear door. Now, how to open ??? You have to enter the vehicle through the side door and unlock the rear door from inside to open it. Very impractical. How much more expense Mahindra could have met for providing an external key lock with same key as the front door ?? May be another Rs. 200 ?

Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van-rear.jpg

I felt that the luggage space at rear is also less, in comparison to tata magic. The most annoying thing is that the rear seat is not foldable to the front to make more luggage space. Most of the people who buy this vehicle are from the middle class families and they will naturally have many big items to shift using the vehicle. I think, the rear seat of our good old fiat uno is a good model for mahindra. I still love the way the double folding rear seat of my uno worked.

The ceiling of the maxximo is with normal rexine. This is better that the plain top of magic, where you can see even the pipes going left and right. But, this rexine top will start hanging downwards soon and within an year of purchase, the owner will have to change it to a new hard cieling.

The butterfly windows at the rear looks good. But, I think, for ventilation, a sliding was better. May be the available space was too small for a sliding window. The butterfly window, even when fully opened, does not project outside the vehicle side. That's a good touch.

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Now, I wanted to have a test drive. They immediately offered a vehicle for test drive. I was so curious to know the performance of the engine which mahindra claims as 'technologically' so advanced. I started the motor ! The engine is SO NOISY inside. I went outside the vehicle to hear the sound from outside, it was naturally much more than what is heard inside. Noise Isolation is almost NIL in Maxximo. When the rpm is increased, the engine sound has become terrible. So far, I was very much in favour of the vehicle and with all the short comings pointed out above, I was likely to buy one for my family. But, the engine sound will prevent me from taking the vehicle anywhere near my office or friends. So, I had a second thought on buying it...
The acceleration in first and second gear is very less and you can overtake the vehicle by running. When rpm increases, the engine sound increases drastically and I was afraid to give acceleration more due to the strange engine noise. But, I found, the fourth gear is reasonably comfortable. You have sufficient speed and power. The engine noise is also within acceptable levels.
The power steering is not a must. If it was there, good. But, expecting too much from a vehicle of this price tag is not fair.

I did not try driving long, since it was in the city with good traffic.

To conclude :

For a potential buyer, the following are the issues :

1. High Engine sound.
2. No provision for fitting the AC.
3. Side door on left and the window on opposite side (there is no door from the rear passenger section on the right side) are not full doors. Top half of the door is with flexible sheet. So, no safety for material inside.
4. Insufficient leg space for rear seat passengers.
5. Non-foldable rear seat.
6. Non-slanting driver seat.
7. No external key lock for the rear door.
8. No ventilation openings at front grills, since no AC provision.

These are all part of criticism, TO IMPROVE THE PRODUCT. Even with all these, finally, I congratulate the design team at Mahindra who has made good efforts to make a good product. For the price, it is value for money. Mahindra claims a mileage of nearly 20 kmpl diesel. But, the engine sound is terrible and horrible, MAHINDRA HAS TO DO SOMETHING TO PREVENT IT COMING TO THE CABIN. I hope, Mahindra will soon address these issues and come out with a
version 2
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Old 5th September 2011, 19:43   #14
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

@ KMohanan that was quick and nice review on vehicle, but as far as engine noise is considered i followed some maxximo on road and i dont feel so. is it so noisy inside the cab. anyhow i need to test drive to know.
thanks for the review..
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Old 7th September 2011, 20:19   #15
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Default Re: Test Drive of the Mahindra Maxximo Mini Van

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@ KMohanan that was quick and nice review on vehicle, but as far as engine noise is considered i followed some maxximo on road and i dont feel so. is it so noisy inside the cab. anyhow i need to test drive to know.
thanks for the review..
As indicated in the review, drive in fourh and third gear may be acceptable. But, I seriously feel the engine sound is more inside and outside the cabin. When we first show the vehicle to our friends or when we first go and park near our friend's vehicles, the engine noise will make the first impression negative.
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