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Old 10th March 2009, 13:06   #31
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Awesome write up.

I had seen pics and review of this on some website (think it was reviewed by some South African auto magazine/website) so was reading quite what I had expected. But gotta give it to you for your style of writing!!

how about some more photos???

Like suman said it is a looker on the outside (which i totally agree with) but then how many people would actually buy a vehicle just for its looks, I know I wouldnt!
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Old 10th March 2009, 13:28   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Why so? It is a five-seater, four-wheel drive truck of obviously large dimensions. The plastic quality may be pretty bad when compared to cars of the same price point, but what is the price of the nearest 4wd with better plastics? About twice the price of this one?

While it is tempting to compare it with other vehicles in this price point - which are basically cramped cars - one must compare the vehicle with others of its ilk and then talk about price.

I think its a decent truck at 9 lakhs with a 205mm (fully laden) ground clearance, 4WD and usable load space as well as passenger space. My crib is about the leaf springs in the rear - unfortunately all reviews have preferred to concentrate on plastic quality rather than ride quality. If I were looking at buying this vehicle, ride quality, off-roadability and space would be more important than plastics inside. We dont know about these yet - we know plenty about the plastics from khaadu and kaushik.

The bad news bit was more for the poor job of finishing that we have come to expect from TATA, should've been more specific.

However, just because it is positioned in uncharted territory does not make it an automatic choice for someone looking for a new car/truck(?)

I'm waiting to read about it's off road abilities, 4x4 in particular. But I'm very sure someone looking for serious off roading wouldn't pick up a Xenon. At the same time, the casual commuter looking to lug people around the city rather than a tent and supplies for 10 days would have no practical use for the cargo bed. Instead, he'd rather look at other options that offer an extra row for seating and far better comfort.

I'm not stating that this car will have no buyers. It's just that their numbers will be very shoddy

My opinion
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Old 10th March 2009, 13:42   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
If I were looking at buying this vehicle, ride quality, off-roadability and space would be more important than plastics inside. We dont know about these yet - we know plenty about the plastics from khaadu and kaushik.
Well, Khaadu told me that space was pretty reasonable on the rear bench, the problem was the back was straight & not reclined - he felt it would be an issue on long rides.
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Old 10th March 2009, 13:44   #34
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Originally Posted by Nitronium View Post
I'm waiting to read about it's off road abilities, 4x4 in particular. But I'm very sure someone looking for serious off roading wouldn't pick up a Xenon.
I dont see why not. The Safari does a fairly good job off the road, much more than it is ever given credit for. At about 300 kg less and hopefully better approach and departure angles than an SUV, this should do better.

It is a (widely propogated) myth that you need to rough it out in a rag-topped tub to go off the road - far from it. Taking a vehicle off the road successfully is partly vehicle and partly driver. With the right driver this has the potential to be a very usable offroader.

I prefer my 4wds to have some level of creature comfort, at least basic stuff like airconditioning and a decent ride quality. If they can also do highway runs, that would be even better - I wont have to switch vehicles every time I plan to go off the beaten track.
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Old 10th March 2009, 14:55   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Why so? It is a five-seater, four-wheel drive truck of obviously large dimensions. The plastic quality may be pretty bad when compared to cars of the same price point, but what is the price of the nearest 4wd with better plastics? About twice the price of this one?

While it is tempting to compare it with other vehicles in this price point - which are basically cramped cars - one must compare the vehicle with others of its ilk and then talk about price.
Well said!

Xenon is a huge improvement over the vehicle it replaces - the Telcoline, originally called the Tatamobile. Tata deserves credit for that. Look-wise and spec-wise, it's at par with the international brands. That couldn't be said about the Telcoline. A spruced up model - Xenon Europa, Xenon America, whatever - should ensure decent sales abroad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
My crib is about the leaf springs in the rear -
Ambassador has leafs too in the rear. Everyone loves its ride quality. It's the front leafs that are a problem, not the rear ones. How much has the Scorpio's ride really improved after the coil rear set up? The pick-up version of Fiat's Adventure too features leafs at rear, in spite of the car parentage, to facilitate load carrying.
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Old 10th March 2009, 14:56   #36
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Thumbs down Story Teller Vs Test driver

Frankly speaking, I appreciate the style in the which TD has been written with some good humourous references. But does not provide any reference to many aspects of the vehicle other than just the plastic quality. The expectation & comparision of the writer does not match the segment for which it has been developed.

Xenon is meant for a niche segment and for specific purpose. One would not do any justice if it is compared with other SUV's and is not an alternate for any other models apart from Scorpio Getaway.

If at all if any one wants to compare Tata Xenon, then it has to be with Mitsubishi Warrior/Raider, Ford Ranger/F series or Toyota Hilux/Tacoma/Thundra.

I am awaiting for a confirmation on the availability of a 4X4 version for TD from the dealers in Hyderabad to do some basic test drive and will provide my opinion and try my best to cover the important topics at least.

PS: I am not a Tata Motors employee but a 4X4 enthusiast who have been following development of Xenon since it's concept.
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Old 10th March 2009, 15:11   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection : How much has the Scorpio's ride really improved after the coil rear set up?
Absolutely true, Scorpio is by far more bumpier than Gypsy with all leaf springs. I have found the front facing rear seats of my Gypsy to be far comfortable than middle and rear seats of Scorpio VLX mHawk.

With better MT/AT tyres this could still be good offroader if not too close to Gypsy/Jeep's. If Toyota Prado could take NGC explorers to uninhabited terrains for exploration, I don't see any reason why a Xenon with slight assesorization do the same with it's powerful engine, 205mm GC and 4X4.
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Old 10th March 2009, 15:54   #38
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@kaushikz,

Its really nice.....no,no not car errr truck.....but the review.

Please,more pics if any.
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Old 10th March 2009, 15:58   #39
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I still think that the Xenon is overpriced for what it offers. A price of around 7-7.5L ex-showroom would have been better IMO.
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Old 10th March 2009, 16:17   #40
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Nice review and very well written. But the comparison could have been more than just interiors. The exteriors look stunning and has to lot of potential to be modified. The AC part seems surprising was expecting a good HVAC from Tata.

Just for a thought, how about a Cut Short version of Xenon with half the loading bed size, lighter weight , coil springs at the rear and 50k cheaper. What say? (I am day dreaming lolz)
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Old 10th March 2009, 16:20   #41
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Quote:
directinjection : Ambassador has leafs too in the rear. Everyone loves its ride quality. It's the front leafs that are a problem, not the rear ones.
It's not about leaf vs coil as much as what the suspension is tuned for. Optimal comfort level fo this vehicle will be with a load - not just passengers. Try the vehicle with a load (at the back), and I wont be surprised if some one is going to sing praises of how well the vehicle handles (even) with a load.

With the Amby, the (leaf) suspension there was designed for a GVW of approx 1600 kg. With the Xenon, the vehicle's GVW would be about 2500 kg, and the suspension is optimised to carry that much. No load at the back will mean about only 50% payload and hence will feel bouncy / rough. (You will need to consider these figures as a combination of GVW & kerb weight, and what that suspension was designed for).
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Old 10th March 2009, 19:07   #42
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My two bits worth to add to Kaushikz's succinct report - Happened to drive a batch of Xenons for export last year.

No two vehicles wee alike, the engines sounded different, behaved different. The gears meshed differently. The A/cs behaved differently. I was reminded of the good ol' Ambassador pre-delivery yard in Chandigarh where we used to make pilgrimages twenty years ago to test-drive and hand-pick vehicles to buy. The Xenon too needs to be hand-picked, and I guess if you are lucky you might land an acceptble piece of engineering.

Amber light everybody !!
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Old 10th March 2009, 20:02   #43
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The leaf springs can be replaced by fibre glass ones to give a better ride if one is that desperate. There is a discussion going on here.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-of...ml#post1206073
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Old 11th March 2009, 01:43   #44
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Default A rejoinder to some of the comments posted:

Very clearly this pickup - or as the Americans prefer to call it, this truck, is not for Mr. Egg trader.

If I, Mr. Million-bucks-loose-change, “know” my cars, have a couple of them parked for my office commute and am lookin for a “lifestyle” statement – hitting the ghats on the week-end with the wife & kids. Wouldn’t I want more creature comforts? Wouldn’t I want ABS, Airbags etc.? I know there is no free lunch – charge me for it, but please do not pass off a shoddily engineered car as a “lifestyle” – we can see through it. Do not short-change me; give me my money’s worth.

The ‘Let’s slap on some nice bits on the 207 and make some green bucks.’ Intent is there to see.

While, the Honda’s may not be as involving to drive as, say, the Fords, but they stick to their basic promise of impeccably engineered cars. Is the Xenon, true to its calling card? That’s my grouse.

Is it just about putting together a chassis, an engine, mating the transmission, slapping together the body and ensuring the contraption works, does not breakdown for, say, 30,000 km? Or is it about putting together a car that truly “lives” what it is?

The question of whether Tata Motors sell many Xenons or only a few is moot. But the opportunity of creating a genuine “lifestyle truck” - India’s very own F series - has been lost. That’s my grouse.

PS: appreciate all the compliments (and brickbats too), am glad that I decided to put pen on paper (or is it finger on keyboard?) after two years being a team bhp member.
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Old 11th March 2009, 09:35   #45
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Saw it myself when i went to check out the Linea. Amazing looks, crazy presence and disappointing interiors sort of sums the Car up. Okay, lifestyle or no lifestyle, i don't think expecting a few basic things like a decent interior is too much to ask while putting down ten big ones.
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