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Old 24th January 2013, 11:15   #1
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Default Sita, Red Mahindra XUV5OO W8 joins our Family. EDIT: 1 Year & 35,000 kms up

This post is in contention for the longest single post on team-bhp. Grab some popcorn, or your favorite drink. Also a large quantity of your patience. It can't get any bigger than this. Quite literally.

Once upon a time
I own a 2002 manufactured, pre-owned Tata Indica from 2009 till date. This vehicle has phenomenally been niggle free. That rare lucky offspring from TML. But is slowly showing signs of aging. The metal has corroded in some places, leaving holes in the structure. It's been drinking a lot of sea breeze. I hazard a guess. About an year back, she jumped off the cliff 2 meters high, to avoid the driving abuse, my father was putting her through. She managed to survive. And so did my father. The axle cracked and I had to do an expensive repair. She never went back to her tormentor. Not till I planned to retire her.

Sheís no head turner, but a very trustworthy companion. I call her ĎLakshmií, for she hasn't let me down or stalled or stopped on any critical occasion. This car is rock solid, well err, rock-with-pores solid. The pick-up is that of a 60 year old. The AC is at best a breeze of hot & warm air. I can't make out the difference. The engine still goes strong at 120 kmph on highways and without AC it once touched 130 kpml. Lakshmi Hussain bolt eh !

My ďlife needsĒ have been quite modest most of times, if you discount my Macbook Pro, ex-iPhone, Canon DSLR. I could take a bus where thereís one and walk if thereís none. But then how can a man be so baggage free for so long. Now, I have a little master and a grand master. Not necessarily in this sequence thoughh. Both are equally devoid of the capitalistic-impulsive-buying-instincts. But they relish travelling, and that too in style. The little master doesn't like to be chauffeured around by anyone else, than his own-blood Ď chauffeurí.

I have long held the notion that travelling in a car is like watching a movie, you are just witnessing Ďití. Riding a cycle/motorcycle however is like 'in ití , inherent part of the event, than just a witness. I had preferred a two wheeler to a four wheeler for long. However our roads and traffic are not too friendly on a pregnant lady, nor on a toddler and they need some shade and protection from the elements of the industrial output. And so it dawns one me, that a car is no longer a Ďwantí, but a Ďneedí. Well, we must have evolved from the hunter-gatherer sense of things, you know. I just caught up.

Iím not a car freak nor an enthusiast, but I do know a few things and I can distinguish between a good ride and a not so good ride. I have driven a number of cars in the last 10 years of me attaining car-puberty. Honda City had me captivated me for a long time, for its looks, drivability, style and of course the i-VTEC. But Honda appears to have stopped the clock for City and the City has remained in the last decade, on a number of features. City now lives in the realms of my early 2000-s dream world.

I somehow have a soft corner or is it a hard corner for macho looking SUVs/MUVs. I like that high seating position. Very much. The turbo kick and of-course the space needed for that odd family occasion. ABS, Airbags, curtains including are a big turn on for me. And so what does the market offer these days.
Safari - This is an over priced Ogre. Sarath Kumar would have looked like a dwarf near it.
Fortuner - Steep on itís price. Party flags have made this a bullying vehicle, in this part of the world.
Sumo - Suited for thieves and police chasing thieves. Available only in Tamil Cinemas.
Innova - Under powered.
Tavera - Is that a Jeep trying to grow up to a car ?
Tata Aria - The pregnant cow look.
Duster - just-5-seats configuration.
Endevour Ė Wise men advice - 'Never go for a American girl or a American car. You would be....'. I believe you can fill up the dots. Ertiga Ė I couldn't tell if it was a UV.
Xylo Ė Caption Haddock would have felt at ease (or at sea). I would have a smooth sailing in that 'boat'.
Scorpio Ė I may need henchmen to support that look.
XUV500 Ė M&M appears to have picked up the best features from almost all the cars and packaged it at the nearly half the price. Iím floored by the cheetah look. The paw handles, the front grill. Aggressive, but not intimidating and the gizmos, not that I like being 007. Some are nearly invaluable. 6 airbargs, ESP, ABS and some other nifty features, got me hooked on to this beast.

But you see, a car from a tractor manufacturer doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in me. More so, when I hear the engine note of XUV and that of a tractor. Added to that the service stories/OSC behavior towards Xylo/Scorio owners hasn't left a good taste in me for M&M. The team bhp review on XUV500 however was an huge eye opener and so was the XUV niggles thread. I had been following the thread so closely that I could walk in to a xuv and drive it blindfolded. Well almost.

I had a look at the interiors and did a brief drive during Nov 2012 and that tilted my occupation, from being an observer to a potential buyer. Yes I may need a car to replace by aging Indica, but I donít need a 15L car. I only drive during the weekends. My family is still young and I may not need that space. Further I donít want to lock 15L in a purchase that depreciates. My wealth manager would have advised me to invest in real estate. But I want an XUV ! That's why I fired my wealth manager before I appointed one.

In all these heavy duty purchases, there's still tussle between the head and the heart. This was no exception. Come-on, how long have you been observing the Indian car scene. 10 years now ? Have you ever been, well err, excited this much about a car, a material possession. No. Have you ever given in to the urge, to indulge yourself. No. Says the heart. But the calculative mind was in no mood to oblige. The final verdict from the Grand Master shuts the head. At least for the time being. It's the heart humming now.

The Day - 23-Nov-12
On 23-Nov we attend a wedding. The wedding evening sees almost every car on sale on Indian roads. But conspicuous of it's absence, is the XUV in this parade. People are incredibly auto-dumb, or I'm insanely auto-stupid. I drive down to Shiva Autombiles in Trichy to find out. You must have seen the looks of the sales guys there with me in a dhothi and the grand master in heavy jewellery. Enough jewellery to buy 2 XUVs and a Logan. We are treated royally. But whatís the point, the TD vehicle is not there. But the family is given a detailed introduction of a stationary XUV. The masters are impressed. They tell me, I'm not insanely auto-stupid. Wow, that's a start.

The Day - 24-Nov-12
I call up Shiva automobiles. The TD vehicle is back from it's outing. We take a short test drive, with two body guards keeping a close watch on our conversations. The Grand Master isn't comfortable continuing the test drive, with overhearing body guards. I bring the Cheetah to rest after a short while and continue our conversation about the XUV with 'Lakshmi'. 'Lakshmi' appears to know the XUV and confirms with an occasional Huff and an occasional Puff. What a large heart she has. Mahindra has toppled her family from the high seat, but she still recommends an XUV.

Enough has been said and pictured about the interiors and the Diwali lights cluster. I shall focus on my observations. For a moment I shall pretend I havenít read the XUV niggles thread.

The brakes were awful. Highly inadequate. Thereís a huge delay from the moment you push the brakes till the brakes actually apply. On most occasions I braked hard. The masters, who like to travel in style, did not like this.
The horn pad was not easily accessible. I had to lift my hand to honk.
The gears stick was way behind, for me atleast. This could have been the case Ďcoz of the fact that I had moved my seat close to the steering wheel.
The gears were notchy, especially the 1st and 2nd.
I didnít try the cruise control and other European-standard equipment on the car.
The turning radius was amazing small for such a big car.
The seats were very comfortable.
The ride was again well balanced.
Drive in 1000rpm range in 4th gear. No problem.
Couldnít get it to rev beyond 4000rpm.

The Following Days
Has my head won or has my heart won ? Well, the battle is still on. The deciding factor is the timing. I need a 2013 manufactured vehicle, for obvious reasons. Even better if I get a 2013 vehicle during Pongal. I could drive home a Cheetah for Maattu Pongal. Iím gonna scare the cows for sure.

The Day - 3-Dec-12
And so has the heart won over the head ?

Oh yes.

While I intended to scare the cows with the cheetah, M&M scared the wits out of me by hinting that they may hike prices across the board by up to 5%. Thatís almost 50K added to OTR price. The head and heart went in to a slug fest again.

Head Ė Dude, the car loses its VFM, when it cross 16K OTR. Better stick to Honda City or worst Innova or at best Lakshmi.
Heart Ė Come on you calculative, methodical looser. Itís a life time experience. 50K wouldn't burn a big hole in your wallet.
Head Ė Ya right, there wouldn't be any wallet left at all. But hold on, letís get in to a compromise then. Letís compare the rate of depreciation for a Dec-2012 car and that of a Jan-2013 car. In 2 yearsí time it would be around 50K. The amount that you are going to pay extra could well be negated by the depreciation for a Dec-2012.
Heart Ė Rarely you make me want to kiss you, but A$$ wins many a times. Not this time though. Letís buy a Dec-2012 manufactured vehicle.


I have a choice to book my vehicle with Shiva automobiles-Trichy, but havenít received any calls from them as yet. They have a nice big showroom with the stockyard just in their backyard. But somehow the sales persons and the RM that I spoke to, didn't impress me. Not even a bit. They were more like folks trying to sell tender coconuts, than premium vehicles. This is why.

Me: Hello Iím Prabhakar. I test drove XUV some time back and I would like to have more details around it.
Other person : Sir, let me transfer this to the concerned person.
After a while
2nd Other person : Yes Sir.
Me: Hello Iím Prabhakar. I test drove XUV some time back and I would like to have more details around it.
2nd Other person : Sir, let me transfer this to the concerned person.
Mind Voice: Am I having delusions or is it really repeating.
After a while
3rd Other person : Sir, the sales person is currently busy. Please leave your number and weíll get back to you.


I give my number and request to call them ASAP.

The Day - 5-Dec-12
Guess the clock moves a little slower in Shiva Automobiles. No calls till this time. In the mean time I want choices and so call up 3 dealers in Chennai. Also I call up a contact to get me the Shiva Automobile RMís number. I call the RM and he apologetically mentions that his daughter is sick and is taking her to a hospital and I may talk to another RM who knows everything about XUV. I agree and connect to this other person, who is very prompt in answering my queries.

Me: Hi, I have some questions on XUV and would like to hear how Shiva automobiles are handling these issues.
RM: Sure sir.
Me: I know the brakes are inadequate and have a grinding noise. How are you handling such issues.
RM: Sir you are right. The stock brake pads were faulty. The latest upgrades have them sorted out. We have the latest ones sir.
Me: Glad to hear you have the 956th version. There was this PS fluid leakage issue reported. Especially the rubber housing connecting the two rods. How are you handling such issues.
RM: Sir you are right. The PS housing was faulty. The latest upgrades have them sorted out. We have the latest ones sir.
Mind Voice: Am I having delusions or is Shiva automobiles on auto answer mode ?
By this time I have only half faith in them.
Me: Great you have this under control. The infotainment system was updated recently to 4.0.4, which solves phone pairing issue, HU hanging issues. Do you know if the update fixed all other issues.
RM: Sir you are right. The infotainment system was faulty. The latest upgrades have them sorted out. We have the latest ones sir.
Me: Fantastic. I have made up mind and you are the best folks to take care of my XUV. I shall call you later. Thanks.

Before I could hear ďSir, you are rightĒ loop, I hang up.

By this time Iím convinced that the vehicle would be brought from a dealer in Chennai, definitely not from Shiva Automobiles Trichy. They might have the necessary infrastructure, even better qualified mechanics in the back ground. But all thatís futile when the customer facings reps are munching groundnuts, speaking to potential customers. But I shall consider them for buying my tractors.

Before venturing out to Shiva automobiles I wanted to read reviews of them. But couldn't find one. Let me the first one then. My experience with Shiva automobiles Trichy was spread over a 2 week period, centered around 2 visits to the place and around 20 odd calls to different people employed there.

Review of Shiva Automobiles Ė Trichy
Infrastructure
This is one of the largest showrooms I have seen. Very well maintained. Excellent display area. On the first floor they could manage to parade all M&M cars. The parking lot is ample. Customer facing desks (just the desks) are well equipped. The yard is just behind the showroom and has easy access.
9/10
Customer Service
If they scored high on infrastructure, they were let down by their customer service executives. Heavily. While they treated us nicely the first time, they were ill informed in most cases. When I asked the sales guy to explain the most important features to the grand master, the opening statement was ĎMaam, this is the steering wheel and it has steering mounted audio controlsí. Nothing wrong in it technically. But most spouses do not take the wheels and more so with a little master. As a sales person you direct your response after gauging the audience. A better one would have been Ė ďMaam, this is the vanity mirror which has a auto light function. You donít have to ask him to switch on the lights. XUV does it for you.Ē. The grand master would have been impressed and so would be me.
Next, the promises to keep or rather promises that were not honored. A customer buying a 15L car, deserves to be called back when requested to. I was not returned any phone calls. In fact on a strange note, Shiva automobiles called up and asked about the status of my Maruti Ritz that I was willing to do an exchange for XUV. How in the world you mix up customers like this.
2/10

Since I opted out them after this eventful journey, canít really comment on other aspects.

The Day Ė 7-Dec-12
Now that Shiva automobiles was out of the equation, start looking out for the three dealers in Chennai. MPL, India Garage and Zulaikha. Call up to find out, if there was any Red W8 in stock ready for delivery. MPL doesn't have any and the earliest that I could lay my hands on a car was early Feb-13. India Garage had a Red W8 car that was cancelled by a customer. It is not a dec-12 manufactured one, but a Nov-12 manufactured one. Zulaikha sales rep is interesting and entertaining. I shall unveil the happenings in a short while. Now buying a vehicle in Dec to offset the potential price hike in Jan was not the greatest decision and stretching it too far by buying a Nov manufactured vehicle is not so wise. And so drop the idea of engaging India Garage as well.

Alright then, my first phone call with Zulaikha is intriguing. I'm told that there are no vehicles in stock. However there are vehicles that are in transit and would be arriving soon. I could pick a red from the lot, when it arrives. I didn't know picking a cheetah was like picking a cow from a mela. I say alright. Indulge me. I give my first requirement and that is the car should be a Dec-12 manufactured vehicle and should be red. No other color. The white, only looks half white. The silver is too plain. The grey is not as striking as I would have liked a cheetah to be. The black is stunning. However it needs additional chrome jewels to lighten up. I like cars with no additional fittings. The purple looked more of a black in dark. I donít want a dual tone color car.

And so just one phone call to Zulaikha and I have little hopes of them calling me, especially with my experience with Shiva automobiles.

The Day Ė 8-Dec-12
Surprising though, I get a call the next day asking about my intent to book the car. Professional follow-up. I like it. Now, I give my second requirement. Iím not going to take insurance from you, as it is expensive. (quote INR 52968). Iím not going to do registration with you, as I want the vehicle to be Trichy registered. (Registration quote was INR 210990). I sense a sense of deflation at the other end. Dealers make a margin in insurance, take a cut in loan and some in registration. Iím not only robbing them of their bread and butter, Iím salt papering them as well. Iím sure they would not wish to pursue this further.

The Day Ė 10-Dec-12
This morning, I get a call from Zulaikha. They inform that they are ok with the requirement and I may proceed with the booking. I then ask about the status of the vehicle. Zulaikha entertains me with ĎSir, the vehicle has left the factory and is in transit. Once itís in our yard, weíll let you know and you can walk the catí.

I know that XUVs are running on a huge order list and every vehicle is made to order. That is, once your booking is done, a vehicle is allotted to you in production and that vehicle is what you get finally. Unless of course someone cancels their booking and THAT car is allotted to you. This car that I'm being told is not a customer cancelled car, as I hear from the rep. And so Zulaikha granny is at her story telling best. Iím all ears. Want to entertain myself more and I probe the rep with these questions. How is that Mahindra is allotting you cars without customer booking. Hope you do know that these cars are made to order. ĎSir. You are rightí (oh no, not again).í But there are vehicles allotted for each dealer, irrespective of the bookings and this is part of thatí. What the rep mentioned is true. Only half true. But itís true for the lesser popular cars. You could see cars waiting to be picked up from the yards. But XUV is a hot model and unless no one is buying from this dealer, there is no reason why M&M would be sending these cars to Zulaikha for a fresh coat of dust and sun tan from their Chennai yard. I say, I shall think about it and I hang up.

The Day Ė 10-Dec-12
I get a call from Zulaikha inquiring about my booking. I want to up the ante and check the genuineness of their offer. This time my requirement is that I should get the VIN first, I would inspect this vehicle and when Iím satisfied with the car, I shall make a booking and then I shall take delivery of this car. I would have had a stroke if they ever accepted this. They disappoint me by announcing that they are ok with this and that they would give the VIN once M&M provides them and then I can do the inspection, followed by booking. I for a second feel the earth spinning backwards. This sales process is in reverse. Once the initial reactions subside, I come to a conclusion that Zulaikha is in fact sending me on a wild goose chase and they donít have any vehicle in yard, or in transit but have some in their reality distortion field and Iím being sucked in to it. However unlike the Shiva automobiles experience, Zulaikha somehow don't **** me off. In fact I was chuckling most times, being amused sometimes, by the boyish impishness of the sales rep. He is genuinely trying to rope me in. Perhaps he needs a Pongal perk.

I want to extend the amusement run for a little longer and so tell them to contact me once they get the VIN. Iím sure there's going to a group discussions on who is being made a bakra at the end of the day.

The day Ė 17-Dec-12
The sales Lead calls me up and tells me that heís taking over this sales process and he would my primary contact going forward. Tells me that they are no more vehicles coming from Mahindra at this time of the year. Oops, thatís the end of it ? Or is it really ? Well, he shares with me one last information that finally nails the Cheetah. That is - Mahindra has already raised the prices of Rexton and itís unlikely that XUV prices would be increased too. And he tells me that the media leak was perhaps to entice buyers to go for the last lot of the year, that might otherwise be lying unsold. This is one piece of news that's genuine and I really appreciate his straight talk. He further tells me that while I can book the vehicle now, the vehicle is likely to be delivered only by Jan-13 end or early Feb-13. Fair enough, if the price is not getting increased, it makes all the sense to buy a 2013 manufactured vehicle. Let me wait.

The Day Ė 28-Dec-12
And so after the decision to wait for a 2013 manufactured vehicle, I wait for the right time to book the vehicle to ensure that mine is in one of the first batches in 2013. I was advised by Zulaikha that the last week of Dec-12 would be an ideal time to book the vehicle. The last week of December turns out to be a hectic week at work and I finally manag to take some time off on 28-Dec. And itís time to meet our sales guys face to face. We reach Zulaikha show room in Velachery at around 5 in the evening and the moment I see this building, with close to around 20 vehicles parked in front, I can only imagine one thing Ė Mini Kumb Mela. I have trouble finding a spot to park my car. Finally park in a space reserved for TD vehicles (!). Further there are at least 50 odd people in uniform, without uniform in front of the showroom. Looks more like a workerís union tea break. Anyway the moment I step in, two ladies welcome us and guide us to the first floor, which is reserved only for XUV. Well maintained space in the first floor. You leave the chaos behind the door. Very well organized. I see a gleaming red cheetah on display and the grand master is all smiles on making the right color choice. Meet up with Yaaser and Jude, the sales team for XUV. We exchange pleasantries and settle down to discuss business. Thereís no one-half torn currency note with me to match up with the other missing piece. This is genuine business anyway. I repeat my requirements

Req 1 Ė No invoice to be raised until I do the PDI and give a go ahead
Req 2 Ė I need a car cover and/or floor mats
Req 3 Ė Obvious now. I need a 2013 manufactured vehicle

Zulaikha agrees to all three requirements. They agree to provide me a car cover alone and not floor mats. I do understand that the margins these guys make may not be handsome, especially after I opted out of insurance, registration and loan. I say good then, let me sign the dotted line. Fill out the necessary forms and request the dealer to make the entry right away in to the system. They politely inform me that itís already 6 and they would do so the first thing the next day. That they do without fail on 29-Dec. Good show so far. By this time we were the only customers in the showroom and am surprised to hear that itís already closing time. By the way, why are car showrooms almost empty after sun set ?

Mahindra provides this booklet with some vital information and the booking slip is neatly tucked in this booklet.

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Wish Mahindra chooses a more 'appropriate' color for this booklet. It looks as if booking a army jeep, than a cheetah. Mahindra are you listening ?

The Following Days
I'm aware that the delivery would take 4-5 weeks with improved production in the plants and Iím likely to get the vehicle in the last week of Jan-13 or first week of Feb-13. In the meantime, Lakshmi has to be given to my father for his errands and I'l have to be car less, not careless, for another 4 weeks or so till I get the Cheetah.

This car less period is one of the interesting times in life. Considering the crowd in public transport, most of the times, we have to leave the little master behind and travel as a couple. If Lakshmi was around, we wouldn't have felt the need of XUV so much. The waiting period of just 4 weeks now seems like an eternity. Our travel is somewhat curtailed without a car. The clock started ticking, rather slowly.

For the next two weeks, I do not get a call from Zulaikha at all, not even a status update. I didn't want to be nagging, but then I deserved an update at least once a week.

The Day Ė 16-Jan-13
I call up Zulaikha to inquire about the status of the vehicle. Iím informed that they do not have an update. Iím not amused. And Iím not smiling at this. My mood perhaps has crept up the airwaves and the sales rep catches the irritation in my tone. He further adds that they do not want to add to the speculation and nail biting wait, by giving live commentary. Yes I do not want to hear ďItís being painted, Cheetah is getting a cold shower. Cheetah is getting dressed et allĒ. I say fair enough. Give me an update when thereís something tangible.

The Day Ė 21-Jan-13
I call up Zulaikha to get a familiar response. But Iím not convinced this to be the case and try the customer care. They are not helpful either but inform me that the customer care doesn't come in to the picture now and itís between the dealer and the factory. However they offer to escalate this and nudge the dealer to provide me regular updates. I decline and tell them, that I do not have complaints and so escalation may not help things. But the customer care lady informs me that as a privileged customer, every XUV owner is special and I being special to Mahindra, I deserve to be given regular updates by the dealer. Glad to see Mahindra giving its premium customers their due attention. I havenít heard of similar attention to Scoprio or Xylo owners. Iím already feeling special. Not sure about other manufacturers though. Honda and Toyota perhaps ?

The Day Ė 22-Jan-13
The first call in the morning is from Zulaikha and Iím pleasantly surprised to hear that the Cheetah is waiting at their Ambattur yard. Ready for my inspection. Did the call to the customer care work or was it just a coincidence? 3 weeks for the cheetah to race to southern India. Not bad. I get the partial VIN to be taken to the yard. Later in the evening, Zulaikha calls me to inquire about my complaint. Iím embarrassed now. I inform them that it was just an enquiry and it turned out to be a complaint. I comfort them to not worry too much and ask them to expect me in Ambattur the next day.

The Day Ė 23-Jan-13
Zulaikha motors yard is in Ambattur estate. The easiest way is to take the Chennai-Bangalore bypass and take the exit to Ambatur on the left. Pass one signal and on the right hand side, right next to India Land Tech Park is the yard. I had requested or rather begged/threatened a nice friend of mine to travel to Ambattur. He volunteered (!) to be my wing man. The not so emotionally attached person in this buying process. The other one would be me. The summer is slowly encroaching in this part of the world and itís quite a hot day at the Ambattur yard. The detailed PDI starts.

Here is what I carried with me for the PDI
Sony Cybershot
PDI Checklist -> http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ist-v1.00.xlsx
M&M Quick Start Guide -> http://mahindraxuv500.com/product/ownersmanual.htm
And a reluctant wingman.

First task is to check if this is a Jan 2013 manufactured vehicle.
Decoded the VIN. Itís indeed a Jan 2013 manufactured vehicle. I checked the rest of the 20 odd vehicles. A combination of xylos, scorpios and XUVs. All were Jan 2013 manufactured. I did see some baking Boleros which were 2012 manufactured. Iím not buying any of those.

I used the checklist in combination with the user guides, starting with the outside and then inside. I couldnít inspect the paint or the body, as more than 70% of the vehicle was already covered. I managed to inspect the naked parts.

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Was expecting to see a lot of rust on those brakes. Not so prominent now.

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Next was the tyre inspection. The rubber was from Bridgestone. Lots of grip. No abnormal wear and tear.
Next inspection of the alarm systems and the keys. All is well here.
Next the inspection from the inside. I immediately notice handy work just above the driverís seat. Stains. Thatís ok. That could be cleaned clear. Next the carpets. All is well here too. Then the seats. Check all seats and when Iím about to declare all is well, the eagle-eyed-wingman finds the 2nd row left hand side seat torn (or not stitched). Here is what it looked like.

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Not so great work. Leather seats are not stitched this way. At least not this way on premium cars.

Next check all electricals. Sitting in a XUV is a Diwali every day. So much green house and so many lights. All is well here too.

Crank up the engine. Check the engine bay. The battery has a plastic cover only for the +ve terminal. I enquire with the yard guy. He tells me itís the same in every vehicle. Is it really the case or the cap has gone on a happy ride down the road ? I shall get this enquired with the technicians on the shop floor during delivery. Here is the pic.

Sita, Red Mahindra XUV5OO W8 joins our Family. EDIT: 1 Year & 35,000 kms up-battery.jpg

Everything else is in place.

Next the infotainment system. Pair my phone. Works like a charm. Next USB stick. Only mp3 is recognized. Not even mp4. Doesnít play .mov, .flv or other formats. Not that itís bothers me. Sound quality is certainly un premium. In bright day light I had trouble reading the screen. I had to place my had to shield some light. Does the brightness of the screen adjust automatically ? Let me check when Iím in the shop floor. The details of the SW version is below.

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I was expecting a higher version that 4.0.4, especially on a Jan-13 manufactured vehicle. Ask Zulaikha to check and install the latest version.

Couldnít take the vehicle for a spin and so didn't check others. Will certainly do one more round of PDI before delivery.
I do have a number of other observations which I shall share in this ownership thread. Mostly to do with some brilliance from M&M and some goof-ups. Iím going to have a balanced view of my new vehicle.

Here is a short video of the vehicle in the yard.



Call up Zulaikha and inform them of my observations. They promise to look in to it and get it resolved at the earliest. I have two choices now. Either reject this vehicle and demand a new one or get the seat fixed. I wait for the next day to dawn.

The Day Ė 24-Jan-13
Zulaikha calls me in the morning to inform that they own this up and would replace the seat. I then try to reason with them to see if I can get a new vehicle. But it makes sense to get the seats replaced, as a new vehicle would mean another round of PDI. By this time I must have given a hint to Zulaikha that attention to detail is something that I can't compromise on and they would have to be ensure that the vehicle is up to the expectation. I give a go ahead for my bank to release the funds and Zulaikha would get the invoice ready.

Later in the day Jude, the sales lead calls me up and asks for my permission to replace the seats and proceed ahead with the invoice. I don't find a torn seat, a good enough reason to reject a car, when the car passed the rest of the PDI. I give a thumbs up to him.
Iím expecting around 10 days to the D-Day.

The Day Ė 25-Jan-13
Call up Zulaikha and they inform that invoice would be raised on Monday. The seat would be replaced next week. Temp registration and other administrative work would take 3 days. I have a hectic week ahead anyway and request delivery sometime after 4-Jul.

The Day Ė 29-Jan-13
Got the copy of the invoice that was raised on 25-Jan. Here it is.

Sita, Red Mahindra XUV5OO W8 joins our Family. EDIT: 1 Year & 35,000 kms up-invoice.jpg

Zulaikha is ready to give delivery of the vehicle immediately. But the Grand Master and the Little Master are not in town and so have to postpone the delivery to next week. But the early part of next week is going to be hectic and I can't but avoid taking delivery till first of week of Feb. Leaving an invoiced vehicle at the dealer is not the best idea, but my choices are limited now. Hoping for the best.

In the Following Days
While I try to nibble the hours and minutes, let's talk about the loan and the insurance process.
Since I last fired my wealth manager, I was contemplating giving some business to banks instead. The moment you give them your indication, there's a swarm of requests from banks. How gracious. Everyone competes with each other to make you eternally indebted to them. I had discussions with almost all private and public sector banks. My conversations were crisp, as my requirements were well laid out to them at the outset and they were the following.

Interest Date - 10.5 or below, fixed or floating.
Preclosure Charges - NIL
Part Payment Charges - NIL
Documentation Fees, Processing Fees, Talking to you fees and all other charges - NIL


What started as a flood, dropped to a trickle. ICICI and SBI were the last two survivors. SBI lost out, as they were only offering a floating interest rate. I wanted a fixed rate scheme, for a short term loan. ICICI sweetened the deal by offering 10.25% fixed for the tenure of the loan. That's not bad. Not bad at all. The agent is quite nice and puts-up with my tantrums. He's still alive, but traumatized. I give him simple documentation in the form of my company ID card, Address Proof and my Last 2 months Salary Certificate. The loan amount of INR 12,72,000 is sanctioned within 5 working days. But I ask them to hold on till I complete my PDI. In the mean time, ask for the AMORT schedule and promptly get it. Here is the one.

AMORT Schedule.xlsx

Do ask for one and check against this every month for your EMI.

On 24-Jan, I give a go ahead to the bank to release the funds. This legal document is something that the bank or the agent doesn't want you to read. It's depressing. More like reading an autopsy report. Except in this case, the autopsy report is given, when you are alive.

ICICI was being too nice to me and it was too good to be true. Turns out, they had sneaked in a charge of 350 under 'Processing Fees Deducted from Disb'. Apparently this is the stamp duty charge. But I faintly recollect seeing stamp duty worth 120 in the loan agreement. Not a great amount though. But I expect the bank to inform me of all charges however insignificant that is. This should give a heads-up for other seeking loans from ICICI.

Sita, Red Mahindra XUV5OO W8 joins our Family. EDIT: 1 Year & 35,000 kms up-delivery-order.jpg

The Cheetah now has a second owner - ICICI bank.

The insurer hunt was more elaborate and thought proving. I was intrigued by the wide spectrum, for the requirements that I had. Just like the loan, my insurance requirements were spelt-out clearly.

Zero Dep/Bumber to Bumper.
No limit on the number of claims in a year.
Roadside assistance add-on.


Listing down the quotes that I got.
Royal Sundaram - 35,615
ICICI Lombard - 33,009
Bajaj Allianz - 44,136
HDFC - 38,606
Chola MS - 43,039
Berkshire - 51,790
Bharthi AXA - 29,977
Oriental - 38,498
New India Assurance - 37,562
United India Insurance - 34,400

The most aggressive quote was from Bharthi AXA. Tried to get some reviews of them, but didn't get any major issues. It appears that you are left to your lucky stars, dealing with insurance and there's no real pattern in their services. Finally opted for the lowest quote. However there's a compulsory deduction of 2000. But that's acceptable. I may get a further discount for my 20% NCB from my previous car. Here are the policy documents.

Sita, Red Mahindra XUV5OO W8 joins our Family. EDIT: 1 Year & 35,000 kms up-insurance.jpg

Policy Wordings.pdf

Any idea, why there's such a wild swing in the quotes for car insurance ?

Now, let's talk about baptizing. Why do I name my cars Lakshmi, Sita and not some fancy English names? Not that I hate them, but I love Indian names, more so for Indian products. How I wish Indian manufacturers give absolute Indian names for their products. If Volkswagen can be Volkswagen, here in India, why not a Tata Surya or a Mahindra Kundan . While it's good to be identified as a global brand, your real identity should be Indian. Audi is a global brand, but is every bit a German car, as it's a global car. I may not possibly influence the names of Tata's and Mahindra's future cars. But I could compensate it, partly though, by naming my cars the Indian way.

And why female names? Well anything that carries us, safely and securely is definitely a female for me. And that's why my new XUV is called 'Sita'. Hope she doesn't cross the Lakshman Rekha and hope I don't have to cross oceans.

And Oh yes. Sita and Cheetah are homophones. Well almost.

Let's talk about the beauty saloon for Sita. During the course of the week, our house became very popular with the courier guys and infact our house was marked as a landmark. Look at this and you'll realize why our house/me is/are a landmark with the courier guys.

Sita, Red Mahindra XUV5OO W8 joins our Family. EDIT: 1 Year & 35,000 kms up-costs.jpg

20 odd shipments in less than 4 weeks time. No wonder we were popular.

A good 13K spent on car detailing products, before the car came home. The Grand Master was clearly unhappy at this spend. However I consider these quintessential for Sita. The argument continues, but the verdict was pronounced. No more detailing products, until and unless Sita complains. I oblige and hit the stop button. Well, ok, it's the pause. I get it.

I shall write a detailed review of the 'shopping' experiences in another post. For now here's how the arsenal looked like.

On 1-Feb, received a copy of form 20 to be signed and returned with 8 passport sized photos. Signed and couriered it to Zulaikha on 2-Feb with a likely temp registration date of 4-Feb.

On 5-Feb, the car was registered (temp registration). But the car has been driven more than 100 kms in this process. Not good. Will note down the odo readings on 7-Feb - The D-Day.

The d Day Ė 7-Feb-13
The city traffic beat all our expectations and what seemed like an hour and half journey extended to well beyond 3 hours. We could land at the Zulaikha showroom only at 12, than the earlier planned time of 10 a.m.
This is the ground floor of the showroom.

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And this is the first floor, dedicated to the Cheetah.

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Yaseer, the sales rep, takes us through the final delivery checklist and hands us the keys. I could only manage a restricted PDI, as the little master was restless, probably because of the heat. The seats were changed to my satisfaction. However the interiors were a mess, as there were numerous dust marks, grease marks. Had to order one more round of cleaning, but that didn't help either. The interiors were not as gleaming as I would have liked. I give my inputs to Yaseer and the cleaning guy.

I look at the ODO and it says 45KM. That's strange, as the distance between the yard and showroom is a good 20km and the vehicle has made a roundtrip already and this morning's trip could have added some more and I was expecting a odo reading of around 20+20+5+20 = 65km. The tyres show good amount of run as well. Not a deal breaker anyway.

Rest of the vehicle is fine. We take it for a spin and I immediately notice a faint whistle/sound during acceleration. Heard only when everything else is silent. I couldn't make out what this was. Comes in only during acceleration, speed under 60km. Marked it for investigation for my first service. Second is the wheel balancing and this is atrocious. The vehicle veers to the left and it's quite a bit of an effort to keep the vehicle straight. I can live with this for now. But priority 1 issue for the first service.

I request the plastic covers to be removed from all seats. Driving with the plastic on, is like wearing condoms to work. Once removed, the vehicle feels like a vehicle to drive. Here is the vehicle during delivery.

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After the customary pooja, the keys are handed over to the little master. No photos though, as the Little Master and the Grand Master are photo shy. I tip this person, the security and ofcourse gift a box of chocolate to Yaseer. This guy has put up with me for mroe than 2 months now and he deserves a pat on his back. I walk up to him manager and give my words of appreciation for the sales team, for being professional and organized. Start back home, this time with the Cheetah.

Dealer Experience : 9 out of 10.

It's a good 50km drive from the showroom to home and I keep the vehicle below 100. Shift gears at around 2K rpm. Keep the AC in economy mode and not auto mode. The dealer had provided 10lt fuel coupons, which I fill and then the behemoth gobbles up another 64.06 liters of D. That makes it close to 75 liters of fuel tank capacity.

More, as it unfolds.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by GTO : 14th February 2013 at 18:06. Reason: Please do NOT refer to cars via short-forms (e.g. T-Fort or ANHC). Full Names ONLY please. Thanks
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Old 8th February 2013, 08:55   #2
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The test vehicle that you see above is testing with new equipment on board. Had a chat with the test driver and he was explaining that nothing has changed, it' the new set of brakes that are being tested. Again !

Anyway, update on the 100km driving experience.

The Infamous Braking System
The breaks on Sita were unlike the ones that I had driven earlier. The travel, grip all were to my satisfaction, surprisingly. I wanted to be sure that I'm not getting carried over by the new car love. The brakes were indeed good for me. The vehicle stopped where I intended it to stop. Overall the breaking is efficient for me. I'm waiting for the grinding noise to hit me anytime. I'm all prepared.

Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel tank capacity is being discussed actively in this forum. I'm hazarding a guess of around 76-78 Liters. This could well be an oil tanker, if my calculation is right.

Suspension and Handling
The last 1/2 stretch to my home, can put any dirt road, endurance test road to shame. I usually crawl in 1st gear and by the time I reach home, I would have churned butter. Not this time though with the XUV. The passengers were swaying, but not tossed around. I could move over the hillocks in 2nd gear with out much fuss. Good handling here. No rattling sound. No boat feeling either, as this is not undulation, but proper craters.

On highways the vehicle is well planted. I didn't take Sita beyond 90km, but the undulations on the road, didn't get passed on to the cabin and the passengers remarked they can easily dose off now, with out being rocked. I'll have to take in third row passengers to see how is the handling on full load. Will report on that shortly. The monocoque design is indeed showing up on the ride comfort.

I must mention about the turning radius of this behemoth. This is so typical of Mahindra vehicles I think. None of the other SUVs handle turns so effortlessly. Xylo's do and next is the Cheetah. Nimble maneuvering, is for the masses.

Fuel Efficiency
Fuel efficiency shows 9kmpl right now. But i'm sure with the oil reaching the last mile and vehicle easing up a bit, this may increase. While others in the forum have reported a low mileage, Debuda has reported close to 18kmpl. Let me keep a close watch on the fuel efficiency and report any movement.

6th Sense ?
On two occasions, when perhaps I didn't slot the gear in the correct position and was about to move, the gear automatically came down to the neutral position. This was the first gear by the way, not slotted correctly. Is this an intentional feature or a one-off incident? I can't tell at this time. But it's nice. You don't get to hear a gear growl.

Interiors & Space
Now let's talk about the interiors and space. Took my in-laws for a drive in the morning today and I had to employ a guide to help them explore the interior space. They were blow away by the second row seats and the leg space. In-laws remarked that they have two flat beds. Would be hard to convince them not to use the floor, for obvious safety reasons. I can't agree with them more on the space. A peep in to the back and the remark was already in the history books. 'Kids would be better placed there'. The last row is not for adults. Mahindra, why don't put the second row seats on rails and make it adjustable. Then this vehicle could well be a true people mover.

The interior quality is not something that you can boast off, but certainly not worth complaining either. The A/C vents are a cool design and so are the handles. The Grand Master loves the dual tone colors and the seats. The reflection on the windscreen is annoying though, as reported by others. I'm hoping I would get used to this eventually.

For the driver, the seats are awesome. I have not experienced this level of comfort even on some of the European cars. Only grouse being not able to increase the height while seated. I believe this has to do hydraulic or electronic seat adjustment. XUV has a manual seat adjustment.

I have been adjusting the steering wheel and the seats and have found a great position to drive. But that position is not great for ingress and egress. My knee almost always hits the bottom of the steering column. I'm getting in and out, more like a girl than a man. Will continue my experiments and I'm sure I'll find a sweet spot.

The official review mentioned about the effectiveness of the A/C and I thought it couldn't possibility be so true for such a tanker. Boy, this thing works as stated and beyond as well. The A/C is a chiller and the efficiency is astounding. A/C will have to prove it's worth in the coming months though. Beat the Chennai summer, XUV AC.

The Drive
Now the driveability in the city and on the highways. The short 1st and 2nd gear is useful for the city traffic. I was hoping I could pass over the speed breakers in 2nd, but the engine wishes to be slotted in 1st I believe. I'm keeping a close watch on the rpm and keeping the vehicle below 2000 rpm. The second gear feels a little notchy though. Let me observe for sometime, before coming to a conclusion. The vehicle doesn't struggle at 20km in the 3rd gear. The power delivery is linear and there are no surprises. On the highways and in he 5th gear, the vehicle is only at 90kmph. Can't take it beyond this speed now and so didn't experience the turbo kick in. I'm taking it easy now and would comment on the engine performance, when it's put to real test.

The engine feels remarkably silent in the cabin. Guess it has to do with the sound proofing of the cabin. The engine starts with a slight shudder which is the nature of every diesel engine. However when the engine is switched off, it shudders like it's getting a voltage shock and then rests. I haven't seen this in other diesel cars though. Let me mark this as a question to the RM, during my first service.

ICE
The music system is something that I had complained about during my pre delivery days, as being mediocre. Apparently it's not as bad it seems. I had left the Grand Master in the car for 15 mins and when I come back, the stock ICE appears to have been replaced by something different, something nice. I wonder what happened and the Grand Master doesn't recollect that she did with the ICE settings, during the fiddling. The music now is vastly improved. Wish I had a before and a after video of this.

Others
Red Sita would be a great asset to the investigation wing. It captures finger prints, palm prints to the minutest detail. But I'm not in to investigation and added to this, the red is a dust magnet. Not that it's surprises me. I was expecting this. Sita would defiantly need a daily touch. Great color and road presence though. Talk about stealth squad and this car is not part of that contingent.

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Improvements
My parking lot is more of a one way. I have to reverse the vehicle while coming out, every time. I crank the engine, engage the reverse gear to crawl out. This I do within 5 sec. But the infotainment system comes up live after the Mahindra Rise video only after 10 sec or so. Without the parking assist on the screen, I'm partly blind. Any idea how to turn off this Mahindra Rise swoosh ?

Now some of the interesting parts of XUV design and build. Here is the front wheel well.

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Notice the plastic bolt, sticking out, well over an inch outside. A wheel well has to be clean. All bolts, sharp protrudings should be done on the inside. Not on the outside this way. Potential garbage collector, this one. Also in the likelihood of the tyres hitting this plastic, something could snap. The rear wheel has no such gimmicks, but it would worthwhile to keep this well clean without any protruding objects. Mahindra would you consider ?

I'm missing a ticket/card holder in the driver side sun visor. Is it a aesthetic design element to keep the car out of paper clutter ?. It could have been useful, if present.

Last edited by Mudhalaipatti : 8th February 2013 at 17:22.
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Old 9th February 2013, 11:39   #3
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 9th February 2013, 12:43   #4
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Let me have the honour of being the first one to congratulate you.

Many Congratulations Mudhalaipatti for the XUV.
Wish you many happy mile munching with your "Sita" and absolute niggle free performance from her.
The colour would be hard to maintain, but saw that you are well prepared for that.
Enjoy your ride and drive safe.

Your post was really long but loved the absolute detailing.

Last edited by Sommos : 9th February 2013 at 12:45.
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Old 9th February 2013, 13:48   #5
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My hearty congratulation to you Mudhalaipatti. Wishing you a joyful and enjoyable experience with your cheetah.

You mentioned the following:
"Zero Dep/Bumber to Bumper.
No limit on the number of claims in a year."

The policy wording document is not clearly visible but as far as my knowledge is concerned you have only two permissible claims under the zero depreciation plan which I again believe is something to do with an IRDA rule since all insurance companies have this policy of allowing only two claims a year.

Can you please check and re-confirm? You definitely have unlimited claims as per the depreciation chart & age of the vehicle but your zero depreciation claims are limited to "two claims" per year.
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Old 9th February 2013, 13:50   #6
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Amazing write-up that is! Enjoyed every word of it. You are certainly a newly-found talent for TBHP and I urge you to keep writing and be active in the forum. Enjoy the XUV and drive safe.

I am also contemplating the XUV and did a visit to the dealer along with my GM and LM, but alas, the Almighty Master who lives in the heavens is holding back the green signal still. Sighs!

Also provide some feedback on the night-driving experience, like the performance of the headlamps and any possible advantage of having a high-seating position during night drives against the dazzle of oncoming traffic.

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Old 9th February 2013, 13:51   #7
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Hi Mudhalaipatti, congrats !
Oh man ! it took a while to complete the reading but worth every paisa. Well written and detailed.

What was the discount amount of Rs. 12,xxx in the invoice (did i miss reading this in your long post ?) ?

Congrats again and wishing many happy miles with your Sita.
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Old 11th February 2013, 09:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post
Your post was really long but loved the absolute detailing.
Thanks Sommos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xuv2390 View Post
Can you please check and re-confirm? You definitely have unlimited claims as per the depreciation chart & age of the vehicle but your zero depreciation claims are limited to "two claims" per year.
You are right xuv2390. Two claims under zero dep policy. If more than 2 claims are made in a year, normal depreciation policy applies from the 3rd claim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
Also provide some feedback on the night-driving experience, like the performance of the headlamps and any possible advantage of having a high-seating position during night drives against the dazzle of oncoming traffic.
Thanks sandeepmdas. Wish the heavens open up for you. The night driving experiance is ok. I'm wearing an old pair of spectacles, which refracts, reflects, diffuses light in all possible directions and all I see is a halo in front of me. But compared to other vehicles, I find the XUV headlamps adequate. The high beam throw is almost up to 500m. Here are two shots of the low beam and the high beam.

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You must check out the static bending lights in action. In the dead of the night, you have a 10 degree illumination of the road ahead. That's enough to light a runway.

The high seating position would help, if the on-coming traffic was on low beam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bnzjon View Post
What was the discount amount of Rs. 12,xxx in the invoice (did i miss reading this in your long post ?) ?

Congrats again and wishing many happy miles with your Sita.
Thanks bnzjon. The discount is just a marketing gimmick, I believe. Jack up the price and mark down as discount.

Update on 400km drive.
The vehicle was driven close to 200km over the weekend. Some 80 odd km in the city and around 80 km on the highway and 30 odd km on dirt roads. Highway capability of Sita is exceptional. This is a highway cruiser for sure. The lumbar support is phenomenal. Earlier I used to have back aches, after short highway trips, but now I'm as fresh as waking up from bed. The adjustable steering wheel, adjustable seating position is definitely helpful on long trips.

The ORVM is huge. It's like having a dressing table mirror on board. The field of view of these mirrors is quite wide.

The indicator stalk sensitivity to turn is something that i'm not quite happy with. It works for turns that are more than 30 degree. But when changing lanes, I have to manually reset the indicator stalk and doesn't respond to lane-changing turns.

Navigation works like a charm. It's quite nice that the audible voice command, speaks 'over' the music on ICE. You wouldn't miss the turn for sure.

Kept the speed under 90km and under rpm under 2.5k. I believe I haven't woken up the turbo as yet. I understand that during the run-in period, the engine has to be subjected to a wide band of rpm. Does it also include waking up the turbo now and then ?

The travel of the clutch is just adequate. The dead pedal is quite useful on the highways.

Now the behavior of Sita on city roads. I don't like burning the clutch, but then in city traffic, you really can't avoid driving half-clutch. The short first and second gear is what is used in the city. When the traffic eases a bit, and when the rpm is at around 2.5, I change to 3rd, rpm drop to 1k. It feels like the vehicle is lugging at this speed/rpm. Have't got the correct rpm to upshift to 3rd gear though.

I hardly got a change to go up to 4th gear in city roads. This was after driving around 80km. Can't imagine, not using the 4th gear at all for so long.

The suspension is something that I could boast of. Mild speed breakers not no more 'speed breakers'. I just glide over them, if the speed is above 20kmph.

The dirt roads exposed some of the chinks in this vehicle. After some rough patches, the left suspension was making this 'squeeking' sound. Disappeared when the tyres were on even roads, but comes up time and again on bad roads. Have to check this and get it corrected.

Sita had it's share of misadventure over the weekend. Tail ended, spray painted, muck all over and what not. Fortunately the bump from behind was not hard enough and didn't dent or scratch anything. This was at a signal and when the lights turned green.

Next was the paint spray. This continues to be worrying. Our neighbor is painting his compound walls and in the evening when the sea breeze set in, the paint particles landed on Sita and were lodged there during the night. I noticed it in the morning and thought a simple wash would help, but this paint was stubborn. This is what I'm talking about.

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The paint couldn't be removed by a wash, as it kept sliding in all direction, but firmly seated on the paint. I had to push each dot down, all the way along the doors to the plastic surface and then shower with water to dislodge the dots. This was quite laborious. There were atleast 200 of them on each side of the car. I still have a lot left on the bonnet and it's a daily workout for me. However these products proved it's worth. With out them, cleaning the car would have been impossible.
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Old 11th February 2013, 10:18   #9
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Congratulations Mudhalaupatti on your Cheetah (rhymes with Sita)! Nice colour, I guess this is the 2nd red coloured XUV on team bhp. Stated liking this colour as well. But my favrouite remains the white and the brown.

Nice detailed write up, reflects the passion in you for your acquisition. This passion is all the more reflected in the detailing products that you have purchased.

Have a rocking time owing the cheetah and keep the updates coming.
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Old 11th February 2013, 11:37   #10
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Mudhalaipatti.
Congratulations.
Amazing writing skills you got. Got me hooked in office on monday morning, wish i had popcorns as well

Enjoy the Sita.
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Old 11th February 2013, 12:48   #11
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Mudhalaupatti, Congrats on your new ride. Looks striking in this shade. And liked your reasoning of having Indian names for Indian cars and also, the justification for female names. But I guess car manufacturers wont jump to Indian names anytime soon, because for mass market(including me), "Mahindra XUV 500" sounds way cooler than "Mahindra Sita". Perhaps, not the way it should be, but that's how it is today.

And 14k worth of detailing products, and that too because you were stopped from buying further? You sure are serious about maintaining the beauty of your "Sita". Enjoy many more happy miles with her.
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Old 11th February 2013, 18:19   #12
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First upon all, a BIG congratulations for the new purchase! The first thought that came to my mind was "who names a aggressive looking, muscled cheetah inspired vehicle Sita?". But after reading your reasoning, it feels apt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudhalaipatti View Post
..
..I had a look at the interiors and did a brief drive during Nov 2012 and that tilted my occupation, from being an observer to a potential buyer. Yes I may need a car to replace by aging Indica, but I don’t need a 15L car. I only drive during the weekends. My family is still young and I may not need that space. Further I don’t want to lock 15L in a purchase that depreciates. My wealth manager would have advised me to invest in real estate. But I want an XUV ! That's why I fired my wealth manager before I appointed one.

In all these heavy duty purchases, there's still tussle between the head and the heart. This was no exception. Come-on, how long have you been observing the Indian car scene. 10 years now ? Have you ever been, well err, excited this much about a car, a material possession. No. Have you ever given in to the urge, to indulge yourself. No. Says the heart. But the calculative mind was in no mood to oblige. The final verdict from the Grand Master shuts the head. At least for the time being. It's the heart humming now.
...
Ditto. Even we experienced this BIG heart v/s brain fight. Settled it with a statement "You live just once!".

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The battery has a plastic cover only for the +ve terminal. I enquire with the yard guy. He tells me it’s the same in every vehicle. Is it really the case or the cap has gone on a happy ride down the road ?
That is correct. Just one cover. God only knows what's Mahindra's logic though.

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Next the infotainment system. Pair my phone. Works like a charm. Next USB stick. Only mp3 is recognized. Not even mp4. Doesn’t play .mov, .flv or other formats. Not that it’s bothers me. Sound quality is certainly un premium. In bright day light I had trouble reading the screen. I had to place my had to shield some light. Does the brightness of the screen adjust automatically ? Let me check when I’m in the shop floor. The details of the SW version is below.
Only AVI please. I have tried .flv, .mkv, .wmv. Nope. Only .avi.
No auto-brightness-adjust either. I think M&M would keep that for a mid-life facelift.

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Any idea, why there's such a wild swing in the quotes for car insurance ?
The wide range of the quotations represent the wide range of smartness of their potential customers.

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And why female names? Well anything that carries us, safely and securely is definitely a female for me. And that's why my new XUV is called 'Sita'. Hope she doesn't cross the Lakshman Rekha and hope I don't have to cross oceans.

And Oh yes. Sita and Cheetah are homophones. Well almost.
Wow! Perfect logic! Loved it!

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Let's talk about the beauty saloon for Sita. During the course of the week, our house became very popular with the courier guys and infact our house was marked as a landmark. Look at this and you'll realize why our house/me is/are a landmark with the courier guys.

20 odd shipments in less than 4 weeks time. No wonder we were popular.
A good 13K spent on car detailing products...
:-). This happens.

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I look at the ODO and it says 45KM. That's strange, as the distance between the yard and showroom is a good 20km and the vehicle has made a roundtrip already and this morning's trip could have added some more and I was expecting a odo reading of around 20+20+5+20 = 65km. The tyres show good amount of run as well. Not a deal breaker anyway.
As you might be aware, the XUV ODO can be reset just once before it reaches 250kms. Generally they do it just before delivery. Nothing to worry.

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The vehicle veers to the left and it's quite a bit of an effort to keep the vehicle straight. I can live with this for now. But priority 1 issue for the first service.
EVERY XUV veers to the left! Why can't M&M fix this at the plant level?

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After the customary pooja, the keys are handed over to the little master. No photos though, as the Little Master and the Grand Master are photo shy
Let us see your photo then! :-D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudhalaipatti View Post
...For the driver, the seats are awesome. I have not experienced this level of comfort even on some of the European cars. Only grouse being not able to increase the height while seated.
Ummm...you can adjust the height while seated. Try it.

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I'm getting in and out, more like a girl than a man.
LOL! I don't know what that means. A video would help. ;-)
Kidding, never mind.

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On the highways and in he 5th gear, the vehicle is only at 90kmph. Can't take it beyond this speed now and so didn't experience the turbo kick in. I'm taking it easy now and would comment on the engine performance, when it's put to real test.
Everybody belives the turbo kicks in around 1800rpm. In 5th around 90kmph, the XUV should be in the turbo range already (I think so). I would suggest, don't rev to 3000 rpm and above, but don't baby the cheetah as well. Maintain below 2000rpm with occasional bursts to 2500rpm in the first 2000-2500kms.

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Red Sita would be a great asset to the investigation wing. It captures finger prints, palm prints to the minutest detail. But I'm not in to investigation and added to this, the red is a dust magnet. Not that it's surprises me. I was expecting this. Sita would defiantly need a daily touch. Great color and road presence though. Talk about stealth squad and this car is not part of that contingent.
Perfect observation!

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Improvements
...Without the parking assist on the screen, I'm partly blind. Any idea how to turn off this Mahindra Rise swoosh ?
Unfortunately, the animation can not be turned off. You can mute it though.

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I'm missing a ticket/card holder in the driver side sun visor. Is it a aesthetic design element to keep the car out of paper clutter ?. It could have been useful, if present.
There is a small net-pocket on the center-console-side-wall just next to the hand-brake. Although, its more suited for mobiles, I use it for toll receipts as well. See if that works for you.

Congratulations once again! Enjoy!

Last edited by SDP : 11th February 2013 at 18:24.
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Old 11th February 2013, 18:48   #13
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Default re: Sita, Red Mahindra XUV5OO W8 joins our Family. EDIT: 1 Year & 35,000 kms up

Congrats on getting the Cheetah home. Your dealership review and the buying experience made an interesting read.

Enjoy many more happy miles with the car.
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Old 11th February 2013, 19:45   #14
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Default re: Sita, Red Mahindra XUV5OO W8 joins our Family. EDIT: 1 Year & 35,000 kms up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudhalaipatti View Post
...
You must check out the static bending lights in action. In the dead of the night, you have a 10 degree illumination of the road ahead. That's enough to light a runway.
Yes, the cornering lamps are nice! Love them.

Quote:
Update on 400km drive.
The vehicle was driven close to 200km over the weekend. Some 80 odd km in the city and around 80 km on the highway and 30 odd km on dirt roads. Highway capability of Sita is exceptional. This is a highway cruiser for sure. The lumbar support is phenomenal. Earlier I used to have back aches, after short highway trips, but now I'm as fresh as waking up from bed. The adjustable steering wheel, adjustable seating position is definitely helpful on long trips.
The XUV is brilliant for highway drives. There is scope for improvement on the ergonomics front. e.g. the 3 peddles are not at the same height from the floor. On Indian highways, while crusing in 6th, just because of the unpredictability of our highways, I need to keep my foot hovering over the clutch and the peddle being a tad higher eventually gives pain (strains the tibialis anterior muscle). No severe complaints though as this happens for really really long drives only.

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The ORVM is huge. It's like having a dressing table mirror on board. The field of view of these mirrors is quite wide.
Love those XL sized ORVMs. Really appreciate them when I switch to my Alto for short drives.

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Navigation works like a charm. It's quite nice that the audible voice command, speaks 'over' the music on ICE. You wouldn't miss the turn for sure.
A word of caution: MMI has its flaws. e.g. if you miss a turn, it MAY NOT suggest to take a U turn, but might suggest to take the next turn. I do my research on Google Maps for long trips and use the MMI as additional input.

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When the traffic eases a bit, and when the rpm is at around 2.5, I change to 3rd, rpm drop to 1k. It feels like the vehicle is lugging at this speed/rpm. Have't got the correct rpm to upshift to 3rd gear though.
Very good observation. From 2nd to 3rd, the RPM drops significantly. I upshift to 3rd at slightly higher RPM than for remaining gears so that the power doesn't drop drastically.

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Next was the paint spray. This continues to be worrying. Our neighbor is painting his compound walls and in the evening when the sea breeze set in, the paint particles landed on Sita and were lodged there during the night. I noticed it in the morning and thought a simple wash would help, but this paint was stubborn. This is what I'm talking about.
... There were atleast 200 of them on each side of the car. I still have a lot left on the bonnet and it's a daily workout for me. However these products proved it's worth. With out them, cleaning the car would have been impossible.
Another experience I could relate to. I got my car in June end and the society in which I stay started a complete-building paint-work from Aug. They finished in Dec'2012. During that period, I was daily starting for work before those guys turn up in the morning and used to go home after they had left. On weekends, I had given very strict instructions to call me any time they are working anywhere close to my car. This sometimes meant moving the car 3 times on a Saturday. But it was worth it. My red XUV survived the 5 month painting period.

Last edited by SDP : 11th February 2013 at 19:50.
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Old 12th February 2013, 08:20   #15
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Default re: Sita, Red Mahindra XUV5OO W8 joins our Family. EDIT: 1 Year & 35,000 kms up

Thank you very much SDP for the detailed response.

I believe every XUV has a unique DNA and some common traits. This morning though, Sita invoked her 6th sense I guess. I was driving at around 30kmph, when a security guard stopped me to take a diversion. I lowered the passenger side window to speak to him when the AC and the defogger switched on all by itself. I very well recollect not switching on the AC as the weather was pleasant. Did Sita figure out my core body temperature and turn on the AC for me. Thank you, but no thanks.
I shall try to reproduce this sometime later, to see if there's a pattern or this is one off incident.
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