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Old 11th July 2014, 15:45   #1
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Default My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo

I bought a used Xylo E4 8 seater and thought I would share my experience with it as there aren't many such threads around.

Why buy a used car?
My last two purchases were brand new cars, however when I had to sell them, the resale value literally brought tears to my eyes. This time I decided to go down the used route, hopefully this will help me save myself some heartache. Time will tell.

Apart from the obvious value benefit (lower cost for the same car or more car at the same cost) there are a couple of other benefits to buying used.
Holding Period : If you buy new – you need to hold it for longer because the depreciation is very high in the first couple of years. Buy used and you can afford to change your car in a couple of years without needing accompanying heart surgery.

Involvement : Buying a used car is harder. You end up searching longer, and have to be a lot more careful. As a result you are much more involved with the process, which strangely enough, translates into a greater sense of achievement and better understanding of the vehicle. Over the years, I have bought two new vehicles and two used vehicles. Buying new is more about the money, while buying used is more about the car.
Which Car?
You can probably guess this from my handle – safety was the most important parameter in my mind as I went through the purchase process. In the absence of comprehensive crash test reports, I had to resort to other parameters to judge safety of the vehicles design and structure. As Euro NCAP states, generally vehicles with a heavier weight and a higher structure fare better in crashes. In fact their guidance is that safety ratings where available, can only be compared for similar cars (with a weight within 150 Kg of each other). As a result, these became my default evaluation parameters. My initial list included the Innova, Honda CRV, Xylo, Safari and Scorpio. These are all heavy vehicles with high structures, and some (Honda CRV in particular) have additional safety features (airbags, ESP, EBD, ABS etc). My evaluation for these was as follows
  1. Innova – excellent car, however used vehicles don’t depreciate much, and therefore aren’t a great value deal. If you want to buy an Innova – stretch a bit and buy new. The discount for going the used route for these vehicles is just too small to compensate for the added effort and risk.
  2. Honda CRV – very safe and great car. I remember reading a report by either the US NHTSA or IIHS, can’t remember which, that listed Honda CRV as one of two models that had zero fatalities during their research period. The other was a Toyota – unfortunately not available in India (basically a heavier, beefed up version of the Innova). Was quite keen on the CRV, however the CRV’s available were Imports / CBU’s and their higher maintenance costs kept me away.
  3. Safari, Scorpio and Xylo all fit the bill and I test drove multiple examples of all three. First offer I made was actually for a Safari, but it was bested by another buyer. The next one was for the Xylo, which was accepted… so Xylo it was.
What I miss is the lack of ESC or stability control. It would have been wonderful to have this incorporated. It has really brought down the number of rollover crashes for SUV's in most reports, and is one of the most useful features I was looking for. The Honda CRV is the only one in my list that comes with it.

Note: This was mid 2012, and used XUV 500’s, Duster’s, Ertiga’s and Ecosport’s were not easily available. Today I would add these to the evaluation list.

SUV versus MUV – yes, the vehicles in my list come from different categories and were built to a different purpose. However as I was only looking at heavy vehicles with a high structure, both categories met these criteria and hence were included.

Price and valuation
I use the Carwale valuation engine to get an estimate of the value beforehand. Negotiated and got a 10% reduction on the asking price. The price I paid finally was within 10% of the Carwale estimate.

Buying Experience
The Xylo was on a listing by Mahindra First Choice. Compared to purchasing directly from a seller, they do charge a premium, but also provide a warranty, which nets out. However don’t go in expecting them to be any different from the standard used car dealer, to my mind they are just as good / bad as any other. The only real benefit from buying from them was that they allowed me to take the car to Sterling and get it checked out. I met the SA there, who pulled up the cars history and confirmed that there were no accident related repairs performed and in particular no work was done on the engine or gearbox – the two really critical components in any car. Apart from this they do a good job of cleaning / polishing the exteriors and interiors which also helps.

Variant & Equipment Levels
This was the E4 variant of the original design released in 2009. The vehicle comes with most accessories needed. Not sure if the music system came with the car or was put in by the first owner - but either way works fine. The only thing I had to add was a reverse sensor that was added at R&R auto. The Xylo also has some odd /quirky features, one of which is the follow me home headlights. The headlights stay on for a bit after switching off the engine. This apparently is to help you see the ground so that you can make your way to your porch / door. Since I typically park in a well lighted basement, I don't find it particularly useful, but I suppose it would be useful if you were parking in a dark area.

Exterior styling & design
I am not too fond of the way it looks, but I don't particularly mind it either. I got the rocky beige version, which to me is quite passable.

Build quality and fit & finish
Build quality of plastics and interiors is not very sturdy. As a case in point, the A/C vent on the driver side was broken by the crew cleaning the car during a service visit. However the mechanicals are quite robust - see the point on reliability below.

Interior design & quality
The interiors have most features you need. Two charging / cigarette lighter sockets, A/C / Blowers for each seat. Individual lighting, and enough storage space for most uses. The interior space is huge and gives you enough room to stretch.

Engine and Power
Have always found the engine to have sufficient power, including while overtaking on highways. Haven't noticed a turbo lag, but then I haven't really pushed the card hard. The only real negative I have felt is the level of noise from the engine.

Gear / Transmission / Suspension
The gear shaft is a bit oddly placed when compared to Sedans / Hatchbacks. Its placed a bit further to the left and goes in at an angle (ie leans a bit to the right) rather than going straight up. This is the same design as in the Scorpio. Takes a bit of getting used to, but after that is very smooth. Comes with a dead pedal that really helps take the strain off the leg. The gears ratios are set up well, resulting in fewer gear changes needed while driving in the city. The suspension is able to take most potholes in its stride without much issue. There is body roll, but to be honest, is not really noticeable, atleast at the speeds I drive at. I had read reviews of people getting nauseous due to the body roll / swaying, but no one in my circle who has sat in the car has reported any such issues, or even come close to it.

Mileage
Only measured this once, using the tankful to tankful method. Got a reading of just over 12 Km / Litre with the A/C in summer. Was pleasantly surprised given that this is at 2.5 litre engine.

Handling and Braking
The steering is nice and direct, and the car feels stable while on a straight path. This is a heavy vehicle and therefore the brakes take time to slow the vehicle down. The braking power is inline with the Safari, but lower powered than in the Scorpio. Headlights are powerful - not sure if the dealer changed / upgraded them or not, but they have a nice throw and coupled with the higher seating position, makes night driving a bit easier.

Ingress / Egress and Luggage Space
Because of the height, you really need to climb in using the foot board. Not ideal for the elderly or people with bad knees. It is a bit awkward to get in or out off, however once inside, it is quite spacious and comfortable. With the last row folded, there is enough space to accommodate most bags, however if you are using the last row, there is only enough space to keep relatively slim bags under the seats. I don't use a luggage carrier as I don't want to further increase the already high center of gravity.

Positives
Reliability: Have had absolutely no breakdowns / major issues. Was a bit worried about the reliability of a used vehicle, especially since Mahindra's are not known for their reliability. However I have used it as my daily drive without facing any issues. I have covered 25K km's including city / highway driving. Since it is a fairly basic vehicle without complex electronics, I guess there are fewer chances of things breaking down.

Visibility : The higher seating position provides great visibility and reduces the number of surprises on the road. As an example, the height of the vehicle allows you to look over most road dividers and their vegetation so that you can see if any vehicles are coming at you at crossings. As a contrast, when I drive an Ertiga on the same road, I keep getting surprised with cars suddenly appearing on crossings, since prior to popping up, they are hidden behind the divider / vegetation. The side view mirrors are also large and provide good visibility.

Driving style. The xylo suits my driving style to a T. If you drive slowly, make no sudden moves (including lane changes) and try to anticipate traffic flow, the xylo responds beautifully. However it is a large, heavy car with a high center of gravity and will certainly fail a moose test.

Maintenance Costs: Servicing costs have been in line with my expectations with the max being around INR 8K for a major service done recently at 60 K km. Most services have been around the INR 5K mark. Surprisingly it is still riding on the original Bridgestones. Changed one tyre and bought a new one (Chinese make) - which is kept as the spare, because the originals are still going strong.
Overall I feel a lot safer in the xylo than in most other vehicles. Visibility, heavier weight and a bit of road presence probably contribute to this.

Negatives
Servicing : This is a bit of a hit and miss experience. A lot is dependent on the service center and service advisor. Mahindra's processes are not great, but if you find the right advisor / center they can usually fix most issues satisfactorily. Over the past two years I had to deal with an engine oil leak, spongy brake, and sticky gear that needed to be fixed (remember this is a used car). Sterling managed a temporary fix for the leak and gear issues. R&R did nothing the first time. However on the repeat visit - R&R has taken care of all three issues quite satisfactorily. You will definitely need to spend more time and effort on this aspect when compared to Japanese vehicles. However it is not unmanageable in my opinion, and gives you a better understanding of your vehicle.

Noise : The engine is loud, even for a diesel, and with time there are a few squeaks and rattles that creep in, but nothing really alarming. Plus with the A/C and music on, it is not really noticeable.
Overall I have had a generally positive experience and would happily recommend a used Xylo if you are looking for a large vehicle.

Some Pictures.

Attached Thumbnails
My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo-xylo5.jpg  

My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo-xylo4.jpg  

My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo-xylo3.jpg  

My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo-xylo2.jpg  

My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo-xylo1.jpg  


Last edited by Rudra Sen : 27th July 2014 at 10:23. Reason: duplicate paragraph removed
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Old 11th July 2014, 17:16   #2
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Smile Re: My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo

Hi,

Xylo made entry into Indian market when the MUV market was dominated by Toyota Innova and Chevrolet Tavera and stretched easily to the speed at which it goes as fast as it possibly can.

Mahindra has made this car after a lot of research and testing not just in India but also Sweden, Australia and South Africa and that is why they have come up with a good product.

The best part of the Xylo is that it doesn’t have leaf spring suspension at the back. It has coil spring suspension that not only gives better ride quality, it also improves handling. The 2.5 litre m-hawk engine feels much more powerful than the Innova (yes, i test-drove it too) .Engine response is good maybe because Mahindra has been making some diesel engines of late.

Looks wise it does take a little long to digest. It is like a cross between Scorpio and an Innova is what i felt. But it does have curves and impressive road presence because of its size.

Limitation would be according to me -
Style,Interiors, gear shift, luggage space, dealer reliability, non availability of accessories is what i have heard till now.
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Old 11th July 2014, 18:54   #3
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Default Re: My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo

That's a good honest review there mate. I always thought of the Xylo as a bigger WagonR and wondered about it's center of gravity and behavior on the highway. Your review does talk about the high center of gravity but I like the fact that it drives well and confidently.
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Old 11th July 2014, 20:30   #4
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Default Re: My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo

I agree with you completely on RELIABILITY of mahindra..my brother owns a 2010 model BOLERO SLX which has done around 80000 km during last 4 years -absolutely trouble free . Those who think only koreans and japs are reliable should really understand this - if you take care of your vehicle properly it is as good as any toyota.

Xylo is good long distance cruiser. When you compare the price difference between xylo and innova , you are getting better value for money proposition with xylo.

Only think i found which needs improvement is the handling aspect. But we know the centre of gravity issues with both xylo and scorpio. At the end of the day it depends upon your driving style. If you are are sedate driver it is a joy to drive. Don't try to throw it around like a sedan..

Regards
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Old 12th July 2014, 08:30   #5
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Default Re: My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karthik Gullu View Post
Hi,
Xylo made entry into Indian market when the MUV market was dominated by Toyota Innova and Chevrolet Tavera and stretched easily to the speed at which it goes as fast as it possibly can.
Agreed. In fact it does have a decent share of the commercial / taxi market. This does dilute the premium feel for the vehicle but in my opinion, more than makes up for it in a couple of ways
1) Better spare part availability due to the volumes.
2) Most FNG's have had experience working on the model.
3) People tend to make way for the vehicle - they are used to seeing them driven rashly as taxi's

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
...I always thought of the Xylo as a bigger WagonR and wondered about it's center of gravity and behavior on the highway....
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrANTO View Post
...But we know the centre of gravity issues with both xylo and scorpio. At the end of the day it depends upon your driving style. If you are are sedate driver it is a joy to drive. Don't try to throw it around like a sedan..
Exactly, don't chuck it around corners at high speed, don't try sudden lane changes and the high center of gravity becomes a non issue. Actually these are good practices to follow, even if you are in a low slung sedan / hatchback.
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Old 26th July 2014, 16:07   #6
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Default Re: My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th July 2014, 09:59   #7
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Default Re: My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo

Nice review. How's the clutch holding up ? Still on original clutch ? Is it very hard to use ?

After the face lift last year, I think the Xylo looks good as well. Too bad it is weighed down by certain "perceptions" in our heavily herd mentality oriented market
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Old 27th July 2014, 10:23   #8
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Default Re: My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo

Interesting thread. Not many Xylo reviews on the forum and hence many thanks for putting up one. Do post some interior pictures too for the same reason.

Now my question is that after having spent 2 years with your Xylo and facing a few issues in the car, whats your take now on the new vs used car debate? Is the money saved worth the time, effort and above all the risk of reliability while opting for a used car?
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Old 27th July 2014, 17:49   #9
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Default Re: My Experience with a Used Mahindra Xylo

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
Nice review. How's the clutch holding up ? Still on original clutch ? Is it very hard to use ?
Thanks. Yes, still with the original clutch, and its working well. Its not hard at all. With the dead pedal and chair like seating (ie left leg goes more up and down rather than pressing forward and back), I actually find it much more comfortable to drive than most other cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Now my question is that after having spent 2 years with your Xylo and facing a few issues in the car, whats your take now on the new vs used car debate? Is the money saved worth the time, effort and above all the risk of reliability while opting for a used car?
Thanks for your question. For me, the new versus used car debate is firmly settled in favour of used cars, because of the following.

The issues I faced were not really critical and hence I did not feel that the car was unreliable. By that, I mean that if I had faced issues with say the car not starting one fine day, or a breakdown of some critical component that required urgent attention or the car needed to be towed, those would have made me doubt its reliability.

On the time and effort front however, it does definitely take more time and effort to maintain than a new car. For me, the value equation more than makes up for the couple of extra hours in a year needed to maintain it.
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