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Old 11th October 2008, 16:01   #1
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Default Mahindra Scorpio Automatic test driven

Some say that it is an oxy moron and others say it lacks the sting of the Scorpio, but there is no denying the fact this is the most city friendly of all the SUVs. The Scorpio even the manual version has high seating postion, good visibility, a tractable engine, light steering and controls that make it easy to maneuver the SUV in traffic, but with the auto-transmission ease of driving takes the front seat.

But does that also mean that driving pleasure now rides at the rear? To find out, I took one for a 500km test drive.
Mahindra Scorpio Automatic test driven-dsc00357.jpg
Externally,the only clue to differentiate the Automatic are the hubcaps that do not project out too much. The changes are mostly on the mechanical side. The 120bhp 2.2L engine gets a six speed automatic made by Drivetrain International Systems in Australia.

With the gear selector in D mode, I set off on an open road. Foot off the brake and on to the accleartor, the quick shoot off in the manual Scorpio is missing. On a light throttle, the shifting takes place with low revs, say at around 2000-2500rpm which adds to the overall refinement. Driveability is good and the engine feels very relaxed at 120kmph speeds.

Moving on to the M mode, the revs are held much higher in each gear and gives it a sporty edge. This is the one to slot it in if you are in to make some quick moves. The gearbox shifts down two gears at a time depending on the throttle input. There is sufficient power on demand as the box jumps down a gear or two and pushes you forward.

The autobox has a toggle switch near the lever with the letters N and W. N is for Normal. W is the winter mode which deactivates 1st and selects 2nd gear while moving off with no wheelspin on slippery surfaces.

It's nearly impossible to spin the wheels on the automatic. The normal way of revving in Neutral and shifting mercilessly to D mode doesnt work here, it just keeps revving without moving off.

I took it to a 40degree climb and the it climbed without much complaining.
Mahindra Scorpio Automatic test driven-dsc00369.jpg
Couldnt take the picture on the climb. But this is the way to get there.

In the fuel efficiency test, the automatic got around 12.7kmpl in the highway and 10.2kmpl in the city. In terms of acceleration, it is quite up with the Manual version, only half a second slower to the 100kmph from a standstill. Considering the fact that the auto is 70kg heavier, it can be assumed that the automatic transmission is an efficient one.
Mahindra Scorpio Automatic test driven-dsc00375.jpg

The downside is that the Scorpio feels a bit disconnected, especially in turns. It gets nervous in corners as the gearbox sometimes shifts into another gear while you plan to take the corner more enthusiastically, under throttle.The gearbox also makes several unwanted shifts at 40kmph which feels hesitant. And if you happen to jump over a speedbreaker and then depress the throttle fully, the drive gets disconnected which is strange.

Luckily, the old AC vents have been replaced with new ones that can direct the air flow on to your face.
Mahindra Scorpio Automatic test driven-dsc00374.jpg
The gearselector looks very ordinary and ordinary is the mildest word i can think of.

It's pricey for a Scorpio but the Auto gets the same host of features standard on the VLX -Cruise Control, ABS, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, tyre pressure monitoring system, voice assist system etc. Overall, it is a good choice for a city dweller whose idea of off-roading is on the lawns. And for ladies !

For real men, there is the Manual 4X4 on order !!

Last edited by vivekji05 : 11th October 2008 at 16:08.
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Old 11th October 2008, 16:09   #2
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good review there but not even a single link that you have provided opens. & theres notin such as automatic is for ladies and manual for real men. it totally depends on the conditions the person drives in
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Old 11th October 2008, 16:29   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nawabnabeel View Post
good review there but not even a single link that you have provided opens. & theres notin such as automatic is for ladies and manual for real men. it totally depends on the conditions the person drives in
I didnt say that Autos are for fake men and ladies...What i said was only about the Scorpio Automatic.
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Old 11th October 2008, 16:41   #4
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Nice review there, vivek. The interiors are very disappointing.

And i really dont understand this indian mentality that manual is for men and auto is for ladies. (not pointing at you vivek).

cheers.
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Old 11th October 2008, 17:56   #5
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Good review and lovely pics. Actually nice to see that you took it where it should actually be tested. On the roads I am sure M&M engineers would have tested it endlessly before launching.

I also went to a dealer's place today and saw it. Compared to Manual VLX only thing its missing is all round Solar Glasses( dont ask me what it does/ supposed to be). In manual trim - its all around solar glasses and in AT its only front - windscreen. God knows whether even this would be needed or not and if at all , whether solar glasses help in keeping heat in the cabin under control.

4*4 is not available in V series as yet. On order only in SLX trim- with 2.6 CRDe engine. No news of AT 4*4 in sight as yet.
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Old 11th October 2008, 18:08   #6
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Nice review vivek, the Automatic makes this SUV drive like a breeze.
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Old 11th October 2008, 18:18   #7
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Scorpio had to come out with an AT soon, since M&M plans to launch a pickup version of Scorpio in the US market. That launch has now been delayed by some months to end-2009 est.
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Old 11th October 2008, 21:18   #8
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nice pics. nice review. cars interiors look soothing. gear knob looks too ordinary and lacks the 10 lac + feel. pricing is steep but body roll and uneven gear shifts make this car still something to ponder about for buying reasons.
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Old 11th October 2008, 21:59   #9
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Nice review. How did you manage to get a test-drive for 500 kms ?!
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Old 11th October 2008, 22:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Nice review. How did you manage to get a test-drive for 500 kms ?!
True , i was going to ask the same question.
Are you a journalist by any chance. Because i can only see a journalist doing that long a test.

nice review though. I would rather prefer a manual over an automatic unless its one of the ferraris or something.

These days automatic transmission are pretty much in demand and looks like M & M have an upper hand because AFAIK there is no SUV sub 15 lakh offering an Automatic Transmission
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Old 11th October 2008, 22:57   #11
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Wow.. thanks for your review , I read about the “constant hunting for gears” in an earlier Autocar India magazine road test of the Scorpio auto, guess it was Sep issue.
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Old 12th October 2008, 01:57   #12
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Nice review and pictures Vivek. Finally an automatic Suv, i am thrilled. The interiors still seem dull and M&M should do something about it. I would wait for sometime to see the proper reviews from owners and also the downside if any from the gearbox and then jump to get one. Ideal car to keep at the factory.
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Old 12th October 2008, 11:14   #13
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Question shift lock or not?

Could you perhaps clarify if the Scorpio A/T has a shift lock mechanism that prevents accidental shift unless brake pedal is depressed.

Someone had mentioned on these forums earlier that there was a lack of this very important safety feature, however to me it seems that it does have it hence the round pop-off to the upper right of the shifter that perhaps reveals the manual override for the shift lock in event of battery failure or lack of key in ignition.

Anyways, clarification on this matter would be appreciated!
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Old 12th October 2008, 13:54   #14
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Is this something I've missed? Must get my vision checked. Which links???

Quote:
Originally Posted by nawabnabeel View Post
good review there but not even a single link that you have provided opens. & theres notin such as automatic is for ladies and manual for real men. it totally depends on the conditions the person drives in
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Old 12th October 2008, 18:08   #15
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Originally Posted by vivekji05 View Post
And if you happen to jump over a speedbreaker and then depress the throttle fully, the drive gets disconnected which is strange.
You mean its pops into neutral or is the clutch slipping??
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