|10th September 2015, 11:19||#1|
Senior - BHPian
Raging Red Rover (R3) - My Mahindra Scorpio S10 4x4
It's said that good things come to those who wait.
As I write my first ownership report on TBHP - I certainly hope and pray the wait has been worthwhile.
And I chose today to begin it, for a very quirky and selfish reason.
I wanted the first post on my long running (fifteen years!) thread to actually pre-date my ownership by a day. If destiny does not do us apart sooner, I would also like my last post to be written a day after the last day of the fifteenth year is up. That's my promise to myself.
When I look at this post on that day fifteen years hence, I want to be reminded of the anticipation , the hope and the promise that this purchase meant. As I update this thread in the intervening years, the first post, will continue to remind me how far I have come.
Tomorrow (Friday, 11th September, 2015) I expect to take delivery of the long awaited वाहन - the Raging Red Rover- The FIRST 2015 Scorpio S10 8 Seater 4WD ever to hit India's streets. This is how it looked at 4 PM on Tuesday , 8th September, 2015 at the Pre-Delivery Inspection.
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|12th September 2015, 00:33||#2|
Senior - BHPian
The D-Day - Friday September 11, 2015. R3 comes home.
The D-Day - Friday September 11, 2015
At 12 PM the sales guy confirmed that my payment had been received. The car was mine for the taking.
A quick call home ensued to break the news!
I joined a scheduled meeting with folks in Hong Kong and China -but my mind was elsewhere. I did not give a rat's ass to the "business problem that invited deep and careful speculation/introspection whatever". At 1:30 PM, wolfed down my tiffin of roti and sabji - and scrambled for the elevator to the underground parking.
From there on, the 23 km commute on Milemuncher Innova - seemed to flash by in the blink of an eye!
Reached home,got the kids dressed - bundled the family into the Santro - (which we would hand over in exchange ) and raced to Koncept Lajpat Nagar at 3:30 PM. Delayed by an hour - but then - they had delayed R3's delivery by a week!
And we saw R3 all decked up!
While the color is strong but I was a bit nervous about family's reaction. Did it look too red? They were seeing the car in flesh and blood - and not some photoshopped image. And then they all gathered around for snaps. The ice was finally broken!!
The yellow ribbons - ARRGH!
Hope R3 does not look too effeminate! They could have left the ribbons in their desk - but what the heck! I really think - they went overboard.
The sales team was waiting. But they had not done an iota of work other than bring the car over the 15 km from their inventory.
I had instructed them to proceed with online registration - but they did not do it - because "saab - agar customer premise pe nahi hota - to kaise hoga"
Double trouble! My wife had specifically said - we needed to be back home latest by 4:30 PM... there were a bunch of engagements to be attended. 4:30 came and went - still no ceremony.
I was getting antsy. Finally I figured out the trouble..when I casually stopped by the clerk's desk where registration was being attempted. They could not figure out the model code for a Scorpio 8 STR S10 on the RTO d-base! Damn!! A quick call to the sales manager - and things were sorted.
4:40 PM - I am given instruction on the service book , quick start guide, and the infotainment guide.
4:50 PM - I am given a detailed demo. I insisted on being shown EVERYTHING - including the little niche for the tow hook.
The steering wheel feels light. The instrument panel lights up. Is it Christmas already?
This pottering round finally tests wifey's patience - and I realized there was no sense in their waiting for - what's essentially a photo op.
So this was clicked - before they went off to base!
5:00 PM - I signed off on the Pre-Delivery checklist. Things looked good.
5:05 PM - The usual paperwork was handed over. Everything in order? No!
1) Reverse Camera bill - missing
2) Extended warranty certificate missing
The salesman printed 1) in haste. The sales manager, assured the Extended warranty certificate will be handed over in 4 days, together with my high security number plates.
Some goodies were offered - A bunch of coupons for the urban lifestyle guru. These are of definite interest my wife - me thinks!
The enrollment with Club Mahindra followed by an SMS
And then surprise surprise - a paid receipt for 5L of Diesel at the nearest bunk! Harking back to my purchase experience of Milemuncher Innova - this was like a revelation. A small gesture - but really really touching!
5:15 PM - The ceremony happens. I am handed the chocolate box, a bouquet , and finally the keys. Photos are clicked. I given them a 10 on 10 feedback score - assure them that this will be consistent to verification calls (if any).
R3 delivery ceremony pictures.
I step into the car, and drive away!
First to the diesel bunk!
While waiting for the huge tank to be filled to the brim, I notice the rear badging for the first time. It's small relative to the tailgate but its there. The LED lights vie for attention too!
With a tank-full of Diesel I head off next to B.K. Tyres for an immediate upgrade to Continental Cross Contact AT 265/65/R17 - model 112T.
They are expensive. At a price differential of Rs 4500 per corner, and with the spare thrown in - I pony up Rs 22500. But they inspire greater confidence than the stock Duelers.
And they are taller from stock by a little over an inch. So that's 1 inch more of ground clearance - not that R3 lacks in that department!
I was a little disappointed with the stepney. It's a steel rim not an alloy. Off went the Dueler to be replaced with the Conti.
There's a moment of doubt when Atul ji mentions , the front tyres may foul with the mud-flap. But then with one tyre on, and with wheel lock to wheel lock, I notice the new shoes , still leave the mudflap alone by about a centimeter. Good enough for me.
8:00 PM : I am finally home. Dad leaves for Kolkata the next day, so he insists on a joy-ride. I happily oblige!
Last edited by joybhowmik : 23rd September 2015 at 09:16. Reason: Added pics of ceremony
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|13th September 2015, 10:27||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Experiencing R3 - my very first day
First impressions count! Raging Red Rover (a.k.a. R3) has left me with a mixed bag of feelings. Most of this was expected after reading S2 and GTOs fantastic official review.
I would rather give a layman's review based on my first day out with it.
The Devastating Looks
This is where R3 shines.
The grill - is this the version where the infamous walrus teeth start to become vestigial organs?
Stylish headlamps and fog lights. Very nice eyebrows!
Very cool looking tail lamps and rear badging
The stickers on either side of the sting
Driving the R3
Unlimited power on tap from the mHawk- that's the feeling one gets when slotting into gear. The car feels nimble enough, responding quickly to steering inputs. The turning radius is adequate, and for a car of this size and length - three point turns are expected. The suspension felt taut - definitely not a boat. The brakes did not inspire as much confidence as the Innova - I am not certain if they need to be upgraded.
Entry and Egress
For people of short stature (like me) , entry and egress to/from R3 is a two stage hop - first onto the foot step on the side, then the running board , and finally settle down. It sure can be trouble for the elderly and infirm or anyone who is not sprightly. Assistance may be required to avoid a topple in such cases.
Driver's view of the road ahead
In one word- a "commanding" view of the road thanks to the shorter dashboard width and the elevated seat position.
The left side needs careful attention because the Scorp is a wide car, and therefore one is advised caution negotiating congested streets.
Driver's seating comfort
The seat felt narrow. The seat back provides adequate lumbar support , however I had to recourse to my usual Amron seat back (orthopaedic) support cushion.
The seat has adequate under thigh support - not too much - not too little. Overall feels comfortable for long drives. But it's not a sofa.
The seat height adjustment allows a wide range, and worked for me. I don't think I will need the extra cushion that I used on the Innova.
There's plenty of legroom for me, and although no dead pedal exists for resting the left foot, that did not seem to be a problem.
The arm rest is too narrow to comfortably rest the arm. I liked Innova's soft top w-i-d-e console box. So much more user-friendly.
Ease of operations
The dashboard stalks , switches ,instrument cluster display and the multi-purpose entertainment center.
The layout has received user experience thought process- which is a good sign.
Stalks and switches that are used most often while driving are within easy reach and one does not need to move his hand from the wheel to operate these. So that's a big plus. (e.g. cruise control, volume control, mute etc) are steering mounted.
Other switches and dials such as climate control, micro hybrid operation, blower speed, and the entertainment center itself is within reach, but one has to move the hand from the wheel to operate them, and these are all below eye-level. Evidently it will take some time to get used to these.
The gear shift feels super slick. No clunking & gnashing when changing gears (must be excellent synchros), and best of all no untoward Vibration of the stalk (Toyota - are you listening?)
The instrument cluster seems very crowded but then I guess one will get used to it over time. Certainly lights up like a Christmas tree! And the odo registered it's first milestone - 100 km on the clock on the very first day!
Space use near the driver
This is where I miss the Innova experience the most!
One would have to be a juggler to comfortably secure a bottle of water, loose change, an ipod , a phone and a pair of sunglasses within easy reach of the driver!
COME ON MAHINDRA - for a 10+ Lakh car did you expect it to be driven only by the typical low paid professional drivers and not owners? Is this the thinking behind the design?
But then I suppose I can console myself as I did not buy R3 for its creature comforts (or lack thereof). But yes I do already miss a simple coin tray and a sunglass/toll-ticket holder.
Here is the center console.
My sunglass case, and ipod are occupying the two pockets - so that one gets an idea of the size. The rear pocket can hold a standard litre water bottle. The front one can hold either a mobile phone and some loose change but not much else.
Here is the space use on the inside of the front doors.
The side pocket can comfortably hold a few travel maps (it even comes with an elastic retaining band). The upper pocket to the rear of the window switches, is deep and wide enough for the average sized smartphone. That is unless one is smart enough to violently open the door - thus sending its contents hurtling out on a trajectory to the unknown!
Auxillary Interior Lighting
Overhead ceiling light is split three ways into two directional map reading lights ,and one cabin light.
The light output is adequate for general use. The switches that control these are a little fiddly due to their small size.
Quality of Plastics
The plastics feel flimsy & cheap for a car in this class. That's substantial evidence of accountants hard at work here -हाँ Mahindra?
This door opener is an example - it will probably be the first point of failure , owning to repetitive stress injury.
Front Passenger seating comfort
Front Passenger seat is the best seat in the R3. But then that's because one won't have to share real-estate with one's co-passengers. As seats go, it's an exact replica of the Driver's seat. So there's nothing much extra to write about.
Middle Row Seating Comfort
Middle row seating is split 60-40 to allow entry and egress to the rear row.
If required these can slide forward and backward using this latch.
A strap exists to double fold the middle row seat to create extra space.
Overall the seats are comfortable and have adequate cushion thickness for both seating comfort and lumbar support.
In a 2x2 configuration one can use the generous arm rest.
The HVAC vent in front of the middle row has a useful cubby hole beneath.
This is another area where my passengers might miss the Innova's superlative HVAC design. For a hot country like India, its absolutely essential to have ceiling mounted vents. This allows the cool air to strike the face, the neck and the torso first before settling down - thus giving a faster cooling effect to the occupants. In the R3 - this may take some time - to their discomfort. But then, this could also be a reflection of cost cutting - overhead ceiling mounted vents and their plumbing do cost mucho dinero!
Space use for the middle seat occupants.
Middle row occupants at the windows get a bottle holder and,
a mobile phone holder
The middle occupant gets to use the cubby hole in front.
The rear bench seat
The rear bench option in R3 was decided after careful consideration. Having experienced umpteen situations where sidewards seating on winding hill roads caused occupants to lose their breakfast or lunch, I had decided that come what may R3 had to be a 8 seater.
While the decision was not bad in itself, I think compared to the Innova's third row, the legroom is a bit deficient.
Even for me, a person of smaller stature, the knees did jut into the seat back of the middle row bench.
Perhaps this seat is best suited for children below 12 years of age.
The seat itself is okay , both from a seating comfort and lumbar support perspective. It's no sofa though.
Space use for the rear seat occupants
Absolutely nothing. See the flat cabin wall here.
I was rather disappointed with the lack of even a single cubby hole. I guess the reason for this is the fact that majority of scorpios are sold with side facing rear seats - so cubby holes are not possible.
Openable rear windows.
Thoughtful design of the rear windows at first glance? The rear windows are hinged but do open a crack when one opens the butterfly latch.
I would have expected the hinges to be placed on the other edge, so that the crack could let a draft in when the car is making headway. Hmm!
With all the seats up, trunk space is severely limited and definitely less than the Innova in a similar configuration. One would be hard pressed to fit three cabin bags seated upright.
Besides one would be ill-advised to stack luggage up in layers. That's because that would severely undermine the already compromised rear-visibility.
I think I would need to invest in a rooftop carrier for R3 eventually.
Watch out for the speakers installed on the inside of the tail gate! Packing things too tightly here, may ruin the speakers!
Trunk space can be increased by folding the third row, but unfortunately this requires the middle row and front row seats to be pulled forward until legroom for occupants is about half the average thickness of the shank.
When on a long trip with a nuclear family only, just remove the third row and leave it at home. It's easy to remove and put back when needed.
If you require the use of the third row at the destination, as I will, on my दिल्ली - कलकत्ता trips, it's far better in such cases to adjust the middle row for maximum leg room. Then remove the third row completely, and lay it flat on the floor (with some cloth wrapped around two metal pins on the side that mate to the floor... this is to avoid scratching any luggage or the interiors). Finally one can secure the third row metal pins to the floor hooks, using tie-downs- this anchors it in place in the event of hard braking. Place luggage after that. BTW - this requires some heavy duty lifting and shifting - and is bound to give the average sedentary guy an intensive workout!!
Space for Essential Tools
In keeping with the design principle of making space usage the hardest possible aspect for the consumer, Mahindra has NOT provided dedicated cubby holes/niches for storing the essential tools - i.e. Jack, Jack handle wheel spanner etc.
The oddly looong Jack handle and wheel spanner are secured in their resting places , by loops stiched on the carpet. This handiwork is covered up rather amateurishly by a second layer of carpet cloth - which sticks to the carpet's surface with velcro! How delightfully indigent!!
The Jack itself rests underneath the front passenger seat.
Did it ever occur to Mahindra that in order to change a tyre, one would have to ask at least two passengers to dis-embark?
Last edited by joybhowmik : 24th September 2015 at 09:13. Reason: Added images.
|13th September 2015, 22:51||#4|
Senior - BHPian
R3's acquisition is a story in itself.
The need for a 4x4 was felt on multiple occasions, whenever our Milemuncher Innova got stuck trying to escape slippery conditions. Most notably, the recent experiences in Ladakh had me writing this on July 24 in one of the social networking platforms.
Bidding our lovely lady a tearful goodbye!
Our elderly Santro Xing AT had served us for twelve long years (see post here).
The transmission was not up to scratch, and one could sense the clutch was about to give way. The engine too struggled in summers. And then the inevitable break-down resulted from a rather innocuous source - the alternator went kaput, and soon after the battery died trying to keep sparks firing up the cylinders - that too at 10 PM on a movie night. Leaving us with no option but to push her home with much exertion.
That's when the decision was made to let her go - at the right price.
So when, Mahindra came up with an exchange bonus of Rs 20000/- and we agreed the resale @ Rs 35000/- - the overall value of Rs 55000/- was just too enticing to turn down.
But the lovely lady did look a little forelorn, as she stood in the verandah, on the day she would leave us.
I hope she endears herself to the next owner, just as she did to us.
The Toyota Fortuner
The search for a 4x4 MT Fortuner proved to be a non-starter. There were none available to test drive from the dealer.
Besides, at a price point of Rs 29 lakhs ++ it was way beyond my budget. Even if I could recover 8 lakhs from the sale of my 6 year old Innova (in impeccable condition) , I would still need to figure out where the balance Rs 21 lakhs would come from - too mucho dinero for my liking.
Though mind you, the Fortuner had been my first choice - all along. In terms of technology and RELIABILITY it had no contenders.
The Pajero Sport
Friends had recommended the 4x4 Pajero Sport. But, I did not even bother taking a test drive. I know people swear by the vehicle,and it's every inch the technological marvel that it claims to be. And yet there are not too many of them seen around. So I did not bother giving the dealer a call. Besides it was mucho mucho expensive than even the Fortuner.
The key ask for me was an affordable 4x4 , so I zeroed in on a Thar. In fact the first Thar that I had a close look at , was manveet's Thar that had been put up for sale. It's a stunner, and had the sort of modifications done to it - which I would have done myself. A test drive of another Thar (owned by my friend) followed - and I was absolutely फिदा.
When I broke the news about my plans to acquire just such a Thar, there was absolute bedlam. Immediate family were dead set against what they called an "abomination". Some support was found in extended family - but then that would not count - not in the long run anyway.
Then I conferred with sudev ji - and his view on the matter was simple. One cannot perfect the Thar. It seemed like a simple homegrown truth - and as it goes with such things - seemed also like a nice summing up of the many Thar ownership threads here on TBHP. The key point for me was - despite the fact that the Thar dripped रोमांच, I could not afford to spend the time babysitting it.
It had been different in the days when I owned the Palio. I was a junior somebody in office then, and would not be missed on the odd day off - when I got into trouble with it (which was too often).
The AWD Duster
Someone (I think it was sudev ji) who suggested the AWD Duster. I read up the official review and the AWD's official review. Then, test drove the Duster twice and felt quite impressed. It had a great engine, a taut chassis , a softroader's suspension, nice clean looks - and had proven itself (in its Dacia avatar) all over the world.
Not wishing to delay matters, I launched into intensive price negotiations for the top variant. Unfortunately it seemed to me that I was up against a cartel. For this reason, (I think) the talks lost steam mid-way, and probably that was for the better. Considering that the company was not doing well despite clear warnings from the market. Add to that the iffy Service reputation, and in retrospect, I am glad that the talks lost steam after 20th July.
At the back of my mind, was Arka's suggestion - to look at a Scorpio. I had always resisted the idea of yet another people carrier (considering I already had the Innova). But then, with so many ownership threads of 4x4 Scorpios on the table, I thought I might not really founder for want of answers to questions due to this fantastic thread.
So, a day later , I think it was 21st July , that on a whim I called Koncept Mahindra (Lajpat Nagar) and asked them to bring over a Scorpio for me to test drive. The salesman a certain Sohan Juli brought around a black Scorp S10 2WD. I drove it. It seemed ok. Nothing to rave about. So was I interested enough?
That really depended on the more important stakeholders in the decision process - viz family. To them , a Scorpio was much more acceptable - definitely more mainstream. Possibly in the same league as the Innova.
Sudev ji suggested that I test drive the 4WD variant - as the suspension was different - and thus the handling was expected to be different as well. A call back to Koncept, and said test drive was arranged - with the only other new 4WD Scorpio available in the yard. (Not a very good practice if you ask me. Unless the dealership offers me deep discounts, i would never buy a TD vehcile.)
Several days later (I think it was July 25), the salesman again called asking for a decision. I told him to stop by for price negotiations. In the ensuing conversation, it was quite evident that they would not reduce the price even by a bit. It was a take it or leave it scenario. And why not? After all - the Scorpio was one of the bread-and-butter products of Mahindra ji. They sold hundreds of units a month. There was no incentive to reduce price (unlike Renault dealers).
Me: If you aren't going to reduce the price, I want a red S10 4WD
Him: Sure sir - but that will be extra.
Me: Ok. Can I get 8 seats?
Him: No sir.
Me: But here take a look at your sales brochure.
And it clearly said - 4WD with 8 or 7 seats - no extra charge.
Him: That's a misprint. Such a vehicle does not exist.
Me: (a little annoyed). But it says so on their website as well
Him: I need to check sir. But it won't exist. And even if it did - it won't be ARAI certified - so you can't get it registered at the RTO
By all means. I asked him to get back. So he did in fact call back on July 26, only to convey that even if I wished to book such a vehicle, their ordering system would not allow them to take the order.
Sotto Voce: Pretty please, could you step down from your high moral ground, and buy a seven seater?
That's when the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back" moment happened to me. Ordinarily a person would have given up. Not me. I was sufficiently ticked off with this blithering i****, that I made up my mind to get a red 8 seater 4 wd scorpio - and he would be the one doing the ordering!
I asked for the regional sales manager's coordinates. A nice gentleman by the name of Mr Abhishek Kumar. He confirmed that such a configuration does not exist today, and has not been seen for several years. That explained the fact, that the ordering system had obsoleted the relevant model code. I asked him , what would it take to get such a Scorpio? To which he replied at least 4 months, and connects with the plant.
At the suggestion of comfortablynumb (Vikram) I wrote to Sandeep Dhond ( the head of customer care) on July 27. No answer came for 24 hours.
What followed was history of sorts!
My Post #376 on 30th July reads:
My order was for the FIRST 8 seater 4 WD S10 (since its launch in 2014).
I was told it would take 3-4 weeks for the vehicle to reach New Delhi (4-6 weeks was the estimate from the dealer).
Ever since order placement, both Mr. Piran Merchant of H.O. and Mr. Abhishek Kumar of Sales, kept me informed of the progress of the vehicle - from the time it went into Assembly , till PDI.
There was an initial delay of a few days, due to a supplier parts issue (for the engine) but that was quickly sorted.
Considering that my order was placed on 6th August, and the fact that Mahindra changes its pricing every month, I was a little wary of the impact of delays to my order.
I need not have worried. Mr. Abhishek was kind enough to assure me, that price to me would be protected from any cost escalation - due to the fact that I had a unique order.
And true to his word- the dealer's payment request was in-line with the expectations.
What do I feel about the vehicle?
I have finally fulfilled a promise I made to myself on the steep slopes of Ladakh. I finally have the equipment to go to those difficult places, without breaking a sweat
I feel immensely pleased with the acquisition. To me, it represents freedom.
I hope the niggles and issues that have plagued Scorpios in the past - do not prove to be deal-breakers. I am a keeper, and would like to keep this car for the next 15 years.
What do I feel about Mahindra after my buying experience?
They are a different sort of Indian company. Having worked for TELCO (former name for Tata Motors) decades ago, I am more than surprised (in fact amazed) at their agility, in meeting customer's requirements. An essential ingredient is TEAMING. As an outsider, I can say they have a great TEAM. Thanks Mahindra - and continue to do the great job you are doing!
Last edited by joybhowmik : 24th September 2015 at 22:26. Reason: Added Santro's pics - these had timed out.
|13th September 2015, 23:05||#5|
Senior - BHPian
Accessorizing R3 from the inside out!
I got black seat covers fitted with red stitching from a small nondescript shop (Auto Zone) in Lajpat Nagar today.
Source of Image: JustDial.com
Contact number: +91-8826381625
Address: Shop No B-95, Lajpat Nagar , Near HDFC Bank.
The work is so-so. The damage - ₹ 6000. Fitment - not so great. In fact I will need to get portions of the work re-done.
I have plans to have a dashcam fitted- everyone seems to own one nowadays!
Then a biker nudge guard fitted at the rear, followed by reverse camera installation at Koncept.
Followed by Auxillary lights. I am torn between Lightforce and Hellas at the moment. In fact that's the next major installation that will happen on the car (after changing the tyres).
And following a discussion with Tanveer - a set of snow cables/snow chains.
Watch this space.
Last edited by joybhowmik : 24th September 2015 at 22:27. Reason: Added plans for accessories
|16th September 2015, 17:17||#6|
Senior - BHPian
Experiencing the mad mad world of Delhi-Gurgaon peak hour traffic on R3
I had been rather quiet about R3 for a day or so. I had not posted anything more- considering he was parked at home, waiting for an elusive parking sticker for the office parking lot.
In the meantime, all that happened to R3, was the procurement of a rather expensive piece of cloth to cover him from the elements.
Rs 1500 not so well spent, as I find that it does not reach down to the running boards on both sides!
The supplier suggested "saab maybe it's bigger than older Scorpios". Hmmm - Indeed?
He says he can take it back to the factory to get another one sewed to specifications. And in the meantime - the factory fresh paint will be coated with yet another layer of Delhi dust and grime? No way. I tell him to leave the skimpy cloth behind, pay him - and we go our separate ways. Something is better than nothing!
That rare set of identity papers... erm parking sticker (some say it's easier to get an Indian passport!) was promised to me on Monday September 14. The 4x4 inch of adhesive backed shiny paper, finally arrived at my office desk Tuesday. That, gave R3 official permission to enter into the morning fray and duel with other worthies - making a beeline out of the city.
And therefore at 7:45 AM on Wednesday September 16, I scaled the two steps , seated myself, pushed the offending arm rest away, lowered the hand-brake, turned the key in the ignition - and we were off.
There was this almost immediate chime followed by a voice over from somewhere in the cavernous interior. R3 loudly expresses its grave concern, but in the politest of tones, that it's not safe to drive without wearing the seat belt! Hmm... Intelligent & complicated electronics no doubt. But to me, it represents another point of failure. I wonder how long it would work as designed.
Well we set off. R3 and I. My better half has decided to stay at home today (we work at the same office building). So, I can finally converse with R3 in solitude.
At that hour - Traffic is light at least in my immediate neighbourhood. Engine noise is minimally invasive. It cannot be heard over the radio. Quite unlike the Innova.
There is some road noise - as the Contis roll along. But strangely I don't mind that noise... I welcome it!
It represents, a certain go-anywhere flair, THIS is what R3 is about.
And then I am surprised yet again. As I make headway through a narrow road, I come face to face with a Tata Indigo taxi.
For the first time in my life, a cabbie stops trying to make headway by brusquely brushing by my side. He politely backs up, and then swerves to his extreme left to make way for me.
At other places , too, this oddball behaviour is observed with a couple of other drivers.
I am a little perplexed with this sudden consideration. I've never come across kindliness from other drivers in peak hour when driving our Milemuncher Innova or our Santro.
And then it dawns on me! It's RESPECT! Quite simply put I am in a truck. And no one wants to mess around with a truck. Well only the foolhardy do. My own behaviour when confronted with Tata 1210 comes into sharp focus - my 'AHA' moment.
R3 behaves well. I on my side, am more than a little careful. With all this gleaming red paint screaming for attention, I am more than a little afraid of the expensive unsolicited kiss.
So we take things slowly. I hover between 1st and 3rd rarely going above 50 kmph for the first 10 km. Delhi commute traffic catches up with me, and leaves me behind. And, just like my Tata 1210 brethren, I watch the mad rush with silent amusement. The music system is alright for the kind of music I play. Luckily iPod works!
The great big potholes on Delhi's outer ring road, are not really felt as R3 glides over them.
I also enjoy the height advantage as I look over the roof-tops of the cars ahead of me.
I can see exactly how someone to the left and ahead , is trying to cut me off in bumper to bumper traffic! I can see his hand turning the wheel to the right, and the tell-tale edging out of his right tyre. I glide in and 'reclaim' space that's rightfully mine! The offender gives up - when he turns his head and sees this Red monster standing tall.
Driving a true SUV (R3) , rather than an MUV (Milemuncher) does have its advantages.
The rest of the drive on NH-8 is a breeze. I become aware of the engine hum for the first time, as R3 hits 70 kmph on 4th. The engine's revving in the upper 2k's. I get into 5th - and its really tall. I am pleasantly surprised with mHawk- there's enough power to donate !
The brakes still do NOT inspire confidence! I miss the stopping on the dime bit, that the Milemuncher has! It's as if R3 has a pair of these fitted!
Is it only me?
I reach office early. There's an older generation CRDe scorpio standing in the parking lot. I park R3 next to it. I walk around them. Does it really look taller? Tell me what you think.
After a busy day in office, it's time to head home at 5 pm. I join the queue of jousting cars as they attempt to navigate a part of the road - that's more accurately described as a two lane mud track.
As vehicles merge into these two lanes, I can see an A6 on my left trying to cut-in and pull ahead of me. There's only one problem- the track's narrow and of fine sand. The kind that H/T tyres sink into and then mindlessly spin on. I can see Mr. A6 foundering in bumper to bumper traffic. He can't manage the traction. I wait for him to make up his mind. He hits the brakes - his attempt to cut me off from the wrong side has just gone horribly wrong.
I tap the accelerator. The Contis shrug off the mud. R3 advances effortlessly. I don't have to put R3 in 4H. That would be overkill. The true test of power lies in not using it, but knowing it's there. The Contis have just gotten around to properly introduce themselves. Enough said.
As I pull ahead of the A6 , I put R3 in 2nd, and lightly tap the accelerator. He takes off - he's been raring to have a go!
It's normally difficult to see what's behind me due to the size of the rear window, but on this occasion its impossible. Due to the clouds of thick dust that the Contis have just kicked up. It's evident everyone else has to also deal with this temporary dust-storm, in addition to the loss of traction. R3 settles down at a placid 50 kmph in 3rd, as we hit the black tarmac segment that follows the mud track.
It looks like R3's the only car for several hundred meters. Finally through my RVM, I spot Mr. A6 emerge from the dust cloud, with his headlights on & dipping furiously. He's finally reached the tarmac - and belts his engine. He zooms up @ 100 kmph and as he passes me - glares. I can feel his anger. I smile - a benign smile. No ill-will meant Mr. A6! Have a nice one! I continue at 50 kmph, as I watch A6 disappear into the mad Delhi traffic.
I am reminded of flies that swarm over a predator who's just made a kill. I let the flies fly away.
I ruminate about the next trip. There's an outside chance of one this September - a long weekend is on the cards after many many weeks of drought.
In the meantime, I absolutely need to get the nudge guard fitted and then the camera. Those could be useful on a short drive over the long weekend.
Last edited by joybhowmik : 23rd September 2015 at 12:47. Reason: Added pics
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|17th September 2015, 16:02||#7|
Senior - BHPian
Of kisses and cuddles...
More important things were on hand.
R3 had been parked at a local accessory shop in the evening, while I was chatting up the owner about the nudge guard for his rear end.
And while he had been standing there, innocently minding nobody's business, he had been kissed.
It was a tiny peck - but it did tear my heart when I discovered it in the morning.
There was nothing to be done, except to head out to RM Paints for 100g of molten red paint.
But to my consternation, the Molten red colour is not in their catalogue yet. Not to worry - Mahesh ji's quick call to Dupont for the formulation- and "All is Well".
A short while later, the paint is mixed , and the mixture iteratively refined and compared to the general area around the tiny dark peck. My eyes are not what they were, so I leave the complexity of shades to the hawk eyed younger help.
Finally the paint set is taken back to Ramesh who gets cracking. While there, another tiny peck is discovered on the rear step. That's probably because an itinerant stone decided to tap dance there .
The feathering has been perfectly done , R3 is as immaculate as before.
Curious - is it not - how a car's celibacy can be restored by spending only ₹ 850?
I wonder... if things had been so simple elsewhere- doctors would have been mechanics, and hospitals - why garages!
The negotiations with the car accessory shop have successfully concluded after a fashion.
For the princely sum of ₹ 2100 I get a look alike of the ₹ 3290 SR SS Rear Guard.
Kisses to the A** are now hopefully a matter of academic interest!
The mount point is a conveniently placed hole in the chassis.
It's fortuitous that I scrambled under the car, and prevented the fitter from loosening the bolt that secures the body to the chassis!
Last edited by joybhowmik : 24th September 2015 at 22:29. Reason: Added pics of the rear nudge guard
|19th September 2015, 20:53||#8|
Senior - BHPian
The Camera Obscura...and some obscure arguments
I had paid for a reverse camera. I had also read reviews here about the absolutely atrocious position of the camera when it comes to the 4WD Scorpio.
To such designers, my two cents - as a layperson. There is such a thing as a tow bar that's mounted below the footstep.
If the camera is installed behind the tow bar, it follows from the distant Class 5 Optics course, that much of the resulting image will be that of a polished bulbous black iron ball. Of course, it's but natural, that the optics course was probably as distant (if not more) for the aforesaid designers at Mahindra.
That the camera will be also be near potentially fatal (to it) situations is a foregone conclusion.
Installing the camera at the tow bar level was also not an option. All that the installation would achieve, would be a regular gentle reminder , to wipe the nudge guard clean, every time I reversed!
Understanding this, is not rocket science.
And yet, despite cajoling, pleading, threatening, and every other kind of persuasion known to civilized man, Koncept's management would not listen to reason, and install the camera where I wanted it.
It's not that it was not possible. Far from it. I had taken special care to speak to the body shop guys to understand exactly how much space lay underneath the plastic applique. Despite confirmation , that this concealed enough space between it and the tail-gate, no one would listen to me.
What was funny , in this whole exercise , were the gaffes by the Accessories Manager, as he attempted to dissuade me. Here are a few gems.
Therefore, I was left with no option , but to ask for my money back. Which they will return in good time, I'm sure.
In retrospect, I think I can manage without the camera at the back. The side mirrors are large enough for the final course corrections required when backing up. Come to think of it, with the Milemuncher too, the reverse camera is a psychological crutch. I rarely if ever refer to its image on the Pioneer unit. It was installed on impulse a few years ago and has added marginal value since.
I won't miss the reverse camera on R3, and I'm glad I get the ₹ 3000 back in my wallet. I am even happier that when backing into a tight spot, I will get some exercise walking around R3, to guage clearances and deciding the approach angle.
My visit to Koncept ended with getting the high security number plates installed. What a shame that they have to rivet the plates on. I would not have minded paying to have the number plates drilled , and installed with screws into the regular locating holes. Riveting the plates on the car , does not prevent it from being stolen , or even being recovered quickly. It's fairly easy to break the rivets, and screw on other plates.
Just as luck would have it , it started raining on my way back. I had the opportunity to feel how R3 behaved on wet tarmac.
I was pleasantly surprised by the confident grip on the wet. In fact, I even allowed myself (and R3) a little bit of fun, by crossing the divider on Delhi's BRT @ 30 kmph. R3 took it into his stride, and how! As I left a long line of cars behind, and even longer looks of envy - I pushed my thoughts towards the upcoming trip to Corbett , next weekend.
I must - yes MUST take R3 off the tarmac and into the jungle if I have the chance.
Back to more prosaic matters now. The rain had picked up. I had not read about how to get the wipers to automatically work when it poured. So I tried it the manual way - and discovered there are only two speed options!!!!
Hmmm... Mahindra, in this day and age - 2 wiper speed settings?
I have mentioned earlier that the rear windscreen is small for a car this size. The problem exacerbates with rain, as rearward visibility declines rapidly.
I turned the rear wiper on, and was greeted with the very familiar litany of wiper rubber moaning as it scraped the glass. On a 9 day old car, that must make it to the Guinness world record! Hmmm... Didn't I tell you this is a car of many firsts!
It stopped raining finally. I had a few errands at the Kalkaji market. Finding Parking here is always a nightmare. I found a spot , probably because the raised cement platform encroaching into the space represented too much trouble to most cars.
As I carefully edged R3 into the spot, wifey signaled me furiously to stop! I figured that was because , she too was conditioned into thinking that obstructions such as these are best avoided. I just turned the wheels right, and rolled over the cement platform , to firmly plant R3's right corner in the middle!
It's occasions like these that justify R3's place in my home and heart.
So , the next thing to be done - get a nice Bosch wiper from Sheel Auto Spares.
I am sure Koncept Mahindra will turn some excuse about not changing the wiper under warranty due to infringement of some procedure.
Getting used to reversing into the parking spot has taken some time and luckily thus far, without any scrapes or bumps. Fingers crossed.And a big to the extra large side mirrors!
Last edited by joybhowmik : 24th September 2015 at 22:30. Reason: Added experience of reverse parking without the reverse camera
|23rd September 2015, 08:40||#9|
Senior - BHPian
वह सब तो ठीक है, पर कितनी देती है?
[That's all good, but what's the fuel efficiency]
R3 was filled to the brim at the 372 km mark , just after the reserve light came on yesterday (September 22). The first fill had been at 44 km on the odo. 43 litres of C12H23 a.k.a. सादा "Normal" Diesel was filled. That means an average efficiency of 7.6 kmpl. I was expecting efficiency would be impacted due to driving a brand new engine, only city drives so far in bumper to bumper traffic ,initially using long idles while waiting for better half to pick up groceries (no I am not using the micro hybrid switch), and of course the shoes. I am not overly disappointed, as I know this will improve as the running-in continues.
And please don't even ask me about what the फंडू electronics said- I can't be really bothered with the kind of fiddly-diddly stuff in the entertainment center.
It's enough that it manages to play the CD and iPod and pick up the occasional phone call.
Let's not have too high expectations - please!
I have made up my mind for the out-of-procedure 1000 km oil-filter and oil change. If Koncept won't do the work, or sell me the oil and oil filter OTC for whatever reason, then its Sheel Auto Spares ज़िंदाबाद !!
Last edited by Rehaan : 1st October 2015 at 19:50. Reason: Translating opening line for our non-Hindi reading viewers!
|24th September 2015, 14:24||#10|
Senior - BHPian
The "Integrated" Infotainment system
This is one component of the R3 , which though very impressive , is not one of the key reasons for signing the cheque - primarily owing to the different priorities that played a part in the buying decision.
Having said that , it might be construed unfair by others (not to mention Mahindra themselves) if this did not receive its fair share of attention along with the other components & services that go into making up the Total experience.
IMHO, any review of a product must be detailed and comprehensive. Thus, an experience of "learning by discovery" (experienced by other BHPians) would not really add value to the review. It was imperative that Mahindra supply detailed use-cases of all aspects of the vehicle. Aghast at the revelation that, Mahindra did not supply a user-manual of the Infotainment system:
resulted in this post well before R3 was due for PDI.
It was with pleasant surprise that on D-Day , I discovered the hard copy Infotainment system manual, together with the rest. I am not sure if this was due to Providence, or H.O. played a part in R3's specific case, or it was an instance of systemic improvement at Mahindra. For the public's general convenience , and confidence in the Product, I would like to believe the last proffered reason.
I assume by now Dear Reader, if you have not yet had the chance to subject said manual to intense scrutiny , you may have at least glanced through the TOC. Thus by consequence I assume , the features that are spoken of are well-understood, as the intent of this post, is not to regurgitate the manual itself.
I would therefore move forward with recounting my experience and perspectives after a meager twelve days of use with (hopefully) helpful screenshots. Please do excuse the quality of the images - these were shot on my Samsung S3 - as I did not have my Nikon D810 readily available.
The touchscreen and controls
The infotainment system interface has kept pace with the smartphone generation. That's a pleasant change from my first user experience with the stock system on Milemuncher (that had since been upgraded).
The touchscreen is of an appropriate form-factor -not too big, not too small. It's responsive to light pressure, but expect a small delay in command execution. The color theme and available display settings, are no match for sun rays striking it from outside - and that renders the screen completely black. In situations like these, it's good to have a screen that tilts instead of being fixed.
The control buttons surrounding the system are large, well-labelled, ergonomically arranged, and represent the right level of access to the use-cases. Mind you for the last part, Mahindra could have gone overboard , but I'm glad they did not. They must have had (at the cost of repeating myself), an excellent user-experience designer working on the interior.
The system starts with a chime and a welcome screen. Now this is one area, where the advertising could have been toned down.
I mean I am already committed to the product.
Must I be reminded of what I purchased every single time I get in? Perhaps it's simply a case of preaching to the choir.
Moving on... to a user safety feature. The system speaks out common alarms - such as seat belt not worn, or door ajar and the like. It's important enough - no issues with this feature.
The Home screen is the hub from which all other functions are easily accessible. I like the clear legible text and the complete absence of fancy fonts,colors, icons and other gibberish is a welcome respite from the Pioneer 8490BT (used on Milemuncher).
There are 4 speakers in R3. One in each of the front doors, and two on the tail-gate. The sound is not in the least hi-end. For that kind of experience, one has to upgrade. But in its defense , it does the job, with the kind of music I listen to. So I have no plans to upgrade the speakers, or go overboard with amps, wiring etc.
The system supports CD/DVD, USB, Bluetooth Audio, Auxillary In and iPod. Simple and comprehensive.
Of these I have played a CD - and playback is akin to most stock systems. The specific CD that's inside does not have any track info, and it's tough trying to identify a CD from my collection that does. So - Sorry I can't vouch for the system displaying track info correctly.
I have not yet played a DVD. In one of the drives with the kids (and if they insist on watching a movie) I will play that and duly report back on said feature.
I have attempted playing a USB stick of 128 GB. This happened on two occasions - the first being on PDI day. On both occasions, the system seemed to be building a library - but before it got around to completing it, I had other things to do. So, I do not know if it supports a 128 GB USD disk , and I am yet to test it with USB sticks of lower capacity and lesser content.
I have accidentally played a few songs off my S3 phone - so I know Bluetooth Audio works.
Aux - In... No not really tried that - does anyone use that these days?
iPod. Now this is where I have my real music library. It's still alive despite Apple's intent. The system supports my little black gem with a stock iPod USB cable. ID3 tags in the MP3 files can be read - and that's a relief.
Navigating/Browsing options for the iPod are not as advanced as the aforementioned Pioneer unit. For instance, I miss the multiple context-sensitive iPod menus - which has been implemented rather well by Pioneer. The only option provided is to navigate the Root menu - and yes support for Playlists is non-existent.
There's one glitch that I discovered. If like me, you are wont to have thousands of songs (yup as much as 100 GB) categorized by a few hundred Artistes and Albums, the system does let you down in no time. As one scrolls through the list of Artists / Albums (note there is no letter index search), after a point , the system just gives up. By "gives up", I mean it either defaults back to the current song display, or worse, makes iPod reboot. Nippon or better , Mahindra - are you listening?
The Sound Equalizer
The sound equalizer interface is aligned to music genres - which is a good thing. Annoyingly, the surfeit of options is confusing, but then I am not an eclectic listener of world music.
The FM Radio is very good. There is minimal static in the city - but that's to be expected. The interface is legible and easy to use. And in keeping with the Joneses, it actually displays the name of the station.
The system can pair up to 6 mobile phones. For my phone, it took some attempts to get it right. But once setup is done, the settings stay, unlike some other early units.
The contact database, as well as call logs are available. Whilst all contacts are displayed, navigating through them requires scrolling - NOT- a good idea. I would have much preferred a search box though a letter index is present.
This consists of Fuel Info, TPMS, Reverse Camera, Alerts and Service Info. The last three were not relevant at the time of writing this review - but as their names suggest are self-explanatory.
Fuel Info - is headlined with the average efficiency and distance to go. I do not believe this information - as my own calculations show otherwise. And I have the fuel receipts to prove it.
Tiretronics or TPMS shows the state of all five tyres. I would have preferred an OK to be shown in Green, and Not OK to be in Red - with something in between shown in Amber. But that preference may jar with the aesthetic sensibilities of said user experience designer - and therefore I will quietly withdraw from my position.
Detail of pressure and temperature is available - the font size and color scheme do not hinder readability.
This is the familiar Map My India software with a Mahindra twist. The menu items were familiar owing to extensive use of the Navibox BX-200 since 2011.
The user interface look and feel have been significantly upgraded , and menus/buttons have been moved around - so it will take me some time to adapt.
A sad omission is the absence of the ability to record trips. Perhaps in an attempt to protect the infotainment system's storage unit from consumer access, Mahindra thought it best to ask MMI to remove this use-case. Maybe they thought, presence of the feature would legitimize the requirement to access the storage, so as to retrieve the raw BIN files that MMI creates in the process of recording trips.
I have also not been able to test, if future upgrades at the authorized dealership - will protect the favourites list , which I have laboured to input. Had said access been given, I could have simply copied the favs.txt file from my laptop.
In the case of Navibox BX-200, upgrade to a new map version is a well documented albeit manual procedure, requiring that one first copy the new software into the SDHC card, and then overwrite favs.txt from the backup copy of the old version.
I am not sure if the clowns in the dealerships , would be up to the challenge of carrying out such intricate software upgrade steps - especially since this procedure is based on MMI's (a 3rd party ) advisory.
So perhaps I have to reconcile myself to a short favourites list, to avoid the frustration of it being deleted on an upgrade.
An exposition of all the functions of the settings module is beyond the scope of my limited understanding.
However, a couple of features, do deserve mention.
The system synchronizes its clock with the GPS (and therefore with the very accurate atomic clocks up in the sky) and that's really a pleasant surprise. The use-case is important for me , as I have to join conference calls on time, often while on the road. Having an ability to glance at the onboard clock - and know it's showing the right time, is priceless.
In addition to the genre based equalizer available through the EQ button, one can fine-tune the equalizer , the left-right balance, and the front-rear fade.
Key use cases of vehicle operation are explained through detailed videos.
This is a good thing, for someone who does not have the time to read through the very voluminous manual.
Mahindra have tried very hard to make the infotainment system a superlative success - and it shows all the way from the understated colors, through the simplified navigation paths, to the smaller but significant touches.
Personally, none of these are the reasons why I chose R3 to be what it is. I could have bought individual components from the market and integrated them , as I have done with Milemuncher.
Having said that, all the essential components are there in the Mahindra Infotainment system, but each of these are not necessarily the best in their class. Does it mean that I will throw this system away and upgrade to best-in-class? Not immediately, and perhaps never.
The R3's raison d'être, is not about the comfortable highway drive - for that I have the Milemuncher and it excels! It's about pushing the boundaries of man and machine in unforgiving terrain. A high end infotainment system does not fit with such environments and gadgetry such as this has little importance, often paling into insignificance when weighed against more weighty considerations such as traction, power, and control. Therefore, as with many other aspects of R3, this infotainment system represents (for me) yet another case of learning to live with a reasonable compromise.
Therefore one may begin to understand, why I mentioned in an earlier post:
"Let's not have too high expectations - please!"
Last edited by joybhowmik : 30th September 2015 at 09:21. Reason: Added spaces for readability
|24th September 2015, 20:08||#11|
Senior - BHPian
Drivepro 220 - A professional quality dashcam graces R3
Many 'experts' have provided their (sometimes unsolicited) expertise in the selection and installation of dashcams both here and elsewhere. As a goody-two-shoes TBHP member, I went through the news/views/reviews and detailed blow by blow analysis - and finally selected a model which probably has not yet been actively espoused within the community.
Nevertheless, my hat's doffed to the people who took the trouble to write about their experiences, for without their insightful accounts of use (cases) and abuse, the wide variety of models to choose from might have been somewhat overwhelming for my consideration.
That being said, I did not intend this biography of R3 to degenerate into a review of a measly 2.7"x2.5" plastic box crammed with electronics and some glass. But it may be construed, by you Dear Reader, that I have been most amiss in not providing the relevant background about the jewels that adorn him.
So without further ado, I will reveal the selection itself, and my reasons for it.
I chose the Transcend DrivePro 220 on Monday September 21 , for a very expensive ₹ 11,275 from Snapdeal. It includes the camera , a mount , and a Transcend micro SDHC Class 10 16 GB card. Why did I make this choice? The nearest contender was the Transcend DrivePro 200, available for ₹ 9,399.00 at Amazon. But the 200 has a capacitive energy storage, good for only 1/3rd the 30 second window the 220 gets in the unfortunate event that mains power is interrupted. Besides the 200 keeps losing its time settings. I figured an extra 20 seconds of memory card write time, in the event of a catastrophic event, is welcome. Besides the 220 has GPS built in, so it will be hopefully useful when concocting a map+video view of future drives. The other bells and whistles such as lane departure and forward collision warning, are just that. I cannot be bothered with features meant for a more civilized market - not while I still call India my home. I do lose about 15° of view on each side, but with R3's super wide and loong hood I don't think that matters so much. That is, it will matter only if I attempt to prove my innocence when driving past a suicidical maniac who proceeds to jump onto R3 picoseconds after my headlights have moved past him.
For academic interest, here is the comparison chart of the capabilities of the different Transcend models.
Car Video Comparison Table-DrivePro Models.pdf
Here's a comparison chart , that got me fixated on Transcend in the first place well before the decision to order the 220 in particular.
Dash Cam Talk - Side by side comparison for G1W - Mobius - SJ4000 - SJ5000 Plus - Transcend DrivePro
Key aspects that swung the decision Transcends way were:
a) Wifi support - I do so want to be able to download drive movies directly using my Huawei portable Wifi Hotspot directly to my laptop. This is an especially important feature for me personally, as the videos get overwritten in a loop, and I can hardly expect wifey or other co-passenger to record views for posterity on their mobile. Besides the fact that I get very uncharitable comments on board, it's also stressful to said people's forearms.
b) App support - the ability to manage the files in real time on droid/iOS was a clincher.
c) Above average quality of Night time video.
d) Above average reliability.
I really did not care that none of the Transcend models are discreet. R3 is far from it. :-)
The unassuming package finally arrived from Snapdeal on Thursday September 24.
It was immediately opened, and the actual product packaging revealed itself.
Care was taken to peel off the encircled code numbers and stick them on the box for safe keeping. These are the product serials - ever useful in cases of warranty failure.
Moving on, a white box popped out from inside the product packaging. Really professionally packaged! I get the feeling , its a QUALITY product.
Finally the raison d'être , revealed itself, together with the free Micro SDHC
Below that were the power adapter and the mount.
The Drivepro 220 mated to the mount
A quick read of the enclosed quick start guide , convinced me to use the long adapter cable to good use. There was no use taking the very tempting shortcut and allow the wire to hang loose.
I could have done the DIY - but then, it had been the end of a long and tiring day. The last thing I wanted was to pull things apart , with mosquitoes buzzing about. That really cooks my goose!
So off I went to my FNG electrician Ayub at GK 2. Ayub seen here performing the install in 5 minutes.
The rubber door beading was removed to allow the removal of the plastic panel covering the A-pillar.
The left side sunvisor was removed to allow the wire to be tucked into the ceiling's upholstery.
The other end of the adapter cable is seen emerging from the upholstery.
The other end of the adapter cable fits into the multi-socket adapter , conveniently placed into the console's one large cubby hole.
The dashcam in position. View from the inside...
...and from outside.
Finally , I connected the S3 to the Drivepro Wifi (one needs to turn off Wifi Auto-Switch), and Voilà
I fiddled around with the settings for a bit, and then went home. Job done to my satisfaction for the princely sum of ₹ 100/- and feeling pleased as punch!!
Some may say, it's a little early to feel pleased. That may be so.
However, I have no qualms about the selection of product, and while real life videos will tell the tale - I have great conviction , it will be better than what most others sport on their windscreens.
And come to think of it - I did manage to pull off the fourth milestone in record time! Especially after the debacle with the reverse camera!
And that calls for a celebration.
Tomorrow (Friday September 25), marks a very important day for R3. It will be his maiden highway drive to the jungles of Corbett! It represents a तिलक लगाओ trip and nothing more than a milk-run for the long weekend.
The only things it misses , are auxillary lamps, and removable snow chains/cables - but that's for a more serious trip.
Research into auxillary lamps continues. The ambition (still in my mind's eye) is to go for really low mounted driving lamps. The biggest challenge thus far, is finding someone to make a mounting rod that is not really a bull-bar, and yet is finished like one (my preference is matte black). That would be functional and look smart. The lights would be protected by a metal cage painted in black- to match the grille. A poor representation that I hope conveys the gist...
Last edited by joybhowmik : 30th September 2015 at 13:23. Reason: Added some detail. Corrected some sentences. Added vision for auxillary lamps.
|30th September 2015, 10:26||#12|
Senior - BHPian
R3's maiden highway drive
It would be our first highway trip on R3! While an account of the trip has been written here, I wanted this thread to focus only on R3, rather than the trip.
Early in the morning , we dispensed with the unnecessary third row, pushed the middle row back as far as it would go, and loaded our luggage for the trip to Corbett.
With R3's third row parked at home - the usable space, is perceived to be about 70% of the space Milemuncher offers with her rear seats folded up.
Consider this comparison pic of Milemuncher - from our recent Ladakh trip.
Not bad for R3- not bad at all.
That R3 is quick on his feet is an established fact. I was more interested to see how he would behave when taking the bends at speeds of 90-100 kmph. Body roll is lesser by far than Milemuncher's - and that's a plus.
The Brakes continue to dismay- and to be honest it does get scary at highway speeds. Milemuncher's brakes are simply more dependable. No it's not just me - even my better half feels that way, and no - I did not prep her for bad brakes , when she took over the wheel. We need to get used to braking early so that we stop in time! Not an ideal situation.
An immediate advantage on highway drives is the presence of cruise control. Whilst, one cannot put this to good use on our congested & unruly streets, it definitely bodes well for fuel economy on the relatively less crowded highways and deserted stretches in the hinterland. Fuel economy was measured at 9.3 kmpl on the onward stretch, and 10.4 kmpl on the return stretch (tankful-to-tankful method). The results may be off by a few percentage points due to the contis size- but you do get the gist. Yes - extensive use of cruise control and the micro hybrid - ought to have contributed to these figures.
The steering feels properly weighted, and the thumb grips are reassuring.
Potholes & other lunar-like landscape is easily dismissed and the contis help the cause. One really needs to drive through stretches like Moradabad-Kashipur in UP to know what I mean. I tried this same stretch earlier this year in Milemuncher with the Bridgestone B390 shoes - and the perceived difference inside the cabin was stark. The kids actually slept through it all this time.
Interesting Odo readings came up in rapid succession
(Apologies for the pic quality - these were shot in less than ideal conditions)
The mandatory pics of R3 by NH-24
And a pic when parked at the jungle!
A short video of the proceedings with the Drivepro
Disclaimer : Please excuse the budding photographers for interruptions while documenting this! It is but for their support -that R3 exists today!
Last edited by joybhowmik : 30th September 2015 at 12:38. Reason: added fuel economy.
|30th September 2015, 11:31||#13|
Senior - BHPian
The Zeroth Service @ 1000 km
Mahindra does not recommend service at 1000 km. Yet, early on in my career I have worked at two different engine plants, and I can say with conviction that it's better to play it safe now, rather than be sorry later!
And so, R3 rolled in for an oil & oil-filter change at 2:00 PM on Monday September 28 . Yes, with my cars, I do tend to take a half-day off on a working day, and visit. That's just my way of ensuring better attention.
R3 in the service bay
The mhawk under the hood
An apron is affixed to avoid oil stains
R3 is lifted up, I go underneath to click a few pics of the undercarriage.
The catalytic converter, and in the background the drive shaft from the transfer case to rear-differential.
The subframe member , the gear box, and exposed brake lines!
A cover for front axle assembly
The transfer case
The control arms affixed to the front left wheel
The front right wheel
The coil spring at the rear left corner
The coil spring at the rear right corner
By this time the engine oil arrives. 7 Litres of it.
And the new oil filter
Peugot / NEF Part No: 0303BC0071N
An enquiry with the mechanic (Mr. Narender, and the shop floor job-controller Mr. Bimal) reveals that these are not sold in the market.
The oil drain plug is removed
and the dirty oil is collected in this receiver.
The oil filter is removed
with this tool
The new filter is installed and tightened by hand - which invites a comment from me. It's duly re-tightened with the tool.
The new oil is poured in
And the final bill is presented - ₹ 2643 (all inclusive) that includes ₹ 110 for labour.
The labour is comparable to the labour rates at my FNG - Rajender ji. It's the damn taxes that hurt!
As I leave the premises, I spot a poster for the roadside assistance program. It offers 24x7 roadside assistance in case of vehicle failure all over India - for ₹ 1953. On a whim, I purchase that. It's an impulse purchase - and I hope I don't ever need to use it.
As in any ownership experience thread , this thread too will have its fair share of the remaining essential mods, irritating issues, and solutions.
I will keep coming back to it to record events, however minor, and continue seeking suggestions and advice. I thank all for their continued support!
Last edited by joybhowmik : 30th September 2015 at 21:07. Reason: Uploaded bill after removing sensitive info
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|30th September 2015, 21:23||#14|
Join Date: Sep 2009
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re: Raging Red Rover (R3) - My Mahindra Scorpio S10 4x4
Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
Amazing amount of details! Very exhaustive indeed.
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|1st October 2015, 07:53||#15|
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re: Raging Red Rover (R3) - My Mahindra Scorpio S10 4x4
Congratulations on your new acquisition. It is an amazing amount of detail indeed. I don't recollect another ownership thread with a dedicated post for the rear camera, one for the dashcam, one for fuel efficiency, and one displaying pics of a regular oil change service . Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable read. Lets hope your potential usage of the car comes true as soon as possible.
1. I believe Mahindra does offer a roof mounted blower unit as an accessory. My boss's previous gen VLX had it fitted. You have mentioned the lack of one in your post.
2. Isn't 265 a little overkill? Why not stick to the original tyre size of 235 and go for an AT?