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Old 15th June 2015, 16:11   #1
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Default 2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift : Official Review

The 2015 Mahindra XUV500 has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 11.21 - 15.99 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• A well-engineered, contemporary SUV with a value-for-money price tag
• More mature styling. Front end no longer looks garish
• Acres of space on the 1st & 2nd seat rows
• Competent engine delivers fantastic urban driveability, as well as fast highway performance
• Balanced ride & handling package
• Safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP with rollover mitigation, ABS + EBD and all-wheel disc brakes
• Expansive feature list (sunroof, touchscreen ICE, powered driver's seat, cruise control etc.)

What you won’t:

• Absolutely no luggage capacity with all the seats in place
• Cramped 3rd seat row is best suited to children only. A sliding middle row is sorely missed
• Interior quality, although better, still has a lot of scope for improvement
• Clutch is lighter now, but has a long travel range & high resting point. Gets cumbersome in traffic
• Niggles & issues, as reported by existing XUV500 owners
• Mahindra's inconsistent sales & service experiences

The Diesel Automatic:

Link to Review

The Petrol Automatic:

Link to Review

This review has been jointly compiled with SDP. Thanks to him for the expert observations & comments!

Last edited by GTO : 28th March 2018 at 14:38. Reason: Link to AT review
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:12   #2
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Since the Mahindra XUV500 has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on changes made to the 2015 car. For easy reference, here are direct links to the complete XUV500 road-test:

Exterior design & build quality

Interior design, space, practicality & features

Engine, ride & handling

Next to the older version (Tuscan red belongs to SDP), the XUV500 facelift looks more mature:

Notice how the flared bonnet edges make the facelift's nose look taller:

Takes a keen eye to spot the differences at the back:

Last edited by GTO : 15th June 2015 at 16:40.
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:14   #3
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The Mahindra XUV500 was developed to fill a void in the 10-20 lakh SUV segment back in 2011. It was a daring move for an Indian auto maker to enter a price bracket where buyers start yearning for the prestige of a premium brand. The car was a runaway success; Mahindra sold 50,000 units of the XUV500 within 16 months of its launch! In fact, without any significant updates in the 4 years since, Mahindra still sells about 3,000 copies each month. No car priced above a million rupees has ever managed these volumes before.

Mahindra has finally given their first monocoque SUV a facelift. The 2015 XUV500 comes with a new variant, a new face, more features and a handful of upgrades & tweaks.

2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift : Official Review-mahindra-xuv500-specifications-price.png

So, what's new on the outside?

The Cheetah's face is now cleaner, while the old one was meaner. The 2015 XUV500 has broader appeal:

Vehicle dimensions are the exact same as before. Despite its monocoque construction, the XUV500 has a fat kerb weight = 1,860 kg (W8) & 1,785 kg (W6):

The 'Mahindra' and 'XUV500' badges have moved up, as the variant badge is placed at the back (earlier on the front fender):

New colour options include pearl white (replaces satin white) and sunset orange (check it out here). Old Arctic blue shade dropped:

New headlamps with reworked internals and LED pilot lamps (i.e. first position on the indicator stalk). These aren't DRLs:

XUV500 embossed plate inside the headlamp cluster:

The headlamp & foglamp come together to form the number "7". Notice the clear-lens indicator light:

Foglamps move higher up and subsequently provide much better throw. Excessive chrome looks tacky:

New front grille is in line with the headlamps and features thin black slits + chrome inserts. So much better than the earlier grille:

As expected, this silver skid plate is just for show. Even so, it's barely visible:

Yes, it's that easy to pull the skid plate off the black plastic molding!

Bonnet loses the muscular lines in the middle. Existing owners may not like that. The bonnet now gets beefed up edges; SDP commented that it can hamper judgement in tight traffic conditions:

Electrically-folding ORVMs have been tweaked and get new lights that project the logo:

Super cool! Here's how the logo projection looks at night:

Paw-style door handles have been tweaked as well. You get request buttons (and keyholes) on both front doors. No need to take the key out to get in or start the XUV500:

17'' alloy wheels now feature a 10-spoke pattern. Tyres are still the same Bridgestone Duelers that are prone to road noise, irrespective of the speed or surface:

Chromed window underlining:

Sunroof with anti-pinch is one of the niceties debuting on the new W10 variant:

Tail-light is the same as before, except for a small change...

...the clear portion no longer has the tribal motif (link to older version):

Still there at the top though:

Larger tail-gate strip gets a lot of chrome. Looks cheesy:

Rear view camera is well-integrated below:

Sadly, the spare is a steel wheel. Mahindra used to offer a 5th alloy wheel before:

Last edited by GTO : 16th June 2015 at 16:09.
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:16   #4
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So, what's new on the inside?

The dashboard features the new black-beige interior theme that imparts a better ambience to the cabin. Notice how the gloss wood finish above the centre console has been dropped. Goodbye distracting reflection!

Subtle colour tones / combinations improve the feel inside:

Steering wheel feels great to hold:

New icy blue backlighting looks funky with the twin-pod instrument cluster:

Driver information system displays limited data. It shows you the gear currently engaged, the odometer and two trip meters, apart from the digital fuel gauge. At least the average fuel economy & DTE counter should have been mirrored here (they are displayed on the centre screen):

Cowl above the instrument cluster is now integrated onto the dashboard and doesn't rattle anymore:

Aluminium A-B-C pedals are new:

You can feel the steering rack rolling against your left foot when you turn the wheel & have the clutch pedal pressed:

Beige seats clad in a combination of leather, fabric and vinyl on the W8 & W10 variants:

6-way power adjustable driver's seat:

A plastic cap covers the section where the lower variants have their ignition console:

Door grab bar is now finished in dull grey (was earlier glossy):

Driver's power window gets auto up / down with the anti-pinch feature:

Icy blue lounge lighting for the door handle too:

Illuminated scuff plates:

Silver strips that line the centre console get a dull finish as well:

A small rubber tray inside the dashboard's storage area (as opposed to felt lining on the older car). USB port to load maps has been removed:

Cowl now extends over the infotainment display to reduce glare:

USB & AUX ports move up near the volume control. W8 & W10 variants don't get a CD player:

Felt-lined storage cubicle at the bottom of the centre console has gotten smaller...

...because of the new engine start button! Only works if the clutch is pressed all the way down:

Gear knob is finished in black. It's still notchy to use and struggles to engage 1st or reverse gears at times:

You get a sunglass holder, but no conversation mirror on the W10 (& W4 base). W10 drops it to make room for the sunroof controls:

The lounge lighting looks nice, but it does have a tendency to randomly flicker. Bluetooth mic sits above the sunroof controls:

Sunroof is adequately sized:

The anti-pinch needs to be more sensitive. The sunroof went a lot further than this before it retracted. Don't try this at home (especially with your finger ):

Passenger-side vanity mirror gets no light at all! Earlier XUV500 had automatic illumination here (light would come on when you'd slide the cover):

Interior quality has gotten better, although there's still a lot of room for improvement:

Too many textures for my liking:

Smart key has been tastefully styled:

The smart key sensor has abandonment issues. Even if you're an inch away from the doors with the engine running, this warning comes up:

The infotainment system's remote control gets black buttons. Preferred over the old dual-tone unit:

Second row of seats can fit three with ease:

Three cabin lights for the second row, but no lights for the third row anymore:

No sliding function for the second row. They split 60:40, and only the smaller seat flips forward for access to the last row:

Third row passengers get well-cushioned seats, 3-point seatbelts and adjustable headrests. The legroom and headroom however, are no good for adults. Sliding second row seats would have helped the XUV500's credentials as a 7 seater:

With all seats up, luggage space is laughable. That's one laptop bag clinging on for dear life at the very edge of the car!

Here's the complete tool kit:

Cap covering the spare tyre lowering mechanism has to be opened with a coin. You used to get a tool for it earlier, but some owners said it would leave scratches on the plastic:

Last edited by GTO : 16th June 2015 at 12:44.
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:17   #5
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Mahindra's Blue Sense App

The Smartphone App has been updated and is very easy to use. Here's the aforementioned tiretronics display with the tyre pressure, both actual and recommended. Would be nice if manufacturers started including the spare tyre's pressure too:

Fuel statistics:

Status of functions like the auto lights & wipers:

You can control the entire media system through this app and it's very responsive!

The climate control can now be managed through this app. Major boon for chauffeur-driven owners:

You can activate & deactivate alerts:

Owners can set reminders too:

Personal information can be stored. Could help Mahindra and its dealers with operations & promotions:

The Infotainment System

The ICE interface has been updated since our original review. This is the homescreen:

You get a plethora of media options to select from:

The default wallpaper continues with the new icy blue theme. Observe how the outside & cabin temperatures are shown via a simple outline of the car (bottom left):

USB port reads pen drives really quickly. You can fast forward by running your finger along the progress bar:

Adjustment options for the sound system. Get the settings right and you'll find the audio quality to be acceptable:

USB video quality is great. It will stop playing the video once you cross 10 km/h, albeit audio playback continues:

You also get a photo viewer:

The phone interface is easy to operate. You can also use voice commands to dial a name from your contact list. It will recognize Indian names. Like most voice command systems though, it takes some time to get the accent / tone right:

SMS readout will prompt you with this screen, each time you receive a new text message:

Reversing camera resolution is ordinary and there's a lag of about 1 second. You get dynamic grid lines, and hitting the zoom button shows you the rear bumper. The parking sensors detect an object up to 120 cms away. Additionally, you get angled park and parallel park assist, but I preferred using just the grid lines:

Navigation by MapmyIndia. Type in your destination and you'll see multiple suggestions. Easy to use, although the system suffers from lag:

The software was accurate in my experience:

Adjusting the climate control or volume brings up a sub-menu on the navigation screen. It doesn't overlap the entire screen like it did in the old XUV500:

You can only access this data from the infotainment screen. The fuel info tab shows you the average fuel economy and distance to empty counter:

Tiretronics didn't show the tyre temperature or pressure like it did in the Scorpio! Oddly enough, when accessed through the Mahindra Blue Sense app, we got to see the actual tyre pressure:

Audible warnings if a door is ajar, the driver isn't wearing his seatbelt etc. The voice warning (such as "do wear your seatbelt for a safe drive") will come up twice, along with this prompt on the screen. You can't miss it...stays on for ~10 seconds:

Last edited by GTO : 15th June 2015 at 16:41.
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:19   #6
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Given that this is only a facelift, don't expect any major mechanical changes. Under the bonnet, you get the same 2.2L, mHawk diesel engine that makes 140 BHP @ 3,750 rpm and 330 Nm of torque @ 1,600-2,800 rpm. However, Mahindra has made a few tweaks to improve driveability. The suspension has been optimized as well and you get an updated electronic stability program (ESP 9). The W10 further gets brake energy regeneration, while the ARAI fuel economy goes up from 15.1 to 16 km/l. A reminder that this was the first Mahindra SUV with a transverse (east-west) layout engine, typical of most front wheel drive cars.

Like any big diesel, the mHawk has excellent torque delivery. Sure, the XUV500 is a proven highway cruiser, but even in the city, the torque delivery is simply effortless. The engine idles at 900 rpm and anything above that is enough to putter about in urban traffic. That 330 Nm of torque is delivered at a lowly 1,600 rpm. When the turbo spools, progress is linear and you aren't pushed back into your seat. The engine has been well calibrated and thankfully, it isn't one of those oil burners that feel lethargic before the forced induction boost. Turbo-lag is brilliantly controlled and the engine exhibits an immensely tractable nature at regular speeds.

There is a nice, strong tug from the engine past 1,800 rpm and it stays right till the redline. Power delivery is progressive in nature, and there is no sudden whoosh at any point. The engine is free revving by diesel standards, and spins clean all the way to 4,200 rpm. Keep the pedal grounded and it will touch 4,800 rpm, but the motor feels very strained at that level. Best for you to work the torque and up-shift no later than 4,000 rpm, even when in a hurry. In a pedal to the metal style of driving, you will hear wheel spin when shifting from 1st to 2nd. Watch out for torque steer from the front wheels though, especially when you are overtaking, or in the middle of a corner. Torque steer is easy to replicate and will take getting used to.

The 140 horses make the XUV500 an able expressway SUV. Open road performance is competent; overtaking is handled without a problem and the XUV500 can easily travel at 3 digit speeds all day long. Importantly, the tall 6th gear brings calm long-distance cruising & increases tank range too. The inclusion of cruise control aids the XUV's highway credentials. It engages at a minimum speed of 40 km/h; you can increase the speed to no more than 100 km/h using the steering controls. Keeping Indian conditions in mind, 100 km/h is a sensible limit for the cruise control system.

SDP felt that the clutch is around 5-10% lighter than before. Indeed, the pedal is light enough to operate within the city. That said, the pedal's resting point is high and its travel range is long. In heavy / frequent usage, these ergonomic flaws can make the clutch troublesome to use continuously. Then, my shoe size is too big to make use of the dead pedal, so I'd constantly need to hover over the clutch pedal or keep my foot flat on the floor. Another issue that hasn't been resolved is the way the steering rack rubs against your left foot, when the clutch is fully depressed & you turn the steering.

The gearshift's throw is on the longer side and is quite notchy. One particular irritant is how the shifter often hesitates to slip into first or reverse gears (things are better with the other gears). You have to engage them firmly.

Refinement levels are impressive with the XUV500. It just doesn't feel like the other Mahindras (read = crude & noisy). Although you can easily tell you're driving a diesel, at no point was I bothered by the sound. NVH levels are well controlled. If you have the air conditioner on full blast, you won't even hear the little sounds that otherwise filter in. Vibrations, in particular, are kept in check. For instance, at idle, there is no shaking about of the gear-lever whatsoever. One issue that continues to plague the XUV500 is tyre noise. The stock Bridgestone Dueler 235/65 section tyres make a lot of noise, even at low speeds on smooth roads.

Thanks to its monocoque construction, the XUV500 offers a great ride & handling package. Ride quality is comfortable and has tangibly improved over the original model. The suspension helps provide a relatively roll-free and predictable drive. Having reviewed the bumpy Fortuner recently, I found the difference to be startling! The XUV's pliant ride is light years ahead of the Toyota and you don't get any of the bounciness that often throws the handling awry with SUVs of this size. The monocoque body stays flat and stable over undulations, and small speed breakers are brushed off with a minor thud. However, those on the last row of seats will experience more vertical movement, due to their seating position relative to the rear axle.

The relatively low center of gravity, monocoque construction and wide stance greatly contribute to the XUV500's handling capability. Body roll is well controlled by SUV standards and it handles corners much better than the unwieldy body-on-frame competition. In an emergency situation, the ESP could prove to be a life-saver. Straight-line stability meets the grade too. I would term the XUV500's dynamics as safe, sure-footed and predictable in behaviour. The best word to describe the steering is 'balanced'. It's light enough to make city driving easy and weighs up adequately on the highway. As mentioned earlier, beware of torque steer. The steering wheel veers to the left easily, especially while driving out of a corner or when the turbo kicks in.

The XUV500 is equipped with four disc brakes across all variants. I drove SDP's XUV500 and found the facelift's brakes to be better, although the difference was negligible (note: SDP had his brakes updated...the facelift's brakes are much superior to the 2011 XUV500). While outright stopping power is sufficient, the brake pedal itself has some dead play initially. This is mainly seen at low speeds, because there's a delay before the brakes actually bite. Definitely takes getting used to!! It was an issue that was present on the old model too. Mahindra needs to make the braking more linear / progressive / predictable. Lastly, the degree of nose dive under braking is rather high, even at not-so-high speeds.

The top-end W10 variant gets pneumatic struts for the bonnet, making it easy to lift up. Hazard lights keep flashing until the bonnet is shut:

Under-bonnet insulation muffles the engine well. NVH levels are commendable:

Last edited by GTO : 16th June 2015 at 10:39.
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:20   #7
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An Owner's Perspective

I own a XUV5OO which is about to complete 3 years at the end of this month. My experiences till date have been shared in the "Duma" thread here. I have clocked 33,000 kms on it till now and I intend to keep it for at least 1 lakh kms. I have been tracking the XUV facelift (or the New Age XUV5OO as M&M calls it) from quite some time and even saw the webcast when the facelift was launched on 25th May. I had mixed feelings from what I read and the snaps shared on the forum. I was planning to take a TD may be a few weeks/months down the line, just to get a feel of what all has changed and what all feedback from the existing owners has been incorporated. Thanks to Team-BHP, I got a chance to experience the New Age XUV up close and personal. I believe, the XUV is clearly a highway cruiser. So one fine morning, Tushar and I got into the new XUV and took the Mum-Pune expressway till the Khalapur exit and came back. Tushar was kind enough to drive down the test vehicle again the next day so that I could experiment with the "new improved" infotainment system and do a side-by-side comparison with my XUV. Here are some of my observations:

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This was the first time I was seeing the facelift in person. To be frank, I was underwhelmed at first glance. You look at the pre-facelift version and it evokes one of two extreme feelings. You either love it or you hate it. It just can not be ignored, it's that 'in your face'! The facelift, on the other hand, seemed mellowed down, possibly in an attempt to convert the haters to at least neutral. While doing so, some of the original aggressiveness of the XUV - the "cheetah in Maasai Mara" theme - which was a key differentiation for the SUV/crossover, has been lost to some extent. In a way, the cheetah looks much more mature, almost domesticated now.

Exterior changes:
  • Headlight – The LED parking lights/guide lights strike as the major change on the front, but to be brutally honest, they look quite after-marketish due to the fancy S shape. The projector lens size seemed bigger than the pre-facelift version. The cover over the turn-indicator is clear plastic now as against the earlier orange one. There is "XUV5OO" branding inside the headlight assembly similar to quite a few premium vehicles. Functionally, the LED tube is much brighter than the pre-facelift's LEDs and can almost serve as a real DRL. I know, M&M does not call them DRLs, but lot of people including me tend to leave them on permanently similar to DRLs. The low-beam is as weak as ever when I tried it in a tunnel and an upgrade is highly recommended.

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  • Bumper - With the "whiskers" omitted from the previous design and the re-positioned fog-lamps, the bumper looks quite different from the pre-facelift version. The fog-lamps appear a bit over-sized due to the chrome housing around it. The chrome housing itself seems like a last-minute addition and its fit around the fog-lamp is extremely poor with glaring gaps between the fog-lamp and the chrome housing. Owners who don’t fancy excessive chrome can explore if this chrome housing can be removed for a less gaudy look. The "tear-duct-like black accents" just next to the fog-lamps don't really add anything to the design and seem like a forced attempt to cling on to the "cheetah" theme. I was looking forward to a proper skid-plate in the facelift, but was disappointed. The skid-plate is nothing but a silver-coloured really thin plastic cover on the existing black plastic moulding. The skid-plate is barely visible from the front and does not really enhance the SUV/rugged look as expected. In some pics, it looked like the bumper is higher from the ground compared to the pre-facelift version. But when I checked the car out, it did not seem that way. There was a nice black housing for the number plate in the pre-facelift version which has been omitted now for no logical reason. Overall the over-the-top old design of the bumper has been replaced with a much sober (except for the fog-lamp chrome) and functional one. In the pre-facelift version, the front fog lamps were completely useless and hardly illuminated any area of the road visible from the driver’s seat. Got a chance to switch on the fog-lamps in the tunnel and with the new raised position, they have become actually functionally useful in the facelift.

    Glaring gaps around the fog lamp:
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    The skid-plate is barely visible (unless you lie down on the road to click a pic):
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    It is just a piece of thin silver-coloured plastic:
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    The black-coloured number plate housing has been removed:
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  • Hood and front grill – I like the earlier hood design. I miss the 2 nice creases from it. The new bulges at the edges do obstruct a bit of your view when you are in the driver’s seat. The new "black with floating chrome accents" grill does not eat into the hood like the earlier one and looks fab. A few existing owners (including me) have experimented with either wrapping or painting the grill in matte black so as to reduce the visual effect of the overdone "claws" in the previous grill design. Glad to see the designers taking similar approach to mellow down the over-aggressive front. The pneumatic struts are a nice addition and do help in lifting the heavy hood.

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    The hood bulges as seen from the driver's seat:
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    Pneumatic struts. One on each side:
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  • Side profile – Nothing much has changed on the side profile. The new chrome lining means the weather strips on the windows are part chrome and part rubber now. The paw-style handle design has been tweaked a bit and the front 2 doors get request sensors that help with the keyless entry. The logo-projection lamps seem like an after-market accessorizing idea.

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  • The rear: The taillights get no significant change. The out-of-place tribal motifs on the tail-lights have been mostly eliminated (except one) and have been replaced with a simpler pattern. The new tailgate applique is bigger and looks better than the Charlie Chaplin-type moustache on the pre-facelift model. The rear-camera is very nicely integrated into the tailgate applique. This is a much better position for the camera rather than the bumper as one is able to see the edge of the bumper in the camera view now. The dynamic guidelines which show the car’s trajectory when reversing around a curve are a welcome addition. The zoom function on the rear-camera is a novelty and I doubt how many would really use it.

    The neatly integrated reversing camera:
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    New pattern instead of the tribal motifs on the tail-light:
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Last edited by Rehaan : 19th May 2016 at 14:17.
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:23   #8
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Interior changes:
  • Once you open the door, the interiors 'look' quite different. The first thing that strikes you is the new black and beige interior theme, which makes the interior look brighter and premium. Although, the interior looks very good, the beige shade used is actually more towards white than cream in colour and would most likely be a nightmare to maintain. When maintained perfectly, itís going to look super-fab and when dirty itís going to look real bad. Mahindra designers need to understand that there are other ways to make your vehicles feel premium besides adding chrome and beige to the car. Hint: Better quality plastics.

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    The door inside panels side-by-side:
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  • Upon closer inspection of the interiors, one realizes that besides the cowl over the touchscreen and the cowl over the dials, there are hardly any panels which have any changes besides the colour. All the different textures are still there and now there is a new texture for the redesigned cowl and the center waterfall console. The center console is now black in colour and the earlier glossy wood finish is gone. Similarly the silver strips lining the waterfall console in the pre-facelift version have been completely removed from the top portion and carry a different, darker colour for the remaining part. The silver strips and the top reflective portion of the dashboard used to cast a really bad reflection earlier, which has been thankfully eliminated in the facelift. A little bit of reflection is still present due to the edges of the cowl and the border of the top-shelf, but it wonít bother most people.

    The protruding cowl over the touchscreen does a fair job in eliminating glare, which was a problem in the pre-facelift version:
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    The cowl over the dials is now integrated with the dash. No more rattles from this area:
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  • The sunroof is nice and works as expected. We kept it open for some time and I got a dry leaf in my lap after some time. Thankfully no birds tried to take undue advantage of the situation and do a "Chicago-Sunroof" . When I showed the car to my 8 year old daughter, the first thing that she liked was the sunroof. Thatís the beauty of the sunroof. Everybody loves it. Hardly anybody ever uses it and most use it incorrectly to pop their head out, but everybody loves to have a sunroof in their cars. Definitely a welcome addition.
  • The seats havenít changed. Yes, the dual done leather is gone and now everything is beige. The test car had just about 1,000 kms on it and still the driver's seat was noticeably soiled due to the choice of color.

    The driver's seat seemed soiled after just 1,000 kms of usage in the 10 days since launch:
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    The dirt was easily visible on the beige:
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  • Thankfully the carpet is not beige. Whether someone goes for a beige interior in his/her car or not, is a classic heart vs. head decision. I like the black and beige interiors on the new XUV, but would not like them in my car. On a typical monsoon trip, my XUV comes back with half a kg of dirt and mud INSIDE. I just had a mini heart attack imagining the same with the new interiors. It would have been great if Mahindras could have offered the beige interior as an option.
  • I was skeptical about the "power-adjustable driver's seat" as there is no memory function. I was wrong. It is quite useful to fine-tune your driving position for optimum comfort, especially while driving.
  • Blue lounge lighting is soothing and creates a different (calm) mood. At its brightest setting, I found it still a little weak during the day time compared to the earlier red. The dials now have the speed and rpm number markings in blue (instead of earlier white) and look like an overdose of blue.

    Feeble blue lounge lighting during the day:
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    Dials seem too blue now:
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    Dials from pre-facelift version with a balance of white and red:
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  • The "Diwali light display" between the 2 dials has been redesigned. First upon all, a far lesser number of alert-symbols turn on when you switch the ignition on. Secondly, some symbols like "Check Engine" and "Water in fuel" have been redesigned so that owners can understand the alerts better when the symbol lights up during an actual malfunction.

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    Earlier version for reference:
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Last edited by GTO : 15th June 2015 at 16:36.
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:34   #9
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Changes to the infotainment system and the waterfall console:

Let's leave the white-washed (or is it beige-washed?) interiors aside for some time. The real change on the inside is the completely revamped infotainment system with the larger touchscreen display.
  • The touch-screen is now adequately sized and looks beautiful. Seems like it's the capacitive type (instead of earlier resistive type), which means you can swipe, pinch, unpinch, etc. The screen resolution and brightness is just perfect.
  • The older user interface has been discarded and completely reworked from ground-up. Remember how ACC related screens are blue-coloured and do not match with the rest of the screens, which are red-coloured in the pre-facelift version? That's because the sub-systems of the earlier infotainment system are poorly integrated. If the navigation is on and you change the ACC blower speed in the earlier infotainment system, the map disappears completely from the screen and the fan blower speed screen (which has nothing but the fan speed) flashes on the screen for a couple of seconds instead. Same with AC modes, temperature setting, switching auto-headlamp or auto-wipers on/off, etc, etc. All of these have dedicated full screens which appear on the screen for a couple of seconds and then disappear. In the new infotainment system, the main screen - be it the music being played screen or the navigation map screen - remains on the touchscreen even when you operate any of the above mentioned controls. The ACC mode changes, volume level changes, etc. are instead shown as a small overlay screen at the bottom of the screen. This is a much better design.

    e.g. Auto head-lamp ON is conveyed using a small overlay on the screen rather than taking up the entire screen:
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    The same thing in pre-facelift version:
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  • The navigation is actually from MapMyIndia. But it took us some time to figure that out as it is indicated nowhere. You touch the "Nav" button and the map directly opens up with your current location. No splash screen, no delay. Then I realized, may be this is because of an architecture change. This might be too technical for a few, feel free to skip to the end of the paragraph. In the pre-facelift infotainment system, the navigation sub-system boots up only when you press the "Nav" button. So obviously it shows a splash screen and takes its own sweet time to load. In the new design the navigation system starts loading in memory when the infotainment system boots up. So when you press the Nav button, the navigation module is already ready and the map immediately shows up without any delay. Intelligent!

    We knew, the navigation system provider's name would be there on the navigation sub-system splash screen. But, that splash screen never shows. So how to figure out whether its MapMyIndia or Garmin or something else? Then I tricked the system to get the following snap. We shut down the car completely ensuring a fresh boot when we started the car again and immediately pressed the Nav button.'s MapMyIndia indeed!

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    In hindsight, may be there is an "About" screen somewhere in the menu, which would have been an easier way to figure out the supplier.
  • The overall navigation interface is very easy on the eyes and easy to understand/operate. The 3D maps look fantastic. The voice tells you even which lane to take when approaching flyovers, turns, etc. While the auto-suggest part is nice addition, the typing address thing is painfully slow.

    Good use of overlays/sub-screens. Now, the following screen is what you see when you change the blower speed or the temperature while the navigation is on:
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    Similarly a normal volume change doesn't invade the entire screen and is limited to a small portion at the bottom:
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    The snap below shows what used to happen earlier in the same scenario:
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    This screen is clearly visible even from the 3rd row in my XUV. Mahindra designers seem to have realized that the person in the 3rd row need not be notified visually when the driver adjusts the volume, temperature, fan-speed, etc, etc.

    I felt the system was a bit slow. e.g. It was still showing us to be at the intersection, when we had actually crossed and missed the turn:
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  • In the Music and Directory browsing interface, visual presentation aside, nothing much has changed. It seems like the developers looked at the earlier system and ported it as is (defects included) to the new look. You can still set max 6 FM channels. Places like Mumbai have more. You still cannot jump from one channel to another either by steering controls or by using the buttons on the waterfall console. You still have to use ONLY the touchscreen. With the steering control buttons, one can increase/decrease the frequency 0.1 Hz at a time and eventually you will reach your desired frequency. Why would anyone do that? The sheer lack of common sense is annoying. If doesn't stop there. If you thought that the 'List' functionality was bad in the previous version, it's worse in the current version. The screen just shows 5 folders/songs when you do 'List', without any sort of scroll bar or page 1/3 type indication. You are expected to magically know that there are more than 5 songs in that folder and swipe up/down to discover the remaining. Browsing the folders/songs in the list view using the up/down buttons on the waterfall console has also been disabled. That reminds me, I couldn't find any functionality where the up and down buttons on the console are meant to be used.

    Now you can jump to any part of the song by just touching the progress bar. This was sorely missed in previous version:
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    Swiping up and down in the folder/drive, without any indication of more folders/songs being available:
    2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift : Official Review-00-list-ba.jpg
  • The new phone-calling interface looks beautiful. Here again, only partial screen is used and not the whole screen, which is good. The voice commands, now include a "Call <contact>" command. We tried it and it worked with the help of a little bit of a 'foreign' accent.

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    The SMS readout actually works in this version. It never did in mine over the last 3 years. Besides reading it out, it also shows the text on the screen. Nice!
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    While browsing through call logs, now you can directly touch an entry in the log to place a call. Earlier the same thing needed 2 clicks (or rather 2 touches):
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  • The best part about the reverse camera interface is that now the bumper is visible and that gives a frame of reference in terms of how close is the obstacle to your car's bumper. Besides the dynamic lines which turn with your steering, there are 2 more options at the top. I found those options just OK-ish, nothing great.

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  • As you are aware, the W10 lost the CD/DVD drive due to the addition of the Engine Start/Stop button. So the Aux and USB slots have been moved upwards, just below the topmost button-bank. The same USB slot is used for map updates as well (earlier there was a separate one). The buttons in the topmost button-bank have undergone changes. The TA and Music buttons have been removed and App and Return buttons have been added. The Menu button is now the Settings icon button. Info, List, Seek arrow and Menu/Settings buttons have been moved around.

    2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift : Official Review-00-buttons-ba.jpg
  • The waterfall console carries this new matte finish plastic, which introduces another texture in the already texture-overdose interior. I didn't particularly like the look and feel of the new waterfall console. I prefer the glossy fake wood finish from the pre-facelift. Look at the 'After' pic above once again. Oily finger prints and dust are more easily visible on the new plastics for the waterfall console.

Last edited by GTO : 15th June 2015 at 16:35.
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:34   #10
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OK, so the New Age XUV5OO looks toned down and more mature from outside. On the inside, the new black and beige interior gives a premium feel, but the quality of the plastics and fit & finish are still similar to the pre-facelift. The infotainment system is completely new and beautiful with a bigger screen, although the designers forgot to solve some of the old design issues.

So far, so good. But how does it drive?

Driving observations:
  • I got into the driver's seat, adjusted it, started driving and almost forgot that it's the New Age XUV. Then I braked and WHOA! The brakes are significantly sharper and start biting aggressively right from start. Tushar pointed out that there is about half an inch of dead play in the brake pedal if you are really observing. For first 10-15 minutes, I was constantly misjudging the amount of force I was applying and as a result was getting thrown forward when braking.
  • The pre-facelift clutch is not as soft as many would have liked and causes fatigue when you are driving for 10-12 hours a day during road-trips. In normal driving of max 2-3 hours a day, I don't feel any issue with the clutch. The clutch in the new age XUV is a tad lighter, may be 10 odd percent.
  • The steering feel is exactly as before. The steering rod still rubs against the left foot if you are steering with the clutch depressed. This is a design issue from day 1 of the XUV and should have been solved at least now.
  • The gear stick is as long as before and the travel hasn't changed. Would have preferred it if the gear stick would have been tad shorter. The slotting in first and second gear is still notchy, although a bit less.
  • The webcast talked about new drivetrain ratios. I did feel the acceleration to be stronger in 5th & 6th gear from 80 till 120 kmph. But there is a possibility that I felt the change as I was looking for one (the power of suggestion).
  • I checked the ride at moderate speed on paver blocks and mildly broken roads. It has improved. You don't get tossed around laterally as much as earlier.
  • The high speed ride on highways is very much similar to earlier. Firm and comfortable. No bounciness. I just felt that the damping ratios of the struts have been tweaked marginally.
  • Tried braking from a relatively high speed and the vehicle came to stop without any drama. Just as earlier.
  • The 3 pedals (ABC) are at 3 different heights from the floor, with the clutch set highest. This causes a small gap under the left thigh for me with the left foot resting on the clutch. During extra-long drives, this causes the left leg to ache a bit. In the new age XUV, it's the same thing as before. Would have preferred it if the clutch would have been closer to the floor, with lesser travel.
  • The test vehicle had Bridgestones Duellers. These are supposed to be much more silent than the JK Elanzos that I had. But on the concrete Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the road and tyre noise was quite high even with windows rolled up. So I doubt there is any change to cabin insulation.
  • Due to the road/tyre noise, it was impossible to hear the engine. So, not sure if it is more refined/silent then before.
  • Even though the engine was in its run-in period, it pulled brilliantly all the way up to 3000 RPM without protesting audibly. My XUV is much more silent due to the Michelins and I can hear the engine much more in my car. Around 3000 RPM, it does sound loud.
  • The suspension is not silent, even in the new age XUV. On uneven roads, you can hear it working.
  • The pre-facelift XUV crashes into potholes with the struts bottoming out accompanied with a loud thud. Did not get a chance to try the same thing with the new age XUV. So won't be able to comment.
  • The empty rear seats vibrate when the car is in motion in the pre-facelift XUV. No change in New Age XUV.
  • The dashboard seemed more tightly screwed together and did not creak/rattle on bad stretches.
Overall, I felt that the non-cosmetic changes (except brakes) are more evolutionary (i.e. incremental) rather than revolutionary. This was expected as the XUV5OO was already a competent package. It's not perfect (in fact, nowhere near it), but it does a lot of things damn well. The facelift builds on top of it.

Other miscellaneous points:
  • Although there are hardly any facelifted XUVs on the road, I found hardly anyone curiously turning their heads to check out our New Age XUV during the long TD. Weird. May be because the test car was white. The Orange W10 might have turned more heads.
  • Unlike the pre-facelift, the new XUV does not pull to the left. At least the test vehicle didn't.
  • The infotainment system boots up really fast. I don't even remember seeing the "Mahindra Rise" splash screen. Ditto with the reversing camera. There is no longer a lag.
  • Pre-facelft infotainment system could not handle large capacity pendrives (16 GB onwards). The new one does a better job.
  • The infotainment system cooling fan does not make noise like the one in the pre-facelift version.
  • If you turn on the guide lights, the touchscreen's brightness drops significantly and you may end up squinting while looking at the screen. This wasn't a problem earlier.
  • Fog lamps have a good throw. May be fogs + low-beam combination would illuminate the road enough and thereby solve the weak low-beam problem.
  • The recommended tyre pressure on the rear has been bumped up from 30 psi to 32 psi. That could be part of the reason for the claimed "sportier" ride.
  • There is still no parcel tray available, although a provision has been made in the design 3 years back.
  • In the engine compartment, there are minor changes. e.g. The security hooter (which used to fall and get entangled in the accessories belt) has a secure place now.
  • I saw 3G Dongle and WiFi symbols on the infotainment system user interface. Unfortunately noticed it very late and could not check it out. If the infotainment system is indeed internet-enabled by plugging in a USB 3G dongle or a portable WiFi hotspot, then the possibilities of additional functionalities via the Apps route, are endless. Just imagine being able to use GoogleMaps with traffic overlay directly on the infotainment screen.
I have mentioned somewhere on the forum that the pre-facelift XUV looks more masculine and the new one looks more feminine. I have always maintained that 'Duma' is a boy; tall, dark and handsome. So, on a lighter note, the New Age XUV is a beautiful young girl (especially in white); equally tall, fair and beautiful. The curly DRLs remind you of the fluttering eye-lids of a beautiful girl and the Hyundai-ish fluidic fog-lamps with dollops of chrome indicates that the lady loves to accessorize. Tushar came down to meet me again the next day and we decided to have some fun by doing a mini-photo shoot of the new and the old together.

Duma came to meet and greet the lady:
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A little bit of sniffing around to get to know each other better:
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Time for some posing:
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Do the window glasses on the pre-facelift look more tinted than the facelift version? May be it's just the light playing tricks with us:
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This is like that puzzle in the Mumbai Mirror - "Identity and circle 15 differences between the fronts of the 2 cars":
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The "You may now kiss the bride" moment
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Have to admire the professionalism and patience of Tushar. I had asked him to meet me at 6:30 AM. He stays on the other side of the city and still turned up a cool 30 minutes before the time. We actually set out 5 minutes later and therefore got about 30 minutes more with the car. He paid attention to and made notes of everything I mumbled. Here, during the side by side photo session, you can see him patiently moving the car 2 inches more to the right, just because I wanted the cars to align more accurately.

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Ready for take-off:
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What this picture lacks is a pretty girl in a short skirt standing between the 2 cars, ready to drop a scarf.

Overall I think, with the facelift, the XUV has matured as a capable crossover and Mahindra has done a fair job of addressing quite a few concerns with the feedback from the customers. There is still a lot of scope for improvement in terms of quality of materials and finesse, and I am sure, Mahindra would keep that in mind while working on the next generation of the XUV. That's all folks, have a good day!
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Old 15th June 2015, 17:08   #11
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Default Re: 2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews.

Thanks for sharing, Tushar & SDP. Outstanding report, rating it 5 stars! Each & everything that one needs to know about the XUV500 Facelift is in here .

Last edited by GTO : 15th June 2015 at 17:09.
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Old 15th June 2015, 17:22   #12
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Default Re: 2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift : Official Review

Thanks SDP & Tushar for such a detailed review, excellent snaps and loved the ones with the comparo of the previous Gen. Rated thread a Well deserved 5*

Last edited by uday.ere : 15th June 2015 at 17:24.
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Old 15th June 2015, 17:34   #13
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Default Re: 2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift : Official Review

Great review! I don't think we have anyone better than SDP to be able to review the new XUV

Tushar and SDP, the pictures say it all. Hats off to such comprehensive coverage!

Both you fellas did a stupendous job of composing this review. Extremely detailed and satisfying! The best part was the vis-a-vis comparison with the pre-facelifted one. Rating the thread the 5 stars it deserves.

Question for SDP: Have you changed the grill to something else? Don't know but, it felt so to me. Could be that I'm getting more accustomed to the new one but, better to confirm right ?

-Shivang Gandotra

Last edited by MetalBuff : 15th June 2015 at 17:47.
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Old 15th June 2015, 18:07   #14
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Default Re: 2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift : Official Review

Thanks guys for such a lovely and exhaustive review of the new age beast. A detailed report on some of the new features such as the functioning of the sunroof and seat quality was revealing, i guess a few features such as improved ESP etc were left out. any way you guys could have tested these?

I am now in two minds if to go for the xuv after so many troubles and niggles have been pointed out, whic seems to be the forte of this vehicle, or to go for the time tested safari.

any help guys?
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Old 15th June 2015, 18:19   #15
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Default Re: 2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift : Official Review

Simply superb review guys! I was waiting for this review.

I agree, there could not be a better person than SDP to accompany Tushar in this review. SDP's knowledge about the XUV is unparalleled.

I love the attention to the details and accompanying pictures.

Coming to the XUV, I like the way the older XUV looks. It is more brawny and aggressive. But I definitely like the interiors of the new one, especially the updated Infotainment, new dashboard and the powered seats.
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