Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Navi Mumbai
Thanked: 469 Times
Re: Mahindra Scorpio-N Review
After prolonged wait after booking the Scorpio_N Z6.D.MT at introductory price, I finally got the delivery on 21st April. I wanted the delivery quickly and was not really interested in any fanfare, celebration formalities etc, so I took the delivery late evening with a temporary license plate as soon as I received the registration number from Vahan portal on my mobile and confirmation with dealer. This will be my interim car, before I move to some Electric or Hydrogen car when suitable options are available. I did not want to spend too much on IC engine vehicle considering this uncertainty, policy decisions of Govt / Municipal bodies on ICE engine vehicles and news about push by some bureaucrats to ban diesel vehicles in top cities in next 3-4 years.
Booking and delivery experience
When I was informed about the allocation of a ScorpioN against my booking (introductory price for first 25K customers) and that the car has reached dealer's stockyard, I initiated the sale of my old, well-maintained Mahindra XUV500 W6í2011. However, the dealer could not make the allotted ScorpioN available for PDI or registration even after more than a week of dispatch from stockyard to showroom, I held on to my XUV500 as long as possible after receiving different offers, but finally had to give in as I had committed deal/date with Spinny.
The initially allotted ScorpioN had some defects as I understand (dealer refused to disclose), it was lying in the dealer's workshop for certain works. I finally escalated with Mahindra, and the regional manager immediately came into action, and on a joint phone call, dealer gave me a choice to accept another car of same model with VIN number showing slightly older manufacturing date of the same month.
I cannot imagine living without a car for too long. I accepted the dealer's offer of older VIN, as the cheque I had given to dealer was already encashed. I signed the new forms (with a different VIN), and transport from stockyard, cleaning, polish, dealer PDI, registration etc was carried out within 4 days.
Prior to registration, I had asked dealer to match the insurance premium to quotes I had procured directly from different insurance companies. Dealer did come close, but could not match the preferred quote. Still left with about 6% gap, I finally accepted it, considering the convenience of one stop shopping, promise of better and faster service on claims etc without the need to wait for overloaded set of claim inspectors. And anyways, this difference will become less painful when I submit the 50% NCB certificate from the old XUV500 I sold off.
The dealer did not force upon any accessories during delivery. I wanted to get reversing assist camera, front parking sensors, LED fog lamps, H7 retrofit LED lamps (were listed on m2all.com, now everything removed from the website) and good quality mats installed, and none of these were available in stock. So I ended up buying only the mud flaps.
I have been driving the vehicle for almost a month now, however, I havenít spent enough time to properly test/try all key features yet, like the Hill Hold control, ESP, Android Auto, Navigation and other features/apps of the ICE system - most dont even work yet).
Comparison with my XUV500
Coming from XUV500, there is no doubt Mahindra has come a long way on terms of quality of interior plastics, fit and finish, NVH levels, improved fabric seats etc, although there is still significant scope for improvement. Seating position in this Scorpio-N is excellent, provides good all-round visibility with no significant blind spots due to A/B pillars. Electrically assisted power steering is very light, and turning radius is reasonable for such a long car, this makes the vehicle easy to navigate through city. Suspension is great improvement over previous generations, and no issues driving on any kind of roads. Ride quality and handling is good and body roll is controlled on sharp turns, better than what I expected from such a tall and heavy vehicle.
Observations and Niggles
While there are lots of good things people have already mentioned about the vehicle by the Team-BHP reviewers and owners, I did critically look at certain things and jotting down my findings here. Please donít take this as biased or criticism. I do strongly believe feedback from car owners/drivers to the manufacturer can really make them improve the product, provided they take it constructively. And based on my past experience, I do believe Mahindra does take feedback and tries whatever best they can do, within any financial constraints. Ofcourse, every owner/driver is unique, and individualís personal preferences and expectations could be different from many others.
1. Surprised to see DPF clogged error with very annoying audio/visible notification within a week of car ownership. I had driven the vehicle on a 40-45 km highway route a day before, so was surprised, but thought the dealer may have kept vehicle idling too long in workshops before delivery/during software updates etc. However, after carrying out the REGEN that night, the car still threw me same alarm again next noon. This time I ignored and kept driving instead of falling to the REGEN demand. It went off on driving another 5-6 Km. The DPF clogged alarm came back again after a few days, and I was certain there is an issue, as I had driven vehicle on longer routes at reasonable speeds on earlier days.
2. All warnings/alarms, especially the Low-fuel warnings are extremely annoying, some could even create panic for an less experienced driver. Recently, I was on way back to Navi Mumbai from Pune. I had sufficient fuel when I started (showed ~300km range, and I had to drive ~120 on expressway). Just short of 40 km from the destination at driving at ~80 Km at night, the car raised loud audio-visual alarms, claiming that car is very low on fuel. The instrument cluster was flooded with Low Fuel alarm and warnings which refused to get suppressed.
A less experienced or tired driver could have easily caused accident due to such loud audio-visual distractions at night on this expressway, where many other drivers, who just got out of long traffic jams in ghats, overtake others in a zig zag fashion and there are clusters of illegally parked Ďinvisibleí trucks covering the shoulder and half a lane. I am familiar of this place and know exactly where to find a pump. To my surprise, it just took ~42 Litres to get the 57+ litres tank to fill, which means car unnecessarily raised repeated panic alarms even when it had 15+ litres of fuel. Why not give milder audio-visual hints initially, and increase intensity/frequency of alarms if the fuel really gets lower and driver ignores/refuses to acknowledge. Atleast donít raise panic at higher speeds, a distracted driver at night can easily cause serious accident resulting in injuries and deaths.
3. I realized, this Mahindra car has already pulled lots of April Fool pranks on me, so I should avoid buying new cars in April 😊 - and kids are now confused between Diwali and Summer holidays. This car, at random, makes noises of firecrackers (PHUTT FUTT PHUTT), at random intensity and frequency, which I believe is through the speakers, followed by some malfunction or alarm on the screen in many cases. On one occasion, both the screens (Instrument cluster and ICE) went blank after the sounds. I carefully slowed and stopped the vehicle at a safe place to check everything. Locked the vehicle, unlocked and restarted. Everything worked fine. No warnings, nothing. As if nothing had happened. April Fool!
At another instance, after a loud Phutt sound, the hill-hold warning lights came up and asked me to slowdown and stop the vehicle. I did. Checked everything but found nothing unusual, restarted engine to go back home, and the vehicle behaved as if nothing had happened.
Twice, same sequence for Check Engine lamp happened, and once for battery. Sometimes no alarms/warnings come after the phut phut sound, but the random sound is making me very nervous now. It is distracting, sometimes it is so loud that it can cause panic during driving on highways, as if the engine / fluid tanks under the bonnet or AC system has blasted, or some other vehicle has hit my car, or some bomb blast happened under my car. Sometimes milder sounds are heard even when the vehicle is stopped, engine is OFF and doors are closed (that confirmed where the sounds come from, speakers, and that Mahindra did not gift me any real firecrackers).
4. Headlamp throw and visibility is very poor. Either the halogen bulbs are underpowered, they get limited electric supply (high resistance/poor gauge of wires, bad current limiter/dimmer), or may have improper mix of visible wavelengths, bad reflectors, bad alignment or combination of multiples of these. Extremely disappointed, I thought the high position of the headlamps would actually provide better road visibility. I have to look for LED replacements - hope Mahindra offers some fairly priced options, or allow me to use my spare set of 36W+36W H7 LED bulbs - exact replica of this set already lighting my wife's Nexon and my old XUV500.
5. Parking lights behave erratic way. After a drive, shutting off all lights, engine etc. and turning on the parking lights, I expect the parking (position lamps) to stay on even after locking the car (unless battery is low). However, the lamps shut off once the car is locked. I have to open the car, switch off the parking lights, turn them on again, then re-lock the vehicle. Sometimes this process works. Not always. Could have just given a audio-visual warning if the parking lights are left on by driver accidently, and kept it on. But I find the behaviour inconsistent. Software issue?
6. Even the front row reading lamps behave erratically. Even when turned on intentionally, keys in the socket, driver on seat and reading, if the engine is off, the lights automatically turn off after a minute or so. Cant Mahindra allow the driver read manuals / books inside the car, take care of kids, or check things after those errors/warnings or while waiting for someone?
7. Excessive glare on the instrument cluster, leading to poor / zero visibility during bright days. Have to keep palm above the screen on dashboard to see the instrument cluster. Could have just kept the screen brighter, and/or extended the dashboard canopy! I will have to make some jugaad!
8. Erratic behaviour of cruise control with auto start-stop feature turned on. After idle stopping at traffic lights, once the vehicle restarts on pressing clutch and attaining adequate speed (>40Kmph), the vehicle doesnít allow engaging Cruise Control. CC remains in standby mode but doesnt get active, it doesnt respond on +/- for significant duration or until it crosses 2-4 kms. After driving several Km, the cruise control starts to work again normally.
9. Unpredictable behaviour of Music system: It selects random source of music, irrespective of which source was last used when cold started and driven. It uses either any one random source first (mostly chooses internal drive, but not consistent either), and after few seconds switches to another audio source (USB/FM) automatically without any manual input.
10. Most of the pre-loaded apps on infotainment screen donít work. And there is no way to delete the unwanted bloatware too. I could never get the navigation to work. Most other apps just freeze the screen or makes it unresponsive. Have to press the physical home button (good they provided it) to get out of this tricky situation, or turn off the whole system to reboot. Infotainment UI has certainly huge scope for improvement.
11. Although original brochure at the time of booking showed 3rd row roof lamp feature to be present in Z6, the car came without it. Maybe Mahindra deleted the feature later. But why? Atleast could have provided a manually operated lamp in the boot.
12. Android Auto doesnít work with my Google Pixel phones. There was ~3 weeks of delay in activating Adrenox after car delivery. And after it was activated, I found it disappointing, and not much useful. Trips show incorrect routes, often jumping places. No way to export trip reports to excel and Kmz files. No way to filter trips (based on any criteria Ė dates, intra city, short/long etc and neither can delete them. But I keep getting too many annoying engine start-stop alerts in a batch Ė probably queued up and delivered together after 3-4 days.
Suggestions for Improvements
The car certainly needs improvements - in terms of fit & finish quality, design and features. I believe some could be done just through software updates, which could be quick, and make ownership experience better. Some examples:
1. Automatic closure of sunroof when one shuts the engine of an unoccupied car and locks the car with keys/switches.
2. After driving and shutting down engine, infotainment screen shows information about the last trip for a short time. Shows the distance covered in kms, duration of trip, milage etc. but for extremely brief time. Would have been great if this info is visible longer, for upto 30 secs or till the driver gets off the seat and locks the car.
3. Windshield mist needs to be started a bit earlier before the wiper motor starts itís action, this will minimize the chances of scratches on windshields. At present, the washer fluid takes a while to travel through the rubber pipe to the nozzle / spray. If the wipers start moving too quickly on the dry windshield, it could cause early wearing out of wiper blade and leave micro scratches on windshield too.
4. When driving with Cruise Control active, it is normal that CC will get to standby mode when driver presses the clutch or brake pedal. However, I found that the engine RPM suddenly rises a bit and for a while when the clutch pedal is pressed. I assume that fuel supply is being cut a few milliseconds too late after the clutch pedal is pressed.
5. Already mentioned critically of how the warnings / alarms are presented to the user, and strongly feel, Mahindra should seriously act on that feedback. Auto makers MUST NOT create panic situations, or excessively distract drivers when there is really no need to. My earlier vehicles used to give me mild audio Ďtingí sound and lighted the fuel icon on instrument cluster when the fuel level reached the threshold (still over 100 km range). The icon would start flashing when the fuel level is very low (<50 km drive range).
6. Seat belt alarm comes up too quickly, even before the vehicle is set in motion or is reversing for taking out the car from narrow closed parking. Even Tata Nexon raises the alarm only if driver doesnít wear seat belt after traveling ~30 feet or speed reaching ~10 kmph. Since the prime purpose of seat belt is to minimize physical injuries on sudden braking or during an accident, and should be implemented in such a way that it does not irritate someone even before starting to drive😊
Things I sorely miss from my other car are:
1. Scorpio_N has no door ajar lamps and no reflectors on doors either. So I pasted red fluorescent / reflector tapes from the inside the door so that the vehicles coming from behind at night can get alerted when my carís door is open.
2. No puddle lamps. They are a must in Mumbai. Or anywhere for that matter. I donít want kids to step on shit and bring that inside the car.
3. The 3rd row seats and folding mechanism is badly designed. The XUV500 W6'2011 system was so much better. It would properly fold flat and provide full space in the boot. This one has ugly folded seats occupying 1/3rd of the boot when seats are folded and unusable space when 3rd row seats are in use. Even when folded, the floor is not fully available, and is not even. I think I should just remove the 3rd row seats and their locking hooks, and install a custom made plywood tray/lid.
4. No cubby holes for storing frequently required, quickly accessible items like umbrellas, a towel/paper napkins, extra sunglasses for co-driver / other occupants etc. The glovebox is so small, cant even carry car's user manuals. And it is supposed to be cooled, to allow carrying cold water bottles etc. Cant fit even regular 500 ml water bottles. Seatbelt height also cannot be adjusted, it is at an uncomfortable level for a sixfooter with a body shape like me.
5. Automatic D&N IRVM. The OEM manual D&N mirror is really bad. It has jerky movements during adjustments and it doesnt hold in the position I need. It is abnormally dark in night mode and too light in the day mode. The D&N switch is not good either - prism not properly aligned. I badly miss the Honda auto D&N IRVM I had installed in my XUV500. I plan to install similar on ScorpioN too, along with a battery voltmeter as I had done on XUV500. XUVís OEM mirror (plastics) had turned brittle within 4 years and broke, and the ScorpioN mirror is looking exactly same, inferior on D/N prism alignment and bad ball joint movement.
6. Extra USB type-A ports OR 12V socket for dashcam in front row. I used the charging port for mobile charging, and the other USB port for USB music stick. Sadly, the carís system doesnít support USB Hub to allow dashcam and USB stick to use same physical port.
So had to build my own solution (Fuse-tap + QC 2.0/QC 3.0 DC DC converter board in a home-made acrylic case, stuck under the dashboard to provide 5V to the dashcam. All cables hidden. Works fine, no heat. Thanks to Maruti spares shop for selling 7.5A low-profile fuses (wish they had 2A and 5A as well). Mahindra workshops still donít have low-profile fuses in stock.
I have already raised many of the issues and provided my suggestions for improvement the Dealer and Mahindra. I was asked by Mahindra to bring the vehicle to the workshop to get the software updates installed, which should solve some of the issues. However, the company also claimed that the reported issues does not make the vehicle unsafe to drive. So we all agreed that I can drive the vehicle for a few more days till the first service is due, detect/report any more issues till then, and get most issues fixed during first service.
I will provide more updates after the first service. (Had listed the issues / written this review last week, but posting it now)
Last edited by Axe77 : 27th May 2023 at 17:22.
Reason: Lovely post @Pulse500. Just added a few headings for improving readability. Thank you.