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Old 25th November 2017, 00:46   #1
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Default Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

WARNING: To read about the TUV, please skip to the next post. To read about how we got around to purchasing it, hang on and read further.

It all started with the Palio Multijet in 2008. I have not been very regular on TBHP due to other concerns and occupations, and I started my last thread some six years ago. But I regularly updated my Palio thread: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ml#post1254188

Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-round-12462.jpg

Through nine years and eight months, the Palio did its job, despite quite a few quality issues and replacements. It took us everywhere we wanted to go and it was a truck in its robustness. It never stopped anywhere except once when the battery was down. We drove 23 hours from Indore to Delhi in one go! However, trouble started with an engine job in early 2015 at 1.45 lakh km and then we spent a very expensive two and a half years post. In 2015, around the time of the engine overhaul, the NGT brought about the ten-year rule for diesel cars in NCR (which has not got officially implemented yet) and we figured that neither reliability nor legal issues would probably allow us to hold on to the Palio for too long, since we could only look after one car at a time. By August 2017, we started thinking of a new car. Our requirements for a new car were somewhat vague but we knew that:

We wanted:
1. A robust car, like the Palio.
2. A petrol car, preferably an automatic, even though our monthly driving of 1800 km warranted a diesel or CNG. My knees often hurt with the Palio's super heavy clutch and awkward foot placement. I was not getting any younger.
3. High ground clearance since we have had a somewhat harrowing experience on a rainy night in Jaipur with the water level rising as we stood on a water logged road. Our own city of Ghaziabad and adjoining Noida see a lot of water-logging.
4. A high vehicle of a certain bulk and presence since nobody takes a small vehicle seriously in Western U.P. and they just cut across you from the front as if you don't exist. The best vehicle to drive here is a Bolero, period.
5. A reliable vehicle which was easy to maintain.
6. Not to lug seven seats about.
7. Not to take a loan and to purchase a car under 7 lakhs.
8. A proper four cylinder engine.

Unless Toyota brought out a 4 seater petrol automatic SUV with 5 seats under 8 lakhs (which is impossible or, at least, definitely improbable), there was no car for us! It also tells you that man (and the woman he has married) wants everything. We also had some unexplained aspirations due to being simply tired of getting bullied about in traffic.

Our shortlist of cars was:

1. Scorpio S6+: It was a benchmark of sorts for us, even if it was in complete anti-thesis to the above mentioned requirements: it was diesel, it was manual, it was not particularly easy to maintain and it had seven seats, so four of our priorities were out of the window. It was also clearly twice our budget!

2. Bolero: We even considered the Bolero, including the cost of removal of all seats and getting four Safari seats in captain's seats arrangement. But the lack of safety equipment deterred us, although I feel the Bolero itself is a great safety equipment!

3. WR-V: We test drove a Honda WR-V diesel. I could not see why they wanted ten lakhs for the diesel variant though the petrol was well-priced. Also, I am one of the few who do not like the dash of the City / Jazz / WR-V. I find it cluttered and badly laid-out, especially the centre console.

4. Jazz: The CVT petrol registered in my mind as a probable contender since it offered everything we wanted except the bulk and the ground clearance. It helped that I had a very positive experience of driving my sister's Baleno CVT. I filed it in my memory as a fall-back option and moved on.

5. Punto / Linea / Urban Cross: Though the discounts were huge and they were known devils, I wasn't looking forward to another 8-10 years of driving the MJD engine with its tiresome turbo lag in the city. The T-Jet engines, though attractive, were probably too thirsty for my needs. Also, Fiat seems to have completely lost interest in this segment with the Jeep selling well.

6. Meanwhile, the Dzires and Etioses were looked at and rejected for plainly aesthetic reasons. We are both architects and the Dzire's exteriors and the Etios's interiors grated our design and aesthetic sensibilities so much that we decided we couldn't afford to own one of these cars and look at it everyday. The new Dzire was not much better: these Maseratis from Manesar looked too wide and too squat for that sub-four-metre length.

7. Then came the Nexon and we liked it a lot, except for the overdone rear end. My father-in-law has a Bolt petrol and we like the basics of the Bolt / Zest platform, which is the same as the Nexon. It made it to our final shortlist and would have probably bought one if the waiting periods had been manageable.

8. Another car in our mind was the Ecosport. We liked the old one and also liked the new one. We spent a lot of time with that one, as you will read further.

9. We even enquired about the Zest XT petrol, but it seems that only XM and XMS are moving off the showrooms because the Zest has moved to the taxi / budget market by now. XT is only made on order now, it seems.

We rejected many cars for some reason or the other. i20 petrol felt boring and slow, and the diesel was too expensive. Liva had nothing special except space and the 'T' badge and had THOSE interiors. Micra, Pulse etc saw no sales, Swift was not liked at home, my sister owns a Baleno (so, two would be overkill), Ignis felt a little wierd with those white interiors and a styling that couldn't decide whether it was retro or contemporary. Figo and Aspire were kind of cramped for space (and, anyways, we were considering the Ecosport).

We were in no position to afford the top-end variants of any of the said cars, neither did we see the value in buying them. Our agenda was to have basic comforts and safety features.

Meanwhile, the Palio probably spent a record amount of time in the workshop in the last one year. The last set of problems were expensive and required re-working. Here I must mention that World of Service, Noida did their best and resolved most of them. In late October, the Palio started seeing power loss from the engine and some time later there was smoke coming from the dipstick. One afternoon in early November, when I saw the smoke, I decided it was time for the Palio to go. I knew engine could be opened and probably few piston rings would be replaced but I just did not want to do it anymore.

The same evening, we test drove the Nexon petrol. We liked the car though we were a little disappointed that the XM did not have rear wiper and defogger. For Rs 7.66 lakhs on road Ghaziabad, it was great, EXCEPT, there was a waiting period of 8-9 weeks.

The next day, I called the Mahindra showroom for a test drive of the TUV 300. They brought a 100 PS T8 AMT to office. I liked the relaxed nature of the car, but it was quite evident that neither engine nor the transmission had any sense of urgency dragging the 1.6 Tonne vehicle about. Also, the AMT or the 100 PS version were above budget and too close to the base variants of the Scorpio etc. The car did sway and bounce a bit but the tyres seemed over-inflated. It was not worse (in fact, it was probably better) than a Scorpio. The sales staff worked out everything and gave a written quotation as they left my office, including scrap/exchange value for my Palio, cash discount of Rs 20,000/- and exchange bonus of Rs 20,000/-. I was happy to see their confidence and clarity. We decided that we could take a T4+ or a T6+.

That weekend, we left the Palio at the workshop, World of Service, Noida, and went to see the Ecosport, perhaps the strongest contender so far. The long and short of the Ecosport could be summarised as follows:

1.Old Ecosport petrol AT was for 10.30 lakhs on road after discounts.
2.Old Ecosport Diesel Titanium was for 10.30 lakhs on road after discounts.
3. Old Ecosport Diesel Trend+ was for 8.60 lakhs on road after discounts.
(None of the above discounts were committed to in writing by the dealers and all the above were readily available!)
4. New Ecosport Petrol Ambient was for 8.75 lakhs on road with 8 weeks waiting.
5. New Ecosport Petrol Trend+ AT was for 10.30 lakhs on road with "no-one-knew-how-much" waiting.

The positive point with the Ecosport was that it drove well, pulled cleanly (in diesel) with five on board and everyone in the family liked the interiors (though they seemed to prefer the old one to the new one). It suited our requirements and we felt good about saving some money on the old model.

There were flaws, too. It was not spacious under any circumstances. It was not particularly larger than the Palio on the inside. There was a feeling of paying ten lakhs and more for a hatchback with some extra ground clearance and a better engine. It was, in that sense, just a little better than paying ten lakhs for a Jazz diesel (which seemed more spacious) or an i20 diesel. Compared to the TUV, however, the Trend+ diesel old model was similarly equipped to the TUV T6+ and about Rs 40,000 cheaper due to discounts.

We were now stuck between four final options, being:

1. Purchase Nexon petrol XM and wait till January for the car
2. Purchase New Ecosport Ambient petrol and wait till January for the car.
3. Purchase Old Ecosport Trend+ diesel and get it now. It was a diesel, and we weren't sure of buying a diesel. But it was a decent deal at that price.
4. Re-look at the TUV300, same comment as above regarding diesel.

We were one week without a car in this confusion. It was difficult. We go to multiple places every day: office, my wife's classes at college, some other work here and there. Not to mention we were spending close to Rs 800 per day on transport. Doing this till January meant half-a-lakh down the drain! We needed a car and we needed it FAST.

Then, there was the usual round of madness which every car buyer in NCR is going through: diesel or not. The fact that the PM2.5 emission levels on BS-IV were far lesser than my current BS-III car assuaged my personal guilt, if only by a little bit. I can say my own industry (construction) is the biggest source of pollution in NCR, closely followed by diesel vehicles, though perhaps not so much the BS IV ones. Finally, we decided to buy a diesel, after a lot of calculation and also looking at BSIV PM figures in comparison to BSIII.

It now boiled down to a simple question: if we were buying diesel, did we want the speed, refinement and car-like behaviour of the Ecosport or the abuse-friendly tractor-like TUV300? This was the question that seemed to hold the key to the decision. Advisors were divided, too, (I mean the gear-headed ones).

I drove a TUV300 manual 100 PS at the same dealer's outlet in Noida. The clutch was lighter than the Palio but had a long travel. But we hit a snag: my Mom-in-law couldn't climb into the car! Then, finally, I requested my neighbour for a test drive of his 85 PS T6+ and after 3-4 km in the car, I was convinced I could live with its powertrain. The gear lever danced its way through the drive. I could also clearly see the issues with a 1.5 year old 35,000 km done car. The seat belt not retracting was one major issue, as were some rattles. I then had a long conversation with SS-Traveler and Aatish Khetri: one a Mahindra expert and the other a TUV owner with close to a lakh on the odometer by now. I even badgered Roshun for his comments, though he was very clear that he wasn't sure of buying a diesel car in this scenario.

Finally, on 15 November, we decided we should do something about things instead of brooding so we paid Rs 10,000 at Koncept Mahindra to book the Napoli Black TUV T6+ MT they had in stock. We only took a few minutes to decide between T4+ and T6+. You can buy a stereo and paint bumpers but you can't buy a rear wiper and demister. The only other vehicle available was white and we didn't want to wait for 3-4 weeks for a vehicle. Having gone through the AMT issues on the thread and elsewhere, we decided to stay away from it. We got the VIN number instantly and it was an August 2017 manufactured vehicle, so we were OK with that (after all we were buying a vehicle which was booked but not bought by someone, it couldn't have left the factory two weeks ago).

On the way back home (in a cab, as usual) we realised we had booked a diesel instead of a petrol, we had booked a seven-seater (though not much of one), we had booked a vehicle which was not known to be as reliable or easy to maintain as a Toyota, Maruti or Hyundai, we had not bought an AT but an MT and we didn't even buy a 4 cylinder engine. We had exceeded our budget, too, but not greatly! Worst, as my wife pointed out, it was not a Palio or like it in any way! We had behaved totally contrary to all our original decisions!

Through the week we waited for some flash of wisdom but none happened. Ford and Tata kept on harping with their 8-9 weeks line and the dealers didn't seem too interested in selling the old stock either. I read through the TUV owrnership reviews and understood that the MLD (or lack of it) was a major concern, besides some bad QC issues with some parts by Mahindra. That weekend, we took my mother-in-law to the showroom again and she managed to climb aboard. A great load rolled off our head. We finalised the accessories. We wanted the IRVM mounted reversing camera (since we didn't want Mahindra to cry foul over warranties with wiring later), rain visors and body side moulding. We wanted a side footstep but we didn't like the ones in the accessories. We also wanted a rear bull bar but didn't like the one shown (the rear footstep created a major problem with the rear bull bar).

The following Monday, 20 November, we paid in full for the car and got it invoiced. I inspected the car before paying: it did not seem to have any visible repainting, accidents or issues. Odometer showed 49 kilometers which seemed okay considering the 15 km distance between stockyard and dealer and some other driving. The bumper paint quality needed to improve and I was worried it was a repaint but it is unlikely they had repainted BOTH bumpers. The '+' sign on the T6+ badge was stuck so tackily I had to check that it was not a T6 or T4 camouflaged as T6+. But the dashboard showed ABS and Airbag indicators and did not have the hollow on the left side that the non-airbag versions had!

First Look
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-20171120_152030.jpg
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-20171120_152045.jpg

There was some drama regarding the paperwork. Registration in UP (Ghaziabad) now requires you to buy an NSC worth Rs 5000 and above and show the proof at the time of registration. I checked from other sources, it seemed true, though there was a 'workaround'. Instead of paying someone for the 'workaround', my wife decided to gift herself a 5000-rupee investment in the post office. At least the money would stay with us, not go to a tout! Then there was a lot of drama regarding the address proofs since Ulta Pradesh RTO don't seem to accept Aadhar cards as address proofs. There was a lot of miscommunication between the sales staff and the registration guys and I finally lost my calm and gave them a piece of my mind! What got my goat was that all new problems started arising immediately after handing over the payment!

The only silver lining that day was that we discovered Mahindra had provided T6+ variants with the T8 stepney cover and side footstep as standard now and our car had them. The car also seemed to have a more contoured bench on the second row seat which I remembered as having changed when the T10 variant was launched. We found we had saved ourselves the cost of an 11,000 rupee side footstep, after having to lose 5,000 on an NSC.

Finally, we finished the formalities and left, tired and exhausted, too tired to think of anything. Next day we completed the balance paperwork. I also found a decent looking and well-fitting rear bull bar from the M2all website and checked with the dealer, they had it in stock. So we ordered the same. The temporary registration in Delhi was carried out and the car was ready for delivery by Thursday but we weren't. Neither of us had time before Saturday. And who amongst the North Indian Hindus buys a metal object worth nine lakhs on a Saturday? Quite a few, but out family isn't one of them. So Sunday it was, almost a full week after invoicing!

Next post is about delivery and buying experience, and thank you for your patience!

Last edited by architect : 22nd December 2017 at 12:49.
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Old 30th November 2017, 23:43   #2
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Default Re: Napoli Black TUV 300 T6+ MT: Delivery and Showroom Experience

On the morning of D-day, a Sunday, we went downstairs to drive the Palio one last time to give it in exchange. It refused to start. We cranked many times and almost drained the battery, but the car was clearly seeing compression loss and not able to build enough compression to start! It didn't want to get scrapped, it seems! There were a few frantic phone calls, especially to the Mahindra dealer. We explained our situation and realised there was no point trying to sell a non-functional car to them.

We took a cab for the 20+ km to the dealer and asked them to make us a revised invoice as we would now be paying exchange bonus and old car's scrap value out of our pocket. Rs 40,000/- poorer in three hours!

Meanwhile the new car (okay, the "Tank"!) was being cleaned and prepared for delivery while the revised paperwork was taking long. Finally, it transpired that due to some calculation error, we had paid Rs 7,000/- more. So we finally asked the dealer to fix original front fog lamps (available on T8 version and above) to the car and then refund the remaining balance. My original plan of fixing Aurora Cube LED lights remained as I preferred the original fog lamps, aesthetically, even though the chrome surrounds around the fog lamps (as on the T8) would be missing.

The final price breakup was as follows:

1. Ex-showroom price: Rs 8,60,679/-
2. Cash Discount: Rs 20,000/- (-)
3. Insurance: Rs 26,867/- (Zero Dep, ICICI Lombard on IDV of Rs 8,17,645/- i.e. 95% of ex-showroom value)
4. RTO Ghaziabad Road Tax: Rs 68,855/-
5. Temp Regn charges Delhi and number plate charges: Rs 2,184/-

Total: Rs 9,41,497/-

Accessories (Mahindra Original Accessories with 6% discount on list price):
a. Rear Camera with IRVM mounted screen
b. Rear Bull Bar (for Ghaziabad-proofing from derriere-loving motorists)
c. Rain Visors
d. Body side mouldings
e. Front Fog Lamps
f. Transparent Foot Mats (bluish colour, not very nice looking).
g. Mud flaps.

Total: Rs 20,900/- (a, b & e being 80% of the cost).

Nothing was given free or complimentary except 5 litres of diesel, 6% discount on accessories and Rs 20,000/- cash discount. We are both very bad bargainers, I guess.

Fixing the fog lamp took another hour or so, therefore we walked across to Defence Colony and had lunch. Finally, we got delivery at about 4.00 PM (which was okay as we had reached at 1.00 PM because of the Palio fiasco, invoice had to be changed and fog lamps had to be installed!)

I wanted a demo of the features and the controls but the person responsible for the same didn't turn up. He turned up four days later at my office, and the only new thing he told me was how to open the stepney cover. We waited for the number plate to be fixed.

In the fading light of cloudy, dull late afternoon, we took delivery amidst the long traffic jam on the service lane in front of the dealer. There was photography and the music refused to play. We gave a small pack of sweets to the dealer staff. I had a terrible cold that day, so we decided to push off, in the worst of traffic on Ring Road at Lajpat Nagar. We claimed our free 5 litres of fuel from the filling station at Andrews Ganj, then went to our favourite filling station at Ashram where I have been going for 14 years now and filled up the entire tank. We also filled up nitrogen on all four tyres, but knowing the complications of opening up the spare wheel cover, we let it be. Anyways, all tyres were over-inflated like anything before we emptied them and filled up nitrogen.

Finally Home
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf39861.jpg

We reached home by 5.00 PM, tired and exhausted after a stressful day. My cold got worse. We performed the Puja at the temple within our apartment complex and went off to show the car to the in-laws, who were very pleased with it and the ensuing joy-ride.

A few loose ends remained on that day:

(a) Road Tax was still not paid at Ghaziabad RTO (some computer issue, typical of Govt infrastructure), even though we had given them 5 days of time after the temporary registration in Delhi. It was finally paid in early December and the RC was issued mid-December.

(b) We didn't have seat covers and I wanted a lock for the stepney main lug nut. I still haven't got either.

(c) Having bought a black colour and knowing Mahindra vehicles' love for rusting, the car needs some form of teflon coating and the underbody needs anti-rust treatment. This has still not been done.

(d) We also need to buy the Extended Warranty and RSA beyond first year. Everything else we need we already have in the car.

It had been a long day and we had earned the rest. We were home and dry. It was now time to drive the car.

Mahindra dealer, Koncept Automobiles, Lajpat Nagar, has been a mixed bag. The first place they got our patronage was due to their clarity in the quote and sticking to their words for delivery commitments. Delivery was handled smoothly despite having to re-invoice because of cancellation of the exchange of the Palio. However, they need to work on the clarity of communication with regard to paperwork, especially those at the registration end. In the end, the paperwork has been completed and the RC has been provided. I would rate them 9.5/10, especially after seeing the general standards of dealer behaviour in this country. Have deducted half mark for slow processing of paperwork and our refund and for not so great washing on delivery day. They have subsequently given me a free wash coupon to compensate.

Last edited by architect : 22nd December 2017 at 12:53.
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Old 1st December 2017, 00:25   #3
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Default Re: Napoli Black TUV 300 T6+ MT: Driving Experiences

The best view, in my opinion. At home in the city and the outback: amidst flyovers, trees, political posters and the Delhi Quartzite stone walls. One of the most proportionate-looking sub-4 m vehicles around.
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf39841.jpg

What we like:
1. The cheapest way to own a body-on-frame SUV, besides the Thar or Gurkha.

2. Except the reductions in body length and engine capacity / performance done to get the tax rebates, there is no serious compromise over the Scorpio, on which this vehicle is based. In fact, the interiors are actually better, in our opinion. The price difference between the T6+ TUV and almost similarly equipped S6+ Scorpio is almost four lakhs.

3. Easily the best-looking Mahindra around. The body styling has been developed from ground-up instead of trying to chop a larger vehicle (like the Xylo being chopped to get a Quanto) body. Also, a rare Mahindra without overdone styling.

4. Fantastic optimisation of interior space in a sub-4-metre vehicle.

5. Decent ride quality on stock tyres after speeds of 50 km/hr. Better tyres will probably improve it further.

6. Excellent insulation from engine noise for this kind of vehicle. At 1400 RPM, the engine noise is well-controlled so that a normal conversation in low voices in not disturbed.

7. High seating, excellent visibility all round (except rearwards), big mirrors, visible bonnet, straight body lines: all make it a breeze in city traffic. Turning radius is 6 inches lesser than the Palio! Only thing to keep in mind is the height and width. Many a times the parking attendant is doubtful but the vehicle fits in the slot.

8. Achievable fuel-efficiency of 14-15 km/l when driven sanely, from my experience of about 1500 km of driving.

9. Full safety-kit optional on all variants!

10. Imposing presence: people stay out of your way.

11. Excellent low-end driveability from idling to 2500 RPM. There is no turbo lag and the engine pulls in a very linear fashion.

12. A logical distribution of features across variants. Gives all basic features + some comforts to the mid variant and gives luxury features and gadgets to the top two variants.

13. Has consistently sold around 1800-2200 units since settling down after the initial euphoria post launch. Coming from a Palio, I wanted a car that had enough sales to ensure supply of parts.

What we don't like:

1. No higher-mid-end or top-end performance, especially on the 85 PS version. At least, the 100 PS engine could have been made standard across the range (Mahindra eventually did it with the CRDe and mHawk engines in the Scorpio). A 250-Nm, 110 HP engine would have been perfect!

2. Refinement (or the lack of it): Vibrations on gear lever, though I guess its a standard problem with Body on Frame vehicles. The whole car shakes when starting and stopping the engine.

3. Some unrefined and tacky bits in the interiors. Minor rattling from door pads already.

4. Nippon stereo system speakers could have been better. Also, stereo HU interface and settings seem to have a tendency to do random things occasionally with the radio channel settings. Thankfully, the mobile syncs smoothly and works perfect on Android.

5. Low-speed ride could have been better. There is a tendency of the rear end to jiggle while going over speed breakers and bumps at low speeds. Adding weight in the form of passengers or luggage at the back helps.

6. Lack of articulation at rear axle tends to create wheel-spin situations. I have never faced this situation, yet. This issue has been discussed to death on various forums. Mahindra has been proactively replacing the OE axle with OE MLD whenever demanded.

7. Few issues with mechanicals / electricals which seem to have reduced with the newer vehicles. None for me so far.

8. Issues with AMT version, again discussed in detail on this forum. One reason why I steered clear of AMT and chose MT.

9. Had they reduced the height by 50 mm and brought it under the 1.8 m mark, it would have also cleared some basement parking height limits. Certain basements go off limits at heights above 1.8 m. At 1835 mm + roof rails, it can be an occasional problem.

10. Tractor-like noise on starting and when the engine is cold may be characteristic of the vehicle, but it scares me every time as it is very similar to the noise the MJD engine makes when its piston rings are going!

11. Lack of seat belts in the third row (a lap belt could have been provided) and lack of a third headrest on the second row, after the generosity of giving rear headrests on the lowest variant onwards (like the Verito).

12. The steering wheel somehow doesn't remain straight around the dead centre. There is a little bit of play even when the vehicle is going straight.

At least we have one more like than dislikes!

Slab-sided rear end, neatly integrated spare wheel cover, Mahindra Genuine Accessory Rear bull bar which accounts for the rear footstep neatly.
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf39882.jpg

When we began, the first thing that hit us was the sheer interior space, largely due to the generous width and the height. The TUV is a good 200 mm wider and nearly 350 mm taller. The actual ground clearance is only 30 mm more (Palio GC was 170 mm) but most critical components sit much higher due to the body on frame construction. Everyone sits much more upright, and the seats are on the harder side (same as the Nexon and new Ecosport) but overall seating comfort is good, though the cosseting feeling of the Palio seats (especially the side bolstering) is missed sometimes. My weak back actually likes the new seating position. Maybe 10,000 hours had moulded the old seats according to my backside!

There is the usual song and dance when you start the car. The songs come from the needles sweeping, many lights going on and then off on the dashboard and the heavy male voice saying : "Welcome to your Tough and Stylish TUV 3 double O". The dance comes from the vehicle itself, as it shakes itself like a hairy dog after a bath when it starts (and when it stops). The gear lever is always moving, it has helped me get rid of my habit of keeping my hand on the gear lever. The engine is very rough and tractor-like when cold, but settles into a smooth typical Mahindra idle when warmed up, though there is a bit of a tractor-like sound when accelerating.

It is not a very refined vehicle and neither did I expect it to be. However, the clutch is light and the steering is also fairly light for a vehicle of this size. The Palio steering was almost as heavy. There's also some amount of feedback (nothing like a Fiat car, though), but it doesn't straighten itself as easily. I think it has to do with the lack of torque steer since this is an RWD. I have driven the previous generation Scorpios and I feel the TUV is more refined than them.

Low speed ride is nothing to write home about and speed breakers tend to give the rear end a jiggle. But it improves with speed and at 60-70 km/hr, the ride is nice and flat. You have to keep in mind the height and high centre of gravity, though, as there is significant body roll. At clover leaves or loops of flyovers, it is fine till 50-60 km/hr though I have not had an emergency situation. I hope the ABS helps when needed. Braking distance is more than your average sedan or hatchback so its best to keep the gap in front.

What driving the TUV feels like:

To compare with my previous car, I get:
84 PS (83 HP or 63 kW) / 1,590 kg = 53 PS / Tonne (coming from 63 PS / Tonne on the old car)
230 Nm /1,590 kg = 145 Nm / Tonne @ 1500 - 2250 RPM (coming 160 Nm / Tonne @2000 RPM on the old car)

The above figures are enough to surmise the change in driving experience. The TUV has 16% less peak power and 10% less peak torque. It should translate into much worse performance but it doesn't.

The strong point of this engine is low-end driveability. That it gets its peak torque at 500 RPM lower and makes a major difference. The peaky nature of engines like the MJD can be very tiresome in city traffic and this engine is the exact opposite. The two-stage turbocharger is a gem and this engine should be given an award for linear power delivery in the small diesel category! It pulls nice, clean and linear, practically from idling speeds (~1000 RPM) to 2200 RPM. It is heaven coming from constantly working the tachometer on non-linear turbo-diesels.

What this engine does not give is a burst of overtaking power or the ability to fill the gap in front before someone else cuts in. But if you plan your moves well and do not try to race those hatchbacks, sedans or bigger SUVs on the road, you will be fine. Just accept the somewhat relaxed nature of the vehicle and you will be rewarded. I like to plan my moves in advance and slow down using engine braking rather than brakes, so this works well with me. Also, I am sedate driver but I do notice some 85 PS TUV drivers really stepping on it, so it must have something to do with being below or above 2000 RPM.

About the Eco Mode: Imagine yourself standing in a traffic jam and burning fuel because you have to move five feet after every 30-40 seconds. You feel guilty of burning fuel but you can't switch off the engine! That's all the Eco mode is good for. In bumper to bumper traffic, the ECO mode makes the vehicle so slow that people start honking behind you and you see this huge gap in front which the TUV can't cover soon enough. Maybe it is of use on the highway but I am not sure.

The TUV takes 17.6 seconds to reach 100 km/hr (from Youtube videos) and so did my previous car. Now 80-90% of my driving is in the city and here the 84 HP engine, with its low-speed driveability, does the job. On open roads in Delhi NCR, it touches 80 km/hr smoothly with the engine ticking in a relaxed manner. I know it will feel out of breath on the highway, but it should do fine till speeds of 90-100. If it manages to do 110 km/hr without screaming, I am okay with that. I don't remember when I last drove at 3 digit speeds on the highway.

Don't get me wrong, I would have love more power and would have loved the 100 PS version, but I just took a conscious choice, based on my budget. At 9 lakhs, the choice is limited. Of course, I am driving sedately now and might be pushing the RPMs a little higher after some more kilometres, so performance might not be much of an issue.

There is a drop in performance with 4-5 people on board, but the rewards are that the ride quality becomes much better. I have not used the AC in normal mode yet due to the weather but in Eco AC mode, the drop in performance is barely noticeable. Without changing my driving style and in the same traffic conditions as earlier, I have got 14.70 & 14.33 km/litre on my first two tankful on the TUV, with AC on about 20% of the time. This is as I expected it to be, not better not worse.

In a nutshell, you will miss the punch of some other cars, but you adapt yourself to a different pace- more to do with maintaining momentum that hard acceleration. In about 1500 km, I already have and I can pose happily now.
Attached Thumbnails
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf3996.jpg  

Last edited by architect : 22nd December 2017 at 15:32.
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Old 13th December 2017, 20:32   #4
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Default Re: Napoli Black TUV 300 T6+ MT: Other points.

Other points:

Mahindra has done a great job here. Considering the huge height and width but the small length, they have managed to come up with something very proportionate. The wheels could have been bigger, though the high tyre profile helps the ride quality. The car looks good, even with the aesthetics of a simple block with a cut above the bonnet. It helps that the lines and styling is 'classic' like the Bolero, which will help the design age better. The spare wheel cover is one of the smartest aesthetic integrations I have seen of late. The doors seem to be too narrow, but that's a problem due to the length / height ratio and due to its Scorpio platform roots.

The rear three quarters view is proportionate, even the wheel caps look good. They are fitted with the ring type system, rather than bolted with the wheel. The space above the reversing lamp (thank God there are two!) is for the rear fog lamp which is available T8 onwards. The front headlamps miss the cornering lamps. Rear defogger works well but the wash / wipe at the rear tends to be ineffective at higher heights.

Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf3999.jpg

A closer look at the Rear Bull Bar (as I type this I can read that the Government wants us to remove them. Who is going to teach the auto and two wheeler drivers and idiotic car drivers who do not stop on time?). I feel this is the best version (from Mahindra genuine accessories) that integrates the footstep properly.
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf4128.jpg

Though this variant misses silver accents on the dashboard and doors, misses fabric armrests on doors and doesn't have seat armrests and seat height adjustment, I find the interiors functional and good-looking, even in the black / beige combination. The only criticism could be that the beige is so light that it tends to look a little stark. Also, the white ( or very light grey) colour on the roof doesn't sit well with the beige.

I miss fabric pads on the doors. All the plastic on the door panels reflects too much of sound from the stereo instead of damping it and the pads tend to rattle as well. The seats are firm but support is good, even without the lumbar adjustment on the T6+. The T8 variant gets fabric pads on the 'armrest' so that felt at a more correct height than that of this variant. Since this is the T6+, the door panel plastic 'armrest' is what you will get!

Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf4014.jpg

I am also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the vinyl + fabric seat material. This is actually better than the cheap PU seat covers and even better than the Autoform types, not to mention better looking. The ultimate plan is to get leatherette seat covers or leather seat covers but to get it done by purchasing the material oneself and give it to one of the different upholsterers who can do it well (when we do interiors, we meet a lot of upholsterers who are very good). Buying leather seat covers outright might become prohibitively expensive.

Closer look at the co-passengers side of the dashboard. Glove compartment is on the smaller side. The manual adjustment of the ORVM is so soft it moves every time I fold the outside mirrors or when it is cleaned. The outer casing is tough enough, though.
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf4015.jpg

Creature comforts and Gizmos
I am not heavily into 'features'. Pretty much everything a person like me needs is present in the T6+. What I don't get is alloy wheels, electric mirror adjustment, touchscreen on the ICE, silver accents, seat arm rests, adjustable lumbar supports, cornering headlamps and some cosmetic bits and pieces, besides Micro Hybrid. I am not a fan of microhybrids, I think its a great way to tax your battery and starter motor.

The photo below shows the central console with integrated stereo without touchscreen, manual AC controls with Eco AC and AC buttons below, USB and Aux ports and two power outlets. Front power window switches are located only on the central console. It feels irritating at first, but the driver's right hand is always free for the steering.

2 cup holders and 1 bottle holder allow different sizes of containers to be stored, but really tall bottles tend to sway around too much. You can tighten narrow bottles to fit prpoerly by using paper sleeves of the sort provided by Starbucks coffee! Mobile phones with screens which are 5" or more in size have a tough time fitting into either the front slot or the one under the handbrakes. That's the only grouse.
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf4020.jpg

Second Row Seating The modified rear bench and back (I think it came with the launch of the T10) is better contoured and nobody's complaining. Seat back is at a good angle. Under thigh support has improved and overall, the seat is much better than the XUV500. Lateral sway is still a problem, though.

And yes, the second row seat is so wide that I could carry a packed 44 inch LED TV on the back seat! Three people is not a problem on this seat though the middle person sits about an inch higher and doesn't get a headrest.

The bluish transparent foot mat doesn't go with the beige / black colour scheme and I need to think of something different.
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf4120.jpg

View of the rear door with integrated armrest and power window switches. Armrest is a little higher than the front door and thus, more usable. Double-folding umbrellas fits in he bottle holders perfectly.
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf4018.jpg

Third Row Seating One adult of smallish size has managed a short ride without any issues. The high roof helps, unlike some other vehicles where third row has lesser headroom.

I haven't filled this one up with luggage yet, but in the photo you can see my 'box' of essential tools (tyre pump, puncture kit, tow rope to be added, etc), all the plastic wrapping of the seats (useful to cover the seats when you carry things on the seats or when you send the car to service as they always stain the seats), newspaper lining over mats to carry potted plants and samples of things, files of drawings, Jopasu duster, walking shoes, etc. Note the integrated reversing camera screen IRVM. However, it kills the day / night functionality of the original mirror.
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf4125.jpg

Safety With two Airbags, ABS with EBD, Isofix mounts, Immobiliser and Anti-theft warning (some confusion there as website its there now but this is an August made vehicle) present on the T6+, there is also that deep male voice reminding you of seat belts, handbrakes, etc. And yes, he also welcomes you to the 'Tough and Stylish TUV three double-O' every time you start.

Tyres the car came with Apollo Apterra HT 215/75/R15 tyres. No intention of changing them till they wear out. This is one of the few cars where the variants with steel wheels and alloy wheels have the same tyre size.

Build In three weeks and 1000 km I have two rattles from both front doors and one from somewhere under the drivers' seat--faint rattles but irritating to the owner with OCD.

Electronics I would have liked a temperature sensor and a fuel efficiency display. Since the DTE functionality is present, so the data is present. Still the DTE and kilometres covered so far keeps my mental maths sharp.

One thing I have noticed is that if you are rolling in neutral with the engine on (like while inching downward a flyover in a traffic jam and avoiding unnecessary clutch usage) the gear-shift indicator shows '1' instead of 'N' . So is the data coming from the gearbox or from a combination of vehicle speed + RPM?

View of the driver's part of the dashboard. Rear defogger and Eco mode switches are difficult to access as they are visually cut off by the steering wheel- you have to take your eyes off the road or remember the sequence by feel. The fog lamp switch (added by the dealer) looks out of place in that bright green colour. The blank switch is for the micro hybrid in higher variants
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf4016.jpg

Service and Oil change I thought of going for an oil change before schedule at 1500 km, but have already done 1700 km in about four weeks, so I might as well wait till first service at 3000 km. I also have a free wash coupon to redeem and might need rattle rectification and wheel alignment.

Nose Dive on braking is present, but nothing like the Sumos of yore. It's more controlled and manageable.

I have tried to show photos of the interiors where they differ from the T8 because I had a hard time guessing what my own car would look like as the dealer didn't have a test drive vehicle in T6+ and images of the T6+ interiors are rarely available on the net. Despite the lack of silver accents on the lower variants, the simple and functional black and beige layout has grown on me now.

This will be the cockpit now. Here's to the next two lakh kilometers on this guy. That's All,Folks!
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-dscf4022.jpg

Last edited by architect : 22nd December 2017 at 16:39.
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Old 22nd December 2017, 17:12   #5
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd December 2017, 17:39   #6
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Reposting from another thread, since this is relevant here.

Since Ghaziabad and all of UP don't issue HSRP, I ordered Movell License plates from Thrissur in Speedex font. Arrived in 72 hours flat, and quality is excellent for the price. Frame is included.
Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced-whatsapp-image-20171222-12.15.22.jpeg
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Old 22nd December 2017, 18:26   #7
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Hearty congratulations on your new Tank! Looks best in black (and that military green color). The car is quite a package and will surprise you with its capabilities. My only gripe from a year of ownership has been the service quality which is in a state of despair in this part of the country. But members of the owners' group in Mumbai and Delhi have successfully reigned in the errant mules by effectively escalating to the hierarchy. I am told, Mumbai now has a Mahindra owned and controlled service center which is providing excellent service. Hope such facilities are expanded.

Wishing you many happy miles ahead.
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Old 22nd December 2017, 20:35   #8
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

I rented one on our North East sojourn and liked it. No doubt it had its eccentricities like the off placed window switches, the continued vibration and harshness and average highway performance. But as a package it works beautifully. The butch appearance, spacious cabin, perfect urban size and abuse friendly nature.
Hoping you have a good time with it.

Last edited by bigron : 22nd December 2017 at 20:37.
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Old 22nd December 2017, 21:02   #9
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Congratulations on acquiring a Hummer look alike. The car surely looks like a 'Tank'. Never been in one but it looks good from all angles and gives you that mean look when you look at it in the IRVM.

Somehow rattles and quality issues are a norm with Indian manufacturers. Recently read a few reviews mentioning rattles in cars from Maruti stable too. I guess this is their way of not letting the driver doze off by irritating him/her.

Happy mile munching with your 'Tank'.
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Old 22nd December 2017, 21:07   #10
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Hi sir,
First of all many congratulations on getting this "TRUCK" home. I just love the shade you've opted. This looks apt for the TUV IMO.

I was an ardent follower of your Palio's thread here at Team-BHP. Infact my dad booked a Palio Stile SDX MJD for himself as a city car after a Linea and a Uno. Your review back then helped him a lot to zero onto the Palio but the poor response from FCA's end w.r.t the Palio made us buy a Figo instead. It's sad that even you've also moved from the Fiat family like me. I don't know what's keeping FCA away to concentrate in this segment.

Anyways wishing you lakhs of kilometres with this new Truck as well.

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Old 22nd December 2017, 21:53   #11
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Congratulations for the new acquisition. A very comprehensive and expertly composed initial ownership review indeed ... rated 5 stars!
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Old 22nd December 2017, 22:29   #12
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Congrats on the TUV300. A very well written review, rated 5 stars. It seems that they have changed the rear seat backrest angle, the one I drove about 2 years ago had an uncomfortably upright position. One of the things that stood out in my TUV300 test drive was the width of the cabin, it doesn't feel like a sub 4m vehicle.

For me your long term review of the Palio is one the best in team-bhp & I hope you will continue to update this thread like your Palio one. I used to be a regular visitor of your Palio thread (long before I became a member here) as we used to own a Punto mjd.

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Old 23rd December 2017, 11:18   #13
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Originally Posted by coolguru4ever View Post
Congratulations... Never been in one but it looks good from all angles and gives you that mean look when you look at it in the IRVM.
Originally Posted by Varun_HexaGuy View Post
Hi sir,
First of all many congratulations on getting this "TRUCK" home. I just love the shade you've opted. This looks apt for the TUV IMO.
Originally Posted by tortoiseNhare View Post
Congratulations for the new acquisition. A very comprehensive and expertly composed initial ownership review indeed ... rated 5 stars!
Originally Posted by mi2n View Post
Hearty congratulations on your new Tank! Looks best in black (and that military green color). The car is quite a package and will surprise you with its capabilities. My only gripe from a year of ownership has been the service quality which is in a state of despair in this part of the country.
Thank you for the congratulations. We liked the military green colour, but our priority was early delivery and the choice was between black and white. We didn't really think of buying black but we would have probably chosen blue.

Anyway, from a Flame Red Pulsar to a Magnesium Grey Palio to a Black TUV: all nice colours, I would say.

As far as the service is concerned, I have nine years of Fiat ownership under my belt, so I think I can manage Mahindra. I managed fairly well with Fiat, too, both ASC and outside.

Originally Posted by bigron View Post
I rented one on our North East sojourn and liked it. But as a package it works beautifully. The butch appearance, spacious cabin, perfect urban size and abuse friendly nature.
Finally, as a package, we found greater value in the TUV. Otherwise, as I have written, we were very close to purchasing the Ecosport or the Nexon.

Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
Congrats on the TUV300. A very well written review, rated 5 stars. It seems that they have changed the rear seat backrest angle,
Thanks. Back seat is pretty good, though not in Safari territory.

Originally Posted by Varun_HexaGuy View Post
I was an ardent follower of your Palio's thread here at Team-BHP. Your review back then helped him a lot to zero onto the Palio but the poor response from FCA's end w.r.t the Palio made us buy a Figo instead.
Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
For me your long term review of the Palio is one the best in team-bhp & I hope you will continue to update this thread like your Palio one.
Thanks, I think with the new life, my Palio will easily cross 3,00,000 km with the new owner. Hope he keeps updating the thread.

Originally Posted by Varun_HexaGuy View Post
It's sad that even you've also moved from the Fiat family like me. I don't know what's keeping FCA away to concentrate in this segment.
Two years ago, believe me, I would have happily picked up a Linea MJD. It has ground clearance, big wheels, robust build and is very comfortable. However, Fiat sells lesser cars in six months than Mahindra sells TUV in one month. I was also not looking forward to another nine years of driving an MJD engine and the T-jet is not particularly affordable with its 10 km/l fuel efficiency for people driving 2000 km a month.

Also, Fiat's future plans are unclear and I cannot think of plonking a million rupees on a Fiat as my only car now.
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Old 23rd December 2017, 14:40   #14
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Had bookmarked your thread & read it from start to end with a tasty lunch. Congrats on the tank man! You really have a flair for writing - I thoroughly enjoyed your review.

The TUV300 shows how Mahindra's engineering talent has grown. It's far, far superior to the Scorpio. Throw that 2.1L MHawk engine under the TUV300's hood and Scorpio sales will fall by 50% overnight. Mahindra knows this and has intentionally kept the TUV300 underpowered. The cabin space is good, while interior quality is rather acceptable. I like the TUV300's front & rear styling...something very brute about it (smaller, desi Hummer???).

Hope she serves you well . Wish you 2+ lakh km of fun, memories & road trips.

P.S. Is waiting period indeed that much of a turn off? I frankly would wait even 4 - 6 months if it was for a car that I really liked. What's 2 months or 4 months when you going to keep the car for 10 years?

Last edited by GTO : 23rd December 2017 at 14:42.
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Old 23rd December 2017, 17:29   #15
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Default Re: Black Mahindra TUV300 T6+ MT : Palio MJD replaced

Many congratulations on your new buy, hope it serves you well till 2lakh + km. How much did you pay for the HSRP plates?
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