|10th May 2022, 23:43||#1|
Distinguished - BHPian
The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
"There below are the trees, as awkward as camels;
and here are the shocked starlings pumping past
and think of innocent Icarus who is doing quite well:
larger than a sail, over the fog
and the blast of the plushy ocean,
Admire his wings!
Feel the fire at his neck and see
how casually he glances up and is caught,
into that hot eye."
- Anne Sexton.
Why the name Icarus?
1) From Greek mythology (more specifically Metamorphoses by Ovid), it's the name of a character who was given wings made from wax by his father and, ignoring his father's warnings, kept flying higher and higher into the skies till he reached so close to the sun that his wax wings melted and he fell back down to earth and drowned in the sea.
Icarus is a symbol of man's highest standards of inventiveness and aspirations. It denotes lofty ideals, heroic daring, and proudly achieving the highest thinkable achievement within man's own mortal limitations.
At the same time, the fable is also a gentle yet firm reminder of sticking to one's origins, bounds and limits and keeping oneself firmly planted to the earth and not push oneself beyond discernible and fathomable boundaries.
( Related Read )
2) From contemporary movie culture - it's the name of the spaceships from, quite possibly, my most favourite science-fiction movie in recent times, Sunshine (2007).
Perhaps the good people at Mahindra knew about the myth of Icarus, that is why they designed this particular screen for the AdrenoX system:-
This has become my most favourite go-to screen in the Head Unit's display now. I call this screen "Icarus's Wings". When the left and right wings fly upwards during a drive, it brings a delightful smile to my face (specially when the left "Torque" wing soars higher up and leaves a long trail of luminiscent, disappearing blue below it).
Big things have big beginnings
My father and mother started to fall sick regularly. My mother was the more serious chronic patient of our small family with plenty of digestive & intestinal problems for the past 30 years. I had to take her for an emergency abdominal surgery procedure in a hurry in my 2015 Hyundai Creta (Lazarus) to the VY Hospital in Raipur 300 kms away from my city. I had bought the Creta in the same month when it was first launched in India (July 2015), and it had served me quite well for those past 2 years until then.
This was the first time I felt the need for a 7-seater, or even a 5+2 seater. With my Mother laid down in the back seat, there was just one seat free - the front passenger's. There was no way of taking my old father and/or my wife together with us, as we had to accomodate my little 5-year-old Isha too. And I couldn't leave any one of them alone at home either. Hence I had to take the risk of going alone with my Mother without any immediate family support.
Mother's surgery went well, and she was discharged 9 days later. We started back home from Raipur with her lying down in the rear seat. And, as luck would have it, about nearly halfway through the return journey, at a speed of around 90kmph and with a slower Maruti Alto in front, the Creta's brakes failed. With thick incoming traffic coming from the front, I somehow saved both our lives by going off-road and turning left into the fields by the roadside, repeatedly pumping the brakes desperately. A last-minute kick-in by the ABS unit brought Lazarus to a shuddering halt and, very shaken, I resumed our journey with much slower speeds and brought us home safely in nearly double the time than a normal trip would have usually taken.
I had to seriously re-evaluate everything after that one incident. The limitations of a 5-seater car during such emergencies, parents growing older and sicker by the passing months, me being an only child, and the Creta's alarming brake failure incident at high speeds had shaken me to my core. I realised we needed a mechanically reliable 7-seater with spacious front & middle rows, though the last row might be used occasionally during any similar medical emergencies. Long family trips were out of the equation back then, as the main priority was to take care of my old and ailing parents.
The Creta's brakes were checked repeatedly but the service center found nothing wrong with them. They suggested changing the brakes altogether, but my driving confidence with Lazarus had taken a deep-nosed dive by then. Lazarus went, and I brought our first 7-seater - the XUV5OO - home in August 2017 (I called him Arion) because of the lack of proper authorised service centers of other companies offering popular 7-seaters, mainly Toyota. With budgetary constraints stretched to the absolute limit, I could afford the W6 variant only as I was in the process of finalising a duplex bungalow purchase too. With 155BHP and 360Nm ready to serve at the tip of my right big toe, this was the first time I had sheer power and dollops of torque at my disposal - a huge jump from the "humble" two Maruti MPFIs, a Honda i-VTEC and a i-DTEC, and a Hyundai VTVT I had owned/driven before the mighty Cheetah came into my life.
I loved everything about the 5OO - the mind-blowing engine response and driveability, excellent road manners, the respect it commanded from traffic, humongous in-cabin space in the first 2 rows and sheer comfort overall. For a mid-variant, the updated 2017 5OO W6 variant packed in a lot of feel-good features as well - automatic headlamps/wipers, cruise control, Android Auto, Automatic Climate Control, adjustable lumbar support for the front seats, cornering lamps, entry-assist "puddle" lamps under ORVMs, lounge lighting, individual reading lamps in 2nd row, auto-folding ORVMs, voice commands, etc.
Arion was scheduled to be a keeper-for-life, until the clutch and the gearbox started giving me real problems. Within 6 months of ownership, the clutch became very hard and the upshifting/downshifting into the first 2 gears became very difficult, to the point that I found myself shifting directly to 2nd gear from Neutral while taking off from a standstill, or downshifting to 1st gear from 3rd gear. This started to take a toll on my left leg and lower back + waist. The local Mahindra service center did their best but to no avail. The final diagnostic made me lose it - they helplessly offered to replace the entire gearbox, clutch systems and related wirings. Despite my immense love for the 5OO, I was simply not ready to see him get torn apart for these (major) niggles. Had to let Arion go with a very heavy heart when the 2018 Tata Nexon XZ+ diesel came into our garage. With the surgery helping my mother's health improve and my father also getting better in-between, the lingering health issues in our family came down. With a career shift (promotion) planned and looming in the horizon, plans to get another 7-seater replacement of the 5OO took a backseat in my list of priorities.
Cue July 2021.
My lower back and left leg problems saw vast improvements and I had almost forgotten about these afflictions in my body. But a new nightmare walked into my life - after a continuous 2-month struggle of having huge breathing problems, inability to eat anything and staying awake all through the nights due to the intense, searing pains in the chest and complete breathlessness, I was diagnosed with a critical (and possible fatal) heart condition - DCM (Dilated CardioMyopathy). (details) My entire daily routine was overhauled, dietary and lifestyle changes came into effect, and the very-slow recovery process started. The doctors proclaimed that this was a condition which stayed for life and required continuous and regular monitoring. I was put into close medical supervision and observation for the next full year through Telemedicine, video calling and regular follow-ups through fortnightly (at first) and monthly (later) blood test reports, ECGs & Echocardiographs.
It was merely a year into my ownership of the 2020 Creta SX IVT (Phoenix).
(Why the Creta again after the events of 2017? Read the opening post of that thread for details)
I was looking for a 7-seater before getting Phoenix because of my chronically ailing parents, but now the need of a 7-seater became more necessary due to my own condition too. Phoenix was doing great and now came with changed, improved brakes and was the most ideal (yet boring and uninvolving) steed for me and the conditions I was carrying - my sacro-lumbar condition which had improved well, a persistently problematic left leg, and now a critically bad heart as well. But with 3 full-time patients in the family now, and any of them going critical at any moment, I became aware of the need of a 7-seater yet again.
I started looking at the 7-seater options starting from the used car market. The downside of living in a Tier-3 city in a deep rural area showed it's limitations here - bad, used and severely abused examples of Innovas, Mahindras and Tatas aplenty. The conditions of some of those Tatas would put any describing words in our dictionaries to shame. Slightly better candidates were forwarded from contacts at Raipur, Visakhapatnam or Odisha via Whatsapp, but I was barred from travelling beyond 50 kms by my docs, so there was no way of checking out those cars in person. However good they might be or were vouched for by friends or contacts, I wasn't to be satisfied until I checked out a car thoroughly myself. So, after a month of scrounging through offline and online options, I ditched that route.
The chase begins..
I decided to go the new car route again. But, after BS6 norms came into effect, the prices of most 7-seaters had gone astronomical. Toyota had taken the Innova Crysta's prices into the ionosphere, yet it was selling in huge numbers. I somehow never liked the Innova, however hard I tried to. My immediate neighbour owns one and I had a chance to drive it for short distances on a couple of occasions. Both times I scratched it off from my mental list. The Tata Safari, nee Harrier++, was very new and the number of problematic Safaris being reported on social media was disheartening. And then there was the news of Mahindra getting ready to launch the new-gen 5OO as the "XUV7OO". As a huge fan of the erstwhile 5OO, I followed the whole pre-launch campaign keenly. Called my old contact, Sonal, at the local Mahindra dealer and came to know that he had shifted to Jeypore, Odisha, and joined the dealership there (Paramount Automotives Pvt Ltd). I told him I was interested in the 7OO. He promised me he would keep me in the loop.
Come first week of October 2021, and the Mahindra blockbuster was launched at a killer introductory price range (11.99L to 22.89L) and the result - 25,000 bookings completed in merely 57 minutes, official website crashed with a hurricane of online visits, and pre-bookings were closed!
Sonal called me judiciously at 10 AM on 07th October 2021 (the opening day) and asked me to place a booking through his dealership at Jeypore. Cautious about a brand-new Mahindra car launch (coming from the initial launch of the 5OO in 2012 and the number of problems the initial owners faced) and with the plethora of features the 7OO was supposed to bring with it to our Indian roads, including the very-new ADAS and Adaptive Cruise Control tech, I told him that I would wait for at least 6-7 months for the initial batches to roll out and for any possible niggles/problems in the initial production batches to get sorted. Possibly the 7OO might be directly available at showrooms by then. Bookings opened again on the very next day, with prices increased by Rs 50,000 across the range, and again the 7OO thundered the record books by securing 25,000 more bookings in 2 hours before the company closed the pre-bookings again!
Just 2 days of pre-bookings, and the 7OO was completely pre-booked for the next full year! Boy, was I proven wrong and how!
I was willing to wait hence this did not deter me much. Yet, with the new condition I had developed and even though I was fighting it and recovering well, I somehow felt that I might have made a mistake in skipping the initial pre-booking euphoria. But the 6-month waiting period I had set for myself was reasonable, because I would be a better judge of my own health by then. I was also counting on the 7OO craze to have died down a bit in that period, followed by booking cancellations, initial batches dispensed with and early ownership reports coming in with how good/bad the 7OO actually is, and easier availability down the line.
Kept following the official webpage of the 7OO keenly and all the news trickling in-between - the car was a runaway (read "super duper") hit and racked up 1 lakh bookings in a mere 3 months' time despite being an offering in the D-segment and seeing 2 steep price hikes during that period! It was completely sold out, specially in it's diesel avatar, for 2 whole years! Unheard of, in the present situation the Indian auto industry was going through - still recovering from the Covid-19 situation and faced with the alarming shortage of semiconductor chips.
I placed an online request for test driving the 7OO in November 2021, and almost immediately got a call from a Raipur dealership that they would be sending a 7OO over in a week's time as soon as at least 8-10 possible customers from my city registered for a test drive. That week turned out to be 2 full months, and a Midnight Blue 7OO AX7L diesel MT test drive car stood outside my office in January 2022. Drove it extensively and was immediately bowled over by everything the 7OO offered. The guy who came with the car didn't say much, but merely handed me the keys and just kept smiling at all my observations and remarks throughout our test drive. Removing myself out from the driver's seat then with a huge ear-to-ear grin plastered across my face, I have to admit this now - I completely fell hook, line and sinker for the 7OO after the drive big, big time. Rationality, judgements, decisions, features - nothing mattered anymore. I knew then and there that I wanted the 7OO - nothing else would do. After 2 years of driving an AT, the pure pleasure of a stick shifter and the lightning quick response of the updated 182PS 2.2L mHawk diesel made me salivate and hungry for driving yet again after a long time. I was so involved and enchanted by the 7OO in the test drive itself that I completely forgot to take even a single pic. The guy quoted a year of waiting for the diesel and left, and my face fell.
Meanwhile, the Creta-extender version called Alcazar and the Seltos-extender version called Carens were launched, but I wasn't interested in either of them for even a remote bit. Two of my colony neighbours procured Alcazars but, either because I was a Creta owner myself or because my heart was completely taken by the 7OO, I didn't even glance in their direction when I passed them daily (I still don't).
In the second week of March, I visited the local Tata dealership and test drove the Safari extensively. Despite not liking the pseudo-Harrier carryover, unknown safety ratings and those plain-jane interiors, I liked the response and driveability of the 2.0L MJD engine and the in-cabin space - the 3rd row of the Safari was actually better than the Crysta's in terms of head and shoulder room! Boot space in all 3 cars in contention was disappointing but expected (actually this is non-existent in the Safari with all 3 rows up). These cars are not true-blue 3-row offerings but actually wide and comfortable 5 seaters with an "option" to seat 2 more OR carry your travel bags, when the need for either arose. For a complete 7-seater with luggage space, one needs to consider the Kia Carnival as a bare minimum. Either way, with the 7OO blasting itself out of the picture with every passing day, the default option left for me was the Safari. The local Tata dealership promised me delivery in 15 days flat, provided I made an immediate booking in the first fortnight of March 2022 itself.
But, for some odd reason I can't identify even now, I stopped and didn't commit myself to a Safari booking back then.
The chase continues..
Sonal got back to me during that second week in March and told me that petrol 7OOs were now available in 3-4 months' time, provided I was willing to wait. Meanwhile, a lot of reports regarding the ADAS systems failing to detect objects during highway runs, and the over-zealous nature of the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane-Keep Assist systems were coming in from all sides. Not like the tech was bad, but I realised that our Indian roads and the traffic plying on it and the Indian "traffic" on both sides of the roads were simply not ready for cars with ADAS & other modern tech features in them, and vice versa.
My requirements didn't include ADAS or Adaptive Cruise Control - considering the rural roads and the conditions in which they are in around my city on all sides. No use paying for features which won't be used for, possibly, the whole life of the car. I hadn't used the Cruise Control in our Phoenix (Creta SX IVT) for even a single time in the past 2 years. Lack of features didn't bother me - I wanted an SUV which was mechanically sound, had a mind-blowing engine and tons of space inside the cabin, and could seat 7 when needed or necessary. Hence, I zeroed in on the AX5 in the 7OO's lineup.
Finally, I bit the bullet. Keeping my monthly running in mind, feeling almost fully recovered from my bad back & bad left leg, I placed a booking for the AX5 petrol MT 7-seater in Red Rage colour shade on 13th March 2022 through the online Configurator in the 7OO's official webpage. I had become a big fan of the Red Rage shade from when I saw the first pics of the 7OO in Red back in October 2021. I had chosen Sonal's Jeypore dealership since it was closest to my city - a mere 90 kms away.
I could have easily stretched for the AX7 MT, but felt that features such as ADAS, Adaptive Cruise Control & Lane Keep Assist would be useless on the roads our 7OO would be plying on. I reasoned that some of the absolutely shocking feature omissions in the AX5 (which were necessary for me) can be added later - reverse camera, Auto Headlamps, Leather seat covers, in-cabin air purifier, and power-folding ORVMs. The only thing I would miss is the 2 extra side airbags from the AX7. But with the curtain airbags in the AX5 extending all the way till the last row, I was more than satisfied about the in-cabin protection given for all the occupants.
I added 2 OEM accessories - an ORVM logo projector set and illuminated scuff plates - in the Configurator itself. The booking was confirmed within 24 hours and the ETA to delivery showed as July-August 2022. With the quiet assurance of a more sorted car within that time period, and the ready availability of the Safari as a backup should things go tummy up, I was content to wait for 4-5 months. Sonal had told me that if the diesel had bowled me over during my TD in January 2022, I should expect to be swept off my feet when I get to experience the 7OO petrol.
197PS & 380Nm on offer - I was salivating at just the mere thought!
Next night, I casually went through the official product brochure again and re-read through my own posts in the original 7OO thread (now closed). I had completely forgotten a crucial feature missing in the AX5 petrol MT which is a must-have for a heavy 2-ton SUV - Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Big kudos to Tata for providing this as standard across the Safari range, right from the base variant, but for the Mahindra XUV7OO, the latest-gen ESP suite is introduced from the AX5 diesel MT variant! (and all the automatic variants, but of course!).
The AX5 petrol MT didn't get it. Why? Don't ask me. Ask the product planning team at Mahindra, who need to get their brains checked big-time for the feature distribution across variants for the 7OO lineup.
Realised my folly and immediately placed a fresh booking for the AX5 diesel MT in the same Red Rage shade, despite my (possible) lower running, on 16th March 2022. It was a no-brainer really - with a price increase of ~62,000 rupees over the equivalent petrol variant, it was equipped with Drive Modes too in addition to the latest-gen ESP suite. To my delight, once the new booking was confirmed, it again showed an ETA to delivery by August 2022! Both were done by choosing the same Mahindra dealership online in Jeypore, Odisha, so I thought maybe the Mahindra's now-infamous allocation "algorithm" worked differently for smaller dealerships in Tier-3 cities/towns, and a quicker ETA to delivery was given for customers who booked through the online Configurator. Cancelled my earlier AX5 petrol booking, placed a call to Mahindra Customer Care regarding the same and also sent them a detailed email, following which the full booking amount (Rs 21,000) was refunded in my bank account within 5 days.
I was regularly in touch with Sonal, who had told me that 7OOs in Red were extremely rare in received bookings (I was the only one who had booked a Red 7OO through their dealership and would be very lucky if I received my chosen diesel variant by August 2022). This made me a bit apprehensive about early delivery, despite what was shown online. He told me to give him a few other choices/preferences, should a free car become available from a possible cancellation (if my stars got very lucky) and I laid them out - AX5 diesel MT/AT, AX3 diesel MT or even the AX7 MT, 7-seaters only and in Red/Midnight Black avatars. No other variant or no other colour shade.
31st March Closing.
Came back home at nearly midnight to check the status of my online booking, and got a severe jolt - my ETA to delivery had been bumped to February-March 2023! This was not acceptable at all. At first I thought it was an error in the website so logged out and logged back in several times to re-check. Every time, it showed the same postponed dates. Called up Mahindra Customer Care and they replied that someone from the dealership from which I had booked my car must have tampered with the details, due to which their online allocation system revised and updated the delivery dates accordingly. Called Sonal and asked him, but he said that online bookings are saved in Mahindra's internal backend systems and dealerships didn't have any passwords to access those.
I was flummoxed and completely flabbergasted. I was not willing at all to wait for a full year for a car however much I have started to love it, specially when my finances were fully ready. Also, ready availability of free 7OO variants were being posted on Facebook and Whatsapp groups, which made me all the more angry. I posted on Twitter by tagging Anand Mahindra and all Mahindra's official Twitter channels on it and shared photos from stockyards of rows of available 7OOs in Delhi-NCR areas and down south, and posts of people getting their cars quicker (some claimed to have gotten their cars in 15 days!) but received no reply from any of them for the next 2 days. Tried my insider sources at Mahindra but I was told that Mahindra was keeping the 7OO's allocation and delivery system pretty close to it's chest and the only way to get one was to contact the dealerships and enquire. And I had nearly zero contacts at other nationwide dealerships.
On 2nd April 2022, I had to admit to myself with a heavy heart - there went the 7OO, out of my life again. Possibly for forever.
“Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho,
to puri kainaat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.”
(Translated - If you love something truly with all your heart,
then the whole universe sets itself in motion to try to unite you with it.)
On April 2nd, I received a call from the Shivnath Mahindra dealership in Raipur, enquiring about my online complaint. Apparently my Twitter post had not gone unnoticed. The GM was quite friendly and asked me to send over my Aadhar details, and promised me that he would not make me wait a year for my chosen 7OO. He placed a booking in the system on my behalf, but told me to choose a more common colour shade such as Everest White or Midnight Black. I chose the latter. He promised me a date before the festive season and sounded so confident that I chose to believe him.
The online booking took 5 days to get updated in Mahindra's system, no doubt due to year-end updates. And the ETA to delivery was again the same - February-March 2023. The only good thing during this period was that the 7OO's prices were not hiked. I was happy that Mahindra, after the steep hike in January 2022, wasn't going to tamper with the 7OO's prices again. But also, by now I was convinced that the 7OO was destined to be away for me and I simply had to count the days (or months for possibly the whole year) away, if I was willing to wait with patience.
But when you have fallen in love, patience becomes a vice you can't deal with anymore.
Talked to my best friend Mahendra, who resides in Bilaspur and discussed the entire situation with him. He suggested I contact all the dealerships within 500-600 kms radius of my location and see if I get a hit on a possible free 7OO. He also remarked that most of the people in his circles got their new cars from Ranchi, Jharkhand, since it was close to Bilaspur and maybe that was the best place to grab a free car.
Contacted D-BHPians saket77 and good friend Leoshashi, who reside there, and asked them for their help. Shashi was at Delhi but promised to help once he returned back by the weekend, while Saket visited the Mahindra dealership nearest to his office and got back to me that there were no free cars available there, and only fresh bookings were being taken with the same ETAs to delivery. Shashi also went silent. I looked up the Mahindra directory for dealerships from their official webpage and contacted all of them within 15-16 hours distance from my residence location through phonecalls and Whatsapp messages - 2 dealerships in Visakhapatnam, 2 in Nagpur, 3 in Hyderabad, 2 in Ranchi and 2 in Bhubaneswar. All reverted back with the same reply - no free 7OOs available. Ran through my insider sources again, but no luck.
Right there, at that very moment, I should have just given up altogether and my chase for the 7OO should have ended in complete and utter failure.
"Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost.."
(Translated - the movie is not over yet, my friend.)
14th April 2022 was coming.
And everything was destined to twist around on it's head.
The chase ends
One of my good friends, Amit "Doc saab" Dubey from NCR, was in regular contact with me and had purchased an XUV 7OO AX7L MT himself back in February. He had left on an all-India trip right after taking delivery but reached back home in the first week of April. I sent him the same list of variants which I had sent to Sonal and to Shivnath Mahindra and asked for his help. He did some enquiries and got back to me on 7th April that my chosen variant in White would be available for delivery in a month at an NCR dealership near him, provided I was willing to book and block/allott that free 7OO AX5 immediately. The problem - drive it back all the way or get the 7OO transported from there to my city which was nearly 1,500 kms away! I hesitated for a couple of days with apprehension because I was not medically cleared to travel such a long distance, and by that time that White 7OO (which was a free car) was allotted to someone else.
By 12th April, contrary to all my expectations, Mahindra hiked the prices of the 7OO yet again - this time by ~78,000 rupees! By now, I had laid down all my arms and was ready to surrender my extensive quest of procuring an XUV 7OO.
Also, the AX5 variant which I had chosen initially was now 1 lakh 65 thousand rupees dearer (at 17.84 lakhs) and the Tata Safari XT (at 18.08 lakhs), at a mere 24 thousand rupees more, came with a plethora of features which the 7OO's AX5 variant didn't get (Automatic Climate Control, Auto Rain-sensing Wipers, Auto Headlamps, Cruise Control, Push button Start, 18 inch alloys, TPMS, Reverse Camera, Apple Car Play, etc). Suddenly, my practical mind started to play havoc with my bewitched and intoxicated heart and the Tata started to make immense sense over the much-elusive Mahindra, variant-to-variant, safety ratings notwithstanding.
On the evening of Thursday, 14th April, I was keenly studying the Safari's brochure and the features spread across variants and had almost finalised the XT variant and was mentally preparing for going ahead with the Tata's booking the very next day, when my phone rang.
It was my best friend Mahendra from Bilaspur. His first line was:-
"If I got you your 7OO, what will you give me in return?!"
You guys should have seen the expression on my face in those moments. Sheer incredulity, followed by a wave of overwhelming happiness from my emotionally (actually, making-a-sweeping-comeback) enamoured heart which swept me off my feet so badly all the hairs on my head stood up and a permanent ear-to-ear smile got stuck to my ever-jolly face. The last time I was this happy was when I was holding my little bundle of joy, Isha, in my arms when she was born!
My practical mind shattered into a zillion pieces and went for a permanent hike.
I stammered and muttered disbelievingly, thinking he was joking. When he confirmed at least 10 times with long laughs that he had actually done the impossible, the realisation of the situation hit me.
What had happened was that, Mahendra had contacted one of his best friends who is a higher-up executive at Mahindra Corporate (can't disclose the name, sorry guys) in the first week of April. Mahendra explained my situation to them and asked for help. Our corporate executive friend, for a week or so, ran through the list of bookings from both the dealerships where I had my bookings from, and came to know that a free AX5 MT variant had been dispatched from the factory to my Jeypore, Odisha dealership. The dealership had contacted the original customer to get his finances ready and to finalise possible delivery dates, but the customer had declined to take delivery. After a series of well-placed calls were made by our mutual friend, they informed Mahendra to call me and say that that AX5 MT was mine for the taking, provided any other waiting customer from that dealership didn't want it. The only catch - it was in Everest White shade. Since the booking numbers were limited for this small-town dealership and most of the other bookings were for higher/lower variants & shades, I was told that all other customers declined for this AX5 MT - and I got lucky!
"Itni shiddat se maine tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai,
ki har zarre ne mujhe tumse milane ki saazish ki hai.”
(Translated - I tried so intensely, sincerely and severely to get you,
That each particle in God's creation conspired to make you meet me.)
I was a bit skeptical of the White shade at first, but Sonal assured me that the Everest White shade was actually in pearl finish and was regarded as a costlier shade than the one offered on the erstwhile XUV 5OO. I received the call from the dealership GM on the 15th of April to confirm if I was willing, and joyfully confirmed it. The dealership acquired the necessary permissions from Mahindra to allott that XUV7OO to me and received confirmation within 5 days, while the car was in transit to their dealership.
Sonal forwarded me the confirmed VIN number on Friday, 22nd April at 12 PM, the day our Everest White AX5 MT was unloaded into their stockyard, and the VIN number translated to a March 2022 make. Called my bankers and got the loan forms filled up after receiving the official quotation so that they could complete the formalities for fund transferring within the next 3 days. I was happy beyond all known measures due to finally acquiring my loved one after such a prolonged, continuous chase between March-April 2022 which had almost driven me nuts and caused me many a sleep-bereft night!
On Saturday morning, 23rd April, with a trusted friend, I travelled 90 kms to the Paramount Automotives Private Limited dealership at Jeypore, Odisha, for the first-ever look of my beloved to-be future steed and to subject it to a detailed PDI. We reached there at 10:40 AM.
Nine minutes later, I was in the dealership's small stockyard, staring directly ahead for the very first time with eyes and heart full of love and admiration - at my ICARUS!
Last edited by RavenAvi : 23rd May 2022 at 07:23.
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|16th May 2022, 22:45||#2|
Distinguished - BHPian
re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Have you ever had that moment?
You’re standing on the mountain peak, for that one moment.
For that one moment, I can almost hear angels singing,
I can see the true beauty.
And it isn’t just the vast sky above me dotted with clouds,
It isn’t just a waterfall, or a desert scene of hot white rock,
Or majestic tress standing tall, as to say, “I am”.
Or the stars coming together with their mother moon
to almost dance in the twilight,
“I am here, and so are you, and this is IT."
- N Jacob.
There he stood, fighting back the really hot April sun and proudly glistening and shining under it. As majestic, as royal as a king covered with a long, draped sweeping white coat, ready to address his subjects.
Such an apt name - Icarus.
For the 7OO and for that fantastic colour shade he was decked in - Everest White. Softly sparkling from under all that mild dust gathered on him from his trip from Chakan the week or so before.
Icarus was sent for cleaning and came back a couple of hours later. I promptly started the pre-delivery inspection (PDI) using BHPian abirnale's customised checklist posted for the 7OO (thank you so much to you and to your friends of the Tribe Of Royal Cheetahs, buddy!). Icarus passed all checkpoints with flying colours. ODO's tripmeter showed a neat 33.9 kms and the XUV was absolutely spotless all around. No colour bits missing. Clean underbody, with a clean engine protector cover underneath. Panel gaps present at some places. No static mechanical or electronic faults immediately seen or detected.
Most, if not all, XUV7OOs manufactured from March 2022 onwards were arriving with a single keyfob and missing rear sequential turn indicators inside the tail-light's boot portion due to the severe semiconductor chip shortage situation being faced by the automotive industry. Thankfully, my AX5 MT came with two keyfobs (!), but it was missing the rear sequential turn indicators (boot section). Only the outside portion of the tail-light was blinking when enabled.
The USB drive was searing hot when I unplugged it after playing just a couple of songs. I thought it was due to the super-hot day (nearly 44 degrees at 3 PM!) and dismissed it. Cranked the mHawk up and it roared to life with it's usual diesel clatter, then mellowed down nicely and settled into a smooth idling tune.
ODO at the time of my PDI - ignore the outside temperature reading.
It was at least 10 degrees above what is shown!
Default screen of the HU during my PDI.
Found this slip for "Offline Flashing" inside the glovebox,
which confirmed my VIN decoding.
Keyfobs for the 7OO are made by Hella.
Gave a double thumbs-up to the dealership PDI technician who was hovering around and my good friend Satish who had accompanied me and had helped me with my detailed 1-hour PDI. We hurried back into the dealership's cool shade to save ourselves from the stingingly hot temperature outside, leaving Icarus to keep the fight going with the very angry Sun god above. I checked the Form 22 (Road Worthiness certificate issued at Chakan plant) to my satisfaction. All was good to go.
Called up my bankers and gave them the go-ahead for my sanctioned-and-approved car loan, for which I was informed that it would be created and the amount transferred over on the morning of Monday, 25th April itself. Sonal had previously sent me the detailed quotation for the XUV7OO AX5 MT. He also sent a list of all available XUV7OO OEM accessories at their dealership. None of those appealed to me. I had visited m2all.com, Mahindra's own OEM accessory website, regularly after that and had made a final, definitive list of all the accessories I wanted for my AX5 MT. On that Saturday, the dealership's accessory in charge came over and put in an order from the dealership's side for all my listed accessories from the m2all website.
Since I was going to register Icarus at my city in Chhattisgarh, I had already talked to Sonal about getting a Temporary Registration (TR) done from the nearest RTO located near Jeypore, Odisha (which would be Koraput), which is valid for a month from the date of issue. We had a grand wedding ceremony in our family coming up, of my cousin brother, starting from Monday onwards. The first activity, the mehendi ceremony, was scheduled for Monday evening at 7 PM. The GM of Paramount, Shri Behera, told me that they would do their best to procure the TR for Icarus before Monday evening and with that assurance, we left for home, confident that delivery will be completed well before our family's mehendi ceremony started.
Boy, was I again going to be proven wrong or what!
The D-Day :-: Monday, 25th April 2022
I hadn't told anyone in our family about Icarus as I had intended for it to be a big surprise for everyone. Only Isha knew, and she was sworn to silence by me. Even Isha didn't know that I was bringing Icarus home on Monday, 25th April.
On the pretext of going on a job-related tour, I reached the Paramount Automotive dealership at 10:30 AM on Monday, this time travelling with another very good friend of mine, Pankaj, and his son in his Innova Crysta ZX (they knew). First surprise - I noticed that Icarus was parked in the exact same spot in the stockyard, which is actually an abandoned Reliance petrol bunk, just beside the dealership and had not been taken for pre-delivery preparations. I walked in and was told that the GM and all the sales personnel were in a meeting and they might be late to disperse. I met Sonal who greeted me as he hurried in towards the meeting. We were escorted to the GM's now-empty room and were asked to wait there. Leaving our travel bags there, we went back to the stockyard to check Icarus from up close.
The aggressive rear two-thirds.
The rubber lining on the window line till the blackened C-Pillar is replaced by chrome in the AX7 & the AX7L.
The complete rear. Notice the (very evident) missing rear view camera?
Also, no corner reversing sensors in such a large SUV is a big miss.
Icarus came with missing rear sequential turn indicators for the boot portion.
I was made to sign an acknowledgement for the same.
ETA to availability was given as "within 4 months".
235 sections on R17 "windswept turbine" diamond-cut alloy wheels.
I actually prefer this alloy design and tyre size. Equipped with MRF Wanderers.
Manufactured in the 9th week of 2022 - first week of March.
Notice the pearl-finish effect of the Everest White colour shade?
Under-bonnet insulation hood provided.
Insulation sheets well packed all around the mHawk inside.
Engine underbody protector given.
The upgraded 2.2L mHawk rolled out of it's Engine Assembly Line on 18th March 2022.
Engine number ending in "666" gives me a new idea for rear badging - "Devil Inside!"
Seats of Icarus were completed on 21st March 2022.
Icarus's ORVMs were possibly the last to be made - on 30th March 2022.
Finished in piano black!
Tyre pressure information - for all tyre sizes of the 7OO.
The only steering-mounted buttons at my disposal.
Mute button on top simply mutes the song, doesn't pause it.
The button on the bottom right, to end a call, doubles up for the Voice Commands for Alexa.
These were not there during Saturday's PDI!
One thing which I absolutely hate in a new car!
This is the max the rear window glass will roll down to.
Fill-up section now comes with 2 inlets in diesel cars.
Smaller one in blue on the right is for the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF).
I called my bankers and got the update that the loan account was created and the amount was ready to be transferred. Pending confirmation of the dealership's bank account details and the online application of TR for my 7OO, I asked them to wait. An hour later, Pankaj received a call from his home and was asked to return due to some urgency. I told him to go back with his son and I would return by evening with our Icarus. He was a bit apprehensive about leaving me alone due to my sensitive condition but after my repeated assurances that I would be all right, he left.
11 AM turned to 12 noon. And to 1 PM.
Neither I moved from the GM's room, and neither did Icarus from his parking spot.
At 1:30 PM, my banker called me for confirmation of the dealership's bank account and IFSC code. I caught a sales staff, Sudhir, who had come out from the meeting and asked him about the on-going sales meeting. He told me that the main part of the meeting was over and I could go and meet Shri Behera. Went over promptly, asked him about what was going on, and I got my second surprising jolt - my delivery was not scheduled for the day!
That made me mad. I asked him why they had assured that my TR would be procured by Monday evening itself and I was given assurance for delivery. He immediately talked to two of his sales personnel staff, including Sonal, and asked them to start the process of getting the TR issued from the RTO office at Koraput.
I confirmed the bank account details from him and called my banker back. The transfer was completed to the dealership's account before 2 PM, and my banker sent me the RTGS slip with all the details over Whatsapp. As soon as the dealership's accountant confirmed the transfer, the actual initial delivery process started. Icarus was driven into the washing and cleaning bays nearby at 2:30 PM after the staff returned from lunch, and the online request for Icarus's TR was sent at 3 PM to the RTO at Koraput. I had paid the TR application charges separately in cash to Sonal so that it could be completed quickly, and had asked my bankers to deduct the TR amount and the online booking amount from the final transferred figures.
There was some confusion regarding the Insurance charges too. I had taken online quotes from Policybazaar to the tune of 62,000-65,000 rupees (with Nil Dep) and asked Sonal to get it matched by the dealership. I was told that the final quote of Rs 74,194/- from TATA AIG was inclusive of Zero-Dep, Return to Invoice & Consummable covers and that was the lowest they could go to. I agreed. On D-Day, the main insurance guy was on leave and another person in charge clarified that the RTI (Return to Invoice) cover wasn't added. I told them flatly that the quotation was finalised by them only, and they had to match it however they could. Finally, for a small extra premium, RTI was added.
Detailed pricing break-up, as per the proforma invoice and the final quotation:-
Interior cleaning of Icarus commenced from the afternoon.
The grease smears near the front map lights/sunroof button section
were tackled with Colin spray and afterwards, petrol.
12,05,505.40 = Ex Factory Price of One AX5 MT 7-seater Diesel
x3,37,541.51 = IGST output
x2,41,101.08 = Cess output A/c
xxxxxxxx0.01 = Rounded Off
17,84,148.00 = Ex-Showroom Price
xxx17,842.00 = T.C.S. output @ 1%
xxx74,265.00 = Add-on Insurance by TATA AIG for IDV of Rs 16,94,940 with Zero-Dep, Return to Invoice & Consumables add-ons
xxx24,779.00 = Extended Warranty "Shield" opted for 4th & 5th Year, or 1,50,000 kms, whichever is earlier
xxxx3,000.00 = Temporary Registration Charges
19,04,034.00 = On-Road Price without permanent registration charges included
xxx24,000.00 = Deductions of Online booking 21,000, TR Charges 3,000 which was paid in cash
18,80,000.00 = Amount Transferred to dealership bank account
x1,60,573.00 = Registration Charges @ 9%
xxxx4,300.00 = RTO Fees + Hypothecation, Smart Card, Postal Charges + Agent Fees
20,68,907.00 = Final OTR all-inclusive, with FASTag pending
No Incidental/Logistic Charges were levied by the dealership from the beginning.
Mahindra's Shield (Extended Warranty) details for the 7OO Diesel.
The 7OO also comes with free Road-Side Assistance coverage for the first 3 years by default. One can opt for the 4th Year RSA @ Rs 2,022/- or the 4th & 5th Year RSA @ Rs 3,020/-. Do keep a note of this.
As luck would have it, the RTO server at Koraput went down from the afternoon and the TR got delayed. By 6 PM, Shri Behera contacted their own Paramount Automotive's sub-dealership in another town, Rayagada, and asked a fellow there to run to the local RTO with all vehicle details and the newly-issued insurance of my 7OO and procure a TR from there. The TR certificate was prepped but the RTO in charge was in a staff meeting so his signature and seal got delayed, increasing the frustrations of all involved even more.
Meanwhile, Icarus had been completely cleaned from the inside and the outside and ribbons were tied across his bonnet. It became dark by 7 PM in the evening and a sharp shower followed, as if the gods themselves had decided to bless him.
And, as luck would have it, I got a call from the missus enquiring where I was and to hurry home ASAP so that we could leave for the mehendi ceremony immediately. She was ready, but I was not. And I could not even tell her that I was 90 kms away! Did some quick thinking and told her that I was with a client and might be late, and to head to the ceremony with my brother-in-law.
At 8 PM, Icarus was fully ready and the initial delivery ceremony was done under cloudy skies and dealership spotlights.
Uncovering my heartbeat of the future.
Posing with my uncovered 7OO.
Cutting a small cake.
I distributed sweets to the dealership personnel and gave personal gifts to Shri Behera, Sonal and Sudhir - the three main people of the dealership who were involved in procuring and processing Icarus for me from the start. It was well past the dealership's closing time by then. Most of the staff had left, except Shri Behera, Sonal, Sudhir and a couple of others. Shutters were closed and only a single small shutter on the left side of the dealership was open. At 8:30 PM, Shri Behera again called up their agent at the Rayagada RTO but received no answer. He called up a source who worked at the RTO over there and who had gone home, and asked him about the status of my TR. He was told that the RTO office was closed now and the TR can only be given tomorrow!
Shri Behera explained to him in detail that my delivery was pending since afternoon and I had come from another state's city, and to get the TR copy of my 7OO any which way he could. The guy travelled back to the Rayagada RTO office and got a printout of the now-ready TR, and took a picture of that and forwarded it to Shri Behera on Whatsapp. We all breathed a big sigh of relief and immediately, enlarged copies of the Temporary Registration number were printed and stuck on the number plate sections of Icarus on both sides.
Sonal and Sudhir checked the fuel gauge for range for my homeward journey, and only then I was told that around 20 liters of diesel had been filled up in Icarus after unloading and it was complimentary from the dealership! I was handed a copy of the TR, and by 9:10 PM I thanked everyone and waved goodbye to the remaining staff of Paramount Automotives, Jeypore, who had stayed back with me.
Finally! Actual delivery done with a pack of Cadbury Celebrations, a whole hour later.
All this while, my bestie Mahendra had been calling at regular intervals all day and I kept him in the loop about the latest happenings, and he congratulated me with long, happy laughs in the moments I was leaving Jeypore and was headed back home.
I kept receiving calls from my BIL, Isha & my wife and kept making excuses while I flew across the roads leading from Jeypore to Jagdalpur. At 10:25 PM on Monday, 25th April 2022, I reached my uncle's bungalow. I parked Icarus carefully between other parked cars on the side of the road, well hidden from view. The mehendi ceremony was long over along with dinner, and I was the last to reach there. I made excuses for being so late while smiling inside all the time.
At around 11 PM when all my relatives came outside to say goodbyes to each other as they all prepared to head back to their own homes, the question arose as to how me, my wife and Isha would go back to our home. I smiled and headed back to our well-hidden Icarus and drove him to the front of uncle's bungalow. Isha had followed me and was jumping in joy! The reactions from all of my relatives - uncles, aunties, cousins, BIL/SIL, kids of our family - which followed were absolutely priceless. Specially my wife's, who was standing with her mouth wide open in a permanent "O", absolutely shocked with equal parts surprise and sheer happiness!
It was late, yet everyone came forward and checked out Icarus from all sides. By midnight, we left for home with my wife in complete awe and Isha chirping excitedly in the front passenger seat. For now, I let both of them enjoy their moments inside Icarus and let the feelings sink in, as I knew there would be plenty of time for explanations later. D-Day came to a close with me sending a heartfelt Thank You to my bestie, Mahendra, and to his wonderful source at Mahindra Corporate over Whatsapp before calling it a day.
Looking back, the intense chase for the 7OO which lasted all of 44 days, caused many sleepless nights, loss of hunger and appetite, heartburn, headaches and an additional sum of 55 thousand rupees due to yet another price hike, finally came to an end. If I had pre-booked the 7OO on the launch day itself back on 7th October, I might have gotten the AX7 MT diesel at nearly the same budget at which my present AX5 MT 7-seater diesel finally came home (one whole variant above!). Yet, I have no regrets. Even though there were better practical options from other companies with plenty of added features within reach of the final pricing I paid for our AX5 MT, nothing beats the sheer joy, happiness and the overwhelming feelings of finally winning a battle of true love and achieving such a hard-fought victory in a fight with the odds completely stacked against you.
Be warned though - this is what blinding true love does to a person. Once you are hooked, there's simply no giving up.
Last edited by RavenAvi : 23rd May 2022 at 07:28.
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|19th May 2022, 22:29||#3|
Distinguished - BHPian
re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Living with Icarus - the XUV7OO
My steed was duly stamped and sealed with blessings from most of the Hindu Gods through a long, detailed puja by my father the next morning.
Amidst long rituals with certified nimbu-mirchi protection from evil eyes,
the mHawk gets special blessings from Maa Durga.
Icarus started it's first duties of running and ferrying everyone around during our family's wedding ceremony all through the last week of April 2022. You realise you are in love with your machine when he manages to squeeze himself into family pics!
It's been 25 days since D-Day and Icarus has now run a little over 700 kms. The manual says to break in the engine in the first 1,000 kms but trust me when I say this - keeping this 104BHP/240Nm per-tonne mHawk in check is one of the most hardest tasks in the world! Driving it on a daily basis has become such an important part of my life that I look for excuses to get Icarus out of it's parking space repeatedly. The Creta is already seeing a massive drop in running time, and is standing quietly in my garage for days at a time now. I am loving the ownership period of my newest steed so much that I have decided to keep him forever or at least until all the diesel wells of our Earth run dry.
The XUV7OO punches above it's segment (or even one or two above that!) solely due to it's lovely mHawk engine, excellent driving dynamics and impeccable high-speed road manners on the highways. Special mention goes to that beautifully upgraded and now-boosted 182BHP/420Nm 2.2L mHawk under the hood. (I am sure petrol 7OO owners will take up arms against me for this claim because the mStallion is equally explosive at 197BHP/380Nm!) Quite refined in NVH levels for a diesel, it takes a lot of self-control to keep this mammoth under a leash.
The 1st gear is short and requires a very quick upshift (by 15 kmph) to 2nd gear which is a bit short as well, and once I upshift into 3rd gear (till 25kmph) and the needle crosses ~1200RPM, the XUV7OO almost develops a mind of it's own as the thunderous torque takes over and it starts to race across the roads before you thump on the brake pedal alarmingly to slow it down. Remember to keep the mHawk on the boil at all times, lest you manage to stall the engine when shifting gears in lower RPMs. (Happened to me)
This is how Mahindra recommends upshifts and downshifts for the XUV7OO diesel:-
Sometimes, downshifting from 2nd to 1st or upshifting from 1st to 2nd and/or 2nd to 3rd is a bit stiff and feels like it's getting slight resistance from the lever while the 7OO is in motion. But, at other times, it is quite smooth and normal. Not sure if this is due to bad road conditions while shifting or a faulty clutch biting early/late, or an iffy gear wheel or two inside the gearbox. We shall find out more in the days to come. For now, this is under close observation.
The XUV7OO loves the 4th and 6th gears. And, it has a nature similar to the two faces of a well known Robert Stevenson character, although whenever the latter takes over, it simply refuses to relent.
Henry Jekyll - 4th gear inside the city between 40-55 kmph (goes above that too but RPMs are not optimum + starts to indicate an upshift), and 6th gear on the highways while cruising between 80-90 kmph speeds. The RPMs range anywhere between 1,300-2,000RPM while the mHawk is completely relaxed, brushing anything and everything off like child's play, and yawning for more.
Edward Hyde - push it beyond 100 kmph, and the incoming surge into higher speeds is so alarmingly quick that you will forget everything. RPMs cross 2,200 and sanity goes for a toss while the speedo keeps climbing. This has become very addictive by now and makes me look for excuses to hit the highways as much as I can. Hit the "Zoom" drive mode button and one will get a torque push at insane, unmentionable speeds the likes of which is to be experienced in person to be truly felt. The gear ratios and the engine response is definitely tuned for performance, specially in the Zap & Zoom drive modes. (power is same across these two modes, Zoom gets more torque push)
One word of advice or caution - don't try the above inside the city. Even if the city roads seem empty, and you are very, very tempted by the evil monster named "Zoom" residing inside the 7OO.
In urban confines, it's all I can do to keep this torque-ing Godzilla under my control - the rapidly opening-up mHawk keeps begging for more while I maneuver and wade through all sorts of traffic, and it absolutely hates downshifting into lower gears and going into slower speeds. Make no mistake, the XUV7OO is meant to be driven hard across the highways, not through thick city traffic. It doesn't like the confines of the city too much.
Give me just this XUV7OO's mHawk, a power steering, a seat, and empty roads before me - nothing else - and I am ready to happily drive it all day and all night across the roads in the entire world. This is why I was so badly swept off my feet during my test drive in January 2022. Whatever insane speeds one achieves on the speedo, all that humongous torque backing up the mHawk's power surges ensures that the silly smile plastered across one's face doesn't go away anytime soon. The diesel XUV7OO is quite frugal too, considering it's size and weight and the engine inside - I am registering a consistent 13kmpl inside the city in peak summer days while driving mostly between 45-50kmph in the 4th gear with the AC on at it's coldest. For the highway runs completed till now, Icarus goes up to 17-18kmpl overall. The trick is to keep the mHawk at the 80kmph mark in the 6th gear to extract maximum fuel efficiency although, you will need plenty of luck to keep it under a leash while it's literally struggling to break free and "zoom" away to glory.
Do note :- please don't follow the realtime Fuel Efficiency indicator in the MID at all. With the same driving style and conditions, I have seen the numbers rise to as much as 21.7kmpl and fall down to 9.6kmpl! This is one indicator which is all over the place. The more accurate readings are given by the EcoSense app or, my suggestion would be to download the Fuelio app for an exact and accurate reading of your 7OO's fuel efficiency figures.
The clutch is smooth but has a slight initial play after which it grabs ahold. Shifting gears is easy, specially upshifts from 3rd gear onwards. I casually rest my left foot on it, no problem. But I haven't made this a regular habit - I shift my left foot to the long and effective dead pedal beside it after settling down.
Brakes are progressive while in higher speeds and are excellent for panic-braking situations - I have experienced this twice till now, with one instance of a sure-shot run into a Bolero in front, but the XUV7OO's fantastic all-disc brakes saved me by mere millimeters! Sudden braking at low or crawling speeds will definitely cause a sudden nosedive and throw one forward. But remember that we are talking all-disc brakes here and the force needed to stop a loaded 1,756 kgs machine in motion, so don't be alarmed by this. The XUV7OO's brakes are just fine, and the overall composure of the vehicle coupled with the stopping power is exceptional.
The suspension feels a bit stiff at low speeds and the thuds from the wheels filter into the cabin when the XUV7OO is going over broken patches or non-existent roads (like the one pictured above). The independent Frequency Selective Damping setups (FSDs) on all four sides do try their best to counter this but still, make no mistake, the XUV7OO is not a magic carpet ride at low speeds. Best to be sane and go slow. Ground clearance is excellent and the 7OO doesn't scrape anywhere, despite it sitting a tad lower in stance compared to the 5OO.
Once higher speeds are attained and the roads even out, the ride quality improves considerably and the beautiful nature of the FSDs shine through. Small speedbreakers or potholes are brushed away nonchalantly, while driving across flat tarmac is a real hoot. Road grip is admirable and cornering causes no nervousness whatsoever, although some roll is felt while conducting a moderately high speed cornering maneuver. Even smaller broken patches on the roads are handled with ease and plenty of confidence. Handling the 7OO is absolutely easy and predictable, with the smooth shifts, easy steering, punchy brakes and the wonderfully sorted suspension.
The OEM MRF Wanderers are average tyres in feel and NVH levels. Lots of thuds filter into the cabin across all speeds. The groove depths show average shelf life too, unlike the Bridgestone Turanzas which are usually a given for premium Mahindra cars (my 5OO had them). The grip from the MRFs are decent on dry roads but not so great on wet patches. At speeds above 45-50 kmph, ride quality improves a bit except for the continuous, gentle thuds. Tyre noise is always present. Had to drive through a thunderstorm and blinding rains for around 30 minutes on the night of the 14th of this month and didn't feel very confident at ~80kmph speeds. Dropped to 60-65 throughout the storming bit and increased back to 80+ only after the storms were behind me. Not sure how these tyres will fare in such wet conditions at speeds above 100kmph. Waiting and watching them too.
Although this doesn't concern me directly as an AX5 diesel MT owner, but providing no Electronic Stability Program (ESP) in the MX, AX3 or even the AX5 (petrol) manual variants is simply baffling. More so when the AX3 & the AX5 automatics get them. You have designed a heavy SUV with a high center of gravity, Mahindra. This is not a hatchback or a compact sedan. The ESP is a fundamental, must-have feature for big, top-heavy SUVs which should be standard for the XUV7OO across it's lineup, now that customers are paying close to 15 lakhs simply for the base variant! With safety as it's core value and having earned a well-deserved 5-stars in Global NCAP and immediately becoming #1 in overall safety ratings in Indian passenger cars, omitting such a crucial safety feature for lower-priced variants which see more sales numbers in Tier-3 cities and rural areas is a shocking miss.
The steering is light at low speeds (not as close to being Hyundai-light) and artificially weighs up considerably above speeds of 50kmph, but the overall feel is rather vague. I have a slight idea of where my front wheels actually are. The humble Tata Tiago has such a lovely steering, with such nice, precise feel. The Fiat Linea and the Ford Fiesta were literally masters at imparting precise steering feedback to their drivers. Is this such a big deal for an Electric Power Steering (EPS) equipped vehicle? Make no mistake, the XUV7OO is also a driver-friendly car when the need be, but the steering feedback is still a step back from my Ford EcoSport's steering, which was on another level. The Fiats and the Fords of the world seem unbeatable in this one aspect.
There is some play while the inserted key gets stuck at the "ACC ON" position after shutting off the engine, and refuses to come back to the "LOCK" position and slide out. After 1-2 attempts at going forwards and back, the key finally slides out. I have also noticed that the key doesn't come out when the clutch is fully depressed, even though the gear lever is in Neutral. Let go of the clutch, and the key comes out. Bizarre.
I am not bothered by the size of the XUV7OO during my daily runs of around 20 kms inside city and an 80-90 km weekend run. The XUV feels very easy to drive, and gives a sense of driving a comparatively compact vehicle from the driver's seat. Driving position is commanding with a top-down view of the bonnet's edges and the roads in front. It took a couple of days to get adjusted to it's width (nearly 110mm more than the Creta), but once I got the feel of it, driving inside the city roads and lanes became easier. I purposefully avoid crowded bylanes and stick mostly to main roads so this is not a problem. The horn is quite loud and traffic gives way easily, and incoming traffic also moves aside. Such is the respect the XUV7OO commands on the roads with it's street presence, which makes driving this big SUV an easy task on a daily basis.
Parking is easy too, as long as you are forwarding. But reversing into tight spaces using just the IRVM and the two ORVMs, while waiting for the two reversing sensors alerting you a second or two late, will require all your driving skills. Because, get this, there is NO reverse camera given! Get that reverse camera (must-have) installed ASAP, preferably with a wide vision option. Also, stop fumbling for the power-folding ORVM button button because that too is NOT present in the driver door's panel. Yes, the AX5 comes with manually foldable ORVMs! You will also realise that no one-touch Down/Up driver-side power window button is provided. A blank space stares back at you where the power-folding ORVM button should have been. Costly misses. Our Tata Altroz XM, at 1/3rds of the XUV7OO AX5's price, has this. Elementary, my dear Mahindra!
The street presence of the XUV7OO is considerable and incoming traffic easily gives way, which is totally absent when I am driving either the Creta or the Altroz. I have noticed XUV7OOs and Harriers/Safaris approaching from the front, and have to admit that the Tata siblings seem wider in comparison to the 7OO which looks smaller (specially in it's Silver shade, which looks too small from the front for some odd reason compared to Whites or Midnight Blacks).
The overall design is beautiful and striking from the front two-thirds on both sides, and the side profile. But at the rear or from the rear two-thirds, the XUV7OO loses it. It gives you the vibe of being an MPV when viewed directly from the rear, due to it's flat and straight rear stance. What I also don't like are those outlandishly big "pointed-arrow" tail lamps and the front DRL "whiskers". Despite these loud design traits, it is overall a tamed, more-squatting beast compared to the XUV5OO. Maybe Pratap Bose will bring back the wild, untamed side for the 7OO when his designs for it's facelift are finalised in the future.
The flush door handles look out of place on the XUV7OO. Many have lauded Mahindra for this offbeat yet clean design for the doors and the vehicle, but I don't like it's practical implementation for daily use. It's used for opening solid, heavy doors of the XUV and doesn't feel sturdy at all while doing so. One needs to be careful and not to exert too much strength while pulling the lever to open any door. Also, one needs to keep the driver's door handle pulled to it's maximum and held with one hand while trying to insert the key into the keyhole with the other. Good luck with that!
Overall build quality is robust and feels long-lasting. Doors shut with a big reassuring thud. Even the synthetic boot door, which has been a bone of contention for many, feels quite solid and closes with a thunk. Paint quality is excellent, with the pearl finish of the Everest White shade ensuring a bright shine under the sun. Panel gaps are inconsistent at some places and are quite big at others. Until 7-8 years back, cars used to come with rubber beadings fitted at most of these gaps between glass sections, until some hotshot MBA youngin decided to count the beans and removed them from his company's cars, and other companies simply followed suit. Now, these sections with missing rubber beadings look outlandish on premium offerings such as the XUV7OO. One can only hope that water drainage during the rainy season ahead doesn't become a cause for complaints.
The Menu control buttons for the MID are placed on the panel below and ahead of the steering wheel, which contains the buttons for the ESP, Hill-Hold/Descent & the headlamp leveling roller as well. It is completely misplaced, impractical and of limited accessibility, specially when the XUV7OO is in motion. You need to take your eyes off the road to access any particular section of the MID using those buttons. Specially when the MID menu resets itself back to "vehicle up-time" during a crank up, it becomes very irritating to access the buttons down below to access other sections of the MID. I don't miss the Cruise Control, TBH, because that's been the least used feature in all my previous cars equipped with it. But the Menu control buttons for the MID should have been given on the blanked right arm of the steering wheel of the AX5, at the very least, for easier access. Another one for the facelift, Pratap!
Interiors are rich and premium and look suitable for a premium car. Hyundai would be proud. The dashboard is well laid out and everything is perfectly in place and within range, provided you are a 6'0" guy like me with long arms. It's made of hard plastic but doesn't feel cheap. Material used for the switches or the bezels around the HU and the central console feel like they are built to last. The 7OO comes with a single glovebox with a separate space to store the manual. A second glovebox space above it, given in the 5OO, is missed here. All doors carry bottle holders and small spaces for a snack packet or two. The central console has two short spaces for cups and the driver armrest has limited space inside (even a block of packed ice-cream can't fit inside that). A key storing tray is given inside the armrest - this is for a car which uses a physical key for it's drives!
At the front, a missing Automatic Climate Control button is yet another shocker! At nearly 21 lakhs OTR, who in their right mind decided that the owner of such a premium SUV wouldn't need Automatic Climate Control, which is a given in plenty of cars 3 segments down?! Considering the cabin size which needs to be chilled, a more powerful AC motor is also sorely missed. Centrally mounted rear AC vents don't do enough when the cabin's insides are hot. B-pillar vents in the 5OO and now in the Safari/Harrier twins were more preferable for the 7OO. Overall, the AC gets a 07/10 rating from me for effectiveness on peak summer days.
The front seats are designed well and provide plenty of side bolstering with decent back and under-thigh support. Lumbar support is lacking and is sorely missed (my XUV500 W6 had it). Black interiors look great, and should be easy on maintenance than the all-whites of the top variants. Fabric upholstery is good for now, but will soon be tucked away under seat covers, once I finalise the set. The front seats keep you nicely in your place during cornering and body roll is well-controlled as much as possible. The front seats gets 6-way manual adjustment for height (excellent range) while the 2nd and 3rd row seats are reclinable, which is a pleasant surprise too. The 2nd row gets side bolstering with 60:40 split and one-touch tumble function, and is provided with a large central armrest with two cupholders in it (exclusive to the 7-seater). Space in the 2nd row is enough to seat 3 full-sized adults. Headroom and shoulder room is plenty for the first 2 rows for passengers of all sizes. The 3rd row gets 50:50 split but space-wise, it is best suited to children or people of very short height (read 5'0" feet or below). This doesn't bother me because the 3rd row will see use very occasionally and it will be folded most of the time. Another shocking omission - Mahindra has provided no lights for the 3rd row/boot area! With all seats up, there is enough space in the boot to keep 2-3 small travel/laptop bags. For a longer journey, you have no other option than to fold the 3rd row, or install a roof-top carrier for your luggage. The roof liner is of decent quality, although it's a severe grease or oil magnet. Don't let a dirty hand touch it, because cleaning afterwards can become a real pain.
Service intervals for the XUV7OO are at 1,000 kms (general checkup) and after that for every 10,000 kms. First 3 services are free. I expect the service charges to be as reasonable as the 5OO. Details can be checked in the WithYouHamesha app.
This was scheduled to be the new-gen XUV5OO initially, but Mahindra pulled a real rabbit out of the hat by christening it as the "XUV7OO" and gave the newly launching product two fantastic USPs - the vibe of a definite "upgrade" from the 5OO, and a dynamite of an introductory starting price range which ensured that the XUV7OO became a runaway blockbuster hit overnight.
DISLIKES SECTION #1:-
THE MISSES:- (Addressed directly to the product planners at Team Mahindra)
1) Shocking Miss #1 - You guys should be given a Special Jury Award (all sarcasms intended) for deciding to float a mid-variant of your company's most premium offering - with a panoramic "skyroof", auto-booster headlamps, sequential turn indicators, diamond-cut alloys, all-LED headlamps & foglamps, cornering lamps, Drive modes and whatnots - but NO reverse camera!!!!!
2) Shocking Miss #2 - How silly does it feel for an owner to hop off from the driver's seat after the panoramic "skyroof" has closed and to manually close the ORVMs on both sides?
3) Shocking Miss #3 - So, apparently you guys have designed a 7-seater, 3-row SUV and have not given any light (neither at the sides nor in the center of the roof) for the 3rd row passengers/boot space?!
Just how much does one normal yellow light bulb cost, my dear Mahindra?
See how dark it is behind the 2nd row seats?
4) Shocking Miss #4 - No ACC provided. Be ready to hear complaints for quick cooling, even at the "Coldest" setting, specially under a scorching hot mid-day sun.
(First three buttons for the Passenger Airbag are dummies, in case you are wondering)
Rear passengers will be definitely grumbling due to these small central rear AC vents.
5) Shocking Miss #5 - Both ESP and Hill-Hold/Descent Control are absent in the AX5 petrol MT and below.
AX5 petrol MT steering-side console - screenshot from YouTube.
Thankfully my AX5 diesel MT gets them both.
No choice other than to extend budgets for this one very-crucial feature.
(All you product planners at Team Mahindra, please note :-
You need to get your brains checked, guys. Seriously, what the hell were you all smoking?! Is the XUV7OO AX5 the very first such half-baked-and-served variant in known automotive history with all these very basic feature omissions in an otherwise mind-blowingly feature-rich car?!)
DISLIKES SECTION #2:-
1) It's an ergonomic nightmare when the key is needed to be inserted into the keyhole provided inside the door handle of the driver-side door, in case of emergencies.
Normal extension of the door handle - no chance of inserting the key!
Don't break the springs inside while keeping the lever pulled all the way
like this, but you will finally get access to that elusive keyhole!
2) Just have a look at some prominent panel gaps:-
Rear tail light section on the left.
The gap just below the rear windshield is big enough
to insert an entire key of the XUV7OO!
The C-pillar on the left side.
3) Overdesigned elements at the front and rear are a real buzzkill. I usually hate such in-your-face designing and contours. The 5OO's all-round looks were better in comparison.
4) The default OEM MRF Wanderers are strictly average and seem to have limited groove depth too. Treads don't seem like they will stick fast to the surfaces either. If ride quality is a must, then definitely change these tyres.
5) Ride quality at low speeds is semi-decent, FSDs notwithstanding. Not tough or harsh by any means, but still it's not quite as good as say, a Tata Hexa. Forget comparisons with the Renault Duster. Even the Tata twins rode better.
(Pic taken from our Official Review of the XUV7OO)
6) The steering is just perfect to hold and quite grippy too. Comes with thumb contours and, no surprises for guessing, a flat bottom. But the feel and feedback from it needs some reworking to be truly engaging.
The now-trending flat-bottom steering looks out of place on big, butch SUVs. Can we have those normal fully-round ones back, please?
7) The manual Internal Rear View Mirror (IRVM) is small and has limited visibility. With the rear headrests lifted up, this becomes more problematic.
8) Normal power windows given for all doors. This is akin to a B-segment car at 1/4th of the AX5's price.
Notice the very-evident missing power-folding ORVM button
and the missing One-touch driver door window button?
9) The key doesn't come out easily when the XUV7OO is completely shut off. It gets annoying specially when I am in a hurry to leave the car.
The key stuck in the LOCK position inside the illuminated keyhole.
10) The haptic touch feedback from the AdrenoX-powered infotainment system is slow and takes a full second to register.
Also, the system has problems while reading from 16GB/32GB USB drives. I have lost count of the number of times it keeps resetting back to the first song of the drives. Going back and searching for the previously half-played track is a lengthy, cumbersome task. Hopefully a software update will fix this. With all the advancements made in developing such complex OEM systems today (faster processors, more RAM, bigger inbuilt storages, etc.), failure to read the simple folder paths of an USB drive is still a concerning issue. Take note, Visteon!
Even my 2020 Creta's infotainment system has this exact same problem of not reading big USB drives, although touch feedback in the Hyundai's system is far, far quicker.
11) Front central console storage section ahead of the gear lever is equipped with a single USB port only. While the 2nd row passengers get a single USB-C type charging port, the very-useful 12V socket is provided all the way back in the 3rd row!
Absolutely impractical for normal usage, specially for tyre inflators, car vacuum cleaners and the likes with short extension cords.
No 2nd USB port provided for charging at the front, not even a 12V socket!
With Wireless Charging also missing, this is a big omission.
12) The front armrest is fixed and is made of hard plastic. Uncomfortable to use on long journeys.
13) Short gear lever is tough to upshift/downshift in the first 2 gears sometimes. After that, it eases out. Needs some more fine-tuning to be considered as truly smooth.
Slotting into reverse is easy - just lift the ring below the gearknob and shift slightly more ahead to the left, then upwards.
14) Boot space, with all 3 rows up, is very, very limited. Best for 2 laptop bags.
15) Another example of cost-cutting - gone are the hydraulic struts from under the bonnet. Replaced by you-know-what, that too on one side only.
16) A smaller-sized, speed-limited temporary 155-section spare wheel is provided. An upgrade to a full-sized spare is highly recommended. Have ordered mine.
(thanks to BHPian abirnale for this pic)
Last edited by RavenAvi : 23rd May 2022 at 08:01.
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|21st May 2022, 19:15||#4|
Distinguished - BHPian
re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
LIKES SECTION #1:-
1) All-around disc brakes provided. Such a necessity for a car of this size and weight and costing as much. Good to see Mahindra not skimping on this very crucial addition.
2) Even with just 6 speakers inside the AX5, sound quality reproduced by the Sony tuning team is good enough for the casual listeners. Sound can be bass heavy if needed, but clarity is not this system's forte. I am planning to add components at the rear in the future, and/or possibly a woofer too.
Tweeters provided inside both the front doors.
3) Neatly angled front individual Map Lamps. Doesn't disturb either driver or front passenger with it's own direct or downward glare while being sufficiently bright.
4) Height-adjustable front row seatbelts. A boon for taller occupants.
5) Slim umbrella holder sections provided on both front door pockets. Very useful for me because it rains for nearly 7 months in a year in my city!
6) Very comfortable seats in the 1st and 2nd rows, complimented nicely by the extra side padding for both rows (1st row gets more padding than the 2nd). I love these interiors in black - elegant and lesser on maintenance/dirt accumulation.
The fabric chosen is quite decent and breathable.
7) 6-way height-adjustable driver seat has 25 different up/down levels and which can be adjusted manually, apart from the usual back reclining and the sliding forward/backward levers.
Very useful for finding the ideal driving position for both shorter and taller drivers.
8) Separate reading/map lamps provided on either side of the grab handles for the 2nd row passengers.
9) Foot-mounted 2nd row AC vents under the front seats brings some added relief for the rear passengers.
11) A USB-Type C charging port provided for 2nd row passengers. Ideally, this should have been placed ahead of the gear lever, together with the main USB port.
Most premium smartphones have switched to USB-C ports today.
This backlit port takes some time to go off after the 7OO is locked.
12) 3rd row passengers get their own individual AC vents with blower control and a bottle holder each.
The 12V socket here looks out of place.
It should have been placed centrally, under the 2nd row AC vents.
13) Grab handles with individual coat hooks provided for all passengers in the 2nd and 3rd rows. Excellent!
14) Clips provided to hold the 2nd and 3rd row seatbelts when not in use. Prevents knocking around.
That recess behind the 3rd row seatbelt is for fitting a parcel tray shelf (OEM accessory).
15) 3rd row seats when folded flat and covered with a single-piece boot mat converts into a humongous boot space. A gap between the folded 3rd row seats and the jack section is covered up by this too.
LIKES SECTION #2:-
1) The big bundle of joy 4-cylinder block under the hood called the mHawk (2.2L turbo-charged diesel with 182BHP & 420Nm).
2) Powerful "Clear-View" LED headlamps and LED foglamps.
Aided by the Auto-booster headlamps (also LED) which come on at a speed of 80kmph (with the first high-speed warning chime) and dazzle up the road ahead.
And, those perfectly angled cornering lamps, inside the foglamp sections, which come on when turns are initiated and go out with theater-dimming effect as soon as the turn is completed.
Powerful and long throw. No upgrade required at all.
Auto-booster headlamp section is given at the bottom right.
3) Sequential turn indicators in the front look very, very classy. Can't wait for the rear sequentials to become available for my 7OO.
4) Panoramic "skyroof" adds that WOW factor to the in-cabin ambience.
5) Twin 10.25-inch fully digital screens!
The AdrenoX-fueled Infotainment system & the twin Speedo + RPM displays have fabulous resolutions.
The short movie at startup, of the XUV racing across from the left screen into the MID screen looks fantastic and prompts a "Hello Icarus" mutter from me everytime.
The initial complete sweep of the digital needles across the digital dials
is a visual treat for a modern enthusiast's eyes!
6) A complete NAV-infotainment system - Android Auto, Alexa voice commands, MMI Navigation, online/offline app drawers, customisation options and upcoming Apple CarPlay - tinkering galore!
Exploring all of them will take a lifetime.
7) Drive Modes!
Avoid Zip mode (mapped to 155BHP/360Nm),
unless you bought the 7OO for it's FE figures and for no other use.
(get those brain cells checked as well!)
The default Zap mode (mapped to 182BHP/390Nm) is perfect for in-city traffic
while keeping the mHawk uncorked and ready for your right foot's beckoning.
Zoom mode (mapped to the full 182BHP/420Nm) unleashes the torque monster sleeping under the hood
- keep this aside for highways exclusively!
Oh, and there's a Custom Mode too.
Customise your drive as per your preferences of the 3 modes given in terms of -
Engine Power, Brakes, Climate Control, Steering feedback & Theme!
8) Curtain airbags provided on both sides (on the B & C Pillars) in a mid-variant - protection extends and covers the entire 3rd row too!
9) Reclinable 2nd row and 3rd row seats! Fantastic for long-distance cruising.
Last edited by RavenAvi : 23rd May 2022 at 08:08.
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|23rd May 2022, 03:11||#5|
Distinguished - BHPian
re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
AdrenoX Inside & Accessories (so far):-
The XUV7OO comes with it's own fully-customised infotainment system which is called "AdrenoX". The entire touchscreen infotainment, instrument clusters in the MID and the connected car technology are powered by this software packed inside it.
Supported ably by wireless Android Auto, offline MapMyIndia maps for Navigation, (possibly upcoming) Apple CarPlay, and inbuilt apps catering to all types of utilites one can think of, the AdrenoX system in sync with the AdrenoX mobile app provides an endless list of connectivity features across both devices - your smartphone and the In-Car Entertainment system.
Inside the 7OO, want to check your Horoscope for the day? No problem.
Reached another city, hungry and want to order some food? Zomato present!
In fact, the AdrenoX system is so extensive that it would take at least a year to familiarise oneself with the entire nooks and crannies of the full AdrenoX system available inside the 7OO. Couple that with an exhaustive list of accessible features in the fully digital MID, and this is the best way to pass plenty of free time daily with your favourite steed (until you run out of battery juice, that is!).
These are just some of them:-
You can scroll through several screens on the far left display which shows time - it shows your Eco Score, Health status (if your smartwatch app is connected), pictures/videos stored in your USB/storage, latest Weather updates by AccuWeather, latest News headlines by India Today, recommendations by Thrillophilia, and any highlighted events in your Calendar.
Click on any of the above to go to their individual home screens. For example, clicking on the News headline (shown below) by India Today will open the India Today app, where you can scroll through and play any of the Top News.
Click on the first "Fun In XUV7OO" screen on the left and you will access the Radio, Android Auto, Music & Navigation menus.
Android Auto = Wireless connectivity supported. My S21 Ultra connected smoothly and the AA screen started displaying in a jiffy.
Create a custom User Profile and you can configure plenty of options for it - preferred audio source, custom audio settings, set the order of apps in the application drawer as per your use, stored screen saver, link your profile to your keyfob, and keep your profile locked.
For Audio settings, the DTS section has 2 preset soundstages in the AX3/AX5 - Stage & Studio (3D sound is obviously missing). You can also set the Sound Field position, Equalizer (Flat/Rock/Pop/Jazz/Custom), and the Speed Dependent Volume Control (High, Mid or Low) as per your choice.
The Navigation button opens the MMI maps on the HU.
Neat party trick - open the Navigation pane in the MID too, and long-press the Enter button beside the Steering Wheel. Both dials disappear from the sides of the display in front and you have twin full-screen navigational displays!
Another party trick - get the "Zoom" drive mode enabled and the twin digital dials in the Speedo animatedly part way from the middle and change into this display:-
Will share tons more in the days to come.
For the 7OO, the AdrenoX app and the WithYouHamesha app are recommended downloads. While the AdrenoX app keeps you connected with your car and provides real-time on-the-spot alerts for overspeeding, engine idling for more than 10 minutes, parking lamps on/off, low fuel warning, vehicle start/stop warning, door open warning, seatbelts off warning & Insurance expiry warning, the main options under the Alert Configuration are the GeoFencing feature, TimeFencing feature, and the personalised Safety alerts which are customisable as per your preferences.
Home Screen of the AdrenoX smartphone app.
Remote button at bottom takes you to your 7OO's Status & Control sections.
The top 3 options are enabled after your 7OO is cranked up and turned on.
The Trips section shows all your trip details and your EcoSense score for each trip taken.
Click on any particular trip to access full details of it.
Real-time location is shown with current temperature outside and weather.
Each alert can be individually accessed for details.
Accessories fitted so far:-
Keyzone Striped Black Silicone Key Cover (349/-)
OEM Stainless Steel Rear Bumper Guard (5,105/-).
OEM Front and Rear Mud Flaps kit (given FOC with Icarus).
OEM Satin Matte Chrome Bumper Corner Protector set of 4 (1,190/-).
OEM Illuminated Scuff Protector set of 4 (4,550/-)
OEM Screen Protector Film (690/-) (installed it myself and created that cutout for the AdrenoX badge)
My personal favourite - OEM Touch-based Automatic Headlamps kit (2500/-)
(took 4 hours to get installed but was worth the time - now Icarus is a certified AX5+ MT variant!)
Guess what - wiring for most of the added features of the AX7 (auto headlamps, auto wipers, cruise control, lane-keep assist, etc.) are given behind the dashboard of the AX5. All you need are related parts, their couplers and wirings, a strong heart and stomach while your new car's dashboard is being dismantled in front of you from top and bottom and from side to side, and plenty of patience.
Look what we found! Wiring present for most features of the top variants.
1) OEM Reverse Camera from the AX7/AX7L with wiring, couplers & fascia, (arriving soon!)
2) OEM 17-inch Piano Black Diamond Cut Alloy Wheel with Hub cap, (arriving soon!)
3) OEM Power-folding ORVMs with related wiring & couplers,
4) Seat Covers by Elegant with matching stitched steering cover,
5) Royal 7D Black/Red dual-tone Mats by Elegant, (coming soon)
6) "I-C-A-R-U-S" letters for the front and back, (coming soon)
7) A decent long-lasting body cover,
8) Anything else which is of real utility for my ownership ahead and catches my fancy.
Signing off with the only motif I found on the XUV7OO - a sticker on the front windshield.
Catch you all very soon with tons of updates!
Last edited by RavenAvi : 23rd May 2022 at 07:54.
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|23rd May 2022, 08:35||#6|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanked: 259,079 Times
Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!
Going to our homepage tomorrow
Wishing you a minimum of 150,000 km with your XUV700. An SUV that punches above its weight & how. She's a keeper, hold on for at least 8 - 10 years.
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|23rd May 2022, 18:02||#7|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Bhilai, CG.
Thanked: 1,178 Times
Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Brilliant thread Avinashji, full of details as usual.
I had read about your back pain in your Creata 2 thread - hope the ICARUS gives you relief from your health issues. Take care of your health. I am always amazed at your writing skills - so detailed yet so enthralling and captivating. I am also slightly amused about your habbit of naming each one of your cars and every name has a little story or reasoning behind it. I wonder where do you get all these ideas from.
Congratulations once again for Icarus and wishing you many many miles of happy niggle free riding with the beast.
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|23rd May 2022, 23:02||#8|
Distinguished - BHPian
Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Yes, Icarus is a long-term keeper. As I mentioned above, I have decided to keep him until our Earth runs out of diesel. Absolutely love the 7OO and can't wait to make this AX5 a more complete variant by adding all the missing necessities and some niceties in the days to come.
The back + left leg issues have gone down considerably in the past year and half. Shouldn't be a problem now with the 7OO because mechanically it is a huge jump over the 5OO - smooth clutch, short gear lever with sure shifts, excellent braking and very sorted road manners complimented by that lovely suspension. One thing which the 7OO needs is a nice upgrade from the OEM MRF shoes, and that should make the mechanical package complete.
Instructions on how to set up Alexa and the complete list of
Alexa voice commands (you need an Amazon account for this):-
The fuse box behind the steering section on the right.
The top-end features are just missing the fuses
(and the necessary parts + couplers, but of course):-
Fuse diagram confirms - Radar, 360 degree Camera, Windshield Camera, Powered Seats, Cruise Control, Climate Control - all are here.
Details of the Visteon unit mounted inside Icarus:-
Dead pedal is tall but useful and does the job when needed.
Front grille's teeth are too far wide and can't stop insects from getting inside.
No, the OEM bug deflector accessory won't help with this either.
Despite their enormous sizes, the LED taillights look absolutely fab in the night.
One-touch Auto headlamp kit in action.
Interior door handles are finished in cheap plastic.
Tilt steering adjustment only, for the AX5.
Driver's headrest has 4 levels of adjustment, while the 2nd row passenger's headrest gets 2 levels.
Non-illuminated vanity mirror given on the front passenger sunvisor. Better half won't be happy for night parties.
Storage space under the front armrest, with the keyfob tray removed.
That's a small 250g hand sanitiser bottle for reference. No cooled function.
I am glad Mahindra has given these 4 indents inside each cupholder (1 in front, 2 in the rear seat armrest) to keep the cups firmly in place and prevent them from falling/rolling over. Thoughtful.
Check this out - Cruise Control utilisation section under EcoSense!
The Connected Apps section has a package called "Over-The-Air Surprises" with a gift icon! Interesting. And eagerly anticipating.
Very detailed AccuWeather app section.
Unlock the 7OO, open the driver side door and sit inside, and close the door.
You are greeted by this:-
Turn the key to see the digital dials make a clean sweep:-
"Zip" Drive Mode activated:-
In "Zip" mode, the Speedo & RPM dials show all the numbers, whereas..
"Zap" Drive Mode activated:-
In "Zap" mode, the Speedo & RPM dials are lit just for the numbers near which the needle hovers.
"Zoom" Drive Mode activated:-
"Zoom" mode shows all the numbers across the Speedo & RPM dials, just in a different, parted layout.
"Custom" Drive Mode activated:-
Last edited by RavenAvi : 23rd May 2022 at 23:10.
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|24th May 2022, 05:59||#9|
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Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Congratulations on your new acquisition Avi.
The XUV7OO is a complete mechanical package barring a few missing features. It does miss out on electronic features but nevertheless, it suffices. Wishing you miles and miles of happy driving ahead.
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|24th May 2022, 09:50||#10|
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Exceptional, unbiased & detailed ownership reviews of cars have started going to our homepage reviews box. It's the ultimate stamp of trust from Team-BHP (as a platform) because lakhs of visitors every month check out reviews from there & make purchase decisions.
Your review has also been included here. Thank you so much for sharing .
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|24th May 2022, 11:00||#11|
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Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Congratulations, Avi, on what can arguably called India's own flagship premium offering at a just price. When the 7OO was announced, and a friend of mine was contemplating a new car, I suggested only the MX or the AX5 to him. He eventually got a Kia Seltos but that is another story.
1. nothing works per system - one gets preferential treatment if one pulls the right levers.
2. there is huge demand for most new launches and that kills half the excitement.
2. White - my favourite shade on most cars, but I'm surprised why you were skeptical, given that you've owned whites
3. Alloy design and size - completely agree. I'm not a fan of angled spokes but on this one, it looks really good. Tyre size I think is the same as the 5OO plus replacement would work out much cheaper than, say, 18 inchers
Once again, Best Wishes to you and family on this great car, and do hope to see some fine details emerging on this thread in time to come.
A small tip - please think of a way to cover those wide openings in the grille. A medium size stone, launched from the tyre of a heavy vehicle in front on the highway can pass through the grille and damage the condenser.
Maybe you could think of installing some mesh in the inner side of the grille, like what is shown below
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|24th May 2022, 11:18||#12|
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Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Wow, this review is really something, one of its kind in terms of coverage of the details.
Congratulations for the XUV
Really liked the attention and the unbiased views, depicts the command you have over the subject and the car. It's one thing to know what's good or bad, an entirely another thing to actually put it down & share so comprehensively with others! Loved it.
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|24th May 2022, 11:24||#13|
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Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
This is exceptional stuff, RavenAvi. Wishing you a lot of happy miles with the car.
One thing that I'm curious about. How are the drive modes impacting the steering response on the car? Is it too early to say at ~700 kms?
P.S. When I was shortlisting my Creta, coincidentally in a similar trajectory like you in under a week, I showed my partner and parents your long term review and they were more secure about the choice. It'll be serendipity if we get a Mahindra in the future due to this post.
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|24th May 2022, 11:47||#14|
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
It was absolute joy reading your review. Well balanced and with loads of information. I love the XUV700 in its Black and White avatars. Yours in white is a nice choice. Wish you an exciting and long ownership of your Icarus! Will be coming back often to check for your updates.
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|24th May 2022, 12:28||#15|
Join Date: Dec 2021
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Re: The Flights of Icarus | Our Mahindra XUV700 AX5 Diesel MT
Congratulations on your new car and the excellent post, it will take me some time to go through all the valuable details.
I wanted to know how does one write such a long post, do you first compose it in Word or Pages along with all the images and then copy paste?
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