10,000 km with a Scorpio-N 4X4 AT: Overall experience & mileage

I am impressed by how the car feels on patchy roads and small/large potholes. They are not a challenge for this vehicle.

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10,000 KM Update – First Service and Uttarakhand Drive

My Scorpio-N has now completed 10,000 km and I recently got the second service done. I drive a 4Explor Z8L Auto and will be describing my experience so far with the vehicle.

The Drive So Far

I have had no complaints so far from the vehicle. Mentioned earlier – I have completed 10,000 km with the vehicle after receiving the car in September 2022. This includes an equal mix of city and highway drives. The car has typical body on frame characteristics, and I feel it is excellent to drive at about 90-95 kmph. At these speeds on the highway, I have found the car to be performing at its optimum in terms of mileage and drive smoothness. Top gear hits at about 90 and the odometer stays at about 1700 RPM in 6th gear at 100 kmph. I have seen fuel economies hovering around the 15 kmpL when driving with a light foot at 90-95 kmph and around 12-12.5 in the cities. I like quick accelerations but not high speeds – and that probably is the reason why I get better economy on the highways compared to the city. The Air Conditioning is excellent and one of the best I have seen in a car. I can’t talk about the third row since that seat is hardly ever used in my car. Temperatures in Ahmedabad have started to go north of 40 degrees daily and even during that time, the car becomes cold in a couple of minutes. I keep the temperatures at 23 degrees at Auto.

I am impressed by how the car feels on patchy roads and small/large potholes. They are not a challenge for this vehicle. You don’t feel unsettled when doing 70 kmph+ when on patchy roads, small road bumps, and even small to medium potholes. The damping works well too, and you can kind of feel that it works a little too much.

Here are a few things that could have been better:

  • The bottle holders: I have had the car for 6 months now and I still can’t get a hang on how to find these bottle holders in the car without scratching my hand on the door insides. Very poor design.
  • Flat boot space: I have seen the flat boot space in the newer cars, and it looks better than my model.
  • Power socket: There is no 12V power socket in front. I bought an extender in case I want to use the air compressor for front tires.
  • Odd tire size: Almost no options if you wish to stay at the current tire size and wish to change to an AT.
  • Poor departure angle: A lot has been discussed here and I would add to that. You must be super careful with the rear of the car when on tough terrain.

Dealership and Service

When I bought the car, I was skeptical about Mahindra – heard too many horror stories from YouTubers and elsewhere. My experience so far has been good and excellent. I had a pleasant sales experience and have had several conversations with the dealership after sales. My service experience was excellent too and I paid about INR 3500 for the service. Second key assignment took a while but all tasks during the service were completed carefully with attention to detail. Car was cleaned and delivered post service.

Long Mountain Drive

I took the car last December to Uttarakhand. Unfortunately, 2022 did not see snow even in the higher reaches of the Himalayas, and I could not test the car in snow. But I enjoyed driving the car. The climbs are nothing for the engine and there is enough torque available even if you wish to overtake when on a climb. The automatic gearbox is no DSG but is quick and smooth. Since the 4Explore always stays in the Zoom mode, the gearshifts happen at 2000 RPM. Downhills, the car could do with more engine braking in lower gears. I found that the car keeps speeding even though very slightly when downhill and you have to slow it down using the brakes or shifting manually to a lower gear. I got an average of 10.5 kmpL (Rishikesh – Ukhimath – Chopta – Joshimath – Tapovan - Rishikesh) whereas my overall trip mileage was around 15 kmpL for my drive from Ahmedabad. Passengers were extremely comfortable during the journey. I did remove the rear seats to pack luggage for the trip. At Joshimath, the early morning temperatures were subzero and the car started in one crank.

Despite the shortcomings which are too glaring IMO, and should not be present in this car, I think I love the vehicle. I like the road presence and everyday after parking it in office, I do turn back and look back at it.

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