12,800 km in 1 year with my Maruti Suzuki XL6

The best 1.5L NA engine if you ask me, the pep, efficiency, ease of driving and refinement is simply unmatched. Gearbox is as slick as any Japanese unit.

BHPian Leoshashi recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The XL turns 1: Getting the likes and dislikes out of the way first.


1.  Engine and Gearbox: The best 1.5 NA if you ask me, the pep, efficiency, ease of driving and refinement is simply unmatched. Gearbox is as slick as any Japanese unit. There were some vibes and notch-iness when the car was new, now everything has fallen into place.

2. Space: Need I say anything more? Being a monocoque, even the rear seats are usable. Only issue for the last row is its ingress/egress.

3. Practicality: It’s a well thought out car with provisions for almost everything. Well it's an MPV trait.

4. Driving dynamics despite being an MPV is among the very best.

5. Features I love:

  • LED lights all around, had some issues with focus earlier, but solved it to satisfaction. It continues to struggle in fog though. For that I intend to use a pair of good old halogen fogs with some quality yellow bulbs, which will be plug and play whenever needed.
  • The comfortable captain seats and well sorted ride: My parents absolutely love it.
  • AC performance: The rear AC is there for a purpose and when used, the AC is sufficient for all. I was scared about summers but it lived up to its reputation.
  • Smartplay HU: Has enough features to keep me happy. Rear Camera is a real boon!
  • Auto Folding ORVMs. I realized it’s usefulness when we got the S Cross which lacks this feature.
  • The Ugly claddings: Never thought I’d say this, but they are extremely sturdy and pragmatic for our conditions. Has saved the body umpteen times from nasty hits.
  • Bottle holders at front with cooling function: They are immensely useful over long drives.
  • Cruise Control: Enough said!
  • The Under boot storage: Very practical to keep regular supplies. I use it to keep Umbrellas, Emergency kit which consists of Tow Strap, Jumper cable and Tubeless tire repair kit, Battery Jump starter and body cover neatly.

6. Smart Hybrid System: Gives enough boost at part throttle, and till now it’s start stop system has never proven to be a nuisance in daily use.

It’s hard to list out all the small positives, so I’ve mentioned the top ones, and will now go for the top things I hate about this car:


1. Absolutely third grade dashboard integration: Rattled at the slightest provocation. Had to do a major surgery and fix all of them. Else I was so badly frustrated with it that I was planning to cut my losses, sell it and get a base model Crysta!

2. Lack of features: Agreed it’s 90% of the Crysta at 50% of money and there is no direct competition, but it wouldn’t have hurt Maruti to give it some must have features. I badly missed features like Auto Dimming IRVM, Footwell lamps, UV cut glasses etc which it’s cheaper sibling the Baleno gets. I expect Maruti to give it at least UV cut glasses on this MPV with the facelift since it has huge glass area.

3. Looks: The stock look with tiny wheels look absolutely horrible. While looks wise I’d have loved to get 16 inchers of the XL7, the practical guy in me suggests that currently I’m on the best possible tyre combo-195/65R15. Also Before I forget, those black painted wheels are downright crappy. It’s a scratch magnet and the design is too hard to clean properly!

4. Engine should get an Engine cover. I like to keep my engines clean and this K15 is notorious for water getting inside spark plug hole if pressure is used.

5. Thin window panels: They let in a lot of outside noise inside. Also stock sound insulation is nothing to brag about.

6. Not many options in MGA except the chrome crap.

7. Lack of rear fog lamps

8. Stock key fob design, looks too mundane and is a scratch magnet too. Would have preferred old oval fob.

Changes done / Features added over the stock XL6:

  • Complete sound proofing done, not the regular damping. Unfortunately lost most pics due to a corrupted SD card. Still have recovered some and a detailed post is coming soon. Has made a huge difference to the inside cabin comfort.
  • Upgraded to Michelin XM2 195/65R15 on D-day itself. One of the best things to happen to this car. Hope Michelin sorts out its supply issues by the time the current set wears out.
  • 5th Wheel is now an alloy
  • Engine isn’t exposed now from underneath, gets a nice flush fitting engine guard.
  • Ceramic Coated, DIY. Durability is good even after a year.
  • Upgraded to MGA PM 2.5 Cabin Filter
  • Installed Solar powered TPMS by Manatec
  • Dead pedal Footrest rubber installed
  • Runs on OEM Iridium Plugs now
  • Installed Foot well lamps
  • Installed Auto-Dimming IRVM

Niggles faced:

  • When the car was new, its fuel lid wouldn’t open. The spring near lid hinge wasn’t adjusted properly, it took my old Mechanic Arjun few seconds to set it right.
  • Rattles from dashboard. Fixed myself, well documented here.
  • The boot struts appeared weak at one point of time, had to push it all the way up. Maruti had confirmed that this is covered under warranty. However, I accidentally cleaned the strut and it all became fine. It was covered with fine dust and may be that had something to do with the operation. It became fine after that and till now I haven’t got it replaced.
  • When the car was new, the driver side request sensor would work intermittently. I was directing the water pressure jet on the handle which is forbidden in the owner’s manual. Was entirely my mistake and it got resolved on its own.

Recommendations to Maruti for facelifted XL6:

  • 15/16 inch alloys with some good design. With our road conditions I wouldn’t be adamant for 16 inchers, but we deserve a good looking 15 inch design at least.
  • Auto Dimming IRVM
  • Puddle Lamps from the Ignis / Baleno / Kizashi
  • Backlit buttons for the PW console
  • UV Cut glass all around (A must)
  • Engine cover and underbody guard like the Dzire/Swift
  • Rear foldable sunblinds like the Kia Seltos
  • Footwell lamps
  • Try to do something about the crappy dashboard integration. It’s a rattle snake as of now
  • A good music system, like the Seltos/Creta with amps and all.
  • Rear fog lamp, an absolute must.
  • Bi-Projector LED Headlamps, the current ones though good, light scatters a lot. Projected beam gives different kind of confidence to the driver.

What can be implemented in future generations:

  • A panoramic sunroof-it’s all the rage right now
  • Curtain and side airbags
  • 6 Speed AT and MT gearboxes

Warranty claims: None

Any current complains: None, keeps running like a clock.

Who loves this car the most: While dad is happy with the comfort offered, he is physically fit and hence not too concerned about the vehicle he is being driven in. Mom on the other hand is suffering from Sciatica and till now, the only mode of transport she considered was flight or trains. Road trips were a strict no-no for her, since she couldn’t sit for more than 1 hour at a stretch in ANY car. That has changed drastically with the XL6, and this is the reason mom loves this car the most. She is now able to enjoy road trips, which were earlier a nuisance for her. Seats which are firm, placed at the right height and enough feeling of space ensures that she enjoys the trips to the fullest now. Recently she also tried to drive it, and was surprised by the ease of driving. She loved the light clutch, smooth gearshift and ergonomically sorted seating and this is the first time she drove a manual in last 9 years.

For me, this car will be special since it’s my first car, and the affinity mom has developed, makes it even more special.

Efficiency (Kitna Deti hai):

Depends a lot on the driving conditions and style, and by tankful to tankful methods, the best I've got till now is around 20kmpl, while the worst stands at around 14.8kmpl when I was gunning the engine and did Varanasi-Ranchi in flat 6.5 hours. I don't pay much attention to FE these days, but it always remains between 17-19kmpl.

My maintenance regime: Strictly following the Owner's manual, except for few things:

  • I'll be sticking to 5k oil change intervals. Agreed it may be overkill, but the oil is cheap (~Rs. 1300 per 3.5L can), and it degrades heavily around the 7-8k mark. Will be doing this at home, DIY.
  • I plan to change the filters proactively at half the recommended mark. For example, replacement of fuel and air filter is recommended at 40k service. I intend to do it at 20k. 40k for fuel filter will be too much, given the quality of fuel in my area. Again DIY since I doubt MASS will agree to this.
  • I clean the air filters myself every 2000 km, or whenever I get time.
  • Tyre rotation every 5k km, Balancing and Alignment as per need.
  • One thing I noticed was that the Exide battery had its electrolyte level below the minimum mark during first service. May be this is why the OEM batteries doesn't last long. Since then I've made it a point to visually check the level frequently and top up with Exide Distillo Distilled water whenever needed. I'll prefer that MASS mechanics don't touch this because they tend to overfill the battery, which then causes all kinds of spillage and corrosion.
  • My other maintenance practices include frequently lubing the locks, hinges, Window channel etc. Twice a year is enough I believe.

How much on the Odo:

The car has run close to 12,800 kms in past 1 year. My annual running remained around 10k with other cars, but due to COVID scene, I'm preferring my own transport rather than opting for public means. Hence the slightly higher running.

Birthday drive:

My good friend Dr Mukund planned a highway drive and breakfast. For the first time I was the co-driver in my own car. The roads were awesome and the scenes were equally breath-taking. Also got the car cleaned inside out the previous day. Some pics:

First PUC

Cleaned the engine bay myself:

Also, as a symbol of gratitude for the service our rides give, celebrated its birthday, like I do for GG:

Signing off with one of my favorite clicks:

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Got BHP?