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2022 Maruti XL6 6AT vs old XL6 4AT: The Good, Bad & Ugly

Maruti has prioritised fuel efficiency in a car that won't find any commercial buyer.

BHPian dr.aviansh recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

K15C+6AT XL6 vs K15B+4AT XL6.

The good

Improved NVH Levels: From poor to absolutely good. It can easily beat a Honda or a Toyota if not Hyundai or VAG. Traffic noise has drastically gone down and wind noise was very less till 90 km/h. The beading inside the doors felt superior to the previous ones.

Lesser Panel Flex: I felt the doors didn't have the typical Maruti panel flex anymore! Something similar I observed with the new Baleno over the outgoing version. @LeoShashi, please confirm this unsure observation with the part numbers. However, the fenders and quarter panels still flex subjecting them to minor pressure. Hoping the long term reviewers won't complain of those small ripples on body panels that Maruti's develop with age.

Ride Quality: The time when I TD'ed the K15B, I purposely made the sales executive guy and my buddy sits in the backseat to check its high-speed bounciness. The poor guys kept on tossing around and despite being in the front seat, I found the Ride to become bouncy on big potholes.

This time, the same friend's first reaction was undoubtedly positive attributing to the stiffened shockers and the alloy upsize. Yes, there's now a mild stiffness at the rear at very low speeds, but one must keep in mind that this car is meant to carry 6 + luggage across the state, and a wallowing ride with 6 onboard on highways can be risky.

Now, the ride is indeed mature and I intentionally did some risky manoeuvres but the car didn't lose grip despite the tall height, which is a big thumbs up.

UV Cut Glass: A big boon to keep you away from the sunlight without having to consider aftermarket tints.

New Alloy Wheels: They look pretty decent when compared with the previous Karol Bagh style black alloys.

The Bad

Air Con: The AC does get noisy at high fan speeds and the cooling time was more than expected. At no time I was feeling comfortable despite being inside the car for 20 mins. This is a surprise as our car aircon mechanic who is highly knowledgeable in his field firmly says that Maruti Ertiga has a very effective AC. So I'll have to recheck that.

The Ugly

Zero Brownie points for guessing.

When I drove the K15B+4AT, I was appreciative of the combo. I couldn't fathom why it was being hated so much. The L gear was perfect for a fun little drag when the signal turns green and I vaguely remember it to be capable of touching 55 km/h.

The '2' was like a tall 3rd gear. You could practically drive it on that gear all day without ever having to wait for power. It could start galloping at 75 km/h from crawling speeds in pretty decent time, that's how widespread that single gear was. Surely, it wasn't the fastest MUV to do a 0-100 sprint in, but it was giving exactly what one would want from a 6/7 seater, i.e. DRIVABILITY.

Coming to the newer engine-gearbox combo, one thing is sadly crystal clear MS have prioritised fuel economy in a car that won't find any commercial buyer (XL6, not Ertiga). A different gearbox tuning or maybe a Sport Mode should have been in the private buyer oriented XL6.

When will the guys at MS ever learn that 6/7 seaters are themselves, fuel savers when put against using 2 cars to carry 6/7 people?

Start off by putting into D and the initial torque is surprisingly decent due to its Mild Hybrid System and you'd feel that people are unnecessarily criticising this combo, it's not half bad. BUT, the story doesn't end here. While the mid-range is just liveable, on reaching 4k rpm the engine becomes boomy. In an otherwise silent cabin, that low pitched boom makes it very disturbing. It's nowhere music to your ears as the i-Vtec. The progress on the speedometer >4,000 rpms doesn't feel synchronised with the tachometer. The most obvious thing to do: Upshift and regret not buying a Carens GDI.

On part throttle inputs, the gearbox acts a little confused before it downshifts and progress is made. Mash the pedal to the metal and the progress is a further better after the initial hesitation, BUT as soon as you back off the throttle by say 10%, at near redline, the gearbox upshifts by two gears! It simply doesn't understand that a minor letting goes of the throttle doesn't mean that one's looking for a relaxed drive now. That's a very pathetic tuning of the gearbox.

Paddle Shifts: While the auto mode isn't meant for anyone, not even non-enthusiasts, it's the shifters that come in handy. However, like I said, revving beyond 4k makes no sense. The paddles themselves shift faster than the auto mode and the clicks are assuring too.

While the manual mode doesn't upshift automatically thankfully, it is not keen on downshifting either! There were instances where I was pottering around in 2nd and I had to make an almost complete stop, but the gearbox continued to make me pull without downshifting onto 1st.

What's worse than that engine-gearbox couple are those black taillights, which make the otherwise beautiful black appliqué on the dicky look unnecessarily prominent. I was happy with the departure of those Karol Bagh style alloys, but IMO these taillights look equally bad. I really loved the Volvo-Ciaz like gleaming red taillights.

Sadly, the Indonesian XL6 retains the older style taillights and ours doesn't.

Cheers.

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