Experience: Buying & living with my Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD

The XUV700 really drives like a dream, buttery smooth! I wouldn't be wrong to say that the drive and refinement levels are even better than a lot of cars way above it's league.

BHPian actuallyankur recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Mahindra XUV700 AWD AX7L:


  • Powerful responsive engine.
  • Torque converter AT works well, always keeps you in the rev range.
  • Turbo lag, or rather the lack of it, is well masked.
  • Spacious interiors. Comfortable front seats, and one of the best middle-row seats below the Rs.50 lac mark.
  • Suspension is super- amazing ride and handling, good ride comfort.
  • Headlights are some of the best in business, very good visibility at night.
  • Good fuel economy, already able to achieve figures of 13+ kmpl on the highway even with spirited driving. Should increase further after the first service.
  • ADAS systems works as claimed, is a boon to have.
  • The sunroof is humongous, you have to sit inside the car to see it for yourself.
  • With 7 airbags, all the safety essentials and ADAS, the car feels safe.
  • Build quality is really good, sturdy is the word.


  • Engine tends to get too vocal, specially under hard acceleration.
  • Not much space in the boot with all 3 rows up.
  • Features like auto-ORVM and ventilated seats are a must at this price point.
  • Suspension noise is on the higher side.
  • The brakes very noisy, like gorilla howling level noisy.
  • There are some other mechanical thuds and sounds that make way into the cabin.
  • Few buttons lack good tactile feedback, and don't work in one click/push a lot of times.
  • A lot of switches are not positioned very well- power window switches, door lock/unlock, AWD engagement switch (you need to take your eyes off to engage this one).
  • Auto up-down windows should have been standard for all 4 windows.
  • Some plastics on the dashboard feel cheap and out of place.
  • Sequential turn indicators at the tail-light should have been standard, the ones that are there might not be as visible specially during day time.


This not a usual review about XUV700, I am trying to portray the car in an altogether different light, having bought the car with full knowledge of the issues, niggles and shortcomings of the car. Hence, I will be summarizing a digestible conclusion at the end of the review. Also, this is part travelogue part initial ownership review since we set off for the trip the very next day we got the car. By the end of the review we would have driven the car 2300 kms within 14 days of getting the car, so it fairly sums up the initial feel and feedback.

If you'd just like to find out my conclusions and not go through the ordeal of reading so much, please skip to my third and fifth (last) post.

Who is this review for?

Anyone who wants to buy the XUV700, but is paranoid of the numerous issues and niggles. Might give them a perspective of what the niggles are, how much do they matter and whether or not it is possible to live with them.

Finalizing the car and taking delivery:

I had booked XUV 700 on 8th October 2021, in the AWD AX7L Trim (Midnight Blue). I was offered delivery around the first week of June 2022, I declined due to the numerous niggles and breakdowns, and who wouldn't have. One look at the dozens of comments, posts and youtube videos were enough to make one paranoid of the car.

Then I started looking at other options, consisting an array of vehicles across different brands- Toyota Fortuner (one of the forerunner), Jeep Compass & Meridian, Skoda Kodiaq, Ford Endeavour (used options) , etc. It was at this time that I realised that there is no SUV (specially 7 seaters) that offer as much bang for buck. I mean if you go over any other options you not only end up spending more but also compromise on a lot of things, viz., driving pleasure, economical to drive, middle-row comfort, reliability and even looks. This coupled with the recent updates Mahindra had done to fix the issues helped us gather the courage to consider XUV700 once again.

We contacted the SA at our local dealer on 15th Sep 2022, and couple of days later he called us that there is a cancellation for an AWD AX7L in Midnight Blue Color (what are the odds- you get your desired color and model in a car like XUV). Most people who had booked AWD are now wanting to either save money by getting Diesel AT instead, or have shifted to Scorpio-N. He told us to decide the same day, before some other SA allocates the car to someone else. We immediately agreed, only request from his side being we get car loan and insurance from them only, since that is where they really get their incentives from, and this seemed reasonable. He promised delivery during upcoming Navratra.

On 26th September we get a call from the SA that our car had arrived at their yard, but they won't be able to deliver it that day due to long que of vehicle for delivery. We finally got the vehicle on 27th late evening, around 8.30 pm, we had to wait an hour before the car could be ready. There was a string of deliveries that day. My 3 year old daughter was getting restless and sleepy, so we requested for a quick delivery without much fanfare or frills. (I somehow feel very uneasy and awkward with all the shenanigans during car deliveries these days- everyone keeps staring at you and whispering into the ear of the person next to them).

We were out of the showroom within 15 minutes of receiving the keys, and even before we could gulp the excitement of finally getting our new car, we were bowled over by how the car drove. I mean the first few kilometers felt like the first day of starting to date your crush!!

Prior to this I had only driven the manual demo car, that too almost a year back, and never got the chance to drive XUV700 again. And boy, it really drives like a dream, buttery smooth! I wouldn't be wrong to say that the drive and refinement levels are even better than a lot of cars way above it's league. This coming from someone who has owned a VW Passat 2017 model and drove it for over 70000kms is something. We even felt that the vibrations on the steering wheel and the cabin in general were even less than our Passat, and other luxury vehicles we've experienced in our friends and family circle including Audi Q3, A3, A4 and even BMW 320d (2018).

Prelude (read: excuse to set the wheels rolling):

As is we (my wife, my 3 year old daughter and me) are extremely spontaneous people, the excitement of the new car and the unbelievable drive quality, gave us an uncontrollable itch the next morning we woke up. After (not a lot of) consideration, we packed our bags ( for a week) and left! We just left for Lucknow since it is just 200 kms from our hometown Allahabad, and thought we'll decide on where to go from there upon reaching Lucknow. We were so very excited that we didn't even want to waste time in planning the trip, or booking hotels. We just got the wheels spinning, and during the short trip we were able to contact a friend who owns the Detailing Devils outlet in Lucknow to do our car's PPF within 2 days! He hesitantly agreed, although we ended up paying 5000 more to the guys to work over-night on my car.

So we reach Lucknow around 8pm on 28th, and till now, we faced no niggle or infotaiment error except for Apple car play for which we were mentally prepared after having read so many posts. We went straight to a fuel pump to see how much of guzzler this beast is. Our XUV had done 262 kms that included 120 kms of city driving, and 140 kms of state highway (mostly undivided roads requiring frequent gear shift). We were expecting it to drink up at least 30 lt for the drive, and to our sheer amazement the fuel tank was full to the brim in 22.18 lt of fuel. You can do the maths!

29th morning the car went for PPF, and we got to see the car on 30th around 5pm, shinning in the new armour!!

Here are the pics right after the PPF:

 Just for fun, attaching pics of the trip meter and fuel pump machine (bragging right you see after such an economical drive):

Part 1: Reaching the foothills:

So Day 2 in the life of the XUV went at the detailer's, and the moment we got our car on day 3, around 5 pm, we straightaway headed to Bareily. We decided to go to Nainital and to stay the night in Bareily by the end of Day 3. We had hardly driven for an hour that we got to experience the most hyped feature of the car-ADAS, specifically the autonomous breaking. I was just telling my wife how much I had read about the emergency breaking, how it was a menace for people driving in the city, and that I was considering switching it off at the next stop we take. It had barely been 5 minutes since I had said this, when I motorcyclist coming from the opposite direction on the undivided highway decided a stupid maneuver, and decided to cut between the car ahead and mine. Imagine a line of 8-10 cars moving around 70-80 on the highway, and the stupid motorcyclist just crosses diagonally like a madman, and even fore I could react the car braked. I was sure I would have braked, but probably after half a second, which could have made the situation panicky, or worse ended into a collision. To this day I swear it was the ADAS that saved the guy. I mean the accuracy and promptness of the emergency braking is such that it is very difficult if not impossible to match by human intervention. Then and there I swore that I am never switching off Emergency braking, no matter what. And guess what, by the end of the day I had realized that I had adapted my driving style (mostly involuntarily and subconsciously) to take into account the emergency braking. I mean I could really right an entire article about every single time vehicle applied Emergency braking (I won't lie, some of the times it was plain annoying).

On a small incline we tried engaging the AWD function to see if it makes any difference to the drive and bang comes our first niggle- Hill Hold Control Error. Now I couldn't comprehend if it made any difference to the drive, or if AWD was engaged or not, but it did give us jitters. We switched off AWD and continued without any issue:

Headlight performance is amazing, you get good visibility, and in my estimation the high beam could easily illuminate the road for slightly over 300 meters ahead. The auto head high beam and auto head light feature turned out to be really bogus, it wouldn't go onto high-beam even if you some distance behind a car, and people who have driven on undivided highways in UP can relate that you have to switch to high beam ever so often to check for parked trucks, tractor with no back- lights, pedestrians, and everything else that is not supposed to be on the middle of the road at night. So I used manual control, lowering the beam as and when there was oncoming traffic.

We stopped at the famous Dashmesh Dhaba right ourside Bareily, had dinner and retired at the hotel. We chose a hotel near the airport, half a km away from Nainital highway so as not to get stuck in city traffic the next day. Total distance travelled was 318 kms from Lucknow, and fuel consumed 26.67 lt (you are doing the maths now).

Part 2: The hills, finally!!

A little foreground before proceeding further, we had decided that this will be a very lazy trip. We would stop as and when we felt like, no hurrying to reach destinations, instead just enjoying the journey. So we left the hotel around 12, and we had hardly driven for hour when we spotted a cafe right before the first toll plaza on the Bareily Nainital Road (Mundiya Toll Plaza, Baheri). The cafe is called Portrait, and I have never seen a more beautiful cafe on a highway (please check it out on Instagram: cafeportraitartlounge, as no words can describe the beauty and simplicity of the place) Attaching some pics from the cafe to compel you for a coffee stop.

Tummy full, body caffeinated and the soul smiling, we set the wheels rolling again. Now the stretch from Bareilly to Nainital is mostly good with a few diversions on to single lane and some broken patches, but on the whole bearable. It is on this stretch we realized how noisy the suspensions can get and the 'dub-dub' sound from somewhere in the rear, but again after having read so much about it already, we were just surprised that we didn't notice it earlier in the over-excitement. One thing to mention here is that Mahindra has done a tremendous job in tuning the suspension, like unbelievably super, the noise aside. Regardless that you're driving at 10 kmph or 110 kmph, the suspension seemed so apt in soaking up the rough patches on slow speeds whilst giving excellent stability on high speeds. My wife couldn't stop praising the rear seat comfort and ride, so much so that, she put it at par with our 2017 Passat. I mean she is one woman who had rejected Volvo XC40 a couple of years back because she didn't like the rear seat ride quality, and this was when we had gone to the showroom to do the booking formalities.

Now the stretch from Bareilly to Haldwani is some of the stupidest I have ever come across, and this is coming from a guy who has lived in driven in UP all his life. Motorcyclists just refuse to let you pass

Even on single lane stretches, you'll find two-wheelers driving in the middle of the road, and won't budge even if you honk repeatedly, some even start speeding. I just have no count of the amount of times the emergency braking kicked in. Slowly and carefully we reach the foothills, and the fun starts. Now this is where the true elements of XUV700 shines:

  • Toque converter- giving you right upshifts and downshifts, always keeping you in the power range.
  • Engine- push it as much as you like, every corner and bend is cake-walk, albeit it gets a little too vocal when you push the pedal after the downshift.
  • Suspension- do even need to exclaim again and again on the engineering marvel!
  • Body roll- non-existent for SUV standards.
  • Steering- light and nible, makes you feel connected enough, though not as much as a ford or VW/Skoda, but one of the best this side of a Fortuner I would say.
  • The only thorn in the otherwise excellent car is the A-pillar visibility, it is pathetic, specially on winding roads. I so wish Mahindra had also added blind spot monitoring.

Nonetheless, after countless tea and maggi stops, we reach Bhimtal by 5.30pm, and spend the evening just roaming around. We even found an aquarium cafe, right in the middle of an island in the lake, they have over 40 different rare fish varieties and roof top seating. And we still decided to have maggi at the road side. Unfortunately we were too late for any other water sport due to sunset, and after wavering around a bit we left for Nainital, about an hours drive from Bhimtal. Just as we started, rains followed suit. Giving us a good opportunity to test the road grip, headlights and wipers- and nothing felt inadequate here. The car just shines.

Our hotel in Nainital was slightly higher on the hill, and crossing the mall road traffic was a breeze, the auto-hold function although full of howling brake noises, is on point. Bumper to bumper traffic on the quite narrow lane filled with pedestrians wasn't any trouble at all courtesy the super light steering wheel. Now the last mile to the hotel included some steep climbs, and the rain made it look tricky. We engaged the AWD function, and bang comes our next niggle- AWD Malfunction, followed by Hill Hold Control Error!

Again, the errors didn't make the drive feel any different, neither did the AWD engagement felt any difference. Nonetheless, we made steep climbs (about 50 meters each time) without breaking a sweat. And comfortably reached our destination. Next 2 days were spend mostly in and around the hotel, including visits to the famous mall road, Botanical garden, and couple of other nearby sights. All through the 2 days we had nothing to complain about other than the poor A-pillar visibility. Cherry on the cake was the huge sunroof, or how Mahindra like to call it sky-roof. We just couldn't wait for rains to give a breather, and we get the feel of driving a convertible (ok that was stupid, lol).

Here are some of the sights we lived:

On 4th October, we left for Mukteshwar only to get distracted to visit a lesser known waterfall in Bhowali (at least we had never heard of it) as suggested by a local. It was a drive full of rough patches and hair-pin bend turns, and I don't even need to spell it out how well the XUV700 tackled it. Unfortunately we reached by 5.30 pm and visitors were not allowed after that at the waterfall, we did enjoy a good drive full of amazing sights, chai and Maggi.

Now as we got into the car to resume our journey to Mukteshwar, we got the idea to visit Delhi instead to meet all our friends over the upcoming holidays, since Nainital and nearby areas were getting extremely crowded with tourists pouring in for the upcoming Dusshera holidays, and we started our drive ahead, reaching Haldwani by 8pm and decided to spend the night there.

Next morning we left, and while refueling we got a fuel economy of 8.75 kmpl, consisting of 85% driving in the hills. I was expecting a slightly better figure, but this is still satisfactory.

Continue reading on BHPian actuallyankur's ownership of his Mahindra XUV700 AWD for BHPian comments, insights and more information.

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