Mahindra XUV700 review after covering 5,500 km in 7 weeks

The ADAS is great but it can be dangerous if you don't know what it is capable of.

BHPian abirnale recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

It's been about 7 weeks now since the car is home and apart from ESP blinking lights, nothing much is seen on the mind-troubling dark side of ownership "fingers-crossed"!

Last Friday (March 25), we formed up an impromptu plan to drive to Goa (my extended family home) to celebrate FIL's 80th birthday - the opportunity I was looking forward to stretching the legs of Red Sabertooth! We left Bangalore on Saturday morning by 10.30 am and returned on Thursday evening at 6 pm with some fantastic memories and experiences!

We took a slightly different route to North Goa instead of sticking to our usual Chorala / Ramnagar - Anmod route. All the country roads after Haveri (via Tadas - Kalaghatagi - Haliyal - Catslerock - Anmod - Mollem - Tambadi Surla - Sanquelim) through the narrow sections, passing through the western ghat and forests, we drove at our own pace (with some spirited drive while on the highway NH48).

We spent our Sunday lazing in and around Sanquelim town - visiting the valavanti river stream, Keri foot-over bridge, Ashvem beach only to mark Monday for a grander celebration.

The Monday was an unusual family gathering at our home - the FILs and BILs and SILs and the kids - just the close family - laid back relaxed lunch at The Rassoda in old goa and cake cutting later. This was the best time we spent after almost two years of the pandemic. For some or other reason, the entire family couldn't be in one place. This was the best frame we fixed in our memories and experiences forever. After I completed my remote office work, in the evening, we even went on the night drive - around Old Goa, Panjim again as an entire family - enjoyed the gelato ice creams, drove a couple of times on the Atal Setu, watched the cruise lights in Mandovi river... it was a great time.

Tuesday, was no action day, mostly due to work. Wednesday morning we started driving towards BLR on the same route as we took while going to Goa. A thought that was seeded as fun to stay at Dandeli for a change was well accepted by the home minister - we decided to break our journey at Dandeli - our birdwatching paradise. And this was our first trip that involved staying at a homestay or hotel for almost after 3 years! This was the icing on the cake! We spoke to a close friend and got ourselves booked into Sangway Holiday Homestay - must say that was a great choice. The homestay provided me with an uninterrupted broadband connection - while the family enjoys the food and property, I completed a lot of work. I rated the homestay 5* on google in return for this great time we had there.

These twisties on the ghat road, with Zoom mode and AWD to accompany, is too much fun! Kids enjoyed the middle seat but I am sure an elderly would have thrown up on this section!

The Wednesday evening was well spent visiting the Honey Park and Supa Dam backwater. We discovered a narrow trail leading us deep into the dam-bed, closest to the water. This sunset was better than the one we had on Ashvem beach! The entire area to us and not a single soul to disturb us, we enjoyed the time there. We spotted a family of Great Indian Hornbill - regretted not carrying a DSLR. That was the best evening.

The Thursday morning, we went with our birding guide to see many more birds - many more Grey and Malabar Pied hornbills, some rare yellow flamebacks, various sunbirds, Drongos, Owlets, Malabar giant squirrels, some raptors. We think we were extremely lucky to have sighted so many birds just in a couple of hours between 6.45-8.45 am!

After breakfast back at our homestay, we resumed our journey back to BLR - such impromptu breaks, and last-minute itinerary changes are so much fun!

When we look back at this trip, we appreciate the time we could spend with family, the stays, and the small things we missed in past few years.

The car has now crossed the 5500 km mark on the odometer! With a decently loaded boot (two large trolleys and a lot of small knick-knacks), the car was extremely planted on the highway as well as country roads. It dances as you make it to dance! When you go heavy on A pedal with Zoom mode steroids, it gulps diesel like it has been thirsty for ages. You let it coast in its relaxed Zap tune, she just behaves like a camel who can manage the least amount of water in a hot desert! The aggressive driving on the highway returned the mileage of 10.5kmpl (Tankful method) while the coasting in the rest of the sections returned 13.7 kmpl mileage! I think I can get it to 15 kmpl easily if I stick to two-digit speeds all the time with some techniques to extend the range (which I hope will never do!)!.

I had the opportunity to use the ADAS for a longer distance - that thing is just great. Can also be a scary thing if you don't know what it is capable of. When I was in comfortable ACC stop and Go mode, the car with LKA, Smart Pilot turned on, behaved like a locomotive on tracks - the track turns, the car turns. I mean on the properly marked six-lane NH48, even on the turns, I need not do anything. The car just does everything by itself. Sparse traffic helped. Noone cut our lanes to confuse the system. In one instance though, when I was not in ACC mode (AEBS was still ON), during a quick lane change action to cut between two large trucks, for a millisecond, the car tried braking itself. But knowing I was pressing A pedal, it let go of the brakes. That small "holding-back" gesture from the car was scary. So now I use the Advanced Driver Assistance settings menu (set as my favourite option on MID console to use from steering buttons) more frequently. This way, when I am not using the ADAS ACC feature, I turn off AEBS with just 3 clicks on the MID. I wish it could be even simpler or faster.

Other than this, the AT works just how I would have used MT. The left hand is now almost all-time free (I should be training to rest it on steering instead of gear-stick). And the free left hand, presented for many such moments when we were driving relaxed, listening to great music! While we were at our romantic selves, our kids clicked such pictures from the backseat! They have now grown up to catch these moments and appreciate not disturbing us in our drives by constantly naggin with - are we there yet question.

All in all, this was the best trip in a long time - glad we open our account of long drives with this fantastic experience!

And as usual, Google photos, threw another collage at us this morning:

Now we are looking forward to another trip - another long drive, another vacation! Hoping to cross 10K within the 5 months!

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