My XUV300 TurboSport completes 5750 km in 6 months: 13 key observations

Fuel efficiency is inversely correlated to cruising speed, as I’ve mentioned in my initial ownership report.

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I’ve done about 5,750 kilometres now in a little under six months. Most of this distance has been on long drives on the highways on varying terrains – mostly flat land but also a fair share of the ghats. Most of the time, however, has been spent within the city. I thought I’d summarise some observations I have until this point.

Fuel Efficiency: As many on this forum have pointed out about turbo petrol, fuel efficiency is extremely sensitive to driving style. This is particularly so within the city. I have, within the city, got as low as 8 km/l, and as high as 12 km/l. I think the best way to manage this emotional balancing act, if you’re particular about fuel efficiency, is to remind yourself that this car is rev happy and has enough in it to get you past whatever pesky slow-moving vehicle you need to get past almost at will, and, filled with that confidence, to shift up early except when you need to do that. I find that shifting up at around 1,800-1,900 rpm really helps fuel efficiency, but remember that the turbo kicks in only at around 1,700. The other thing that takes away from the fuel efficiency is the full-throttle surge forward (even if you don’t get past 2,000 rpm) before shifting to a higher gear. If you want more mileage, keep all this in check. On the highway, the turbo-petrol sensitivity isn’t as evident. Fuel efficiency is inversely correlated to cruising speed. As I’ve mentioned in my initial ownership report above, if you cruise at triple-digit speeds, I presume you will get around 12-13 km/l. But if you cruise at 70-80, a much higher figure is certainly achievable.

Hill Start: The car has a hill start assist, which causes it to remain stationary for about 3 seconds when you are on a slope and have released the brake. This functions irrespective of the direction of the incline – both forwards and backwards. For the first few weeks, I thought this feature wasn’t working. It turns out that it works, and that it works very well, but it seems not to be sensitive to gentler slopes and doesn’t function on them. When it does work on steeper slopes, there appears to be a smell like rubber burning which disappears some 2-3 minutes later. I’m not sure if this is from the brake pads or something else. I will keep a close watch on it to see if it repeats each time it happens.

Wrong Temperature: The outside temperature indicator seems to be way off the mark every now and then. I suspect it is placed next to a part of the car that gets very hot with running. At one point, it showed Bengaluru’s outside temperature at 40 degrees when it was actually 33-34. It is accurate at the beginning of the day when I start the car for the first time though.

Rattling, Fit and Finish: Not too much rattling to complain of at all. I am impressed because the car has been on some very rough roads, including at speed. Some tiny little plastic rattles have begun from the dashboard, but they’re so small that you won’t notice them unless you’re listening for them. There is a pronounced rattle from the back left of the cabin. I suspect it is the seat belt buckle against some plastic. When I went for the first service, another TurboSport owner came in with that complaint. However, this is not something that bothers me, so I simply won’t deal with it.

Tar on Paint: I didn’t get PPF or any other protective coating on the paint. On a highway drive in the Gokarna – Mangaluru sector, we encountered some newly laid roads and there are now tiny spots of tar on the paint on the front-right panel. My local car wash guy says that a diesel wash should sort that out. Does anybody here have other suggestions?

Request Sensor: Until the first service, the request sensor would only unlock the driver’s door, as pointed out to me by the salesman. After the first service, unfortunately, it unlocks all four doors. I don’t know if there is some setting that can be changed. The owners’ manual is silent on this.

Auto Headlamps: The auto headlamps are overly sensitive to dim light. So I just keep them off all the time and use the headlamps manually.

Auto Wipers: The auto wipers are very impressive. In the manual mode, the car doesn’t come with the option to increase or decrease the interval between wipes when the wipers are turned on in the intermediate mode. However, in the automatic mode, these intervals change based on the extent of the rainfall. I have never once felt that the wipers were working too often or too rarely. I think this feature has been implemented really well. My wipers are always in auto mode.

Key: The lock button on one of the two keys of the car works perfectly but does not go in and out with a click. I don’t know how I missed this in the PDI. But, again, this is not too major a problem and maybe I’ll bring it up on the next service.

Idling Behaviour: I’ve already described the strange idling behaviour in the earlier post. What makes it a little more problematic is that in the initial period after a cold start where it idles at a high rpm, when you release the clutch in gear, the engine speed increases further and you end up cruising at at least 15-18 kmph on first gear without any throttle input! This can be unsettling if you aren’t used to it. I don’t face this often since I typically let the car sit in idle for 30 seconds or so until it settles at its normal idling rpm.

Stench: Yesterday, in the afternoon, a strong extremely foul stench began emanating from the car. My first instinct was that it was a rotten egg smell, something I remember from the chemistry lab in high school. It was from the front left of the car and we couldn’t even stand near the car. However, it did not come into the cabin when the windows were up irrespective of whether the AC was in fresh air or recirculation mode. Not sure if it was a rodent or a chemical of some sort, I took it to PPS Thanisandra. The initial diagnosis was that it was something to do with the combustion in the engine and that it was normal and that it was the result of some organic material being produced as a result of what somebody at PPS described as perfect combustion. I think this might be wrong, but I don’t think I was being wilfully misled. They acted swiftly and had the car up within 10 minutes of our getting there. There was nothing amiss visually. Finally, the diagnosis was that it was likely a rodent which had gotten into some nook and possibly died while inside. PPS informed us that they were not permitted to carry out water washes so advised us to take it to a local car wash for an under-chassis wash. They said that if, when water is sprayed, some debris falls out, it could confirm the diagnosis. I am not sure if this is the most efficient solution because they could have just opened it up to find out what was there. Anyway. The smell has since reduced substantially. I’m going to keep a close watch on it before I take it to a car wash. I’m wondering (a) whether I should go to an FNG; (b) which FNG to go to; and (c) how that will affect my warranty.

Link Rod: Over the past couple of weeks, I have heard a gentle/ soft/ muffled ‘dub’ sound from the front suspensions on bumps/ potholes. That evolved (in the last couple of days) into a similar sound even when the steering was turned when the vehicle was stationary. I wanted to bring this to the service station’s notice. Now, this might well be connected to the possible rodent present in there somewhere. In any case, when the car was up for the stench diagnosis, they noted that the front right suspension’s link rod had broken. This is an issue that various XUV300 owners have reported – Facebook groups are abuzz with this complaint. They replaced it for the time being with another used link rod and said they would get back to me when they received the new part. For both the stench issue and the link rod issue, I was charged nothing. After the link rod was replaced, I joined somebody from the service station on a brief test drive on some potholes and bumps and he seemed satisfied with the state of things. The ‘dub’ sound hadn’t gone through. It seems to have increased – not in intensity but in occurrence. I showed him the sound and he described it as being normal. That, I don’t agree with. But I have to go back there again to get the new link rod anyway, so maybe there’ll be a more conclusive answer at that point. In early April, when driving in a different town, there was a clunking sound as if something in the front suspension was rolling around with the rotation of the wheels. After about 2-3 km though, that sound stopped. Maybe that was when the link rod first gave way. Any thoughts/ suggestions/ ideas that any members may have on these two issues (the stench and the suspension) are appreciated.

RC Smartcard: The car's smartcard came but with some wrong particulars on it. It had the father's name wrong. This was the dealer's error which the dealer graciously accepted. The dealer took that smartcard sometime in March, but almost nothing has happened since. The RTO apparently is not printing new smartcards or processing modification requests presently on the excuse of its officers being on election duty.

Overall, I am very happy with the car. Besides what I have said here, there is nothing in the initial ownership report which needs re-evaluation. I hope the suspension and stench issues are sorted out soon. I hope this is of use to readers.

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