My XUV700 AWD diesel ownership review: Delivery, driving & electronics

Coming from a Hyundai i20, the sheer size of the SUV felt overwhelming.

BHPian Karaboudjan recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The Sphinx is here…my XUV700 AWD AX7L

Hello folks,

Wishing everyone a very happy new year!

First of all, I would like to thank all the fellow Bhpians here for investing time in penning down their experiences, which makes a buying decision so much easier and more informed. At every stage, I was more well-informed than the SA/demo personnel.

Extremely happy to share that I took delivery of my AX7L AWD, midnight black from Randhawa Motors on 23 Dec 2022.

Named her “Sphinx”. Have driven her 600-odd kms to date. Please allow me to share my experience below:

Delivery and dealership experience

Booked the vehicle on 27 Nov 2021 via the dealer itself. My booking showed up online on 29 Nov 2021. Delivery date was showing as July 2023. Somewhere in July 2022, the delivery date on the online portal got bumped up to Jan 2023. Two SAs who were assigned to me quit the dealership during this time. The third SA was the best among them and I am very happy with the service he provided.

I got a call from my SA on 8th Dec 2022 that my vehicle has been allotted and will shortly arrive the stockyard. He asked me to make the payment as soon as possible to avoid any delays. I requested that I will pay INR two lakhs before the PDI and the rest after that. He agreed to this. The car arrived at the dealership on 16 Dec and immediately received a call for PDI. The SA was most cooperative and allowed me a full PDI. The engine was still warm from the drive from the stockyard to the dealership. The initial insurance quote was a whopping 1.4 lakh, but when I shared the online quotation from Reliance, they agreed to match it.

I chose the following accessories:

  1. Mud flaps
  2. Side steps - Useful for me since my daughter uses it for easy ingress-egress
  3. Micro SD card - The dealership says that it’s installed, but the SVS screen shows no SD card.
  4. Sun blinds - Do not buy Mahindra sun blinds. They have installed retainers for securing the sun blind on the door frame. It is quite cumbersome to take them off and install them again and again.
  5. Illuminated scuff plates - Cosmetic only.
  6. 3D mats - Useful. Easy to take out and clean.
  7. Screen guard - Good protection for the screen. Looks like a Matt finish.

Accessories were fitted prior to the delivery. Opted for a choice number at RTO for which had to pay extra in cash.

The SA kept me updated throughout. On D-day, he called me to the showroom at 1600 hrs, and I showed up promptly with my family. Did all the paperwork while the family waited eagerly. The delivery experience was pleasantly different from the one I had 10 years ago when I purchased my i20. The car was draped in a red cloth. They had arranged a Pooja thali et al.

The SA told me that the extended warranty papers would come in some time from the company. Still waiting for that. All in all a wonderful experience.

Driving experience

Straight from the showroom, the SA took me to the nearest petrol pump and filled in 12 litres of diesel. I topped it up to a full tank. Drove off and straight into thick Mumbai evening traffic. Coming from an i20, the sheer size of the vehicle felt overwhelming. The light steering and SVS system make it a lot easier to drive in traffic, given its size.

I have been driving the vehicle sedately with it still in the run-in period. Here are my observations:

  1. She drives like a dream. A lot has been written about it and I concur. I was always at a loss of power on my i20 but never felt so in the beast.
  2. There is ample space in the car. I have felt that my co-passengers sit quite a distance away.
  3. The suspension has been behaving quite well with no annoying bottoming-out noises or anything. Haven’t felt anything out of place. The suspension becomes very supple once we cross 30kmph.
  4. This is my first diesel power train. Have not felt any undue vibrations, however, as pointed out by others, the engine gets vocal and vibrations are felt when she shifts from 2nd to 3rd gear. Overall, neither my family nor I have felt uncomfortable being in a diesel. My wife once pointed out that the accelerator needs to be depressed more to get the power going than in a petrol vehicle. This I think is the inherent nature of diesel.
  5. On the third day, while reversing into a parking lot while applying brakes successively, I felt the football in the boot noise. The fuel level was at 90% during this time. Since then the football in the boot has been happening off and on. Thank god that this has not happened at high speeds on highways. Surprisingly, the football in the boot is only off and on and cannot be predicted still. Need some more time to figure it out. Will bring it to the attention of the service centre during the first service.
  6. The braking is something I am still getting used to. Maybe it’s because of the sheer size or something, but the brakes require an additional squeeze to bring the vehicle to a standstill. Gives it a jerky halt.
  7. The auto-hold function works like a charm and I prefer using it in traffic.
  8. The auto start-stop, aka MicroHybrid, is very moody or maybe I am missing something here. It switches off the vehicle sometimes and other times, a yellow flashing symbol can be seen on the MID. I prefer to switch it off.
  9. Tried the AWD while en route to Pawna Lake in the pass between the mountains. Nothing much but felt that she was more effortless in passing over the broken road in AWD mode.

Infotainment and Electronics

  1. The car audio system is too good for a non-audiophile like me. Loved listening to Pink Floyd with each and every guitar pluck nicely audible.
  2. Alexa has a mind of her own and I believe M&M has not taken the full usage rights. No matter what, Alexa doesn’t play anything from Amazon Music. They should have set it up like another Echo device. I have tried to log in to Alexa using the Adrenox app but the page does not open. The most common error is Alexa saying “Music streaming is not allowed on this device.” You try again and it plays the song. Songs are streamed from Hungama or Jio Saavn.
  3. The infotainment unit is not upgraded to provide CarPlay as yet. Will plan this with my first service.
  4. ESP yellow light flashes when passing over big speed breakers without slowing down.
  5. I have made two user profiles and also used the Adrenox app on two mobiles. Tried to link the profiles to the key fobs. Still trying to figure out if it’s working as desired.

All in all, I am happy with the purchase. Hoping to sort out the football-in-the-boot issue soon.

Saddened to share that the Sphinx has picked up two battle scars, one a small scratch on the right side rear passenger door while parked in public parking and a stone hit on the front passenger door lower side. Still in double minds about the ceramic coating.

Hope this experience will be helpful to potential buyers.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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