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My XUV700 AWD: Honest views on ADAS & infotainment post a year of usage

The Auto emergency brake system has been the most useful of the lot, albeit it does tend to get intruding at times.

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Where to start!

So, we had a pretty eventful year with the XUV700, saw lots of happy moments, lots fights, lots of highs and lows. The car has become such an integral part of our lives, that more than the pros & cons, repairs and reliability, we think of the moments, but I know you are more interested in the former. So here we go:

First, lets address the elephant in room: infotainment system and the niggles.

Yes, there still are niggles in the infotainment system, albeit much less frequent, and much less impactful, after 2 or 3 software updates at the service station. We have learnt to live with them, rather, learnt to ignore them, i.e., till the time it is not affecting the drivetrain and handling, which rarely has ever happened, maybe once or twice when it kept showing traction loss symbol and it felt like engine power was cut off, that too went away after like 30 seconds.

Between wireless Android auto and Apple car play, the former has been more consistent and lag free. By now even Apple car play works very consistently and there are very rare occasions when it does get hung, although by now we have gotten so used to Android Auto as our primary connection, that we use Apple car play like once or twice in a month, so can't comment much about that. Android Auto works perfectly fine, with maybe a lag or screen freeze like twice in a month, which i think is a pretty common thing for both wireless Android Auto and Apple car play in most other cars also (even luxury segments cars included). I think the major huss that has been made about XUV was due to the fact that for most of us it was the first (and in some cases the only) car where we used Android Auto or Apple car play wirelessly.

The most hyped feature ADAS: useful or useless? A hero, a villian or just a character in the background?

So, it has been an year using the ADAS on XUV 700, and I must say this is something that grows on you, and you tend to miss it when you drive another car without ADAS. The Auto emergency brake system has been the most useful of the lot, albeit it does tend to get intruding at times when you are overtaking on undivided roads, with oncoming traffic. A couple of times, it got very risky too, trying to over take, and suddenly ADAS braking kicks in cutting power, now you can't overtake, and there was just enough margin to get back in my lane. So all in all you have to plan your overtakes with the Auto emergency braking in mind. There is an option to choose between braking response time from three given levels: early, normal and late. We have let it be on late, and by now I am used to the timing and distance where AEB will kick-in, so it's more about learning to adapt to it. I do make sure to turn off AEB if someone who isn't used to the system is driving.

AEB has proven to be a hundred times more useful than the rare occasions when it gets annoying, that I never considered switching it off. I mean I live in Uttar Pradesh and travel to all kind of roads from expressways to 15 feet wide village roads without a single streetlight for kilometers at a stretch. Despite the vastly improved conditions of roads in Uttar Pradesh, some poorly identifiable perils remain- cows/buffaloes, motorcycles & e-rickshaws without headlights and tail-lights, trucks & tractors parked on the road without any illumination strips, and the list is endless. There have been hundreds of occasions where AEB has kicked in, helping us avoid a last minute panic breaking situation.

Now, features like Adaptive cruise control (ACC) coupled with lane-keep assist (LKA) and lane departure warning, is very useful on expressways, specially for moments when you would like to take a quick bite, or have a sip of water, even though you might have one had on the steering wheel, there is some reduction in focus on the road, ever so slight that may be. This has never failed us, except for this one horrendous occasion when I engaged Adaptive cruise control to adjust the seatbelt, which had got twisted. I unplugged the seatbelt and BAMM! ACC and LKA got disengaged, without any warning, instantly, on an expressway!

I was doing 100 kmph, and nearly missed colliding into the right side barrier on the expressway. Imagine the frustration and horror of people driving behind me to see a car doing 100, going straight, suddenly diving right for no apparent reason. I somehow managed to control the car, without any fatalities or damages. I was so shocked and frustrated at myself for even thinking of relying on the ADAS at that times, but then it was my stupidity to disengage the seatbelt, even if for a second. I cannot understand why would Mahindra do this? I feel, there should at least be a warning sign and a countdown of say 4-5 seconds, before the system disengages, if it so does. Or at least the sales rep should explain this to the customers very clearly that the system would disengage if you unfasten the seatbelt. At least it could pop up on the MID at the time of engaging ACC & LKA that it will disengage if you unfasten the seatbelt. How else would an unsuspecting customer know about this?

What's done is done! Lesson learnt!

Apart from the above, we have had zero complaints. Lane-keep assist works wonderfully even at 100-120 on curving roads on the expressways, never tried them over 120kmph. It hardens the steering if you try to change lanes without giving a lane change indicator, with the indicator it functions normally. So not much to complain, and can only wonder what would a future with much more and much capable vehicles with ADAS be like.

So this was about the infotainment and ADAS! Interiors, exteriors, service & maintenance, and other generals to follow up in the next post!

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