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Ownership review of my Mahindra XUV300 W8 (O) diesel MT

A detailed budgeting exercise allocated 15-16L for the purchase of a car. Therefore, we were essentially looking at the sub-4m compact SUV segment.

BHPian krishnakumar recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The Rise of Yoda

This thread will chronicle my companionship with Yoda, a Mahindra XUV300. Yoda joined our family of 2 (my wife and I) on Nov 5th, 2021. He's our first car and needless to say, we love him to the depths of our hearts.

My aim is to keep this thread as lively and succinct as possible so that not only can enthusiasts enjoy his stories but also gain some information (especially for folks who are looking at the XUV300 as a potential buy).

Without any further ado, let me introduce you to the protagonist of this story, Yoda!

Yoda enroute to Kanyakumari - this was a detour from Nagercoil due to the floods blocking the roads to Trivandrum:

Yoda overlooking the Cape of Comorin:

Somewhere along the NH44:

This is Yoda's sleeping spot. Behind him to his left you can see his brother, Mantis, a KTM 390Adventure:

The posts are structured as below for ease of reference (if you'd like to jump to a section):

The Selection Process

Sales Process, PDI and Delivery

Initial Ownership Review

The Requirements:

My one-line requirement was this:

A car that'll get us around safely and comfortably on highways and broken roads for long road trips and weekend mall crawls.

Armed with this statement we set out to find the perfect car for our needs. While I haven't owned a car myself, I have been driving a variety of cars for ~12 years. The learnings from all those years combined with the hours spent on TBHP certainly helped us list down a few critical parameters that would swing the buy for us.

We jotted down our non-negotiable requirements as below:

  • High on safety.
  • Great highway stability and comfort on broken roads.
  • Good performance; I'm an enthusiast - I LOVE driving. The last thing I wanted was a car that doesn't excite me.
  • High ground clearance to have a stress-free trip on roads less taken (essentially ruling out sedans and hatchbacks).
  • A few creature comforts that enhances road-trip experience like cruise control, practical storages inside the cabin, good AC, good boot space etc.

A detailed budgeting exercise allocated 15-16L for the purchase of a car. Therefore, we were essentially looking at the sub-4m compact SUV segment. We decided to go with a diesel powertrain because (a) we had an annual expected mileage of 15,000km (b) I loved the diesel grunt (probably the biggest contributing factor).

We did not consider the mid-variants of higher segment cars because of a few reasons like (a) we weren't really in need of a bigger car than a CSUV (b) some of the mid-variants were lacking essential active safety kits like ESC (c) my wife needs practice driving; therefore, a smaller car would be far less daunting for her to start off.

Used cars were a strict no from my wife while I still toyed with the idea for a bit. However, we disregarded this eventually since we felt that our first car should be new.

The Contenders:

To help me decide on the car I had started a thread - (Tata Nexon vs. Mahindra XUV300 vs. Kia Sonet | Which car should I get for 15 Lakhs?) If someone is interested to go through the entire process, please feel free to click away Initially, we had shortlisted only the Nexon and Sonet. We had not considered the XUV300 for 2 specific reasons (a) small boot space (b) lack of rear AC vents. The XUV300 was a wild card entry thanks to BHPians pouring in their advice on the thread linked earlier.

For the more busier folks, I'll try to summarize the process here. All the cars were in their Diesel MT powertrain:

  • Tata Nexon XZ+ (S)
  • Kia Sonet GTX+
  • Mahindra XUV300 W8(O)

Tata Nexon XZ+(S):

What we liked:

Solid build quality, nice heft to the doors and you feel safe sitting inside the car.

Excellent ride quality on highways and broken roads; the suspension just smothers everything. Also, the only car in this segment to get a semi-independent suspension at the rear.

Good enough grunt in the diesel engine; will definitely put a smile on your face.

The best handler in terms of steering feedback; it just felt natural to me and you can easily carve corners.

Best in class rear seat comfort (according to me).

What we didn't like:

  • Impractical cabin spaces. The Nexon has "everything" if you were to make a checklist of items on offer. Therefore in a comparison sheet it'll definitely score well. However, they have thought little to nothing about the UX. A few examples:

- There is simply no space to put your phone while its connected to Android Auto/Apple Carplay.

- The bottle holders are at an acute angle making it a little cumbersome to stow/retrieve bottle.

-  While there is "center armrest storage" the shape of the space is such that nothing much comes there in an organized way.

Needless to say, folks will mostly get used to these quirks as part of their ownership and find customizations around them. However, the fact that the UX was poor was something that we didn't like.

  • Dark interiors and swooping roof-line meant that we were feeling a bit claustrophobic.
  • Engine refinement was not great (compared to the other 2); it wasn't bothersome but still could've been better.

Kia Sonet GTX+:

What we liked:

  • The cabin experience; we had all the bells and whistles that we were probably never going to explore in its lifetime. However, I want to point out certain features like the ventilated seats which I find VERY useful in Indian climate.
  • Most refined engine among the 3; there was barely any noise coming inside the cabin and the engine felt smooth across the power band.

What we didn't like:

  • The questionable safety quotient of Kia cars. While not officially tested for safety ratings, what we had for the closest reference was that of Seltos. That combined with the deep dive done on this thread - (Kia Seltos body structure facts & comparison with the Hyundai Creta), we expected the Sonet to perform poorly in a crash test. Needless to say, the lack of any crash test rating itself showed poor confidence on the manufacturer's part and we took this very seriously.
  • VERY stiff ride quality for our liking. Some of the potholes/humps were handled so poorly that you have to tread over them very carefully.
  • Dealer overconfidence and outright denial to match insurance or take financing from outside. I found this to be very off-putting. The Kia SA was also the only one who was hesitant to allow PDI at stockyard (before full payment) while all others readily agreed.

Mahindra XUV300 W8(O):

What we liked:

  • The reassuring thuds and a solid build quality. It is built like a tank. All the doors, including the bonnet and the boot, have a good heft and feel extremely solid (point to note that in Nexon, the rear doors felt considerably lighter than the front doors. But not in XUV300).
  • A very powerful and refined engine; there is always a good reserve of grunt available on tap.
  • Excellent ride quality; though not to Nexon levels, it does smother most of the broken patches and provides great high-speed stability.
  • Cabin that is thoughtfully put together with many "attention-to-detail" functional features. While the fit and finish isn't Korean twins level, everything was nice to touch, excellent damping to buttons, solid door handles etc. More than any of this, the practicality of the cabin is so good that I'd rate this higher than Sonet. I'll cover all of these in my detailed review of our car but Mahindra has really put UX first instead of stuffing in features. We liked this a lot.

What we didn't like:

  • Addressing the elephant in the room - the small boot space. This was one of the 2 factors because of which we had earlier not shortlisted XUV300. However, on one of the TDs we asked the SA to bring the car to our house and we put our luggage in different configurations. The boot would suffice 90% of our needs without any compromise. So it no longer became a problem.
  • Least amount of rear seat comfort among the 3; this is a highly debatable topic because many consider this to be a strong-point for XUV300. While this is the widest in the segment (easily accommodating 3 adults in the rear seat) and having excellent legroom, the under-thigh support is lacking. That along with the lack of rear AC vents means that it is not the best place to be in for long journeys.
  • Mahindra silently deleting features while increasing the prices. This was more emotional than logical because Mahindra has been smart in deleting the features - removing only those features which will not make this sub-par compared to competition. However, this was still off-putting for us.

The Verdict:

We struck off Sonet from the list straightaway due to two major factors: (1) Lack of confidence regarding its safety (2) Stiff ride quality. Compared to the Nexon and XUV300, the Sonet just didn't feel like something that's providing a lot more extra (in terms of mechanical robustness). We weren't in on this for the gadgets, so off the Sonet went.

Now that we were down to two contenders, the battle was very intense. The factors considered are captured on this post from the same thread posted earlier.

Without going into too many details, let me summarize how the two stacked up on 5 broad parameters:

Safety: XUV300 > Nexon

While the Nexon and XUV300 are both 5-star rated by GNCAP, the XUV300 scores higher in terms of adult occupant safety and overall score. Even if I were to ignore that, XUV300 in its W8(O) form gets 6 airbags over the 2 airbags in Nexon. This tilted our scores in favour of the XUV300. Apart from that, since this was a close battle, I was also going to add things like auto-dimming IRVM, places to put your phone away, physical buttons for everything on the dash as "safety" features because, hey, anything that makes the driver less distracted should be counted as "safety".

Performance: XUV300 > Nexon

On the road, both Nexon and XUV300 would satisfy my needs. Both of them will put a smile on my face. However, if I were to be very critical I'd score the XUV300 higher but only ever so slightly.

Handling and comfort: Nexon > XUV300

Here, the Nexon wins the match. The steering setup is confidence inspiring and I can feel connected to the road. The same cannot be said about XUV300, although it isn't too far behind. In terms of overall ride comfort as well, the Nexon is just setup better than XUV300 - again only by a small margin. However, with a pair of critical lenses the Nexon outscores XUV300.

Cabin experience: XUV300 >> Nexon

On long road-trips, the cabin experience becomes important as well. The XUV300 easily wins this game. Boasting some best in-class features like Dual Zone ACC, an excellent practical cabin and not to mention, the umpteen amount of attention-to-detail features, XUV300 outscores Nexon by a good margin. While the smaller boot space and a less ideal rear seat should've set things back, our evaluation revealed that it is just about right for a family of 2 (+1 child) and hence didn't make a difference to the outcome.

After sales and softer elements: XUV300 > Nexon

Between Tata and Mahindra, we heard better things about Mahindra overall in terms of ASS. While it is generally a concern for both, we were willing to punt on Mahindra more. Moreover, we could see Nexon everywhere. During our evaluation period, we would count how many Nexons/XUV300 we saw on the road wherever we were going. Nexons easily outnumbered XUV300s. Somewhere in our heart we wanted something a little bit exclusive. The XUV300 fit this bill. I also personally felt (after multiple TDs) that the XUV300 is a highly underrated car. I wanted to own one to tell the world that this car is worth it. Stupid? Maybe. But like I said, softer elements. The XUV300 also had the shortest waiting period so that was a plus for us.

And that was that. We finalized that the Mahindra XUV300 W8(O) Diesel MT shall be our first car to own. My wife wanted the car to be in the Aqua Marine color scheme and I agreed - it looked the best in this color to our eyes.

Sales Process and PDI:

Sales and negotiations:

I had been in touch with 3 Mahindra dealerships in Bangalore which were: (1) Sireesh Auto Silk Board (2) Anant Cars Marathahalli and (3) India Garage Whitefield.

Initially I had contacted both Anant Cars and Sireesh Auto for XUV700 since we were interested to see how the AX3/AX5 variants would turn out (when the cracker pricing announcement was done). Immediately after the launch we dropped this plan altogether since (a) the mid-variants were too bare bones (b) we expected LONG waiting periods and dealer high-handedness.

Until this point, we weren't considering the XUV300 and its addition to our shortlist almost coincided with us dropping the XUV700. So when the SAs from both dealerships started following up with me on my interest in XUV700, I asked them to get me a TD of XUV300 instead.

It was only Mr. Mahesh from Sireesh Silk Board who continued to follow-up my change in interest to XUV300. There was no word from Anant Cars after I shifted and I followed up once or twice and did not bother to follow up with them again. I had reached out to India Garage Whitefield primarily to get an additional TD of the vehicle and also to get a quote so that I have leverage. The SA (Mr. Arwind) denied a possibility of stockyard PDI and I told him that no booking shall be made since it's a non-negotiable requirement. He didn't seem to be too bothered by it as well.

Therefore we decided to stick with Sireesh Silk Board and started our sales process. I want to compliment Mr. Mahesh on being diligent and professional throughout the process. Later, Mr. Srinivas (team lead at Sireesh) also joined in on the process. They gave me a quote of Rs. 15.52L, the break-up as follows:

  • Ex-Showroom: 12,64,112
  • Cash Discount: 13,000
  • Corp Discount: 4,000
  • Net Invoice: 12,47,112
  • TCS (@1% Net Invoice): 12,471
  • Road Tax (@18.87%): 2,38,538 (17% of ex-showroom + 1.1% of tax as cess charges)
  • Reg Charges: 1,800 (without hypothecation)
  • Fastag: 500
  • Incidental: 7080
  • Insurance quoted: 33,000
  • Extended warranty+RSA: 11,460

Total: Rs. 15,51,961

We booked the car on Oct 24th, 2021 by paying Rs.11,000 so that we could kickstart the allocation process while we negotiate further on the final OTR price. I was very clear with the dealership that full payment will be done only after doing a detailed PDI at their stockyard. They readily agreed and said that they don't do it any other way. Good!

They weren't willing on reducing the invoice value any further and said that the Rs. 17,000 discount is the best they could do. However, they were willing to match the insurance. I was able to retrieve quotes ranging from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 30,000 from different insurers which I shared with Srinivas and requested for a discussion with their Insurance Executive, Mr. Ravi. After a further round of negotiation, I was able to bring down the insurance quote to Rs. 29,484 for Nil-Dep B2B 1 year comprehensive plan + 3 years of TPA. The insurance is from Mahindra which is offered by Edelweiss and offers cashless claims across their network.

This brought down the final OTR price to Rs. 15,48,445. We were okay with this and didn't want to stretch the discussions any further.

The Surprise Allocation:

At the time of TD and booking, it was told to us that the delivery timeline is 6-8weeks for our variant+colour combo. However, 2 days after booking on Oct 26th I got a call from Sireesh's finance department regarding vehicle allocation and asking for my financing option. I was totally caught by surprise and asked the lady who called me to confirm via mail regarding the booking since I had received no official communication (no OTF etc.) from Mahindra or the dealer.

The next day Mahesh called me and confirmed that the vehicle is indeed allocated and is in-transit from their Nashik factory and would be at the stockyard in 3 days. I was SOO excited!

We were planning to go to my hometown for Diwali and were going to book our tickets for the same. We dropped the plan and decided to take the delivery if the PDI goes well. I insisted on getting the PDI done on the same day the vehicle arrives and Mahesh managed to get that arranged.

Taking learnings from TBHP's official PDI checklist, I prepared a more detailed one (attached below if anyone wants to use it) and went to the stockyard on Oct 30th. Everything was in order except for a few minor issues. The car was manufactured in Oct'21 when decoded from the VIN and the ODO stood at just 4km. Sweet!!

XUV300 PDI Checklist.pdf

A few pictures from the PDI:

I mailed them regarding the issues that were to be fixed. Once we ensured that mail communications captured everything (PDI issues, delivery dates, negotiated final price etc.) we made the payments and shared the transaction details.

Delivery:

The delivery was fixed for the day after Diwali, that is Nov 5th 2021. Our parents had prescribed the auspicious time as 1.45-2.45pm. I'm not a believer myself but my wife and parents are, so I respected that. Mahesh asked me to come by the showroom at around 1pm and assured everything would be in order.

However, knowing the horror stories from TBHP I decided to show up a little earlier unannounced, just to check on how things were shaping up.

We arrived at the showroom at around 12.30pm and I was pleasantly surprised to find the car, all ready, behind the curtain. We went inside the showroom and Mahesh had already prepared all the documents necessary. We were assisted by Mr. Suresh, the Delivery Manager, for the documentation process. Every document was in order so only my signatures were pending. They asked if we wanted to check on the issues which were reported before we do the documentation and I agreed. We inspected the car again and all the issues reported were resolved. I checked the ODO and it stood at 12km (showroom was exactly 8km from stockyard which I had checked earlier), the VIN and engine numbers matched as well. We went back and finished the document formalities.

We were done with everything by 1pm!! We had a whole 1 hour to spare before we could take the delivery within the auspicious time window. I was randomly walking around the showroom just to pass time, a lot of it spent inside the Thar, which I definitely enjoyed.

Once the clock struck 2pm, we asked for the delivery process to begin. Photos and videos were taken. And with that, by 2.30pm we were out of the showroom with Yoda!!

Continue reading krishnakumar's review of his Mahindra XUV300 W8(O) MT diesel for Bhpian comments, insights and more information.

 
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