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Replaced our Xcent with a 2023 Maruti XL6: Observations after 1000 km

Rejected the Ertiga & Carens, in favour of the XL6 MPV.

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Introduction:

We bought this XL6 Zeta MT (Nexa Blue) in mid-August and got it delivered by the end of August, It cost us 14.63 L (on-road) in Bengaluru. The car has completed 1000 KM and has gone through the first periodic service ( 1 month / 1000 km according to the manual). Before I continue with the review, here’s a disclaimer, I don’t drive yet as I am still 17 yrs, the observations other than driving have been compiled by me, and driving observations have been taken as input from my father. Here’s a small backstory, we used to have a 2017 Hyundai Xcent in starlight grey (AFAIK), it was the SX model with a 1.2 L kappa VTVT engine, while the Xcent was enough for our daily chores such as getting groceries, etc., and the actual problem we were facing were the space constraints in the car whenever our relatives came over to our house, which is why we embarked on a search for a suitable 6 or 7 seater car under 16 lakhs for our needs. The first car that was on our radar was Ertiga.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Pros:

  • The amount of space it offers for under 15 lakhs on-road.
  • Ingress and egress was easy
  • Large rear windows didn’t make the interior look claustrophobic
  • It’s a fuel-efficient car.

Cons:

  • The car’s interior is literally a “sea of beige” inside, which did not get a vote from me.
  • It has a taxi image, which didn’t make Ertiga very appealing
  • The 15-inch wheels were too small.
  • Quality of interior bits was sub-par for a car costing over 12 lakhs on-road.
  • 4 airbags are less than what the competition is offering.

Next, on our radar was Kia Carens, which was an interesting candidate:

Pros:

  • Plethora of options for the engine and the transmission like 1.4 petrol, 1.5 T-Gdi turbo, and the diesel engine.
  • The quality of the materials is similar to Hyundai and it was top-notch among the cars in this segment.
  • The safety features like 6 airbags, all-wheel disc brakes, ESP, hill hold assist, etc. in all variants.

Cons:

  • The looks were not appealing for our family, it looked too bland and EV-like in the front, the rear looked fine, but it had a van-like appearance in the front overall, only the side profile was good and appealing to me. Hence, Carens was out of the race.
  • The variant that we wanted, Prestige Plus was coming at 17 L on-road, which proved to be costly, so rejected it.

The third car was Maruti XL6

Pros:

  • Looks much better than Eritga and has a butch appearance with an SUV-like stance to it.
  • The 16-inch wheels were much better and the alloys had a better design.
  • The suspension was better than Ertiga.
  • Features like 360-degree cameras are useful for parking in tight spaces or bumper-to-bumper traffic.
  • Rear captain seats were very comfortable ( became a thing for sweetening the deal )
  • The rear AC was a separate module, not only a blower.
  • The NVH was excellent, couldn’t even know the engine was switched on at first!

Cons:

  • As said above for Ertiga, the quality of interiors was sub–par for a car costing over a million rupees.
  • The K15C engine is strictly suitable for those who want a sedate driving experience and do not expect the engine to unleash its power on the highway.
  • The armrest is small and basically unusable sometimes.
  • The 3rd row seats are mostly suitable for people who are not over 5”7’ or 5”8’. I’m 5”5’ for the record and it was comfortable for me.

So the XL6 was the final contender and my father’s heart was set on it. Initially, we were going to book the Alpha variant for the number of goodies it offered, but we didn’t book the Alpha variant (as it was taking over 1 month for the delivery, as we needed the car within 15 days, as we had a house warming ceremony for our second house in the village and needed the car for bringing the things and dropping people. The SA had informed us that the zeta variant in Nexa blue was readily available in their stockyard in Tumkur and it would take at least 10 days for the delivery, we went ahead and paid the booking amount of 25k. The showroom was very slow in responses, especially for the test drive. Overall, the communication was poor and we had to push them for updates regarding the delivery. The delivery was delayed for some reason by 5 days. Fast forward, we got the delivery date, the only problem we had was insurance, as the showroom was charging high for it (33k), so we went ahead with Acko by paying 25,000 to avoid registration delay. The registration was done within 2 days and we were allotted the number, we had told them to deliver the car to our apartment because my father didn’t have enough time to go to the showroom due to work commitments.

Delivery day

The car was shining in the Nexa blue color as I got off the school bus and immediately after getting freshened up, I ran down to look at the car. My father was finishing the final paperwork and understanding the features of the car, meanwhile, I was excited and was looking all over the cabin checking for any abnormalities. I have to say, we didn’t do a PDI. I know it was a missed opportunity but I was occupied with exams and my father was occupied with work and nobody had thought. But, things were perfect, nothing was wrong, like the fitting of the rear camera (more on it later), and paint quality. We took it for a short spin with showroom people, my father was used to driving the car, right out of the gate, the only thing was he felt the brakes were a little on the late responsive side as the Xcent's brakes had a sharp bite. the sales advisor told us it was completely a normal thing and yes, it was a normal thing, my father got used to it in a couple of days.

Driving Observations:

  • The engine is smooth and refined
  • The power was enough to come out of its basement (obviously), don't know about ghats or hilly areas yet. yet.
  • The 1st and 2nd gears were jerky, maybe because my father was used to the short gear ratio in Xcent and XL6 has long gear ratios ( Please clarify this).
  • Smart hybrid kicks in for brake regeneration and gives torque assist when the secondary battery is fully charged
  • The rear seats were damn comfortable.
  • The camera quality was acceptable and guide lines were appearing properly. The zeta variant doesn't come with a reverse camera by default, it has to be fitted as an accessory
  • The mileage we were getting was 15 to 18 km/l on highway and 10 to 13 km/l in traffic
  • The suspension absorbs minor bumps and overall it's on the stiffer side, which makes the car very planted on the highways
  • The steering is light and similar to our Xcent
  • We had made up our mind that the interior quality wouldn't be near as good as the Xcent was.

The accessories opted for were:

  • Number plate garnish
  • Window beading
  • Carpets
  • Rear spoiler
  • Reverse camera

About the Xcent, we sold it through cars24 for 4.50L as they were the only ones who were offering a good price for our car, it was nearly used for 6 years, clocking in 25k KM on the ODO.

Recently, we gave it for 1st periodic service after clocking in 1000 km, the service advisor was kind and we were getting updates hourly, the only complaint we had was that the Suzuki Connect working irregularly, which was resolved and the total bill came out to be 1300 rs as we opted for the rat mesh which cost Rs 1300. The pick and drop was on time. The car is smoother now and feels better after much-needed interior cleaning.

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