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A short spin in the Mahindra XUV 700 AX7 L Diesel Manual

Mahindra should provide the option to have AX7 without ADAS and also not restrict the luxury pack to the AX7 variant alone.

BHPian techmotor recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I recently got a chance to spend a good amount of time test driving the vehicle over a variety of road conditions. Following are my observations and initial impression.

Variant driven - AX7 L Diesel Manual

What I liked

  • Engine and Transmission – Superb engine response with ample torque and power delivery all around. I have driven in Zap mode and forgot to test in Zoom mode! Zap mode seemed sufficient for most scenarios. The clutch was light and gears were smooth to operate and I didn’t feel any difficulty and was not feeling any strain even after 1 hour drive through various traffic and road conditions.
  • Ride and Handling – The ride felt balanced for most part. In city, it’s really effortless to drive and ride felt comfortable. Small road undulations are not felt inside however you do feel the potholes but it’s not at all intrusive to spoil your ride comfort. At high speeds, slight body roll is felt and steering feedback is not up to an enthusiast’s taste. Make no mistake, there is no nervousness felt and you can easily cruise in legal speed limits with confidence. The FSD suspension on both front and rear makes the ride pretty comfortable over bad roads without losing much stability. Like I said, it felt balanced with respect to both ride and handling.
  • NVH – For a 2.2L turbo diesel engine, the noise is acceptable. In fact, I didn’t notice it much thanks to the adequate insulation provided. There was no vibrations in the pedals, gear and steering and overall impression on NVH is impressive.
  • Looks – I liked the overall design except for the tail light. Both XUV 5OO and Marazzo have terrible tail light design and it seems XUV 7OO also follows the suit. I must say that I like XUV 3OO’s tail light design. Also the vehicle has good road presence and I liked its stance. However, in the overall looks department, it’s the Harrier/Safari twins that wins hands down.
  • Build and Safety – Build quality and fit and finish is impressive but don't expect European standards. As we all know, they got 5 star rating at GNCAP tests. Like they advertise, India’s safest car remains a Mahindra.

Features worth mentioning

  • Manual with auto hold!!! – Now this was a pleasant surprise for me. I thought auto hold function came only with automatics. Please note that I’m not talking about Hill hold function. If this is provided in a manual, I seriously wouldn’t require an AT as the main pain point with MTs are the frequent clutch operation on slow moving traffic. Will it create more wear and tear on brake pad, clutch plates etc. compared to AT is something to be seen. But if this is indeed possible (it could be that the presence of EPB makes it possible), I’d urge manufactures to bring this extremely useful feature to MT variants.
  • GPS based navigation – Useful feature in theory, when your mobile doesn’t have coverage or internet is not available. Jeep Compass Model S also have this feature.
  • Custom drive mode - Allows you to do a mix and match of the engine power, steering response etc. in case you want a bit more customization than the pre-built (Zip, Zap and Zoom) modes.
  • Availability of Video footage in case of an accidents – As per SA, if the airbags gets deployed in the unfortunate event of an accident, then the recording will be saved without getting overwritten. On other occasions it will be saved but will be overwritten in case disk space is not available. The recording seems to provide 360 degree view of the incident. However, it seems these cannot be transferred to a different device, say our mobile phone.

What I didn’t like

  • Too much tech – Primarily, ADAS, Infotainment System and Instrument Cluster. I personally prefer not to have ADAS yet. Because of the way our road driving conditions are, I’ll abstain from it for the time being. Having said that it’s good to see these being implemented and in the long term would prove to be useful. I think there is a way to turn ADAS off completely but I couldn’t confirm it while TDing. If it can’t be turned off, then it’s a huge -ve for me. Also I’m skeptical about all digital instrument cluster. We already have seen many threads in the forum citing instrument cluster failing to turn on thus missing critical driver information display. This is not only inconvenient but also unsafe. Also many a time, I had to take my eyes off of the road to find settings that are only available via the infotainment system.
  • Plastic quality on top of dash – The quality of the plastics and fit and finish on top of the dashboard looked cheap and stood like a sore thumb. Maybe newer versions have better fit and finish. The one I drove was from the very initial batch.
  • Waiting period – The infamous waiting period with SA quoting 9 months for Diesel and 1+ year for Diesel AWD. In reality, the delivery might happen soon but I don’t expect it to be lower than 6 months at least for now.
  • Tail lamp design – As mentioned above, I didn’t like the design. It looks odd IMHO.
  • Lack of practical variants – Mahindra should provide option to have AX7 without ADAS. Also the luxury pack is restricted to AX7 models. They should provide it in AX5 variants at least.

Overall, it’s an excellent package and Kudos to Mahindra for bringing in such a wonderful product. Had it not been for the waiting period, I’d have booked it without a second thought. Of course we should be ready to take risk with niggles that are common in Mahindra and with too much tech, it’d open new avenues for tech related niggles.

Disclaimer: All points are from a drivers points of view and I couldn’t test the rear seat comfort etc.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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