5000 km in 1 month with my XUV700: Booking, delivery & 1st impressions

This engine and gearbox combination is so well mated that whether it is pulling ahead in the city after the traffic signal turns green or on the highway.

BHPian SamDiablo recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi All,

First of all apologies for the long post.

Having taken delivery of my XUV700 AX7L Diesel a few weeks back (4th Oct) and driven over 5K, I thought that it was time to share some of my observations and experiences here. My usage has been 40% city and 60% highways.

Search: Was on the lookout for a 3-row vehicle for quite some time now. Booked and cancelled XUV500 and Endeavour before Covid stuck. When I look back I think those cancellations were for some stupid reasons. It was like trying to find faults in vehicles which served the purpose and even went beyond it.

Booking and Delivery Experience:

Booking: Booked AX7L Petrol AT on 14th Jan 2023 with Sireesh Auto, Silkboard, Bangalore. Changed my mind midway and booked AX7L Diesel AT in Jul end. Was so desperate to get this within this year that booked a couple more with Ananth Motors also (both AX7L Diesel AT, one of them being AWD). All the bookings were for Midnight black colour. As per the Mahindra website, my original booking was still showing Jan/Feb 2024 and all other bookings were going all the way to Jun/Jul 2024! Meanwhile was test-driving most of the direct competitors as well as some from across segments. The final list of vehicles that I test drove, including diesel and Petrol XUV 700 were: Alcazar, Carens, Kushaq, Taigun, Tiguan, Compass, Meridian, Gloster, Safari, Harrier, Virtus, Slavia and new Verna. All the vehicles test-driven were top variants of respective models and always AT. Was not interested in Manuals. Sometimes ended up test-driving multiple times. XUV700 itself was test-driven for more than 200Kms all put together. The more I drove any other vehicle, the more I was getting firm in my mind and heart on who was going to be my next love! Don’t want to write why I was not keen on other vehicles’ post-test drives as I think over a period it was all about what are the positives of XUV700 rather than any issues/shortcomings in it or others. I’m sure that had I not gone for XUV700 I would have gone for a Turbo Petrol (my second and third choices were Alcazar and Carens respectively).

Delivery: Sireesh Auto staff in Bangalore stuck to their original promise of delivering within Sep/Oct. My sales advisor and his manager were very patient with me throughout the last 5 months as at the time I used to enquire and press them almost daily! Delivery itself was very smooth with no issues during PDI or delivery. On delivery day it took only 30 minutes to complete the paperwork. They had filled up approximately 20 litres of fuel in the tank. I would recommend Sireesh Auto, Silk Board to anybody who lives near this part of the town. Sales Advisor Jagdish was super helpful right from booking day to delivery and after that also. In between was offered red, white and silver colour AX7L AT (Diesel) by Sireesh Auto and Electric Blue AX7L AWD by Ananth Motors, but due to family (and probably myself also) pressure had to decline all these as kids were adamant about getting midnight black colour. I was ok with white and silver also.

Few observations, both positives as well as “Even Better if”. I would not dwell too much on features either present or missing as these have been documented well on this thread.

Even Better If (not in any particular order):

1. I would like to have a little more under-thigh support for all seats (especially the driver and front passenger). The reason is that when you use lumbar support in the driver’s seat, it pushes you away from the back rest and hence it decreases under-thigh support. This I noticed during my first long drive and I had to re-adjust the driving seat arrangement to make a good balance between lumbar support and under-thigh support. Maybe this is a unique problem to me only as I have long long-standing back issue and I need a good bit of back support.

Lumbar Support: adding to the point above lumbar support adjustment although fine in itself is not very useful for me as the backrest becomes too stiff when fully inflated. If I’m not using lumbar support adjustment, back seat support comfort is ok but then there is a gap between the back and seat cushion. Hence in my case, I had to order an aftermarket back support cushion which has more or less solved both this and the above (under thigh support) problem.

2. Drive mode adjustment (Zip, Zap and Zoom): Changing drive mode is a three-step process and is very distracting especially if you are at high speeds. I switch to zoom mode only when I’ve crossed 80km/h and know that more or less I’m going to be driving beyond this limit for some time continuously. A more user-friendly procedure with not require touching the screen would have been better. I’m not sure what purpose zip mode serves as I don’t see any significant increase in fuel efficiency. Maybe it is because of the way I drive.

Auto Engine off functionality is at times very frustrating as every time your speedometer touches zero engine stops. When you are stopping at traffic signals etc it is fine otherwise it is not useful. I have started turning it off every time I start a drive.

3. The Blind Spot Monitoring screen has design flaws in my view:

  • It brings up a rectangular box-like shape with one side having a concave shape (left or right depending on which side turn indicators you have chosen). Now this screen itself is very small and because of curvature on one side, the video looks distorted.
  • When it is dark outside, the video feed is pretty useless. Lastly, this screen is only visible when you are steering wheel is straight in its default position, if your steering wheel has turned you can’t see the blind spot monitoring screen. I think the implementation of this in the new Seltos is much better. Again I think some of it can be solved by changing the software implementation.

At times I felt that there was a lag of 1-2 seconds in camera feeds for 360* view. It creates issues sometimes while reversing or parking in tight spaces. Strangely, at times there is no lag.

Lastly, my natural (or acquired) driving style is that I hold the steering wheel at 1’O or 2’O clock. Because of this, there is not much elbow support available. I’m trying to adapt to this by holding the steering wheel at 5’O or 6’O clock position. But still would have liked the driver-side elbow rest area to be a bit with more real estate and also to be a little closer.

Niggles faced to date:

Only one till now. One fine day after 3 weeks and an odometer at 2.2k km, while going to the office, I stopped for a purchase mid-way. Till that time everything was fine. When I started the engine again, the infotainment screen just froze on the home screen view. Re-started the engine a couple of times but the screen remained frozen. Drove to the office, with no issues while driving but was not able to adjust the AC temperature. Is this something that others have also observed when the infotainment screen goes bank or just freezes? Anyways, at office parking restarted the engine after a couple of hours and everything was back to normal. I found a funny side in this and told myself that in 1st month of ownership, one niggle was very much required to feel part of the XUV700 community!! Good that it was a minor one.

Good things:

Steering: Despite its size I find it to be very easy to drive in city traffic. I guess it’s because of super-light steering and a brilliant gearbox. At high speed, driving steering weighs up nicely, especially in Zoom mode.

Engine and Gearbox: I’ve driven mostly petrol cars before owning this and some very good ones. I liked the thrill (pull, engine sound, sensation on accelerator pedal) of petrol cars so much that I was originally not very keen on a diesel engine. But because of my yearly usage (25-30 km) and the very good feeling that XUV700 test drive vehicles gave I opted for diesel. Whenever somebody used to mention about “mid-range torque” of powerful diesel vehicles I always wondered what the fuss was about. It may be my ignorance but I used to think that the torque delivery of good petrol engines available nowadays is also very good, at least to my satisfaction. But after this 4K km, I have started to understand what is the meaning of the mid-range torque of a diesel motor. This engine and gearbox combination is so well mated that whether it is pulling ahead in the city after the traffic signal turns green or on the highway irrespective of your speed it shows no hesitancy in surging ahead. The sound and calmness of the engine between 40-80 band is relaxing and seemingly invites to you press the accelerator pedal. Engine noise is not annoying at all for me.

The music system is in my view very good. Different options of filed position and surround settings are worth experimenting with. When the volume of the system is above 10 (max is 30) it insulates you from all the outside noise. In fact, at times I can’t hear the noise of even my vehicle (even the horn).

Drive modes: Zap mode is more than sufficient in virtually every situation. I feel that above 80 km/h, Zoom mode takes this car to another level. The steering becomes very confidence-inspiring, breaks add extra bite and pressing the accelerator pedal at times gives you a pushback on your seat. I have felt that even the behaviour of suspension changes and they become a little firm. I was not able to find any supporting review video or documentation on the suspension behaviour changes. Please can somebody validate this and give more insight on how this happens or is this just my imagination? In my opinion zip mode is not very useful as it makes hardly any mileage difference. Maybe it is just the way I drive.

Mapples is working fine for me. Again touch wood! Not faced many issues with Vi connectivity either. The default setting that I use in the city or highway is to project a full maple navigation screen on the instrument cluster. That frees up my main infotainment screen for toggling across music and other things. Moreover, having the navigation screen on the instrument cluster gives a feel-good factor! Reminds me of Audi’s infamous cockpit view from where it all started!! Hope in future this is possible with Google Maps also.

Suspension is very good in most situations, only at low speeds on steep breakers I have felt vertical movement.

The family is happy with the overall comfort and space available. No complaints to date about seat comfort, cushioning, ride quality etc. The only thing is that they would have liked to have height adjustment for front-row passengers as well and my kids felt that giving electric adjustment for only the driver is unfair!

Haven’t taken many pictures, but here are a couple.

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