First Look: Mahindra Xylo 2012

The success of the XUV500 hasn’t stopped the folks at Mahindra from working on the rest of its line-up. Mahindra has launched a refreshed version of its premium MUV, the Xylo. The company has improved the MPV in key areas, and has now given it a more up-market look.

The Xylo not only gets added features, but now is also available with the m-Hawk engine from the Scorpio.  Although the complete model line-up has been upgraded, the maximumnumber of changes are seen on the new top-end variant – E9.

So what all has changed? The basic shape still remains the same, yet the new Xylo looks much mature.  Gone are the unnecessary rounds and curves that gave the Xylo an oddball look. It’s all plain and simple now, with even the new grille following a flat pattern. The bonnet also has gone through the “plain-treatment” and the Mahindra logo is now placed at the lip of the bonnet rather than on the grill as it was in the case of earlier models. The headlamps and the fog lamp cluster have been redesigned, and the bumper now gets plastic claddings which to us looked very flimsy but yet helps to accentuate the look of the Xylo.

Moving on to the side profile, the Xylo retains its original look and doesn’t get much to boast about. The only slight upgrade is that the roof-rails are now body hugging unlike the taller ones on the older car. At the rear, the influence from the XUV500 is evident as the C and D pillar have been completely blacked out. A slight alteration to the tail-lamps and a new rear spoiler wraps-up the list of exterior changes.

Step inside, and it’s all a similar territory. The dashboard layout remains the same; however the interiors are now in a darker shade of brown. The colour gels in well with the wooden inserts and overall you wouldn’t be disappointed. The new E9 variant comes with a list of new features.

The steering wheel now gets audio controls and voice-command technology (VCT). The VCT enables the driver to order instructions to the car, such as locking of doors, starting/stopping of wipers and even opening the fuel-lid!

We asked the VCT to switch on the headlamps for us, and without much fuss it followed our instructions. What differentiates this system from the rest is that it has been developed keeping in mind the many Indian accents.The steering mounted switches also control the new cruise control feature.

The mechanicals on the facelift remain untouched; however the new E9 variant gets the 120 BHP m-Hawk engine from the Scorpio. This engine even gets a new 5-speed gearboxwhichuses detent pin technology and synchromesh even for reverse. This smoothers the gear-change and is yet to debut on the Scorpio. All variants below the E9 stick with the 112bhp mEagle motor though the base versions still come with the more fuel efficient m2DI CR motor which is mainly targeted for the Taxi market.

On our extremely short drive, the Xylo felt quick and the turbo-lag was minimal. It pulled well from low revs and didn’t ask for much effort. With the new suspension settings, the ride was comfortable and we noticed a reduced body roll. This however will be kept reserved till we get to do a proper review.

We believe that the new Xylo will be just as successful as the car it replaces. With the facelift, the Xylo still retains all the good elements of its predecessor.

The E9 variant, being targeted towards affluent families, is even loaded with safety features such as: Dual SRS airbags, ABS with EBD and reverse-park assist, which makes it a terrific value for money.Prices start at Rs 8.1 lakh for the E4 variant and go on to Rs 10.25 lakh for this top-end E9 version.

Mahindra says prices of variants have gone up by a maximum of Rs15,000 and in some cases a snipped equipment list on some mid-range variants has caused prices to go down.

Photos by Jubin Joshi