Mahindra XUV300 after 7 months, 7500km: Likes, issues & fuel efficiency
I have a KTM 390 Adventure but I wanted a car that can tackle mild off-roading & the XUV300 does that with ease.
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Ok folks, so, it has been just over 7 months since Yoda has been with us. So far we have completed a little over 7500km and I’m hoping to cover as many updates as possible in this post.
So how have the last 7500 km been?
Overall – FANTASTIC!! While there have been a few hiccups on the way, some of them have been resolved and some of them are still continuing. So without further ado, here’s the update:
What has gone well so far?
- Excellent highway stability: This just stands out in the XUV300 and I love the comfort it offers for long-distance trips. I have done multiple rounds of Bangalore <> Trivandrum runs (750km one-way) and reached the destination with no fatigue.
- Smothers rough roads: The XUV300 excels in rough patches. I love off-roading and have a KTM 390 Adventure in the garage specifically for this but I wanted a car that can tackle mild off-roads with ease. The 300Nm torque and excellent suspension setup ensure that those faraway resorts and homestays are always accessible to us.
On the way to an estate resort. It felt so easy driving up these estate trails.
- Surprisingly quiet cabin: The XUV300 diesel mill is already a refined one but big props go to the sound-proofing in the XUV300. With the windows up and eyes glued to the road, it is very difficult to guess the speed. Thanks (or not so much thanks, debatable) to the 80kph chime, I know when the threshold is broken. Without that, it’d be really hard to say.
What were the hiccups along the way?
I’ll break this up into two.
Issues that have been resolved
- Issue where the Bluetooth keeps getting disconnected: The issue is explained a bit in detail in this post on the official review thread. Happy to report that it was indeed a software bug and was resolved when the update came through. I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from the technical manager at Sireesh Marathahalli service center about the software update. Mr. Sridhar had promised me that he’d call me when the update comes but I actually did not expect him to follow through. So big props to that!
- Mild DPF scare: Between 6000km-6700km, the car was almost exclusively driven for short city commutes. The duration of this was around 3 months. The lapse was from my side and while I thought of taking the car out for a highway run every weekend, one thing or the other came up and I kept pushing it. One fine day, I get the DPF alert on my instrument cluster while dropping my wife off at work (one of those typical short city commutes). I came back and did a park regen and the issue was fixed. Now the plan is to at least do a short breakfast run every weekend.
- A rear-end resulting in bonnet replacement: So this was completely my fault. We were at an intersection (Hope Farm signal for the Bangaloreans) and there was a water tanker truck in front of us. I had to take a right turn but had no visibility of the traffic lights (which were getting blocked by the tanker in front). There was a Creta in front of me that was taking the right turn and I was following the Creta’s cue (#1 mistake). The truck suddenly stopped (no rear brake lights, of course) but the Creta proceeded to complete the turn, possibly under the Amber light and this confused me a bit. I braked immediately, or so I thought, but the car had already rear-ended the truck on the passenger side corner; basically went below the under-ride with the under-ride protector squeezing the bonnet from the top. The speeds very extremely slow, less than 5kmph and hence nothing serious happened. I believe the truck didn’t even realize. We were taking our puppy to the vet as he was sick and he was constantly wailing in the car, so I was already a little stressed; possibly the reason why I didn’t function well because I have never made such silly mistakes in the past. Well, there is always a first and it was an important lesson. Got the bonnet replaced but totally not happy with the painting job done by the service. Thinking of leaving it as is for now and going for some detailing later this year.
Thankfully, no mechanical or electrical damage. The bonnet had to be replaced and everything else was good to go.
Ongoing Issues (that were reported/found earlier)
- “Whup whup whup” sound while releasing throttle at around 40kph speed: I had posted this on this post but didn’t see many others facing a similar issue. One theory was on the intercooler pipe which I checked with the service center and they said my batch of cars did not have that concern. The issue doesn’t manifest always and there are specific trigger patterns that I have not been able to fully recreate every time I test. So that has been a problem in explaining exactly what’s going on to the service center guys. Anyway, planning to take a technician on a slightly longer test drive and show them in person.
- Gear knob vibrating at the 5th gear position while accelerating from 60kph-80kph (which is the recommended speed range for 5th gear): This issue is specific to 5th gear position and the knob vibrates while accelerating from 65kph-80kph. Beyond 80kph, it doesn’t vibrate and below 60 kph, there are chances to stall so I always shift down. Again, there are specific instances when this doesn’t vibrate and I haven’t been able to figure out why it doesn’t. These “ideal” instances are 1/10; the rest 9/10 times, the knob vibrates. Again issue with replicating this to the technician was within city limits it was simply not possible to get up to those speeds.
New issue that has cropped up in the last 500km
A mild creaking/squeaking noise from the driver side door pad/b-pillar – can’t exactly place where! Hoping that this is something minor that can be fixed but since it’s right next to my ears, it’s very difficult to ignore. Also, FINGERS CROSSED, no other rattles so far and hoping it stays that way.
What are some quirks that I have gotten used to?
- Oversteer on rumble strips: Realized this is more a function of the suspension setup. Basically, if I steer while on the rumble strips coupled with braking or acceleration, there is terrible oversteer that needs immediate correction. Having driven cars for many years, I have been confident in tackling those scenarios well but this might catch an amateur off-guard! Not sure if there is a fix to this though. Typically, I do trail braking on sharper corners as it is a much more mature way of driving/riding (certainly carried over this habit from my riding days). So while I would normally trail brake on these sharper curves, if I see rumble strips on one I slow down much earlier and hold the steering a bit loose to quickly adjust for any corrections that might be required. So far this has been working well!
- Extremely sensitive cold brakes: Again something that’s difficult to replicate to a service station as by the time I reach there the temps have already gone up. But when the brakes are cold (first start of the day or after a long park), the brakes are extremely sensitive. Even a light tap causes a sudden halt which is nerve-wracking. I have to be extremely soft and gentle with brake inputs for the first 5 minutes beyond which this sensitivity goes away. That doesn’t mean the brakes are at their best, which leads me to the 3rd quirk.
- Spongy brakes: Clearly, the brakes are a weak point for XUV300. I would have certainly liked a bit more bite to the input, giving me some crucial initial feedback. Although, I have now learned the braking input required and managed around this by controlling other inputs. Yet, this is one thing that I’d want to get checked once again at the service center to identify a fix.
- Lastly, the annoying rear washer wiper quirk: Even started a thread for this here (Annoying rear wiper/washer behavior in the Mahindra XUV300). Planning to get this checked out and fix this in my next service visit.
What’s the fuel economy offered?
- No ownership update is complete without an update on fuel economy, especially in India. After all, it’s the most basic metric to ascertain ownership costs. On highways, the car has been giving an economy of ~16kmpl and in city traffic ~14kmpl. I’m still looking at ways to improve this and putting to practice some of the techniques mentioned in this lovely thread.
- Following DBHPian Arun Josie’s steps of diligently logging refuelling, I’ve managed to plot a graph as given below. Note how the MID is always showing 1.5-2kmpl higher than the actual (measured by Tank-to-Tank method, stopped at auto-cutoff always). The last 16.3 kmpl is with the IOCL XtraGreen and while this is no different than the earlier economy I’ve managed to extract, this particular trip was to Coorg involving some good amount of offroad, hilly roads and Bangalore traffic. Will try this fuel for another trip and see how much economy the car offers.
LOVE THE CAR TO BITS. Looking forward to many more happy miles with Yoda.
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