Test drove the 2023 Safari & XUV 700 together: 5 immediate differences
Driving the XUV700 right after driving a low-slung sedan was not a big day & night difference because it drives like a car, whereas the same can’t be said for Harrier and Scorpio-N.
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Finally, the car is here in my city and I went for a test drive along with my old friend. A little background, my friend is currently driving a Ford Freestyle 2019 and he is car shopping, so most of our views are compared to Freestyle and Rapid DSG. Before driving the Harrier, we also took a test drive of XUV700 AX L MT and Scorpio N MT Z8.
Harrier Fearless A/T:
- Easily one of the most beautiful SUVs out there, no questions about it
- Well appointed interiors
- The quality of plastic in the interior doesn’t feel tacky like the XUV700.
- Rear seat comfort
- Winged headrest ala Range Rover
- EPS has changed the driving experience
- Feels like a well-built product and abuse friendly
- Having worked with JLR, Harrier does feels like a Discovery Sport at a bargain
- Did I say looks??
- Doesn’t feel like a polished product and lacks finesse.
- Stiff ride quality on the 18 inch wheels, especially the low-speed ride makes you aware of the road surface.
- Usual Tata fit and finish legacy, I could see a misaligned door window strip
- I have OCD and just cannot withstand that indicator desynchronized chime
- For a 28L rupee car, the engine was loud at higher revs and vibrations could be felt at the steering wheel and pedals
- I didn’t like the gearbox calibration, it was too slow
Comparison to XUV700:
- I found the dynamics of the XUV to be superior
- XUV feels like a one car designed from the ground up wherein there’s something not organic about Harrier, I don’t know how do I put it in words
- Midspec variants are similarly priced for both the cars
- Screen integration in Mahindra feels better
- Mahindra loses out in terms of plastic quality, it feels cheap
Driving the XUV700 right after driving a low-slung sedan was not a big day & night difference because it drives like a car, whereas the same can’t be said for Harrier and Scorpio N.
After the test drive, I appreciated my Rapid even more, what a beautiful piece of engineering it is, the 1.5TDI even after doing 85k felt smoother than the new cars, there were too many vibrations and noise during acceleration in Harrier. And seriously, the DSG has spoilt me, I believe I expect way too much from gearboxes. Car buying in today’s age is an exciting exercise especially when our homegrown manufacturers are churning out such worldclass products. My friend is inclining more towards the XUV now and if I want to add any other car in my garage, it’s either going to be a Slavia/Virtus. I just cannot let go of the driving pleasure and finesse of ze Germans.
P.S. Scorpio N is out of contention, we both despised the ride quality of the Scorpio, it’s all over the place and way too softly sprung. Can’t handle that much body roll, not a cup of our tea since we both are used to good-handling cars.
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