Mahindra XUV 500: Hype & Reality
With too many XUV500s now easily available in the used car market and decreasing new car sales, it is the poor customer satisfaction behind the grim reality?
Almost 18 months back this car entered our roads with a live bang. The Mahindra’s new SUV was a media child for more than a year from then, with almost all the top car magazines, TV shows, and websites praising for its butch looks and value for money character. People were captivated by its stunning damn looks with too many cuts up in front, punchy wheel arches, rising beltline and blacked out pillars. Then there was everything from pin to gun was offered as features. No butler of course! The car soon became a trend setter for aspiring SUV owners – young urban folks with extendable budget and dreams too… And now months past, the sheen for the XUV 5oo has already subsided with not so great new car bookings.
Currently, a plenty of XUVs are available in the used car markets in the major cities of Tamil Nadu. Most of the cars I came across were barely a year old. I could even find cars less than 3 months old ready for a second owner. Running mileage are on average was above 50,000 kms with some cars crossing just 20,000 kms. Most of the cars are of showroom condition with very limited or no body damages. W8 AWD models too represented equal numbers. Asking price is highly bargaining though. The fame that the car has earned helps it gain a fairly good resale value too. Though the reasons behind selling the brand new vehicle was differing in each case, I could find a pattern in them. Almost all the cars are sold by the consent of the owners themselves with a plan to buy a new car.
Those owners, with so much enthusiasm and aspirations they would have bought this car, are willing to sell their cars very shortly after their purchase. There should be some sound factors that would have led to such a daring decision. They have invested around Rs. 15 lakhs. More than anything, it was their dream car; they should have waited for months to get the car delivered to their home. So, what is that enigmatic factor?
I believe that the lack of customer satisfaction behind the XUV debacle. Firstly, the XUV is practically not suitable for family uses with 5+ members and many being tempted by the hype went for the car. Hard suspension and unsettling ride quality is a complement. If you are using the theird row then there is hardly any boot space left even for a briefcase. Such familial practicality could have proved them a heavy price. It is not surprising that many of the XUV owners to whom I spoke said that they are planning to go for Innova as their next vehicle.
Secondly, Mahindra’s new SUV has been associated with niggling problems right from the launch of the vehicle. But most of the auto media has never spoken anything about it, not even a word of it. Rusting brake drums, single-layered windscreen glass and wiper scratches (even leads to windshield replacement), problematic music system, braking failures, power-steering fluid leaks, etc. Such problems commonly plague all XUVs. The company did recently recalled a select batch of its 2011 and 2012 make XUVs to replace power steering fluid hose, front power window units and left wiper blade covers for free. An entry-level sedan like poor plastic quality in the interiors have never forget to score the wrath of the owners. Seats do not offer much quality and support. Panel gaps arise in the centre console and rattling noises all over the body after some thousand kilometers mileage is a usual affair.
My first encounter with the car months back is what I remember. The car was typically indigenous with openly visible screws for tails lamps, door pads and hinges. The radiator mess in the engine room and the plastic bumper has a foot length space wasted, which has been specifically designed to reap what the company calls the cheetah-inspired design. The instrument panel protruding out on the dashboard is not interesting to me.
Also Read: Mahindra XUV 5oo and its overseas feat
The XUV 5oo is plagued with poor build quality and flimsy plastics, especially its exterior designing elements and interior ergonomics. The company has to work leaps and bounds to improve the car’s quality and practicality. The XUV is one of the best option for a used buy especially if you have a bargaining deal. The car has a terrific straight line performance for its size. It comes well equipped with all necessary features including safety options. But keep an eye on the common defects and spot the lemon.