Remember that guy you met at a party who had really, really bad teeth. The first time you met him you thought to yourself, "Oh my good God!" Then you kept seeing him at all the other parties and you got over his really bad teeth. Then after you met him a few more times you started talking to him and found out he does a lot of charity work and is a great football player. The next time you saw him, you found out he has just had a complete makeover and his teeth are now quite pleasant to look at. You even noticed his smile for the first time. This is exactly what has happened to the Xylo if you ask me. The first time I saw it I couldn't stand it. But then I kept seeing more Xylos on the road and I got used to its toothy grin. Then I sat in one and was amazed at how comfortable it was. And now the Xylo has had a complete revamp and it looks spectacular! Well in comparison at least.
We've always said how the Genio's front was better looking than the Xylo and how it seemed that your neighbourhood farmer had a better looking car than you in your Xylo. But now, the situation is back to how it rightfully needs to be. The all new Xylo gets a reworked front end with a new rectangular front grille in piano black finish. The bonnet is new too. Also adding a dash of class are the clear lens headlamps with the black inserts and some chrome detailing under the grille. The oval shape seems to be inspired from the previous generation Scorpio.
The bumper gets a new front lip in a contrasting black shade that runs along the bottom all the way to the back of the vehicle. This black shade is again applied to the B, C and D pillars. Talking about the sides, the wheel arches have become a bit more pronounced and there is also a new footstep and some chrome detailing. The rear remains more or less the same but gets a spoiler to add to the premium feel.
The premium feel does not stop with the exterior. Step inside the 2012 Mahindra Xylo and you immediately feel a lot has changed. It has. First off there is the all new beige Italian leather upholstery. The leather is complemented by faux wood trim on the dashboard and doors. We still feel the wood could have been better as the quality is not that great. The centre console uses the same Nippon music system (with Bluetooth, USB and AUX-in support) from the E8 but now extends all the way to the arm rest and also houses an all new display for the trip computer. The gear knob is new and the two cup holders have found a new home next to the gear lever.
Disappointingly the Xylo still does not get climate control which the top end Aria and Innova both have. The steering wheel now gets audio controls and there is also a new voice command system that has been implemented. The Voice Command Technology lets you give commands to turn cabin lights, wipers, windshield washer, defogger, cabin lights, indicators, hazards and headlights on or off and is one of the best systems we have used and does not require a fake accent to get it to work.
The most significant change in the new Mahindra Xylo lies under its hood. The mEagle engine has been replaced by its cousin, the mHawk which has been combined with a 5-speed manual gearbox. Only in the E9 though. The others will use the mEagle and mDI engines. If you remember the mHawk is the motor that powers the Scorpio. The 2179cc, turbocharged, common rail diesel makes 120PS at 4000rpm and 280Nm between 2400-2800rpm. Which might not be as much as the Aria's 140PS and 320Nm but is far ahead of the Innova's 102PS and 200Nm.
The new engine will push the Xylo to 100 clicks in 13.75 seconds and on to a max velocity of 168kmph. The previous model with the mEagle engine does 15.9s to 100kmph and maxes out at 158kmph. In comparison the Aria and Innova do the 100kmph run in 13.08 seconds and 17.6 seconds and post top speed figures of 174.3kmph and 151kmph respectively. The quarter mile is cleared in 19.19 seconds at 117.95kmph. However, making a quick getaway is not this engine's only specialty. Turns out it doesn't score poor in the economy department either. On our mileage run, we saw 11.1kmpl in the city and 16.7kmpl on the highway. This means an overall economy of 12.5kmpl, which is 1.52kmpl less than the ARAI figure of 14.02kmpl. To put it in perspective, the same engine in the Scorpio gives an overall economy of 11.7kmpl. Against the competition, the Xylo gives 0.7kmpl more than the Innova's 11.8 kmpl but 0.49kmpl less than the Aria's 12.99kmpl.
The Xylo has had no changes to its chassis and suspension. It retains the same independent coil springs at the front and multi-link coil springs at the rear. The springs feel firm and transfer a lot of the unevenness from the road surface to the passengers. However, there is still a lot of body roll. The front disc, rear drum layout of the brakes haven't been changed either. It comes to a standstill from 100kmph in 3.9 seconds within 52m.
The base variant Xylo D2 is priced at Rs 7.12 lakh but it is completely bare except for the dual AC and flatbed seats. The fully kitted up E9 with ABS, optional dual airbags, voice command system, 2 DIN audio system, wood finish, leather interiors, foldable snack trays, parking assist, cruise control and a whole host of other goodies is priced at Rs 9.93 lakh (both ex-Mumbai). This is still cheaper than the Rs 14.57 lakh and Rs 11.6 lakh that the top end Aria (the base variant of which is still Rs 1.92 lakh more expensive than the E9) and Innova go for. For the amount of features it offers and the new mHawk engine, this price might just kick sales into overdrive for the new Xylo.