Maruti Suzuki had introduced their Premium 6-seater MPV the XL6 in 2019 and has been retailing since then via the Nexa channel which again is the Premium dealership for the car maker. The XL6 coming into 2022 gets a major update inside out which also includes a brand new heart along with other changes. We head to Benguluru to spend some time behind the wheels of this the 2022 Maruti Suzuki XL6 and to get you our detailed road test review of the latest 6 seater MPV in town.
Food for Thought
The XL6 is based on the Ertiga sharing a lot of underpinnings but also has loads of changes on to it. Suzuki also sells the XL6 as the XL7 which is the 7-seater version of it in a few international markets. Maruti Suzuki also exports the XL6 to South Asian and Southeast Asian markets, along with several markets in Africa and Latin America. The XL6 is built on the HEARTECT platform that is also used by other Maruti Suzuki models. The XL6 becomes the first model from Maruti Suzuki to get paddle shifters and ventilated front seats.
In terms of exteriors the 2022 XL6 does get a host of changes and updates. The basic silhouette remains the same and the premium MPV does appear like a Crossover SUV mainly from the front and the sides. The front gets a new design grille that is now bolder and much more into your face types with chrome surrounds, larger Suzuki logo and a thick cross bar in chrome that bisects the face and ends inside the LED headlamps.
The signature DRL strip infused inside the headlamp gives the face much more dominance along with the round fog lamps with black surrounds and the silver faux skid plate on the bumper that gives it a very butch SUV look.
On the sides you notice the sheer length of the XL6. Here the changes include all new multi-spoke design machined alloys on updated 16 inch tyres.
The wheel arches get the fibre cladding, silver insert on the running board, roof rails and shark fin antenna. Placed just above the fender on the bonnet lip is a horizontal insert with chrome strip on it. Door handles come with neat looking chrome treatment while the large glass area get blacked out pillars.
The rear profile on the 2022 XL6 now comes with LED tail lamps that get the smoked out effect as compared to all red on the older XL6. The rear profile gets further enhanced with a large body colored wing spoiler that adds a lot of sporty look. The boot lid comes with a thick glossy black insert with a chrome strip on it kind of blending with the smoked LED tail lamps. The rear bumper gets the silver faux skid plate along with vertically placed slim stop reflectors finishing the XL6’s SUV-Crossover-MPV look.
Step inside the 2022 XL6 and you will notice the neatly laid out dashboard with a unique stone finish insert along with a thick silver strip that runs across from left to right. The door pads too get the stone finish treatment. The instrument cluster gets large twin dials with blue finish and a MFD screen in between reading out all the needed tell-tale information at all times. The blue theme on the cluster is to remind you that the XL6 has the smart hybrid technology on it. The flat bottom steering gets silver insert along with leather wrapping and the MFD control buttons on it. The automatic version also gets paddle shifters. This steering can be adjusted for height and reach to enhance comfort.
The centre dash houses the 7-inch touch-screen AVN system that runs on the latest generation SmartPlay Pro system. This AVN system comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Navigation, Bluetooth, voice assist and lots more. The XL6 also gets 360 degree camera on its feature list. The climate control is a single zone unit with roof mounted blowers also available for the middle row. You get USB mobile charge port, power outlet and a unique cooled can holder on the centre console. Wireless mobile charging is still not available on the XL6.
The seats get faux leather upholstery along with hand stitch lining and perforation with the front seats getting cooled ventilation feature. Driver seat comes with height adjust while the front seats offer excellent comfort, support and view of the road ahead. The padded elbow support on the door pad and the centre arm rest add to the comfort quotient in a big way. The middle row captain seats also offer loads of leg, knee, headroom while you can extend the space by sliding them in front or back, you can also set the back angle as per comfort and these seats also get adjustable head rest, foldable arm rest that is a huge boon during long drives. The large glass area lets in loads of light while the doors are also large in size making entry exit a breeze.
To get into the third row you need to flip down the middle row seats and then sliding them ahead making space for the entry. Once in the third row you will notice that sitting here is pretty comfortable. These seats are large in size and give good comfort and space. Leg room, knee room and head room is pretty decent and sufficient.
On the XL6 you get 209 liters of boot space with all the three rows up, with the last row down the boot space is 550 liters while with the last and middle row folded down you get 692 liters of total boot capacity.
Engine – Transmission – Drive
The biggest technical change on the 2022 XL6 is its engine; the premium MPV now comes powered with the K15C 4-cylinder Petrol engine. This engine makes 104hp of power and 136.8Nm of torque. This engine comes with the Smart Hybrid technology while the transmission options include a 5-speed manual and a new torque convertor 6-speed Automatic transmission.
How is the XL6 to drive?
On the move the 1.5L K15 engine shines all day in terms of refinement. We drove the manual version first and instantly noticed the light clutch. The steering feels well balanced and offers positive feedback. Power delivery is pretty good with good acceleration figures on the manual version. The ride quality offered is pretty mature too as compared to the older XL6 with some suspension reconfiguring done and also thanks to the larger 16-inch wheels that the MPV now drives on.
On the automatic version we loved the ease of clutch free driving that this version offers. The gear shifts are smooth and quick while you also have the paddle shifters if you want to have some more fun and control. The steering on the automatic feels heavier due to its overall extra weight and we love it just this way. The power buildup is good not as fast as the manual but considering the comfort and convenience the AT offers it really is noteworthy.
The XL6 gets idle start stop and brake energy regeneration along with torque assist during acceleration on the Smart Hybrid feature list and this does make life easier. You can actually see the way the smart hybrid in action as its displayed on the MDF screen. The overall drive feel is excellent reassuring and comfortable on the XL6. The new engine shines in terms of refinement, performance and power delivery. In terms of fuel efficiency Maruti Suzuki claims 20-21kmpl while you can easily expect around 14-15kmpl in real world driving conditions which is real good for a 6-seater MPV.
Maruti Suzuki has gone all out in terms of safety with the XL6. Even the base trim comes with four air bags (dual front and dual front side), hill assist and ESP as standard. Other safety features include a 360 degree camera, tyre pressure monitor system with load assign, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX anchorage to name a few.
The Maruti Suzuki XL6 goes up against the likes of the Kia Carens, Mahindra Marazzo and also its own sibling the Ertiga.
The XL6 may be based on the Ertiga but comes with a lot of changes and premium features. This the updated 2022 XL comes at the right time with the right changes to it in terms of features, looks and the biggest being its new engine with the new automatic transmission which is such a pleasure to drive on busy roads and highways too. The XL6 makes a strong statement for itself if you are looking for a spacious, refined, comfortable 6-seater MPV with a dash of SUV looks to it. Topping it all the reliability, after sales and low cost of service and maintenance from the house of Maruti Suzuki adds to the icing on the cake making the XL6 a perfect option to go for. Prices for the 2022 Maruti Suzuki XL6 start at Rs. 11.29 Lakh.
Words – Ritesh Madhok
Video & Photography – Bhushan Joshi