Maruti Suzuki XL6 Roadtest Review – X-tra L-arge Business Class

Maruti Suzuki has launched the XL6 which is positioned as a Six seater Premium MPV and is being sold through the brands Nexa chain of dealerships. The XL6 is based on the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga which itself received a major update in the end of 2018. XL in the name of the vehicle stands for Xtra Large and Xcellent as per Maruti Suzuki. Does it live to its name we try to find out in our review of the Maruti Suzuki XL6.

Exteriors

The basic profile of the XL6 is based on the latest generation Ertiga which itself has been a huge seller in the 7-seater MPV market. The XL6 gets an all new face with a new design front bumper that comes with black 3d inserts, white LED lit round fog lamps and a silver faux skid plate that gives the XL6 all the macho appeal on its face. The front grille comes in matt black finish with twin chrome strips bisecting it horizontally; these strips mate with the DRL placed in the edgy designed all white headlights with cross bar elements.

The hood gets a distinctive design to it adding to the sporty muscular styling of the face. The side profile gets the SUV crossover touch with black unpainted fender cladding and cladding on the running board.

The fenders also get faux air intake strips. The roof gets a sturdy looking set of silver roof-rails that make the XL6 appear taller. The new design multi-spoke alloy wheels get glossy black color shade and come mounted on 185/65R15 spec Bridgestone Ecopia tyres. Electric Wing mirrors come in soft black shade housing while the door handles are in chrome and the window frame are blacked-out. The XL6 sports the same Volvo inspired LED tail lamps like the Ertiga while the rear bumper is all new and comes with silver faux skid plates on it with vertically placed stop reflectors. The boot lid comes with a chrome strip placed above the license plate and a soft black colored boot kink cover with the Suzuki logo placed on it.

Interiors

The XL6 comes with an all black cabin. The basic dashboard layout and styling is like the Ertigas. The Instrument cluster is like the Balenos with a informative MFD screen placed between the twin dials. The three spoke leather wrapped steering gets a flat bottom design with silver inserts and MFD control buttons placed on it. The centre dash comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and voice command driven by Maruti Suzukis SmartPlay Studio loaded with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity along with everything else. The dashboard gets a unique Stone finish crash pad area surrounded by metal insert.

The climate control is a single zone automatic unit with adjustable blowers also for the middle row mounted in the roof. You also get cleverly designed cooled can holders placed in the center console. Seats get leather upholstery with the driver’s seat getting height adjust. The middle row comes with two captain seats that have individual adjust for reach and back angle, these seats also get foldable arm rests. The last row seats are a 50-50 split seats with adjustable back angle adjust. Seating is extremely comfortable on the XL6 with good amount of bolstering , the 2nd row being the most comfortable while the last row being good enough for two passengers with good amount of head and leg room.

Overall the cabin is well appointed and ergonomically laid out; everything in here feels of made good quality availability of space and comfort being the highlight.

Engine – Transmission – Drive

The Maruti Suzuki XL6 comes powered with the in-house developed BS-VI ready K15B petrol engine with (SHVS) Smart Hybrid technology that makes 105PS of power and 138Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a 5-speed manual or a CVT Automatic transmission.

The Smart Hybrid system gives the engine features like idle start stop, brake energy regeneration and torque assist function stored in the inbuilt Lithium-ion battery. Start the engine using the start stop button and you immediately notice how silent this new engine is. Rev it and you will be highly impressed by its refinement levels. On the move the manual version feels spirited after taking off. Bottom end power is tuned on the lesser side for fuel economy but once the XL6 gets going it feels happy to chug ahead in style. The idea to get the low end power on this engine is to rev it out into the 2.5k upward RPM.

The automatic version of the XL6 felt more fun to drive with decent amount of low end power thanks to the CVT transmission juicing it out.  The steering feels lively and is tuned on the lighter side. The MT XL6 has a super light clutch which should be a big boon for many. The Auto version gets an Overdrive button placed on the shifter. Gear shifting on the Manual version is effortless and the overall feel is positive.

The Automatic version is our pic for obvious reasons plus we loved the sweet engine noise when pushing  it hard. The engine is at its best when pushed between the 2500-5500rpm. The Smart Hybrid System works wonderfully and seamlessly and you can see it on the live display on the MFD screen in the cluster. You can also feel the regenerative braking at work, the brake pedal offers good feedback and just the right bite on to the brakes.

The Ertiga has been a good handler of our bad roads and the XL6 does a similar job with the suspension setup being the same. The suspension setup is on the softer side and the only grouse we have are for its puny tyre size, larger sized tyres would have gone a long way in enhancing the overall drive feel nevertheless the XL6 feels pretty planted and secure at high speeds of around 140-150kmph that we put it at. Drive it with a calm mind and that when you will really enjoy and feel happy to have chosen it over others. Both the variants never felt nervous or under powered during high speed highway runs infact they were confidence boosting and our fellow passengers in the rear rows seemed pretty comfortable in their business class seats.

Safety

Safety features on the Maruti Suzuki XL6 include dual airbags, ABS with EBD, driver and passenger seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters, high speed alert, ESp with Hill hold (on AT), gear shift indicator (on MT), cruise control, reverse camera with sensors to name a few.

Verdict

With the XL6 Maruti Suzuki has not only got the good much better but also swiftly shifted the sales experience to Nexa their premium outlets as they want the buyer to feel special and also this makes the product gain lot of premium appeal. The XL6 looks rugged, premium and has a distinctive face. It will aspire very nicely to buyers looking for a practical and comfortable 6-seater SUV cum MPV. The vehicle comes with lots of features for comfort, safety and convenience loaded to it and offers a good level of comfort to a family of Six for daily commute or those intercity long drives making this a good choice coming from the super reliable and trusted Maruti Suzuki.

The Maruti Suzuki XL6 is available in Zeta, Zeta Automatic, Alpha and Alpha Automatic trims with prices starting at Rs. 9.80 Lakh Ex showroom.

Pics – Govind Gadekar

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