Managed a fuel efficiency figure of around 14 km/l when checked via the tank full method.

BHPian rambharat recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

It’s been 10 days of pure bliss with my White Sabertooth, so thought of penning down my entire experience right from the beginning of owning this beast.

Although we had multiple cars in our family (City, Duster, Getz, Xcent, Verna), almost all were owned/driven by my brother. my first car was Tata Zest which I owned for 6 years. It was a complete niggle free experience (except battery issue once) which led to me looking to exchange it for my dream car- Safari. Still, remember the old advertisements for Safari with the tagline “Reclaim your life” and I always thought of owning it one day. Was very happy to see Tata launching/rebadging the Gravitas as Safari and was decided on getting it. However, had a few issues with it:

  • The exteriors are awesome but interior wise, I didn’t get the feel of a major upgrade from my Zest.
  • I am 6.2 feet and my knees were touching the dashboard, it was very inconvenient
  • No 360-degree camera, none of the gizmos which Hyundai offered ( like blind view monitoring, ventilated seats etc)
  • No AWD or 4×4.

But compared to other cars in the market at that price point, I couldn’t find any other car which came close to it. And yes I considered Alcazar also. Didn’t like it from the beginning plus the power ratio is too less for a SUV/7 seater. Also saw the XUV500 and came close to booking it (was getting it for Rs 23 lakhs on road) but was advised by the Sales to wait for the launch of XUV700 and then decide.

I wanted an all-in-one go-anywhere car and thus the wait continued. At that time the announcement came that Mahindra is launching the new XUV and it got me excited. But I was still circumspect as I thought the price will be way beyond my budget. There were rumours that the price might be between Rs 25-30 lakhs, so I was sure that I cannot afford it. But still waited for it to launch and kept on drooling over its promos. The only bummer was the pre-release leaked picture of it which dashed my hopes. Went to the Freedom drive on Aug 21 and was blown away by the looks of it. Waited with bated breath for the launch prices and was giggling when they announced it. Did a test drive on the launch day and immediately decided to book it. Although the test drive was a short one, still loved the way it drove.

Loved the power figures, ADAS, other features and the fact that it was also coming in an AWD version. It ticked all the boxes and I paid the dealer the pre-booking amount ( yes the dealers started accepting pre-bookings on 2nd October itself). Was disappointed to know that there was no AWD Luxury variant and I voiced my opinion with the dealership manager. He told me he will pass the feedback to Mahindra and after 2 days, got the news that Mahindra has added the AWD luxury variant. Immediately told the dealer to book it and it was done at 10 am on 7th October. Was very happy to book the variant I wanted and the fact that my booking was within the 1st 15k bookings. Got the mail and message from Mahindra and started dreaming about the driving experience.

And here is where the realities of life started. Was pestering the sales agent for a longer test drive and at last, got one on December 21. Loved the way it was handled and the drive experience. But forgot to test it in my parking lot which is a bit smaller. Got a mail from Mahindra that my delivery will be on 7th Feb 22 and started preparing the finances. Welcome to the new year and the first news I got was that my sales agent at BG road has resigned and my booking has been transferred to Anant cars Mysore road. Spoke to the Manager there and was assured that I will get my vehicle on the promised date. Put my old Tata Zest for sale and was able to see it for a good price. Was looking for a car lease from my company but got to know that I missed the eligibility by 2000 rs. Tried all ways to convince my company and the dealer but it didn’t work out. In the meantime, 7th Feb came and went and the vehicle was nowhere in sight. I was left with no car, no finance and got hit by Covid also. Started pestering the dealer and they gave a new date of 13-27th Feb. The routine of daily followups started and in the meantime spoke to the Car loan ppl and got a good deal ( 6.8%) from BOI. With the loan sorted, I was looking for some word from Mahindra.

Even after multiple assurances from the dealer, the next delivery date was also missed. I was frustrated and started looking for advice on how to escalate it. Thanks to the good ppl from this forum, got the mail id of SVP – customer experience and wrote a scathing mail to him. He responded immediately and promised that my vehicle will be delivered in March. Also spoke to the General Manager and got the new date of the 2nd – 17th March. Was apprehensive about these dates but had no option but to wait. And believe me, I never had that much need of a car than in these 2 months of not having one. Every other day, I had some other work which required a lot of distance commute. Was badly missed by Jackie ( Zest). Then on 7th March, got the news that the vehicle has been allotted to me and it will be delivered in 4-5 days. My car loan was already approved, so was waiting for PDI, so that I can pay the dealer and take my car. The next 5 days went in a jiffy and guess what- nothing happened. 5 days became 10, then 15 but the vehicle was nowhere in sight. Again escalated and got to know that the vehicle was not shipped yet. At this point, I was so frustrated with Mahindra and their handling that I decided to cancel my booking and go with Safari. Gave me one more day and voila, got the news the next day that the vehicle has reached the dealership.

Went for PDI with Team BHP’s checklist and completed it successfully. Money was paid and the vehicle was delivered to me on 1st April. Yes, got my WHITE SABERTOOTH DIEGO on Fool’s day. Here are my few bits on it:

  1. Price of the vehicle was Rs 22,89,000 + Rs 4,75,479 (road tax) + Rs 2,600 (reg charges) + Rs 600 (Fastag) + Rs 27,000 (ext. warranty)
  2. Insurance quote was Rs 1,27,000 from the dealer but they agreed on matching it from the outside. Got 2 quotes from Policy bazaar and Acko for around Rs 70K and the dealer agreed to match them. With an NCB of 50% from my previous car, got the insurance done for Rs 57k with RTI, 0 DEP, Engine cover, RSA (Edelweiss)
  3. Got ceramic quotes from multiple dealers and decided to go with Mahindra for 40k (full-body, wheels, plastic, glass). Plus they added free PPF for mirrors.

Got the below accessories from Mahindra/Outside:

  • Airbag friendly seat covers
  • Sidestep
  • 7d mats
  • rear-seat entertainment (2)
  • Body side moulding
  • sun film for rear and side
  • 12v-220v converter
  • side beading
  • door protector
  • front sensors
  • pedal covers
  • Screen protector and Scuff protectors ( tailgate and sides)
  • Rearguard
  • Antirust coating and steering cover

Cost me another Rs 1.5 lakhs for the above. So the price of the vehicle was 30 Lakhs for me on road with all accessories.

Few observations:

  1. Car drives like a charm. Raced and beat a Fortuner (not an actual race) in one of my drives. You will feel like reciting this dialogue “kabhi kabhi lagta hai, apun hi bhagwan hai”.Nothing can touch you when you are inside it. No potholes, no bumpers, no outside vehicles
  2. Goes to 3 digit figures just like that. You have to be very careful of the silly speeds you are doing. Otherwise, the traffic cops will be very happy with you. I missed the traffic cops 3 times now in the past week itself. The car holds the road and nowhere you will feel like losing the grip. Cornering stability is also awesome.
  3. Best thing is that it’s not just the driver but the 2nd-row people also will not have any issues with its handling. They were most comfortable in the back seat.
  4. 3rd row is usable. Just that the ppl there have to adjust a little. Sliding 2nd row is sorely missed here
  5. Felt that the vehicle struggles a little bit between 30-40 speed. It is not picking the next gear. Not sure if it is calibration or the turbo lag but surely between 30-40, the RPM goes beyond 2000. Will show it in the first service.
  6. Alexa behaves weird. Sometimes accepts the commands and sometimes stays silent. My son is enjoying playing with her. Android auto works with a cable but has issues connecting wirelessly. Will check it in the 1st service.
  7. Have driven 1k in 1 week, so will be sending it for its 1st service tomorrow.
  8. No issues apart from the above. The tires are Bridgestone eco-space and they are good.
  9. Dint use the AWD ( my variant is AX7L AWD) yet but happy to have it.
  10. Mileage is around 14 (tank full method) which I hope is good.
  11. Haven’t checked ADAS or other features yet. Was lost in the driving pleasure till now. Will explore those options this week.

My apologies for the long post. Hoping I have covered everything. Leaving with a few pictures of Diego.

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