The Ertiga from Maruti has been a big hit and a boost for Maruti. The all new platform, new design and better interiors made it a success when combined with traditional strengths like fuel economy. However, now Maruti wants to aim higher. There is a gap between the Ertiga and Innova so the time was right to launch a new premium MPV based on the Ertiga called as XL6. How is it? Read on.
It is based on the Ertiga is apparent but Maruti has worked to give it a different identity and in that it has succeeded. The XL6 comes across as rugged looking and looks different to pass off as a different car altogether. The front end has the majority of the changes in form of a new grille and headlamps along with SUV like elements.
The grille is bigger but is all black yet has a thick band of chrome on the middle which matches the LED headlamps. The headlamps are nicely done and look good plus so does the faux skid plate. The front looks almost like an SUV. Even the wheels are new in form of black 15inch alloys though they look a bit small.
The blackened elements also extend to the cladding, mirrors and the roof-rails. The rear though is same as the Ertiga and Maruti could have also changed that. That said in the signature Nexa blue it looks eye catching.
Step inside and it feels richer along with being different from the Ertiga. While the Ertiga is all beige the XL6 with its all black leather looks classy and premium. We feel the quality is also really good for the price with the ‘stone-finish’ garnish adding a touch of class too. The design is similar to the Ertiga though.
The big talking point is the second row which features captain seats and are very comfortable. They also recline for added legroom. Overall legroom is fantastic and so is the headroom plus comfort is very good too. Access to third row is also easy by one touch recline plus slide. The third row is actually decent and not bad on space too. It’s good enough for short journeys. The boot is massive with the third row folded down.
The feature list is similar to the Ertiga however some extra features would have been welcome but that said it offers a lot. It has the 17.8cm SmartPlay Studio touchscreen with smartphone features (voice command, Bluetooth, USB, AUX-in, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay) plus rear camera/nav display etc. The new Maruti infotainment system is vastly easy to use and amongst best now at this price.
Other stuff includes ventilated cup holders, accessory sockets in each row along with a rear AC, cruise control, Keyless entry and go with push-button start, climate control, four audio (decent sound quality), auto headlamps and more.
In terms of safety it has dual front airbags, ABS (Anti-lock-Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), front seat belts with Pre-tensioners and Force Limiters, ISOFIX child seat anchorages, high speed warning alert, reverse parking sensors as a standard fitment across all variants. ESP (electronic stability program) with Hill Hold function is given in the automatic variant only.
The XL6 offers one engine option but two types of gearbox choices. Yes, there is no diesel XL6 as it’s petrol only. The XL6 has the new 1.5l petrol with 105hp and 138Nm. Standard is the 5-speed manual but a 4-speed auto is also available.
To drive the XL6 petrol engine is really nice. It fulfills the MPV roles well with a light clutch and an easy to slot gearbox. It also had a light steering plus is very refined. At low traffic speeds, you have no issue and it does not feel big. The engine feels smooth.
Drive it hard and it feels a bit flat but it is light and feels eager. For an MPV/Crossover it is quite good and nice to drive. The automatic though might be the choice for those who travel in city and drive themselves.
The 4-speed auto is really smooth and low speeds and below 80 kmph it feels effortless to drive. However push on and it gets noisy plus the gearbox is not suited for fast driving. So for city cruising and moderate highway driving, the 4-speed works. The manual is more fun of course but the auto is easier to live with. In terms of mileage the AT gives 17.9 kmpl while the manual is 19.01 kmpl.
In terms of ride and handling the new platform makes the XL6 comfortable over potholes or bumps. It has a soft suspension that absorbs well yet does not go all over the place in corners. The added SUVness does not mean it is an off-roader though but it handles the bad roads well.
There are only two trims- Zeta and Alpha while the Zeta gets nearly all of the features save for the leather plus auto headlamps.
The Ertiga starts from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 11 lakh while the Marazzo is Rs 10.4 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. There is also the Honda BR-V at Rs 9.5 lakh to Rs 14 lakh. Ignore the slow selling Lodgy from Renault here. The mighty Innova starts from Rs 17 lakh. In comparison the XL6 from rs 9.8 lakh to RS 11.4 lakh is very good value. The Marazzo has no petrol or auto and the BR-V is not as spacious or luxurious.
The XL6 does exactly what it was made to be. It brings in new buyers for its premium design along with a hint of SUV. It looks good and retains the Ertiga plus points but adds in more premium interiors and a touch of style. Also the petrol engine is fantastic and efficient too. It has no proper rivals at this price and controls this small segment. It is a better buy and makes it worth over the Ertiga or even the Marazzo.
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