The new Maruti Suzuki XL6 is a upgrdard version of the Ertiga MPV. There are several other changes inside and outside, also, and to add further distinction to the proposition, Maruti will retail the XL6 through its premium Nexa network. There are no diesel motors on offer however, the XL6’s BS6 gas motor does contain mild-hybrid technology and is available with the option of automatic and manual transmissions.
Exterior Review of Maruti Suzuki XL6
The XL6 looks like an Ertiga set for an outing in the tv show Man vs Wild. It’s more rocky in looks, so to speak, and what also adds some distinction to the XL6 is its own redone front end. Also new and unique into the XL6 are its own full-LED headlights.
Generous doses of cladding on the bumpers and at the sides give mass to the layout but there’s a clear visual mismatch with all the wheels. The 15-inch rims, completed in black, just look puny beneath the exaggerated wheel arches; 16-inchers with chunkier rubber would have done wonders for your XL6’s stance. Roof rails, a back scuff plate and dual-tone tail gate are all elements exclusive to the XL6, but to the untrained eye, so it’ll be difficult to tell one from an Ertiga, at least in the sides and back.
What’s it like on the inside?
On the inside, the XL6 feels like the superior Ertiga it is. Surethe dashboard as well as the dials are taken over in the Ertiga but the XL6’s all-black interior theme does give it a more upmarket look. The faux black ash timber finish, the leatherette upholstered chairs, and even the knitted roof liner are different components that exude the experience. Front seat comfort is good, even if the leatherette seats are somewhat warmer compared to Ertiga’s fabric seats.
Obviously, one of the primary talking points in the XL6 is its middle row. Out goes the Ertiga’s bench and in come a set of individual captain’s chairs. The XL6’s middle-row seats are easy to get onto and you have the choice to slide them farther back to make ingress-egress even simpler. Seat comfort is largely good also, though taller occupants will find thigh support a bit lacking. The seats recline to a fair amount also, but you can’t adjust the position of the armrest, which can be a little bit of an irritant once you would like to sit back and unwind. What are additionally missed are sunblinds for its massive rear windows. Nonetheless, it’s a nice place to come to after a long day at the office.
According to the Ertiga, the XL6’s middle-row chairs don’t fall forwards, and that means you’ll have to duck-walk your way onto the next row. Again, like on the Ertiga, you are going to be surprised by the space available in the back. It’s easy to achieve a kneeroom compromise with middle-seat passengers, headroom is adequate for an average sized adult and the seating position is also quite nice, as third rows move. Do note that the XL6’s middle seats do not fold level as the Ertiga’s.
Maruti has established the XL6 in Zeta and Alpha cuts, and both get lots by way of features. In addition to auto climate control, keyless entry and go, and electric fold mirrors that top-spec Ertigas arrive with, the XL6 becomes much desired improvements such as LED headlights with DRLs, and cruise control. Leatherette seats and a reverse camera are exclusive to the XL6 Alpha trim, though Maruti must have inserted an auto-dimming mirror too. The XL6 also goes up one on the Ertiga by deploying Maruti’s new-gen SmartPlay Studio infotainment unit. The 7.0-inch touchscreen-based system is fairly slick, well laid out and comes bundled with Windows Vehicle and Apple CarPlay. You might even add in Suzuki Connect as an option, which attracts in e-SIM-based connected tech with features like geofencing and real time driving alerts.
What is it like to drive?
If you’ve driven a petrol-powered Ertiga, you have driven the XL6. Maruti hasn’t tinkered with the suspension and engine at all. The new 1.5-litre Disel engine, now updated to BS6-spec, features mild-hybrid tech, together with the installation containing an integrated starter generator plus a secondary lithium ion battery package. The motor gives some help under heavy acceleration but there is no pure-electric mode.
Initial answers on the XL6 are good and if you hold gear you will also appreciate the borderline sporty top-end. What is more, the engine also seems quite throaty above 3,000rpm. On the other hand, the mid-range is flat so that you’ll need to change down a gear if you’d like a fast overtake. The engine power for driving with a full load and the new cruise control helps to maintain a steady clip too, but motorists used to turbo-diesels will find pulling power somewhat lacking here.
The XL6’s 5-speed manual gearbox is easy to use and also the clutch is well-weighted too. The device is likeable, changing smoothly in ordinary town driving. Pressing down harder on the accelerator gets the gearbox drop down a ratio or two and it gets the engine riled up, often once you don’t need it to. The automatic average fuel economy is also a small downer (for instance, the Ertiga auto delivered 7kpl in our city cycle).
Huge potholes do thud into the cottage at high rates but, such as the Ertiga, the XL6 feels unbelievably well-planted outside on the street. The steering is also one of Maruti’s finer efforts of recent times, using a fantastic deal of weight to it. But, there’s quite a lot of road noise at 80kph and upwards in the cottage and this also takes away from the superior feel that this car is trying to establish.
If you buy Maruti Suzuki XL6?
The petrol-manual XL6 Zeta costs about Rs 20,000 over the comparable top-spec Ertiga ZXi+, which makes it a fairly good deal. That said, with the vast majority of Ertiga sales concentrated at the top end, Maruti should not find it too difficult to convince buyers to upgrade to the XL6.
The XL6 builds on the Ertiga’s strong fundamentals and adds in a fair dose of premium-ness into the package. Practical and reasonably upmarket also, the XL6 sure has its charms.It’s a pity Maruti’s brilliant in-house 1.5 diesel is not an option. That would have only added to this very capable and capable MPV’s allure.