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      Maruti Suzuki XL6 First Drive Review

      Sagar Bhanushali

      Sagar Bhanushali

      Why would I buy it?

      • Practical, spacious interior 
      • Rear seat comfort 
      • Maruti's extensive aftersales support

      Why would I avoid it?

      • Engine performance is lacking 
      • More expensive than before
      • Lacking some features

      Engine and Performance

      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Engine Shot

      Moving onto the biggest highlight of the 2022 XL6 and it’s the tweaked K15C petrol engine. This is basically the same 1.5-litre, four-cylinder engine from before but with two injectors per cylinder, dual variable valve timing and a higher compression ratio. All of these changes have been made so that this engine can breathe better and be more efficient at normal operating RPMs. At 20.27 kilometers to a litre, the claimed mileage for the XL6 with the new 6-speed automatic is higher than its predecessor with the old 4-speed automatic. What’s the drivetrain like in the real world though? 

      Maruti it seems has aimed for maximum efficiency with this new K15C engine and it clearly shows with the way it performs. It doesn’t pull as hard as the old 1.5-litre motor and because there is no turbo power, there is hardly any surge in acceleration as the revs rise. In fact, progress at mid to high RPM is quite relaxed and you will most likely end up revving this engine more than you ideally would to make quick progress. Having said that, for daily driving at reasonable speeds, this engine offers adequate power and remains refined throughout. Naturally, it’s the everyday city speeds that brings out the best of the new 6-speed automatic gearbox which Maruti says has been outsourced for the XL6. It’s allows for a smooth getaway and delivers almost seamless upshifts at part throttle or below. The only gripe I have with this gearbox is that the downshifts aren’t as crisp as I would have liked. 

      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Left Front Three Quarter

      In terms of weight, Maruti tells us this new automatic is fifteen kilos heavier than the 4-speed unit and as for the car itself, the XL6 has gained around 20 kilos over its predecessor with fifteen kilos accounted by the bigger 16-inch alloys and the remaining five from the tweaks to the engine.

      Ride and Handling

      Dynamically, there are a few key areas where the XL6 really excels at. Take the steering for instance, it’s light, progressive and as you begin to put in more lock it gets more feel some. The best part though is that Maruti has worked on the returnability. In the case of the earlier XL6 one had to muscle the steering to bring it in line but there’s no such issue with the new model because the steering self centers exactly the way it should.   

      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Left Rear Three Quarter

      Then there’s the ride quality which is quite comfortable for the most part. The ride, in fact, has got a supple edge to it and when it’s fully loaded you won’t even feel bumps and sharp edged potholes unless they are really big. Overall, the ride is properly cushy and for a family vehicle that’s supposed to carry a lot of passengers a lot of the time, it bodes well that the XL6 rides well.


      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Right Front Three Quarter

      On the outside, not much has changed on the 2022 XL6 except for some minor design updates to the front and rear. The most noticeable change comes in the form of the new dual tone 16-inch alloy wheels which look sharper than the 15-inch wheels on the old XL6. The thick chrome bar up front on the grille is also new and so is the gloss black finish for the B and C pillars. At the back, the taillights are the same as before but they look much cooler now because of the smoke grey lens. The whole car, for that matter, looks quite cool since it’s a lot less slabsided compared to something like the Carens. The XL6, in my opinion, strikes a nice balance between a purposeful MPV and a stylish crossover with its high riding stance, sharp creases along the sides and chunky plastic cladding all over.        

      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Left Rear Three Quarter


      Comfort, Convenience, and Features

      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Infotainment System

      Now there are no visual changes to this huge cabin but that’s not a negative thing to me because I like how pleasing this interior is to look at and how everything just falls into place. Sure, some of these plastics aren’t as nice as the ones you get in the Carens and because everything in here is black, you don’t get the same sense of airiness and that feeling of lots of space but that’s just me. Some of you might like the all-black treatment and how sporty it looks.

      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Second Row Seats

      The Six in XL6 stands for six seater which means you get captain seats for the middle row and let me tell you these are very comfortable. The legroom is more than enough for an average heighted person and there is also a lot of under thigh support which is always great. What’s also nice is the feeling of space that you get despite the all-black ambience although that’s simply because of the sheer volume of this cabin and the huge side windows. So all in all, it’s safe to say that anyone sitting here would be very comfortable indeed. 

      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Third Row Seats

      Getting into the third row of the XL6 isn’t as difficult as it may seem. It’s a simple one touch and slide affair and the XL6 continues to impress once you are seated in here. I could freely move my legs and the shoulder room is wide enough for two adults. All in all, I didn't feel as claustrophobic as I would sitting in the third row of some of the six/seven seater SUVs so that’s good. 

      The Carens effect can definitely be seen when you look at the equipment list. There is now a whole new list of features that I believe are extremely usable and not just gimmicky stuff. Things like ventilated front seats, reach adjustment for the steering wheel, foot well lighting and tire pressure monitoring system are all handy features for everyday drives. The XL6 also gets Maruti’s 360-degree view system from the new Baleno, which other than the static overhead image, also displays an immersive view of the surroundings in 3D. 

      Maruti Suzuki XL6 360-Degree Camera Control

      The infotainment system in this car is also from the Baleno and as a result, it’s far more immersive and feature packed than what the old XL6 had. Our first impressions are rather good. I mean the user interface is simple and unlike Maruti’s other infotainment units, also easy on the eye. The touch response is also good if not the best in class and there’s an Indianised version of Suzuki’s voice command system to control certain features of the car.  In terms of safety, the XL6 comes with four airbags, the usual two at the front and one each on the front seat side, ABS, ESP and hill hold function as standard.     


      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Front View

      Like every new car that we have seen getting launched in recent times, prices for the new XL6 automatic have gone up significantly compared to the old model. In fact, ex showroom prices for the XL6 automatic start at Rs 12.79 lakh, going all the way till Rs 14.39 lakh for the Alpha Plus model that you see here. Now if we are to compare, the entry level Carens petrol automatic is exactly Rs 2 lakh more expensive and the top-spec version that comes in at Rs 17.49 lakh is over three lakh dearer.

      Maruti Suzuki XL6 Left Side View

      Let’s not bring the Carens into the picture for now though. Because this new 6 speed automatic along with the updated engine and all the small improvements to the features have amounted to something that’s way better than the original. I mean the XL6 has always been a solid choice as a manual but the old 4-speed automatic just didn’t make any sense in a world where you have quick shifting DSGs and extremely smooth torque converter automatics. Ultimately, the new XL6 automatic doesn’t bring about any revolutionary changes with it but there is no denying that it’s a breakthrough product for Maruti, one that has been updated in nearly all key areas. It may not be as refined inside out as the Carens but then it’s also significantly cheaper and for the kind of money it’s sold at, it represents good value for anyone looking to get a petrol automatic MPV with some character. 

      Pictures by Kapil Angane

      Maruti Suzuki | XL6 | Maruti Suzuki XL6