I won’t blame you if you find this car a little familiar. The new Maruti Suzuki XL6, after all, is based on the very popular Ertiga. So is the XL6 really different or is this just another make up job? Let’s find out!
Anything and everything that looks even close to SUV has a potential to sell and Maruti Suzuki has used exactly the same philosophy with the XL6. In a bid to make it look more butch, the XL6 gets a large hexagonal grille which are flanked by new quad LED headlamps with integrated DRL's. The foglamps have been repositioned and the much needed faux skid plates also make their way onto the redesigned front bumper.
The SUV-ish theme continues on the sides with body cladding and silver inserts on the rocker panels and roof rails. The only thing that does not fit well are the wheels that look relatively small with all the butch details added. We believe, 16-inch wheels would have looked far better than the standard 15's that seem to look a little puny. With that said, overall the XL6 does look a lot sportier and premium and will appeal to those looking for something more special as compared the more mundane looking Ertiga.
Going with its name, the XL6 gets captain seats for the middle row making it a six-seater. You also get all black leathette on the seats and these feel mighty comfortable. Getting on to the third row, these are decently comfortable for short trips and even get their own cup holders and a power socket on the left corner.
The dashboard layout remains identical to the Ertiga, but you now get a stone finish glossy insert that gives it a more premium feel. Taking centre place on the dasboard is the 7-inch infotainment screen which is one of the best in the business and it gets all the connectivity features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other features include climate control, sporty backlighting, independent cooling vents for the rear rows and cooled cup holders in the front.
With all the seats in place, the XL6 has a boot capacity of 209-litres which might seem a little less with all six-passengers and their luggage. But with the third row folded, it goes up to 550-litres.
The XL6 is available only in petrol with a 1.5-litre mild hybrid engine which puts out 103bhp and 138Nm of torque. Now those figures sound fine for a sedan like the Ciaz, but how well does it work with a heavier MPV that has to carry 6 passengers and their luggage?
We drove the five-speed manual first, low end poke is decent and the XL6 gets up to speeds in good time. But as the speeds get higher with the car filled to capacity the lack of torque becomes evident. Overtaking will take some planning and driving in hilly areas will warrant a lot of shifts. Shifting gears we do not mind, thanks to the slick shifting gearbox, but the lack of torque is something we do mind. We wish it had a little more oomph.
The automatic gets a four-speed torque converter. Now this is ideal for the big family commuting in the city or some very relaxed driving. But step on it and the chinks in the four-speed armor begin to show. The engine ends up laboring even more with the automatic gearbox sapping power. Other than that the engine is pretty refined when driven sedately and can cruise at triple digit speeds effortlessly. What also helps is the mature ride quality. The XL6 feels planted on the highways and even the rough sections are absorbed quite nicely.
Maruti Suzuki XL6 unlike the Ertiga is a Nexa product. Being more premium it commands a premium price tag too. Over the Ertiga, the XL6 offers distinctive exterior, premium interior and a more exclusive buying experience thanks to Nexa. So if the Ertiga is a little too mundane for you, the XL6 offers just the right amount of pizzaz.
Photos By: Kapil Angane.