Buyers looking for spacious, sub 10-lakh, 7-8 seater MPVs have some interesting options today, like the Mahindra Xylo and the Tata (Sumo) Grande.
The Xylo is known for its legroom and spacious interiors while the Grande is known for its traditional SUV like proportions and rugged nature.
A few days ago, Mahindra launched the refreshed Xylo with a new top-end variant E9. The new Xylo is priced in the range of Rs. 7.37 lakh – 10.25 lakh. The Grande, on the other hand, was given a mild facelift in October 2011 with no changes in mechanicals. The Grande prices are in the range of Rs. 7.43 lakh – 8.52 lakh. With similar price range and target buyers, they become the right candidates for this MUV comparison. Let’s check out which MUV wins in the end.
Driving and handling
The Grande is powered by the 2.2-litre, DiCOR diesel motor that puts out 118.3 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque. The Xylo is powered by a 2.2-litre mHawk motor that puts out 120 bhp of power and 280 Nm of torque. The Xylo also gets a new 5-speed gearbox.
The Grande is also offered with a 2.0-litre, turbo diesel engine that puts out 88.7 bhp of power while the Xylo also comes with a 2.2-litre mEagle motor that churns out 112 bhp of power and the 2.2-litre mDI motor that puts out 95 bhp of power. The Grande is a full 110 kg heavier than the Xylo and this affects its performance to an extent. Expect the Xylo powered by the mHawk engine, to accelerate better and reach three digit speeds, quicker than the Grande. Hence, performance wise, expect the Xylo to have a slight edge over the Grande.
Let’s take into account the drivability. The slightly hard clutch and a gear lever which is far from being slick, makes city drives a bit difficult in the Grande. Its 5.25 m short turning radius is the shortest in the segment though. The Xylo gets a new gearbox which we assume will definitely offer better shifting than the earlier model and hence, may feel easier to drive in the city. Besides, the short bonnet will make manoeuvring through congested roads, a bit easier than the Grande which has a long snout.
In terms of handling, both the MUVs have a fair bit of body roll. The Grande with its boxy structure is less aerodynamic and gets upset with crosswinds, especially at high speeds. The old Xylo had sloppy handling. However, the introduction of Extra Stability Technology (E.S.T) in the new Xylo, must have improved the ride quality and handling by reducing the body roll on quick turns. But, only a proper road test will let us know the truth.
The new Xylo with the Scorpio’s tried and tested engine and new gearbox will be more involving to drive than the Grande. If the Xylo’s handling is sorted out in the revised model, it will definitely be a better MUV to drive than the Grande.
Space and Comfort
Tata vehicles are known for interior space and the Grande is no exception. The front and middle row offer good comfort even for long drives. The third row too, offers decent legroom and headroom but lacks shoulder room for three passengers.
Thanks to the Xylo’s wide wheelbase it offers more space, particularly in terms of legroom and headroom. Even passengers sitting in the third row will not complain much during long drives. However, both the MUVs lack luggage space when all the three rows of seats are occupied.
Thus, the Grande is spacious but it’s the Xylo that feels more spacious as well as comfortable in the long journeys.
The Grande has been thoroughly re-engineered to hide its Sumo heritage. The Grande is definitely a macho looking quasi-MUV. The curvy edges hide the overall boxy structure of the MUV and use of chrome on the front grille and at the rear gives is a posh appeal. However, its macho size doesn’t suit its job of ferrying people.
Coming to the new Xylo, it looks easy to the eyes by eliminating the walrus-inspired grille. Aesthetics have improved with clever use of plastics in the front bumper and wheel arches. Addition of new foot rest, integrated roof rail, blackened pillars and rear spoiler makes the Xylo look refreshing.
Overall, the Xylo with its practical design looks a better MUV than the Grande.
The Grande lacks safety features such as Airbags and ABS. The new Xylo comes with optional ABS in mid variant and standard airbags in top-end variant. The Grande comes with ‘follow me home’ headlamps, power window operation 30 seconds after key switch off, fire resistant seats. These features are not available in the Xylo. However, the Mahindra’s MUV gets technology features such as cruise control, voice command technology. Further, adding comfort features such as steering mounted controls, two mobile charging points, snack tray for middle row passengers, reverse park assist, driver assist system etc makes the Xylo an attractive option for private buyers.
Clearly, the Xylo wins in terms of features. If Tata Motors is focused in selling the Grande to private buyers, they must provide safety features such as airbags and ABS as soon as possible.
Price, mileage and VFM
The Grande LX starts at Rs. 7.43 lakh which is Rs. 6,000 more than the Xylo D2. The Grande EX is priced at Rs. 7.84 lakh which is Rs 7,000 more than the Xylo D4. Therefore, the base variants of both the Grande and Xylo are closely priced.
Between the top-end variants, the Grande GX, though lacks Airbags, ABS is substantially cheaper than the Xylo E9. To be precise, the Grande GX is priced at Rs. 8.52 lakh, which is Rs. 1.73 lakh less than the Xylo E9 (Rs. 10.25 lakh).
The ARAI-certified mileage of Grande is 13.55 kmpl while that of the Xylo is 13 kmpl. On-road mileage of both the vehicles will likely be similar and hence, there is no clear winner here.
Summing up, the Grande is marginally better VFM than the Xylo. However, the high price of Xylo’s top-end variants is justified by the addition of safety and comfort features.
Pros and Cons
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What’s our Verdict?
The Xylo and the Grande don’t differ much in interior space and ride quality. But, when it comes to ergonomics, plastic quality, fit and finish, technology, creature comforts and engine refinement (mHawk), the Xylo is the better choice than the Grande.