I cannot imagine doing a Ladakh trip with 4 people & luggage without removing the seat.
BHPian kushgandhi recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Finally the New Years eve brought an opportunity to take out my Scorpio N to the mountains. The Christmas eve weekend gave me an idea that going to Manali, Atal tunnel, Shimla or beyond would be nothing but long queues of cars, overpriced hotels and overcrowded places.
I decided to explore a part of Himachal not a lot of tourists visit, The Chamba district.
The trip route was from Delhi to Pathankot then heading towards Dalhousie and then taking a slip road towards chamera dam and heading to a small village named Chakloo. The place is underrated and views to die for, to my surprise not even a single tourist in this village except on 31st night, that too a couple of cars.
Now coming to the cars performance. The ODO now sits at 6000 km so the car has crossed the break in period and I stretched it as much as possible.
The car performed brilliantly on highways, high speed lane changing does not move the car even a little bit. 90-100 kmph lane changing is something this car can do all day long without tiring the driver or the passenger.
The suspension behaved brilliantly. The roads till Pathankot are buttery smooth and the suspension felt at ease, small potholes at highway speeds are swallowed effortlessly. I have experience driving the Endeavour, the suspension setup is almost there in terms of behaviour and comfort.
Coming to the fuel economy, before entering the mountains I refuelled the vehicle to get pure highway mileage. I got 16.1 kmpl from tankful method which was brilliant IMO. In the mountains it was around 12 kmpl. MID showed similar figures +/- 5%. A thing that annoyed me was whenever I parked my car on an incline or I was driving on very twisty roads, the adrenox app showed me a refuelling was done and that also changed the range of the vehicle.
Now coming to hill driving. the suspension setup again is brilliant for curvy roads given that you don’t speed up much. You will definitely realise you need to go down a gear or brake at a curve to not get tossed around.
Comparing it to my XUV 500 definitely I have to slow down a bit but that is definitely not a deal breaker.
Coming to what impressed me the most, the torque of the mHawk. It delivers torque in the perfect rev range. You can drive in 2nd gear on steep climbs without shifting down. I tackled all hairpin bends in the 2nd gear. During my trip After chakloo I went to Mcleodganj, my hotel was in Bhagsu on a very very steep climb. 1st gear 20 kmph 2100 rpm the car just climbed without any sort of worries. No need to Half clutch even when you come to a standstill.
Talking about hair pin bends, every steep hairpin bend on a narrow road will give you some wheel slippage. The traction control light blinked several times during this trip. You wont feel anything in the car except a tyre screech noise. But you can see the traction control light all the time.
Now being the month of December I wanted to experience some snow. I went 25 km from chakloo towards Khajjiar, the place is stunning. Beyond Khajjiar the road was closed for 2wd vehicles due to snow.
I dared to venture on the road just a couple of km later the car started to loose grip and I had to engage snow mode. That seemed to alter the traction control system and the car gripped the road brilliantly. Snow drive was really good and The car crossed patches of snow that other 4wd vehicles were struggling to cross (Isuzu dmax, scorpio last gen 4wd, and jeep compass awd). The stock 17 inch tyres performed better than I expected.
I was travelling solo so didn’t push the limits of the vehicle but yes the 4wd system performed well on proper black ice and some good snow on road.
I did some off roading on the Ravi Riverbed. There are many trails which tractors were taking to take out the silt from the river bed as part of government contracts I followed one down to the river, engaged rock mode and had loads of fun. Ground clearance is an issue I kept in mind but the experience of snow or the riverbed was something that showed me what a proper 4wd vehicle can do.
Now coming to the negatives of the drive
It might sound weird to some but when I sit for long distances in the car my right leg rests on the door. The grab handle is shaped in such a way that there is an edge that sticks to your leg and after 12 hours of driving that edge was giving me pain and discomfort which I felt even the next day. That is an ergonomic issue and I solved it by decreasing the height of the seat to a level I am not happy with.
The BIGGER ISSUE is the boot. After you do a 10 day road trip you realise how badly the boot is designed. The space is so poorly managed and the ergonomics of the folded seat so bad that a Solo traveller was struggling for space. I cannot imagine doing a Ladakh trip with 4 people & luggage without removing the seat. There is so much space behind the seat once you tumble it and it feels like totally wasted.
Honestly I think my Tata Nexon can take in more luggage than this huge SUV.
Another issue mentioned previously in the thread about android auto was happening with me as well. disconnections and sometimes the system didn’t even connect. But apple carplay is sorely missed. Even the XUV 700 now has no carplay now which is strange given Mahindra has designed such brilliant cars but cant give apple carplay.
Overall glaring over the negatives the car performance is amazing. The manual gearbox is good with shifts, gear ratios set perfectly for mountains, torque is plenty and you will never feel out of power even on the steepest inclines, suspension great for on and off road usage, 4wd system performs great, traction control system for snow is very advance, Seat are comfortable for driving 12-14 hours non stop.
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