Need advice: Which 7 seater diesel AT SUV to replace my Ford Figo

As I am letting the Figo go, I have decided to upgrade to a solid automatic highway driver, and am taking this opportunity to bring in a 7 seater SUV into my garage.

BHPian EeshanChatterje recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello Peeps!

The winds of conundrum have caught my sails and here I am seeking thoughts, advice and hopefully validation of my car buying thought process.

First, my garage:

Ford Figo 2017 Titanium, 1.5 Tdci:

  • 43k kms
  • Upsized tyres
  • Upgraded lighting
  • Wolf Stage 1+ remapped (by Jayant & Team EE)

Absolute beast of a machine – there are very few cars this pocket rocket can’t keep up with. Puts a smile on my face everytime I drive it. Never have I had a shred of doubt in it’s capabilities – be it overtaking or highway cruising!

Tata Tigor 2018 XZA:

Bought used in 2021

  • 33k kms
  • Wolf Stage 1+ remapped (by Jayant & Team EE)

Nippy city machine that also cruises comfortably on the highway, sustaining good speeds without worrying anyone. Excellent city driver, despite the sluggish AMT. The remap really helped put more low end power on tap! Primarily my wife’s car, but I borrow it often enough when needing to traverse traffic ridden streets!

Next, my conundrum:

SO I have an excellent highway driver and a peppy city zipper – life should be good. However, as it goes with life, here’s the catch. My kid is almost 3 now, Covid is not as much a concern as it was before (hopefully will continue to be so) and my wife is driving more and more while my driving time is reducing – a combination of work responsibilities + timings (mostly evenings / nights). My wife is AT exclusive, I’m comfy with both. Having said that, my left knee loves the Tigor AMT while the right knee prefers the Figo!

We’ve been increasing the number and length of road trips we take over the past few months, and with my night shift work, usually my wife ends up needing to drive on road trips (and loves to) when we need to leave late night / early mornings. This has led to us using the Tigor more often on the highways than the Figo. While it’s a very capable car, it has it’s highway downsides. It does tend to lose breath and reduce confidence on some overtakes, it’s light so has a bit of a less stable feel at high speeds.

We expect this to continue, but on the flip side, the Figo is now not being driven as much – a waste for such an amazing machine!

So this brings me to the thought of letting the Figo go – with a heavy heart, hoping to find an enthusiast home for it – and upgrading to a solid automatic highway driver – and taking this opportunity to bring in a 7 seater SUV into my garage. This would not only help with the growing space requirements with the growing family, but also cater to the off and on extra seating requirements when relatives / friends drop in and we want to go somewhere together.

Requirements: 7 str diesel Automatic, Beast Mode (Can’t replace a beast with a wimp). Features like sunroof, electric adjustable driver seat etc are nice to have, and will be used often I expect.

Options being considered:

  • Used Mahindra XUV500 – Available immediately based on market options.
  • Mahindra Scorpio-N – I managed to get into the first 25k with a Z8L AWD booking.
  • Tata Safari – I really like the Kaziranga Edition
  • Mahindra XUV700 – Too long of a wait, but I can be convinced to wait or trade my Scorpio booking.

My thoughts on the above:

Mahindra XUV500:

  • Love the seating, handling, dynamics and the roadfeel.
  • Most comfortable driving position for me of the lot.
  • Fraction of the cost compared to new options (getting 16/17 W10s at ~ 16L in BLR).
  • Mod happy – I’m told that remaps have a large positive impact on the 2.2L mHawk.
  • Have done long road trips with the manual 500, absolutely loved driving this machine!

Mahindra Scorpio-N:

  • So easy to drive, yet noticed a small acceleration lag during TDs.
  • Very comfy in the front, not comfy in the back (3rd row).
  • Great drive nonetheless!
  • Impractical space use, no cubbyholes (VUX500 has tones and then some)

Mahindra XUV700:

  • Would but it eyes closed if not for the wait. (Anyone selling and AX7L D? ).
  • Can get used to driving position, but still like the 500 a bit better.
  • Steering is the best (Scorpio too!).

Tata Safari:

  • Got to move it around a parking lot, both my wife and I found the steering too cumbersome. Perhaps if we could drive it a bit longer on the road.
  • Love the Kaziranga Edition.

Overall, I’m leaning towards the lateral upgrade, driven by how much I like the XUV500, as well as the the fact that I’d be spending anywhere between 12-20L less counting in interest – that could go towards so many things in the future! The team at Engineering Exponent led by Jayant is also a bit of a peace of mind – that I can rely on them for upkeep a lot more than the ASS.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

Clearly, you are sold on the XUV700 and it is indeed the best of the lot. What I would do if I were in your shoes:

  • Keep the Figo until I get my XUV700 (1 – 2 years), then sell it at the time of the XUV700’s delivery.
  • If I absolutely need an SUV or bigger car right now, I’d buy a 8 – 12 lakh rupee used example strictly as a stop-gap. Just to fulfill the purpose until I get my XUV700 allocation. Buy a used car that maintains its value well.

One consolation for you will be, the longer you wait for the XUV700, the better an XUV700 you will get. Mahindra is continuously improving the car.

Here’s what BHPian diwakarmuthu had to say on the matter:

From your write up it looks like XUV700 all the way. Since you can wait for a couple of years, I would suggest you wait for it. It may not be the whole 2 years as I believe M&M prioritizes AX7L deliveries over the lower versions.

XUV500 is a real good car, if you can get your hands on a well maintained AWD AT, I think it would be a good deal. I am in a similar dilemma now, should I plonk 18L-20L for W10AT or add another 6-7 lakhs and wait for a brand new car.

Since you are looking at preowned space, have you thought about:

  • Pajero Sport 4×4 – I think you would get good examples. Support and spares are a big question though. I saw a couple of ad postings in Carwale and OLX, 2018 model for 22L very low mileage.
  • Alturas G4 4WD – Once again I saw some good examples, but they were priced on the higher end of 27L. Maybe there is an opportunity to negotiate, but with M&M calling off the relationship with SsangYong, I have doubts about the spares and service. But I took a test drive and it is a good VFM car. Key would be to get a good deal.

I am going to keep watching this thread of yours as I am also in a similar situation and in Bangalore I need Diesel AT 7 seater. At 6 ft, I found the XUV 700 and Safari have very little headroom with the Sunroof variants. Maybe I did not set up the seat at the right position, will do one more test drive and check it out.

Wish you all the best in your search.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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