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Maruti Suzuki XL6: Nexa’s ‘premium’ Ertiga.

Nexa’s first 3 – row model comes in two variants.

Author: Ritin Paul

Indians do have a soft corner for family cars, and that explains why SUV’s, MPV’s and crossovers are a major success in the Indian car market. It is simply because it allows one to cater to the needs of the family and at the same time meet individualistic demands. Nexa seems to have hooked on to this very factor and have come up with a bold and sporty MPV – the XL6.

To start off, it is a 6-seater with a sporty exterior and a no-nonsense interior. For years Maruti Suzuki has catered to the demands of the customer and yet again has come up with a model that is customer focused. This definitely is poised as a car that blends both comfort and style. XL which stands for exclusive will be sold through the Nexa network.

Exterior: It definitely will appeal to the urban commuter who looks for a blend of comfort and style.  The XL6 does carry a sporty stance, its raised hood and unique grille gives it a rugged and sporty character. All the buffed up proportions of the car do make it look like a leaner, meaner and stronger Ertiga. Adding to the SUV character upfront is the scuff plate, full LED headlights and an overdose of cladding which needlessly extends to the rear of the car.

What does not look in order are the wheels which look timid in contrast to the large wheel arches. Another new addition which adds to the SUV persona of the XL6 are the roof rails, that with a rear scuff plate and dual tone tail gate gives an indication of Maruti Suzuki’s desperate efforts to give the XL6 a sporty touch.

Interior: Like the Ertiga, but more ‘premium’ of course. The interior is by most means more sophisticated. It follows an all black layout accompanied by a stone finish and rich silver accents sweeping across the cabin.

The thin and wide instrument panel adds on to the wide persona much like its exterior. The seats upfront, despite the stiff leather upholstery offer decent comfort. The talking point of the XL6 are its mid –row captain seats, it allows for easy ingress and egress. The captain seats can slide behind and can be reclined for additional space. The captain seats are a big bonus if you are looking forward to be chauffeur driven.

Unlike the Ertiga though, the middle seats do not tumble forward making it difficult to get to the back seats. The rear seats though tumble down and create a decent boot space of 550 liters. There is adequate space at the rear and tall people should not find it difficult to squeeze in as both legroom and headroom are just adequate.

Features: The XL6 comes in two trims Zeta and Alpha, both come loaded with features. It comes with auto climate control, keyless entry, and electric mirrors just like that of the top end Ertiga. The XL6 also has a new-gen SmartPlay Studio infotainment unit.The 7 inch infotainment system has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There are other connectivity features such as geofencing and real-time driving alerts.

Drive: Not much different, the engine and suspension is similar to that of the Ertiga. However the XL6 comes with a 1.5 liter engine adhering to BS6 specifications and has Progressive Smart Hybrid technology with Li-ion battery.The engine churns out [email protected] and a torque of [email protected] The engine comes mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic.

The XL6 revs up quickly and at lower gears and gives a sporty impulse especially at the 3,000 mark. It’s not the best to be in for quick overtakes, and fails to develop the required pulling power at full capacity. Gear shifts are smooth and at hard acceleration the automatic drops down to rev up the engine. The XL6 behaves well at low speeds and feels well planted at cruise mode. At higher speeds though cabin noise becomes an issue and is not the best bet to have on sharp corners.

Should you have one: It does its purpose of being a more premium family car and certainly feels more improved than the Ertiga. But no way does it match up to the quality and comfort levels of the Innova, nor is it a car for a driving enthusiast. But with a starting price of Rs. 9.8 lakh it will certainly make it a winner in its segment.

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