The temptation to drive out in the all-new 2022 Maruti Suzuki took us on a 1250 km journey though highways and hills, over a hot and humid summer week. The new XL6 (Model Year 2022) is undoubtedly a supremely comfortable 6-seater, with captain’s seats in the middle row, ample head-space and much needed leg-room for long drives. Extra large windows add to the sense of space, and allow unobstructed views of the outdoors. The third row seats can be split/ folded to make room for additional luggage. We even went an extra mile and packed our furry friend – an English Cocker Spaniel – who has been our travel companion for years now.
The 2022 edition of XL6 has some significant electronic and feature additions that are quite impressive. What is good to see is the subtle introduction of luxe features by Maruti Suzuki in the mass premium segment. Like full black leather interiors and a new 6-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. Yes, you heard it right – this sweet MUV comes with paddle shifters. Then there are ventilated front seats – which is very cool, tilt & telescopic steering, 360 degree camera and a 7” touchscreen with an intuitive UI that is exceptionally well behaved. All of this takes the premium cabin appeal several notches higher and makes this feel like a bridge luxury in-cabin experience.
The XL6 has a new 1.5L petrol engine that offers 103hp peak power and 136Nm torque. Considering its size, that isn’t enough juice when you challenge the mountains with a full load. Or need a faster response. But a flick of the paddle shifter and flooring the accelerator gets the job done on most occasions. Highway miles are gobbled with ease and a bit of disciplined driving behind the wheel makes this one an immensely enjoyable drive. The trick is not to push the vehicle to its limits or make it a man vs. machine contest. Just allow it to unravel itself at an unhurried pace and cruise along.
The highway fuel efficiency was very impressive at 16.4 km/l, but dropped significantly to average out at 13.9 km/l when we added about 425 kms of mountain drive to the 1250 kms that we covered.
The Suzuki Connect advanced telematics has a few tricks up its sleeve and allows you to remotely operate some key features of the vehicle. You can connect it to your smartwatch, operate lights, locks and the AC remotely, use voice commands, get alerts & notification, track the vehicle or share live location. You could basically be in touch with your car from anywhere, at anytime.
The XL6 cruises through expressways effortlessly and in quick time, but the mountains throw a challenge or two. There are moments when you know the engine is made to work beyond its capacity and you long for some extra horses. Steep climbs and overtaking in the mountains is when the howl of the engine gets to you. But overall, the XL6 is a splendid proposition. It offers plenty of room to stretch, relax and work on-the-go. Comfort overrides sportiness in this one, with a ride quality and handling that one would expect of a premium MUV or MPV. The suspension is well adjusted to absorb bumps and bad patches, and the cabin remains fairly well insulated from noise and vibrations.
We breezed through a gruelling 16-hour drive uphill and 18-hour downhill (thanks to some prolonged traffic jams) quite effortlessly in this one. With minimal passenger fatigue. Apart from a few occasions when the vehicle felt a bit underpowered, the XL6 came out tops. It’s an excellent option for mid-sized urban families or young townies who prefer sophistication over ruggedness. Luxury over performance. At a starting price of INR 11.29 lacs (ex-showroom), this is quite worth it.
The XL6 retails out of Maruti Suzuki’s NEXA Experience Centres. More information is available at: https://www.nexaexperience.com