Mahindra Xylo gets its style together
Mahindra SA calls this 'the stylish new Xylo' and, while we don't think it'll give the cappuccino cowboys at Pinifarina any sleepless nights, the revised styling of Mahindra's versatile seven-seater is pleasantly coherent, with strong horizontal lines to reduce its apparent height (it is a very tall vehicle, even by MPV standards) and no jarring notes.
There's a strong echo (intentionally so) of the company's style diva, the XUV500 crossover, starting with a restyled bonnet and headlights, a chunkier grille and a new bumper with an airdam. More pronounced wheel-arches, roof rails and an integrated rear spoiler carry the look through to the rear.
GENUINE ITALIAN LEATHER
What's new inside are seats trimmed with genuine Italian leather, and a more smoothly-drawn two-tone dashboard with glossy wood-veneer inserts, a neater centre console and a host of storage spaces.
The driver gets a comprehensive info system that displays fuel consumption, range to empty and temperatures both in and outside the cabin. Cruise control is standard, the auto aircon now has outlets for all three rows of seats, there's an uprated audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and satellite controls on the steering wheel, and folding trays behind the first and second rows of seats.
The second and third rows of seats fold flat into the floor to make space for big loads - or the other way to make a double bed.
PROVEN 2.2-LITRE DIESEL POWER
The Xylo has the proven mHawk 2.2-litre diesel engine, for which Mahindra quotes 88kW at 4000rpm and 280Nm from 2400-2800rpm, driving the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox.
Suspension is independent in front with a revised multi-link coil spring rear suspension which now has 'extra stability technology' - that's Mahindraspeak for an anti-roll bar - to reduce body roll on tight corners.
Safety features include airbags for the driver and front seat passenger, anti-lock braking with electronic brake-pressure distribution, front and rear foglights and rear window wash/wipe.
The revised-for-2012 Xylo costs R219 900 (now that might give some European automakers pause for thought), which includes a three-year or 100 000km warranty, and a three-year or 60 000km service plan, which involves going home to mama every 10 000km.