Maruti Suzuki has launched XL6 as a premium derivative of its best selling MPV Ertiga.  The premium MPV offers more premium styling and extra creature comforts for both rear and front passengers.

Maruti’s new offering is only available with a petrol-electric hybrid engine mated with manual and automatic gearbox options. Being a premium offering, Maruti Suzuki will sell XL6 from its Nexa showroom network.

The ‘6’ in the name signifies that XL6 is a pure 6 seater. The middle row has been replaced by 2 captain’s seats to give rear passengers a luxurious seating set-up.

Styling

XL6 comes with a unique SUV-like front that is complemented with a bold grille, high set bonnet and massive LED headlamps. Scuff plates give it macho-SUV like feel. However, side classing is a bit overdone and expose relatively small alloys of the car. Roof rails and dual-tone tailgate adds to the character of XL6 but still, it looks a lot like old Ertiga.

Interiors

Interiors of XL6 looks more premium than Ertiga even when the dashboard and dials are borrowed from the existing MPV. The all-black theme of Ertiga gives it a premium feel. Leatherette seats, faux black ash wood finish, neatly done roof lining and high-quality plastics add to the luxury.

Middle row’s captain seats are plush however, thigh support is a bit less for taller passengers. Passengers can slide back and forth the captain’s and recline the backrest too for added comfort. The only glitch is that independently adjustable armrests are not present with the seat.

XL6 has made its third-row actually usable. With a comfortable seating position, average size passengers can comfortably sit in there for long drives. Third-row seats can also be split and folded to increase the luggage capacity from 209 litres to a more useful 550 litres.

Performance

XL6 offers an almost similar driving experience to the existing petrol Ertiga. Its 1500 cc petrol engine offers a top-end borderline sportiness. However, its mid-range is pretty flat to and you will have to downshift for a quick overtake. The engine offers an ample amount of power to drive comfortably with 6 passengers but drivers who are used to torquier diesel engines will be left with wanting more power.

1.5-litre engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox is smooth to use in city traffic conditions. Automatic 4-speed torque converter gearbox is an average performer and not much a delight to drive.

Suspensions of XL6 offer a smooth ride however, thud noise created from large potholes filters in clearly inside the cabin. The car feels well-planted at triple-digit speeds on highways. The steering also offers a good response and weight in highway conditions. One major flaw is that the cabin is a bit noisy and a lot of road traffic and tyre noise seeps inside the cabin at high speeds.

What's The Verdict?

As an overall package, XL6 is a good value for money proposition offering ample amount of space and luxury. However, being positioned as chauffeur-driven MPV, do not expect much delight in terms of driving experience from the car.