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Mahindra has launched the new 2012 Xylo facelift. The company has improved the MPV in key areas, offering a wide range of options to the buyers, in terms of both engines and variants. Gone is the rather plain looking front, replaced by something you won’t mind looking at. The influence from the Mahindra XUV500 shows, which is a good thing. The old Mahindra Xylo was always known to be give passengers a feeling of swinging but Mahindra has managed to improve this on the new Xylo. There is not a drastic change and don’t expect the Xylo to handle like a car just yet.

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Step inside the 2012 Mahindra Xylo and it iwll be difficult to notice anything new. The company claims that door handles are now sturdier and there are more cubbyholes for storage. The top of the line E9 variant gets two-tone brown interiors along with leather upholstery. A new gear lever also features on the Xylo. The Xylo’s centrally mounted multi-information display now offers more data and the MPV now boasts of audio controls on steering wheel and a cruise control system.

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Debuting on the new Mahindra Xylo is the quick and powerful mHawk engine, which also does duty in the Scorpio. A new E9 variant gets this new engine, along with more bells and whistles and is priced at Rs. 11.40 lakhs (on-road Mumbai). The Mahindra Scorpio VLX is priced at Rs. 11.55 lakhs, so we can expect some cannibalization between the two, specially since the Scorpio is more sought after vehicle. The Mahindra Xylo 2.2 produces 120 BHP of peak power at 4000 RPM and 280 Nm of peak torque at 1800 RPM. This might just be marginally more than the mEagle powered Xylo and the difference can’t be made out immediately. Yes, the turbolag is minimal.

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Handling of the Mahindra Xylo has improved but there is still a bit of body roll present in the car. Mahindra has re-caliberated the dampers and suspension bushings. There was some vibes and clatter filtering into the Xylo’s cabin, probably due to the fact the test vehicle was brand new. A new 5-speed manual transmission (5MT-320) takes care of cog duties and felt little notchy. This gearbox is yet to debut on the Scorpio and is expected any time soon. The gear knob does vibrate quite a bit though. The EPS is quite well calibrated but the brakes continue to give the spongy feel.

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The voice command control deserves a special mention for functioning quite well. Mahindra has applied for a patent and using your voice you can control the headlamps, fog lamps, wipers, doors, etc. The system works surprisingly well and since it was developed by Mahindra, there is no issue of misunderstanding Indian accent. We believe the E6 variant will still be the most popular variant of the Mahindra Xylo, which might not have undergone major mechanical changes but looks so much more pleasing and easy on the eyes. The Xylo continues to offer fantastic value and practicality, making it the choice for those looking for an MPV on a budget.

With inputs from MotorBeam Special Correspondent Mohit Soni.