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Scorpio AT - A performance beast ...hunter of right gears

By Senthil Alagesan on 19 January 2014

Car's Age: 3-5 years


Overall Rating 4
Exterior 4
Interior 4
Ride Quality 4
Maintenance 1500/ month
Mileage (city) 8 KMPL
Mileage (highway) 10 KMPL

Detailed Mahindra Scorpio Review

What's Good?

The Mahindra Scorpio VLX AT is a very good buy at the 10-15 lakh price range. It is a vehicle that can take on any Indian road with relative ease and that too, while providing comfort and safety to its occupants. Build is great and yields little rattle noise after years of driving. Its great engine may not be exactly frugal but it can cruise all day in all weathers at sustained high speeds with no issues. Power is more than adequate for city driving and medium adrenaline spirited driving on highways. The automatic transmission has smooth gear shifts under normal city and highway driving and makes driving a pleasure as your left limbs have very little to do but rest. A host of thoughtful comforts like Rain sensing wipers, Auto Headlights, Cruise control, Steering mounted audio controls etc make it a value for money vehicle. The VLX that I own has needed a tyre replacement after 105,000 kms. No component failure whatsoever apart from regular servicing by the dealer. This vehicle can easily accommodate 5 adults and 3 children (5-10 year olds) comfortably and relative comfort (A/C). Driving Posture and passenger seating is very comfortable with no issues despite travelling non-stop for 6 hours. With all the above praises, which indeed could be argued by some Scorpio fans as "understated a bit", there remains a great deal of improvement to the Automatic Transmission behaviour during spirited driving. Services offered by the Mahindra dealers are comparable with most other car brand dealers, but there are a few irritants as described else-where in this review. Excellent brakes - The ABS is very effective and the stopping power of the vehicle is awesome. There has been many occasions where I have felt unsafe after hard stopping as the vehicle following me may rear end me if his/her brakes are not as good as mine. Audio Unit is reasonable and acoustics inside the vehicle are basic.

What can improve?

Build Quality, especially certain plastic covers around the steering column and door rubbers could be better. Rear seating leg room could have been better (increased by around 5 inches for forward facing third row seats). The main improvement that the scorpio needs immediately is eo the automatic transmission. The vehicle can be called a Beast (a good beast) on our roads for its performance, but it can also be a Beast (a bad beast) when it starts hunting for gears during spirited city or highway driving. Linear acceleration is great in terms of gear changes, but should you let go of the throttle during acceleration and depress it again, you will find the beast hunting.... for the right gear. The dealer service can be more genuine as they intentionally keep your vehicle longer than actually required, even for minor works. The paperwork after any work done (like a headlight bulb replacement) can easily take between 30-45 minutes. This may not be a vehicle issue but certainly is related as the vehicle owner is subjected to this slow process because of the Scorpio. Acoustics inside the vehicle could also be improved as audio sound can be heard outside (especially from the rear boot door side).

Exteriors (4/5)


Interiors (4/5)


Ride Quality (4/5)


Overall Comments

Strong body with good paint quality. Overall fitment quality is good but could do with some improvements to door/window rubber cladding, inserts etc. Looks are great from the front and rear but a bit of a "tall boy" bland looks from the rear. But overall exterior is good and functional.

Interiors are good in terms of ergonomics and layout of controls/switches. Lots of head room, well padded seats all round and one gets a solid safe feel when inside the vehicle. Quality of fitment on panels and could be done better. Having said this, there has been no breakages or fall outs during my 4 year usage and the family loves the beast's insides as it is.

Ride quality is adequate for a SUV (cannot be compared to a sedan) and road bumps do not propagate into the passenger compartment. While driving or travelling over rough roads, one gets a comfortable feeling as the bumps are absorbed well. However, while cornering at highway speeds, one can feel the body roll (though body roll is inherent with SUV's) and may be a bit uncomfortable for some. Same with sudden braking and the front of the vehicle dives down. No significant issues as such but ride quality would be a bit better with slightly stiffer front suspension to avoid frontal dives.

Overall vehicle performance and build quality is good. A cheap and very functional SUV with a number of creature comforts. My 4 year / 120,000 km affair with this vehicle has been very satisfying. With the Automatic transmission glitches hopefully removed (new automatic Scorpios come with an automatic transmission from Bosch unlike mine), this would be one of the best true SUV's in the sub 15 lakh category. Happy motoring to anyone who decides to go for a Scorpio AT.

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