Travelogue: Tripping With The XL6 - The Jack Of All Trades, Master Of Some

These past two years have been tough on mankind. With the small trips becoming the new resolutions, something as small as a road trip felt like the best source of exhilaration. When I was given an opportunity to travel with the XL6, the first picture that came to mind was of lush green mountains, natural waterfalls, and winding roads. With those tempting thoughts, I planned the route and the places to visit. Filled the Maruti Suzuki XL6 to the brim, checked the tyre pressure, and off we went to Dehradun!

Maruti Suzuki XL6

Completely unaware of the sublime Delhi-Meerut expressway, we trusted Google Maps which rerouted us to the older way of reaching Dehradun. Starting from Gurugram, the first scenic location was the Signature Bridge near Ghaziabad. Covered with fog and low-slung clouds, it’s known to be the tallest viewpoint in Delhi. After clicking a few pictures, we continued on the journey to reach Muzaffarnagar. Google Maps suggested we take some country roads. However, it was a rather intriguing route, with loads of traffic and tractors loaded with sugarcane. That’s when I came to realise the fact that Uttar Pradesh is indeed the largest producer of sugarcane crops.

Maruti XL6 Trip

The sight of sugarcane triggered cravings for carbs in me. So, I stopped by a stall for some garam samosas. We loaded up and carried on with the trip and to our surprise, we weren’t the only ones traveling to Dehradun on Christmas. On our way, we saw several cars with UP14, HR26, HR38 and DL09 plates. The samosas warmed us up really well. So, we grabbed some cold drinks and the front cup holders, which get air-con circulation, kept them cool while we sipped it intermittently. Another nifty feature of the XL6 was auto headlamps. When entering the tunnels, the headlights turned on before I could reach for the stalks and turned off automatically as we exited.

Maruti XL6

The route we were on was throwing occasional rough patches, beaten roads of villages, large flocks, and whatnot. But the supple ride quality of the XL6 kept the occupants unaware of how poorly I was negotiating bad roads. To some extent, the rather small 15-inch wheels witih taller sidewalls also helped with the comfort. The benefits of the XL6 became more apparent when the going got more treacherous.

Maruti XL6

As we reached Dehradun after a long journey, the roads became narrower. On day 1, our goal was to reach Dhanaulti and enjoy the mesmerising scenic views. We got there eventually but after a lot of hassles. I blame Google Maps again for suggesting us the longer and more treacherous route. The roads were broken and we didn’t witness a single piece of tarmac. Multiple landslides along the way had made the roads miserable. But to our surprise, the XL6 didn’t break a sweat. The 1.5L hybrid petrol engine, coupled with short gearing offered good torque at the wheels even at low-ish RPMs.

maruti XL6

The motor of the XL6 is very tractable, and I wasn’t hunting for gears every now and then. Even in the city for that matter, it could drive in 3rd gear from as low as 20kmph. In most of the instances, I forgot that I was in 3rd gear throughout the traffic. That single character of the XL6 makes it a great hauler in the city.

Maruti XL6

After covering a good 25-30 km on the way, we ventured back to the base as the roads ahead were only meant for 4x4s. After having the famous Maggi of mountains, we found a hotel to snooze a bit before heading to Mussoorie the next morning. Unlike Dhanaulti, the roads leading to Mussoorie are really good - long switchbacks and banked twisties. While constantly working the steering wheel, I started to appreciate the light steering wheel of the XL6. Had it been any other SUV, I would have faced severe pain in my forearms and shoulders for sure.

Maruti Xl6

The roads of Mussoorie had barely any traffic when we arrived early in the morning. Once we reached the top, it started getting crowded and the roads kept getting narrower. Hence, we decided not to go to the rather famous Mall road. We found a scenic private property down the hills, which had Alpine trees and a small pond.

We clicked a good bunch of photos and started our journey back to Gurugram, and this time, Google Maps recommended the Delhi-Meerut expressway. The new expressway is really smooth and has wide lanes. On our way back, we witnessed some drizzling throughout. So, we didn’t push the car and kept well below the speed limit to stay on the safe side.

Once we arrived back home, I thought of calculating the expenses after tanking up the cheaper Gurugram diesel. During our 800km weekend getaway, we covered a good mix of highways, city roads, treacherous mountain roads and twisty turns with steep climbs and descents. With 4 occupants and a weekend’s worth of luggage, our petrol XL6 delivered 17.7kmpl. The short gearing in the XL6, that is its USP in the city, takes a toll on the highways. Hence, if you want to get good FE, then you should keep the engine around 2000rpm. In the top gear, you can cruise at around 80kmph with the tacho needle hovering just a shade over 2000.

Our trip to Dehradun and Mussoorie was full of scenic views, great roads, and good food. And honestly, we couldn’t have asked for a better companion to deal with the ‘off’ road patches we ran into during the trip. It’s supremely comfortable and spacious, frugal and reliable. Till now, I never understood why the XL6 existed when we have the affordable and more practical Ertiga. But the XL6 turned out to be a better family car with a premium experience and captain seats for all occupants. If you want a good looking family mover and have reliability and comfort and fuel efficiency high on your priority list, then look no further than the Maruti Suzuki Nexa XL6.

Also Read: 10 Tips To Get Better Mileage From Your Petrol, Diesel Or CNG Car


Mahesh Yadav

Mahesh is a fan of compact, quirky and underrated vehicles that punch above their weight. Multix, Nano and Navi are his favorites.


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