- Upgraded from the XUV500, but also considered the Tata Safari and the Toyota Innova Crysta.
- Why the name Icarus?
- Big things have big beginnings
- The chase begins.
- The chase continues.
- The chase ends
Upgraded from the XUV500, but also considered the Tata Safari and the Toyota Innova Crysta.
BHPian RavenAvi recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
“There below are the trees, as awkward as camels;
and here are the shocked starlings pumping past
and think of innocent Icarus who is doing quite well:
larger than a sail, over the fog
and the blast of the plushy ocean,
Admire his wings!
Feel the fire at his neck and see
how casually he glances up and is caught,
into that hot eye.”
– Anne Sexton.
Why the name Icarus?
1) From Greek mythology (more specifically Metamorphoses by Ovid), it’s the name of a character who was given wings made from wax by his father and, ignoring his father’s warnings, kept flying higher and higher into the skies till he reached so close to the sun that his wax wings melted and he fell back down to earth and drowned in the sea.
Icarus is a symbol of man’s highest standards of inventiveness and aspirations. It denotes lofty ideals, heroic daring, and proudly achieving the highest thinkable achievement within man’s own mortal limitations.
At the same time, the fable is also a gentle yet firm reminder of sticking to one’s origins, bounds and limits and keeping oneself firmly planted on the earth and not pushing oneself beyond discernible and fathomable boundaries. (Related Read)
2) From contemporary movie culture – it’s the name of the spaceships from, quite possibly, my favourite science-fiction movie in recent times, Sunshine (2007).
Perhaps the good people at Mahindra knew about the myth of Icarus, that is why they designed this particular screen for the AdrenoX system:
This has become my favourite go-to screen in the Head Unit’s display now. I call this screen “Icarus’s Wings”. When the left and right wings fly upwards during a drive, it brings a delightful smile to my face (especially when the left “Torque” wing soars higher up and leaves a long trail of luminescent, disappearing blue below it).
Big things have big beginnings
My father and mother started to fall sick regularly. My mother was the more serious chronic patient in our small family with plenty of digestive & intestinal problems for the past 30 years. I had to take her for an emergency abdominal surgery procedure in a hurry in my 2015 Hyundai Creta (Lazarus) to the VY Hospital in Raipur 300 km away from my city. I bought the Creta in the same month when it was first launched in India (July 2015), and it had served me quite well for the past 2 years until then.
This was the first time I felt the need for a 7-seater or even a 5+2 seater. With my Mother laid down in the back seat, there was just one seat free – the front passenger’s. There was no way of taking my old father and/or my wife together with us, as we had to accommodate my little 5-year-old Isha too. And I couldn’t leave any one of them alone at home either. Hence I had to take the risk of going alone with my Mother without any immediate family support.
The mother’s surgery went well, and she was discharged 9 days later. We started back home from Raipur with her lying down in the rear seat. And, as luck would have it, about nearly halfway through the return journey, at a speed of around 90kmph and with a slower Maruti Alto in front, the Creta’s brakes failed. With thick incoming traffic coming from the front, I somehow saved both our lives by going off-road and turning left into the fields by the roadside, repeatedly pumping the brakes desperately. A last-minute kick-in by the ABS unit brought Lazarus to a shuddering halt and, very shaken, I resumed our journey at much slower speeds and brought us home safely in nearly double the time that a normal trip would have usually taken.
I had to seriously re-evaluate everything after that one incident. The limitations of a 5-seater car during such emergencies, parents growing older and sicker by the passing months, me being an only child, and the Creta’s alarming brake failure incident at high speeds had shaken me to my core. I realised we needed a mechanically reliable 7-seater with spacious front & middle rows, though the last row might be used occasionally during any similar medical emergencies. Long family trips were out of the equation back then, as the main priority was to take care of my old and ailing parents.
The Creta’s brakes were checked repeatedly but the service centre found nothing wrong with them. They suggested changing the brakes altogether, but my driving confidence with Lazarus had taken a deep-nosed dive by then. Lazarus went, and I brought our first 7-seater – the XUV5OO – home in August 2017 (I called him Arion) because of the lack of properly authorised service centres of other companies offering popular 7-seaters, mainly Toyota. With budgetary constraints stretched to the absolute limit, I could afford the W6 variant only as I was in the process of finalising a duplex bungalow purchase too. With 155BHP and 360Nm ready to serve at the tip of my right big toe, this was the first time I had sheer power and dollops of torque at my disposal – a huge jump from the “humble” two Maruti MPFIs, a Honda i-VTEC and an i-DTEC, and a Hyundai VTVT I had owned/driven before the mighty Cheetah came into my life.
I loved everything about the 5OO – the mind-blowing engine response and driveability, excellent road manners, the respect it commanded from traffic, humongous in-cabin space in the first 2 rows and sheer comfort overall. For a mid-variant, the updated 2017 5OO W6 variant packed in a lot of feel-good features as well – automatic headlamps/wipers, cruise control, Android Auto, Automatic Climate Control, adjustable lumbar support for the front seats, cornering lamps, entry-assist “puddle” lamps under ORVMs, lounge lighting, individual reading lamps in 2nd row, auto-folding ORVMs, voice commands, etc.
Arion was scheduled to be a keeper-for-life, until the clutch and the gearbox started giving me real problems. Within 6 months of ownership, the clutch became very hard and the upshifting/downshifting into the first 2 gears became very difficult, to the point that I found myself shifting directly to 2nd gear from Neutral while taking off from a standstill, or downshifting to 1st gear from 3rd gear. This started to take a toll on my left leg and lower back + waist. The local Mahindra service centre did their best but to no avail. The final diagnostic made me lose it – they helplessly offered to replace the entire gearbox, clutch systems and related wirings. Despite my immense love for the 5OO, I was simply not ready to see him get torn apart for these (major) niggles. Had to let Arion go with a very heavy heart when the 2018 Tata Nexon XZ+ diesel came into our garage. With the surgery helping my mother’s health improve and my father also getting better in between, the lingering health issues in our family came down. With a career shift (promotion) planned and looming on the horizon, plans to get another 7-seater replacement for the 5OO took a backseat in my list of priorities.
Cue July 2021.
My lower back and left leg problems saw vast improvements and I had almost forgotten about these afflictions in my body. But a new nightmare walked into my life – after a continuous 2-month struggle of having huge breathing problems, inability to eat anything and staying awake all through the night due to the intense, searing pains in the chest and complete breathlessness, I was diagnosed with a critical (and possibly fatal) heart condition – DCM (Dilated CardioMyopathy). (details) My entire daily routine was overhauled, dietary and lifestyle changes came into effect, and the very-slow recovery process started. The doctors proclaimed that this was a condition which stayed for life and required continuous and regular monitoring. I was put under close medical supervision and observation for the next full year through Telemedicine, video calling and regular follow-ups through fortnightly (at first) and monthly (later) blood test reports, ECGs & Echocardiographs.
It was merely a year into my ownership of the 2020 Creta SX IVT (Phoenix).
(Why the Creta again after the events of 2017? Read the opening post of that thread for details)
I was looking for a 7-seater before getting Phoenix because of my chronically ailing parents, but now they need for a 7-seater became more necessary due to my own condition too. Phoenix was doing great and now came with changed, improved brakes and was the most ideal (yet boring and uninvolving) steed for me and the conditions I was carrying – my sacro-lumbar condition which had improved well, a persistently problematic left leg, and now a critically bad heart as well. But with 3 full-time patients in the family now, and any of them going critical at any moment, I became aware of the need for a 7-seater yet again.
I started looking at the 7-seater options starting from the used car market. The downside of living in a Tier-3 city in a deeply rural area showed its limitations here – bad, used and severely abused examples of Innovas, Mahindras and Tatas are aplenty. The conditions of some of those Tatas would put any describing words in our dictionaries to shame. Slightly better candidates were forwarded from contacts at Raipur, Visakhapatnam or Odisha via Whatsapp, but I was barred from travelling beyond 50 km by my docs, so there was no way of checking out those cars in person. However good they might be or were vouched for by friends or contacts, I wasn’t to be satisfied until I checked out a car thoroughly myself. So, after a month of scrounging through offline and online options, I ditched that route.
The chase begins.
I decided to go the new car route again. But, after BS6 norms came into effect, the prices of most 7-seaters had gone astronomical. Toyota had taken the Innova Crysta’s prices into the ionosphere, yet it was selling in huge numbers. I somehow never liked the Innova, however hard I tried to. My immediate neighbour owns one and I had a chance to drive it for short distances on a couple of occasions. Both times I scratched it off from my mental list. The Tata Safari, nee Harrier++, was very new and the number of problematic Safaris being reported on social media was disheartening. And then there was the news of Mahindra getting ready to launch the new-gen 5OO as the “XUV7OO”. As a huge fan of the erstwhile 5OO, I followed the whole pre-launch campaign keenly. Called my old contact, Sonal, at the local Mahindra dealer and came to know that he had shifted to Jeypore, Odisha, and joined the dealership there (Paramount Automotives Pvt Ltd). I told him I was interested in the 7OO. He promised me he would keep me in the loop.
In come the first week of October 2021, the Mahindra blockbuster was launched at a killer introductory price range (11.99L to 22.89L) and the result – was 25,000 bookings completed in merely 57 minutes, the official website crashed with a hurricane of online visits, and pre-bookings were closed!
Sonal called me judiciously at 10 AM on 07th October 2021 (the opening day) and asked me to place a booking through his dealership at Jeypore. Cautious about a brand-new Mahindra car launch (coming from the initial launch of the 5OO in 2012 and the number of problems the initial owners faced) and with the plethora of features the 7OO was supposed to bring with it to our Indian roads, including the very-new ADAS and Adaptive Cruise Control tech, I told him that I would wait for at least 6-7 months for the initial batches to roll out and for any possible niggles/problems in the initial production batches to get sorted. Possibly the 7OO might be directly available at showrooms by then. Bookings opened again on the very next day, with prices increased by Rs 50,000 across the range, and again the 7OO thundered the record books by securing 25,000 more bookings in 2 hours before the company closed the pre-bookings again!
Just 2 days of pre-bookings, and the 7OO was completely pre-booked for the next full year! Boy, was I proven wrong and how!
I was willing to wait hence this did not deter me much. Yet, with the new condition, I had developed and even though I was fighting it and recovering well, I somehow felt that I might have made a mistake in skipping the initial pre-booking euphoria. But the 6-month waiting period I had set for myself was reasonable because I would be a better judge of my own health by then. I was also counting on the 7OO craze to have died down a bit in that period, followed by booking cancellations, initial batches dispensed with and early ownership reports coming in with how good/bad the 7OO actually is, and easier availability down the line.
Kept following the official webpage of the 7OO keenly and all the news trickling in-between – the car was a runaway (read “super-duper”) hit and racked up 1 lakh bookings in a mere 3 months’ time despite being an offering in the D-segment and seeing 2 steep price hikes during that period! It was completely sold out, especially in its diesel avatar, for 2 whole years! Unheard of, in the present situation the Indian auto industry was going through – still recovering from the Covid-19 situation and faced with the alarming shortage of semiconductor chips.
I placed an online request for test driving the 7OO in November 2021, and almost immediately got a call from a Raipur dealership that they would be sending a 7OO over in a week’s time as soon as at least 8-10 possible customers from my city registered for a test drive. That week turned out to be 2 full months, and a Midnight Blue 7OO AX7L diesel MT test drive car stood outside my office in January 2022. Drove it extensively and was immediately bowled over by everything the 7OO offered. The guy who came with the car didn’t say much, but merely handed me the keys and just kept smiling at all my observations and remarks throughout our test drive. Removing myself out from the driver’s seat with a huge ear-to-ear grin plastered across my face, I have to admit this now – I completely fell hook, line and sinker for the 7OO after the drive big, big time. Rationality, judgements, decisions, features – nothing mattered anymore. I knew then and there that I wanted the 7OO – nothing else would do. After 2 years of driving an AT, the pure pleasure of a stick shifter and the lightning-quick response of the updated 182PS 2.2L mHawk diesel made me salivate and hungry for driving yet again after a long time. I was so involved and enchanted by the 7OO in the test drive itself that I completely forgot to take even a single pic. The guy quoted a year of waiting for the diesel and left, and my face fell.
Meanwhile, the Creta-extender version called Alcazar and the Seltos-extender version called Carens were launched, but I wasn’t interested in either of them for even a remote bit. Two of my colony neighbours procured Alcazars but, either because I was a Creta owner myself or because my heart was completely taken by the 7OO, I didn’t even glance in their direction when I passed them daily (I still don’t).
In the second week of March, I visited the local Tata dealership and test drove the Safari extensively. Despite not liking the pseudo-Harrier carryover, unknown safety ratings and those plain-jane interiors, I liked the response and driveability of the 2.0L MJD engine and the in-cabin space – the 3rd row of the Safari was actually better than the Crysta’s in terms of head and shoulder room! Boot space in all 3 cars in contention was disappointing but expected (actually this is non-existent in the Safari with all 3 rows up). These cars are not true-blue 3-row offerings but actually wide and comfortable 5 seaters with an “option” to seat 2 more OR carry your travel bags when the need for either arose. For a complete 7-seater with luggage space, one needs to consider the Kia Carnival as a bare minimum. Either way, with the 7OO blasting itself out of the picture with every passing day, the default option left for me was the Safari. The local Tata dealership promised me delivery in 15 days flat, provided I made an immediate booking in the first fortnight of March 2022 itself.
But, for some odd reason I can’t identify it even now, I stopped and didn’t commit myself to a Safari booking back then.
The chase continues.
Sonal got back to me during that second week in March and told me that petrol 7OOs were now available in 3-4 months’ time, provided I was willing to wait. Meanwhile, a lot of reports regarding the ADAS systems failing to detect objects during highway runs, and the over-zealous nature of the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane-Keep Assist systems were coming in from all sides. Not like the tech was bad, but I realised that our Indian roads and the traffic plying on them and the Indian “traffic” on both sides of the roads were simply not ready for cars with ADAS & other modern tech features in them, and vice versa.
My requirements didn’t include ADAS or Adaptive Cruise Control – considering the rural roads and the conditions in which they are in around my city on all sides. No use paying for features which won’t be used for, possibly, the whole life of the car. I hadn’t used the Cruise Control in our Phoenix (Creta SX IVT) even a single time in the past 2 years. The lack of features didn’t bother me – I wanted an SUV which was mechanically sound, had a mind-blowing engine and tons of space inside the cabin and could seat 7 when needed or necessary. Hence, I zeroed in on the AX5 in the 7OO’s lineup.
Finally, I bit the bullet. Keeping my monthly running in mind, feeling almost fully recovered from my bad back & bad left leg, I placed a booking for the AX5 petrol MT 7-seater in Red Rage colour shade on 13th March 2022 through the online Configurator in the 7OO’s official webpage. I had become a big fan of the Red Rage shade from when I saw the first pics of the 7OO in Red back in October 2021. I had chosen Sonal’s Jeypore dealership since it was closest to my city – a mere 90 km away.
I could have easily stretched for the AX7 MT but felt that features such as ADAS, Adaptive Cruise Control & Lane Keep Assist would be useless on the roads our 7OO would be plying on. I reasoned that some of the absolutely shocking feature omissions in the AX5 (which were necessary for me) can be added later – reverse camera, Auto Headlamps, Leather seat covers, in-cabin air purifier, and power-folding ORVMs. The only thing I would miss is the 2 extra side airbags from the AX7. But with the curtain airbags in the AX5 extending all the way to the last row, I was more than satisfied with the in-cabin protection given to all the occupants.
I added 2 OEM accessories – an ORVM logo projector set and illuminated scuff plates – in the configurator itself. The booking was confirmed within 24 hours and the ETA to delivery showed as July-August 2022. With the quiet assurance of a more sorted car within that time period, and the ready availability of the Safari as a backup should things go tummy up, I was content to wait for 4-5 months. Sonal had told me that if the diesel had bowled me over during my TD in January 2022, I should expect to be swept off my feet when I get to experience the 7OO petrol.
197PS & 380Nm on offer – I was salivating at just the mere thought!
The next night, I casually went through the official product brochure again and re-read through my own posts in the original 7OO thread (now closed). I had completely forgotten a crucial feature missing in the AX5 petrol MT which is a must-have for a heavy 2-ton SUV – Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Big kudos to Tata for providing this as standard across the Safari range, right from the base variant, but for the Mahindra XUV7OO, the latest-gen ESP suite is introduced from the AX5 diesel MT variant! (and all the automatic variants, but of course!).
The AX5 petrol MT didn’t get it. Why? Don’t ask me. Ask the product planning team at Mahindra, who needs to get their brains checked big-time for the feature distribution across variants for the 7OO lineup.
Realised my folly and immediately placed a fresh booking for the AX5 diesel MT in the same Red Rage shade, despite my (possible) lower running, on 16th March 2022. It was a no-brainer really – with a price increase of ~62,000 rupees over the equivalent petrol variant, it was equipped with Drive Modes too in addition to the latest-gen ESP suite. To my delight, once the new booking was confirmed, it again showed an ETA of delivery by August 2022! Both were done by choosing the same Mahindra dealership online in Jeypore, Odisha, so I thought maybe the Mahindra’s now-infamous allocation “algorithm” worked differently for smaller dealerships in Tier-3 cities/towns, and a quicker ETA to delivery was given for customers who booked through the online Configurator. Cancelled my earlier AX5 petrol booking, placed a call to Mahindra Customer Care regarding the same and also sent them a detailed email, following which the full booking amount (Rs 21,000) was refunded in my bank account within 5 days.
I was regularly in touch with Sonal, who had told me that 7OOs in Red were extremely rare in received bookings (I was the only one who had booked a Red 7OO through their dealership and would be very lucky if I received my chosen diesel variant by August 2022). This made me a bit apprehensive about early delivery, despite what was shown online. He told me to give him a few other choices/preferences, should a free car become available from a possible cancellation (if my stars got very lucky) and I laid them out – AX5 diesel MT/AT, AX3 diesel MT or even the AX7 MT, 7-seaters only and in Red/Midnight Black avatars. No other variant or no other colour shade.
31st March Closing
Came back home at nearly midnight to check the status of my online booking, and got a severe jolt – my ETA to delivery had been bumped to February-March 2023! This was not acceptable at all. At first, I thought it was an error in the website so logged out and logged back in several times to re-check. Every time, it showed the same postponed dates. Called up Mahindra Customer Care and they replied that someone from the dealership from which I had booked my car must have tampered with the details, due to which their online allocation system revised and updated the delivery dates accordingly. Called Sonal and asked him, but he said that online bookings are saved in Mahindra’s internal backend systems and dealerships didn’t have any passwords to access those.
I was flummoxed and completely flabbergasted. I was not willing at all to wait for a full year for a car however much I have started to love it, especially when my finances were fully ready. Also, the ready availability of free 7OO variants was being posted on Facebook and Whatsapp groups, which made me angrier. I posted on Twitter by tagging Anand Mahindra and all Mahindra’s official Twitter channels on it and shared photos from stockyards of rows of available 7OOs in Delhi-NCR areas and down south, and posts of people getting their cars quicker (some claimed to have gotten their cars in 15 days!) but received no reply from any of them for the next 2 days. Tried my insider sources at Mahindra but I was told that Mahindra was keeping the 7OO’s allocation and delivery system pretty close to its chest and the only way to get one was to contact the dealerships and enquire. And I had nearly zero contacts at other nationwide dealerships.
On 2nd April 2022, I had to admit to myself with a heavy heart – there went the 7OO, out of my life again. Possibly for forever.
“Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho,
to puri kainaat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.”
(Translated: If you love something truly with all your heart, then the whole universe sets itself in motion to try to unite you with it.)
On April 2nd, I received a call from the Shivnath Mahindra dealership in Raipur, enquiring about my online complaint. Apparently, my Twitter post had not gone unnoticed. The GM was quite friendly and asked me to send over my Aadhar details, and promised me that he would not make me wait a year for my chosen 7OO. He placed a booking in the system on my behalf but told me to choose a more common colour shade such as Everest White or Midnight Black. I chose the latter. He promised me a date before the festive season and sounded so confident that I chose to believe him.
The online booking took 5 days to get updated in Mahindra’s system, no doubt due to year-end updates. And the ETA to delivery was again the same – February-March 2023. The only good thing during this period was that the 7OO’s prices were not hiked. I was happy that Mahindra, after the steep hike in January 2022, wasn’t going to tamper with the 7OO’s prices again. But also, by now I was convinced that the 7OO was destined to be away for me and I simply had to count the days (or months for possibly the whole year) away if I was willing to wait with patience.
But when you have fallen in love, patience becomes a vice you can’t deal with anymore.
Talked to my best friend Mahendra, who resides in Bilaspur and discussed the entire situation with him. He suggested I contact all the dealerships within a 500- 600 km radius of my location and see if I get a hit on a possible free 7OO. He also remarked that most of the people in his circles got their new cars from Ranchi, Jharkhand, since it was close to Bilaspur and maybe that was the best place to grab a free car.
Contacted D-BHPians saket77 and good friend Leoshashi, who reside there, and asked them for their help. Shashi was in Delhi but promised to help once he returned back by the weekend, while Saket visited the Mahindra dealership nearest to his office and got back to me that there were no free cars available there, and only fresh bookings were being taken with the same ETAs to delivery. Shashi also went silent. I looked up the Mahindra directory for dealerships from their official webpage and contacted all of them within 15-16 hours’ distance from my residence location through phone calls and Whatsapp messages – 2 dealerships in Visakhapatnam, 2 in Nagpur, 3 in Hyderabad, 2 in Ranchi and 2 in Bhubaneswar. All reverted back with the same reply – no free 7OOs available. Ran through my insider sources again, but no luck.
Right there, at that very moment, I should have just given up altogether and my chase for the 7OO should have ended in complete and utter failure.
“Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost..”
(Translated: the movie is not over yet, my friend.)
14th April 2022 was coming.
And everything was destined to twist around on its head.
The chase ends
One of my good friends, Amit “Doc Saab” Dubey from NCR, was in regular contact with me and purchased an XUV 7OO AX7L MT himself back in February. He had left on an all-India trip right after taking delivery but reached back home in the first week of April. I sent him the same list of variants which I had sent to Sonal and to Shivnath Mahindra and asked for his help. He did some enquiries and got back to me on 7th April that my chosen variant in White would be available for delivery in a month at an NCR dealership near him, provided I was willing to book and block/allot that free 7OO AX5 immediately. The problem – drive it back all the way or get the 7OO transported from there to my city which was nearly 1,500 km away! I hesitated for a couple of days with apprehension because I was not medically cleared to travel such a long distance, and by that time the White 7OO (which was a free car) was allotted to someone else.
By 12th April, contrary to all my expectations, Mahindra hiked the prices of the 7OO yet again – this time by ~78,000 rupees! By now, I had laid down all my arms and was ready to surrender my extensive quest of procuring an XUV 7OO.
Also, the AX5 variant which I had chosen initially was now 1 lakh 65 thousand rupees dearer (at 17.84 lakhs) and the Tata Safari XT (at 18.08 lakhs), at a mere 24 thousand rupees more, came with a plethora of features which the 7OO’s AX5 variant didn’t get (Automatic Climate Control, Auto Rain-sensing Wipers, Auto Headlamps, Cruise Control, Push-button Start, 18-inch alloys, TPMS, Reverse Camera, Apple Car Play, etc). Suddenly, my practical mind started to play havoc with my bewitched and intoxicated heart and the Tata started to make immense sense over the much-elusive Mahindra, variant-to-variant, safety ratings notwithstanding.
On the evening of Thursday, 14th April, I was keenly studying the Safari’s brochure and the features spread across variants and had almost finalised the XT variant and was mentally preparing for going ahead with the Tata’s booking the very next day when my phone rang.
It was my best friend Mahendra from Bilaspur. His first line was:
“If I got you your 7OO, what will you give me in return?!”
You guys should have seen the expression on my face in those moments. Sheer incredulity, followed by a wave of overwhelming happiness from my emotionally (actually, making-a-sweeping-comeback) enamoured heart which swept me off my feet so badly all the hairs on my head stood up and a permanent ear-to-ear smile got stuck to my ever-jolly face. The last time I was this happy was when I was holding my little bundle of joy, Isha, in my arms when she was born!
My practical mind shattered into a zillion pieces and went for a permanent hike.
I stammered and muttered disbelievingly, thinking he was joking. When he confirmed at least 10 times with long laughs that he had actually done the impossible, the realisation of the situation hit me.
What had happened was that Mahendra had contacted one of his best friends who is a higher-up executive at Mahindra Corporate (can’t disclose the name, sorry guys) in the first week of April. Mahendra explained my situation to them and asked for help. Our corporate executive friend, for a week or so, ran through the list of bookings from both the dealerships where I had my bookings and came to know that a free AX5 MT variant had been dispatched from the factory to my Jeypore, Odisha dealership. The dealership had contacted the original customer to get his finances ready and to finalise possible delivery dates, but the customer had declined to take delivery. After a series of well-placed calls were made by our mutual friend, they informed Mahendra to call me and say that that AX5 MT was mine for the taking, provided any other waiting customer from that dealership didn’t want it. The only catch – it was in Everest White shade. Since the booking numbers were limited for this small-town dealership and most of the other bookings were for higher/lower variants & shades, I was told that all other customers declined for this AX5 MT – and I got lucky!
“Itni shiddat se maine tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai,
ki har zarre ne mujhe tumse milane ki saazish ki hai.”
(Translated: I tried so intensely, sincerely and severely to get you, that each particle in God’s creation conspired to make you meet me.)
I was a bit sceptical of the White shade at first, but Sonal assured me that the Everest White shade was actually in pearl finish and was regarded as a costlier shade than the one offered on the erstwhile XUV 5OO. I received a call from the dealership GM on the 15th of April to confirm if I was willing and joyfully confirmed it. The dealership acquired the necessary permissions from Mahindra to allot that XUV7OO to me and received confirmation within 5 days, while the car was in transit to their dealership.
Sonal forwarded me the confirmed VIN number on Friday, 22nd April at 12 PM, the day our Everest White AX5 MT was unloaded into their stockyard, and the VIN number translated to March 2022 make. Called my bankers and got the loan forms filled up after receiving the official quotation so that they could complete the formalities for fund transferring within the next 3 days. I was happy beyond all known measures due to finally acquiring my loved one after such a prolonged, continuous chase between March-April 2022 which had almost driven me nuts and caused me many a sleep-bereft night!
On Saturday morning, 23rd of April, with a trusted friend, I travelled 90 km to the Paramount Automotives Private Limited dealership at Jeypore, Odisha, for the first-ever look of my beloved to-be future steed and to subject it to a detailed PDI. We reached there at 10:40 AM.
Nine minutes later, I was in the dealership’s small stockyard, staring directly ahead for the very first time with eyes and heart full of love and admiration – at my ICARUS!
Continue reading BHPian RavenAvi’s Mahindra XUV700 ownership review for more insights and information.