Maruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki XL6 review

₹ 14,39,000


Family movers aren’t exactly objects of desire, but that hasn’t dampened Maruti’s spirits from making the XL6 an object of indulgence. Well, at least if you are to believe the campaign for this facelifted 6-seater. The Ertiga and XL6 twins have both been significant cars for Maruti Suzuki and until the Kia Carens came knocking on its door, the XL6 almost enjoyed a monopoly for the longest time in this segment. So does the “all-new” but really mildly updated XL6 have what it takes to compete with the new-age Korean?

We take the top of the line Alpha+ manual and automatic variants for a spin around Nandi Hills in Bengaluru…


Essentially the same as the outgoing model but with a thicker chrome bar across the front to give it a more butch appearance, the XL6 still looks like a people carrier, but with a little more attitude now.

The full LED headlamps have more segmentation for a sharper look and even the LED taillights get enclosed in a smoky lens for a touch of modernity and sportiness. The side profile hasn’t seen much change, except for the wheels that get upsized to 16in now and the new alloy design with a machined finish works well to add a hint of glamour.

Step inside and it’s more or less the same as the previous-gen, again with minor updates to the plastic trim bits and the faux wood applique on the dashboard. What can make you an instant fan of the XL6 if you’re a family man though is the comfort offered by the seats. Maruti always gets the cushion firmness just right, with mild bolstering on the sides that makes long-distance travel complain-free. 

What’s more is now the front seats are ventilated too, bringing the XL6 in line with the latest competition and frankly, your back will thank for it more than your wallet. It also works via a suction method instead of blowing air out through the perforations, thereby making it useful for cooler climes too.


The biggest changes though are to the tech buried inside the Smartplay Pro infotainment system. The home screen is oversimplified into three tiles and while the interface is quick and the touch response is lag-free, a dash of colour would’ve brightened things up a lot.

There’s a new 360 degree surround-view camera that works just fine but could’ve been done with better resolution and less fish-eye distortion. But you can’t deny the convenience it provides in congested city parking conditions nevertheless. An advanced Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is displayed on the 8in touchscreen too and is a new inclusion. Again, extremely useful during long journeys and it highlights the tyre that is low in pressure instantly, allowing you to take corrective action.

Dig deeper into the menu and you will also find basic voice commands that are native to Maruti Suzuki and can be accessed with a steering wheel mounted button, dedicated key on the touchscreen or just by calling out “Hi Suzuki”. Since you can only control four of the most rudimentary features, there’s also deeper integration with Amazon Alexa where you can shoot commands to your XL6 even while seated inside the confines of your home. 

There are areas of improvement in terms of connectivity and the most obvious one is the USB front. For a three-row vehicle, only one USB-A port in the entire car is simply unacceptable. There are a couple of 12V sockets but the lack of USB-A or USB-C ports for the second and third rows is going to pinch kids with a screen fetish. Also, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are only the wired variety, so be sure to keep a cable within reach. 

Sharing pin codes with your smartphone, the Suzuki Connect app adds another layer of functionality, including remote start of the AC (only the automatic variants), which we can all appreciate in our toasty country. Of course, like every other connected car app, it also gives you alerts on vehicle location, stats, remote lock/unlock…and over 40 features if you’re really into numbers. 


The last big change lies under the hood where the XL6 gains a new petrol heart and marries it to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Making roughly 100bhp and 136Nm of torque, it’s clearly optimised for fuel economy and Maruti claims the FE numbers to hover around 20 kmpl, which won’t be surprising if we ever had to put it under observation. But in the limited time we had with the car, it was more about getting a feel of this new combination. 

Let’s just say that this isn’t a car for the enthusiastic driver but will suit the personality of anyone who has the been entrusted with transporting five other passengers safely. The airbag count of “only” four might not rank high, but the XL6 does come with hill hold assist and ESP as an added shield to enhance overall safety. Stomp on the throttle and the 1.5L litre engine groans in protest, forcing you to ease into building the momentum where it feels the most refined and hushed. 

The ride is a bit stiff at low speeds but improves as you go faster, soaking up undulations well. The comfortable first and second rows with captain seats let you relax over long drives but the third row is tight and only meant for children. All three rows offer reclining seats though and that’s a big up in aiding comfort. Getting into the third row isn’t a single tumble affair, but it’s not too cumbersome either. 

If you want better driveability, the 5-speed manual is more responsive and doesn’t sound like it’s being strangled, unlike with the 6-speed auto box. But driving fun isn’t what most of the target customers are looking for here, but rather efficiency and practicality.

The keen-eyed lot will also question the Smart Hybrid badge on the tailgate and this is a combination of features like mild boost during initial acceleration, engine auto start/stop and regen to a limited extent. Of the three, the only real measurable is engine start-stop, but when combined with the other two, does allow Maruti to extract the legendary mileage its cars are known for. 

Road noise is well managed and even the 6-speaker audio system sounds better than any previous Maruti efforts, thanks to the improved electronics and amp in the Smartplay Pro head unit. It’s more full-bodied in the midrange and bass, without the usual tendency to rattle the door panels as you turn up the volume like on other Maruti vehicles. 


Practical, stylish and now with more tech than ever, the Maruti Suzuki XL6 makes for a great family mover. But with its new, increased price tag and lack of any dynamic involvement for the driver, it’s an MPV that has to be chosen for a specific purpose.

In terms of space, utility and comfort, it undercuts the Kia Carens by a big margin and if you are in the market for a six-seater with captain seating, it does narrow down your search even further. The XL6 then, won’t be a stranger to success!

Stuff Says

A family mover with ease, comfort and some useful tech updates that make it more modern, but not any more dynamic.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. 360-degree camera and remote AC start

  1. UV and Infrared shielding glass useful

  1. Easy to drive, like every other Maruti

  1. Cooled cupholders

  1. Engine lacks low-end grunt and sounds strained

  1. Only one USB port in the whole cabin

  1. No wireless charging nor wireless CarPlay

Engine: 1.5L 4 cyl NA
Power: 100hp, 136Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto/5-sp manual
Fuel tank: 45lts
Wheels: 195/60 R16