The monsoons hit Mumbai with a bang in the second week of June and have barely let up since.
Like the rains, our Verito has just been going on and on since our last report in June, racking up a further 8,000km in the past two-and-a-half months. But make no mistake, the excessive running and Mumbai’s infamous potholed roads at this time of year do not seem to have dampened the smooth running of the car in any major way. It has powered its way through flooded roads and even hit a few nasty, concealed potholes that made me get out and check if the tyres were okay, but it’s a tough little cookie, and came away unscathed.
The Verito’s 185/70-R14 JK Vectra tubeless tyres have decent grip going through corners on very wet roads, even at a pretty brisk speed – something I have no doubt about, having made more than a few trips to Pune and back since the rains started. The car felt very reassuring, even the few times it hit large puddles of standing water on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway in torrential rain.
I do have a few complaints to report, however. The car does pull slightly to the left, a problem that will most probably be solved with a wheel alignment check during the next service, which will be due by the time you read this. Apart from that? Well, the right rear door seems a bit sticky and makes a noise when I open it, something I think can be taken care of with a little bit of WD-40 applied to the hinges. Speaking of the doors, I also have to mention that all of them do feel a bit heavy to push open from inside the car – perhaps the WD-40 will fix this too. The digital fuel gauge has also started to malfunction; on topping up the car with fuel, the gauge sometimes reads two bars below full. This minor problem has cropped up twice in the last four fill-ups, and interestingly, is something we’ve noticed on our long-term Renault Duster as well. Talk about family values.
Space and ride quality, as we already know, are major highlights of the Verito. Five people and a few bags tucked in comfortably was a good way to test the car’s ride comfort during a recent trip to a colleague’s farmhouse over varied road surfaces. Good highway, broken tarmac and a huge portion of potholed to slushy sections on the way getting there, all comfortably dispatched without fuss. However, out of the blue, the high-mounted rear brake light managed to dislodge itself from its perch on the rear parcel shelf. As a result, at night, every time I brake, it lights up the entire cabin like a cricket stadium, which is very distracting. Must remember to have this checked out at the next service too.
So, in my almost 20,000km with the Mahindra saloon so far, I’ve noticed a handful of minor, quality-related niggles. And while this is a shame, I can’t help but be impressed by how toughly engineered the car is overall, where it really matters.
Price Rs. 8.95 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Test economy 16kpl (overall)
Maintenance costs None
Faults High-mounted brake light dislodged itself