Upgraded from an i10 to a Scorpio N 4×4: Initial impressions & thoughts

I had eyes fixed on the Bolero Neo as my upgrade. My requirement was very simple. A robust go anywhere body on frame vehicle.

BHPian Dodge_Viper recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

“KD ye gaadi out and out tere liye bana hai” (KD, out and out this car has been made for you).

A photo had popped up with this statement in Whatsapp from BHPian cartman. I downloaded it sometime later and saw a photo of Scorpio N and Thar side by side. He knew my love for Thar so I assumed he was talking about Thar. But no.

The upgrade itch:

I was driving a humble Hyundai i10 1.2 Sportz which served me very well for almost 12 years. Never even in those 12 years it let me down. It worked flawlessly all the time. Never face any kind of issues. Clocked close to 1.20 lakh kms on it. It could have gone for another 10 years easily but then at some point you do realise that you have to upgrade. Given the road conditions and idiotic traffic, safety takes priority over emotional value. i10 was without airbags and ABS hence the need for a safer car was a must.

Till this time I had eyes fixed on the Bolero Neo as my upgrade. My requirement was very simple. A robust go anywhere body on frame vehicle. I didn’t care about all those fancy features. I simply needed a robust car which will take me beyond the limits of my i10. My treks take me to some remote parts of Maharashtra. Since we stick to unknown and least popular treks, almost everytime we suffer due to the non existant roads/mountain trails to reach the base. Bolero Neo ticked almost all boxes. A 4×4 was nice to have but given my initial budget of 15 lakhs, I didn’t have any option available. Thar was never considered due to it’s limitations of 2 rear seats and lack of boot space. It had to be a single car do it all. Scorpio N was launched way back in June 2022. It looked promising but I knew by the time I am in a position to buy there will be a couple of price hikes and it will not fit in my budget. I had for a short while considered the Scorpio Classic base version as well. But paying 15 lakhs for a absolute zero features car was something I couldn’t digest

But that particular photo changed everything. It was at that time I had decided, my next car HAS to be Scorpio N. Its either Scorpio N or nothing else.

Booking process:

Around January 2023, I had finally decided to go ahead with my car purchase. I looked up on the current prices of Scorpio N. Z4 4×4 MT variant was something I could stretch a bit from 15 lakhs. Went over videos again and again. It was a variant with basic features but I was not bothered with all fancy features. Now Mahindra had only prioritized the top end variant Z8L, hence only this variant was available at all showrooms. I had to rely only on few Youtube videos for Z4. It was some unritten rule of mine that I will test drive only the variant which I will actually buy . Went to Sahyadri motors at Baner and got the current price list. This was the first close look of the Scorpio N. Checked it inside out. Space and comfort wise it was perfect. Since Z8L was equipped with all the bells and whistles I did not test drive it on that day. Got the pricing details and promised the sales advisor of booking in few days. It was confirmed that it will be the Z4 4×4 ESP MT variant. Family had no issues with the Scorpio N. They were ok with any car as long as it was a new car. On the booking day I was told the official waiting period was a whopping 1.5 years! I knew Mahindra had prioritized the production and deliveries of only the top end variant, but I still decided to go ahead with Z4. Z8L was obviously way way out of my budget. Paid 21000 as booking amount. This was the first time I decided to have a test drive since my family had also come. Test drive vehicle was Z8L as none of the showrooms had Z4 for a test drive. I secretly wished if only I had the budget to get Z8L or Z8 atleast to get all the premium features. Who knew what was destined later. Test drive lasted for 10-15 minutes and those were enough to seal the deal. Color? RED RAGE, it had to be red, my lucky color.

The painful wait:

A month or so later I got to know that there is no plan of producing Z4 for now. I was quite upset with this approach of Mahindra. Cartman again called up and brainwashed me to upgrade to Z8 atleast if not Z8L. As per his info and sources there was “hope” to get this variant early or atleast against some cancellation, since maximum bookings Mahindra had were for Z8 and Z8L, and there was greater scope of cancellations against these. My brain worked overtime doing financial calculations for the next few days and finally I decided to follow the YOLO approach. So from Z4 MT 4×4 ESP I went for Z8 MT 4×4 . The endless wait began. I was praying and praying to get it soon since I did not want any further price hike. These manufacturers are now notorious to hike prices every quarter. Finally almighty answered my prayers when I got a call from dealership on my car being allocated. One special mention for Sahyadri Motors, entire process was smooth. At no point they forced any insurance plans or accessories. They were ok for me to get insurance from outside in case they were not able to match, no questions asked.

Final price breakup:

  • Ex showroom: 2110500
  • BH registration: 35698
  • TCS: 21105
  • Fasttag: 500
  • RSA: 2021
  • Extended Warranty: 18879
  • Insurance from outside: 63776 (Showroom quoted 94781. Bhpian F50 to the rescue!)
  • Accessories: 11440
  • Total OTR: 22.63

Initially I had denied for any accessory pack. It was mentioned 50000 in the quotation. Later however decided to get the 3D mats, mud flaps, bumper corner protector and screen guard. These basic ones were anyways needed. I also got the ceramic package done. Ceramic coating with 3 year warranty and 3 times recoat, underbody some rubber coating, PPF on ORVM and insides of door handles, all this at 30k.

The first look of this beauty at stockyard:

PDI was done. Did not find any issues, everything was working fine. ODO reading was 64kms. Did all the formalities, payment was done, loan was processed and RTO formalities began. Decided to take delivery on auspicious Shravan Monday. First time ever in my life I was eagerly waiting for Monday to come and prayed for the weekend to vanish.

And then finally the beast was ready to come home:

A bag of goodies from Mahindra. A beautiful Ganesha idol, nice coffee mug, keychain and microfibre cloth plus a box of chocolates!

The MOST stressful 30 mins of my life. Driving it from showroom to home!

Coming to the Scorpio N:

Its HUGE. I was driving a little hatchback for 12 years. The only time I had driven a huge car ever was my friend’s Hexa from Mumbai to Udipi. It will take some time to get used to it.

New iterations of Scorpio N come with a flat floor in boot:

Tools are neatly integrated:

There are 2 sections to keep stuffs. I have put a tool kit and puncture repair kit. Unfortunately the air pump which I have doesn’t snug fit:

Jack has been concealed. This is a different jack as compared regular ones. Not sure if other SUVs also come equipped with this:

Cockpit view:

Second row view. Coffee brown leather interiors feel premium all around:

4×4 knob should have been placed elsewhere. This I feel is a major risk if kids tend to fiddle around:

Fancy AdrenoX connected car feature. I can do some stuffs remotely. Cool. All these things are new to me. The specs sheet had mentioned that it comes with 1 year of free subscription, however after KYC update and registration the validity is shown as 2 years:

Z8 has plenty of features over Z4 which I had initially considered and it was all worth the budget stretch.

With approximately 3.xx lakhs over Z4 (comparing the ex-showroom price) I get the below extra features:

  • 6 airbags (This alone was a worth upgrade as compared to 2 airbags in Z4)
  • Coffee brown leather trim all around compared to fabric seats, making the cabin far more premium than Z4
  • All LED lights. LED projector foglamps which are missing in Z4
  • Auto headlamps and wiper
  • Sunroof
  • Z4 has only parking sensors at the rear and no camera. For SUV this size rear view camera is a must have
  • Electric PS as compared to hydraulic
  • Dual zone Full Automatic Temperature Control
  • ArenoX connect
  • Wireless AA/AC as compared to wired in Z4
  • Color TFT cluster as compared to monochrome
  • Push button start
  • Z4 does not have 4XPLOR modes
  • Mechanical Locking Differential and Brake Locking Differential
  • TPMS. Its a boon to have it
  • Inbuilt navigation

These are definitely worth it. Anyone who plans to go for Z4 4×4 please stretch and opt for Z8. Each and every additional feature is worth it.

Initial Driving Impressions:

  • Disclaimer: This is the first time I am owning/driving any diesel SUV so these observations are my own viewpoint.
  • The clutch is very light and combined with the impressive electric power steering, its a breeze to drive
  • In my i10 I had to slow down for even small rough patches on road. With this I can fly over it
  • AC is a chiller. Even at 24 degrees it is reasonably chilly. There is a max mode as well which lowers the temperature and with full blower speed, cools down the big cabin in no time
  • With all 4 disc brakes, stopping time is excellent
  • Can easily chug along at low speeds in 2nd/3rd gear. By habit I tend to lower the gear only to realise I could have carried on in the same gear
  • With the driver seat at the highest position it gives a commanding view of the road ahead
  • There have been complaints about the LED headlight setup being not upto the mark. I am yet to take a night highway drive, however in the city I do find it sufficiently illuminated. Still these all LED lights are going to be a problem in rains
  • Parking this behemoth is a pain for me. I am not used to reverse park using camera hence this is going to be a learning exercise for a long time
  • Will wait for sometime to update on the highway manners
  • DEF was at 87% while at delivery and after 200kms it is 86%. This is completely new to me and need to learn about it
  • The cluster backlight is quite bright so Mahindra have give a digital speedo with an option to turn off the backlight illumination. Useful for night drives

The not so good things:

  • Steel rims on a 20+ lakh rupee car. Seriously Mahindra?
  • Android Auto and Apple Carplay are not activated from factory. One has to manually do a software update later from service center
  • Hopeless luggage space with all rows up
  • Third row is not split seats, neither it folds flat. It is a problem when you travel with 6 people and have bit of luggage
  • Bridgestone Ecopia tyres. No idea how they will perform. My i10 came with Bridgestones as stock and I absolutely hated them. However tyre upgrade is not on the cards immediately. So will have to live with them
  • 360 degree camera should have been provided, given the size of this car
  • As mentioned earlier, 4×4 knob should have been placed elsewhere or atleast some sort of locking mechanism should have been provided for accidental engages

I believe red Scorpio N is quite rare on road.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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