Our first long term from Mahindra is the Verito Vibe and although it has already completed over a month with us, an unfortunate incident had kept it away from action for close to three weeks. The Vibe is now back on duty for the monsoons, accompanying us mainly on the photo shoots.
We love the space that is offered by the Vibe – the boot is large for the equipment, one person can comfortably sit on the back seat, while our part time, oversized photographer occupies rest of the space taking tracking shots. In any other hatchback, Charles would get into the boot, but the Vibe does not have a proper hatch and that is an issue even if someone if not trying to sit in there. The access is not very easy; the luggage needs to be loaded through a relatively small opening and it is a tedious process.
Taking this car is economical – we have consistently managed to get an efficiency of around 18kpl on the highways. Even in cities it does not drop below 15kpl and that along with the cabin space are its biggest assets.
The discussion on looks of the Vibe have always aroused mixed opinions in the team, while Venkat and I have never been big fans of it, Charles strongly defends the looks – especially of the tail section. Then again looker or not, the Vibe is a head turner and that is an achievement since the Verito sedan is completely invisible in the crowd.
The NVH levels are a bit below acceptable levels, everyone in the car has to raise the voice to communicate if we are travelling at anything over 100 kph. The music system is of decent quality considering the price point but it acts a little weird. I was able to play songs of my old iPod, but it did not detect the relatively new version of the same. The volume levels reset every time the car is switched-on.
We had a small incident with the car within the first few days – a reversing three-wheeler hit the rear fender of our parked car. The damage was restricted mainly to rear panel, but it was big enough that we could not continue without getting it fixed. The actual work should not have taken more than a week, but Mahindra for some reason required three to hand us the car again. We were told that there were some internal issues related to insurance as the Vibe is part of the media fleet and customer cars don’t require as much time. The cost of painting the rear quarter panel and touch up for the door costs close to Rs 9,000 at Mahindra service centre and that we think is a pretty decent price.
The Vertio Vibe has done little over 2,000 km from the time it joined us and most of them have been on the highways. This month though it should do lot more city runs and we will see if the car makes more sense than the conventional hatchbacks for daily commutes.