For the last one month, the Mahindra Verito Vibe has been my companion for the daily torture test and commute of 52 km from home to office and back. At the end of it, with a very heavy heart, the hatchback has been returned to Mahindra (fortunately) in one piece and here is our closing report.
Efficiency is the most important criteria when the weekly office commute is 260km and the overall time taken to cover this distance is close to 15 hours. The average speed of around 17kph includes waiting at toll queues, driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, negotiating non-existent roads with few ditches that will put lunar craters to shame, couple of signals and finally few minutes of peace on the Palm Beach road. We are sure any car in India can manage that a few times, I have been on this route with a few low-slung premium cars. But making any car do this, five days a week – six weeks in a row, is pure evil!
With only a few additional squeaks and rattles, the Vibe proved to be one of the grittiest hatchbacks we tested at CarWale. The efficiency figures were always reasonable hovering at around 14.5kpl to 15.5kpl. The fuel tank of 45 litres is bigger than most hatchbacks and C-Segment sedans and these extra five to seven litres let you travel couple of more days, before making a harried visit to the fuel pump when you are already late for office.
The suspension works well on bad roads, there hasn’t been a time when it has bottomed-out. It may not be one of the best handling or the most comfortable hatchback; however, it can certainly manage rough stuff a lot better than any other car in its segment. There is one flaw though; the spare tyre is outside under the boot – like in SUVs. We picked up a couple of punctures and it becomes extremely tedious to change the tyre and we hope Mahindra moves the spare tyre to the boot.
The Vibe has decent low-end torque for slow moving traffic. It is easy to keep moving at walking speeds in second gear, at the same time step on the gas for a decent thrust to close-in the gap or for a quick exit from the toll booth.
The seating position is decent, the air conditioner cools pretty quickly and the rear defogger did its job well in the monsoon. It could have done with a rear wiper as some amount of muck reaches the rear windshield and visibility at times gets hamper. The hydraulic steering wheel feels heavier compared to most hatchbacks and it takes extra efforts to manoeuvre the car at low speeds. After four weeks of incessant abuse, the driver side door would not lock properly. It turned out to be a minor problem that we managed to fix ourselves without spending anything. But none of the above issues are a deal breaker and with all the mentioned problems I still think it is one of the best hatchbacks in the segment.
The music system, though, definitely requires an upgrade, I complained about it in the last report and during the city use I found it even more tedious. Every time we cranked the car at the traffic signal, the volume would reset to blaring music.
My opinion about its looks hasn’t changed; however, it gets noticed. There were more than couple of instances when people walked up to me and inquired about it. The main reason was that they were looking to buy the Vibe and wanted to know about the performance, and once someone walked up and complimented me on the choice of the car.
We returned the Vibe to Mahindra with over 12,700km on the odometer, clocking close to 6,000km in a span of three months. Mahindra is not the preferred brand for sedans or hatchbacks and that is the basic reason that despite the competitive price, the Vibe does not get the deserved attention. If you are looking for a hatchback from the utility perspective, do check out the Vibe before making the final decision.