On bad roads, my cousins in the Maruti Brezza were tossed up and down whereas the Mahindra XUV500 had to slow down but my used SUV simply went flat.
BHPian puneetakhouri recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
I am an SUV convert now
Post purchasing the Storme after driving a Baleno for a long term, it took me some unlearning the hatch and learning a BoF SUV. But 3 months and 5500 kms later I can confidently say that the initial observations that I put in need to be updated because now I understand the Storme very well.
The amount of luggage that the Storme swallowed was massive. 2 large + 2 mediums + 2 small suitcases with space to keep duffle bags and snack bags and whatnot.
The truck usually takes around 52L of diesel post the fuel light glows up.
Notice the rear end slightly sagging due to the load on the rear axle from 3 passengers + 100 kilos of load.
Recently did a 1500 km trip (Mumbai Goa return) for a cousin’s destination wedding. We were 5 adults and a kid (1.5yrs) with lots and lots of luggage. Decided to take the Storme for the trip as it would be a test of its cruising abilities, plus the tickets to Goa have become very pricey, especially with Go-Air saga unfolding.
Other cars have 4 bottle holders, Storme has one holder that can fit 4 bottles.
I had also got the tires changed recently to Continentals so this was going to be a review of these as well. Apart from the Storme, there was also my cousin’s Brezza (1.5 petrol) and another cousin in an XUV500 tagging along.
We took the Mumbai-Kolhapur-Nipani-Amboli-South Goa route.
In my early posts, I mentioned that I prefer the ride quality of the Baleno to a Storme’s. How naive was I, the Storme is a sofa and glides along on any type of road. We drove the Mumbai Pune expressway where the drive was effortless, the bad roads near Amboli where my cousins in Brezza were tossed up and XUV500 would slow down, the Storme would simply go flat.
I had numerous stretches where the cars would overtake me and vanish but I would catch up and overtake and vanish whenever the stretch of bad roads arrive, and they were in plenty. At the end of the journey both ways, when we got off the vehicle, we were absolutely fresh. I mean I have driven these stretches so many times and came out with a mild headache manoeuvring the bad roads and changing gears and all, but here there was absolutely nothing.
The Storme had a lot of luggage, and with the soft suspension, the rear would bottom out at places like speed breakers, but then I started slowing down for them. Otherwise, for bad roads, the drive was effortless.
The seats, especially the rear are fantastic, to say the least. We all complain of poor under-thigh support in so many cars, but that is not the case with the Storme’s seats. Excellent cushioning, excellent under-thigh support, perfect backrest angle. Even the front seats have adjustable lumbar supports which make the seats super comfortable although they lack under-thigh support a bit.
The 2.2 Varicor is a torquey engine. I have driven Scorpios and XUVs and the mHawk is definitely a lot more livelier engine than this but this is no sloth either. The truck weighs 2000kg unladen + 5 adults weighing nearly 350kgs total + around 100kg of luggage, and yet when the turbo spools, be it a ghat or a flat-out road or whatever, it pulls like a monster. I was overtaking vehicles at will when the engine was on the boil. However, that being said, the truck needs to be in the mid-range to be able to do that below that it is a slow cruiser with loads of torque but no acceleration. The truck returned an efficiency of 13.75kmpl which is great considering the load + dual AC and the road conditions.
So my truck’s AC has a leak somewhere, I got the gas charged last week and went for the trip. The AC is a chiller, and although the western regions do not get as hot as the north (here the humidity is an irritant more than the heat), the AC performed beautifully with the front AC running on blower level 2 (out of 4) and rear running at 1 (out of 3). BTW engine performance here does not get affected at all with the AC running, I guess there is actually no replacement for displacement.
Ehh, you got me here!!! So as expected a top-heavy, loaded to-the-brim SUV is not going to be a handler in any case and this is on expected lines. The Storme changes directions at will as you will command but it will let its displeasure shown by leaning in the opposite direction and you will have to get your foot off the accelerator. But once you understand how to handle it, as I have, you will automatically be able to pull it off easily without any problems at all. I remember driving the Chorla Ghats in an XUV500 a few years back and it drives like a car with body roll of course but is a lot of fun. The Storme is not meant to do that at all.
The steering being hydraulic has a lot of feel and feedback. You are taking a turn and as you turn the steering, it gets heavier and at the same time all the road irregularities come to the wheel making it feel very satisfactory.
While the steering is heavy, I am coming from a Baleno which had one of the lightest steerings out there and I do not find it to be too heavy. The only thing I do is to turn the steering only while the vehicle is moving and am able to comfortably do one-hand turns without any worries.
However, my steering has slight play in the rack which I will get fixed eventually.
I recently swapped the stock tyres with Continental Cross Contact AX6 in stock size (235/70R16). I was unimpressed by the looks as I wanted something with white stickering like the MRF Wanderers. But apart from that this is definitely a superior tyre. Minimal road noise, excellent grip in dry weather, fewer pebbles sticking in the tyres don’t know how. Overall an excellent purchase at 8400/- per piece.
Now this is where I would need some help from the experts here. I hear strange noises coming from the engine bay during acceleration. So suppose I am climbing a flyover and press the accelerator, there is a strange faint krr krr sound coming from the engine bay as long as there is a load on the engine. Even when the turbo kicks in and the vehicle is accelerating there is this krr krr sound coming till the load on the engine goes away.
I suspect it to be sound from the turbo but there is no black smoke coming from the engine and the boost is also good post-2000 RPM. There is no white smoke coming as well so I doubt it is the injectors. I tried reproducing it with the mechanic but at that point, it did not create those sounds so we could not figure out the root cause. Got the air filter changed also so I am not sure what could it be. Any help would be deeply appreciated.
When I purchased the Storme, it was a total heart decision and I let all my logical reason go out the window. Loved the vehicle and it seems to be loving me back by bringing a smile to everybody’s face whoever travels in it. Now I also understand that once you go SUV, why you cannot go back to smaller or lower vehicles.
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