2017 Eicher Polaris Multix First Drive Review

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Modern day small cars have evolved over time and have become more practical and versatile than ever before. That said, they can still not match the flexibility of some of the home grown models that are fast catering to the needs of rural and small town customers. One such clever little vehicle is the Multix. It is the first product to come out of the Eicher-Polaris JV and is being manufactured in Jaipur.

As the name suggests, the Multix is a mutli-utility vehicle that does more what meets the eye. In a nutshell, it can transport your family of five, turn into a load carrier for your small business and even power your shop if electricity plays hide and seek. Farmers can use the Multix to power their water pumps and the list is endless. Makes me wonder why didn’t anyone else think of coming up with such a versatile product till now!

Polaris Multix Review Interior
Spacious front cabin

As much as the Multix is an interesting concept, when I got to know about the ‘drive experience’, I was more than thrilled. After all, its not everyday that you drive a small commercial vehicle around an off-road track. Now this is the same place that witnessed some of the best 4×4 jumps we have ever seen (head over to the article) and is located on the Gurgaon-Faridabad road.

Polaris Multix Review Interior
Basic but very comfortable

Once we were ┬átaken through the product presentation, it was time to look at the Multix through the eyes of prospective customer. And his family! I say this because my first experience wasn’t behind the wheel, but at the back, in the second row. We went about taking a visit of the small route first – five of us in the little Multix did make me a bit apprehensive. But once I got used to the clatter of the single cylinder diesel motor, things started looking good. This thing was utterly comfortable!

Polaris Multix Review Interior
Independent suspension and rear mounted engine

The Mutlix comes with lot of segment first features – independent suspension all around for example. And this gives it a remarkable ride quality over bumps. This combined with ample legroom and headroom in the second row makes the Multix the most comfortable option out there in the market in this price segment. What’s more, you can even fold the rear seat, dismantle the rear glass and cover to convert this into a load carrier, all within three minutes.

Polaris Multix Review Interior
Zipping around on the off road track

So when I finally got a chance to drive the Multix (MX version), I was in for more surprises. Inspite of my big frame, the front row felt good. Lot of space around, including an almost flat floor and excellent visibility will surely be a boon in congested lanes IMO. And though there is enough clatter from the diesel mill, vibration and harshness levels are really well controlled. The gear lever, for example, does not dance around like in other rivals. Ditto for the steering which remains vibration free.

Going over bumps in 1st gear (without the clutch – thanks to short gearing)

With 9.9 PS of power available from the 510cc engine, this thing isn’t about going fast. 27 Nm is a good figure in terms of torque and this combined with short gearing means you can start the Multix from standstill in 2nd gear without a fuss. I did that a couple of times!

Polaris Multix Review Interior
No power steering – but you don’t feel the need once you get going

Our test route was interesting. Tight maneuvers through cones, bumpy sections over undulations, a mini slush pit and even going over tree boulders, the Multix took it all. There is so much low end torque available that you don’t have to burn the clutch while driving through obstacles. We even did a ‘fast’ lap around the track through loose sand and the Multix felt reassuring for a commercial vehicle – limited roll and low center of gravity certainly helps.

Joys of rear wheel drive!

The experience was short but I spent a good hour watching others grinning from ear to ear. I guess Eicher Polaris has successfully managed to shatter the myth of ‘cheap utility vehicles’ being tough and crude to drive. Even the quality of panels inside the Multix is great. And the clever bits always continue to impress you – for example, the floating type head restraints for the front passengers.

Eicher Polaris Multix Review
The Multix is already a successful product for Eicher-Polaris

The Multix is sold in two versions of AX+ and MX with prices starting at Rs 3.43 lakh. This is good value considering the various roles it can play in the life of an owner. It can be registered both privately and with a commercial plate as well. As for ‘kitna deti hai’ – well, the official figure stands at 27kmpl which is equivalent to 32kmpl in terms of petrol running costs, excellent for a vehicle of this class.

Here is the FACEBOOK Live that I did from the event

Enjoy these images!

Like the Tata Nano, even this one has a rear engine!
Spare wheel is located up front

 

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