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Old 18th November 2005, 13:32   #1
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Default Used car: Zen or Alto?

My father-in-law is planning to buy a used car. His preference is a small car from the Maruti stable. He's comfortable driving Maruti vehicles since he's driving a '94 M800 already.

He wants to upgrade because:
1. M800 is now 13-14 years old.
2. He needs some useful things like Power steering, A/C
3. A newer car is more comfortable than an old one - in terms of road shock absorbence, rattles, etc.

Budget: First feeling is 2.25L - 2.50L, but doesnt really matter as long as the car is comfortable.

Vintage: 2002/2003

Keeping the above in mind, what car would suit him best? An Alto LXI or a Zen LXI? Originally he was looking specifically for Alto LXI, but his trusty mechanic told him that Alto has pronounced rattles after 20K kms. Any truth to this statement?
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Old 18th November 2005, 13:51   #2
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Zen would be a better choice than Alto.Slightly more spacious interior and boot.

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Old 18th November 2005, 13:55   #3
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Let me put it this way. Zen is obviously a better car, no doubt. However, is there a reason NOT to choose the Alto?
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Old 18th November 2005, 14:28   #4
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For new & used car, Alto LX will be cheaper than Zen.

However, if you are ready to buy used one, try to look for Alto VX (1.1L). It's a superb car. There's no rattle at 40K+ km. Alto is also higher than Zen in seating position.

Last Dec I bought an used Alto VX in Cal for Rs 1.7Lakh. Both my dad & me use the car in Calcutta at least 50 km/week. In one year, we didn't face any major problem (no rattles). (You know how bad calcutta roads are!)

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Old 18th November 2005, 14:31   #5
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well i have bought both the alto and zen (both around 3 months old)..well as logic says the zen is much better,much peppier and fun to drive..however the alto is not that far behind but one can feel it being underpowered and the steering being not that responsive as the zen..and btw the boot space of the alto is bigger than the zen..
given a choice i would go for the zen..
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Old 18th November 2005, 17:03   #6
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if the used car is an Alto VXI 1.1 then its a much better buy otherwise you should choose the zen ... 1.1 alto is a hard find but then your father in law isnt looking for performance...

so ,between the Zen LXI and the Alto LXI the zen suits the profile more..

i cant say anything about rattles because mine is 8000kms done but driven very hard till now we havent had a problem...

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Old 18th November 2005, 17:28   #7
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I would say you should go for Alto (regardless of .8 or 1.1). Your dady is not going to race around in town, so performance is not a BIG issue. Alto is a generations ahead of Zen. Its more safer, has good power steering and is easy to handle. And about rattles, i think the reverse is true. Zen, coming from the good old M800 days, is a rattling toy once past 15k, but thats not the case with Alto. And not to forget Zen has a cart like suspension and poor brakes, whereas Alto's Booster assisted brakes and Suspension is right up there with the best in A/B segment.

P.S. As a simple test, just close the doors of both Alto and Zen. You will listen to a solid "thud" sound in Alto not found in Zen ;-)
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Old 18th November 2005, 17:31   #8
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Topic moved to What Car? Please look around and post your threads in the relevant section

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Old 22nd November 2005, 10:05   #9
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Yes, the Alto is very difficult to find in the 2nd hand market. I guess people dont go around selling them because its a good car.

Well, it looks like a pendulum vote - could swing either way. I'll be on the lookout for both cars. May the best car on the day win.
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Old 4th December 2005, 11:01   #10
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Considering the aging factor of ur Father-In-Law, the Wagon R or hte Santro would be the best car for him, as age passes by, he will find it very difficult gettin in and out of the Zen and Alto, even the driving position is not so good for an eldery person in these... his best bet is to go for Wangon R (if particular of Marti bandwagon) or the Santro.
Santro would be cheaper in this case.
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