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Old 12th May 2008, 13:20   #1
GTO
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Default The SX4 / Swift Effect on Perceptions

• Poor build quality
• Persistent (and significant) rattles in first couple of thousand kilometers.
• Interior part quality sucks
• Uneven panel gaps
• Parts falling off
• Low refinement and vibrations
• Poor NVH (e.g. Horn is too loud on the inside)
• Clutch failures


Did we ever have a complaint about lack of refinement in a Japanese engine (SX4 a tad coarse at high rpms). Heck, Jap engines are inherently supposed to be revv happy. And what about the low rpm throttle response of Swift petrol?

Has anyone paid attention to the boot lid of the DZire? It is so damn fragile that it feels just like a damn wafer. Is this what we have come to expect of Maruti Suzuki?

Maruti quality has taken a massive dive, there aren't any two sides to this. Whatever happened to the blind trust that we had in MUL? Did any 1998 Esteems have the complaints listed above (poor build, uneven panel gaps etc. etc.). They are going downhill…no doubt. And they better do something about it before its too late to recover.

We say that Maruti / Suzuki cannot succeed in the 8+ lakh segment because of brand? HOGWASH. Its because their cars simply don’t have the sheer quality, refinement or finesse that customers from this segment want. You think the NHC is overpriced? Well, I can see where the extra 1.5 lac rupees has gone. Does the GV *feel* like a 15 lakh piece of machine from anywhere? Any guesses on why it has flopped in the market? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, does it have the quality befitting of a 15 lakh price tag?

These lapses have changed my perception of Maruti....and I know I am not alone here. Below 4.5 lakh rupees, their cars rock. Above that is where they need to work. I won't deny that the Swift / SX4 are great cars, and kudos to Maruti for offering a great diesel (1.3 JTD), ABS, Airbags etc. and a value-driven price. But the need of the hour is sheer quality.

Last edited by GTO : 12th May 2008 at 13:26.
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Old 12th May 2008, 13:29   #2
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GTO, gosh I am suprised to hear that for Maruti. I heard exactly and I mean exactly the same for Tata Cars many times.

Somebody say the same about Hyundai cars and rest other about GM. Ford will get its own share of curse from some other group.

Does that means Tata is not far behind , just a thought.

BTW I will get my SX4 Today or tommorrow, and you are making me anxious

Last edited by rkbharat : 12th May 2008 at 13:32.
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Old 12th May 2008, 13:41   #3
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GTO, it looks like you have summed up nicely what Maruti lacks or needs to focus on in the above WagonR segment. I agree with your views, as going by threads posted on this forum and elsewhere, there are several niggling issues in cars above that range from the Maruti stable.
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:07   #4
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I've heard from an industry insider that the Maruti plant has now become old and obsolete.
"Its been valued down to zero",he added.
Their production capacity is very very low and they have NO intention of increasing it to keep operating costs low.
There's your reason for 3 months waiting on the Swift D and DZire! And now you know how they are "VFM"!
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:08   #5
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Yup GTO is right .
Post 1998 the quality of MUL products have taken a nose dip !

I have a 1996 Maruti 800 which is 12 yrs old and has 50 K kms on the odo. No rattles no sweaks and no funny noises what so ever.

Only thing I have ever changed are the tyres and headlamp bulbs and reflectors ( They had gone dull over the years ).

My friend just bought a Swift 4 months ago and has 1500 k kms on the odo.

The Swift rattles like hell. On Saltlake roads ( Kolkata ), the rattles are loud enough to cause temporary loss of hearing. Even a 30 yr old Amby rattles less.
Apart from these, there are power window problems; they operate according to their mood. The clutch vibrates.

The body panel gaps of the SX4 are way too much for a car of that price.

One more thing, whose quality has taken a more nose dive than the MUL products is Maruti after sales service.
M.A.S.S. has quantity but no quality.

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Old 12th May 2008, 14:11   #6
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Default Need a Poll ?

I guess we really need a poll here where on board Maruti owners can cast their vote. That will clear the doubts about perception and reality. Also I suggest that results should be sent to MUL headquarters for them to wakeup before its too late (just in case ).
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:17   #7
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GTO, you said it!

Maruti cars lacks the quality, finesse present in other global car brands!

They are able to sell cars to India due to:
1. Huge market for small cars
2. Their brand image in India
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Does the GV *feel* like a 15 lakh piece of machine from anywhere?
Absolutely not.
Apart from the issues that GTO has stated, Maruti cars suffer from one more issue and that is cheap batteries. They fit the cheapest Exide batteries which last for around 1.5 yrs only. We had a replace the battery in our new esteem after 1.5 yrs only and same thing happened with my BIL' s car.

Last edited by Rehaan : 22nd December 2010 at 19:23. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:30   #9
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Jaggu keeps replacing those plastic clip/buttons (for plastic parts locking). There are plenty of them in his Swift's cubby hole.
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:31   #10
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I have a SX4 Zxi that has done 12,000+ Kms ONLY. I am not a rash driver. Fast at times, yes but definately not rash and I NEVER fly over potholes or rough roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
[i]• Poor build quality
Persistent (and significant) rattles in first couple of thousand kilometers.
Door panels are rattling. All 4 of them. Even the speakers are beginning to rattle. (Speakers phat raha hai)

Quote:
Interior part quality sucks
Never been in a NHC, Fiesta or Verna so can't comment on how it stands upto competition but by itself, yes, the interior plastics could be better. Definately, not Rs.8 Lacs plus quality.

Quote:
Parts falling off
So far it hasn't happened but going by how my car 'feels' after 12K kms, I am not ruling out something like that happening.

Quote:
Low refinement and vibrations
True. The JK tyres are the worst I have seen on any car in the world! Vibrations starting from standstill are felt too.

Quote:
Poor NVH (e.g. Horn is too loud on the inside)
Agree with that too. Yes, horn feels very loud inside and even road and wind noise is on the higher side. My Rs.5 Lac Palio does a much better job at shutting out noise.

Quote:
Did we ever have a complaint about lack of refinement in a Japanese engine (SX4 a tad coarse at high rpms). Heck, Jap engines are inherently supposed to be revv happy.
Exactly my thoughts everytime I drive the SX4. In fact, the engine feels a bit ponderous and heavy - thats how European petrol engines feel. And yea, the SX4 engine gets VERY coarse from 2.5K rpms. Even my Palio engine gets noisy at high rpms but the sound is sporty against the SX4's coarse sound.

Quote:
We say that Maruti / Suzuki cannot succeed in the 8+ lakh segment because of brand? HOGWASH. Its because their cars simply don’t have the sheer quality, refinement or finesse that customers from this segment want.
I haven't been able to accept the fact that the power window's are not back lit. Why did Maruti give a back lit cigaratte lighter and no back lit power windows is a mystery I haven't understood. And this issue gets more serious because the placement of the power window switches is so odd that everytime I want to put the drivers side window down i end up pushing the passenger side rear window down! Poor ergonomics too. Yes, the Palio's PW switches are backlit and the car costs Rs.5L!

Please note that the Palio is in the picture only because it's the other car I own and it has nothing to do with Fiat or Palio in particular.

Quote:
BTW I will get my SX4 Today or tommorrow, and you are making me anxious
Seriously, you should be.

I bought the car for it's impressive and industry standard safety features, climate control, steering controls, big tyres but trust me all those luxo-safety features effect wore off very fast once the 'true' SX4 popped out.

And no matter what Maruti or anyone says. The EPS is faulty. No doubts about it.


It's the worst steering (Electric, Hydraulic or ElectroMechnical) I have experienced in all the cars that I have driven till today in my life!

On friday, I was with two friends having dinner. One has a Swift Zxi and the other has a Zen. Both are looking to buy a sedan this year. I told them (and many others) not to even look at the SX4. Are you reading this Maruti?

Last edited by amit : 12th May 2008 at 14:36.
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:38   #11
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Finally someone brings up the Discussion ! GTO has summed it up well.
Im quite shocked with the interior quality and overall built quality of my 1 month Swift. Rattles started from Day 1 as expected. Maruti still has a lot to learn in the C+ segment . Sx4 would have done better had MSIL given better interior quality. I hope MSIL is going to do their homework .
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:50   #12
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I am glad that Swift / SX4 owners are taking this thread in the right spirit. I dont mean to lambast these cars....their sales do prove that there is inherent value provided. Don't get me wrong, I do think that they are good cars (for the price). But my point is, the days of blindly trusting "MUL Quality" are gone. Long gone.

Anyone wondering why I wrote this up on a monday? Well, last evening I drove my Jiju's Swift ZXi. It has covered about 22,000 kms. Man, that car felt like it has run 50,000 kms! The gearshift felt rubbery and certainly not like that of a new Swift....rattles and road noise galore.....engine responsiveness was lacking, it just didnt feel right. Mind you, all maintenance schedules have been adhered to, at Vitesse (The best Maruti service IMHO). And then, in the last week, someone who bought a Dzire came by to take me for a drive. I tell you, that boot lid is made out of hardened tissue paper.

Ever wondered why developed economies (USA, UK etc.) see Suzuki as a sub-standard brand? Heck, forget Honda & Toyota....I never imagined there would be a day when I would call a Hyundai (Getz) better built than a Maruti (Swift).

Quote:
Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
Maruti cars lacks the quality, finesse present in other global car brands!

They are able to sell cars to India due to:
1. Huge market for small cars
2. Their brand image in India
Add low cost of ownership to your equation (value pricing, fuel efficient engines, low cost of service, reasonably priced spares, good resale).

Last edited by GTO : 12th May 2008 at 14:53.
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:54   #13
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Talking Let me disagree

I can agree to a limit, but i feel its lil over blown comments. Generalization rather, and replies in bold below, are purely my view of Maruti as a manufacturer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
• Poor build quality
• Persistent (and significant) rattles in first couple of thousand kilometers.

Yup rattles galore, more to do with plastic clips than anything else.

• Interior part quality sucks

I dont understand this, i think its really good. Dont have a single complaint on this front. Actually moving from a prev gen car, i LOVE the interiors. Pure value for money and real neat, isnt this we indians ask for in the first place. No am not talking about the nuts like us in TBHP.

• Uneven panel gaps

Again i dont have an issue, though i would have preferred better tolerance (lesser gap through out), but as long as its not leaking and squeaking am fine. Only Chevy and Hyundai cars have perfect shut lines (just look at the lines, its precision engineering), even toyotas are inconsistent.

• Parts falling off

Till date nothing fell off, yes 2 clips came off from mud flap but thats to do with dealer fitting which was sorted out when i gave for service. Ask people who know my driving, i am not sympathetic when it comes to tackling rough patches.

• Low refinement and vibrations

Petrol and diesel, refinement is great, compared to competition. Obviously i cant compare with another grade of vehicles and then complain.

• Poor NVH (e.g. Horn is too loud on the inside)

Again i dont feel its that bad, horn i dont have an issue. All other cars have similar or more "horn" sound inside. iKON for example had the horn inside the engine bay which used to be more intruding compared to the swift which has the horn inside the bumper (again reason why it reflects backwards). Panel thickness is a compromise for mileage i guess, dont know havent used imported suzukis hope its not India alone phenomenon, if so bad compromise.

• Clutch failures


Nothing yet, in petrol and diesel. Petrol had a judder but that was sorted out with clutch play adjustment. Yes petrol clutch is on the weaker side.


Has anyone paid attention to the boot lid of the DZire? It is so damn fragile that it feels just like a damn wafer. Is this what we have come to expect of Maruti Suzuki?

Dont know about dzire, but both my previous esteem and iKON had very soft boots. Just needed a finger to close em. Compared to that Zen, 800 and Swift are HEAVY!

Maruti quality has taken a massive dive, there aren't any two sides to this. Whatever happened to the blind trust that we had in MUL? Did any 1998 Esteems have the complaints listed above (poor build, uneven panel gaps etc. etc.). They are going downhill…no doubt. And they better do something about it before its too late to recover.

After owning maruti vehicles since 1986 (5 direct owned, and some 15 odd family cars), i would say its the same. Usual culprits existed then and now. Most obvious cost cut/economizing factors are Tyres and body panel gauge (too thin/light) which are real issues if you ask me.

We say that Maruti / Suzuki cannot succeed in the 8+ lakh segment because of brand? HOGWASH. Its because their cars simply don’t have the sheer quality, refinement or finesse that customers from this segment want. You think the NHC is overpriced? Well, I can see where the extra 1.5 lac rupees has gone. Does the GV *feel* like a 15 lakh piece of machine from anywhere? Any guesses on why it has flopped in the market? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, does it have the quality befitting of a 15 lakh price tag?

These lapses have changed my perception of Maruti....and I know I am not alone here. Below 4.5 lakh rupees, their cars rock. Above that is where they need to work. I won't deny that the Swift / SX4 are great cars, and kudos to Maruti for offering a great diesel (1.3 JTD), ABS, Airbags etc. and a value-driven price. But the need of the hour is sheer quality.

At the end of the day i dont have much regard to Honda either, my experiences are that they are flimsy. Only saving grace is more frequent service along with better/costlier spare parts. Lets accept it Japs are light and not tough, recently had a chance to drive a 1.10k km NHC, sadly owner was not giving much caring apart from regular service.. The expression from my wife was priceless when she sat in the car for 1 hour .
Is there a chance for improvement, DEFINITELY yes. But doesnt deserve so much of energy. I will support this thread for Maruti's sake to improve their market share. If they further improve other manufacturers will have to shut shop just kidding.

If i really wish to, i can write similar comments about Honda's and Fiat's, then again in India it wont be taken in right sense.

With Maruti or any car for that matter, lot depends on how you maintain it and how you convince your garage to take care of the details. Give me any khatara and ill make it squeak and rattle free in 2 weeks, this is an open challenge. Also send me unlimited funds for the same.

As Rudra pointed out have clips for mud flaps. Sadly they are not of use these days, even the one clip thats like not fitted proper is not coming off inspite of my kicking lol

Last edited by Jaggu : 12th May 2008 at 15:03.
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:57   #14
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All Maruti's are rattle boxes.. But there is a common thread on which part rattles in each of the models. Most of the time, its the door panels that rattle regardless of which model you have - Swift, SX4 or Baleno. So its more of a design defect than a build quality issue. Its a mystery as to why they arent fixing it.

But at the end of the day, Do I still think Maruti is VFM?? ohh YES !! Every rupee well spent compared to a "premium" paid for an NHC.
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:59   #15
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Hear, Hear! I agree on all counts. I have a (somewhat) detailed review of my experiences in the Initial Impressions section. My Swift is just about 22 days old with me, and I have mostly the same things to say about it.

It handles well, the engine is smooth and rev-happy, and I like the way it looks. that about sums-up the entire list what I think is good about it. Switching over from a Palio, nearly everything about the way the Swift is built is a total disappointment. I miss my Palio everytime I climb into the seat of the Swift. I'd been kind of resigned to this over the last week, but after spending just 550km (almost at a stretch) in the Swift yesterday, I again miss my Palio.

@Amit, the lack of backlighting of power-window buttons holds true for the Swift also. The front RHS power-window button is backlighted. That's all. The other power-window buttons, the central-lock button and the lock-windows button don't have any backlighting. Very very troublesome at night, when I have passengers.
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