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Old 27th December 2009, 13:26   #16
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The 2004 Zen MPFi I own is the last iteration of the now defunct Zen. I am not happy with it, purely because it seems very very strained at anything above 3000 RPM. It's not the free revving kind carburetted version that was a hoot to rev. Even the second last iteration (4 Valves per cylinder MPFi version) was beautiful. I am stuck with the 2 valves per cylinder dud. Anyone feels the same?
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Old 27th December 2009, 14:22   #17
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Default Nostalgic memories

I have some nostalgic memories on Zen. This was the first car I owned. At the time of deciding the car (Aug 1999), I had to choose from Zen, Santro and Matiz. Zen looked gorgeous, but had no MPFI and power steering option. My wife (would-be at that time) preferred Zen (again on looks) and that so we decided on a Cypress Blue VX version. The Zen was part of our life for another 5 years.

The clutch and gear was a real pleasure to use. Reliability was very good, we did numerous high way trips through all kinds of roads, but never ever had a problem. Lack of power, especially with AC on was an issue. This was not much of an issue in the MPFI version, I guess (VXi and LXi). Another issue was a low ground clearance.
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Old 28th December 2009, 17:39   #18
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Cool Zen....

waw. nice to see an article on zen. Thanks Sid.
I still remeber the day i bought my zen carb from uncle and drove it back home and initial days i learnt driving it.

though it is underpowred, bad AC, no rear set comfort for current indian cat standards,some minor niggles here n there i still love this car. Though car is showing up some minor issues once in a while and my mom saying "i think in a year only outer body of the zen remains and you have changed most of the parts inside already", i dont see me selling off the car atleast for next 10 years

This is one classic car i would love to have in my garage. Hope MSIL will keep spares availabe for the zen in coming years.

Only grudge i have against MSIL is for the ugly looks of sucessive generation zens. The first generation zen is the first cute car on indian roads!
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Old 28th December 2009, 18:00   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
The 2004 Zen MPFi I own is the last iteration of the now defunct Zen. I am not happy with it, purely because it seems very very strained at anything above 3000 RPM. It's not the free revving kind carburetted version that was a hoot to rev. Even the second last iteration (4 Valves per cylinder MPFi version) was beautiful. I am stuck with the 2 valves per cylinder dud. Anyone feels the same?
Can anyone elaborate the 4 valve per cyl and 2 valve per cyl Zens? I always thought it was exactly same MPFI engine in botht he pre 2004 and post 2004 (clear lens lamps) Zens ?
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Old 6th June 2010, 18:20   #20
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I own one of the last Zen's to roll out of the factory, a Feb 2006 VXi. It came with front power windows, central locking, fabric trim on the doors, power steering and HVAC. The Zen was phased out in March 2006. Even though I knew that it was going to be phased out, I still went for it, as it was the first car I was buying with my own money, and what better than the Zen as my first small car.

Four and a half years and 50,000 kms later, it still runs like a dream. And even though I have the torque monster Verna SX CRDi now, I still use the Zen VXi as a second car, and it puts a smile on my face every time I drive her. I have driven it daily for 3 years in the city, done long highway runs, and even extensively toured the jungles of central India (Pench, Nagzira and Melghat) in it. Even today when I think of replacing it, I still find no small car worthy enough to take its place. That sums up the legend of the best small car ever made in India till date, the one and only Zen.
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Old 6th June 2010, 18:49   #21
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we had 9 zens so far including the CARBON version and loved those to the limit ! long live the soul of the original zen !
nice thread indeed !!!
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Old 6th June 2010, 18:52   #22
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9 Zen's! You must have owned each and every version over the years! What version was the best according to you? I personally like the Zen VX carburetted version the best of all.
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Old 6th June 2010, 19:10   #23
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The Original Design (Pre 2003-end facelift) was a classic design. That still looks fresh.

Fortunate enough to own quite a few all were pre owned:

95Zen-Bought it at about 1.5 lakh Kms sold at about 2.2 lakh. Engine still was strong. Unlike most maruti's Built very well. No Rattles. Only tiny woe was the door pads developing ugly air pockets.
98Zen- Was as refined as a Truck. But very rare visits to the Fuel Stations. The Front Chassis cracked due to the weight of the engine.
Started Developing Shapely Biceps. Steering Extremely hard for Parking.

2003 Zen E2 Lxi- A/C went Kaput(Delphi ones are prone to failure). EPS was not well balanced. Didnt enjoy the car much. 95 Carb was a lot better in charachter.
2003 Zen Di -I am sure Fuel CO's would have conspired against this car. It was insanely fuel Efficient. Great to drive. Rev Happy engine tall gearing and much better EPS than my previous Zen. Used to make lame excuses to go on long drives on that car. Did TVM-Salem-TVM in one day.(About 1200kms). The car could really gobble miles. Did about 40k kms in less than a year on this beauty.

Change in Job meant that Fuel Cost was not an issue anymore and the need for a larger car arose. So had to part with her.

Last edited by sureshkishore : 6th June 2010 at 19:28.
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Old 6th June 2010, 19:16   #24
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The zen carbon versions must be collector cars now.Hats off to maruti for coming out with a 2 door hatchback way back then.
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Old 6th June 2010, 19:33   #25
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Had a Zen 99 VXI, very rare for a 99 to have a PS, no idea wheather it came from the factory or the the previous owner installed the same, bought the same from a dealer. The only issue with the ZEN is the AC which is a total non performer.

Sid, I think you should write one on the M800 as well, if you have not done so, do far.
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Old 6th June 2010, 19:42   #26
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@musicmanaman: Zen was launched with EPS in 1999. Your car should have been a VXI (other than EPS it had Defogger +other VX model Features).
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Old 6th June 2010, 19:59   #27
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Ah, the Zen. My dad got one of the first MH410 Zens. The first version used to come with a three-spoke steering wheel which had a bulky middle. I used to love that steering wheel and was very sad when they changed it to a two-spoke wheel.

At that time (and a long time to come) the Zen had best-in-class AC, superb dynamics and suspension.

My dad used to become excited like a kid whenever he got into the car. Now I understand why!
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Old 6th June 2010, 20:05   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureshkishore View Post
@musicmanaman: Zen was launched with EPS in 1999. Your car should have been a VXI (other than EPS it had Defogger +other VX model Features).
You got it mate, it had defogger and front power windows.
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Old 6th June 2010, 20:34   #29
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My cousin bought one way back in '94, & I also remember this car being treated as a status symbol in some way. Nothing like the Mercs & Beemers, but then I can recall people (small, middle aged & the likes) showing respect & awe when they would know of my brother owning one.

The best memories I have of this car are it's good looking interiors, which according to me are till date very nice & it's great suspension. As for the engines, it was always the CARB for me with any engine, even the 800s were awesome with the carbs & that 4 speed gearbox.
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Old 6th June 2010, 20:59   #30
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Other than the fact that the Zen was a cult car when I decided to buy it, there were so many other goodies in the final version that swayed me towards it. Here's the list:

1. Front Power Windows, with driver side Auto down and window locking.
2. Rear de-fogger
3. Rear Wash and Wipe
4. Fabric trim on all doors
5. Front and Rear Fog Lamps
6. Central Locking
7. Power Steering
8. Seat pockets
9. AC and Heater (the AC is inadequate for central India, but works great up north and down south)
10. Full Wheel Covers
11. High mounted Stop Lamp
12. Folding Rear Seat
13. Parcel Shelf in the rear
14. Child Lock on rear doors
15. Internally adjustable Rear view mirrors (driver and passenger)
16. Anti-glare Day-Night Rear view mirror

That's all I can think of now. It may not sound like much now, but 4 years ago, this was a lot for a small car, especially the Zen.

Last edited by newcoolgadgets : 6th June 2010 at 21:03.
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