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Old 1st July 2012, 19:49   #1
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Default Maruti A-Star: A wonderful companion for the last 13 months & 6800 kms

Hello All,

Its been 13 months now since I welcomed A-Star in my life and it has been quite a fun experience since then. I wanted to post this review on the first anniversary of my A-star and somehow never found time amidst my “hectic” (read lazy) schedule.

So, finally, here is the account of my journey so far with this Wonderful Companion.

The journey started sometime in Sep’10, 5 months since I moved into Hyderabad, when heavy rains soaked me wet, every time I planned a trip to someplace – be it office or a little weekend visit to the Inorbit mall with the girlfriend. Plus, the weekend shopping usually had 4-5 one litre juice cartons, carrying which started giving my girlfriend unwanted strength in her upper arms and shoulder. Fearing domination during small quarrels which have the potential of turning physical, I decided to go for a small hatch which could keep things in equilibrium (The Alto-K10 was on my mind then).

However, my progress was halted by news that I might have to travel onsite anytime soon.

Then, a couple of months passed while the coveted onsite opportunity never materialised and I had forgotten about buying a car, when the Hyderabad summer got it back to my mind once again. I had decided not to exceed a budget of 5 lacs as I was going for a loan. This time the main contenders were the i10, Santro, Wagon-R, Spark and Beat.

I rejected the Santro as it was quite an old model and the i10 as it was way too common – every third car in a row of 10 cars would either be a swift or an i10. The Spark was out as I felt it was way too cute for a guy whose tummy has started showing signs of mid-life. I took the test drive of the Beat – the pricing and the interiors blew me; but the outright lack of power in the second and third gears got me thinking. Also, as mileage was one of the primary criteria for a petrol hatch being bought on a loan, the Beat’s mileage reports on TBHP and elsewhere didn’t convince me – there were quite a lot of variations in mileage reported.

Then one fine day, my friend, who also was planning a Suzuki hatch, and I went to Varun Motors at Banjara Hills – him wanting to test drive the A-star and me, the Wagon-R. The Wagon-R was so roomy and nice on the inside, but the steering wheel’s vagueness put me off. And then I thought that I’ll give the A-star a shot and was amazed at the sure footedness and agility of this car. Since not more than 2 people would be occupying the car most of the time, the backseat buy never bit me hard.

The car’s steering was amazing – it was sure and had a wonderful feedback and it inspired confidence in me. The low seated front seats in the demo car was adjusted in a way that I was in love with this car. So, I ended up booking the A-star and my friend went for the Wagon-R. I wanted the Paradise Blue colour, but that wasn’t available and I went for my second option – Sunlight Copper.

The loan process and delivery was quite smooth and that’s me with the car on the day of delivery in the last pic.

The After sales experience has been quite good as well – frequent service reminders, good service experience, attention to each customer; well Maruti has won my heart.

Before we go for my review, let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m neither a gas guzzler nor a Le Mans driver; I drive 15 kms per day to and from office and around 50 kms during the weekend. That makes it approximately 500 kms per month and the occasional long trip. And hence I never gave a thought about a diesel car.

I wouldn’t want to bore you any more, so here goes my brief review of my experience so far in the past 13 months and 6800 kms.
Likes –
  • • Sure footedness
  • • High speed stability
  • • Modern looks
  • • Decent airconditioner – Speed 2 is quite sufficient for Hyd summers
  • • Comfortable front seats
  • • Decent boot space for everyday and weekend use.
  • • Rear seats when folded offer a huge space and I moved house with all my bachelor stuff with just the car (bed excluded)
  • • Peppy engine offers good power and is quite swift in the city.
  • • The stiff suspension can irritate you at times but then at other times makes you love the nature of the car. It sure is one of the primary characteristics of the car.
  • • Decent brakes and OEM tyre grip, though the OEM JK tyres are a bit noisy.
  • • Amazing mileage – I generally get a constant 15.95 kmpl everytime I calculate mileage (TFTF method always). The lowest mileage ever was 14.25 kmpl and highway mileage (only one long trip so far) was 20 kmpl.
  • • Decent NVH levels in the cabin
Dislikes –
  • • The ORVMs are a bit small and visibility is limited. The Swift OVRMs do not fit here
  • • The rear window gets a lot dirty in small showers and Rear wipers should have been included in the list of accessories
  • • Low end torque is limited and hence frequent gear changes – well, if you want more mileage, then you have to be in the right gear

This car has a lot of characters amongst the budget hatches, however, it does not sell as Indians don’t look for character in a car. Maruti did a goof up by not branding this car as the Zen replacement, which could have done wonders to this car.

So here’s the most awaited part of any review - picture gallery:
That's my A-Star after spending a year with me with a lot of good experiences and a few bad ones like getting kicked in the front bumper by a buffalo, denting the rear left door, etc. She still looks quite pretty and modern, ain't she?
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Last edited by dheepak10 : 1st July 2012 at 19:52. Reason: Added a pic
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Old 2nd July 2012, 00:12   #2
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Yes. She does look pretty still:-)
True and straight from heart review.
A-star is a great budget hatch. I liked your style of narration.
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Old 5th July 2012, 16:58   #3
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Default Re: Maruti A-Star: A wonderful companion for the last 13 months & 6800 kms

Nice narration there. Seems like its a perfect fit for your needs. Though not a very popular hatch in the mainstream (read family segment), a lot of single and younger crowd have taken to it especially the auto box. Safe ride
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Old 23rd September 2012, 19:57   #4
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Default Re: Maruti A-Star: A wonderful companion for the last 13 months & 6800 kms

Started with the intention to start writing an ownership review of the car and came across this.

What coincidence from having the Alto k10 in mind to changing loyalties to the A-star to the coveted onsite opportunity that never happened to the usage of 500km per month and finally the last pic with the 'black tag' identity card hanging around your neck.....we were/are in the same shoes brother. Only my baby happens to be an Azure grey one.

Its a hell of a car and the handling is just something one would fall for. Yes, the rear bench is a bit of a deal-breaker but not for us bachelors.

Its an awesome highway cruiser and probably its elder sibling the swift is the only hatch in the 1-1.2 ltr engine category to remain planted as much as the A-star at high speeds.

In city however the limited all-round visibility is a major pain specially when you need to watch your back. The steering feedback,the suspension setup is spot-on and its easy on the pocket too and gives a mileage of 17-18 kmpl constantly without a.c(i catch cold very easily so hardly use a.c)

Sharing some pics of mine 12 month old A-star..hope you dont mind:
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Old 18th October 2016, 10:22   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Maruti A-Star: A wonderful companion for the last 13 months & 6800 kms

After owning this wonderful car for nearly 5.5 years, I have parted ways with it on 16-Oct-2016.

The car has served me wonderfully for 27500 kms, without any major issues/complaints. I started to appreciate the ease of driving this car and its handling when I did TD of prospective replacements.

I have booked the Baleno Delta CVT on 12-Sep-2016 and waiting for its delivery now.

A few parting shots of my A-star taken 3 weeks prior to the sale.
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