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Old 22nd May 2013, 16:36   #1
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Default 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

My loyal companion for the last 5+ years...

2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-robocar1.jpg

Warning: This is a very long post covering my ownership experience of my 2005 Maruti Zen Lxi. The guideline from moderator on ownership review suggests limiting it to one post.

Disclaimer: The post below is an attempt to share my experience with the car. I have tried to be as unbiased as possible while writing the review, but I suspect I might have failed. If by any chance there are any factual errors, please point it out, and I will be more than happy to correct it.

Preface:
Early 2008: I owned Honda Activa and had run it around the Bangalore city for about 50K kms. Though the vehicle was in good condition, the ride through thousands of speed breakers and gazillion pot holes on Bangalore roads was getting a bit tiring for our back. Moreover, i had taken the bold decision to join my wife's workplace. This is when we started looking for a small car that would save us from the dangers of riding a two wheeler in Bangalore's crazy traffic.

I was not sure if I wanted to purcahse a new car or go for a pre-owned one. Did a bit of research and asking-around for suggestions but the final word came from the home minister. She was logical and I was the emotional fool when it came to cars. Her logic was simple - "You dont know driving and will take some time to learn. In Bangalore traffic, you will obviously have a few mishaps; learn to drive in a pre-owned car and then purchase a new one if required".

After this, most of my free time in office was spent browsing through Carwale and a few other pre-owned car sites. One fine day, a co-worker saw what I was doing and asked "have you heard of team-BHP"? That is how I got introduced to this wonderful forum. That was on 28th Januray 2008, I registered and became a member. (Those days, no approval was required for membership and anyone could become a member by providing basic personal information - I thank God for that ).

My first post on team-BHP asking for suggestions/help on the purchase decision on 29th Jan 2008, 1 day after joining this forum.

Link to the thread -> http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/hatchb...first-car.html (Hi, still deciding - which should be my first car!)

All the alternatives that were considered, and why you zeroed in on this particular car

Other alternatives considered:
  • Hyundai Santro - rejected due to rumoured rusting issues
  • Indica - could not find a decent pre-owned on in the market, probably doesn't age gracefully.
  • daewoo matiz - was in its last days, lack of service/spare parts was the reason for rejection
  • Alto - most preferred, but the resale rates were absurd (probably due to the demand, maruti badge and excellent FE)

Why I zeroed in on this car:
  • Maruti!
  • 1L engine.
  • preferred the looks over Indica, Santro, Alto and Matiz
  • All reviews stated - "Zen is a drivers car"!

In addition to searching on various portals, I sent out an email to all my close friends that I was on the look-out for a pre-owned small car. Word spread and one of my friend's room-mate knew someone who wanted to sell his hatchback. The owner had bought the car in Bangalore, but got posted abroad. Before moving abroad, the owner drove the car to his hometown (Pune) and left it with his brother-in-law there.

I metioned about my interest, and spoke to the owner over phone (who was in US and was finding it difficult to sell a KA registered car in Pune). He sent a few photos of the car. I couldn't decide because of my lack of knowledge of cars.

Along with the suggestions from team-BHP, I also had some external help. I have a cousin who is in the travel industry and extremely passionate about cars. Since I was totally new to the world of 4 wheelers, I took him along for all test drives (I didnt know to drive either), and took his advice very seriously. I showed the pics of the car, and mentioned the history. The car was a 2005 Zen LXI that had had 19K on the odo. Until now, he was not impressed with any of the pre-owned cars I had an interest in, but he was happy with this car. So, after exchanging a few phone calls with the owner and his BIL in Pune and after arranging some funds in the bank, I booked 2 tickets to Pune in KSRTC and started out on the long journey to Pune with my cousin. We had decided that we would not buy the car and come back empty handed if we found any niggles/issues with the car.


Complete booking & delivery experience from the dealership

In this case, it was the owner and not a dealership I was dealing with. So, this section might not be too relevant, but continuing the story from where I left it.

Early morning 21st March 2008, my cousin and I reached Pune. We went to a hotel room to get a few hours of sleep and to freshen up. In the morning, we called the BIL and asked for directions to reach his place. After having breakfast at the hotel, we took an auto to the apartment where my future car was waiting. After exchanging quick pleasantries, we went to inspect the car. There she was in the car park of the apartment, all washed and shining. My cousin took the car for a short spin in the city to test it. His verdict: "Clutch is good, Engine is good, Suspension is good, Body looks good - you can buy this car". This was music to my ears (and ofcourse for the seller too). My cousin had rejected all other cars we had tested until then.

We went back to the BILs residence, filled the forms for transfer (the owner of the car had signed and couriered one blank set of docuemnts - form 29 set & form 30 to his BIL). We took the vehicle documents, service records, transfer documents, did online transfer of half the amount, and gave the rest by cheque. Took the car and started our drive back.

Everything was fine except for one thing. I had bought a new car, I was sitting in it, but I could not drive it. One should experience it to know the feeling, I cannot explain this feeling in words.

To summarise the delivery experience - Everything went smooth because (1) the vehicle was good and (2) we had planned all the documentation required for the transfer procedure and had the owner sign the blank forms couriered from US.

On-road price, discounts etc.

The final price we arrived at after a lot of bargaining over international calls was 2.55 Lakhs. This was in my budget and I did not even have to take a loan. (a big smiley here, I will touch upon the benfits of this on the overall ownership cost a little later in the post)

Equipment Levels:
Though a new Zen costed 4.25L OTR in 2005 in Bangalore (quite pricy for those days), the equipment levels are nothing to write home about. Infact "front power windows" is the only equipment worth mentioning I can think of on the LXi variant I own. It did not even come with central locking, as a result the first job that was done on the car after reaching Bangalore was the fitment of Hyundai Cobra remote locking system.

Also, added the left ORVM (costing Rs.568 MGP bought from JC Road), as suggested by my cousin. His logic was that "chances of bikers and other cars scraping is reduced, as they will have to leave that much gap to pass the vehicle".

How many kms you have completed at the time of writing your review:
When I purchased the car, it had a little less than 20K on the odometer, it reads almost 70K now. So, I have driven her around for approximately 50K kms.

Usage pattern:
I mainly use it in the city, highway drive has been limited to about 3.5k kms of the total 50K kms of driving, that about 7% hgihway driving. Rest in city. Most of the city driving is in peak hour traffic as my office was (for the major part) in the heart of the city.
The driving distance has been increasing progressively. Initially it was about 24 kms a day to office and back, then i shifted my house and it became 42 kms a day to office and back. Then I had to change jobs, and for the past 10 months, it is 70kms a day to office and back.

Comments on the exterior styling & design:
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and hence you might not agree with my opinion.

To me, it has that classical look that makes it look good even after (about) 10 yrs of the design being introduced despite the plethora of new pretty-looking cars running around.

2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-robocar3.jpg

2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-robocar5.jpg

2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-robocarhatch.jpg

2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-robocarprofile.jpg

Overall build quality, fit & finish:
Build is pretty good for a car of this segment. Ofcourse it is not in the "Punto" zone, but it is not bad either. The panel gaps are consistent and no large clearances.

Rattles are pretty less after 8 years of use; definitely better than the Swift in this area (no offense to Swift owners).

The paint quality is very good, the car still has the original paint and it has a pretty good shine even now (almost always parked indoors and not in prolonged sunlight).

The doors however are light and do not close with the reassuring "Thud" of the Fiats or the Skodas/VWs.

Interior design & quality/ Interior space and comfort:

The interiors have a pretty basic design. In the evolution chain I would say, it is slightly better than the interiors of Maruti 800, and lacks progressively if compared with all the vehicles introduced after Zen.
The quality is not premium but it is not cheap either. It is sturdy, does not feel flimsy and is built to last. After 5 years of almost every day use (+ 3 years of use by the first owner), there is not a single part that is disintegrating or needs replacement.

The glovebox storage space is decent, but no space for storing anything in the door. Only two 500ml bottles can be stored in front of the gear lever, and a couple of slots for phones. There is a nifty space hidden in the console that I use as a ticket holder.

2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-imag1399.jpg

Most of the storage/cubby holes are around the gear lever.
2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-imag1397.jpg

Legroom in this car is surprisingly good (even compared to many newer and so-called premium hatches). Where Zen lacks is the shoulder room. In the rear bench, two adults can be seated comfortably but a third person is a tight fit. The floor hump is quite high and adds to the inconvenience if a third passenger is seated. The under-thigh support is good, and the recline angle of the rear bench makes it quite comfortable. (Note: We are usually only 2 members in the car using only the front seats, rear bench is used occasionally).

The boot space is decent for a hatch of this size. But, a parcel tray greatly reduces the usability/practicality of the boot space. On highway trips and station pick-ups, I have to leave the parcel tray at home. This however means the rear speakers cannot be used and it is a pain to drive on highways with music playing only through the front speakers.

As a work-around, this is the ritual I have developed for highway trips to have music and the luggage:

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
Some more pics

The below pic indicates my daily routine when the bags were placed in the boot. As mentioned earlier, boot space is at premium in my car. The simple option to increase space is to disconnect the speakers and leave them back at home. But a 5 day trip with most time on the road without speakers - naah - couldn't picture myself doing that. So the only solution was this routine every day while placing the bags in the boot:[list=1][*]Disconnect the speakers and remove them out[*]Place the bags in the trunk so that they occupy minimum vertical space.[*]Place the speakers back with only the rear plug of the speaker going into its slot, and let the speakers rest on the bags making sure the speaker is not touching any metallic part of the bags.[*]Connect the speakers and test[*]occasional 5th step - after driving for some time, stop, take a towel and place it in the slot which is causing rattle - to have a peaceful drive [/LIST

2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-bootspeakers.jpg
.
The driving position in Zen is spot-on for me (or have I really got used to it as there are no adjustments available other than the seat movement?). It gets a little dificult for taller drivers though. I am 5'6" and it is perfect for me. The only other vehicle in which I felt the driving position was as good was in the Etios Sedan. I found it most dofficult to drive the VW Polo, during the short test drive my left leg started complaining.

The AC is good only for the front seat users, does not cool the rear bench unless the fan is at maximum speed (at maximum, ths fan noise is quite significant). On hot days, after being parked under sun for a while, it takes at least 5 mins to cool even the front seats. (Remember I am living in Bangalore; AC will be a serious grouse for users in Chennai or Hyderabad).

Engine performance & driveability in the city:
This is where the car excels and I love the car for its ease of driveability in the city. It has sufficient torque, and can crawl over most speed breakers in 2nd gear (some times even on an uphill, depending on the gradient).
She even pulls from stationary position in 2nd gear effortlessly without even a bit of drama; not that I do this frequently, but have tried this a couple of times. Even after 70K kms of running, the pick-up is very good.

Having showered all the praise, I will mention the weak-point. All the heroics are possible only if AC is not switched on. If AC is on, it really drains the engine unlike the modern cars.

The clutch is quite light and does not cause any discomfort to the driver even in bumper to bumper traffic.

Engine performance & driveability on the highway:
I would like to compare Zen's highway performance with Rahul Dravid's performance in the recently concluded IPL.
The engine performs decently as long as the speed is below 100-110 kmph. The Zen can run at higher speeds (i have reached a max of 140 kmph), but it takes a lot of effort from the engine, and the engine cannot hide this fact.
Unfortunately I cannot give the rev-ranges as there is no tachometer in the Zen LXi. Overaking manouvers at high speeds might require a downshift.

Wind and tyre noise is quite audible around 3 digit speeds, as the NVH is average at best.

The gearshift is good, does its job reasonably well but is not slick. The throws are neither short nor too long. Sometimes there is a problem engaging the reverse gear, in which case one has to engage 1st gear for a bit and then try engaging the reverse geat again.

Fuel efficiency : City and Highway:
In the city I am getting FE of about 15-16kmpl. And on the highways, it ranges from 18-20kmpl. (This definitely deserves using up my last smiley in the post). The best highway mileage I have got is 20.25kmpl with intemittent AC and 3 adults on board with moderate luggage.

I meticulously maintain the details of every litre of petrol put into the car, here is a snapshot of the document:
2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-car-history.jpg

Suspension & ride quality; Handling, on-road behaviour and grip levels:
My first priority in a car is ride quality, not handling. I usually drive quite sedately, and do not like to throw the vehicle into the corners. And as mentioned earlier, only about 7% of the car's running has been on highways. Zen's ride is a little stiff for my preference, not as stiff as the old gen swift but not as soft as the Alto either. But, the behaviour on highways, especially over broken roads and twisted roads is far better than my expectation. I have never felt uncomfortable on the highways in this car even nearing 3 digit speeds.

I changed the tyres from the original 145 80 R12 to Michelin XM1+ 155 70 R12, this improved the grip slightly. It is sufficient for my style of driving. For spirited driving around the corners, grip might not be enough (I might not be the best judge for this).

The EPS steering is very good for city driving. I have not driven a Fiat or a Ford to comment on how good/bad the feedback is. I find the steering pretty good and felt that it behaved very well even at high speeds.

The braking is adequate and never found it lacking. But one should know how it responds before driving the Zen. I drove a cousin's i20 and the car would stop the moment i applied a little pressure on the brake pedals. Zen is not like that, passenger will not feel a sudden jerk unless there is panic braking. Pressing the brakes lightly only reduces the speed lightly. I do not know if this is good or bad, but I am used to this and find it comfortable. (may be this is the reason I did not find the Sunny brakes odd, while many other members found it a little scary).

Any niggles, problems or part replacements faced:

Listing all the modifications, additions, replacements (genrally or due to niggles):
  • Replaced the original 60/55W bulb with the Philips 100/95W - use the brighter bulbs only for highway drives, find the stock bulb inadequate for highway drives. Get back to stock bulbs in the city
  • Hyundai Cobra remote locking unit - Rs.5500 - March 2008 - @ 20K on the Odo.
  • Left ORVM - MGP Rs.568 - June 2008 - @ 21K on the Odo.
  • Original JK 145 80 R12 replaced with MIchelin XM1+ 155 70 R12 - Rs.12000 - July 2010 @ 35K on the Odo.
  • Windshield replaced - ASAHI laminated windhsield - Rs.6200 - Oct 2012 - @ 44.7K on the Odo
  • Clutch overhaul - Rs.7075 (including service) Jan 2012 @ 47.8K on the Odo
  • Steering box replaced - Rs.3200 - Feb 2013 - @ 64K on the Odo
  • Hatch door shocks changed - Rs.820 - Feb 2013 @ 64K on the Odo
  • Horn replaced - Rs.250 - April 2013 @ 66.5K on the Odo

Niggles:
  1. At about 60K on the odo, started hearing a strange thud thud sound whenever vehicle went over uneven roads. This would never happen in the mornings, only after driving for over an hour or while returning home in the evening. It was diagnosed as an issue with the rack and pinion aseembly, Had to reaplce the steering box. I guess the life of the assembly was over, it is more of replacement of a part due to part expiry rather than a niggle. But it did bother me for 2-3 weeks when I did not know the reason for the noise.

Maintenance/ Sales & Service:
Everyone knows about Maruti's sales, service and maintenance, nothing much to add here. The only point I would like to make is that unlike common perception, Maruti's service is not cheap any more. It is getting expensive by the day. My 60K service costs are significantly higher even though there are no major part replacements or major repair work required.
I see much bigger vehicles having much lesser service bills, that too with a longer service interval (Zen's service interval is 5K kms or 6 months whichever is earlier). I am now thinking of servicing it at a local garage as I found a good/reliable/knowledgeable mechanic.

Note on cost of ownership:

The total moolah spent on my Zen till date covering purchase cost, petrol, insurance premium, service, accesories, part replacements etc is a little less than 6 Lakhs. I can arrive at two important statistics with this figure.

1. Expense on car per month = 6 Lakhs/60 = Rs.10K per month (remember this is including ownership cost, not just running cost).
2. Expense on car per km = 6 Lakhs/50K = Rs.12 per km (again including ownership cost).

Expense on fuel per km can be seen in the screenshot attached earlier of the excel file tracking mileage; it is Rs.4.64 per km.

Final word:
After 5+ years of ownership and about 50k kms of driving the Zen, I can definitely say that I am totally happy with the ownership experience. Zen ticks almost all boxes, and fares quite well in most areas and exceptionally well in 1 or 2 areas and I have to live with a few not so nice things about her. But there is no such thing as a perfect car, we all have to compromise in some areas.

Would I buy this car again? With a little more features and refinement, defintely yes. In fact, ,many a times I wonder why this car was discontinued by Maruti in the first place!

And, then there are those days when the emotional fool in me starts acting up. I read a review of a new car (review of any car on team-BHP gives so much information, you literally know everything about the car and feel like you have test driven the car), I go home and start mumbling to my wife about buying a new car. Every time this happens, I open up GTO's thread http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/owning...rade-swap.html (ARTICLE: YOUR 5 year old car : Keep, Upgrade or Swap?) and read through it, and decide not to sell my car as long as it serves my purpose and does not give any troubles to me.

I have had a blissful troublefree ownership experience and probably the reason I am not able to make up my mind to sell it is becuase it works performs really well now and I have nothing to complain about.

Now, my goal is to keep her until the odo hits the magic figure if 1,00,000 kms. My average running is 1700 kms/month these days. At this rate I should be able to reach the 1 Lakh mark in another 18 months. I will search for a worthy owner for her and then hand her away.

A pic of when I completed 5 years of ownership of the car:
2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-5-yrs-ownership-completion-_-1.jpg

When my goal of seeing 1 Lakh kms on the odo was "two-thirds" completed:
2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership-imag1205.jpg

- Vasanth

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 28th May 2013 at 17:10.
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Old 29th May 2013, 13:11   #2
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Long-Term Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th May 2013, 14:20   #3
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Congrats Vasanth on still owning a Zen. The Zen was my first car and I too had the 2005 Zen Lxi.

I sold that in 2008 to get the Getz CRDi mainly because the Zen was tiring on highway drives.

But I still miss the cute and small vehicle, specially during city drives. Sometimes, I even wonder why I sold it when it was in such a pristine condition.

Anyways, wish you a 1 lakhs kms and more on this car.
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Old 29th May 2013, 22:47   #4
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Congratulations !

I am also a die hard fan of this vehicle. This machine has served me, and my parents for like 7+ years now and still going strong. It's maneuverability and versatility is what always kept us happy. My dad sometimes thinks of selling it off and maybe get a different one available now in market, but some of the mechanics working with the vehicle for regular maintenance advice my father against it. They say that this model might be discontinued, but it is tough to get another car which will give the same worry free drives. I fully buy this argument.
Cheers and keep this beautiful machine as long as you want to.. and of course take good care of her !!! :-)
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Old 29th May 2013, 23:57   #5
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Nice review Vasanth.

Zen has always been my favorite car from the Maruti stable. Though I must be honest with you I never liked this face lift model with clear head lamps but hey after all it has the DNA of the old generation Zen.
Your ride looks neat and good and I agree with you the seating position of the Zen is spot on. Though sometimes its pretty difficult getting in due to the low seating but once you are seated it gives you the feeling like you are in a go-kart.

Happy riding and I will be waiting for the 1,00,000 km update.
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Old 30th May 2013, 10:43   #6
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

can you recheck your bills if it was indeed a steering box you got replaced. As i know it, there is nothing like a steering box. My 99-zen 13.5yr's old, 1.27L on odo is also making such sounds but the maruti guys say steering column needs to be replaced. Yours might be a power steering one, mine is non power steering.
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Old 30th May 2013, 12:26   #7
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Default Re: A Late Congratulations :)

Dear Vasanth,

Thank you for compiling this detailed ownership report. It's been a very nice read.

Starting from your efforts to find the right vehicle, buying one, and then ensuring that it ran smooth, I fin all this very commendable.

The Jelly Bean shaped Zen has always been one of my favorite cars. I had bought a pre-owned 800 during my college days in Bangalore, and had driven it to Bombay when I started working there. The go-kart nature of the 800 had impressed me, and I had multiple opportunities to try out the Zen - have to say I was in awe of the Zen - it had the go-kart nature + decent brakes & comfort . Also the aspect that the Zen chassis being more modern offered a higher level of safety was considered. Alas, even then, the Bangalore market had hugely expensive pre-owned Maruti cars - I bought mine at about 1.65 lacs with 11,000 odd kms on the odo. I did miss the 5th gear on the highway drives!

The only aspect I find positively shocking is an ownership rate of almost 12 rupees to the km. This is certainly more than the Honda Accord my father drives in Delhi - he calculates it at about Rs 11/km.

Also, it's brilliant the way you have diligently maintained records of the costs of ownership.

I wish you many happy miles with your car!

Cheers,
Sam
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Old 30th May 2013, 13:24   #8
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Default Re: A Late Congratulations :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkishore_007 View Post
Congratulations !

My dad sometimes thinks of selling it off and maybe get a different one available now in market, but some of the mechanics working with the vehicle for regular maintenance advice my father against it. They say that this model might be discontinued, but it is tough to get another car which will give the same worry free drives. I fully buy this argument.
Cheers and keep this beautiful machine as long as you want to.. and of course take good care of her !!! :-)
Yes, the ownership is absolutely troublefree, and the way Zen perfroms day in and day out without any fuss is what makes you fall in love with her. It would be very tough for me to let her go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlocked View Post
Nice review Vasanth.

Zen has always been my favorite car from the Maruti stable. Though I must be honest with you I never liked this face lift model with clear head lamps but hey after all it has the DNA of the old generation Zen.
Your ride looks neat and good and I agree with you the seating position of the Zen is spot on. Though sometimes its pretty difficult getting in due to the low seating but once you are seated it gives you the feeling like you are in a go-kart.

Happy riding and I will be waiting for the 1,00,000 km update.
You know what? The jelly bean is my favourite model of Zen too, but I did not find one in good condition when I was looking out for one. Will keep this thread updated with all the action until 1,00,000 kms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaudh2s View Post
can you recheck your bills if it was indeed a steering box you got replaced. As i know it, there is nothing like a steering box. My 99-zen 13.5yr's old, 1.27L on odo is also making such sounds but the maruti guys say steering column needs to be replaced. Yours might be a power steering one, mine is non power steering.
Okay, the other term used was the Rack & pinion assembly (may be steering box is wrong terminology). In fact, this problem might even be resolved by replacing the plastic bush on the rack and pinion assembly; you do not necessarily have to replace the entire assembly. In my case, the mechanic checked it, and it could not be replaced - hence the whole assembly was replaced.
This might be a common problem, one of my co-workers had the same issue, and same remedy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarth.bhatia View Post
Dear Vasanth,

Thank you for compiling this detailed ownership report. It's been a very nice read.

Starting from your efforts to find the right vehicle, buying one, and then ensuring that it ran smooth, I fin all this very commendable.

The Jelly Bean shaped Zen has always been one of my favorite cars.

The only aspect I find positively shocking is an ownership rate of almost 12 rupees to the km. This is certainly more than the Honda Accord my father drives in Delhi - he calculates it at about Rs 11/km.

Also, it's brilliant the way you have diligently maintained records of the costs of ownership.

I wish you many happy miles with your car!

Cheers,
Sam
Sam, thanks for having the patience to read the entire post. Jelly bean is my favourite too. I ogle at those when I chance upon them on the roads even now.

The ownership cost that I have mentioned includes the cost to purchase the car. I dont think it is included in the Accords ownership cost of Rs.11/km. Accords cost/1 lakh km = Rs.20/km without considetring any other expense, assuming Accord costs around 20L and it has been driven for 1 Lakh kms.

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 30th May 2013 at 13:27.
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Old 30th May 2013, 14:33   #9
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Brilliant review of an ageless car. Appreciate the records you maintain. More pictures would have added to the fun, though the model is dated. I personally prefer the previous gen in looks and have a 1997 specimen, Bengaluru registered, in showroom condition.
Till date, the car is rust and rattle free, and goes on and on and on without any major replacements except consumables. The AC is a major disappointment which prompts us to sell the car sometimes, but just one drive and we change our mind. Wish Maruti brought it back in 'classic' form with new engine, AC and stuff, and I'd be first in line.
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Old 30th May 2013, 18:08   #10
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
my ownership experience of my 2005 Maruti Zen Lxi.
Long? Yes it was, but believe Vasanth, that I went through each & every word of your post! All that was worth for the gem of the car we are talking here. Appreciate the details that you were able to draw to this post.

Rs. 2.55 lacs would be a little pricey, even after considering the fact that yours was bought in 2008. Agree that the looks are ...ahem...may I dare to say...better than most hatchback available today in market, esp. better than the tallboys. This is strictly my opinion. The only other hatchback that looks like a classic ageless design to me in the contemporary time is the Polo. Again, strictly my opinion. FE of the car is amazing. It can clock 20+ on the highways on any given day.

BTW, the tyre noise would have decreased considerably when you switched to Michelins...isn't it?

Regards,
Saket
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Old 30th May 2013, 22:19   #11
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Awesome review of all the more awesome car.
Agree with all your viewpoints cent-percent.

A cousin owned(pre-owned as well) one and though I did not drive it much on open roads, how much ever did I drive it in the city it always brought a smile on my face.

I really liked the design and the driving characteristics. The only negative as far as I am concerned was the low stance that made it difficult for the oldies in the family to get in and the main reason for it getting replaced. Cousin drove it for around 30k Kms with ZERO niggles except a clutch replacement.

Whenever we had this car on the highways, 20kmpl was guaranteed. I too wonder why MSIL discontinued the vehicle. I too would buy it if launched again with a fresh coat of interiors.
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Old 31st May 2013, 00:08   #12
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Congratulations for become a ZEN owner. ZEN & ESTEEM MPI models are the best to get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
Would I buy this car again? With a little more features and refinement, defintely yes. In fact, ,many a times I wonder why this car was discontinued by Maruti in the first place!
Because ZEN is a driver’s car & the people who are most suited for back bench says ‘neeche se ad jati hai (low ground clearance)’.
Actually zen is a car, which can be best understood when we do mistakes in driving (sharp cornering by poor judgment, emergency braking etc.) and car correct it.

Attaching herewith the soft copy of owner’s manual (MPI model) for all.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Zen Mpi.pdf (826.8 KB, 984 views)
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Old 31st May 2013, 15:49   #13
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

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Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
Brilliant review of an ageless car. Appreciate the records you maintain. More pictures would have added to the fun, though the model is dated. I personally prefer the previous gen in looks and have a 1997 specimen, Bengaluru registered, in showroom condition. The AC is a major disappointment which prompts us to sell the car sometimes, but just one drive and we change our mind.
Thanks Sebring.
I can add more pictures, but I am not a great photographer and did not want to bore members. Why don't you post pics of you 1997 Zen, would love to see it.
Yes, AC is a major disappointment, as I was mentioining it is a pain in Bangalore itself, wonder how it would be in warmer cities.

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Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
Wish Maruti brought it back in 'classic' form with new engine, AC and stuff, and I'd be first in line.
How I wish! I too fantasizse about the same.

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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Long? Yes it was, but believe Vasanth, that I went through each & every word of your post!
Thanks Saket, appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Rs. 2.55 lacs would be a little pricey, even after considering the fact that yours was bought in 2008.
Why do you say so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Agree that the looks are ...ahem...may I dare to say...better than most hatchback available today in market, esp. better than the tallboys.

This is strictly my opinion. The only other hatchback that looks like a classic ageless design to me in the contemporary time is the Polo.
Agree with both your points. Polo (and even Vento) has ageless design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
BTW, the tyre noise would have decreased considerably when you switched to Michelins...isn't it?
Did not notice any significant reduction Saket.

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Originally Posted by carzone View Post
Awesome review of all the more awesome car.
Agree with all your viewpoints cent-percent..
Thanks CarZone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carzone View Post
I really liked the design and the driving characteristics. The only negative as far as I am concerned was the low stance that made it difficult for the oldies in the family to get in and the main reason for it getting replaced.
Yes, the low stance makes it very difficult for oldies, this is where the tall boys have an upper hand.

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Originally Posted by carzone View Post
Whenever we had this car on the highways, 20kmpl was guaranteed. I too wonder why MSIL discontinued the vehicle. I too would buy it if launched again with a fresh coat of interiors.
This seems to be common opinion here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Alok) View Post
Actually zen is a car, which can be best understood when we do mistakes in driving (sharp cornering by poor judgment, emergency braking etc.) and car correct it.
That is an interesting way of looking at it, but can you elaborate?

Thanks for the manual mate.
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Old 31st May 2013, 16:13   #14
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post

Why do you say so?
Hello Vasanth,


I said pricey but not at all a bad deal. I will explain my view point. In 2008, when you purchased your car, it was merely an year or so when it was discontinued. It is a market practice to have a downward movement in price (normally) after the actual model is discontinued by the manufacturer due to uncertainty of ready availability of service & spares. Also, when a model is discontinued, there is a general psychology in people to think that now its 'outdated'. Even the dealers are expected to offer huge discounts on such models. According to me, back in that time, the fair price would have been about 2.0-2.25 lacs. This is given the fact that future is unforeseen.

BUT, the thing is that after it was discontinued, later, the car went on to acquire a classic cult status among the enthusiasts and modifiers because of Ezen & Bzen. Even many hatches will not find easy to keep up with a normal Zen, hope I am not exaggerating. This had kept the car selling like hot cakes until now. This, at least to me was unforeseen. I always admired the car, but did not know that it will become a hot seller in the second hand market. The things are to the level that even now, a 10 year old Zen can trade at anything between 1.1-1.5 lacs.

My point is that now even if you would sell your car, you can still have a great resale! After driving 50-60K kms, all you lose is just about a lac of rupee! That is why I said that it was a pricey, but still turns out to be a great deal.

Other's point of view is most welcome.

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 31st May 2013 at 16:26.
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Old 1st June 2013, 23:30   #15
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Default Re: 2005 Maruti Zen - 5 Years of Blissful Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by carzone View Post
Whenever we had this car on the highways, 20kmpl was guaranteed. I too wonder why MSIL discontinued the vehicle. I too would buy it if launched again with a fresh coat of interiors.
The Zen has been and is still one of my favorite cars. I have a 2002 model,MPFI one and still is going on good. I remember the Zen being mentioned then as a pocket rocket by many of its reviewers and fans. But I cannot agree to the mileage figure of 20kmpl as I don't get more than 13-14 kmpl for mine on highways. But definitely I share the same sentiments on Maruti's decision to discontinue /replace with Estillo.
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