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Old 25th April 2014, 19:40   #1
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Default 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

Dear Friends, I am sure all of you may have felt the happiness of owning the 1st luxury car in your family. Same is the case with me. The car which I shall discuss here is the daily ride of my father i.e A 2006 Maruti Esteem Vxi with Silky Silver color. To begin with, my paa has been a man of principles and never fell for unnecessary expenditures. He was fine with the 2nd user Premier Padmini that we owned from 1991 to October 2006. Even I grew up while sitting and enjoying the premier's ride. My schooling and good part of my college life had involved the Premier Padmini. However, after completing the 15 valid years of road presence we decided to look for an alternative.

Then began the search for a car which according to Paa should be easy to drive and maintain. He was interested in buying an Indigo and called it as his "dream car" but after taking 2nd opinions from other members of the family we struck off the Indigo and instead started looking for a better option. This is when Paa's colleagues told him to take a drive in their newly purchased Esteem (though Lxi). After driving it Paa was very impressed with the functioning of the car and really liked it's looks. Till date he says that Esteem is best designed sedan by Maruti.

After returning from the office that day, Paa discussed with me and maa about the car. Since he was very sure about it so we too supported him and then began the job of getting it financed. In the 1st week of July 2006, we spoke to a nationalized bank here in Noida and went to discuss the tenure and emi of the loan that we wanted to take.

Finally, a tenure of 7 years was fixed and the emi was accordingly calculated. All was going well until my dad's organization went into a financial mishap and we as middle class working people did not have any choice except for going in for a smaller car like an Alto or Wagon R. I was pursuing my graduation when I got to know about this and felt heart broken. Then one day Paa went to drop me at the college and while getting out of the car he said "Chal aaj shaam ko teri Esteem ghar laatey hei" (We will bring your Esteem home today evening). Having his sun-sign as Cancer, my paa is really concerned about the happiness and well-being of his loved ones. So, when he said this, my eyes became wet and hugged paa. He then had said "Chup ho ja yaar, koi ladki dekhegi to kya hoga tera?" I was uncontrollable.

After finishing my classes and bunking the lecture of History class I reached home. Paa and me had lunch and then went to the bank to collect the draft. Next day, Paa called up Vipul Motors Noida to inform that the draft is ready and we would like to take the delivery on 19th July (Paa's birthday). I was eagerly waiting for the day and finally the sun came out on 19th July 2006. Did not go to college that day and straight away went to Vipul Motors on my Blue splendor plus bike (sold in December 2007). After reaching there I met Mr. Pushpendar who was our sales adviser. He is one person who did not make any effort to cross sell anything by force or pressure or by cleverness. A person like this is really hard to find in today's time.

Moving on the with purchase experience.

We had decided to buy the top-end Vxi model of Esteem and chose the Silky Silver color as Paa said this color is sober and very elegant. It is the easiest to maintain in Delhi. So the Vxi model of Esteem was delivered at the Noida sector 18 showroom of Vipul motors.

Here is the list of the specifications of the 2006 model Esteem Vxi which I own.

Engine: 1298cc

Fuel Type: Petrol

Variant: Vxi

Color: Silky Silver

OEM provided features include

All 4 power windows

OEM fog lamps

OEM Kenwood 4 speaker audio system with power antenna

OEM spoiler with brake light

Vanity mirror

Cigarette Lighter

Power Steering

Air Conditioner

After checking the car I called Paa to come and move on with the purchase formalities. Paa came and had a look at the car and went to have a feel of it. Being 6 ft 2 in he wanted to have good legroom which he happily found in the Esteem. He requested for a small test drive just to get acquainted with the car's control. After completing this he discussed about the security accessories with Pushpendar. This guy was really faithful and told us to get the following done;

1) Leather seat covers (Beige)

2) Gear Lock

3) Central Locking (Nippon)

4) Body Cover

Apart from the above he did not approve of any other add-on accessory. These 4 items costed us around 19k at that time. In today's time it will be rather expensive. After fixing the above Paa checked the car's papers. We were told that the registration number will be allotted within a week and so it was. I wanted a number similar to my Premier Padmini's number so without any hassle was given that at no extra cost. A big thanks goes to Pushpendar who was so helpful in fulfilling all the requirements with a smile. He is a gem of a person.

After completing the formalities it was time to take her home. My 1st luxury car was started to be taken home. At home it was nothing less than a celebration. A puja was done by maa and then the car was parked in the drive way. Till the time the registration number was not given Paa used our Premier Padmini to commute to office and drop me to college.

After a few months, My life took a bitter turn, It was not possible for us to maintain 2 cars at that time as earnings of the family did not permit. So, we sold off the Premier Padmini to our mechanic who betrayed us by getting it scrapped. When I got to know, I thought how much pain my car would have felt? , where would it be now? , I knew I could do nothing to save her and win her back. But that strong will of winning back a loved possession is still very much there in me. I will give back my Paa the 1st car of his life. I had kissed her for the last time in October 2006.

Life then moved on. Paa always has made sure that this car shall not get serviced at any after-market shop and neither wants me to spoil it like my Honda. He has warned me not to even think of doing any "exceptional" work on his car. So, till date the car is in stock condition. A few small add on accessories placed with Paa's permission.

1) Bumper Guards

2) Door Guards (I pop)

3) Rear windscreen rolling curtain

4) Window visors

5) H4 White bulbs from Philips (totally not needed as per paa)

6) Team Bhp Stickers (He cant say no to it as he liked the IDS one)

7) After market wheel caps as OEM one's had lived their life

8) Seat covers as leather one's created a hot oven in the car during summers.

9) Ambi Pure Car perfume (Best accessory as per Paa)

10) DRLs from Rediff.com

11) Reverse sensors

There are a lot of plus points with this particular model of Esteem

1) Superb looks. Paa really loves the clean lines of the car. Refuses to compare it to today's "futuristic" designs

2) Being Vxi it was fully loaded with features

3) Air Conditioning has been superb

4) Rear leg-room is a great feature

5) A car worth 5 Lakhs provided a feel of top class comfort.

6) Best in class fuel efficiency.

7) Very reasonable to maintain in the long run.

8) Good options of storage

9) Great ground clearance

10) Decent Boot Space

Though I hate to mention but this car has it's share of issues

1) No airbags/ABS in top variant.

2) Audio system did not have remote control

3) Key-Less entry not a standard feature in the top end model.

4) Quality of tinted glass not up to the mark.

Paa has never been fond of alternative fuel systems. So he refused to change it to CNG/LPG. He said, the day I cant afford to fill fuel in this car I will sell it off. Hence, On the petrol engine this car has run 1 Lakh 51 thousand kilometers till date.

The car as mentioned above has been Paa's daily ride to office so in traffic with A/C the car gives 12.5 to 13.5kmpl. Where as when we take it to Jaipur or Bareilly then on highways it gives us 18 to 19 kmpl non ac and 14 to 16 kmpl on AC. Paa is satisfied with the performance of the car and plans to keep it for another 4-5 years. And he is right because by god's grace it has retained it's looks and strength till date.

If I speak of it's ride quality and the handling then by far this car has pretty smooth ride and is very easy to drive around in the city and an absolute pleasure on the highways. The roads with pot holes are a major deterrent for the ride of any car so even this is no different and it feels rather bumpy on small pot holes too.

As far as the braking of the car is concerned, it has power brakes, so the braking is very accurate and helps in avoiding uncalled for situations many times. I feel this car is better made in technical terms than most of it's contemporaries. See, I am not saying that other cars are bad but Esteem's design plays a very important role in it's precise braking as the car is lighter in body weight and designed to perfection in terms of handling. There has been no problem so far with the braking of the car and I feel that even in the absence of today's high end braking technology this car does well on the roads and I or my family have never felt unsafe in it for the past almost 8 years.

As we know, A car's steering is a major component in driving it as a whole so this car has a power steering with a lock. While driving the steering does not vibrate or feels hard even at high speeds. Being power assisted it is very easy to control the car with it and it really makes the car turn easily in traffic and has no issues like off set or giving strain to the driver.

Another important factor in safe driving is the Horn. The OEM horn is decent and till date I have replaced it only once and that too with a OEM one. Unlike my Honda the Horn of this car is very much audible.

Adding to the safety are the headlamps. The OEM headlamps have been serving us well and not even one bulb got fused. Though the relay gave up. The head lamp leveling device is really useful in maintaining accurate light and beam during the driving. After having them since the time of purchase I changed the bulbs to Philips H4 White bulbs. They costed me INR 1100. The lighting has improved further and during winters they have proved to be very helpful.

A car is known by it's performance. A major equipment in car's performance is the engine. The car runs on 1298CC petrol engine. It is super smooth and has got minimal noise on high speeds. The engine has really done wonders to the overall appeal of this car and the best part is that it keeps a tab on excessive pollution. For keeping it in good shape I use Castrol Magnatec Engine Oil.

Moving on to the transmission, It is a 5 speed manual transmission. The gear shifting is very smooth and all it needs is proper clutch pressing in order to change the gear. I have overhauled the clutch twice in these 7.5 years and both times it has been done with Vipul Motor's Noida workshop in Sector 3.

The ride of the car is equally judged by the kind of wheels it has. At the time of purchase the car had JK Ultima and since then they have been replaced 2 times. Once in October 2009 and then in November 2013. As of now car runs on Apollo Amazer 3G tubeless 155/80/r13. I make it a point not to use normal air in them so I use Nitrogen in both my car's wheels and it actually helps in maintaining the wheels in good shape and puncture frequency is very low. Got only 1 puncture so far in front left wheel.

During the rainy season this car has never let us down. Even in worst of roads this car went on safely during that time. It never gave up in the middle unlike it's other cousins. Wipers have played a important role and they actually are good quality one unlike the sub-standard quality of Honda. I replaced them recently with Hella as they showed signs of ageing.

So far I driven this car in every type of weather and almost all types of roads, hence, I am big fan of it's ground clearance as this car never hits the speed bumps unlike Honda City Ivtec.

Not to forget, I love to travel so there is lot of stuff to be carried like bags and pleasantries for the relatives so the big boot never leaves me wanting for more. Very accommodating and easily fits luggage and closes with ease. No need of placing a roof top carrier.

Talking of the service experience; I have been never disappointed in maintaining this car so far. The car has been serviced at regular intervals at Vipul Motors Noida. You all can refer to my opinion and view on this particular ASC of Maruti here

Link: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-showroom.html (Vipul Motors, Noida: Excellent Maruti Workshop & Showroom)

The Air conditioning as mentioned is very nice. In about 8 years I have got the AC gas refilled only 2 times and since this car is a sedan with decent cabin space so the AC takes 5-6 minutes to cool the cabin. Though the time limit differs according to heat in summers.

As a happy and satisfied owner I rate this car 9 on 10. And I feel Maruti should bring this car back in market.

A couple of pictures of my car;

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* More pics in my next Post

Thanks

AD

Last edited by ad3952n : 25th April 2014 at 21:26. Reason: info added
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Old 25th April 2014, 19:52   #2
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Default re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

On a personal note; this car has lot of importance in my life. Firstly, This car made me capable of earning by driving me to college and then to my office. Today I own another car as you all know, it is all because of this car. This car has shared my happiness and tears. This is not just a machine to us rather it is the pride of my Paa which forever shall be my priority.

The pictures continue.

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Old 25th April 2014, 20:00   #3
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Default re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

Before ending this review, I want to give my heart-felt thanks to Paa for making me realize the dream of owning a new car and that too a sedan. Secondly, Vipul Motors for attending to our needs with patience and precision.

Finally a Big Thanks to entire Team Bhp forum for reading this review.

Couple of final shot of the car.

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Old 26th April 2014, 16:46   #4
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

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 26th April 2014, 17:04   #5
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

very nice Owneship review.

Having owned an Esteem for four years more than a decade ago , I can vouch for its top notch reliability.

The only problem with its design is the low seating.

On the additions you made , I would recommend removal of the H4 white bulbs and also re-installation of original Esteem wheelcaps(surprised that they had worn out).

The next time the window visors crack or a piece gets removed , do not reinstall - instead remove the whole set.

Reverse sensors are an extremely useful add on in today's tight parking situatiions.
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Old 26th April 2014, 21:27   #6
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

I haven't come across a review which is so emotional. Wonder why so much emotions at each and every step of review. It seems you had drenched yourself in emotions before writing the review.

I wish you all the best for your car and wish that it serves you for years to come.

I believe that you have changed the Kenwood music system, the picture that you have posted is not of the stock system ( I have never owned this car but the cars that I have seen use to have a black system) please correct me if I am wrong and the wheel caps are also not the ones which were part of the original purchase kit.

Though this car is no longer in production, but I think you should share some details of the expenditure incurred on maintenance.

I do recall when I joined the corporate world, this car along with Hyundai Accent was used by the top management of various companies. If I am not wrong the Vice President position of various companies had this car as part of their entitlement.

Best wishes
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Old 26th April 2014, 21:49   #7
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mints21 View Post
I haven't come across a review which is so emotional. Wonder why so much emotions at each and every step of review. It seems you had drenched yourself in emotions before writing the review.
Sir, I wanted to share the actual thoughts and the happenings that took place during the purchase of this car. It was a big day for me and paa as never in our lives we owned a brand new car. So, this was first one and secondly, this review is a tribute to Paa for working all his life to provide me with the best of everything and to this car as well since what ever is my professional standing today it is all credited to this car.

Quote:
I wish you all the best for your car and wish that it serves you for years to come.
Thanks a lot for your blessings sir.


Quote:
I believe that you have changed the Kenwood music system, the picture that you have posted is not of the stock system ( I have never owned this car but the cars that I have seen use to have a black system) please correct me if I am wrong and the wheel caps are also not the ones which were part of the original purchase kit.
Sir actually in those days in the Vxi version of Esteem the Audio System came from Kenwood and it matched with color of the center console. However, you are right about the wheel caps, I changed them an year ago because in Delhi's traffic one cant manage to keep them in best shape. They got scratched often so after a while I replaced them.

Quote:
Though this car is no longer in production, but I think you should share some details of the expenditure incurred on maintenance.
I will surely try to post here some old expense invoices of this car but let me tell you maintaining this car is far easier than maintaining the Honda City Ivtec. Down the line, Esteem is a owner friendly and pocket friendly car.

Quote:
I do recall when I joined the corporate world, this car along with Hyundai Accent was used by the top management of various companies. If I am not wrong the Vice President position of various companies had this car as part of their entitlement.
Very true, Because of it's elegant and sober looks Esteem was often the 1st choice of many top ranking people.

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Old 30th April 2014, 14:12   #8
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

Hi all, This is a very important update from me with regards to Petrol theft by my driver. I know it is equally going to be a shameful moment for me as I being an owner could not detect it earlier. Today the car was smelling like a petrol barrel when it returned from office. Paa sent the car back as he had other arrangements to travel. The driver came back alone and did not tell about this smell and when I asked he said he got confused between "perfume" and "petrol" smell. I immediately took out the log book that paa keeps with regards to daily car running. Here is the proof of it.

2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!-scan_pic0001.jpg

Paa had filled a full tank on 28th April 14 in the morning on way to office from a petrol pump near his office. This pump is regularly used by Paa and he vouches for their authenticity.

Today the level of fuel is just a quarter above the Empty sign and the meter reading is 51971 and here is the proof of it.

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My car has run only 207 kms from the last full tank on A/C. Under no circumstance this Esteem gave such a bad performance. I going to get it checked at Vipul Motors Noida.

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Last edited by ad3952n : 30th April 2014 at 14:25. Reason: proof added
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Old 30th April 2014, 16:19   #9
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

Update:

It is proved that the driver has stolen about 6.5L of petrol through the piping of the injectors as the technician showed raw petrol on his palm. My uncle who is the GM of Vipul Motors has confirmed it as the piping near injector was loose and it was a big disaster waiting to happen. My uncle said that the car would have burnt due to leakage and you would be killed today itself. I was not in a position to speak.

Here are some photos of the checking in progress.

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2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!-photo0876.jpg

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Old 1st May 2014, 16:11   #10
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

A lovely review and an equally lovely car! I always believed the esteem to be a bulletproof car, and it sure looks the same way here.
Really saddened by what your driver did, thankfully it did not turn into something disastrous. I did not know it was so easy to take out petrol just by taking out an injector? The driver seems to be a seasoned criminal.
Take care, and wishing many many more miles on a brilliant car
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Old 21st May 2014, 14:48   #11
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

Hi all, Today a big mishap was averted when Paa's Esteem reached on the verge of getting engulfed in flames. The incident happened today morning when Paa was about to leave for office.

Our new driver started to take the car out from the porch and as soon as he reversed it there was slight smoke seen coming from the side of the bonnet. Immediately he got out and we opened the hood in a rush to see that the entire petrol pipe near the injectors had become loose due to which the fuel leaked in a massive amount and being hot weather it led to creation of smoke as the surface itself becomes hot.

To control the smoke the immediately my old driver threw a bucket full of water inside the hood. So, this was controlled without any damage to wiring or the injectors.

As Paa is a perfectionist in terms of maintaining the car so he immediately told our driver to go and buy some fuel so that the car can reach workshop. However, even after the re-fueling the car did not start and made sounds as if there is miss-firing.

We left the car for a while and then tried again. The car started and reached to Vipul Motors Noida. There the technician checked and informed that the clamp that is used to hold the fuel transfer pipe was tampered and due to that the fuel leaked out.

Here are the pics of the rectification and re-fitting of the necessary fitments at Vipul motors.

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The sad part being that spare parts of this car are not easy to get even in A.S.C of Maruti. In my opinion, as shared with Paa, it seems now we should plan for our 3rd car because this car is now 8 years old.

I know for a fact that Esteem will not be sold out because Paa is really attached to it.

The best part is that Paa is safe and the car is safe too. However, worst part is I could not give my Honda City for lowering as I planned it for today.

My sincere suggestion to all my friends is that please give extra attention to the car's engine in the summer time.

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Old 1st June 2014, 12:24   #12
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

My friends, With deep sadness I hereby post the damages done to my Esteem because of the dust storm and rain that occurred 2 days back in Delhi-NCR.

The damage is done to the roof's left corner, left side B pillar and front windshield. This damage came to my knowledge today morning since yesterday before I woke up Paa left for office.

Here are the pics.

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As I do not have zero depreciation policy on this car so I called my uncle who is working with Vipul Motors Noida. He said it will cost approx 2500/- (including insurance file charges).

What a way to begin a Sunday!!

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Old 10th June 2014, 22:58   #13
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

I drive an Esteem too. I do agree it's an amazing machine. Can't say I share the same opinion as you about it's brakes. I find it's brakes to be EXTREMELY inefficient. A Swift Vxi without ABS is miles ahead in terms of braking. Any driver driven car comes with it's share of problems. Yours is no exception. But I wonder how smart was the driver when he splashed water on a petrol soaked engine! He should have just switched off the engine and left the car undisturbed and ideally a tow truck should have been called to get the car to MASS. Anyway, as long as nothing happened to your car, guess it's okay.
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Old 11th June 2014, 09:46   #14
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacktop View Post
I drive an Esteem too. I do agree it's an amazing machine. Can't say I share the same opinion as you about it's brakes. I find it's brakes to be EXTREMELY inefficient. A Swift Vxi without ABS is miles ahead in terms of braking. Any driver driven car comes with it's share of problems. Yours is no exception. But I wonder how smart was the driver when he splashed water on a petrol soaked engine! He should have just switched off the engine and left the car undisturbed and ideally a tow truck should have been called to get the car to MASS. Anyway, as long as nothing happened to your car, guess it's okay.
Hi mate, Actually the view on braking may differ because at large the car has been driven by my chauffeurs and very rarely by me or paa. There is a slight difference in my driving and their driving. No doubt Swift is better but when I purchased this car we actually did not consider the hatch-back segment.

You are very right. See, drivers do not have anything on stake except for their salary. Actually, Paa panicked and immediately took this measure of throwing water to stop the smoke. Finally after reaching the A.S.C we got the canister pipe changed after which all is going well till now.

Thanks.
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Old 11th June 2014, 15:36   #15
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Default Re: 2006 Maruti Esteem VXi: Paa's pride and daily ride!

Congrats on your journey with the Esteem. I own an Esteem for the last 11 years and have covered 50k km so far. Yes, the overall running has not been high as I use my Civic in addition to the A-Star Automatic which I got for my better half last year.

Till date, I have not had the thought of parting with the car though I have been asked by many to do so and upgrade to a new one. The Esteem is an amazing car and looks contemporary even today. Don't know Maruti had to stop production of this wonderful car.

The positives are too many to list down. There are of course some sore spots: The brakes top the list. In fact when I drive my Civic or the A-Star after driving the Esteem, it takes me at least a km to get used to the brakes of these cars that are feather touch in nature and brake flawlessly. The clutch is another pain and am trying to get hold of Daikin Exedy stage 1 plates to make things better. The power window motor is the weakest I have seen on any car so far but I can afford to live with it.

I agree its getting difficult to source OE spares for the Esteem of late and I have had my share of the problem too.

If you haven't tried reaching out to www.mgp.co.in I suggest you do so. I managed to get the petrol filler door with ease here while I was struggling to get the same outside.

All the best with your Esteem and wish you and your dad miles and miles of trouble-free driving and safe ownership
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