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Old 15th May 2007, 20:52   #1
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Default 1,47,658 km Zen Mpfi report + drift and slide pics

Background
I will start with a little background here. We got our first zen way back in 1996, the old carb one. Zens at that time had a huge demand and hence black too. So my dad (I was like 13 yrs old then) went to Punjab and got one from one of our relatives, who was a car dealer and hence had to pay a very low black amount. It was a white zen.
We fell in love with the cute car, ballistic A/C, and the overall feel. We used it for close to a lac kilometers before selling it off for another white zen, which we used quite less and replaced it with yet another white zen, albeit a Mpfi one in May 2000.
We have been Maruti fans since ages : Gypsy from 1988 to 1994, followed by Maruti Esteem Carb for an year, Esteem Mpi for around an year (replaced it with the Ikon) and a Maruti Wagon R now

1145
I love referring to this car as “1145”. We got this 7 years back, in May 2000. The 20% jump in output to 60 Bhp could be easily felt when we first drove it. It has now run 1,47,658 kms, probably has consumed around 11000 L of petrol and hundreds of litres of engine oil.

Looks
The looks never bothered us. Infact this “1145” had partially tinted glasses till last month, which we removed as the cops have got very strict and fine has gone upto 600 bucks in Delhi. With black tinted glasses, the car looked very nice. I remember when it was launched, people use to make fun of the car by saying its tail had been cut off! Over the years, in Delhi’s traffic and congested industrial lanes, the car has suffered a lot of damage, from small scratches to big dents under the body, the little zen has taken it all. Yes, the car now seems a little dated, but we have got attached to “1145” now

Interiors
The zen’s interiors were never great but nonetheless I personally love the small inside of the car. Gives a sort of cosy feeling while going for a ride with your better half
Last year, we replaced the drivers seat, which had sunk quite a lot. It gave a feeling of being in a racing kart, sitting quite low, but as my dad being 6’ 2” was facing problems getting in and out, we replaced it last year. With the front seats pushed all the way back, anyone over 5’7 sitting behind gets a hard time. The car is best for four adults. Boot space is ok, and so it the glove box.

Comfort and suspension
The A/c is a great positive point for the zen, has always been. Suspension, not in the league of cars like the Indica/Palio, still feels better than say the Santro and Wagon R, specially over speed-breakers. The car has been used 75% of the times in city and the small size has meant negotiating traffic has been a breeze. Seats are supportive too and at highway, at high speeds, the car does feel stable. The car has seen highways like NH-1 (Delhi- Jallandhar , 370kms), NH-8 (Delhi-Jaipur, 265kms), NH-22 (Shimla, 355kms), with both single as well as four adults. We still prefer the zen for suspension comfort over our Wagon R today. The Wagon R however no doubt feels more spacious.
I am 6 feet and do not feel cramped sitting up front.

Engine , performance
The zen has always been known for its free revving engine and I can vouch for that. Even today at close to 1.5L mark, she rips, spins the wheel in second and is a joy to drive when you are in the mood. At normal speeds, the engine is quite silent.
Our engine did get open for minor stuff, the radiator has been giving a lot of problems. I went to Jaipur a couple of months back and on the way back, the car heated up. Somehow, with breaks, and constant water fills, manage to drive till Behror and got the thing sorted out. But again 2 days back, the car acted up. PUC is still way under the limits, and the fuel economy has surprisingly been great. In winters, without A/c, it regularly gives 15-16kmpl, while nowadays with A/c on full blast, the economy has dropped to 12 kmpl.
I would like to mention here about the gear box which is just wonderful. Even after 7 years, it feels damm smooth. Never have we had a miss, only the occasional neutral to reverse noise.
The limiter spoils the fun sometimes though, in 1st it kicks in around 45, in 2nd around 86km/h. I have personally managed around 152km/h (around 140km/h true) on NH-8 with four adults w/o A/c in fourth. In fifth, the car didn’t seem to budge even a km/h more!

Braking
One of Zen’s best traits, while coming back from Mcleodganj, I was doing around 120km/h , when I had to brake for a tractor on NH-1. From 120km/h, she came to a halt without a fuss, in a straight line. This is one of the many instances where the Zen has showed its braking abilities.

Sum up
It may not be the best looker now, may not be the most spacious, but we are in love with “1145”. Thrice we almost sold her, but couldn’t. The attachment over the years have only increased a lot. She is driven mostly with a 1 or 2 people on board and hence the lack of space hasn’t been an issue for us. The zen feels as a perfect city car, still has enough oomph, and delivers exceptional fuel economy figures. 2 Lac kilometers long term update? You bet…

Last edited by ported_head : 15th May 2007 at 23:37.
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Old 15th May 2007, 21:01   #2
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Dude you should also try doing this...its a lotta fun...

At first we were disappointed that we couldnt do 360's zen not rear wheel drive..but then we decided if we do it backwards it should work...

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Old 15th May 2007, 21:04   #3
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Excellent report Bunny. You sure love your car.

We too had a white Zen till a couple of years ago with the reg no
TN 2 J 2. My Mom just LOVED it. She still talks about it even after 3 years!!!
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Old 15th May 2007, 21:23   #4
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danlalan : great vid. the final donuts were done using the hand brake if im not wrong..
promixa : interesting reg no
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Old 15th May 2007, 21:25   #5
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aahh the zen, had one for 6 years and now have a mpfi one as a back up car
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Old 15th May 2007, 23:38   #6
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Mod Note: Bunny, your pictures have been deleted since cross linking from other forums is against Team-BHP rules. Kindly use Imgaeshack or other such service to display your pictures. Also, please do not post pictures of performing stunts on public roads.

Last edited by Rehaan : 21st May 2007 at 04:53. Reason: spelling
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Old 16th May 2007, 01:46   #7
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Old 16th May 2007, 10:40   #8
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Hey Bunny

Nice review. I am also a proud owner of Zen MPFI LX version 2001 June Model.

It is really nice vehicle to drive I have drop 57000km and done many long drives like Delhi -Manali, Delhi- Dharmshala, Delhi-Kota, Delhi Chaba, delhi -shimla without any single problem.

The money I have spend on it is just for petrol and normal serrvice charges. But I am very dispointed to see the new estilo ZEN shape they have insulted the Zen community by changing its shape to a shop disk. he designer musy be out of his mind or must be a drunk man.
~Bruty
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Old 19th September 2007, 14:44   #9
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Update : The car has now crossed 1,55,000kms, is still with us

teambhians : any idea who has the highest driven MPI Zen out here?
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Old 19th September 2007, 15:09   #10
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Nice review for a car that still evokes mixed memories (not about the car but the life events that happened during its ownership). I bought the Zen LX in Apr 99 (the 50bhp carburettor one) and thoroughly enjoyed driving it till I sold it at 55000 kms in May 2004. Of course the Zen had reached a decline stage from around 2003-04 itself but the old Zen (upto 2005) still looked good. Cannot say the same thing about the Estilo. My driving memory of Zen is very zippy and fast, comfortable enough for the front passengers, but cramped and uncomfortable for rear seat.
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Old 19th September 2007, 15:20   #11
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Hey good to see another True Zen lover...
I too have many good memories with my Zen..

I think in tbhp ur zen has the highest mileage for a MPFI zen
there was another Diesel Zen which has clocked ~1.5Lakh kms ... don't remeber the name of the owner. Yep there was a report about this zen.
My Zen had done 85,600 kms when i sold it. It was a carburreted one
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Old 14th August 2013, 02:44   #12
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Default Re: 1,47,658 km Zen Mpfi report + drift and slide pics

Our Zen, 1996 Carb. 1.84 Lakh KMs now. Still running smooth. What can be the expected price? It has fresh new upholstery, new suspensions, new registrations, everything is great in this.
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Old 14th August 2013, 12:24   #13
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Default Re: 1,47,658 km Zen Mpfi report + drift and slide pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by myashu View Post
Our Zen, 1996 Carb. 1.84 Lakh KMs now. Still running smooth. What can be the expected price? It has fresh new upholstery, new suspensions, new registrations, everything is great in this.
Anywhere between 50-70K.
It's almost 17 years old, does it have any rust formation ?
Very recently , brought a End -2001 MPFI VXI Zen, it had rust near the engine. Had to change the member. Got to know that most of the year 2000+ Zen are prone to rust just below the apron.
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Old 14th August 2013, 16:37   #14
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Default Re: 1,47,658 km Zen Mpfi report + drift and slide pics

Since the original post is about 6 years old, I believe that the OP might have sold his car by now, but a nice review of the pocket rocket. The Zen has been a very successful candidate in the Indian automotive history and even being out of production since so many years, it has garnered praises and recommendations from all auto enthusiasts. Doubles as a great small car for a family of 4 too.
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Old 14th August 2013, 17:05   #15
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Default Re: 1,47,658 km Zen Mpfi report + drift and slide pics

I sold my 99 Zen carb version to my brother for 1 lakh 4 years ago. He sold it again for the same price recently Heard lots of people like this car.
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