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Old 3rd July 2007, 20:14   #31
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Originally Posted by Nimz View Post
Friends of mine who have a Santro dropped over late night to see Sparky.

He said - front leg space is better. Underthigh support is bad. Placement of horn is not nice. Rear leg space is nice. Love the shape of the car.

She said - Very Cute. No probs with horn as am used to M800. Lovely gear shifts. very smooth compared to our Santro.

Both Said - but for us its the Santro. :(
Here is a good comparison between Spark and Santro Xing:

The Hindu : Metro Plus Vijayawada / Wheels : Sparking off the big small fight

One statement in the above website which I don't understand is:

"The Spark is wider than the Xing but both cannot quite accommodate five passengers.".

Does the Spark have greater interior width than Xing? Overall the Xing is the wider car. The essence of the comparison as far as I am concerned:

Quote:
The Spark doesn’t have the immediate response or pulling power of the Santro but the smooth and linear manner in which the power is delivered accentuates the efficiency of the engine. The Spark’s 995cc, two-valves-per-cylinder engine outputs an impressive 63bhp. Less impressive is the torque — 9.21kgm at a high 4200rpm. This engine is refined and sets the standard of refinement in small cars. It will easily keep up with the city traffic in second and third gears. It’s only when you need to overtake that you’d have to really work the gears. Fortunately, the gearshift is light, but unfortunately, the long throw doesn’t give you a precise feel.

The Santro Xing’s larger 1086cc Epsilon engine outputs an identical 63bhp as the Spark. The three-valves-per-cylinder motor produces more torque at a lower engine speed than the new Chevrolet. The instant throttle response makes driving in traffic child’s play. Complementing this lovely engine is the Korean’s slick gearbox. The gears have a short and accurate throw that adds to the driving pleasure. Pulling power in third gear is particularly good, which gives the Santro good driveability in town. A short-travel clutch and a dead-pedal complete the Santro’s easy-to-drive package.

The Santro’s ride quality is not one of it’s talents. The stiff suspension gives the ride a hard edge especially at the rear. As speeds increase, the ride gets choppier. Hit a bad patch and the rear end gets skittish, threatening to step out of line. Despite this, the Santro is a nice car to drive. The steering is light, quick and accurate allowing you to steer the tall boy into corners with confidence.
In addition, I like the Spark's wider 4.5J wheels as compared to the Xing's 4J wheels, for the same tyre size (155/70 R13); this should give a noticeable improvement in handling. As quoted above, the Xing's rear threatens to "step out of line" when hitting bad road patches at high speed; I believe one of the reasons for this is the 4J wheels that the Xing has. I have 5J alloys in my old Santro and I find that the rear is much more stable when hitting rough roads at high speed; plus the pickup and handling have improved without much of a penalty in ride quality.

The Xing also has a marginally better minimum turning radius of 4.4 m against the Spark's 4.6 m. Fuel tank capacity of Spark is better, 38 lits as compared to the Xing's 35 lit, and the Spark also wins marginally in fuel economy, by about 0.5 km/lit. The website also mentions the lack of underthigh support in the Spark's driver seat.

Last edited by rks : 3rd July 2007 at 20:24.
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Old 4th July 2007, 10:04   #32
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@ rks

I ahve driven my friends Santro too.. Cant comment on the wider body of the spark. I thought Spark was a little narrower.

But regarding engine response. I find the Spark quicker. WIth the Santro theres a rush of power in 1st and 2nd gear.. but when it reaches 3rd/4th you dont find the similiar rush.. (my friend too said the same) but with the Spark u get a similiar response in all gears.. And the handling was better than his Santro.. maybe its got to do with the tires as you say.. He has only the stock tires.

Well.. this is quite contrary to what Hindu has written.. but after reading all the car mags I find each one contradicts the other..and it was then I started extensively TDing rather than rely on reviews.
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Old 5th July 2007, 10:04   #33
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Hey nimz... congrats on your new purchase!!! u seem to be in love with the car!!! cool!!! take good care of her and she'll treat you well!!!
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Old 5th July 2007, 11:06   #34
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Originally Posted by Nimz View Post
But regarding engine response. I find the Spark quicker. WIth the Santro theres a rush of power in 1st and 2nd gear.. but when it reaches 3rd/4th you dont find the similiar rush.. (my friend too said the same) but with the Spark u get a similiar response in all gears.. And the handling was better than his Santro.. maybe its got to do with the tires as you say.. He has only the stock tires.
Yes Santro is a pocket rocket in 1st and 2nd gear. But that's what matters in bumper to bumper city traffic, isnt it.
By the way i havent driven Spark yet. But have heard some negative feedback about the front seats, that they slope downwards? Can you clarify please?
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Old 5th July 2007, 18:17   #35
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Yes Santro is a pocket rocket in 1st and 2nd gear. But that's what matters in bumper to bumper city traffic, isnt it.
By the way i havent driven Spark yet. But have heard some negative feedback about the front seats, that they slope downwards? Can you clarify please?
Yup Santro is good in city traffic.

Front seats are small.. have mentioned on this thread I guess... about the lack of thigh support. Dont feel any discomfort right now.. maybe in long drives I may which am yet to take. Otherwise they are quite comfy.

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Old 5th July 2007, 20:34   #36
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Congrats on your buy !

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Originally Posted by Nimz View Post

Or should I go for an after market tacho meter. I'd know if the engine was running??? help
I was just pondering over this. Does one need a tacho to find out if the engine is running or not ? Wont the tell-tale lights on the instrument panel for the battery, oil pressure, brake fluid (combined with parking brake indicator in some vehicles) do the trick ?

Last edited by rr_zen : 5th July 2007 at 20:36.
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Old 5th July 2007, 20:35   #37
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Congrats on your buy !

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Originally Posted by Nimz View Post

Or should I go for an after market tacho meter. I'd know if the engine was running??? help
I was just pondering over this. Does one need a tacho to find out if the engine is running or not ? Wont the tell-tale lights on the instrument panel for the battery, oil pressure, brake fluid (combined with parking brake indicator in some vehicles) do the trick ? These lights come on whenever the engine goes off with the key still in the ignition position.
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Old 5th July 2007, 21:23   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rr_zen View Post
I was just pondering over this. Does one need a tacho to find out if the engine is running or not ? Wont the tell-tale lights on the instrument panel for the battery, oil pressure, brake fluid (combined with parking brake indicator in some vehicles) do the trick ?
I used to do this in my old Maruti 800.

All the lights will go if engine is off, right? And with the warning lamps alone behind the steering, this method should be easy in the Sparky.
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Old 5th July 2007, 23:02   #39
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Sensible choice... with so much of traffic around its easier to drive and park too. Hey heard it has a centrally mounted Speedometer??? Whats ur say on it?
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Old 6th July 2007, 13:57   #40
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Sensible choice... with so much of traffic around its easier to drive and park too. Hey heard it has a centrally mounted Speedometer??? Whats ur say on it?
Speedometer,fuel and temp indicator are cerntrally mounted, but all tell-tale sign are at usual position behind the steering.

Nimz, To check vehicle is on, other than than the indicators behind steering, you can also push accelerator (with clutch if it is in gear), if it vrooms then you know. But I guess experts will not recommend this.
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Old 6th July 2007, 14:54   #41
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Speedometer,fuel and temp indicator are cerntrally mounted, but all tell-tale sign are at usual position behind the steering.

Nimz, To check vehicle is on, other than than the indicators behind steering, you can also push accelerator (with clutch if it is in gear), if it vrooms then you know. But I guess experts will not recommend this.
You are right. The speedo is centrally mounted and not at all a problem after the first 2 hours.. (yes its not a type.. its hours).

It makes for a point of converstation too.. and by the way my avatar is the central console when driving at night.

And yes the tell tale lights come on and go off (I guess as I havent been stalling very much). When the engine is on there are no warning lights on. Slightly unnerving when you are in the front row at a traffic light!!!

If I have the AC on and windows closed I can hear the engine better.
A tacho would also help in gear shifts apart from letting me know if the engine is on!! Hence was thinking...

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Old 9th July 2007, 18:31   #42
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Default Sparky on the Highway

Sparky having proved to be quite agile in the city was taken out for a spin on the highway - to Hosur from Bangy.

It was a 30 minute trip one way. So cant really comment on the comfort / fatigue etc of the seats. Didnt have any issues during this drive.

Top speed: Touched 100 but didnt cross that as it is still in the run-in period. Car was very stable and actually after 80-90 Kmph you find a another wave of power prodding you to do more.. I guess it could be due to the max torque which comes at a higher rpm.

Overtaking: A breeze but you have to downshift for overtaking Santros / Wagon Rs. An old model Zen overtook me . Swifts also overtook me though I did keep up. I kept below 100 so didnt go afer these ones. Santros/Wagon Rs were all going below 100 so it was easy.

Handling: Good again. I guess this is the best handling car I have ever driven. Not that I have driven lots.. taking smooth corners at 80/90 is never a problem and thats when you see the car behind you disappearing in the rear view mirror.

One scare - In the rain attempted a corner at 60 + and the car didnt turn as expected. Could have slid straight to and hit the kerb..but thankfully sparky got traction and righted itself.. and I learnt my lesson!!

FE - will check after refilling sometime.. Rough calculations put it at 12-13 with 50% AC and 80%city driving.

Cons -

Well.. suddenly at high speed felt like I was on a horse..galloping horse.. the road wasnt too flat..but small bounces. My cousin who was with me attributed to the tyre pressure - I had kept 30 before the trip in all wheels. Any ideas bhpians? He recommended 28.

I find it takes time to slot gears.. the gear throws are long so currently quick getaways from traffic snarls on the highway were not effective.

Was on the lookout for steering feedback.. maybe due to my ignorance I did not notice .

Sparky was one dirty car by the time it reached my garage after all that ruckus in the rain..

Sparky & Nimz
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Old 9th July 2007, 18:39   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimz View Post
Handling: Good again. I guess this is the best handling car I have ever driven. Not that I have driven lots.. taking smooth corners at 80/90 is never a problem and thats when you see the car behind you disappearing in the rear view mirror.

One scare - In the rain attempted a corner at 60 + and the car didnt turn as expected. Could have slid straight to and hit the kerb..but thankfully sparky got traction and righted itself.. and I learnt my lesson!!
Nimz this is one of the best chassis that money can buy in indian small hatch's, handles well and rides even better. get air pressure checked from a reliable place, (use electronic gauges in one of the new gas stations), ideally keep the pressure as recommended, if its very choppy reduce by 1 or 2 psi.

Rain well its always better to be on the safe side and drive cautiously and slower compared to normal, yeah a one or two size tyre upgrade will help slightly
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Old 9th July 2007, 19:28   #44
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Overtaking: A breeze but you have to downshift for overtaking Santros / Wagon Rs. An old model Zen overtook me . Swifts also overtook me though I did keep up. I kept below 100 so didnt go afer these ones. Santros/Wagon Rs were all going below 100 so it was easy.
I don't think it is a good idea to downshift and overtake at 80+ speeds during the running-in period. It is safer to be in 5th gear at those speeds in order to avoid revving the engine too hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimz
Handling: Good again. I guess this is the best handling car I have ever driven. Not that I have driven lots.. taking smooth corners at 80/90 is never a problem and thats when you see the car behind you disappearing in the rear view mirror.

One scare - In the rain attempted a corner at 60 + and the car didnt turn as expected. Could have slid straight to and hit the kerb..but thankfully sparky got traction and righted itself.. and I learnt my lesson!! [...]

Cons -

Well.. suddenly at high speed felt like I was on a horse..galloping horse.. the road wasnt too flat..but small bounces. My cousin who was with me attributed to the tyre pressure - I had kept 30 before the trip in all wheels. Any ideas bhpians? He recommended 28.
Assuming you are using stock-size tyres, it is best to stick to the tyre pressures recommended by the manufacturer. Lower tyre pressures will result in loss of FE, lower pick-up, bad handling at high speeds and lower tyre life. If you are into high-speed cornering, higher-than-recommended pressures (up to 5 psi higher) will help in improving the handling and prolonging tyre life. But it is not advisable in rainy weather as you may end up losing grip. So it is best to avoid high-speed cornering in rainy weather or bad roads.

Edit: Tyre pressures should be set accurately and when tyres are cold. Best to use own accurate gauge and set tyre pressures first thing in the morning.

Last edited by rks : 9th July 2007 at 19:40.
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Old 10th July 2007, 10:17   #45
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I don't think it is a good idea to downshift and overtake at 80+ speeds during the running-in period. It is safer to be in 5th gear at those speeds in order to avoid revving the engine too hard.

Edit: Tyre pressures should be set accurately and when tyres are cold. Best to use own accurate gauge and set tyre pressures first thing in the morning.
i dont get this, down shift will cause problems???

i assume nimz downshifted from 5th to 4 th or worse scenario to 3rd, and i think its perfectly fine and actually on the safer side rather than trying to load the engine in top gear or do a risky slow overtaking move!!

moving from 5th to 4th will raise the rpm by 1000 max.

Last part of tyre pressure check
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