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Old 29th June 2004, 03:16   #1
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Car: Maruti Zen VXi Deluxe
Description: Cool Silver, Mumbai registered, single owner
Mileage done: 33750 kms
First purchased: March 2002
Price then: Rs. 4,70,000 approx. (on-road Mumbai)
Problems so far: Starter motor hiccups
Conversions: None, stock with interior accoutrements

Well this baby has been a long tooth in the nail now on Indian roads.

And honestly it shud have become a discontinued car. But Maruti continues to make it. So what's the secret behind the success of this car. Well i'll give you my take on it.

First up, the car in contention. Mine being the fully loaded one, i'd have to agree that it wasn't really the wisest decision. Could have saved that extra 50k and spent it on alloys, tyres, better music system and just bought an LXi. But i can't rue my decision now since its too late. So lemme try and salvage whatever i can.

Exteriorly the car still looks new. Hard to believe, but Maruti's finish and quality has improved over the last few years. The Zen always had good quality, but its even better now. The paint job is top notch with it still having a very smooth and silky feel with polish jobs being done just once every 4-6 months. Though the problem of thinner metal still exists. A 75-80 kilo person standing right against it with just half his normal pressure applicable can actually move the metal inside and leave a dent on ur love. And i've seen this problem on all new cars, this side of 7 figures. But otherwise, she holds well. No signs of rust, she's just going good.

The tyres and suspension are also of good order. The goodyears have very good ride quality and are also not very hard on ur back. But the high profile tyres, though aid ride rubbish handling. The chassis is sweet, but the tyres are a let down. A serious suggestion to anyone playing boy-racer with your Zen is to shift to 13 inchers with 155/70s atleast. My current set of tyres look good enough for atleast another 10,000 kms. Easy.

On the inside everything has held up well. Its only on the move that the traditional Maruti squeak or two comes up, but it looks like it'd go on easily till 2,00,000 kms in my hands and add another 1,50,000 to that figure in my Father's.
Start her up and she still sounds good. One thing about the new MPFi engine is that she sounds a lil' more noisy at start but settles down to a relatively quieter rumble than my older non-MPFi Zen VX. Also what's good with the car is the electricals. I clearly remember one of my tail-lights conking off within 7 months on my older zen, but this one has held on, all electricals working fine and not a single bulb kissing me goodbye. Except a small starter problem.

The car would need two or three cranks to start her up. The problem got rectified when my Dad one evening realised that the car wouldn't wanna enter the main gate and had to be pushed to the parking lot. The very next morning a MOS van was downstairs, did a clean up job for a minor Rs. 150 and she roared back to life in a jiffy. Have to agree, Maruti literally now is everywhere and MOS is a real benefit. Maruti owners or not, take my advise. Call them whenever u have car trouble and are stuck at a place. Their response is fantastic.

Besides that just the regular servicing@ every 10k and 7000 km interval (yes u might get advised 10,000 but i play it safe)wheel balancing treatment. She drinks Shell Helix which IMO is the best VFM engine oil.

Rarely has the car been revved to the limit, with my hazard being that the car generally goes up to 5000 rpm on highways before i upshift. O/wise city use is always 2-3000 rpm max since the zen doesnt have a standard rpm gauge (Maruti plz can we have one). And honestly i wasnt even aware that the car is a literal go-kart till the Admin decided to take me for a spin in her. Boy, she is a C-segment killer. Very very fast, it kills anything with 70 bhp or less. So Siena 1.2s, Ikon 1.3s, Esteem carbueretted et all are left in its wake. The gears are smooth and buttery even after 30,000 kms and a joy to change. The engine is a bit buzzy but provides pound per pound of excitement. The gearing is a bit tall for city use, but still does a decent job of not acting like a pricey horse.

The average per litre achieved so far is in the region of 12 kmpl, with a worst of nearly 7 when i decided to clock a 0-100 time on Holi. Yup i achieved a sub 16 timing and cud have gone faster but since i did only one run with lil wheelspin, i guess i shud improve that by another half second atleast with the GtechPro. The best achieved was around 20 on the expressway by me, my dad upping it to nearly 22. The car has had a regular dose of Speed 95% of the times, with 93 coming in at 4% and ordinary fuel during emergencies at only 1%.

The bad points with the car. Seating in the rear is uncomfy and cramped. The boot space could have been bigger. One tends to hit the steering with the thigh a tad too often, lack of a tachometer and of course a very dead EPS. Maybe its the tyres that also spoil it further with that high profile.

Overall:- If u want a car for 4 lakhs thats cheap to run, fast, easy to maintain and holds resale values as well as provides driving pleasure for years to come, then don't think twice and pick up the zen.

Revvmaster
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Old 1st July 2004, 01:56   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Revvmaster @ June 29 2004,01:46)], but the tyres are a let down. A serious suggestion to anyone playing boy-racer with your Zen is to shift to 13 inchers with 155/70s atleast. My current set of tyres look good enough for atleast another 10,000 kms. Easy.

.
Wow,
that was terrific.
but i wanna say that 155/70r13 will touch the body on the RHS and also when 2 p[eople at the back the tire will touch the body.
also the speedo reading will change drastically.
u can go for the new tire 155/65r13 on the wagon vxi and the speedo reading will also not change .
also if maruti cud increase the length like they have done in the xing and put the 1.3 engine then i think we all cud forget the 1.6gtx palio.maruti can make the zen immortal

zensatya
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Old 1st July 2004, 02:01   #3
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aaah Speedsatya, was expecting you to reply.

BTW whats the OD difference b/w the 155/70 and 155/65? I find it very strange that for a standard available tyre like the 155/70, the Zen should foul with the body. Anyways, i will heed your advice 10k kms from now when the tyres will probably need a change.

Meanwhile why don't you do your own story on the Zen. Would love to hear about your "done-up" beast.

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Old 1st July 2004, 02:11   #4
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heheh ,
my zen is just terrific except for the rear seats.
my car has done 23000kms till date ,but that uis bcas i have my office car.so i use my car only when i am on leave .i go on long drives either till the kasara ghat and then go up and down atleast twice .
or the nh17.
my car has not given me any major problem as such xcept for the rats.and now i have a bent rim on the LHS.so wud be going for alloys soon with 155/65r13 tubeless,as i have dropped my plans for the vtec.also had spoken to the RIO design guy ,so may be some mods to the xterior as well.will post a topic on calculating OD.also the performance with free flow and the filter is terrific as i easily outdrag some carb esteems,palios and once even an ikon.
i have a pricol tachometer.and also a pair of the superb hella micro de fog lamps.these fog lamps are as small as the projector fog lamps of the lancer but the light is superb so i need not put on my head lights in side the city
i am not able to find proper plugs .i had put 4-electrode BERU plugs which were being sold for the zen ,but these actually ruined the performance.my car wud not go above 140kph ,and gave bad figure of 14kpl on my mangalore drive.so i had to put around 10extra liters of petrol and also extra driving time.then i changed to the original plugs and she was back to her best.
the engine oil is mobil 1 supersyn.
there has been problems with my alignment going out ,but that maybe bcas these stupid tire dealers dont know their job properly.



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Old 1st July 2004, 12:37   #5
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Speed Satya is right bout the 155/70 r13 tyres . I have michelin tubeless of that size in my Zen and when I turn right it does touch the body at times. But that upsize is quite good and gives me great grip levels.

Dippy



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Old 2nd July 2004, 01:17   #6
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the only downside of the 155/65 r13 is that since its a lower profile ,ur ride cud be harsh.
waiting for someone to put it so that i can decide afterwards
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Old 2nd July 2004, 12:33   #7
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awesome review report revv..couldn't have been better ...

~A
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