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Old 10th September 2004, 18:15   #1
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Wanted to write a review of my car for a long time but today I finally got down to the job Well here goes...



Car: Maruti Zen AT
Year: 1997
Colour: Purple
Mileage when bought: 40k kms
Mileage covered by me: 40k kms
Total mileage: 80k kms

The first car I drove like most people was a Maruti 800 AT. It was gifted to me by my father when I got my driving permit in 1997. It was a second hand one but it was an AT so it had all the Jap parts . Used the car till August 2001 when I decided I needed a change.

This time though I was buying the car myself so I had no option but a pre owned one.Brand new was out of budget. I always wanted a Zen in my 800 days. So I scouted around for some second hand AT Zens but they were really hard to find. I have to drive an AT cause RTO regs say so though I drive a manual very well. Infact i was even getting an Astra Club fully loaded for a good price but I knew keeping costs would ruin me so i stuck my decision on the Zen. Thus started my Zen hunt.

There was one which I saw which seemed in mint condition but reality said something else. The was completely done after a major accident so I decided to stay away.

Later I chanced upon this purple one. Purple was the colour I never wanted but then in my car but in a market of few cars I didnt have much say . It was a 1997 model done about 40k on the clock.

I took a test drive and the car felt pretty good . It had some touch ups on the door and a dent on the front fender but the owner was completely open about it which I liked . Everything else on the car was stock.

So after consulting my folks and getting my car loan passed I finalised the deal. I took delivery of the car on Sept 18th 2001. I already had a few things on mind for the car.

First things first after delivery was to drive it to my friends tyre shop. Tubeless tyres and alloy wheels were on the cards. I had finalised my tyres and wheels even before I choose my car. The tyres and wheels were all ready to be fitted on with only alignment to be done. I chose a set of six spoke Auras and Michelin Certis tubeless tyres on one upsize.



The other job was to get a good music system . Got a nice Pioneer unit with matching Pioneer speakers which work really well. The system is now upgraded to a Pioneer 4650 Mp3 unit. Apart from that I got the internally adjustable mirrors since my car came with only one at the right that too the standard one

Now to the car. I really love the Zen for its peppiness. It serves me very well for my everyday driving. Its very easy to steer in traffic and has a snob value though being a small car. I miss a manual but the AT is a boon in stop go traffic. The engine is free revving and pretty responsive. Gearshift is good and love the kick down when i get my jhatkas to rip and the engine really sounds good that time. Steering wheel has good grip as well. I love the airconditioning which cools the car well all around. Sure it affects performance but thats acceptable.



Negative aspects:

The rear is extremely cramped though it doesnt bother me since I'm always in the drivers seat. Of course it seems odd during those one off times I sit in the back thats when I realize how cramped it is.

The ride is bumpy which is expected of the Zen and it really gets to you on bad roads. Suspension is not the most comfortable around and wears out easily. Ground clearance is also a problem and *the underbody does tend to touch on the speed breaker if fully loaded .

Now to the maintainance...

The car is extremely reliable and I service it every three months irrespective of mileage. Keeps the car happy. Have done an overhaul on the front suspension with new struts and bush kits. Have the roads to blame for that. Apart from that the wheels bearings wearing out as well as the brake pads.
One engine oil leak in the timing compartment which was rectified with a seal replacement. Recently replaced a door mirror as well.


I am driving this car for three years now and have been very satisfied with it. I have covered another 40k after buying it and the engine still feels good. It gives a feel of driving a premium car even though its a mini hatchback. The dash *still doesnt look outdated to me even today. I was going to give it a paint job but now decided against it .

Well that was a review of my baby. Its very special to me since its my first own car and doesnt fail to excite me even today . A review of the family car the Tata Sierra will come soon..


Cheers

Dippy

Last edited by Dippy : 9th April 2005 at 19:28.
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Old 10th September 2004, 19:14   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Dippy @ Sep. 10 2004,16:45)]I have to drive an AT cause RTO regs say so.
dippy
please dont mind ,but i didnt quite understand this, why cant you drive a manual?
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Old 10th September 2004, 19:19   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (aadix @ Sep. 10 2004,17:44)]
Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Dippy @ Sep. 10 2004,16:45)]I have to drive an AT cause RTO regs say so.
dippy
please dont mind ,but i didnt quite understand this, why cant you drive a manual?
yea i back that up wht u mean by rto thingy. cool i dint know u had a AT. i love auto cars more than manual. my zen manual i guess now has done 99999+ kms
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Old 10th September 2004, 19:22   #4
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Oops sorry .. forgot to mention guys. I cant use my right hand since its disabled . I drive only with my left .

I drive manual cars single handedly as well but RTO reg permit only ATs for disabled people. I drive an AT for formality

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Old 10th September 2004, 19:30   #5
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Hey nicely written pal .... Whole thing surely reflects that Zen is your owned baby ....



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Old 10th September 2004, 20:05   #6
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Good review Dippy......
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Old 10th September 2004, 22:17   #7
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Good stuff Dippy. Its a Team-BHP first for an automatic car, isnt it?

BTW have you ever taken it on the highway? I'd like to hear your comments on the three speed automatic.

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Old 10th September 2004, 23:06   #8
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Nice write-up Dippy.
So which car is on the cards next?
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Old 10th September 2004, 23:28   #9
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nice review Dippy!.. i also remember driving it... it was really really good!!!
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Old 11th September 2004, 00:22   #10
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hey dippy,

that was a nice review maan. i surely wud like to drive an auto in bombay atleast..

keep them coming pal

cheers



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Old 11th September 2004, 02:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]So which car is on the cards next?
Nothing but a sweet pre owned Honda City 1.5 Exi 4AT for me

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Old 11th September 2004, 20:55   #12
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Hey Dippy, nice review man. Your car felt nice that day when we were coming back from Sidewok (is that the spelling??).
How often do you change auto box oil?
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Old 12th September 2004, 00:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]How often do you change auto box oil?
I generally change it once in six months ... rest of the time I top it up to level

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Old 8th April 2005, 16:19   #14
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Hi Dippy.. nice review buddy.. could you tell me the FE of your car and some differences that you find in the Zen AT against the MT Zens? I have a MT Zen 98 got it with 42k kms on card in January 2002 and the car has completed 89699 kms as of date I am waiting for the 99999 kms mark to post a review on it...
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Old 8th April 2005, 19:04   #15
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I am waiting for the 99999 kms QUOTE]

i am running 98900 on my 1998 zen
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