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Old 1st December 2010, 18:30   #1
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Default Maruti SX4 vxi - 28,000kms report

Hello everyone. After reading so many reviews, it is time for me to post my own.
The car is SX4 Vxi model, colour - Midnight Black.
It is roughly 2.5 years since i bought this car.
Kms clocked - over 28,000 kms

I intend to cover facts on my buying experience (briefly), owning, services, driving, and problems in the next few paragraphs.

Buying:
My decision to buy this car was a bit unconentional i guess. I actually went to book Swift Vdi to maruti showroom in chennai. But that was the time when Maruti hugely underestimated the demand for its diesel swift and were running months behind in delivery. It was so bad that most of the dealers outrightly refused to take orders for swift diesel and those one or two who were ok to take the orders were too arrogant and told me to make payment and would not even tell me when in future will I receive the car!!!. And on top of it there is absolutely no freebies or discounts, not even tissue papers were offered for swift diesel (as can be expected).

That's when I went home to Coimbatore and enquired with dealers there. I got a similar response, but response was decent and dignified. That's when the sales men (who sold Alto to my Dad few years back) spoke to me and offered to bring SX4 ZXi for test drive to my home. I was waiting with any expectations about the car. When the car arrived, my first impression was Man.. it is a huge car!! from the outside and when I sat in the driver's seat I was surprised to see the huge space inside the car. With the permission of the sales guy I drove the car a bit crazy and at the end of it I was quite impressed with its power, road presence, space and control. I was impressed, but the issue was I needed to stretch my budget. I sat on the decision for a few weeks. I enquired about the price, discounts etc. with Chennai dealers and finally decided to go for SX4 with Vxi version. After all discounts and negotiations I managed to buy it by paying 70k more (net basis) over the Swift VDi version. So I became part of the Maruti family

Changes / additions made over the years:
  1. Reverser parking censor
  2. Remote Locking system
  3. Teflon coating / under chassis painting
  4. Sun control film
  5. Seat covers
  6. Rubber mats (additional for rainy season)
  7. Cigaratte lighter
  8. Fog lamps
  9. upgrade to 100/90 bulbs
Once intensive interior cleaning was performed

Ownership experience:

I will segregate the point of ownership between (1) overall comfort (2) Cost of owning (service / maint.) and (3) Problems / complaints

(1) Overall comfort

It was pleasure is the way to put it. Despite running more than 28,000kms i don't feel like it is nearly 3 years old car. Anyone who likes to drive a car which doesn't struggle for pickup in the city traffic and which does not struggle to overtake any vehicle on the highways, this is the car for you. I have done quite a few long drives in the car with family and with friends, but never got tired while driving. I have once travelled from Mumbai to Chennai and covered more than 800kms in a single day and felt fresh to carry on the next day. The seating position and drive comfort is pretty good.

Speed

The car is very very smooth and comfortable till speeds of 120kmph. It is ok till 140-150kmph. But at speeds beyond that the car starts to almost glide and you feel vibrations in the steering wheel to make you uncomfortable. But having said that though the driver would feel uncomfortable, I don't think the engine does. The maximum I have done was 180kmph in mumbai-pune expressway. The car touched those speeds with ease and I felt it had more to offer. It was because I felt uncomfortable on the road grip part, I slowed it down. But for speedsters it is a boon to have this car.

Boot Space and GC:

Lot of you guys must be wondering why am I mentioning specifically about boot space in the ownership review, when everyone knows that SX4 has one of the biggest boot in the segment. Well I need to mention it because of the car almost saved us once. During 2008 monsoon was very bad in Chennai and the apartments we were living unfortunately was flooded. Few hours before the water level rose to alarming level my family decided to leave the house to a safer place. we took all the valuables and important documents with us and dumped everything possible inside the boot, took dress etc and threw it on the back seat and jumped inside the car. On the way out, we saw our neighbour's zen in trouble with water rising to half the height of the door. Thankfully with the good Ground clearance, the massive boot and the powerful engine we steered through the water to safety.
So what I like about the car
  1. Powerful
  2. Very good space including the boot
  3. Good ground clearance
  4. It is a Highwa1y King
Running / maintenance cost:

Again I would split between fuel efficiency, service and spares/accessories.

The car is not known for its fuel efficiency. I always use BP-Speed petrol. Inside the city with A/C on most of the times I get an average of 11kms. Initially when I got the car, it used to provide FE of 12-13. At that time I was travelling at a time and route in Chennai which relatively less taxing. On the highway it is completely down to how to treat the engine. During a recent highway drive (last month) I tried to maintain a speed of around 80kmph, the FE with 100% was appr. 16 kmpl. Mind you this with 100% boot filled and 100% cabin filled (4 adults + 2 kids) . When I drove it like crazy it fell to 13-14. :(

On the service part, lot has been said about Maruti service. I found it no different. You are one among 100s of other Maruti cars, but still the quality and cost was quite acceptable. I must have hard spent 5k-10k in all these years with few oil changes.

On accessories - Though there was limited Maruti specific accessories which I have changed, but still even those are relatively cheap. I recently added Fog lamps in the car for 4.5k without cutting any wires. The other day I read someone writing about VW / Skoda where fogs alone were more than 10k and you needed to snap wires as well.

Overall, with the quest for slightly more FE, no complaints on this front.

Problems / complaints:

What I didn't like about the car at purchase
  1. Audio system (If Maruti had it as an option and reduced the price marginally, I believe they could have sold more SX4s)..
  2. Rear middle seat (Though I felt the need for it in 1-2 occasions alone). It is a 4 people car practically
  3. Poor plastics inside
  4. Zero rear visibility (reverse sensor is a must)

Aside from these major things which I was aware at the time of buying the car and took a cautious decision, there are other small things which I think Maruti missed. (cigarette lighter - it costed me Rs70/- what's the problem in making it factory fit), backlighting for power windows buttons.

During driving the car, especially at high speeds, I felt the car almost starts to float (may be even because of the higher GC), which is at time scary.

A-pillar posts some clear problems while driving in city, especially while negotiating sharp corners and some traffic signals

After nearly 2 years I started to hear minor sounds from the cabin. The fit and finish at Maruti needs to improve dramatically. I am sure these problems can be sorted out by the service guys (but they need to do their job well for it)

Overall, though I destiny ended up buying this car, this has fulfilled and satisfied my needs and I am a happy owner. Please flag any other points which I might have missed and which meets your eye. Would be glad to comment on them.

Bye

Last edited by Technocrat : 1st December 2010 at 22:09. Reason: removed extra smilies, only 2 smilies per post allowed, please read our board rules carefully before proceeding, thanks
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Old 4th December 2010, 09:25   #2
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Well written report. I bought the SX4 ZXI in April this year and had already clocked more than 7000 Kms. It is such a pleasure driving this car on highways, I always find one excuse or the other to use the car for long trips.

I too was convinced to go for SX4 by the dealer when I was hellbent to book nothing but Dezire ZXI. As is your case the test drive vehicle was brought to home and the moment I saw the car, I fell in love with it. HUGE is the first impression. With the sloping forward stance , the looks make the onlookers love as well as well respect this car, both on the road and off the road.

It is a VFM car with feautures no other can match at the current price. The Rs.50000 discount over the list price makes it more attractive, despite the recent price increases.

Murthy
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Old 5th December 2010, 17:13   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getsriram View Post
The car is not known for its fuel efficiency. I always use BP-Speed petrol. Inside the city with A/C on most of the times I get an average of 11kms. Initially when I got the car, it used to provide FE of 12-13. At that time I was travelling at a time and route in Chennai which relatively less taxing. On the highway it is completely down to how to treat the engine. During a recent highway drive (last month) I tried to maintain a speed of around 80kmph, the FE with 100% was appr. 16 kmpl. Mind you this with 100% boot filled and 100% cabin filled (4 adults + 2 kids) . When I drove it like crazy it fell to 13-14. :(
Good review

fuel efficiency is strictly driver / driving style dependant.

As you have yourself experienced 16 kmpl on highway driving, not many cars in the segment can return better numbers. My two cents.

regards

Vaseem
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Old 5th December 2010, 22:15   #4
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Murthy,
True. As you said, we find some reason to hit the highways with this beast. I dont know how many times i must have travelled in ECR road in chennai just for the pleasure of driving.
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Old 7th December 2010, 11:33   #5
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Anyone knows why there is a time lag between the clutch press and acceleration. this is felt more when diriving in highways. did anyone notice this? By the way, wonderful review. I liked it.
Regards,
Sarin
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Old 7th December 2010, 12:28   #6
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I didn't get you. Can you please elaborate?

Murthy
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Old 7th December 2010, 15:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarinkumar View Post
Anyone knows why there is a time lag between the clutch press and acceleration. this is felt more when diriving in highways. did anyone notice this? By the way, wonderful review. I liked it.
Regards,
Sarin
Do you notice the lag in all the gears or in any one particular one. Generally I have heard of slight lack of acceleration in 2nd gear in other cars that may be due to poor low end torque. Didnt particularly notice in my car.

technical experts welcome to contribute please..
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Old 8th December 2010, 06:23   #8
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 vxi - 28,000kms report

Quote:
Originally Posted by getsriram View Post
Do you notice the lag in all the gears or in any one particular one. Generally I have heard of slight lack of acceleration in 2nd gear in other cars that may be due to poor low end torque. Didnt particularly notice in my car.

technical experts welcome to contribute please..
Yes its more in 2nd and 3rd gear. you won't notice this in city as the problem is more pronounced when you drive in highways, and want more acceleration. This is only for few seconds. After wards, car is smooth.
Regards,
Sarin
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Old 8th December 2010, 11:33   #9
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 vxi - 28,000kms report

If you shift at the correct RPM, you won't feel it. Many people try to upshift the gear before the optimum RPM is reached and it causes lugging. If you upshift around 2000 RPM, there won't be any need for more acceleration. This has been my experience with SX4.

Murthy
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Old 8th December 2010, 11:34   #10
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 vxi - 28,000kms report

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarinkumar View Post
Yes its more in 2nd and 3rd gear. you won't notice this in city as the problem is more pronounced when you drive in highways, and want more acceleration. This is only for few seconds. After wards, car is smooth.
Regards,
Sarin

Hi Sarin,

I have not faced this in second and third gear, I drive around a lot on highways and have never been let down by the acceleration. Will check this weekend.

regards

Vaseem
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Old 8th December 2010, 11:55   #11
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 vxi - 28,000kms report

Good and a very helpful review to us. One thing I was always wondering about is the ground clearance. This car is always compared to Honda City. The ground clearance is good for this car. As the length is more, are there any instances at humps that the car have grazed from the bottom of the chassis?

Last edited by yogeshnaik : 8th December 2010 at 11:56.
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Old 8th December 2010, 12:20   #12
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 vxi - 28,000kms report

No. Even the worst (read high) speed breakers won't scrape the chasis at moderate speeds.

Murthy
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Old 8th December 2010, 13:39   #13
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 GC

Most speed breakers are a breeze, however having said that mountains ,axle breakers and back breakers are another story.

I used to drive a Baleno earlier, 4 adults in the car meant that you crawled over speed breakers and sat at the edge of your seat and prayed that you didnt scrape
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Old 8th December 2010, 14:13   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogeshnaik View Post
Good and a very helpful review to us. One thing I was always wondering about is the ground clearance. This car is always compared to Honda City. The ground clearance is good for this car. As the length is more, are there any instances at humps that the car have grazed from the bottom of the chassis?
Hi Yogesh,

In normal speed breakers I havent scrapped even once. And just to add, mine is the Vxi version. The Zxi version with alloys is slightly even more taller. I recently went on a vacation, where some bit of poor roads was expected, with huge pot holes, no roads is some places etc. (sort of off-roading ). But didnt scrap once (with 4 adults + 2 kids + 100% boot full). My friend who had Linea was comfortable with SX4 on these roads.
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Old 11th December 2010, 12:52   #15
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Default Re: Maruti SX4 vxi - 28,000kms report

Another newbie in team-BHP that too from Chennai Vanakkam Sir
Your review was excellent and narrated well, Please post some pictures as well which would add more charm to your thread.
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