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Old 14th December 2010, 01:04   #1
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Default I bought a car that no one is buying! Maruti SX4 with factory-fit CNG!

Circa 2010, 5th December: That pin holding up the gear assembly gave up on my personal ride in the morning. By evening I took delivery of a car, as the post title says, no one was buying! This is a story about how I finally acquired a second set of wheels that I could call my own. The wife was at her wits end with me changing preferences every few days and this went on for weeks and then months, but finally I did make a choice. Do I see familiar nods and smiles from my fellow BHPians? This story will not have a technical review or test drive reports. There is a profusion of those on this forum, by people far more qualified to pass judgements of those sorts. What I am offering is a narration what a non expert like me faces when they decide to do too much research! Why do I call myself a non expert? Well, before I started my journey on TBHP I did not know about body roll, planted drive, turbo charger and lag, ice (what did frozen water have to do with cars, I did wonder for quite some time) etc. etc. I still don't! Still interested? Read on...


It all started slowly when I stumbled across from HifiVision on to TBHP sometime in February 2010. Then my interest in cars picked up and I settled down to do a thorough bit of research (that is what TBHP tells you to do first, doesn’t it?) and in the right spirit, asked to be registered in April. The gods (or mods, I'm confused sometimes) of TBHP accepted my humble request and I was all set. I promised a post in my application, one which is before you now, but be warned this one long rambling post (the longest ever?).


Now that I was an official member of THE forum, the search started in earnest. Our dear red bread box, also known as the Wagon R by most, was almost 10 years old. The other white steed (Steed? Did I just say steed?) was my FIL's trusted '800 of '97 vintage, yes 1997. The Wagon has done 110+K and the '800 about 55+K. Both still run very well, but the family did agree that we did need a new car and I was saying it should be sedan now. So which one was it going to be? Linea, Linea, Linea was what I thought was forgone conclusion. I could not see anything beyond it. Yes, I was smitten. The bulbous Beluga called the Swift Dzire was downright ugly and I could not be seen driving one. The Manza looked like a boat! I think there is something fundamentally wrong with its proportions. Oh sure it is aapno TATA product, buying a TATA car does a lot of good for your Be Indian – Buy Indian motto. But it had an Italian heart didn't it? It wasn't really Indian after all, settled the deal. The Vento came and went (from my radar)! I liked the car, simple and elegant. GTO is one powerful man and his review did sway the mood once in a while, but the thin dealership, the fact that our Jamuna Paar badlands did not even have an A.S.S. and the long waiting period did not work for me. The recommendations were all for the diesel but my running did not justify the additional outflow.


I was hooked to TBHP day and night, often getting up groggy eyed to read through posts and recommendations again and again and then again (I can see more sheepish grins now). There was one shining star on the TBHP horizon and that was the Linea. Oohs and aahs followed the moment I spotted one on the road. Someone was rolling eyes soon enough in the passenger seat! What a neat piece of design this car is. No doubt on that. It is one of the most well proportioned car I have seen on Indian roads, period. (Except from one angle and that is when you see the car side-on and follow the roof line towards the front, the bonnet seems to start with an inelegant 'bulge' near the windscreen. Some people don’t like the toothy grin, but I like it, most of the time).


After a lot of armchair research I had to have a test drive and reading how Fiat was aggressively marketing their flagship car, I thought it was going to be just a matter of registering on the website and the test drive would be at my doorstep. Turns out I was wrong. Fiat called, confirmed but never turned up. It seems they are more interested in the markets where the Linea moves the most: South. Meanwhile I was not going to not look at the competition. A mandatory Manza test drive followed and so did the SX4 but not the City and my reason for that is simply this, the new City is also a strikingly good looking car, more from the rear than the 'childish' front and the engine is also superb. But pricing of (all) their car(s) is atrocious. Overseas, the City sells for the same price as the SX4, meaning Honda people are essentially fleecing many of us and I didn't want to be part of that crowd. A friend's Verna was also tested, but the ugly duckling has turned even uglier in the new transform(ation). Sometimes I feel that the Koreans just simply cannot put the outside and inside together. Remember the chhipkali (gecko) inspired dashboard design in the first Santro? How they got it almost right in the i20, is a wonder. There are Ford fans and then there are Ford Fiesta fans but something (reports of high running costs, spares etc.) kept me away from the Americans (including Chevrolet). The Ford does look to have a winner in the Figo and the Chevy people have a good thing going in the Cruze, both belonged to segments which did not interest me. I also didn't want to see a dowdy Logan in my parking lot for sure, so that was ruled out. Accent was too old to be even considered. I did fool around the ideas of buying Ritz, Jazz, i20 in moments of temporary fancy.


Weeks were rolling by and becoming months. Everybody knew I was buying a car, but every time someone asked, it was still dilemma time. Eventually, people stopped asking.


I had the money, but I was determined to not 'waste' it on a thing that starts losing value the moment you buy it! (5%, the instant the car is handed over to you and you haven't even gone beyond the exit gate! The insurance you buy is for 95% of the showroom value). GTO was recommending lateral upgrades, wife was simply not interested in anything second hand, the steed had to be first hand for her knight in shining armour! You can't really go against the HM if you want live in the H, do you? There went my dream of impressing my clients in an immaculate Civic or a Laura, darn. You will cry blue murder if I told you that a friend picked up a used Teana for, hold your breath, 8 lakhs!


On the sly, I did check out two fairly new Linea MJDs on (re)sale by two TBHPians. Both unfortunately were not Delhi registered and it was going to be a task and additional money in having them transferred to a Delhi registration, so the asking price made less sense, might as well buy new. Then came the simple inevitable question, “Why are these guys selling their new Lineas? Something must be wrong with them.” I couldn’t say nothing is wrong with them. Honesty is the bedrock of matrimony. Both sellers had said they found the car a little sluggish, and my test drive confirmed the fact. Linea MJD as well as the Petrol are underpowered, period. I did not want another Wagon R like behaviour when one tried that overtaking manoeuvre. We survived a horrendous crash in the Wagon R when a 16 wheeled trailer-truck fishtailed us near Kurukshetra on the NH1. I still remember staring at the front grill of that behemoth for an eternity while it was pushing our car from the driver's side, till all those horrible gut wrenching screeching noises and shattering of glass stopped. But we were all OK, without a scratch on us and returned early from our holiday, hold your breath, in the red bread box! I put the 'blame' on my ageing car's lack of power besides the crazy thing that the trailer driver did on that miraculous day. It couldn't be my fault could it? I have been driving cars for over 15 years now.


There were so many stories to read, besides GTO's test drives. And every new post was adding to the confusion. Time was rolling by and we got two new contenders in the list, viz. the Tjet and the Etios. I test drove the Tjet and followed it up with a repeat test of the petrol Emotion. What a difference in the experience it was! Etios came but not really. The booking was to start in January '11, I could not wait that long. One sole review that I read, by an Indian journo testing it on some Japanese race track on a rainy day, was not very enthusiastic. That first day report by Jaggu on Etios did not set my pulses racing either. By now you guys must have already guessed, I am strong on the looks to be right, the actual mill be damned! I had rejected perfectly good cars in the line up on this basis alone! So why could it not be the TJet? It could well be but you must read till the end to get the real winner...
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Last edited by Technocrat : 20th March 2011 at 21:23. Reason: Attaching Spredsheet from post# 66, on Request from OP
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Old 14th December 2010, 08:33   #2
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Default re: I bought a car that no one is buying! (at least on Team BHP): SX4 Initial review.

People are actually reading this, wow! Since you aske for it, here is part 2..

It was getting late by the day. I had to recall my experience in picking my music gear when I started at HFV. I had to sit down and prioritise. And this is where I went back to Smartcat's brilliant analysis of sedans. Dr.AD and Echo had opened a door on the analysis front. Archon started something for the Hatchbacks but he didn't get around to the sedans. In any case all the talk about area under the curve etc. was of course flying over my head, so I had to device my own logic and thus my own spreadsheet.

I made a list I cared most about, and it ran very simply like this:
  1. Running Cost was an probably the most important issue which I later revised to the concept of Total Cost of Ownership. My analysis showed that fuel efficiency was only part of the whole story.
  2. Shouldn’t be more than 8 lakhs on Road (why? No real cogent answer, other than the fact that if I had to look beyond the D'zires, Logans, Accents etc., then that is minimum one needed for a decent car).
  3. Frugal to maintain and have support anywhere in India. Shouldn't feel cheated when we go for those inevitable repairs.
  4. Looks mattered but since I am not an aggressive driver, as long there was sufficient power I was OK. I don’t have to be the first one to bolt on a green light so power to weight and torque to weight and other stats were just that, stats.
  5. A.S.S. should be nearby. We have a MASS within walking distance and A.S.S.s for most car makers within a drive of about 3km but not VW. The local MASS has come in handy so many times!
  6. Most of my driving is city based (close to 98% from previous records), so smaller turning radius was welcome. Ground Clearance is also an issue, because some of the places I pass through regularly, have very bad roads.
  7. I like the high/upright seating position of the Wagon R and I like the visibility. I am moving on in the years, every ride in a Baleno, Civic, City, Linea, Optra and even Dzire reminds me of that. Getting in is still easier, its the getting out that becomes challenging. OK, I am exaggerating here, but if I keep my car that long, I will be there.
  8. My city based driving also made me uncomfortable with the left hand stalk controls of the turn indicators of the European cars. Driving in the city necessitates driving with the left hand on the gear knob and the other hand doing the duty on the wheel for much of the drive. Though I do think that the left side turn stalk would be a boon for the wife, who is constantly on the lookout for any mismanagement on my part in that department! I could have happily left the job of 'giving-indicator' to her and driven in peace.
Things that I did not care about ran like this:
  1. Resale value was not important, I intend to keep the car for at least 5 years, my older drives are doing 10+ years. One of the major points people make about the Honda cars is its decent resale value, but if your have been charged a good 20% extra in the first place... I leave the maths to you.
  2. Me and my family members are all of the shorter 5'-6” variety, so wider seats, leg space, head room would never be an issue. How I wish I could become taller, even now, but that ain’t happening, so got to let that go Steve! The fact that I am stuck with my height often made me wonder if I could install a loft in the Wagon R, there is so much head room there!
  3. All the bells and whistles like blue & me, MID/MFD, follow me home lights were not really game changers. I really like these trinkets but except MID/MFD many can be added and for a price lesser than that charged by the auto company. Some of these aren't even needed.
  4. Most of my driving is city based, so ABS and EBD were not critical. (Maybe I am wrong on this one). I mean when do we get to do 100+ in this city? Its anyway illegal. Oh, Delhi has great roads, by far the best in the country. But by the time you do hit that forbidden 60 its time to slow down for the next traffic light.
  5. A large boot was unnecessary (then why was I looking at a sedan? Status, boss, status. No, no, “I felt like indulging myself”, sounds much better)
  6. I would have liked a height adjustable seat but not having one was not a deal breaker. When I test drove cars which did not have one, I did not feel the need for one. In fact it is only in the '800 does one really see the front end of the car.
Which were the cars that qualified in the above? I looked up Smatcat's analysis of sedans under 12 lakhs for this. There were 26 cars in that list. If you took out the ones I was not interested in, the top contenders were the City, Linea, SX4 and Vento. Linea and Vento came in two flavours and the diesels amongst these were what everybody was gaga about.

First thing I did was to understand the implications of spending the extra lakh of rupees on a diesel car. One can see that variant to variant the Diesel car usually costs that much extra (or more) in this segment. I tried to project the difference in the cost of ownership for various fuel types. I called this the ECO analysis (Extra of Cost of Ownership). I even plotted two possible scenarios for Diesel Pricing in India. One where it will remain subsidised and one where it starts to be sold at its real price, almost equalling price of petrol in year 10, believing that our pusillanimous finance ministers will eventually break it on us slowly. I looked at the ECO for the next 10 years at 12000 km per year running that I do now. I compensated for increased mileage for the Diesels, a yearly maintenance cost of Rs.3000 for petrols and Rs.5000 for diesels, a lump sum expense of 25000 in year 5 when tyres got changed and other things got replaced. A steady rate of inflation of 10% as well as a modest rate of 12% return on the investment. (At least this way the money wasn't losing too much value). I agree some of these are assumptions and could be wide off the mark, but the idea was to get an intuitive feel of where all of this was going. The results were startling. The diesels made no sense for at least 5 years at my yearly run of 12000 km even at subsidised prices. Had my running been more, it would have made sense at say 25000 km per year, but then the car would not have lasted even 5 years.


So while eyes were in the danger of staying rolled up for ever in my passenger seat, I chanced upon an ad for the CNG variants of Maruti cars. How had I missed these? Suddenly there was a chance to redeem my green genes. The family jokes about how we carry the burden of being green in our lives. Kilolitres of drinking water runs off into the gutter everyday outside our home from a broken main but we go into depression if one measly litre goes waste in the house. The house air-conditioners run at 27 degree centigrade, anything cooler and we break into shivers of guilt. We have taken up the green mantle and have been making up for other's sins for all our lives. Guys you can lead your profligate lives, hum hain na.. Oh, but I digress.


Thus started another round of research on TBHP, hunting for any reference of CNG. Would you believe it, if I told you that till Aggoswami owned up to a CNG Wagon R, there was not one OEM CNG car on the forum? A set of parallel inquiries at the dealerships had to be opened. There was no CNG variant of the SX4 on display either, forget getting a test ride. (There were CNG Wagons or Estilos on display but no SX4). Found somebody commenting on how little boot space remained in the car once the cylinder was put in. (It was alarming, “not even enough space for 2 laptop cases..”, it said). Finally my perseverance paid off, I was able to see a SX4 Green. The boot-space was indeed reduced, but not unusable for our purposes I surmised. Now I compared the CNG to Petrol E.C.O. and for once there was something that started to show green (if you look my file up) from year 2 itself. It was making money by year 5, tons of it!

But wait, was this right? Was I overlooking something?
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Old 14th December 2010, 16:50   #3
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Default re: I bought a car that no one is buying! (at least on Team BHP): SX4 Initial review.

One doesn't buy cars to save money, does one? In fact its the exact opposite! There was some more convincing of self to be done before I took the plunge. I went back to Smartcat's sedan analysis. I kept tinkering with his (and Echo's) file(s) to suddenly realise that there was no way to give weightage to a car's features in their scheme of things. Cost of car was as important as driveability, leg-space, boot-space or the bells and whistles. Similarly running cost meant only the fuel efficiency. Something was not right.

So I took that file and worked on it a little to include the facility of putting weightages to various features, added columns on TCO for 5yrs and 10 yrs and one more for Green technology. (Diesel is the worst fuel of the lot, we all know that). Sorted the list by fuel type and made my car win!

I bought the SX4 Green.

Actually the car comes out on tops, amongst 'petrol' cars, if one goes by Smartcat's method of ranking. But things get a little complicated when we start putting weightages to features. The power and torque stats tell you everything is just about right. In fact the additional weight of the CNG kit that you lug around makes it a tad worse. Everything else fits into the bill. It leaves the City and the Linea behind in the TCO. For the SX4 Green, I even downgraded the performance figures by 10%, in the absence of real test data, yet they are better than the Lineas. (With the City there is no competition, its far ahead in the engine dept.). I disregarded the in-gear acceleration figures, because what I could understand is that if the car did 0-60 or 0-100 in good times then a bit of deft stick work can get you around the poor 3rd gear and 4th gear acceleration performances. (This is the part where I made it win) The Turning Dia., Legroom, Headroom and Seat width weightages were also set to zero in my analysis and so were the bells and whistles.

I will upload the file, once I figure out the method to do that on this forum, hope it will be useful for others.

Now that the car is with us for about a week and true to our running we have done about 250km, here are my initial observations (I am sorry if the comparisons are only with what I have driven extensively):
  • First Impression: It is big. For long I thought it would be difficult to adjust to a car as big as this but I have found it very easy to adjust to its size. Have had no trouble in taking U turns.
  • I have test driven a no. of cars in these months, but I think the power is more than adequate for my style of easy driving. The car seems to have more juice than the regular Lineas and similar to the Tjet, I rarely push my cars. In some ways I bought this variant without really test driving it, had to call up another buyer to confirm his opinions about the power. Having bought it, no regrets.
  • There is no perceptible difference in the power delivery between the CNG and petrol modes. The car starts on petrol and automatically switches over to CNG when the engine reaches the optimum temperature. Although it is possible to manually override this behaviour to run only on Petrol or CNG. Cold start on CNG is possible, but is it recommended? The manual is silent on it.
  • The only difference I found was in the slight change in the engine noise when it runs on CNG. There is a diesel like clatter to the sound on idling but its faint. Engine noise does get in, but I like to listen to the sound. Our Wagon R did not have a tacho, this one does, so till the time I make my gear changes based on looking at the tacho, the engine pitch helps. (Honestly, is there anyone who changes gears looking at the tacho?)
  • I was dreading the long lines at the CNG stations but that fear was unfounded. However every time you go it is not necessary that you will get a tank full. It is dependent on the gas pressure at the fill point and some vends are chronically low on pressure! Those that are known to be good, you will spend a longer time in the queue. That itself is not a problem but maneuvering a new large car amongst the dented autos and cabs can become a daunting task. The petrol tank is huge, it gulped close to 45 liters on my first fill. The gas tank can take about 12kg. Theoretically that gives us a phenomenal range of over 850km combined. (@14kmpl on petrol and 20kmpkg on gas).
  • The power steering is not as light as the Wagon R, but isn't it how it should be, giving you feedback and all? The car tracks truthfully on tight turns and did not seem to have over/under steer.
  • But you cant help but smile when you see that the petrol gauge does not budge even if you have driven 250km. The gas 'switch' which is situated on the right side of the steering also shows amount of gas left, in 5 leds, but this does go down quickly. I think I will have to get tankfuls every week. More on FE later.
  • The confidence you get while going over speed bumps or potholes is great. No fear of scrapes. The ride may not be in league with the drive I experienced in the Linea test drive, but its not bad at all. You don’t get thrown about on bad roads. I did reduce the tyre pressure from the astronomical 45+ showroom PSIs to the correct 30 PSI right away.
  • The car came shod with Bridgestone Turanzas and from what I have read on this forum, these are good tyres. I do solicit your expert opinions on these.
  • On a cold start the tacho shows about 1100rpm, which eventually settles down to about 700. I am trying to curb myself in the 'breaking-in' period. The manual does not mention any thing about breaking in, but with the addictive power on tap, its a bit difficult restrain oneself. The car easily moves up to a 80-90kmph without any strain, and then one is reminded that this is Delhi and not all roads are like the Greater Noida Expressway where it is legal to be at 100. Shifting up with my usual instinct I could confirm that I was changing gears at around 1800 to 2200.
  • The seat is definitely more comfortable than anything I have driven. The lumbar and side support is spot on for my frame. My father appreciated the ease of getting and out of the car.
  • Forward and sideways visibility is great, except for the A pillar. The small quarter glass helps and I am still getting used to it.
  • Rear visibility needs time to get used to. I think the IRVM is not wide enough. Though the ORVMs are huge. I was thinking about a reverse sensor from outside, but after reading about Mevtecs recent misfortune on his D'zire and denied warranty support, I am inclined to get it from the Maruti dealership, though the price is almost twice. I did take the extended fourth year warranty and don’t want any small print to come in the way of using its benefits, should such misfortune come my way. Any advice on this would be welcome.
  • The boot space can be compared to a hatchback with a parcel tray. We were able to fetch one large bag and one small cabin bag in the boot from the airport the other day. Though there is some more space to tuck in smaller/thinner bags around the cylinder, but nothing to beat the space we have enjoyed in the Wagon R, our expat visitors will still have to be fetched in the older sibling, if they get those large bags.
  • I do miss the open storage shelves of the Wagon R. Though that tends to make the car look untidy. The bottle holders don’t look large enough to take a full liter bottle, but I haven’t tried. The smaller half liter ones tend to rattle.
  • The music system, I can confirm, is sad for my HFV 'trained' audiophile ears. It does have a usb input.
What I miss:
  • I do wish that the car came with a MID/MFD. For a car that touts to bring the men back, this is sorely missed. Yes men like the muscular look, but they also like to be geeky on the side.
  • There should have been an option of buying the ABS/Airbag version in this variant.
  • The glove box should have had an AC vent to keep at least one bottle cool.
  • The CNG version does not have ACC.
And lastly, it put me back by 7.76 big ones with a free gear lock thrown in. I think I got a good deal, at least it matches the December offers. This is all I can think of now, but I will add as the miles get accumulated. Would be happy to answer any queries. Thanks for bearing with me on this post and also for all your wishes.

PS1: My first and only ride (mentioned in the first paragraph of post 1) is an Atlas Cycle bought on 25th November 1980. Sometime in 1989 I modified its 'drive train' to a three gear setup! Its the only set of wheels I have personally owned. Exactly thirty years later to date I handed over the cheque for the second set of wheels. The upgrade from pedal power to petrol power is awesome, isn’t it?

PS2: The eyes are back in their proper positions but the eyebrows frown at my choice of colour. I chose the Oyster Blue over the white and the silver. There is no pleasing some people I tell you!
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Last edited by Technocrat : 20th March 2011 at 21:30. Reason: Added Attachment from post #66 as per OP's request. Thanks.
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Old 14th December 2010, 17:59   #4
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying! (at least on Team BHP): SX4 Initial review

Man you write stories or what? Your second post seemed to be a well thought out one (since we all asked for the part 2).

But this is really a GREAT story of your purchase! And a very detailed one too. Indeed even I was thinking why is no one buying SX4 on this forum. In fact Fiat sells this as a crossover in Europe it is called Edicia or something like that. Anyway, congrats for the SX4 and the men are back at your parking lot

Cheers!!
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Old 14th December 2010, 18:49   #5
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying! (at least on Team BHP): SX4 Initial review

Brilliant write up to the core. Pleasure to read.
Are you a poet or a journalist who (very) occasionally writes poems/stories too?

Welcome to the SX4 family, my friend.
Please post the pictures.
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Old 14th December 2010, 19:19   #6
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying! (at least on Team BHP): SX4 Initial review

You are a fine writer,LiSunset! Though you tend to run on for longer tha I'd consider attention-worthy lol.
Need some pics, boss. I am interested in seeing what the boot size actually is. And some funny experiences at the CNG filling station (a swanky new SX4 in between the autos has all the makings of one!) would really round it off nicely.
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Old 14th December 2010, 19:20   #7
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying! (at least on Team BHP): SX4 Initial review

Finally..

Have been checking the forum regularly to check whether you have revealed the name of the car or not.. Awesome.. Congratulations for the car.. And yeah I have always wondered that why don't people buy SX4 on this forum.. It is a great car after all.. I still remember how my 1st gen SX4 used to pull on the 3rd gear.. I am sure that the response will be better on the VTT or VVT whichever..


And 20km/kg on CNG ???
Man I hope that they launch this model in Pune soon... Though CNG fuel is yet to be made available at pumps..
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Old 14th December 2010, 19:23   #8
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying! (at least on Team BHP): SX4 Initial review

Lithiumsunset - Thats one mesmerising story. Couldnt stop till i had reached the end.
Congratulations ! The Green SX4 is a great choice and kudos to Maruti-Suzuki for providing this option when others are spewing diesels by the dozen.
I could not understand some of the variant considerations like the Green option not being available in Zxi or A lot many prospective buyers would have walked away because of the MID or Bluetooth features not being available in the Zxi version. I wonder what the MSIL product marketing guys are thinking.

I opted for a SX4-VVT Zxi in March 2010. Agree with a lot of points you have mentioned above and I am very happy with my decision. I too have a Waggie from 2005 and i am having a hard time finding a suitable replacement.
I am waiting for the Sx4 to reach the 10K mark after which i will post a detailed initial ownership report.

Enjoy miles of smiles in your new ride.

Cheers
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Old 14th December 2010, 19:45   #9
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying!(at least on Team BHP) SX4 Green Initial rev

i am impressed with the writing skills on display here. Congrats on the latest purchase. Drive safe.
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Old 14th December 2010, 20:09   #10
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying!(at least on Team BHP) SX4 Green Initial rev

Excellent writeup. Congratulations for buying the SX4 green. Pls do post some pics of the car. Wish you many more happy miles
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Old 14th December 2010, 20:51   #11
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying!(at least on Team BHP) SX4 Green Initial rev

Congrats LithumSunset.. Very good detailed write up. Please do post some pics.

BTW, where is your analysis sheet?

-Ravi
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Old 14th December 2010, 21:01   #12
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying! (at least on Team BHP): SX4 Initial review

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Originally Posted by psbali View Post
.. And yeah I have always wondered that why don't people buy SX4 on this forum.. It is a great car after all..
Let me try and answer that...hopefully it doesn't get treated as OT since the OP mentions this is a car that nobody buys in the title!
- SX4 is not a looker. The elevated rear is an eyesore. The A column is an aesthetic nightmare.
- While ground clearance is amazing, I can't imagine the ride will be smooth. People don't mind a stiff ride in say a Swift but a sedan needs to be a plush ride.
- Maruti doesn't quite seem to know what to do with the SX4. It's in the same boat as the Hyundai Verna in that respect: those who drive one like it but everyone else is indifferent.
- The Dzire offers a much better value proposition to most people. Never mind that it looks like a Swift with Kim Kardashian's rear end.
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Old 14th December 2010, 21:23   #13
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying!(at least on Team BHP) SX4 Green Initial rev

I begged my dad hard to buy an SX4 instead of a NHC back in 08, but he wanted the "Honda" tag

Congrats, the car looks awesome in that color.
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Old 14th December 2010, 22:54   #14
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying! (at least on Team BHP): SX4 Initial review

Congratulations on your SX4. I am sure you will enjoy this car. And great narration too! I really enjoyed reading your story.

Since I am driving SX4 for last few months, I could not resist the temptation of giving my comments on some of your observations

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Originally Posted by LithiumSunset View Post
. The power steering is not as light as the Wagon R, but isn't it how it should be, giving you feedback and all? The car tracks truthfully on tight turns and did not seem to have over/under steer.
Actually I do not agree with this. The steering does not give any feedback at all. I think the steering is pretty vague too, especially at slow speeds.

Quote:
The confidence you get while going over speed bumps or potholes is great. No fear of scrapes.
Totally agree.

Quote:
The ride may not be in league with the drive I experienced in the Linea test drive, but its not bad at all.
Again, I agree, but I still wish the ride was a little better.

Quote:
The car came shod with Bridgestone Turanzas and from what I have read on this forum, these are good tyres. I do solicit your expert opinions on these.
This is good thing about VXi model. The Turanzas are pretty good. ZXi comes with JK Vectras, and I am not too happy about them.

Quote:
Shifting up with my usual instinct I could confirm that I was changing gears at around 1800 to 2200.
After experimenting with this, I have settled on shifting up at around 2500-3000 range and it is more fun (I believe) this way. Sometimes, I let the engine rev-up to 3500 before shifting up. The engine sound at 3500 RPM is very nice!

Quote:
The seat is definitely more comfortable than anything I have driven. The lumbar and side support is spot on for my frame.
Totally agree.

Quote:
Forward and sideways visibility is great, except for the A pillar. The small quarter glass helps and I am still getting used to it.
Again, agree. But the A pillar is not that bad too. I think it is pretty OK. Maybe because I was used to the A pillar of Palio (which generates big blind spots) that I almost never had problems with the A pillar of SX4.

Quote:
The bottle holders don’t look large enough to take a full liter bottle, but I haven’t tried. The smaller half liter ones tend to rattle.
The front bottle holders (in the door pads) take 1L bottle of some brands (if the bottle shape is a bit slim) and not some others. The rear bottle holders are pretty useless because they are too small for 1L bottles and too big for 0.5L bottles.

Quote:
The music system, I can confirm, is sad for my HFV 'trained' audiophile ears.
Absolutely true. I am not an audiophile at all, and even then I could figure out that it is bad.

Anyway, enjoy your new car and looking forward to more driving experiences from you.
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Old 14th December 2010, 23:17   #15
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Default Re: I bought a car that no one is buying!(at least on Team BHP) SX4 Green Initial rev

Well congrats, but there are quite a few who have and adore SX4s on TeamBHP

Anyway, one reason why it is not setting the charts on fire is becaue, people ultimately go in for a Honda, as it is just a bit more money, more refinement, more brand value, more status symbol and so on.

But the SX4 is a greaqt car none the less, and has more features than the City, like ACC. You have a sedan that can also double as an SUV ;-)
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