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Old 9th May 2011, 09:44   #1
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Default Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

This is the ownership review of a car bought in August 2010. For the past 9 months, I had been trying to get a membership on this forum. Now that I have got it I feel I should write the review of my 9 months old car. So all the things written below date back to July 2010 which was the month we started looking out for cars. This might not be a comprehensive review but I have tried to include everything I could.


NEED FOR A NEW CAR:
We owned a TATA Indigo GLX previously. This was our first sedan. We had it for 7 years and it was trouble free ownership. Apart from regular maintenance services there was never the need to take it to a garage. However few days back while my dad was coming back from the office the car stalled on the highway. We took it to a garage and got it fixed. The next day it again stalled. We then took it to an authorised TATA service and got a whopping bill of 17k for getting the car fixed. The mechanic there told us that it would be better to buy a new car as this car would keep giving us problems. Though the car was 7 years old the odometer reading was just 34k. This car was used by my father for his office travels and weekend social meetings; by me for just hanging out with my friends. But my Dad decided it was time for a new Car as there was no point in taking to car to garages time and again. Plus once you car has had a major problem you always have the fear that the car might stall in the middle of somewhere (In Bombay itís a scary thought).

WHICH CAR TO BUY:

My dad wanted a sedan for sure. Now my dad is a typical Indian customer. One who will not do any research for buying things but would rather just ask his friends or relatives and make a decision. But I was not going to let him buy a car without research. So after a lot of persuasion I convinced him to at least test drive cars of different companies. I shall list the test driving experience in chronological order. All the cars test driven were petrol versions as our running per month was not much. In 7 years we had just done 34k on our Indigo, so you can guess how less we drive our car.


1. HONDA CITY:
First stop was the Honda showroom at Santacruz, Mumbai. A salesperson came to us within 2 minutes. He told us about all the features of the car. Since my dad would be driving the car most of the time, he decided to have a look at the car in the showroom before taking the test drive. We both liked the looks of the car. The salesperson offered us to sit inside the car and see the interiors. He opened the gate and offered my dad first. The first thing I noticed was that he was not able to get in the car easily. He had to crouch down and get in. Even my dad felt the same. Ingress/egress was difficult both for me and my dad. Apart from that both of us were impressed with all the features especially the interiors. Then we saw the OTR price sheet. The price of the base model was 10,10,000. Although we could afford it, this was stretching our budget. Then the salesperson said that the test drive car was not available and that he would send one to our residence the next day. We gave him our address and phone no and left the showroom. The next day we waited for his call which never came. My dad's reaction was - " If he is not interested in selling a car why the hell should we call him".

2. TATA MANZA :
Next we went to a TATA showroom. Since our previous car was a TATA car itself I was not much interested in TATA again but I decided to at least take a TD. First we saw the Manza. The looks were not that inspiring but when we saw the interiors we were highly impressed. It had a MID indicator as well as Bluetooth. When we asked the price we were in for a surprise. He said the cost was 7.1 lakh. This was below our expectation which was good. The only thing that was bothering us was the underpowered engine. My dad's main requirement was a powerful engine as he used to make about 2 highway trips every month ( To Daman). Still we decided to test drive it. The salesperson arranged for it within 10 minutes. The test drive was not that great. I felt like I was driving an Indigo with better interiors. The engine power felt the same as our Old Indigo. This was the deal breaker. But for a person who was buying his first sedan and wanted all the features with a limited budget Manza would be a great choice.( My personal opinion)

3. FIAT LINEA:
The moment we saw the car we were amazed by her looks. She is absolutely stunning in maroon. But here too the engine specifications were disappointing ( 90 BHP power). The engine supposed to power this heavy car was underpowered (Remember there was no Linea-Tjet at that time). Plus my dad was always against FIAT because of its A.S.S and high cost of spares. The interiors seemed fine but not good like Honda City. Since my dad had already decided not to buy a FIAT I thought there was no point in taking a test-drive.

4. HYUNDAI VERNA :
Next we went to the Hyundai showroom. My dad did not want Verna because it just looked bad. Even I did not like it but I thought a good ride may change my mind. So I took him to the Hyundai showroom. We waited there for 15 mins and there was no sign of a salesperson. We took the brochure of Verna Transform ourselves and started reading it. In the meantime a salesperson came to us and asked us about our requirements. In the brochure I did not see ABS/Airbags anywhere. I asked him about it(the petrol version). He said that Verna Transform does not come with Airbags. We did not even ask for a TD because my dad wanted a car with all the safety features. I still do not understand what is the logic of not giving airbags in the topmost model.

5. Maruti Sx4 :
My dad had previously driven his friend's Sx4. He was already impressed by this car. But I wanted to TD it. Some people do not like its looks but I was bowled over by its looks. The engine specifications were also impressive. It had all the safety features. But MID indicator was missed. Maruti should have put such features in its flagship sedan. Though it was not a deal breaker but it was sorely missed. The interiors though not great were just enough for us. Then the TD. Because of its high ground clearance getting in and out of the car was not a problem at all. I wanted an upgrade from Indigo and sx4 it was. The steering wheel was very easy to use but not absolutely light. Gear box was butter-smooth. I was amazed by its acceleration. It was also comfortably in our budget. Fiesta was not considered as it was on old model and nobody from my family liked its looks.



We came back and analyzed all our experiences. Maruti Sx4 was satisfying all our requirements. So we booked an Azure Grey Sx4 Zxi at AUTOVISTA, Bandra on 26th July 2010. Its OTR price was 8.5 lakhs after 30k discount. Freebies offered were Mud flaps and floor mats (the transparent ones), Anti-rust treatment.


We sold our old Indigo to them only. The delivery process was absolutely smooth and we got our car on 4th August at 5pm. Got a box of chocolates, a cake and a petrol coupon of 5 litres of a nearby petrol pump. Straight away went to Siddhivinayak Temple for the usual car pooja and came back. At night went for a small drive with my family to my cousinís place to show them our new ride!


Positives :
1. Great handling. Steering is smooth and so is the gear box.

2. Great turning radius. I though being a big car, taking turns would be diffcult but I was proved wrong.

3. Powerful engine. Stop-start acceleration is just fantastic.

4. High seating position. High ground clearance means no worrying about speed-breakers.

5. Maruti's A.S.S - the best in the market today.

6. Noise levels are incredibly low. This might probably be because I was comparing it to my Old Indigo but a good point nonetheless.

Negatives:

1. Poor fuel efficiency compared to City and Linea.

2. A-pillar does hinder your visibility. You will have to be little careful while taking right/left turns but will get used to it.

3. The ride quality is a little harsh. I have sat inside my uncle's Linea and I think Linea swallows bumps and potholes better than Sx4.

4. You need to install parking sensors as rear visibility is not great.

5. Headlights are not strong enough. They could have been better. If we replace the stock lights do we void the warranty? Has any Sx4 user changed the headlights?



A lot has been said about the JK Vectras on Sx4 but I do think I will be changing them as I am fine with it. Probably few years down line I might change them. The sound system is just fine for me. We also got parking sensors and Bluetooth kit installed from the dealer itself. The bluetooth + parking sensors costed us 7k. Is 7k too much for bluetooth+parking sensors? Some pictures of the new beast:


The "maala" is still there

Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010291.jpg


Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010295.jpg


The Side Profile

Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010298.jpg


Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010300.jpg


Meaty tyres and nice alloys

Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010304.jpg


Simple and neat front door.

Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010305.jpg


Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010306.jpg


Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010307.jpg


The fake wooden finish

Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010309.jpg


Simple layout of buttons

Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010310.jpg

More pictures to follow.
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Old 9th May 2011, 09:49   #2
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki Sx4 (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

Some more pictures :

Dashboard finish
Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010311.jpg

Backseat
Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010313.jpg

The steering wheel
Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010316.jpg

MAterial used at top
Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010319.jpg

Enormous boot space
Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010321.jpg

The badge that matters
Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010324.jpg

Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010325.jpg

Drivers side controls
Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010326.jpg

Well spaced pedals
Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-05082010328.jpg

Initial driving experience coming up.

Last edited by Saanil : 9th May 2011 at 09:55.
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Old 9th May 2011, 10:19   #3
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki Sx4 (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

boss- congrats.
i have the same color sx4.
nice steering grip ,is it factory fitted or an accessory
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Old 9th May 2011, 10:22   #4
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki Sx4 (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

Hi saanil,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your new Maruti SX4. Practicality means SX4, a true value for money car. Your review is nice with good photos. I wonder why you didn't considered VW Vento in your shopping list.

Anyhow letís stick to the SX4, keep the thread updated regularly and post more pictures of your beauty.

Happy Driving.
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Old 9th May 2011, 10:30   #5
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki Sx4 (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by drbabuanand View Post
boss- congrats.
i have the same color sx4.
nice steering grip ,is it factory fitted or an accessory
This is not factory fitted. The dealer put it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
Hi saanil,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your new Maruti SX4. Practicality means SX4, a true value for money car. Your review is nice with good photos. I wonder why you didn't considered VW Vento in your shopping list.

Anyhow letís stick to the SX4, keep the thread updated regularly and post more pictures of your beauty.

Happy Driving.
I mentioned in my post that the car was bought in August and that the car hunting started in July 2010. IIRC the Vento was not yet launched.

P.S - Mods can you please put Sx4 Zxi in the title of this thread. I forgot to put it.
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Old 9th May 2011, 20:39   #6
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

INITIAL DRIVING EXPERIENCE:

The car was mainly used by my father to go to office. Total distance that used to be covered daily was around 36kms. But now we have shifted to a new place near dad's office (about 3kms away). So our monthly running has come down drastically. Once or twice a month my father takes the car to Daman for his auditing work. That is the only trip that adds substantial kms to the odometer. I also drive the car for short distances only. No long trip has been made in this car till now. I was very careful with the car initially keeping the rpm around 2k and never exceeding 2.5k.

I am happy with the overall fit and finish in the car. None of the parts seem loose or fragile. The layout of the buttons is quite practical and easy. Seat height adjustment is great. There have been few occasions when the car had to take 5 people in it but it used to be the usual 30-40 mins drive inside city. For short trips 5 people is not a problem but cannot comment about long drives as I havenít done any in this car. The AC does its job pretty well and is quite powerful. Electrically controlled side mirrors are a pretty handy feature. I also use the audio controls on the steering wheel a lot.

The most impressive part of this car has to be its engine. Start-stop acceleration simply fantastic. 2nd and 3rd gear are mostly used in city and most of the gear shifts happen between these two only. Got used to the clutch pretty early and did not stall the car except the first day. The boot space is huge. While shifting to our new house the enormous boot space was used thoroughly. The FE we have been getting is 8-9 kmpl in city and 12kmpl on highways (both with 100% AC). FE was never Sx4's strong point but this figure is too low. My father got the FE tested at the dealer and it gave 11kmpl. I do not know how authentic the test was as I was not there when it happened.

The Sx4 was criticized by many for its rattles but till date I have not observed any kind of rattle in my car. The car has done speeds of 70-80 kmph on the highway and it feels planted on the road. The braking of Sx4 is powerful and has saved me of embarrassment a couple of times on highways. The car in its first month got hurt on the highway. I shall describe it in my next post.
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Old 10th May 2011, 09:46   #7
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

Driving a new car is a nightmare in a city like Bombay. You have to be extra careful to make sure that the 2 wheelers and auto rickshaws do not scratch your car. Even my dad was very careful with the car. But God had other plans. It was a car only that made the first impact on my car and that too a heartbreaking one. This happened while my father was coming back from work on the western express highway. He was waiting at a signal with a truck in front of him. While he was waiting he saw in his rear view mirror than an Alto was approaching. Initially it was a good distance away from the car and my father did not pay any attention. But as the car came nearer my father realised that the Alto was not slowing down. He realised something was wrong with the Alto but he could not go anywhere because by the time he realised he had to do something the Alto had smashed into the Sx4's boot. I am not sure at what speed it banged but here are some pictures:


Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-11092010351.jpg


Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-11092010352.jpg


Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!-11092010353.jpg

The alto belonged to a woman who was being chauffeured by an old man. The Old man said apologetically that the brakes malfunctioned and he could not stop the car in time. The woman gave her card to my father and told that if any damages were to be paid she would oblige. There were no arguments at all and the matter was solved peacefully. My father did not feel the need to file a police complaint. When my father came back home and told me about the incident I was relieved that he was alright and that the accident was just a minor one.


Spoke to the dealer the next day about how much time will it require to fix it. Took the car to the workshop and he promised to give the car within 10 days. Though he did not fulfil his promise we got our car on the 15th day after some shouting and arguments on phone. The cost of rear bumper + painting charges was 7.5k and we got insurance of 75% (via New India Assurance). As it was a plastic part it was not 100% insured.
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Old 10th May 2011, 18:34   #8
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

The odometer currently reads 7600kms. First two free services have been completed. The first service set us back by Rs 1300 for the synthetic oil. I came to know afterwards that synthetic oil should not be used because it slows down the run-in process.

The second service took place after 6 months. We did not have to pay even a single rupee for that. A person from the workshop came to collect the car and handed it the very next day. I told them that there were a few scratches (very minor ones) on the side of the car and to do something about them. Well the scratches were there when we got the car so nothing was done about it. We did not pursue this case further. The car definitely feels smoother and easier to drive in city. No niggling issues have been there so far. I have changed my driving style a bit by changing gears at 2.5k rpm as opposed to 2k rpm earlier. Let us see what effect it has on the FE.

Those planning to buy Sx4- do not expect great FE figures. I think the typical "Kitna Deti hain" does not hold for Sx4. I know it might be because of my driving style or the kind of traffic I drive in, but I have not come across any other person who has achieved better FE figures in the same conditions.

P.S - Where can I find the VIN no. on my Sx4? I know how to decode the VIN no. (thanks to Wildon's thread) but I do not know where is the VIN no on my car.
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Old 10th May 2011, 19:27   #9
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

thats bad hit. and 15 days for getting repaired just a bumper is poor poor service.

BTW 1300Rs for Synthetic oil, something is wrong, 100% synthetic oil will set you back by ~3800 Rs for 4.1 ltr

What FE are you getting, I am getting 11 km/ltr with 100% AC which is pretty good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
The odometer currently reads 7600kms. First two free services have been completed. The first service set us back by Rs 1300 for the synthetic oil. I came to know afterwards that synthetic oil should not be used because it slows down the run-in process.

The second service took place after 6 months. We did not have to pay even a single rupee for that. A person from the workshop came to collect the car and handed it the very next day. I told them that there were a few scratches (very minor ones) on the side of the car and to do something about them. Well the scratches were there when we got the car so nothing was done about it. We did not pursue this case further. The car definitely feels smoother and easier to drive in city. No niggling issues have been there so far. I have changed my driving style a bit by changing gears at 2.5k rpm as opposed to 2k rpm earlier. Let us see what effect it has on the FE.

Those planning to buy Sx4- do not expect great FE figures. I think the typical "Kitna Deti hain" does not hold for Sx4. I know it might be because of my driving style or the kind of traffic I drive in, but I have not come across any other person who has achieved better FE figures in the same conditions.

P.S - Where can I find the VIN no. on my Sx4? I know how to decode the VIN no. (thanks to Wildon's thread) but I do not know where is the VIN no on my car.

Last edited by rkbharat : 10th May 2011 at 19:31.
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Old 10th May 2011, 19:32   #10
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
thats bad hit. and 10 days for getting repaired just a bumper is poor poor service.

BTW 1300Rs for Synthetic oil, something is wrong, 100% synthetic oil will set you back by ~3800 Rs for 4.1 ltr

What FE are you getting, I am getting 11 km/ltr with 100% AC which is pretty good.
I will confirm the price of the synthetic oil (this figure was given by my father). I was not there when the first service happened. The FE I am getting is 8-9 kmpl with 100%AC and all the driving is in city B2B traffic.
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Old 10th May 2011, 20:23   #11
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

WOOOOHOOO!!! welcome to the club my friend. I think the SX4 is the best car maruti will have built for many more years to come in terms of price, driveability (covers everything from GC to driving position), features, build quality, comfort, and the reliability (one factor other car makers can only dream of). Congrats to you and your family. Drive safe and defensively!
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Old 16th May 2011, 22:04   #12
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

Congratulations Saanil on the new beast!!!

To help on couple of your queries:

1. Headlights: I have been driving my SX4 ZXi for the past 1 year and have crossed 20k kms on the odo already. Most of the driving have been on highways and that too with loads of night driving. I have observed that if you use the fog lamps along with the headlights, the illumination is quite satisfactory. No issues at all till date.

2. FE: Change the gears at 1500 rpm religiously and the car will give a decent FE. I get around 13 kmpl in city with 50% usage of AC and around 17-18 kmpl on highways with 100% AC and speeds of around 90 kmph. At speeds of 120-140 kmph which I seldom do, the mileage drops to around 15 kmpl with 100% AC.
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Old 17th May 2011, 00:58   #13
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SX4LOVER View Post
WOOOOHOOO!!! welcome to the club my friend. I think the SX4 is the best car maruti will have built for many more years to come in terms of price, driveability (covers everything from GC to driving position), features, build quality, comfort, and the reliability (one factor other car makers can only dream of). Congrats to you and your family. Drive safe and defensively!
Thanks a lot! I am really enjoying driving this car. This is truly an all-rounder from Maruti.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abanka View Post
Congratulations Saanil on the new beast!!!

To help on couple of your queries:

1. Headlights: I have been driving my SX4 ZXi for the past 1 year and have crossed 20k kms on the odo already. Most of the driving have been on highways and that too with loads of night driving. I have observed that if you use the fog lamps along with the headlights, the illumination is quite satisfactory. No issues at all till date.

2. FE: Change the gears at 1500 rpm religiously and the car will give a decent FE. I get around 13 kmpl in city with 50% usage of AC and around 17-18 kmpl on highways with 100% AC and speeds of around 90 kmph. At speeds of 120-140 kmph which I seldom do, the mileage drops to around 15 kmpl with 100% AC.
I used to change gears at 2k rpm earlier. However in one of the threads I was told to change gears at 2.5k rpm. I tried this thing this weekend and drove like this for about 60kms. I think the car strains a lot at 2.5k rpm. Dont you think 1.5k rpm is a bit too low. The engine kind of feels heavy when you change gears at low speeds and this affects the acceleration of the car. The thing is when the rpm touches 1.5k and I change the gear, the momentum of the car decreases during the process of changing gears; so the engine has to accelerate in a higher gear from a lower rpm than 1.5k. Anyways good to know about your FE.

I am paying so much attention to rpm only because I want to increase my FE. The rising petrol prices have become a big concern these days. I recently read that one more price increase is likely by the end of this month.
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Old 17th May 2011, 12:10   #14
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
Dont you think 1.5k rpm is a bit too low. The engine kind of feels heavy when you change gears at low speeds and this affects the acceleration of the car. The thing is when the rpm touches 1.5k and I change the gear, the momentum of the car decreases during the process of changing gears;
AFAIK, it depends on how best you tune the engine during the initial run-in period(even GTO's tips to achieve best FE hints at the same). I always changed gears at around 1500 rpm till 3rd free service and the engine never felt heavy. As SX4 has drive by wire technology, it will get tuned to the style of the driver (this is my understanding; remember reading it somewhere) and you will see the gear ratios falling in place in sometime when you keep changing the gears at 1500 rpm. Maybe give it a try for a week or so and observe the performance.
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Old 17th May 2011, 12:12   #15
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Default Re: Azure Grey Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXi (1.6 VVT) comes home!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
Dont you think 1.5k rpm is a bit too low. The engine kind of feels heavy when you change gears at low speeds and this affects the acceleration of the car. The thing is when the rpm touches 1.5k and I change the gear, the momentum of the car decreases during the process of changing gears;
AFAIK, it depends on how best you tune the engine during the initial run-in period. I always changed gears at around 1500 rpm till 3rd free service and the engine never felt heavy. As SX4 has drive by wire technology, it will get tuned to the style of the driver (this is my understanding; remember reading it somewhere) and you will see the gear ratios falling in place in sometime when you keep changing the gears at 1500 rpm. Maybe give it a try for a week or so and observe the performance.
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