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Old 2nd August 2011, 21:37   #1
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Default A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Guys, here is my new A-Star AT, nee "Wide-eyed Pup". If the current duration of getting one off the shelf is anything to go by, then I must say I got one pretty fast. I booked one on 18th July and here I am with my car on Sunday the 31st. Took 12 days to get one from the day of the booking. Not bad, huh! Whatsay? My experience with the local dealer, Varun Motors, has been extremely nice. They promised within 30 days but I wasn’t amused. Been on their back constantly. Well, not exactly nagging but in a friendly chide. And they understood my impatience. They said, 30 days is the max and they added that they would strive hard get one within 15 days. I didn’t believe them, what with all the dealer sour stories of not keeping their word. But keep their word, they did. And true to their word, I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from the showroom Saturday morning saying my car arrived and that I can come in and pick up within half a day’s readying and paperwork. Very professional and friendly dealer, indeed.

Now, coming to the car. Well, what can I say? I was madly in love with the bug-eye lights, sporty hatch, the overall shape and proportions of this car from the day it was launched. I think if I had a Ferrari, I would still drool over an A-Star. Need I say more? The other car holding equal sway over me was Chevy Beat. At one point I was torn between Beat D ( you can’t ignore diesel economy plus the looks ) and A-Star AT. Then, for a minute, I ignored both the cars and pondered over diesel hatch versus AT hatch. Sure, had there been an AT diesel hatch then that would have been like manna from heaven. Since, that is not to be, I got down weighing diesel hatch against AT hatch. To hell with economy, an AT car had always been on my mind for last couple of years. Petrol or diesel choice would be secondary. Primary choice was AT over MT, at all costs. It has to be an AT and a hatch, keeping in mind the compact dimensions for inner-city runs and office commute. My present car, Lancer D, can take care of highway runs. Then there is other reason, too, for going for an AT hatch. Wife never quite got the hang of the gear-changes/clutch rituals. Two legs and three pedals? Well, not for me, she said. And of late, I was also getting sick and tired of changing gears every 50 metres or so in inner-city crawl. So, A-Star AT won over Beat D. which is just as well, too. Because wife just finds A-Star, too cute and adorable. Like a wide-eyed pup. That’s what she calls the car. Hence, the name. Now, I concur, too. Beat looks futuristic while there is something retro about A-Star and therein lies its charm. It has that 70s cheeky Italian design flair. Wonder if it came out of an Italian design studio.

Now, the driving experience. Well, clocked nearly hundred Kms already since Sunday evening, 2 days back. I am thoroughly enjoying it. Is it me or is A-Star really this smooth? Absolutely no hint of 3-pot mill. Neither at idle nor while in motion. Aircon is very good. Pick-up is excellent, for a car of this size and price, mind you. Even in absolute terms, it is not bad. Up shifts are seamless, jerkless and very quick. It is so smooth, I am having a hard time telling which gear the car is in, at a given time. Wish they had a digital display showing all the four gears as the car upshifts or downshifts. Does any AT car have this feature? Will check FE after a week or so of running. Judging form the fuel level display, the car appears very fuel-efficient and I am sure it would return 13-14 kmpl within city, with aircon on. If it is so, then it is just what the doctor ordered. Or, should I say, what the accountant ordered?

Space is not as bad as is widely spoken. Sure, it is a little tight, like most hatches, but that hardly matters to me because, 90 per cent of the time, I am alone in car. Am slim and athletic with no belly or fat so no problem fitting in the confines. Weekend runs with wife and son is ok, too. Not much problem there. I crammed it with wife, son and parents and the car ran absolutely fine with 5 up and with very little reduction in pick-up.

So, there I am. Very happy with the car. And, oh, yes, special mention must be made here of the sound with which the doors close. This “thud” sound is what we generally hear in cars a few segment higher. But there is some grouse, too. I wish it came with a tachometer, electric ORVMs, airbags and rear-glass defrost/wipe-wash. The other grouse is that ORVMs’ field of vision is very small compared to Lancer. This, coupled with small rear glass, restricts rearward vision somewhat. And you have to be careful because those thick c-pillars and small rear-glass and small ORVMs, all conspire to hire objects as big motorcyclists in those blind spots. These apart, the car is a gem. I am generally not a nitpicking kinda guy so I am really very happy with it. And here, I leave you guys with some pics of my “Wide-eyed Pup”.
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Last edited by pgsagar : 2nd August 2011 at 21:45.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 22:18   #2
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Hey, congrats on your new car!! Wishing you many happy miles with your new love.

Can I suggest (if I may)? Please don't post pics with faces blanked out. If you are not comfortable posting pics with people in it, don't post them at all.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 22:32   #3
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Hi Sagar,

Congratulations for your Maruti A-Star.

Please do update the thread regularly.

Wishing you happy and safe driving!
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Old 2nd August 2011, 23:37   #4
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

So, finally you did it. Given the way you were oscillating between the A* and Beat, I was never sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar
I am having a hard time telling which gear the car is in, at a given time. Wish they had a digital display showing all the four gears as the car upshifts or downshifts. Does any AT car have this feature?
Ha, this was exactly what I was thinking last time I drove it. Would be nice to see the gear I am in currently - am I in L, 2, D3 or D ? Does any AT car have this good-to-have feature ?
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Old 2nd August 2011, 23:52   #5
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Congrats on the little red devil!
Do keep us updated with the driving experience and FE.
Also - Could you please post some pictures sans the balloons/ribbon. Do you plan any mods/upgrades?
Drive safe!
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Old 3rd August 2011, 00:19   #6
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Congrats! neat car! Do keep us updated at regular intervals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Wish they had a digital display showing all the four gears as the car upshifts or downshifts. Does any AT car have this feature? Will check FE after a week or so of running.
I know for a fact, the Mazda6 AT has this feature. I've driven it quite a bit and was surprised to see how much it shifts.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 10:06   #7
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Thanks everyone!

Sachin, I think you are right. But, I didn't want to put their pics on a public forum without seeking their consent. Hence, blocking. And since, I was blocking others' faces, showing only mine looks kinda odd. So blocked mine, too. In any case car is the theme here. Hence, all pics, except the first one, are of car only.

Thanks Blackasta. But I doubt if any mods can be done on this tiny car. But yes, a music system and alloys are the need of the hour. The OE music system sucks.

Mpower, thanks for the info. And, I am sorry I didn't get your second sentence. Were you referring to Mazda or A-Star?
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Old 3rd August 2011, 10:48   #8
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

^^^
Mpower meant that in the Mazda6-AT, there is a visual indication of which gear the car is in. That would be a cool feature to have.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 11:17   #9
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Congrats pgsagar!!!

Neat car and its a hoot to drive in the city. My neighbour has Zxi trim of this car and he always mentions the handling of the car in tighter curves.

Wishing you many more miles with the "pup".

O.T.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Wife never quite got the hang of the gear-changes/clutch rituals. Two legs and three pedals? Well, not for me, she said.
For a moment, this reminded me of famous dialogue of Sholay "Wo do they aur tum teen.hmmm!!!!"
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Old 3rd August 2011, 17:37   #10
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Mpower, thanks for the info. And, I am sorry I didn't get your second sentence. Were you referring to Mazda or A-Star?
Yes, the Mazda. Its a 6 speed AT and when I drove it I found that it was constantly shifting as I sped up and slowed down. (no driver would shift that frequently in a manual at the same speeds)

Now I cant imagine how busy the 7 and 8 speeds will be.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 18:16   #11
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Congrats pgsagar on the wide eyed pup!
With such maddening chaos on our roads today, an AT car makes immense sense, but our manufacturers are yet to realize it - reflects in the minimal choices one has while shopping for an AT.

Wish you a happy, trouble free ownership!

PS: How did you manage to drive her home with all those balloons on the dash, weren't you distracted?
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Old 3rd August 2011, 23:01   #12
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Thank you, S'Baleno,, Headbanger, Mpower, dry ice, bluevolt, blackasta and sachin.

Mpower, is this constant shifting of gears in an AT, a good thing or bad? I am a little technologically-challenged. In case of A-Star, the shift-ups/downs are so seamless, it feels like a CVT. Hence, the need for an in-gear display.

Dry ice, yes, AT does indeed make an immense sense in this inner-city chaos. And as you have rightly pointed out, the choice is severely limited. The only alternative is i10. New Swift and Brio are around the corner. We may see an AT version on these. But then again, we may not.

And, oh, yes, driving with all those balloons indeed was a little tricky, owing to the already-high dashboard. It was sunday evening 7 pm when I drove out of the showroom. Wife was waiting at the other end, so had to rush with those balloons up there.

Last edited by pgsagar : 3rd August 2011 at 23:05.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 23:17   #13
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

congrats! looks hot! tire upsizing?

I'm buying the I10 Sportz AT here in Mumbai - no choice at all. The A-Star waiting time of 8 weeks is what I've been quoted.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 23:29   #14
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
^^^
Mpower meant that in the Mazda6-AT, there is a visual indication of which gear the car is in. That would be a cool feature to have.
This is available in the Vento AT as well. Yu can see D1,D2...etc. or S1, S2... In tiptronic (manual) mode the display changes to 1,2,3... plus of course P and R. Very useful feature.

I like the way the A star looks and am always glad when someone joins the AT family, so congrats pgsagar!

I noticed the gearshift is serrated rather thansmooth (similar to the Toyota Altis AT). Do you have to follow the path when shifting? Isn't it distracting?
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Old 3rd August 2011, 23:38   #15
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Default Re: A-Star AT, a.k.a "wide-eyed pup", comes home!.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster
This is available in the Vento AT as well. Yu can see D1,D2...etc. or S1, S2... In tiptronic (manual) mode the display changes to 1,2,3... plus of course P and R. Very useful feature.
I dont know tiptronic, but when you slot in D, does it display the gear you are in ? That is, when you start off, does it show lower-gear (L / D1) in display and then display changes to (2 / D2) as speed picks up or display stays stuck at D ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster
I noticed the gearshift is serrated rather thansmooth (similar to the Toyota Altis AT). Do you have to follow the path when shifting? Isn't it distracting?
This is another grouse I have with the A*-AT. How I wish it were straight (smooth as you mentioned) and not gated(serrated).
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