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Old 28th August 2011, 11:36   #1
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Default A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated

Ever since I had a test drive of Santro AT, I've been thinking "My next car would be an Automatic". I was not willing to sell my Cielo and Alto, and the AT would be for short trips, hence the look out for the cheapest AT. I didn't have many options. Horror stories of Santro Service were all over internet, and I felt that the 'old' WagonR AT would be discontinued soon. I actually liked the beige interiors of i10 AT, but backed off as 3 friends reported 7.5 km/liter.

Then Maruti surprised India with the A-star AT. I had to wait 5 months as I wanted only Silver color. (My friend later booked a Blue A-star AT and it took him only 3 weeks because he 'settled' for Silver).

Guess readers prefer an 'official review' any day, so let me list the Features available. Here we go.

Last edited by jinojohnt : 29th August 2011 at 00:37.
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Old 28th August 2011, 13:30   #2
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A-star Automatic comes only in the Vxi variant. It is 50K costlier than Manual Vxi, but you also get ABS extra. The badging is not consistent. Mine doesn't have the 'Vxi' badge. Some A-star ATs have only the 'Vxi' badge.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0004.jpg

Handle for closing the hatch door is convenient, but it is on the right side of the hatch door. I would have preferred it closer towards the middle, because I am left handed.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0006.jpg

The clip to hold the rear seat-belt. The rear seats are folded most of the time in my car, and when I offer a lift to colleagues on the way, I just need to lift the rear seat-back without getting out of the car. My Alto doesn't have these clips and I would need to get out of the car to take the seat-belts out of the way before lifting the rear seat-backs.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0007.jpg

The rear door panel. Notice the space for speakers, though only 2 front speakers are available as standard. Bottle holder just enough to hold a medium sized bottle. Door locks are placed along the inside door handle - a welcome change from the push/pull type door lock of the Alto.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0008.jpg

The boot space, though not very generous, is still sufficient for small trips. Once I removed the spare tyre for a Railway Station trip, and it liberated a large space for extra luggage. Rear seats are not split folding. Many complaints about small boot space could have been avoided if Maruti had provided split folding rear seats.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0010.jpg

Please note that seat cover and floor mats shown here are after-market fitments.Rear leg room for a "5 feet 7" with the driver seat occupied by a person with similar height. Rear leg-room is not that small, as many people claim. It's just about average.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0011.jpg

Alloy shaped wheel cups. Actually the car looks ugly if you remove these wheel cups.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0013.jpg

Tyres are tubeless by default.
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The roof antenna looks cheap. But reception is decent.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0014.jpg

Nylon strap for releasing the lock before folding the rear seats. Easier than conventional 'button' lock releases.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0015.jpg

Front door pocket at best stores 2 newspapers. Notice the front speaker.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0017.jpg

Manual Internal Adjust for Outside Rearview Mirrors. You would take some time to get used to the Mirrors, because the Mirrors are small.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0018.jpg

Last edited by .anshuman : 29th August 2011 at 09:03. Reason: Posts merged. Thanks
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Old 28th August 2011, 20:01   #3
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Side A/C vents can be fully closed. The space above the glove box can be used to keep a wet umbrella.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0019.jpg

Lot of storage space near the AT gear stick. The black box shown is a removable ash tray. The button near the gear stick is the 'Park Lock Release'. To shift out of 'Park', you need to first Press the brake while the ignition is ON. If the battery is down, you would need to use the 'Park Lock Release' button instead.
Gear stick area is illuminated when park light is on (second picture).
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0020.jpg

A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0048.jpg

Center A/C vents cannot be fully closed. Notice the storage space for cell phones just below the integrated stereo. This is illuminated for easy location when park light is on (Third Pic). Hazard indicator switch is placed at the bottom and is difficult to reach. Cigarette lighter jack is near the Hazard indicator switch. Convenient for charging Cell Phones (Second Pic).
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0023.jpg

A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0027.jpg

A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0047.jpg

Wiper control with 'Mist' option. Use this if you want to operate the wiper just once (without the windshield washer). Very convenient during light drizzles.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0025.jpg

Integrated stereo with CD/MP3/WMA Player, AM/FM radio and Aux input.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0026.jpg

A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0056.jpg

Slot for additional tweeter on Dashboard.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0030.jpg

Three spoke Electronic Power Steering with sufficient grip and feel. I have not felt the need for a steering wheel cover. Horn is louder than that of Alto.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0032.jpg

All four Power Windows with auto roll-down option for driver window.
Back-light for the driver side Window Switch for ease of location (when park light is ON). Notice the red back-light for 'AUTO' in the second picture.
Power Window Lock disables all passenger windows. (Even the driver would not be able to operate the Passenger Window if the Power Window lock is ON).
Central Locking (without Remote) is standard.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0035.jpg

A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0055.jpg

Manual Remote boot release and Remote Fuel Lid opener.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0038.jpg

Driver seat Height Adjust is very convenient. Height can be adjusted while being seated.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0039.jpg

Last edited by .anshuman : 29th August 2011 at 09:02. Reason: Posts merged. Thanks
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Old 28th August 2011, 23:12   #4
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Seat sliding adjust is large and easy to locate, unlike that of the Alto.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0040.jpg

Thick C-pillar and small rear window great for crash protection, but you would take time to adjust to the less reverse visibility. After-market reverse sensor not a must, but recommended. The falling roof-line at the rear makes head-room just about adequate.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0042.jpg

Spoiler-like edge of the roof with brake lamp. Helpful in getting the attention of 'highly placed' truck drivers behind you.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0043.jpg

Some people say they don't like the head-lamps, but this design ensures that the light spreads sideways also. Takes the stress out of city driving by illuminating the footpaths too.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0044.jpg

Foot well is large enough. No dead-pedal, but I never felt the need of one (May be because it's an automatic).
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0046.jpg

Back-light for Head light leveller switch for easy location, when park light is on.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0050.jpg

Driver display with red back-light. Time, Trip A, Trip B and total distance available. Gear stick selection is also shown, but it doesn't show at which (internal) gear the car is currently running. Trip reading since last full-tank is shown. Waiting for next full tank to calculate mileage.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0054.jpg

Ticket holder in Sun Visor. No vanity mirror for Passenger Sun Visor.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0059.jpg

Last edited by .anshuman : 29th August 2011 at 09:10. Reason: Posts merged. Thanks
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Old 29th August 2011, 00:02   #5
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Concealed design for seat belt. No seat belt height adjust.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0060.jpg

Retracting Hand grips reduce possibility of injury if the head hits the grip.
Small rear window. Good thing is that the windows roll fully down, unlike in the Alto where the window rolls only 80% down.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0063.jpg

Large and tilted wind screen. Compare with my Cielo on the side.
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0065.jpg

The 'practical' rather than 'beautiful' black-n-grey dashboard. Cheers!
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0061.jpg

Last edited by .anshuman : 29th August 2011 at 09:13. Reason: Posts merged. Thanks
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Old 29th August 2011, 09:15   #6
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Default re: A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated

Note from Support: Thread moved here from Assembly line section. Thanks for sharing
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Old 29th August 2011, 10:44   #7
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Default re: A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated

Dear jinojohnt,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your latest acquisition.

A-Star Automatic is indeed a much needed option for convenient city driving. A smart selection I would say. It is surprising to know that the badges are inconsistent. However, it is similar to the car ajmat test drove as seen in the photographs.

You have nicely highlighted some deft touches MSIL has done. The clips for rear seat belt is thoughtful. I find it annoying to see it hanging haphazardly. Door locks placement in the door handle cluster seems standard now on MSIL products, except it is still the old push/pull levers in both Alto 800 and Alto K10 - the problem with this type of levers is they tend to frequently pop out. My kid used to unscrew them much to my chagrin.

Small boot space is the bugbear of A-Star so much so it is affecting the perception and sales of this otherwise lovely bug-eyed car. People even perceive the cabin space is much constrained while in reality it is not all that much bad.

Regarding the wiper control with "mist" option - When the stalk is pushed to "mist", does it automatically fall back to "off" position or should we have to move it down manually?

Again congratulations on your lovely bug and wish you many happy and safe miles.

murillo
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Old 29th August 2011, 13:48   #8
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Default re: A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated

Quote:
Originally Posted by murillo View Post
Regarding the wiper control with "mist" option - When the stalk is pushed to "mist", does it automatically fall back to "off" position or should we have to move it down manually?
murillo
Thanks murillo. When the stalk is pushed to "mist", it automatically falls back to "off" position and the wiper operates just once. Very convenient in light rains. In my Alto, I switch the wipers "ON and OFF" during light rains, and it's very irritating.
Thanks to friendly MODS Anshuman for having the patience to correct and re-order my posts.

Last edited by jinojohnt : 29th August 2011 at 14:01.
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Old 4th September 2011, 00:44   #9
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Mileage update: Had another full tank today. Filled 27.6 liters of petrol when the reading was 418 km. That means a mileage of 15.14 km/liter for my daily office trip, with 50% a/c (tank full to tank full method).

More pictures below:
Jack storage area on the side wall in the boot. Maruti could have provided more boot space if the jack was placed along with the spare tire (like that in Alto).

The fuel tank cap is attached to the body of the car, so you won't forget to replace the cap at the petrol bunk.
Attached Thumbnails
A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0079.jpg  

A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated-img_0080.jpg  


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Old 4th September 2011, 07:12   #10
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Default re: A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated

The fuel tank cap sling is a nice stuff, even my Swift Vxi doesn't have this.
Btb, from the picture it appears that the add on seat covers are a poor fit especially the rear seat back resembles a shoddy job.Front co passenger's seat back too. Is it really so, or only an illusion in the photograph. If it is so do some thing about it so that the interiors would look much plush. Where did you buy and who did it.

Last edited by rajeev k : 4th September 2011 at 07:29.
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:18   #11
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The fit of the seat cover is poor, but I think it doesn't look as ugly as in the photos. I didn't like the color combination of the seat covers (now I think full black is better for seat covers), so I may change them soon anyway.
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Old 5th September 2011, 11:07   #12
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Default re: A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post

The 'practical' rather than 'beautiful' black-n-grey dashboard. Cheers!
Hey jinojohnt

Thanks a lot for the detailed description of features. I am in the market for an AT hatch for my wife and my belief in the A-star as being most practical and FE AT hatch just became stronger after reading your thread.

Some of the features on this car are unique and wonderful. The boot space is too bad, but you dont buy A-star AT for long drives, so it suffices the purpose.

The OTR price of A-star AT in Pune is around 5 lacs. What was the price you got it for?

Regarding accessories, I am surely going to put art-leather seat covers, additional speakers and rear parking sensors, at least, when we get the car. Rest can be added gradually. Any other accessory you think is a MUST or highly recommended for this car?

Cheers!

EDIT: I also looked at i10 AT. However, its not only costlier by 1 lac than A-star but is horribly fuel inefficient. Hyundai sales person tried to convince me to buy manual i10 rather than AT. I told him that I HAVE to buy AT for which he said that you cant get mileage out of this car however hard you try. Looks like he was not interested in selling i10 AT at all.

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Old 5th September 2011, 13:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay_satpute View Post
Hey jinojohnt

The OTR price of A-star AT in Pune is around 5 lacs. What was the price you got it for?
Regarding accessories, I am surely going to put art-leather seat covers, additional speakers and rear parking sensors, at least, when we get the car. Rest can be added gradually. Any other accessory you think is a MUST or highly recommended for this car?
I bought four months back, the on-road price in trivandrum was 4.9 Lakhs. The discount applicable (without bargaining) during that month was 22K standard discount + 3K corporate offer. I got additional discounts (exchange bonus + reduced insurance due to no-claim bonus in previous car), but I had to fight for 'free mudflap and floor mats'.

If you are ok with the less reverse visibility, sun-film is a must to reduce the load on the a/c (for higher mileage). It's good if you can put a wax coating when the car is new (better to wax it yourself).
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Old 14th September 2011, 12:58   #14
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Question Re: A-star Automatic: Features review, EDIT: Mileage Updated

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
I bought four months back, the on-road price in trivandrum was 4.9 Lakhs. The discount applicable (without bargaining) during that month was 22K standard discount + 3K corporate offer. I got additional discounts (exchange bonus + reduced insurance due to no-claim bonus in previous car), but I had to fight for 'free mudflap and floor mats'.

If you are ok with the less reverse visibility, sun-film is a must to reduce the load on the a/c (for higher mileage). It's good if you can put a wax coating when the car is new (better to wax it yourself).
Hi,
I need readers opinion here:
Im planning to do a long trip as my new Astar AT car has come home. Im worried whether it can handle 4 adults + 2 babies. Im planning to travel to Coorg which involves hill ranges and sharp U turns. What is your opinion regarding the space comfort for a long drive. What precautions we need to take as getting an AT repair workshop/mechanic is tuff on such remote areas. I felt the AC is not powerful enough, in Bangalore. I wonder if there is some issue in vents or is it like that.
While raining the back window visibility is almost nil because of mist, what to do ?.

And I also felt the suspension is very stiff when compared to swift or Beat.

hg.
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Old 14th September 2011, 16:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humveeguy View Post
Hi,
I need readers opinion here:
Im planning to do a long trip as my new Astar AT car has come home. Im worried whether it can handle 4 adults + 2 babies. Im planning to travel to Coorg which involves hill ranges and sharp U turns. What is your opinion regarding the space comfort for a long drive. What precautions we need to take as getting an AT repair workshop/mechanic is tuff on such remote areas. I felt the AC is not powerful enough, in Bangalore. I wonder if there is some issue in vents or is it like that.
While raining the back window visibility is almost nil because of mist, what to do ?.

And I also felt the suspension is very stiff when compared to swift or Beat.

hg.
Congratulations Humveeguy on your new buy. Being an A-Star owner myself (albeit the sister manual version), I must say this is a rather good buy.

With respect to your trip, it's a little dicey with 4 adults and 2 kids (how old are the babies?). How tall are the people who have to sit in the rear seats? If they are anything over 5'5", accomodating 4 in the rear will be an issue considering the really long drives that you might have.

Secondly, as correctly mentioned, the ride is FIRM which equates to painful backs after ultra long drives especially over bad roads. Mind you, the front seaters will feel the pain in the hind side as well if you drive for anything more than 6 hours at a stretch. The firm ride however will give you pure driving pleasure as the handling is magnifique.

There are no precautions that you need to take other than proper tyre pressure checks (for the spare as well!). just top up all the fluids although I dont think its required being a new car.

The manual should have phone numbers to your nearest service station in case you need help, so keep that handy. if you call them, they do send vehicle to tow you out of trouble.

AC according to me is amazing! I wonder why you feel otherwise. The rear window visibility is less due to mist but that is the last thing you should be worried about. the spray from your own tires will render the rear windows totally opaque .

If you do have the urge to take the A-star, all the very best. Driving thorugh Ghats will not be a problem as there is enough power on tap to get your thorugh.

Have a safe and enjoyable trip!
P.S: Where you planning to keep all the luggage ?
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