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Old 2nd July 2012, 09:58   #1
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Smile A Star AT: 26,000 kms in 15 months and counting...

Our requirement: AC, PS, power windows, central locking, Great mileage, low running cost, high reliability (fill it, forget it), ABS.
Preferable: Hydraulic lifters for boot, bonnet, keyless entry.

So we were into market for a hatch. The obvious choice was disel hatch.

We start with diesel Beat. Easy on pocket. One sunday we walk into a Chevrolet showroom. A white beat is parked outside. Wait a minute, the beat looks like a 2 door hatch. Well, there are doors, and we have never heard of any 2 door version, but there is no handle for it. We conclude, may be its a defective version, they are using it for TD.

We enter the showroom, promptly greeted by a sales person, who explained the features, and also the fact the handles are in the quarter panel . The specs look impressive, the ground clearance is 175 mm, better than others, only problem is a 3 cylinder engine. So we take a test drive, the car is great. Only problem is the steering. The steering is too light. With a flick, the car turns. So don't feel comfortable at all. The interior looks different and good. Pick up is also good, does not feel like a 3 cylinder. But ABS is expensive. With 100k downpayment and 9k emi, its not a bad option either.

But, the car stalls at lower rpm at higher gear. Could not really feel the action of advertised feature where the engine automatically increases the rpm. Not so good for new drivers.

Next TD: Ford Figo.

A great car, good interior. Feels more solid than Beat, but more expensive. We liked it, took a TD. The car also feels great. Steering feedback is adequate, not too sensitive. Mileage is not as great as beat, but still not bad. The only negative was some of the issues reported by team bhp members. Downpayment is about 110k, emi around 10k for LXI (the version that comes with stereo I guess).

While at it, these days while all manufacturers provide PS, AC in the base version, stereo, power windows and keyless entry are not provided in the base versions. You have to shell out more money to get it or choose the next version.

So we choose the color and kind of decide on figo. It is time to take a TD with parents then. Color is decided, delivery is promised within a month or so. We are ready to make the down payment. We sit in the car, the sales girl is excited, and decides to join us. She sits at the back, so its three in the back seat now. Big mistake for her.

The central part of the middle seat is uncomfortably raised. Not noticeable with the seat cover, unless someone sits on it. Last TD nobody sat on it, so we had no idea. But this time with three at the back, it was really uncomfortable even for a short drive. Although it is comfortable for 2 people at the back, our requirement is different.

Figo is rejected.

Next stop, Maruti Suzuki.

A sales manager greets us. He is the only one at the showroom, and was practicing football/basketball. TD is arranged, we take a test drive of swift. Great car, but too much engine noise. Brake issues reported at the team bhp forum is not promising either. Interior is great, but not much options in LDI. ABS is also expensive.

Ritz interior does not look great to us.

Next stop: Tata Fiat showroom.

We are excited about Vista. That is before we visited the showroom. I am okay with Tata service, after all we have a safari. The car at the showroom also looks great. TD car is arranged. Its a regular car. Not maintained properly. For all other dealers, they have dedicated TD cars which are more like advertisements for them. Not for Tata.

What promised to be great on paper, failed miserably on test drive. Primarily because of badly maintained interiors and overall quality.

Fiat Punto was great. Excellent car, dedicated TD car, although there were some problems with the display. Options provided are also good for the price they charge. Drives great over bad road, feels solid. Steering is responsive.

So Punto it is. The sales person was busy with some other customer, so we ask him to call us back.

He never does. If this is the eagerness for sale, what will be the service after we buy it?

Punto is rejected.

Incidentally, of all the showrooms we visited, Tata and Fiat guys never called us back. Nissan called us only once after 2-3 weeks after we already booked another car.

Next stop: Toyota.

These guys are really professional. Car is arranged at doorstep on the promised time. Liva is actually great, and we feel it is value for money. Drives great, typical toyota. ABS, all four power windows for 7 lakhs on road. It also has a great lugging power, i.e., it is hard to shut the engine off even at lower rpms at higher gears.

I would have bought it, but my family did not like the interior. It is plain. In fact, diesel ambassador old taxis in Kolkata have better interior and seats than Liva.

Next: Nissan

Good car, good interior, but little expensive. The engine is great, but it stalls at lower rpm at higher gear. Not so good for new drivers.

We start thinking.

Not a single car ticked all the boxes. Why not an AT?

But AT is a petrol. mileage issues. May be, but think of convenience. And the mileage for A Star At is not bad.

Checked the website, it has all features that we were looking for. Scanned team bhp, in Bangalore traffic, people managed to get 12-15kmpl, on highways, 17-19 kmpl. So cost wise, it is not way higher than that of my safari. In fact, if we get 15, its about Rs. 5ish per km, and the maintenance is definitely lower.

Interior is way better than all other cars we tested. Primarily because may be it is directly exported to EU markets, unlike other cars. Had a TD, we were impressed. Booked with Garuda motors, paid 10k. But we had a bad experience with them, so cancelled the booking. Booked with Bimal motors.

We had some issues with the sales chap there as well, but the manager stepped in. Booked the car on Tuesday morning, and teh car was brought to Bangalore on Friday for PDI, and delivered on Saturday.

Excellent car. Excellent pick up with AC and 5 on board.



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Our experience so far.

Handling:

The car scores over others in handling. I have read somewhere that the architecture is based on swift, and it shows. The car feels really planted and even on rough roads it glides smoothly. Some of the roughness is felt in the cabin though, may be because of the suspension setup, but overall really comfortable.

Interior:

The 2 tone interior with beige does look nice. Plastics don't feel cheap. The dash is little bit high positioned. The integrated stereo is nice, but there is no option for 2 DIN. They offered us add-on bluetooth, but it connects through the aux port, so we did not opt for it.

There are 2 bottle holders in the center console. The console is also illuminated. Each door gets one pocket, arm rest, bottle holder.

Seating:

The front seat travel is higher compared to other models. If extended completely, the seat does go back and it is comfortable for somebody more than 6 feet. However, if it is extended completely, it touches the knee of the person sitting at back if the person is tall.

The driver seat is height adjustable. You could also adjust the recline angle of the seat.

Driving:

The gears upshift early if you drive on a light foot. 1-2 at 17kmph, 2-3 at 35 kmph, 3-4 at 60ish kmph. On a heavy foot, it drags.

With 5 on board and AC on 100%, the car never felt as a problem to drive. The pickup was nice too. Just press the accelerator and the car would downshift. The pick up with light foot, i.e., without downshifting is nothing great on an incline with 5 on board and AC on, but its not less either. It does its job comfortably.

I have stopped the car completely on an incline, and it did not have any problem in picking up. But on a steep incline, if you release the brake, the car would not roll forward.

Fuel efficiency:

Did not try yet with tankful to tankful. Can't comment on the first fill, because it is being used for one hour everyday morning for learning driving.

On road price: Rs. 5, 30, 275. Plus the usual freebies. Actual on road price is about Rs. 5,66,XXX.

Delivery experience:

Delivery was actually smooth, or so we thought. The car was arranged on time, the management also was present there. The regular pujari was not available, so one of their colleagues performed puja. They even sent us the photographs.

However, later we discovered, the tire pressure was low (about 20 psi) in one tire and also not upto the mark for other tires. This resulted in a poor FE.

Safety features: ABS, crumple zone etc. No airbag.

Music system: The integrated music system comes with 6 speakers. Quite good for my liking.

Engine sound: Engine sound is completely filtered. In fact, initially I had trouble in understanding when the engine was on while starting. With all the windows rolled up, you barely hear any sound.

Boot space:

Boot space is limited. It would fit two large size 'cloth bags' and may be one laptop (questionable).

Other features I liked:

Hydraulic lifters for the boot. Trust me, I am a fan of those hinges.

The car is really comfortable.

What I did not like:

The remote fuel and boot open knobs require some effort to pull. In my safari, the bonnet release tab does not require such efforts.

Overall it is a nice car and you could also use it for those long drives.

Thanks for reading such a long post.

Last edited by sumannandy : 2nd July 2012 at 21:09.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 10:06   #2
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Default Re: Diesel hatch to A Star AT

Amazing report and even fantastic choice of the color. I am so keen on buying my next maruti in the same color. If not, I am going to have my Zen re-painted to this color! Is is still called as Baker's Chocolate or it's a new shade?
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Old 2nd July 2012, 10:13   #3
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Thumbs up Congratulations on the new buy

Congratulations on the new buy.
A star is a great car and it had been a contender in my list before we finalized on the WagonR.
It has a great engine and some awesome interiors. In fact I am a fan of the Center console of the A-star.
Choose the Wagon over the A star primarily because of good visibility and ease in ingress/egress. Wanted a car which had loads of space at the back seat for my parents as well as grand parents.
Have a great time with your A-star and drive safe.
Cheers!

Also i really liked the color. I have a bakers chocolate WagonR and is around the same shade.

Last edited by carzone : 2nd July 2012 at 10:27.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 10:15   #4
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Default Re: Diesel hatch to A Star AT

Congrats sumannandy on the most reasonable AT box out there. If you are ok with fuel bills I dont think you would not have any other grouses against it(conditionally none in the family are on the taller side). Wishing you many more miles and keep us posted.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 10:28   #5
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Default Re: Diesel hatch to A Star AT

Congrats mate !!! Please share the final price + the discounts that you managed.

Cheers
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Old 2nd July 2012, 10:37   #6
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Default Re: Diesel hatch to A Star AT

Congrats Sumannady
Guess yours is the first A-star in the forum after the updates maruti did to the car. The shape of the front headrests looks far better than the previous version.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 11:32   #7
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Default

Congrats Sumannandy on your new car. Just wanted to ask a few things:

1. I have read people mentioning that the dashboard of A-star is a bit higher and it becomes an issue for short people in terms of visibility? Did you find it to be an issue (keeping in mind your height)?

2. I was also interested in knowing the pickup of the car with AC on, 5 people on board on slopes? I have never driven an automatic and wanted to know how is the pickup on steep slopes when the car is fully loaded. It is too early to ask but please update the thread whenever you encounter such a situation. Also I have seen that when you move your foot off the brake pedal the car starts to move forward &ndash; is it so? I mean on slopes first your foot will be on the brake pedal. Now when you move your foot off the pedal does the car move forward or do you quickly have to push the accelerator in order to prevent your car moving backwards?
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Old 2nd July 2012, 13:01   #8
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Default Re: Diesel hatch to A Star AT

Congrats dear. Even I am planning for an A-Star AT for my better half. It would be of great help if you could provide the break up of the final cost paid in detail.

Ex Showroom
Insurance
Discounts (Corporate, Dealer Discount etc)
Any free accessories etc

You managed to get the delivery pretty quick - is the car 2012 make? Which month?

Regards,
Aniket
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Old 2nd July 2012, 13:09   #9
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Default Re: Diesel hatch to A Star AT

I was at MSIL Showroom yesterday and enquired about A-Star AT. I guess it retails at 5.85 Lakh On Road, Mumbai
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Old 2nd July 2012, 13:23   #10
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Default Re: Diesel hatch to A Star AT

I have heard that the 4 speed transmission of A star is also used in the new Wagon R AT. Is it true?
Do describe about your driving experience on steeps and slops. How does the AT fair during an overtake on highway at various speeds?
What's the FE you are getting for now?
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Old 2nd July 2012, 13:25   #11
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Default Re: Diesel hatch to A Star AT

Is the new Wagon R launched with AT? I have my doubts on that. If they did, no one would buy the A Star!

PS: No offense to any A Star owner, but adding AT to Waggy's body, would make it a lot more practical than an A star.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 13:29   #12
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Default Re: Diesel hatch to A Star AT

Quote:
Originally Posted by subscrive View Post
I have heard that the 4 speed transmission of A star is also used in the new Wagon R AT. Is it true?
Do describe about your driving experience on steeps and slops. How does the AT fair during an overtake on highway at various speeds?
What's the FE you are getting for now?
When did MSIL launch the new wagonR AT?? Nothing is specified on the website and as per my knowledge no one on Team-BHP has reported this.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 13:39   #13
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Default re: A Star AT: 22000 kms in 13 months and counting

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd July 2012, 15:29   #14
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Default re: A Star AT: 22000 kms in 13 months and counting

Congrats on your new possession.

I am dying to ask. If you were interested in an AT, why did you not stop at the Hyundai showrrom. They have some very good AT cars in their range, right from Santro to Verna.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 15:51   #15
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Default re: A Star AT: 22000 kms in 13 months and counting

I guess MSIL cars are inherently more fuel efficient that Hyundai cases. A friend of mine from office gets 6 KMPL with AC!
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