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Old 23rd July 2012, 13:05   #1
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Post Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Going through the forum I could not find a detailed type 'pictorial' review on A-Star "Manual Transmission". So I decided to start a new thread which covers all the pros and cons of owning an A-Star MT for nearly four and a half years.
Decision
The only other car considered was the Chevrolet Spark. But it was discarded because of the casual attitude of the dealer. The dealer took about a week to provide a test drive. Next option was the then newly launched A-Star. We were much impressed with the test drive and looked no further and booked the A-Star.
Dealer Experience
The dealer experience was a bag of mixed opinions. The Sales Executive was very friendly and a nice guy. But the delivery experience was not such a good one. The only freebies offered was a cheap steering wheel cover,some door mats as thin as tarpualins, and perhaps a chinese dash mounted perfume. And not to forget a box of maha lacto candies. The security system was installed on the day of delivery itself. The mechanic who did the installation perhaps was an auto rickshaw mechanic, who kept the opened bumper on concrete without bothering for the scratches. Overall the dealership experience was just average. The free servicings were done with the dealer. But after dissatisfied with the quality of sevice by the dealer Jyote motors we moved on to a MASS Indo Japan motors. The service experience with Indo Japan has been so far good.

From a owners point of view after owning the car for more than four years here are some pros and cons:
What you will like:
  • Funky design and styling
  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Euro ncap rated vehicle
  • Cheap spares and wide service network
What you won't like:
  • Poor engine performance at low rpms
  • Too much vibrations during idle
  • Extremely compact boot space
  • Rear seat isn't comfy and limited legroom
  • Thick C pillars create severe blindspots while reversing
Exterior and Styling:
The bug eyed smiling face is the most beautiful part of the car to look at.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-0721.jpg

The eye shaped fog lamp bezels do blend well with the huge bumper without a grill.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-064.jpg

The fenders do get a treatment from the Swift with the beefed up wheel arches.The turn indicators seem to have come from the Amby era.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-063.jpg

The front doors are huge for this size of car but they shut with a 'thud' instead of a banging noise.The ORVMS are sturdy and move backward in case of an impact. The rear doors are smaller and need a bit more force to shut them. The ingress and outgess becomes difficult for the rear passengers due to the smaller door at the rear. At the back the hatch is very small with a huge bumper which makes things loading and unloading a bit difficult. The rear profile of the car is a love it or hate it design.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-0661.jpg

Interiors:
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-0541.jpg

The interior has a dual tone grey and black(grey being replaced with beige in the spiced up newer version)combination.Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-042.jpg

The steering,geat knob, circular side AC vents,door handles,power window controls & locks are a straight lift from the previous generation Swift.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-0521.jpg

The dashboard plastic quality is marginally better than the outgoing Swift. The stock ICE has a metallic silver garnish. It looks and sounds good too.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-043.jpg

An USB port is sorely missed though there is an Aux port.The steering wheel doesn't get audio controls even on the highest variant.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-102.jpg

The budget quality wipers and light stalk get a matte finish unlike the shiny stuff of the previous generation Wagon-R.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-101.jpg

And as far as AC controls are concerned the get a touch of silver. The circulation on/off slider does not look out of place. The hazard lamps are placed a bit oddly below the AC controls. Near it the car gets a 12 V accessory socket. Below the socket and hazard lamp switch there is a cubicle for storing CDs etc.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-090.jpg

On the gear console it has two cup holders with a removable ash tray in one of them. Just below the handbrake there is a shallow space for holding mobiles,mp3 players etc.Not very useful. Not to forget there is an illuminated storage place just above the AC controls which can be used for holding mobile phones,idols. The glove box is decent in size.Coming to the rear the problem faced is that the handbrake console extends into the floor hump making the problem for the 5th passenger even more. The rear door pockets can hold a 500ml bottle comfortably unlike the front door pockets which can hold only a newspaper.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-0531.jpg

The rear seats can be folded with the help of two straps on either sides.The jack gets a separate space.The boot space is the unique non selling point of this car. However decent space is generated with the rear seats folded down.Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-0981.jpg

Engine and manual gearbox:
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-0701.jpg

The 1.0 litre K10B petrol engine is rated at 67 bhp@6200 rpm and the maximum torque is 90 Nm@3500 rpm. The engine is quite smooth and vibe free at higher rpms but at idle speed the vibrations inside the cabin is very much noticeable. Moving the car from a standstill is something that needs 'getting used to.'Even on slight inclines it tends to stall when the accelerator is not pressed. But at cruising speeds the engine is pretty quiet and revv happy.
The 5 speed manual gearbox has nothing much to complain about except for the reverse gear. Sometimes the reverse gear does not engage and makes a krr-krr sound while releasing tbhe clutch. Very annoying.

Ride and handling:
The ride quality is neither too soft nor too bouncy.Most of the irregularities of the road are taken care of with ease. On the rear seats the ride becomes a tad bouncy making it a bit uncomfortable for the rear passengers. Thigh support and bolstering is also not great in the rear seats while the front seats are very well countoured and well bolstered which helps in minimizing body roll.

On the handling point of view the bug is an absolute gem. The perfectly weighted EPS is good for both city as well as highway runs. The feedback is good and the car moves exactly on the line you intend to.

Some random snaps:

The remote boot and fuel release levers:
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-0751.jpg

MORE PHOTOS IN THE NEXT POST

Last edited by 100kmph : 16th July 2013 at 00:42. Reason: Making a few formatting changes to make the post seem a little less cluttered ;)
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Old 16th July 2013, 00:02   #2
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Some more random shots
The ORVM on the driver side:
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-060.jpg
The jack neatly placed in a separate compartment
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-058.jpg
The inside rear view mirror doesn't even get a day night function. Even the good old Ambassador now gets it.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-095.jpg
The illuminated tray under the stereo. Looks good at night but does not serve any purpose.Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-080.jpg
The maximum and minimum rear legroom
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-087.jpg
The windshield washer jet. Works good.
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-091.jpg
The medium sized glove box
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-082.jpg
The OBD port under the lhs of steering wheel
Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold-083.jpg

Last edited by 100kmph : 16th July 2013 at 00:43. Reason: Adding pictures
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Old 18th July 2013, 11:30   #3
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th July 2013, 14:25   #4
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

I believe the bug is a year old now. Congrats. The rear seat space is atrocious.
BTW, did you get that Suzuki logo yourself? I have never seen Maruti doing that with any of their models.
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Old 18th July 2013, 20:47   #5
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Thanks for the informative report. My father has zxi model and I hate the poor quality ICE on this car. But, I guess he has no complaints so I am not changing anything!
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Old 18th July 2013, 21:20   #6
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
I believe the bug is a year old now. Congrats. The rear seat space is atrocious.
BTW, did you get that Suzuki logo yourself? I have never seen Maruti doing that with any of their models.
Nope, the logo is a duplicate one for 80 bucks. And BTW the bug is four and a half years old now.
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Old 19th July 2013, 00:54   #7
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Good to see a review of the A-Star.

I had a good time test driving this car when it had just come out. Found the engine to be pretty rev happy, and I really liked the tachometer pod on the dash.

This car just hasn't done as well as it deserved. How has your experience been after 4 1/2 years of ownership?

Sam
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Old 19th July 2013, 03:23   #8
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

I too test drove the car a couple of years ago... loved the rev happy motor. This car really deserves to sell more. Buyers generally prefer wagon R /brio/ I10 in this price range so so sometimes maruti dealers offer sweet deals for the car.
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Old 19th July 2013, 04:39   #9
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100kmph View Post
Nope, the logo is a duplicate one for 80 bucks. And BTW the bug is four and a half years old now.
Quite decent at 80 bucks. Yours is one of the oldest one on T-BHP, I guess
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Old 19th July 2013, 14:35   #10
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarth.bhatia View Post
Good to see a review of the A-Star.

I had a good time test driving this car when it had just come out. Found the engine to be pretty rev happy, and I really liked the tachometer pod on the dash.

This car just hasn't done as well as it deserved. How has your experience been after 4 1/2 years of ownership?

Sam
I agree with you. Maruti should consider a serious face lift for this car to make it look good. This car is pretty good for a single driver using his car in city to commute to office daily.
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Old 20th July 2013, 12:45   #11
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Unfortunately no matter what they do, the car will never sell no matter how good it is to drive. This is the Indian market and we want the most luxury and the lowest price. With that rear seat space and not too many features on its specs, it will never do well in our market. I've always liked the car though
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Old 20th July 2013, 15:19   #12
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

Thanks for the pictorial guide to an underrated car. The day/night function in IRVM being absent is a deal breaker for me. Do you know if they have fitted it in the newer models?

Thanks,
Simple_car
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Old 21st July 2013, 20:34   #13
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

A-star is an excellent car when it comes to ride and handling. It looks good in red color too. I would say that it is a mini swift. Too bad it didn't sell well.

100kmph, how about sharing some details on the service costs etc?

Simple_car, did you try fitting the day night mirrors from Swift or Ritz?
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Old 22nd July 2013, 19:39   #14
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

My parents drive an 2009 Sept AStar at home. We reluctantly bought it as we had to compromise on space in side the car due to parking space and two short 90 degree turns in our apartment building.

I love the car for its peppy engine, ride and handling. Ofcourse best as a 2 seater. My dad complains about the poor visibility from a drivers PoV, though.

As I drove the car, started liking it more.

Maintenance:
My dad prefers the car to be clear of scratches and dents. There were few scratches and dents which we got done costing to about 4-5K (or may be less, I don't remember) in the last one year.

Couple of times my dad took the car for service at Varun Motors, Vijayawada they charged about 2 or 3K. I somehow have this feeling that Varun Motors is pushing for unneccessary work on the car understanding that my dad is not bothered with that.

Otherwise, nothing to complain about A-Star.
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Old 22nd July 2013, 20:55   #15
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Default re: Complete Pictorial Review of the Maruti A-Star VXi MT | EDIT: Now Sold

This is definately a good start for the week. I mean, its a good feeling to see a car that you own in the assembly line. To be honest, this is one of the car that i use to hate and never thought that i would end up buying one (something like an arranged marriage i believe).
Oh well, it's over 2 years that I've been driving this car and i can say for sure that I did the right thing and no regrets. Just what i needed. People say the bootspace is hardly there, i say, my JBL Bass tube fits firmly in there with just the right space it needs, preventing it to roll and produces an "eargasmic" sound stage in the boot.
100kmph- thank you so much for this pictorial feast! Happy driving and "Stop at nothing".
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