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Old 21st July 2014, 17:25   #1
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Default Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

(Please pardon the quality of pictures in the following posts)


Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140801_151939.jpg



Of Days Gone Past:


Wow, how time flies by!

My earliest memories of our first car go back to 1985, when Dad drove in a pre-owned Premier Padmini Deluxe BE into our humble home. Covered in a lovely Chocolate Brown shade, the mere sound of her wonderful engine made my 9-year-old heart beat in joyful unison!

Me (excitedly): My car! My car!
Dad (waving a finger with a smile): Correction. OUR CAR!


Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140722_043738.jpg
Dad with his beloved Padmini (1988)

Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140722_043854.jpg
(top) me, Mom & Dad (bottom) Dad, Mom & Uncle (1991)


She was someone who epitomised premiumness and luxury in the working-class back then, a bundle of joy inside and out, and a family member for 19 years who made Dad a hardcore fan of Fiat for life. Dad learned daily driving with her (he used to drive the office Jeep occasionally before that), and got fiercely attached to her. So much so, that when her beautiful body started falling apart due to severe rusting (we could see the road through several sections of the car's cabin floor!), Dad spared no expense in making her 100% again, investing a lot of time, money and effort. A testament to the fabulous engine which was still going on, despite the car almost falling apart into pieces!!

In between, he had sourced an original "FIAT" embossed-on-horn steering for her and used to show it off proudly to everyone around him.

He would not have parted with her, but for our continued pressure on him to sell her, and also because he had found a new passion for himself - the Maruti-Suzuki Esteem LXI. Bought in 1998, the new girl quickly gained favor with him and became his new darling. The Padmini, despite being his first love, had shown her age badly by then, and was disposed off.

The Premier Padmini Deluxe BE:- Bought at 42,000/- in 1985, sold at 27,000/- in 2002, with almost 2,00,000 kms on her ODO.


Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20121226_113432.jpg
Herbie parked in the True Value yard (2012)


The Esteem proved to be a very faithful steed and served us for 13 whole years. I was graduating from a TVS Victor and drove her regularly, apart from Dad, who had christened her "Herbie", after his favorite series of Disney classic films involving a Volkswagen Beetle.

(My need for a separate car grew and finally, a brand-new M800 found her parking place in our home in July 2006)


Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-img_0005.jpg
At home (May 2011)


Dad meanwhile took fond care of his second love, the Esteem, but she started to show signs of niggles, problems and aging (it was of MY 1999) and parts availability became a problem after Maruti-Suzuki discontinued it. The AC went kaput and a replacement compressor wasn't to be found, the balancing shaft developed defects, the engine needed a lot of work regularly, and the local garages messed her up even further. Dad drove her all the way into the neighboring state, Orissa, to get better maintenance and service for her, but to no avail. A lot of money went into her in the last couple of years she stayed in our lives, and I pressed him really, really badly into selling her. With a heavy heart and all teary-eyed, he drove her into the Maruti True Value outlet and and drove out in a shiny-new Silver Ritz VDI, christened "Sylver" by me.


Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20121227_113738.jpg
Dad polishing Sylver outside our home (January 2013)


This was after a long tale of test-drives, during which he had fallen hook, line and sinker for the Volkswagen Polo. (details (2012 Maruti Ritz VDI - Our new family workhorse! **EDIT: Now sold!**))

The Maruti-Suzuki Esteem LXI:- Bought at 2,65,000/- in 1998, sold to True Value outlet in 2012 at 35,000/-, plus discounts & offers, which totalled it all up to 85,000/-, with 1,71,000 kms on the ODO.

(meanwhile, I had sold off my M800 and had graduated to Silver Pegasus - the Honda City Corporate Edition - in March 2012 (details (2012 Honda City - Silver Pegasus - A journey of absolute bliss! EDIT : Now SOLD!))


Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20120304-14.37.27_2.jpg
(from left) Wife, Dad & Mom (March 2012)


The Maruti-Suzuki M800:- Bought at 2,20,000/- in July 2006, sold at 65,000/- in January 2012 with 27,565 kms on the ODO.

And so, things looked like it was all-set for both of us for the next 7-8 years at least, if not more.

BUT, as fate would have it, there were more twists in store in our twin tales.

Dad simply didn't feel as connected and passionate with Sylver as he did with his Esteem & his Padmini (being a true petrolhead), but with a cheerful demeanour and a brave face, he drove it around. In May 2013, Sylver met with an accident when a CRPF truck backed up too far and rammed into her stationary self, with Dad still sitting inside it. To add insult to injury, the CRPF jawan, who was clearly at fault, abused Dad and the 65-year-old retired old man could do nothing, and nobody came to his rescue either. That incident and the already-existing indifferent connection with Sylver made him more reticent, and he stopped driving her completely. (Details (2012 Maruti Ritz VDI - Our new family workhorse! **EDIT: Now sold!**))

A long, complicated time-period followed, and finally both our cars were sold off within 2 years of their times with us, to be swapped with my Empress - the 2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC, and the Hyundai Eon Magna+ (for my wife). (details)


Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140326_113114.jpg
During delivery (March 2014)

Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140306_161913.jpg
During delivery (February 2014)


The Maruti-Suzuki Ritz VDI:- Bought at 5,72,163/- (after discounts) in December 2012, sold at 5,20,000/- in February 2014 with 8,647 kms on the ODO.
The Honda City Corporate Edition:- Bought at 7,95,124/- in March 2012, sold at 6,00,000/- in February 2014 with 9,571 kms on the ODO.



The Present:

Dad had announced that he would stop driving altogether, but I convinced him to continue. Although he intermittently drove my Empress and our Eon, he stared longingly many-a-time at the space outside our home where his beloved Herbie used to be parked (now occupied by wifey's Eon) and heave a long, deep sigh. I caught him with that stare many a time, and felt bad deeply inside.


Me (quietly): You shouldn't have let me sell the Ritz.
Dad (lamenting): It was no Esteem!
Me (shaking head): We all move on, Dad. Times change, and we have to, too.
Dad (looking straight at me): Passions don't change, son. (back to gazing outside his window) Passions don't change...

(his voice trailed off)


All through Dad's life, he had only two passions - his commitment to his job at SBI, and driving his machines.

I still remember the day when he drove Sylver to the A.S.S. with me for her first free service, and immediately ran to the Maruti stockyard where Herbie, HIS Esteem, was still parked, with grass growing on all sides and with almost deflated tyres (she hadn't found any takers till then). He walked around her, fondled her lovingly, opened the driver's door and sat on the driver seat for a long while. His actions caught the attention of the dealership manager who asked me if Dad was still attached to his Esteem, and he was willing to get Herbie back in perfect shape and gift it back to Dad. I, being the more practical and pragmatical part of our family, said it would pass and politely declined.

But somewhere deep inside me, a sadness gripped, nagged and grew. My hands were tied - I had no extra funds to spare, and I had availed a loan on my Empress which was taking a big EMI chunk from my salary, being a short-term one.

The invisible grey clouds inside our home grew darker and darker, and Dad's melancholiness started to weigh on me. His birthday was fast approaching, and he would turn 66 on 1st July. A man who had devoted his entire life to his career, his two machines and his family, now found himself retired and alone, longing for those days in the past. I wondered if his slowing reflexes and increasingly difficult vision would permit him to drive as freely as he did till now. Mind you, he's an exceptional and fantastic driver. Rarely have I seen him commit a mistake in his 29 years of driving, and on at least 6 different occasions we all have been saved from certain death/grave injury due to his instant presence of mind while driving his two beloveds at high speeds. This, without any safety features at his disposal - no ABS, Airbags, nothing of the sort.

I saw an occasional spark in his eyes when he caught a glimpse of a rare Esteem on the roads, which meant that the desire was still very much there. But there was nothing I could do to rectify the situation and make him feel alive again.

But, as they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining hidden deep behind it, and when it breaks out, it shines the brightest and lights up the entire gloomy, rainy atmosphere of the day. And in my case, the silver lining suddenly shone brightly upon me one fine day in the second week of June 2014, when my company released a revised Four-Wheeler Advance circular, and I suddenly found myself eligible for the same.


Finally, Dad! I have something in my hands to make you happy again! Let's get you back behind the wheel and see that infectious smile light up your face!

Last edited by RavenAvi : 8th August 2014 at 19:47. Reason: All done!
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Old 22nd July 2014, 06:38   #2
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

(Pictures in this post have been taken from the official Team-BHP review threads)


The Curious Case of TWO Homeworks:


When someone wants to buy a car for himself/herself, he/she starts their car search by doing a lot of research on the choices available in the market, then extensive Test Drives follow, deals/negotiations, etc.

But in my case, I was facing not one, but TWO researches:

1) Which cars would be most suitable for Dad,
2) Research into those cars.

I knew he had liked the Figo petrol, but that was showing a distinct sign of ageing badly, plus the Ford dealership we had in our city had closed a while back. Not to mention the Ka-based facelift coming next year.

As for the Polo petrol which he had absolutely fallen in love with, the problem was the non-existence of a Volkswagen dealership in our city. Besides, I wasn't a big fan of the 3-pot powertrain which has been continued in the 2014 facelift and the niggly problems reported by various other owners, and I certainly wouldn't want to drive 300 + 300 kms just to rectify a power window issue.

Besides, at his age, Dad would want peace-of-mind ownership period for the remainder of his lifetime which he would spend behind the wheel. I was guilty of thrusting my opinion on him before (basically forcing the Ritz VDI purchase), and I wasn't going to make that same mistake again.

So, with all things in mind and Dad's preferences at the topmost priority, I chalked out a list of requirements:

- It will be Dad's car.
- HAS to be a petrol, keeping Dad's petrolhead mindset in mind.
- A car which is to be driven extensively inside the city (95%) to every by-lane, nook and cranny.
- Ample space for 4 adults and a child (my 2 year old Princess), although it will be carrying only 1 person for most of the trips (either Dad or me). Rather have it and not use it, then not have it and need it later. He was clearly struggling in the Eon's limited space, and was very comfortable in my City. Comfortable in the Ritz too.
- About 700-800 kms a month usage (that's what his Padmini, Esteem & Ritz had clocked on an average), so definitely tilted in petrol's favor.
- Loaded with ALL/most safety features. ABS & Airbags compulsory. At 66 and with slowing reflexes, I was not ready to leave him with a non-safe variant of any car, specially if unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances rear their heads, like that CRPF truck incident.
- Availability of local After Sales Service. In case I wasn't in town, Dad should be able to avail any/all work for the car peacefully.
- Not too bothered about resale value. The car would be under 60 EMIs (5 years) at least, so depreciation didn't bother me at all.
- Most importantly, purchase to be completed in July itself. The Advance needed to be sanctioned by month-end, plus it was Dad's birthday month!

Looking at the spare cash in hand and the Car Advance amount, I set the budget at 6L-6.5L tops.

The dealerships in my city are limited, and they are - Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata, Mahindra & the newly inaugurated Honda dealership. Besides these, Chevrolet has a sub-dealership here as well.

I started with Hyundai, simply because of their fantastic current offering - the Grand i10. Dimensionally similar to the Ritz (in length and width), powered by a fantastic 1.2 Kappa petrol, ample space inside and loaded with features. The Asta (O) variant was the only one which offered Airbags + ABS, and it came to 6.35L OTR. There was no discounts on offer for the petrol for the month of July (the diesel carried a measly 5,000/- discount for corporate employees). A recent launch and in-demand car, so it was natural. I had test driven it before and was surprised by the very tractable nature of the 1.2 and the fit, finish and finesse of the Grand i10. It was #1 in my list.

The Hyundai i20 was a distant second. The Sportz variant was within reach and I had it earmarked just for the safety features (ABS + Driver Airbag) and build quality alone, but the petrol i20 was sluggish compared to the diesel. My uncle had bought the Magna (O) last year, and I wasn't too impressed by the pick-up and driveability of the 1.2 powering this car. Still, just to have an option in hand, I had it noted down.

From Maruti Suzuki, I picked the Swift. The Ritz made more sense with it's compact footprint and ample in-cabin space, but it was an ageing design and rumors of MSIL discontinuing the Ritz completely once the Celerio 800cc diesel was launched, was getting strong. And in comparison to the Celerio & others the Swift, with it's more contemporary design, a tried-and-tested, proper 4-cylinder 1.2 petrol powertrain (the older Swift had a dynamite under it's hood though), and with just a cosmetic facelift in the pipeline, certainly looked to stay in it's current avatar for the next 3 years (I am told the next-gen Swift will come by 2017-18). The ZXI, with all safety features, was costing 6.51L OTR after discounts.

Tata was skipped. Neither me nor Dad are a fan. Period.

Same for Chevrolet. He simply hates Chevy (read: Chinese) cars.

Mahindra didn't have any offering which would interest both of us.

And coming to Honda, the one in contention was the Brio. Dad liked the engine during one of the previous test drives he had done back in 2012 (when we had bought the Ritz), but didn't like the shape/durability of the rear, nor the interiors on offer even in the highest VX trim. The Brio hadn't changed in the past 2 years, so I struck it off the list.

So, in the end, it all boiled down to 3 final contenders -

1) The Hyundai Grand i10 Asta (O),
2) The Hyundai i20 Sportz (or even Asta),
3) The Maruti-Suzuki Swift ZXI.


First stop: The Hyundai dealer.

The Grand i10.

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Dad has never liked Hyundai cars. He feels they are toy machines loaded with gizmos to dazzle people but lose out on the crucial stuff like engines, power, FE and longevity. But I pitched the Grand to him so earnestly that he agreed for TD-ing it. On the 19th (Saturday), in spite of him not feeling well (seasonal flu was starting to kick in) and severe bouts of cough, both of us were in the Grand i10 Demo Car. He drove around with a bit of disinterest in his feverish eyes, and I waited with bated breath to see his reaction change. It stayed neutral till we returned into the Hyundai compound, and I was at him in a flash.

Me (excitedly): Well?!
Dad (looking back): Well what?
Me (sideways glance at the Grand): How was it?
Dad (matter-of-factly): Flat.
Me (wide-eyed, checking the tyres in a hurried, confused look): They seem fine to me.
Dad (grimly): I was saying about the TD.
Me (disbelievingly): Eh?
Dad (shrugging): You won't understand.
Me (adamant): Then make me understand.
Dad (mouth set in a straight line): You young-ins think you know everything. It's useless.
Me (slightly bitter): No, no! I really want to. This is, quite simply put, the best petrol for city driving at the moment. So, what's the problem?
Dad (resignedly): Look, if you are thinking of a family car, go ahead and buy it. Just don't ask me about opinions. I am an old man, stuck in the generation of my Fiats and Esteems.
Me (looking around, hoping no one is overhearing): We will discuss this further at home.

It was quite evident that the Grand i10 failed to impress him. I was disappointed since I wanted, deep inside, for him to like the car. But I guess, each generation has their way of looking at their machines, and the Grand was clearly more suited to mine.

The i20.

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I remembered about the i20 and asked for a TD of the same. A white Sportz pulled up beside us a few minutes later. A 15-minute TD followed, while Dad went through the motions. When we returned and I asked him how it was, pat came the reply in a single word:

"Flatter."

The way he said it, implied two separate meanings (yet similar to each other) - Flatter & flat-er.

The dealership manager was out and started to ask which one would it be? I told him that we would discuss this at home and get back to him by the evening.

I was clearly disappointed, but stayed mum all through our drive home. Later in the afternoon, I sat down with Dad. He didn't want to talk at first, but upon my insisting, stated his opinions.

Dad: "Grand? Humm...where to start? Steering is too bland, clutch too light. Slot in 1st, pulls neatly, drives flat. 2nd, pulls neat, flat. 3rd, pulls neat, slightly better. 4th, pulls neat, again flat..."

(Each "flat" uttered was like a slap to my face)

"...seats too thin, headrest hits my neck, and the rear has been copied from some modern Peugeots I know of."

Dad finished, with me only hearing half of it all.

Me (earnestly): These are modern-generation petrols. They are tuned for in-city driveability and fuel efficiency. If you are thinking highway manners, it won't disappoint you either. We haven't taken it out on the open road yet. And there's enough gizmos on offer to keep us both happy.
Dad (letting out a deep breath): Don't try to convince me about how cars should behave. And what gizmos? Push clutch, press button to start engine?! I don't like this taam-jhaam tamasha! It's all complicated even before things have started. Heck, give me a key and a slot anyday. What use do I have for all your fancy razmatazz - your Bluetooth, plethora of buttons on the steering, sensors, camera...psh! How much would it take to get down, look behind you, get back in and start backing up? Or even look back from your driver side when backing up? All that these features are doing, is making you and your generation lazier by the day. And don't even make me start about the engine. My car should leap forward in the 2nd and 3rd gear, eager to sweep me off my feet. When was the last time a car did that?!
Me (feeling the passion in his tone, changing subject): Did you know that they are offering almost a lakh off on the i20 Asta?
Dad (looking back at me, shooting back): A car which simply refuses to move in either of it's first two gears. Ever stopped to think what's the eventual catch in that deal?
Me (caught off-guard completely, trying to change subject): Maybe it's because of the all-new i20 in the pipeline. I think the i20 petrol is very decent, performance-wise. Did you know that the list of features in the i20 is absolutely mind-boggling?!
Dad (with a small, all-knowing smile): I thought we purchased cars for their engines and mechanical, structural soundness. So you lot buy cars for their features on offer these days?
Me (caught off-guard again): The Grand and the i20 both are mechanically and structurally sound and are good driving machines. It doesn't hurt to have a few extra features thrown in at the price they are offered.
Dad (looking out the window): At least we bought cars for their engines in my day. (looking back at me) And the last time I checked, neither you nor me are James Bond, for all the fancy stuff.

He went back to the book he was holding, which meant that the conversation between us was over. For then.


The Swift.

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The very next day was a Sunday (20th July), and my friend Sanjay came to meet me in his red Swift VXI, purchased a few months back. Dad was down with fever, but came out on the balcony and peeked at who the visitor was, and casually peered at the car outside.

I had planned a Swift TD for Dad once he got better, but caught him peeking, and asked Sanjay if he would mind if Dad took a spin around in it. With a bright smile, he handed over the keys.

Dad (shaking his head quickly): No, no! I won't drive someone else's car! Besides, I am sick!
Me (sweetly): Think of it as a quick TD.
Dad (staring back): Why? I don't like it's looks. No car can match the Polo's and the Esteem's clean lines.
Me (fervently): You know that if we had a Volkswagen A.S.S. center in our town, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Dad (impatiently): Exactly! So please, leave me alone.

(I had rubbed a closed wound, I guess. An uncomfortable moment of silence followed.)

Me (pleading): Come on. Just one round inside our colony.
Dad (with a final shrug): Oh! All right!


He took the keys and went for the small ride, while I stayed back at home with Sanjay, discussing casual stuff. 20-25 minutes went flying by during all this.

Dad hadn't returned.

I began to worry, wondering if he had crashed somewhere, driving in the flu-ridden state he was in.

About 10 minutes later, he pulled up outside in the car, and walked in.

Me (eagerly, checking for any emotion in his eyes): What took you so long?
Dad (plain-faced): Oh, I was just about to turn back from the colony's main gate, then remembered I had to meet our Tax lawyer. Since you two were busy, I had a quick dash across town.

(in his almost bed-ridden, fever-ridden state?! And was that a sparkle in his eyes?!)

Me (feeling warm inside): And umm, how was the ride?
Dad (shrugging nonchalantly): Lags a bit in the lower gears but drives well. Steering's light but gives adequate feedback. Nice engine, nice riding manners.

(Right HERE was THE moments I caught - the way he pronounced "Nice", and the very next moment he started drumming his fingers on the table calling out to his grand-daughter, usually a signal that he was happy about something)

Sanjay looked at both of us inquiringly.

Me (to Sanjay): Oh, you know we had the Ritz VDI before. Dad wanted to have a real-time feel of how the Swift petrol drives vis-a-vis the Ritz diesel.
Sanjay (nodding, turning towards Dad): Ahh. So how was the experience, Uncle?
Dad (small smile): It was nice.

("Nice" in Dad's special I-approve-it in a pronounced way)

I must admit that my heart was pounding with happiness right here. So finally, the car which he had dismissed without even a second glance, much less a TD, 2 years back, left an impression on him.

After Sanjay left and I helped Dad upstairs back into his bed, I spent a long, hard time thinking about all the options, weighing all the pros and cons of all cars.

My choice - the Grand i10.
Logical choice - the i20 (with all discounts on offer).
Dad - definitely inclined towards the Swift.

To resolve this quandary, I went back to the priorities I had listed during this very short car hunt, and the very FIRST priority caught my eye, which towered above all of them.

Monday, 21st July, went by with me on touring duty all day.

Tuesday, 22nd July, at 11:37 AM in the morning, I was sitting across the Sky Automobiles' dealership manager's table, signing a cheque of Rs. 5,000/- as booking amount for the Maruti-Suzuki Swift ZXI.

I learned a lesson on that Sunday - we are so busy being practical in our daily lives, we forget the worth of emotions. And, driving passion is driven solely by emotions.
Ask anyone who is fiercely attached to his car and he will tell you why he sticks to her through innumerable breakdowns, overhauls and body re-works, and he will tell you (with a smile) that he is passionate about his machine.

The Swift, even in it's top avatar, might seem naked in comparison to the Hyundais and their class-leading features' list and build quality, but it has that SINGLE all-important feature - it connected with Dad in a way neither of the Hyundais could. It stroked his driving passion again, and brought a sparkle back into those ageing eyes. In the end, what counts is his happiness, over and above everything else.

Passion. An emotion which has been dying a slow death in the past few years, and which has slowly gone out of our lives these days. Maybe, through Dad, I can learn to be passionate about things. Maybe we all can.

A standing salute for your passion, Dad!

Last edited by RavenAvi : 8th August 2014 at 19:47. Reason: All done!
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Old 25th July 2014, 13:44   #3
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Being the practical one, I had to reason it out for my satisfaction as well:

- Dad was not comfortable with larger cars anymore. One of the main reasons why he drove Pegasus & Empress with a lot of reluctance. I knew he would not be comfortable with the Hyundai i20, being a ~4m car.
- Dad's ideal length was that of the Ritzy's (3775 mm) for in-city driving. The Eon was considerably smaller (at ~3.5m), and that's why he liked driving it, lack of power notwithstanding. The Grand i10 was the best car for him, purely on this basis (10 mm smaller in length compared to the Ritz). But the Swift at 3850 mm is not that far either. Only 75 mm longer than the Ritz, and 85 mm longer than the Grand i10. Comparatively, the Hyundai i20 was a whopping 220 mm more than the Ritz, and almost 150 mm more than the Swift.
- Dad's car should have good pickup in the 3rd/4th gears. I think this is where the Swift has the Grand i10 beaten, with the Grand offering a more linear power delivery in comparison. In fact, in the petrol department, I think the Swift has most of the cars in it's segment/segment-above beaten. Figures on paper might say a different story though.
- Dad didn't care for fancy features - push-button start, auto-headlamps, reverse camera/sensors, etc. He's old school, and prefers old school mechanics in his car. Give him a car with power steering, AC, central locking and FM radio, and he's happy. One more point in favor of the Swift.
- Hassle-free servicing. Maruti and Hyundai are pretty much equal here but he's more comfortable at Maruti, since he knows most of the staff there from his Esteem/Ritz days.
- Car will be driven mostly inside the city so a big boot wasn't needed. Granted, the Swift has a sorry excuse of a boot but at most, it will carry a couple of shopping bags, so it wasn't a deal breaker for me.
- Airbags, ABS and Climate Control - He would drive a car without any of these but at his age, I was not willing to take a chance. Reports of better FE achieved due to Climate Control units made me tilt for the Swift ZXI as well, since the Grand i10 Asta (O) doesn't come with a Climate Control unit.
- He doesn't like Hyundais, period. Their best offering didn't impress him, so it would have been yet another compromise.
- Brand Swift. Even though the Hyundais are loaded to the gills and offer best-in-class fit & finish and build quality, the Swift has been the B2-segment leader ever since it's inception. Specially in smaller cities like mine, a Swift still commands the most respect AND resale value. No other car has been able to match the Swift's legacy till now, and it's a proven fact.


Most importantly, it's going to be HIS car. I have been selfish twice before, but not this time. Let all the practicality of the world take a backseat here, and let his passion reign supreme.


Leading up to the big D-Day:


I got the booking done and prepared all the papers for the 4-wheeler advance, which was sent for approval on the 23rd. Which car would it be, was kept a secret by me from my very-inquisitive family (even Dad!).

Dad was very sure I would go for one of the Hyundais, being the more practical one. What a surprise he is going to get!

On the 24th, I received the VIN number of a Metallic Silky Silver Swift ZXI, currently in transit from the factory, and supposed to arrive on the 26th of July. I wrote down the VIN number (July 2014 make) and the color of the car and asked Dad to approve it (using his special numerology system), and even though he persistently asked which car it was, I didn't reveal it to him. He approved it, so it's definitely going to be this one.

I would have liked the Glistening Grey shade but with all-black interiors, the Silver car would look great, I thought. Plus, Silver was Dad's preferred shade too.

Went to the dealership in the afternoon and finalised all discounts/freebies one final time. Here is the complete breakup:

Ex-Showroom Price: 6,02,992/-
Insurance Charges: 20,964/- (Maruti-Insurance, through New India Assurance, including Zero-Depreciation)
RTO Regn Charges: 47,309/-
Car Choice Number: 5,000/-
Extended Warranty: 8,006/- (3rd and 4th Year, Rs. 7125 + Rs. 881 Service Tax)
AntiRust Protection: 2,450/- (3M Underbody Paint, with 5 Years Warranty)
Body-Side Moulding: 1,900/-

GRAND TOTAL: 6,88,621/-

Consumer Offer: 15,000/-
Corporate Discount: 15,000/-
Special Discount: 10,000/-

-------------------------------------------

Final Price to be paid: 6,48,621/-

-------------------------------------------

Freebies from dealer: Art Leather Seat Cover Set (Black/Silver dual tone) + matching Steering Wheel cover, Illuminated Door Sill Plates set of 4, Idol, Car Perfume, Mudflaps, Mats, Car Cover.
Added (by myself): 3M Underbody Anti-Rust Protection (with 5 years warranty), Body Side Mouldings Set, Cabin lamps (yet to be fitted).
Skipped: Teflon coating.


The car was unloaded from the delivery truck at around 12:30 PM on Saturday, the 26th of July. Covered in dust, mud and grime from it's long journey, she was immediately driven to the washing area for a thorough exterior and interior cleaning session. Her dull, mud-soaked silver color, accentuated by the gloomy skies overhead, reminded me of mythological warrior princesses.

I confirmed the VIN and checked out some basic stuff - OEM battery provided is of Tata Green, tyres are MRF ZVTVs, no dents or scratches immediately evident, ODO is at 7 kms, etc. Since no one was around, I completed the quick PDI. All seemed to be in order, except that the battery had me disappointed. I was expecting Amaron. Went back and gave the green signal to the dealership manager for interior detailing and accessories fitments.

Went to the dealership on Monday, the 28th of July. The car was thoroughly cleaned and detailed both inside and outside, and the illuminated door scuff plates had already been connected. I chose a set of simple dual-tone perforated (breathable) art leather seat covers and a matching steering-wheel cover for the Silver Queen. The in-cabin reading lamps were not immediately available, so they ordered it from the factory. It should arrive in the next 2 weeks.

Also, on the 31st, a Thursday, got the Body-side Moldings Set fitted on the Silver Queen. These are the ones which specifically come for the Swift and have "Swift" embossed on them. Besides adding to the looks of the stance of the car, they also help in protecting the doors from nicks and scratches, when opened in narrow, stuffy spaces.



Later in the evening:

Me (showing the pictures of ONLY the rear seats to Dad and Mom): How are they?
Dad (thoughtfully): So it's a Maruti. Is it the Celerio?
Me (surprised): Trying your guessing game, Dad? How can you know that it's a Maruti and not some other?
Dad (with a wink): You will be surprised. But I am not revealing!
Mom (waving a hand nonchalantly): I know he's getting the Swift!
Me (feigning innocence): Don't be so sure. It could be the Grand or the i20 too.
Dad (with some firmness): Yep. It's definitely the Celerio.
Me (smiling inside): Keep guessing, you both. It's NOT the Celerio.
Dad (murmuring): Today's paper carried an ad of the Ertiga with plenty of discounts.
Me (evasively): I went for black seat covers from the dealer.
Dad (teasing): And that explains the black door pads as well??
Me (hitting myself with an invisible sledgehammer inside my head): Pics were taken inside the dealership, so other areas look dark. You will have to wait to see them in daylight.
Dad (with an all-knowing smile): Sure. We all wait to see.
Mom nodded.


Received email from my Divisional Office on Monday evening, 4th August, that my Car Advance has been approved, and I was required to complete the formalities. Did the same all through Tuesday, 5th August, and paid a visit to the dealership to leave explicit instructions on how I wanted the delivery process to be.

I wanted to do something special and memorable for Dad, and the dealership manager (Mr. Shambhu Aggarwal, a fantastic guy who had been very patient and had lent all his support to the whole process) agreed for the same. I wanted them to cover Silver Queen with a cloth, like they do for new launches, and wrap a big ribbon on all four sides of her, sort of like a gift pack. A part of the ribbon was to be pulled for all ribbons to unfurl and fall down, and the cloth would have slid downwards to reveal her in all her glory. Mr. Aggarwal said they had a blue-colored cloth with them from the Celerio launch, and would use that for our delivery. I grinned and agreed for the same, since it would make the impression that it was the Celerio under the cloth.

Now we were all set to take delivery of Dad's Swift ZXI on Wednesday, 6th August. Shhhh, it's still a secret!!


THE BIG D-DAY:

The morning of the 6th saw me place a quick call to Mr. Aggarwal to confirm if all arrangements were in readiness, and he apologised for one thing - the blue-colored "Celerio" branded cloth wasn't to be found! But he had wrapped the car in the gift-pack ribbon style like I had asked for, and had got the car driven into the showroom on the far side, hidden from immediate prying eyes. Dad was quiet and morose halfway through our journey, expecting a turn towards the Hyundai dealership from the central square of our city at any moment, and when he noticed that I had veered towards the road leading to the Maruti-Suzuki dealership, a slow smile lit up his face. He was still sure that it was going to be the Celerio. We reached there at 12 PM, and call it coincidence or luck, a brand-new Silver DZire VXI was parked outside in the sun, decorated with ribbons and ready for delivery. As soon as we entered, I pointed to the DZire to my family and told them THAT was going to be Dad's car. Everyone believed me (much to mine and Mr. Aggarwal's amusement), and Dad walked around it and even sat inside it with my 2-year old Princess!!

I had got the numberplates done in the morning, and asked Mr. Aggarwal to get it fitted, hidden from everyone else. The Silver Queen stood on the other side of the showroom as he had said, all wrapped up and beaming! Took a couple of shots when no one was looking, as my family sat in a circle, away from the action. Dad was stealing glances at the silver DZire, a frown on his face, as if in disapproval at the monstrosity of the DZire's boot and it's size. I had called up my Dad-in-law to join us, and he came in a few minutes later. He also fell for the DZire gag, even remarking how good the DZire petrol is (he owns the 2011 model). Finally, all was in readiness and Mr. Aggarwal secretly signaled me. I told him to go and invite Dad as if he had prepared a surprise for him, while I shot the whole thing on video. Mr. Aggarwal did the same and Dad got up, ready to walk outside towards the DZire. Mr. Aggarwal and myself, with knowing smiles and twinkles in our eyes, made him turn 180 degrees around at his Silver Queen, and Dad's eyes widened. He was confused for one startling moment, looking back at the DZire AND at his Swift again and again. A priceless moment!! Then, with a wide smile, he walked over to his Swift and checked her from all sides, while my family (Dad-in-law, Mom & wifey) were having a nice, happy laugh.

He then sat down in front of his Silver Queen for a brief 5-minute puja with his grand-daughter, and then Mr. Aggarwal asked him to unwrap the ribbons. Confetti guns were fired high above us, and Dad's Silver Queen and our family were completely covered, while Dad received the keys and a Cadbury Celebrations pack from Mr. Aggarwal. A fantastic, happy moment for all of us. I joined in the celebration as my Dad-in-law kept the video shoot going, taking photos whenever he could. He joined all of us later as well.

I quickly pointed out a few features of the Swift ZXI - brake boost, Automatic Climate Control, the steering-mounted buttons, etc., to Dad, and he listened intently. His eyes were twinkling, and the smile never left his face. Meanwhile, his Silver Queen was driven out from the other side of the showroom to the dealership entry/exit, and keys were handed over to him. He got emotional for a few moments, shaking hands with everyone around him, even me!

He only said one line to me when he shook my hand:

"Thank you. I am very happy!"

What followed, as overwhelming warm feelings deep inside my heart, is too, TOO huge to be expressed in mere words!

It was decided that Dad and Dad-in-law would drive back home in Dad's Silver Queen, with my daughter who insisted to travel with her grand-Dads. After they left, I thanked Mr. Aggarwal with all my heart for all the support he had lent to me over the past 3 weeks, and he came close to me with a big, shy smile and remarked, "Sir is really, really happy. I am so glad I could do something for him."

This, my friends, is the speciality of Maruti-Suzuki. Their cars might be average in comparison to competition in all/most respects, but when it comes to customer treatment, they are right up there, towering above everyone else. No wonder they are numero uno in the Indian Car Scene today!

Me, Mom and wifey followed the Dads and the little one back home in my Empress.



The Legendary Swift Experience Till Now:

The ride quality has been exceptional inside the city so far. Small & moderate speed-breakers/potholes are brushed aside with ease when the car is in motion, thanks to the excellent ground clearance and aided by the 185-section tyres, which also help in gripping the tarmac a lot better. Also, the raised stance of the Swift + the high seating helps in having a stellar view of the road ahead, similar to the Ritz. The small kick beyond 1500 RPM is really addictive - I have downshifted to 2nd and 3rd more than once just to feel that "surge" which brings a quick smile to my face. The gearbox is very smooth - the gears slot in quite nicely, but the response in the 1st gear and the initial stage of the 2nd gear is disappointingly laggy. The steering is adequately responsive at higher speeds, however I felt it's a tad heavy in the initial stages. The suspension is good and doesn't crash over bad stretches and provides adequate riding comfort to the passengers inside. Mind you, I am saying all this from a driver's perspective (yet to experience the rear seat).

Handling is adequate and the Swift never feels out of control. Due to the wide footprint of the car and the wonderful chassis design which has kept the 4 wheels on the four corners, the stability is exceptional.

The NVH levels could have been much better - all sorts of noise intrude into the cabin from all sides! It's more to do with the ultra-thin window glasses & door rubber than anything else. In-cabin sound insulation needs some serious improvement. Also, the ZVTVs produce plenty of road noise which filters into the cabin. No doubt better rubber will take care of this.

The engine is for the most part, refined. Upon cranking up the first time, the Swift takes just a wee bit longer than my City to come to life with a gruff tone, but soon settles down to an almost-silent thrumming on idling (RPM is around the 750-800 mark). The eagerness beyond 3000 RPM is fascinating - in fact, it's music to the ears! You can literally feel the car ready to fly off the road whenever it wanted to! No wonder it's called the Swift. Maruti-Suzuki engineers must be commended for fine-tuning this powerplant in such a manner that it's a fascinating case study of a superb combination of outright performance + exceptional Fuel Economy. The only grouse I have is that the performance below the 1500 RPM mark is nothing to write home about. This is the one sole factor which tilts the battle in favor of the Grand i10 - the response in lower RPMs is much, much better in the Hyundai.

The brakes have good bite. No doubt, the combination of disc/drum brakes + ABS + Brake Boost is a significant factor for this. Straight line stops are direct and abrupt, though it is no Skoda Rapid. Cornering + braking results in loud squeals from the OEM tyres and a lot of body roll, so it is not advisable. Panic braking is good, and should keep your car safe from bumping suddenly into anything in front. Any sudden, nasty surprises hidden in the road ahead? No problem.



Hopefully a long journey ahead awaits all of us with our new Silver Queen, especially Dad, who is again really happy when sitting behind her steering wheel. I know he has found his passion again, and I hope that the fire burns brightly inside him till the moment he finally decides to bring the curtains down on his driving days.

Love you Dad! Belated Happy Birthday from ALL of us, specially your Silver Queen!!

Last edited by RavenAvi : 8th August 2014 at 21:30. Reason: All done!
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

And now for the very special pictorial.


First glimpse, covered in mud/dust of her long journey.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140726_134454.jpg

From up front. Looks a bit more classy.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140726_134242.jpg

VIN confirmed as July 2014.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140726_134352.jpg

A peek at the MGA-fitted seat covers in the rear.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140801_151723.jpg

Waiting for the delivery of the "DZire" (wink!) - Dad, wifey & my little Princess.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_121830.jpg

Mom and Mr. Aggarwal on the other side.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_121836.jpg

Dad's Silver Queen sitting on the other side of the showroom, hidden from view.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_123002.jpg

A secret shot from the side.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_123938.jpg

Secret shot from the other side.
Notice the number-plate being attached quickly, while hidden from view?
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_124028.jpg

Dad-in-law explaining why the DZire is the best of the lot!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_125336.jpg

Surprise moment over, Dad sits down for the puja with my little one.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_125927.jpg

Confettis burst as Dad receives the keys from Mr. Aggarwal and the Celebrations pack from Mr. Dhananjay Simha, the Sales-in-Charge.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_130354.jpg

I jump in a minute later.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_130458.jpg

Dad-in-law also jumps in.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_131131.jpg


Later, in the evening:


The rear.
Notice the high bootlip and the jutting-out taillamps? Unique to the Swift.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171651.jpg

Rear three-quarters. Ungainly stance, IMO.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171702.jpg

Side view.
Looks much cleaner, with those fantastic alloys. Body-side mouldings break the silver monotony.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171714.jpg

Front three-quarters. Classy.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171725.jpg

And finally, the front. Familiar Maruti-Suzuki face.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171735.jpg

Headlamp detailing. Too stretched, IMO.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171804.jpg

Foglamp casing is plain and the design simple.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171816.jpg

The front grille looks classy, with the Suzuki badge gleaming above the unique, "jutting-out", black teeth design.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171836.jpg

The intercooler is sufficiently wide.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171847.jpg

Twin wiper washer nozzles have three jets in each of them.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171913.jpg

The proud K-series VVT badge.
One of the finest petrol engines available in the country at the moment.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171938.jpg

The ORVM.
Large in size and also holds the integrated side blinker. Has to be folded manually.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_171945.jpg

OEM tyres provided are MRF ZVTVs.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172001.jpg

...and the size is 185/65/R15.
My Empress (2014 Honda City VMT) is shod with 175/65/R15s. Shocking!!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172016.jpg

Front wheel well.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172021.jpg

Rear wheel well.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172103.jpg

Last edited by RavenAvi : 8th August 2014 at 19:48. Reason: All done!
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

"Swift" badged door mouldings break the silver monotony on the sides.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172055.jpg

Tail-lamp detailed.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172118.jpg

Rear wiper & washer.
Exclusive to the Z variant.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172135.jpg

Rear defogger elements are in straight, parallel lines.
Note the integrated rear window washer on the stop lamp, to the right?
Also visible is the subtle spoiler. A classy touch.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172204.jpg

Short and stubby antenna.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172213.jpg

One of the best OEM alloy designs, IMO.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172233.jpg

Blackened A & B-pillars look classy and also lend a sporty touch to the car.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172255.jpg

Weird, rising design of the rear window glass, specially the quarter glass.
Enough to cause claustrophobia.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172314.jpg

No smart-key system in this day and age. No chrome door handles either.
Wake up, Maruti-Suzuki!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172339.jpg

Rubber beading on roof sits plush on level. Good for quick drainage.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_172402.jpg

Panel gaps are, for the most part, consistent.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_173105.jpg

Rear fog lamp provided at the center of the rear bumper.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_174104.jpg

All-black interiors look really classy but could feel claustrophobic to the beige lovers.
Also, the rear seat is best suited for two. A third passenger would be very unwelcome!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_101420.jpg

The key provided might be one of the cheapest in this price range.
Rubber buttons don't look like they will last. Spare key is also the same.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_101620.jpg

A view of the cockpit.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_174831.jpg

The A, B & C pedals. No dead pedal provided, although there is some space to let your left leg rest.
Notice the intruding lower part of the dash? Long-legged people will boink their chin here when using the clutch!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_174954.jpg

Ungainly fit and finish around the "Bonnet Open" lever.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175005.jpg

Seat-height adjustment. Extremely useful.
Seat recline lever looks flimsy though.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175030.jpg

*Groan* Why are they still sticking to this ultra-thin stalk for the fuel tank lid opener?
El Cheapo!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175052.jpg

Driver-side door panel. The ORVMs adjusting-dial feels very delicate.
Auto-Down for driver window only.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175143.jpg

Inside door lever looks classy, with a generous helping of chrome.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175153.jpg

Position of the tweeter on the driver door.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175200.jpg

Doors open in 3-step action.
Ingress/Egress for the front is comfortable while...
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175349.jpg

...you have to really bend to get inside the rear seat!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175437.jpg

Front door storage spaces.
Enough for a 1-liter bottle, a folded mag/book and some loose change/a cellphone (not advised though).
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175702.jpg

Rear door gets a narrower storage bin.
1-liter bottle might squeeze in.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175642.jpg

Child-locks provided on both rear doors.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181409.jpg

The thinnest window glass you can find in a car in India today. Bet the Nano has thicker ones!
No, I am *NOT* joking!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181427.jpg

The rear seats with adjustable headrests. Decent under-thigh & back support.
Lacks a central rear passenger armrest (the DZire gets this!).
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140801_151711.jpg

Driver seat. Comfortable, but notice the absence of body-hugging sides?
Driver's armrest sorely missed as well.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140801_151745.jpg

Last edited by RavenAvi : 8th August 2014 at 19:48. Reason: All done!
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

Driver/passenger side air vents can be fully shut off.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175747.jpg

Fully open, and adjustable for direction by the neat roller given below.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175802.jpg

Push gently at this tiny, tray-like thing to...
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175819.jpg

...reveal a rolling-out, foldable cup holder. To keep a Coke can or a 500-ml water bottle chilled.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175826.jpg

Averagely-sized glove box.
Notice the finish on the top left? Mind-boggling cheapness!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_175937.jpg

Center console air vents don't close completely.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180103.jpg

The OEM Head Unit. Supports USB/I-Pod, Aux-In & CD playback. Has AM/FM radio as well.
Adds a classy touch to the dash, IMO.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180125.jpg

The Automatic Climate Control unit below it. Chills the cabin in no time.
Strangely, the Grand i10 doesn't have one!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180208.jpg

12V power socket on the left, USB/Aux-In on the right.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180231.jpg

Dash portion for the front passenger.
Dotted surface to keep things from sliding off.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180313.jpg

Passenger-side sun visor gets a vanity mirror, while...
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180326.jpg

...driver-side sun visor gets a ticket holder. Aptly marked, too.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180347.jpg

The ACC temperature sensor, in front of the driver, above the ODO.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180434.jpg

Conventional gear layout. All gears slot in neatly, so a joy to use.
Gear lever feels similar in size to the golfball one provided in Hondas, only a bit more rough.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180958.jpg

Single, small storage cubicle in front of the gear lever, below the central console.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181110.jpg

No storage areas around/below the handbrake. A costly miss!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181200.jpg

Perforated art-leather of the seat covers, to keep them breathing.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181238.jpg

Boot door can be opened by gently pressing on this central black rubber piece.
Also visible is the thoughtful grab-handle given on the bottom right, to pull the boot lid down.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181505.jpg

Recessed parcel tray provided. Useful for those long trips.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181528.jpg

Abysmal boot space. Thankfully, it wasn't a deal-breaker for us.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181548.jpg

Hook on the right side of boot to stow something away for the trip home.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181601.jpg

Boot lamp on left side, with a small, plasticky white switch to toggle it on/off.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181613.jpg

Boot door is held in place by twin gas-powered struts on either side.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181630.jpg

The spare is a full-sized alloy. Not present on my 12L+ Honda City!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_181831.jpg

Horn-pad is large, but needs a real stretch of the thumbs to work.
Steering-mounted controls have a useful "MUTE" button.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182053.jpg

Headlamp stalk has a separate provision for the rear fog-lamp.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182344.jpg

Wiper stalk has 5-speed, including intermittent.
Notice the separate provision for the rear wiper/washer?
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182402.jpg

Steering-wheel adjustment for height (up/down), none for reach.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182449.jpg

Basic, unlit keyhole. Plastic finish around it looks extremely cheap.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182501.jpg

Switches for the central locking, front fog lamps and the headlamp adjuster, in that order.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182512.jpg

Last edited by RavenAvi : 8th August 2014 at 19:48. Reason: All done!
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Old 7th August 2014, 00:55   #7
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

ORVM view. Large but not wide enough.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182715.jpg

Pathetic IRVM, with a very narrow field of vision of things behind.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182732.jpg

The Instrument Cluster. Looks really, really classy.
One of the segment's best, IMO.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182812.jpg

Welcome back, ole' temperature gauge!
You were sorely missed (and still are, in my Empress!)
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182823.jpg

Press this stalk on the left to toggle between two trip meters A & B.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182146.jpg

Press this stalk on the right to toggle through Average FE, Instantenous Mileage Indicator, Distance to Empty, etc.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182158.jpg

Average FE displayed. Instantenous FE shows when the car is in motion.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182205.jpg

Tyre pressure chart on the driver door sill.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182903.jpg

Chrome Ganapati idol. (dealer freebie)
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180251.jpg

Car perfume gel. (dealer freebie)
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180301.jpg

The MGA (Maruti Genuine Accessories) tag on the Seat Covers.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182928.jpg

One big advantage of fitted seat covers - backside storage pockets.
Also partially visible is the intruding rear center hump.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_182939.jpg

Rear seat doesn't have the 60:40 split-fold option.
Rather, the whole seat can be folded forward to free space for more storage.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140808_175719.jpg

Warning sticker on the sun visors.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_180339.jpg

Illuminated side-step garnish on all 4 door sills. (MGA, dealer freebie)
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_191352.jpg

Same on rear passenger door sill.
I am told they cost 1900/- for a set of 4.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_191419.jpg

Look at the Instrument Cluster at night. Simply fabulous and mind-blowing!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_191517.jpg

The center console lights up like Diwali night as well!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_191536.jpg

No map lamps/sunglass holder provided at front. Disappointing!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_192058.jpg

Instead, one solitary central cabin lamp has to do duty.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_192117.jpg

The interiors illuminated by the single cabin lamp. Average at best.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_192616.jpg

Completely useless boot lamp. Need better night-lighting desperately in here.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140806_192711.jpg

The famed Variable Valve Timing K-Series powerplant.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_085625.jpg

All lighting sections are by Lumax India.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_085653.jpg

OEM battery provided is of Tata Green. Disappointing!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_085719.jpg

No engine guard for protection at bottom.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_085730.jpg

Even the petrol gets under-hood damping!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_085801_1.jpg

A single, huge fan keeps things cool inside the radiator.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_090020.jpg

Our two steeds - the C2 segment leader and the B2 segment leader.
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_092912.jpg

Bring on the miles! Full steam ahead!
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-20140807_092936.jpg


Positives:

- The Swift, even by it's sheer numbers in the streets today, still commands a presence. People still turn around for a peek when a new Swift decked with ribbons passes them!
- The fit and finish has definitely improved by leaps and bounds over the older generation. Some plastic parts still reek of cheapness but, the quality of finish has gone up several notches.
- From the short drives I have done till now, there exist some sweet spots in the 2nd and 3rd gears, just like the MJDs.
- The pull is clean from 2nd gear onwards, and the surge in acceleration, just by a mere tap on the accelerator pedal, is really infectious and leaves a smile on your face!
- Cruising at 60+ kmph speeds is as easy as apple pie. Yet to test her out on the highway.
- The K-Series VVT powerplant offers the best of both worlds - Fuel Economy and performance. ODO reads 39 kms right now, and FE as per the MID is 15.6 kmpl!
- The driver's seat shows a commanding view of the car's front and the road ahead. Coming from my City, it felt like sitting inside a mini-SUV!
- The suspension has been stiffened, and at higher speeds, the car doesn't break a sweat when gliding over potholes or speed-breakers.
- All-black interiors and the blackened A & B pillars look really classy.
- The Instrument Cluster looks awesome! Second-best in this segment so far (I give the top spot to the Punto).
- The OEM Head Unit + Speakers/Tweeters set gives out some pretty decent sound, with nice, punchy bass. No need of upgrading just yet.
- The OEM system has Automatic Volume Control. It means the volume goes up/comes down according to the speeds at which the vehicle is driven. Nifty feature.
- The engine sound is gruff when cranked up, but it settles down to a nice little thrum on idling. NVH levels are pretty refined.
- Riding manners and handling is impeccable. It has more to do with the wider tyres and the wide stance of the Swift than anything else.
- High beam illumination of the headlamps is good, while low beam is average. Still, much better than some of the other segment offerings.
- L-O-U-D horn! Reminiscent of the Boleros. Will make all traffic jump out of the way!
- Braking is absolutely top-notch. Panic braking also brings the car to a full stop almost immediately. The brake boost feature, and the wide tyres, are a real boon for in-city traffic.
- The best A.S.S. service at your doorstep at the moment. Every time I called them up, they were ready to visit us at home and help us out.
- Ease of maintenance. Service intervals are at 1 month, 6 months and 12 months, and thereafter every 12 months. Plus, it's a Maruti, and it's a petrol.


Negatives:

- The looks. Even though they are inspired by some of the classic cars we are familiar with, I simply cannot digest any of the angles - front, side or rear.
- Thin sheet metal on the body. Marutis are notorious for this.
- Lack of many features - smart key, reverse sensors/camera, rear AC vents, etc - in comparison to competition.
- Laggy 1st gear. The car picks up really slowly in the 1st. Switching to 2nd makes things worse initially. Best thing is to hit the sweet spot in 2nd as soon as you can.
- The steering is a bit stiff for an EPS unit. At slow speeds it's very evident, although it improves at higher speeds. Feedback is adequate.
- Stiff suspension thuds when going over speed-breakers and potholes at slower speeds.
- Hard cornering causes squealing. The Swift is not a corner-hugger.
- Foglamps are downright pathetic in their lighting. Need more powerful bulbs for them.
- Jutting-out taillamps look prone to hits from bikers from behind.
- Absolutely pathetic boot space. One of the segment's worst, IMO.
- Rear seat feels claustrophobic, specially due to the rising window glass level.
- Overall package isn't as premium as it should be for a 7-lakh car in terms of features on offer + build quality. Most of the segment offerings - Polo, Punto, Grand i10/Elite i20, Micra/Pulse - have the Swift beaten in this regard.
- The Grand i10 and the Brio petrols have an edge each over the Swift - the Grand is a great city commuter, while the Brio is a superfast, peppy highway runner.




BIG THANKS:

GTO (the best official review thread ever! (Maruti Swift : Test Drive & Review)),
a4anurag (Best review of the Swift ZDI),
Racer_X (Excellent insights (BumbleBee: First Maruti Swift ZDI in Pune & Team-BHP EDIT: 20,000 km Update on Pg 12))
pradyblr (For a detailed look into the Swift ZXI (My new Maruti Swift Zxi)),
sajo (Another fun Swift ZXI (Swift ZXi 1.2L K-Series : One Year of Fun)),

and several other Swift ownership threads on Team-BHP.

Last edited by RavenAvi : 8th August 2014 at 19:49. Reason: All done!
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Old 9th August 2014, 10:20   #8
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

Rating thread a fully-deserved 5 stars. Your father is very lucky to have a son like you...the bond you share is obvious in this report. God bless man!

Here's my favourite guy in my favourite car:
Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!-dad.jpg
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Old 9th August 2014, 10:53   #9
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Belated Happy Birthday to your Dad.

A hearty congratulations to your Dad for getting the Swift. I am happy that he could connect the way he did with the Esteem. I am not saying it as I own one but my parents have been owning Maruti since long and I can associate the attachment with that brand.

"India does come home in a Maruti!"

Read the whole review patiently and was so engrossed from start to end, I did get a few tears in my eyes when the surprise was actually revealed to your Dad.

Buddy, a big shout and a loud applaud to you to take care of everything, every minute detail to have that happiness sparkling in his eyes. Hats Off Avinash!

Be driving the Swift since 7.5 months and I am dead sure this car won't depress your Dad or you. No wonder it sells.

----------------------

Cross posting from the Ultimate B2 hatch comparison thread:

Quote:
My suggestion is the Swift ZXi
No regrets with that car, I can assure you that. That engine K12M is a performer with doubt and efficient too. Handling and ride is not questionable.

Seeing your requirements, Swift ZXi should do the job without a doubt.
I too knew it would be the Swift. My suggestion was Swift ZXi. Yeah!

Anurag.

Last edited by a4anurag : 9th August 2014 at 11:02.
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Old 9th August 2014, 11:16   #10
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

Amazing report this one. Had watery eyes quite a few times reading it. Thanks GTO for sharing the picture too.
Truly said that all practicality and gizmos take a back seat when it is for the pleasure of your loved ones, particularly your parents. Take a bow!

Regards,
Saket
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Old 9th August 2014, 12:03   #11
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

Happy birthday to you dad!! It was wonderful reading it, yeah teary eyed!!!
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Old 9th August 2014, 12:52   #12
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

Avinash,

I had a lump in my throat! Well written and many happy miles to your dad on his birthday.

LS
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Old 9th August 2014, 13:01   #13
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

Awesome penmanship Ravenavi !
And belated happy birthday to your dad!

Couple of quick questions - any reason you did not consider the Brio, or the Micra/Pulse?

Also - you buy/sell cars a LOT - how do you manage it ? Any tips? :P

Drive safe!
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Old 9th August 2014, 13:56   #14
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

That was beautiful. I can't say anything more fitting to explain your relationship with your Dad. Congrats man and wish your dad many a happy miles on his new car.

@ GTO, It is a lovely picture.
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Old 9th August 2014, 14:04   #15
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Default re: Happy Birthday Dad - From all of us and your Maruti Swift ZXi! EDIT: 10,000 km up!

Belated Happy Birthday to your Dad.
Really your dad is lucky to have a son like you.
Wish your dad a happy relationship with his Silver Queen.

Fantastic narration, a big thanks to you for that.
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