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Old 1st August 2015, 22:17   #1
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Default Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4044.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-key.jpg

Little Background:
To put it simple, I'm using my Sunny here in Chennai and badly wanted a second car to use at hometown (Coimbatore) for 2 reasons
- Parent’s travel frequency increased in recent days
- No other car available here at hometown, I should always take Sunny from Chennai to Coimbatore, even if I’m traveling alone
So we decided to buy a second car for home.

Criteria:
Budget : 1.5L
Used / New : Used (without a second choice for this budget)
Segment : Sedan
Make : Any Japanese
Special Requirement : Rear Independent Suspension (long time desire) and little Fun to Drive
Monthly Usage : <1000km, 50:50 City & highway drive (50% Chauffeur driven)
Fuel : Petrol preferred, LPG/Diesel accepted
Fuel Economy : Anything on 2 digits
Maintenance : Average or a little above average

Cars Considered:
Below cars were the only choices available to match my criteria
- Honda City Type 2
- Suzuki Baleno
- Maruti Suzuki Esteem
- Mitsubishi Lancer

The Hunt:
Actual search started from July 1st week and for over 2 weeks I was looking around for various cars in Chennai & Coimbatore. Came across few City and Lancers which were over 1.2L km and more than 2 owners. Few Diesel Lancers were available within my budget, but the condition was very much pathetic. Few other Esteems & Balenos were ruled out for various reasons.

On 18th July I made an appointment with the owner of Subject car to have a TD in the morning, then it got postponed to evening as I got hold of other commitments and finally managed to see the car in person around 8:30pm.

Test Drive Experience:
Had a short TD in various roads and I’m very much satisfied with the performance of the car. Few observations during TD
- Car looked neat inside out
- No abnormal noise / vibration during TD
- Rattle noise from Doors when driven over potholes
- Engine is very much responsive at every rpm range
- Gear shifting was smooth except for the 5th Gear
- Clutch is better when compared with the other vehicles I had a TD
- Owner is so kind and transparent

Finally we decided to meet the next morning to understand the vehicle condition more in detail under bright light. In the meantime, I confirmed the service history through my known sources and got satisfied with the history. As planned we (myself and parents) reached his residence around 11:00am, had a thorough inspection and my parents were also very much satisfied with the vehicle and seating position. Finalized the deal for 1.55L and promised to take the delivery by 23rd July. I left to Chennai and my parents had taken the delivery of car as planned.

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 4th August 2015 at 09:40.
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Old 1st August 2015, 22:39   #2
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Default re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

About the Car:
Make : Maruti Suzuki
Model : Baleno
Variant : LXi
Year : 2005
No. of Owners : 1
Mileage : 82k
Insurance : Valid till Apr-16

Added Accessories:
- JVC KD DV4404 HU
- Pioneer Speakers in front and Rear
- Art Leather seat covers
- Few LEDs here and there

Adding few snaps

Exterior:
Some say Baleno is 'Like it' or 'Hate it' design. Though it is not that appealing like Lancer, not a boring design either. Chrome window lining adds more character to the vehicle. Front end is almost resembling the first gen Alto and the rear with old gen BMWs.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9196.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9198.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9201.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9204.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9205.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9206.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9214.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4047.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4051.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4060.jpg

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 4th August 2015 at 08:49.
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Old 1st August 2015, 22:52   #3
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Default re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Interior:
Nothing much to praise or complain the interiors. Dashboard is almost a couple of decades old design but all the controls were ergonomically placed.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9208.jpg
Front Doors open wide enough, making it easy for ingress and exit. Wider ORVMs are very much practical and covers decent amount of traffic behind (though some blind spot exists)

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9210.jpg
Simple steering wheel, sadly no leather wrap in LXi variant. Not to forget the quality of the steering wheel is far better than my Sunny.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9211.jpg
Front Seats, with slide and reclining adjustments only. Height adjuster was available only with VXi trim. Short people will definitely complain about this missing feature. IMO the front seats were bit narrow and a few inches more should increase the comfort level a class apart.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9226.jpg
Rear seat offer good support. In this snap the Front seats were adjusted for my relaxed driving position and the rear leg room is adequate for a 6 footer. Fixed head rests with soft cushion offer better support to people with average height. Center arm rest is wide enough for both the passengers to utilize.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4068.jpg
Driver side Door with Power window switches, Child lock for rear power windows and Center lock. Notice the small door pocket which couldn't hold even a 300ml water bottle. Absence of cup holder in the front (and rear too) is very much disappointing. Grab handle feels solid and durable.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9230.jpg
Rear doors open wide enough. Notice the Door pad with no door pockets.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9231.jpg
View from outside.
Green tint on the windshield is clearly visible. Notice the gap between front seats.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4058.jpg
No non-sense dash board. Wooden finish center console is not of my liking and I may switch to Silver finish (same as VXi trim) Very basic MID with Tacho meter, Odo-meter, Mechanical Speedo with Trip meter, analog fuel & temperature gauge. Back-lighting is very poor and it is next to impossible to read the odo reading during night drives. Gear lever is short and the throw is moderate IMO. Pedals were placed with sufficient gap and the dead pedal (not visible in this snap) is a boon for highway driving. Previous owner fixed "S" logo behind the Front center armrest.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4070.jpg
Mirror adjustments buttons, Head lamp leveler and space for additional switches.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4080.jpg
Front center arm rest with a small storage compartment / cup holder inside. Notice the space for additional switches as well. There are 9 slots available in total for additional switches.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4090.jpg
400L Practical Boot with boot lamp.

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 4th August 2015 at 09:53.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 07:12   #4
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Default re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Engine Bay

Massive Hood with insulation
Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9217.jpg

Reliable 4 pot 16V 1.6L Engine
Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9218.jpg

Tires

This car is running on different combinations,
Front: Michelin 185/70 R13
Rear & Spare : Apollo 175/70 R13

Alloys and Tire upgrade planned in near future. 185/65R14 (VXi spec) or 195/55R15 these are the choices in my mind, please suggest.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4064.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4065.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4062.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4063.jpg

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 4th August 2015 at 09:32.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 07:19   #5
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Default re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Audio System
JVC KD DV4404 HU
Pioneer Speakers in Front & Reat
Front - Door Mounted (Not sure about the spec)
Rear - 200W 6x9 Oval provide a decent bass

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4082.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4059.jpg

Few LEDs

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9223.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4094.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4093.jpg

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4095.jpg

Japanese Parts
Most of the parts were Made in Japan.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9215.jpg
HL rear cover

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9216.jpg
Air Filter element

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-img_4077.jpg
Tail Lamp

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 4th August 2015 at 09:34.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 07:25   #6
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Default re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Short term ownership review:
Covered around 1k km in mixed traffic conditions and below is the observation.

Likes:
1) Low Posture:
I’m a big fan of shorter cars and love to be close enough to the ground. Unfortunately none of my previous cars were of Low posture (compared with Baleno) This makes the Centre of Gravity to fall further below and improving the stability of the vehicle. The only downside I could see is low GC will result in belly scrapping, but I got used to the low GC of Civic & Linea and I hope this shouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand I was little worried my old aged parents may find it difficult on a low slung car, though they were very much satisfied with previous generation Elantra and Esteem. During TD they confirmed it is not that difficult and they are still satisfied.

2. Engine Response:
I don’t have much to write here, it is known to everyone that the 1.6L Suzuki engine is a gem among the competitors and also a reliable work horse. Engine was very much responsive at every rpm band. Thanks to the better low end torque (compared with Hondas) it makes City driving a pleasure. Even with 3 on board 2nd Gear is sufficient enough to pull without much stress on B2B traffic. On highways post 2.5k rpm is a different story altogether for this rev friendly engine. I haven’t taken her to red lining yet, but the engine made me understand it’s capability within 5k rpm.

3. Ride & Handling
If I compare with my other car and the previous cars that I owned, it is a class apart. It isolates each and every bad patches and small pot holes from the cabin. Dampers do their job pretty well. Coming to the handling department, steady speed cornering at 3 digits is just mind blowing (for a 1.5L paid car) At certain flyover exits I couldn’t do over 60kmph on my Sunny and with this car I managed to do at 85kmph (I don’t encourage high speed driving on flyover exits, but to understand the vehicle behaviour I tried once confirming there is no traffic ahead or behind me) Only area where I could feel a little body roll is during a double lane change, but again it is far better than the cars from this segment.

4. Brakes:
Braking is not that inspiring on this particular car. Brake pads are due for change and let me update the experience after cleaning the brakes and changing the brake pads.

5. Steering:
Hydraulic power steering makes City driving (slow speed) blissful and gives much confidence on highways. It is neither too heavy nor that light. I should say it is very much balanced. Horn pad reach is far better than Sunny and the effort to press the horn pad is also lesser. I love the 3 spoke steering wheel over the 4 spoke design (for no reason) Tilt adjustment is very much useful but the range is limited.

6. Features:
This car is feature loaded when compared with the current gen cars except for the safety features ABS & Air Bags (Though it was sold in other markets with those features) To list a few,
- Power Windows with driver side 1 touch down
- Power adjustable ORVMs
- Front Centre arm rest with storage compartment / Cup holder (though it is small)
- Rear centre arm rest
- Height adjustable seat belts
- Tilt adjustable Steering
- Variable speed intermittent wiper
- Boot lamp
- Dead pedal
Other regular features like Power steering, Day/Night IRVM, Centre locking, remote boot & fuel lid opener, etc

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-arm-rest-1.jpg
Front Center arm rest

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-arm-rest-2.jpg
Cup holder / small storage compartment and space for additional switches.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-clock.jpg
Clock

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-seat-belt.jpg
Height adjustable seat belts

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-tilt.jpg
Steering Tilt adjustment lever

7. Comfort and Convenience:
Rear seat offers a neutral support all over (there is nothing much to complain) Good ride and handling package coupled with a comfortable seats gives a fatigue-free journey. Excessive body roll in my Sunny was sometimes bothering the rear occupants and there is no such issue in this car. About the Air Conditioner, it's best in class I must say. Cools the cabin in few minutes even under hot sun. Blower noise is within the acceptable range.

8. Build Quality:
Overall Build quality is above average. It is not that solid build when compared with European brands, but definitely better than the current products from Maruti. Doors doesn't close with a 'Thud'. There is no sign of rust in the body panels (though few fasteners started rusting) and under body. I couldn't comment on the paint quality as most of the panel were re-painted by previous owner. Well maintained Panel gaps shows the level of quality control that Maruti Suzuki maintained those days for their Premium Sedan. Plastic quality is also above average (better than the one in Esteem / Alto)

9. NVH
NVH is very much acceptable for a decade old car. Engine noise, Road noise and wind noise were isolated from the cabin. Suspension does the job of shock filtration pretty well even on bad stretches of roads with pot holes.

10. Fuel Economy:
Got 14.7kmpl by Tank full method
Driving Pattern : 40:60 City & Highway driving
AC : 100%
Occupancy : 3 on board 60% with completely filled boot and 5 on board with partly filled boot for 20 and 10% solo driving without any luggage
Speed : Less than 60kmph inside City & 90~120kmph on highways (Even more occasionally to understand the vehicle behavior)
Odo Reading (Between tank fill) : 82971 - 83709
Fuel Consumed : 50.06 liter (15.44 + 34.62)

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 4th August 2015 at 09:58.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 07:28   #7
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Default re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Dislikes:

1. Headlamps:
Headlamps were next to useless I must say. It does the job pretty well on City roads, but taking to highways leave us hopeless. As a first step I must upgrade the bulbs with 100/90W kit, if this doesn’t satisfy the need the other option is to fix auxiliary lamps (Please suggest some Auxiliary lamps)

2. Front Seats:
Front seats were little narrow (when compared with Swift, City, etc) though it within the acceptable range, a few inches more should keep us more comfortable.

3. Door Pockets:
I came around the car searching for a place to keep a water bottle but with least success. Door pockets couldn’t hold even a 300ml water bottle. I had a worst experience in past keeping the water bottle under front seats and during panic braking one of the bottle came under the driver foot. Little worried on this regard.

4. No Safety Features
Baleno in few other markets were sold with ABS and Airbags. This is something disappointing that Indian market is taken for a ride right from the beginning. PS: Fuse box in Indian spec Baleno had the provision for ABS & Airbag fuses and relays which means it is a global design but stripped down for Indian market.

Wish list:

Few wish list items and future upgrades planned.

1. Remote Lock
This is something we got used to and badly in need of one. Please suggest a basic remote lock from Autocop / Xenos / Nippon or any other brand worth considering. I’m inclined towards the flip key type remote lock from Right Click (rclick.co.uk) but the shipping is much higher than the actual piece cost. Is there a source in India to get one?

2. Tires:
Alloy wheels + better tire upgrade planned. Please suggest

3. Parking Sensor:
Investing around 3k on parking sensor should save the much costlier Tail lamps I hope. Not mandatory, but to be on the safer side I planning to install one.

4. HU:
Current HU doesn’t have a USB port and we badly need one. Otherwise the JVC KD DV4404 is doing its job satisfactorily.

That’s all for now and I will keep updating this thread as much as possible.
Thanks.

Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9221.jpg
This fellow occupied the reserved space of my Sunny
Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi-dscn9219.jpg

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 4th August 2015 at 09:38.
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Old 4th August 2015, 12:26   #8
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Default Re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th August 2015, 13:34   #9
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Default Re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Congrats on your Baleno. Its a very very reliable car and yours loooks well maintained. You should touchbase with BHPian V12 who owns a Baleno and a Baleno Altura, both of which are in mint condition.

And regarding the water bottle, never ever leave any bottle on the floor. It might just come rolling and get lodged under the brake pedal and you wouldnt be able to brake. Please be very carefull here.

Cheers,
Raj
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Old 4th August 2015, 14:22   #10
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Default Re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Congratulations on your Pre-owned Baleno....!! wish you many happy miles on it.

I too got myself a silver colored pre-owned Baleno at 50k mileage from an esteemed forum member who had maintained her fabulously and have been happily driving it around.

You got to love the simple lines of the car rather than the "botoxed" headlamps of today's cars which for me look really absurd looking, dont know what fun the designers get by doing such head lamps and quirky designs. I guess Baleno has got to be the last car with fairly straight lines giving it a neat look, though i would agree that the front could have been a tad bit better, but i cant complain since the drive on it makes up for all that it does not have.

It gives me the grin when I floor the pedal and engine just pulls forward without any slight hesitation. Rightly mentioned about taking curves on it at 3 digit speeds ( i haven't ever done a flyover exit at those speeds due to traffic conditions nor would i do it.) It simply hugs the road when you take a sharp turn on highways which is simply love to do when driving through ghats and mountainous terrain.

I have it running with Yokohama S drives 15" on Lenso Samurai alloys, which gives me excellent grip and less noise and I would recommend Yokos but you need not up-size the rims from 13" to 15", you would be good to do with 14" as well.

The headlights are the worst part for me as well, i have a 100/90 Hella kit installed ,but is still pathetic on highways and even in front of the new generation head lights (or probably i am getting older hehe) .

My car came with the autocop remote lock installed and it does a pretty good job and is sturdy, dont know the cost of it though.

Good luck
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Old 4th August 2015, 14:37   #11
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Default Re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Very nice and detailed write up. Pleasantly surprised by the FE figures. I just wanted to ask do you still get spares from MASS for this model?
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Old 4th August 2015, 14:40   #12
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Default Re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Congrats on your preloved India's ex luxury sedan

Car looks neat and well maintained

Such a nice car Baleno is. I think if maruthi could bring another car in same name, with the soul which Baleno got, It will be a good option for us petrol heads on budget.

Ciaz somehow dosent feels like a proper Baleno replacement to me (but if it had a more powerful engine). But still I think there is a void left by the Baleno.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 4th August 2015 at 14:51.
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Old 4th August 2015, 15:06   #13
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Default Re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Very nice and detailed write up. Pleasantly surprised by the FE figures. I just wanted to ask do you still get spares from MASS for this model?
Hi Amrisharm,

Spares for baleno are a bit of problem as the MASS do not stock them as the number of parts being sold are very very low. So if you have a problem with the Baleno, you ought to go to MASS and order the product and it generally arrives within only a period of 2 weeks ( nothing less unfortunately, unless you have contacts ). This is one problem that I face when something goes wrong and i want to change the part.

Cheers
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Old 4th August 2015, 15:59   #14
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Default Re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

One of the nice Balenos i have seen in recent times. Are the Kms run genuine? But still the parts prices are a bomb or if not a cluster bomb. One goes wrong then there is an array of issues. I had one for almost an year. The best part is that its ride quality is way ahead of the counterparts during the period. And it used to give me nice mileage also. So when can we see the alloys and tyres.
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Old 4th August 2015, 16:36   #15
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Default Re: Got 94 Japanese Horses : Pre-loved 2005 Maruti Baleno LXi

Thank you all for the compliments and wishes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmosedici View Post
never ever leave any bottle on the floor. It might just come rolling and get lodged under the brake pedal and you wouldnt be able to brake. Please be very carefull here.
I'm not going to repeat that mistake again. Had a very bad experience with one of my previous car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by prashant_dv View Post
I have it running with Yokohama S drives 15" on Lenso Samurai alloys, which gives me excellent grip and less noise and I would recommend Yokos but you need not up-size the rims from 13" to 15", you would be good to do with 14" as well.
The headlights are the worst part for me as well, i have a 100/90 Hella kit installed ,but is still pathetic on highways and even in front of the new generation head lights (or probably i am getting older hehe)
Are you running with 185 or 195 section width tires? I'm more inclined towards 195/55R15 Should I reconsider switching to 14"?
Regarding the headlamps, I'm switching to 100/90W today. If that couldn't help, the only left out option is adding auxiliary lamps, any suggestion?
Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Pleasantly surprised by the FE figures. I just wanted to ask do you still get spares from MASS for this model?
Call me 'light footed'
Spares are little time consuming, but I hope we could get from MASS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram_hyundai View Post
Are the Kms run genuine? So when can we see the alloys and tyres.
Service history verified. Alloys and Tire upgrade planned after a couple of months. This probation period is to understand the vehicle behavior and other mandatory repair & maintenance.

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 4th August 2015 at 16:37.
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