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Old 2nd January 2016, 23:49   #1
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Default Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

It all started with this OLX ad -


It's all about independence. My wife wanted freedom from depending on me for everything - grocery shopping, visits to parlor/friends or school pickup/drops for kids. Hence we started looking for an automatic transmission car. Since this will be a second car used only for 2 - 6 kms per trip, we set the lowest possible budget of Rs. 4 Lacs. So our choices were limited to -

Pre-owned Hyundai i10 AT
Pre-owned A-star AT
New Tata Nano AMT.

Although I was OK with the Tata Nano, my wife was very nervous about her car undergoing spontaneous combustion while she was driving. I dropped the i10 AT from the list because it is about Rs. 1 Lac more expensive than the same year A-star AT.

So I headed straight to a couple of Maruti TrueValue showrooms and zeroed down on this 2011 model with 35,000 kms on the clock for Rs. 3.4 Lacs.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02023.jpg

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02025.jpg

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02028.jpg

Before taking delivery of the car, I asked to salesman to get rid of those dull grey plastic wheel caps. I think those black steel wheels look pretty cool on a short wheelbase white compact car.

My wife is a very nervous driver. After placing those largish L-boards to warn other motorists, we installed an aftermarket Pre-safe Anti Collision Avoidance System

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02038.jpg

The above system is inexpensive but supposed to be quite effective

I then went to a nearby 3M showroom, got rid of slippery/sliding OEM mats and replaced them with 3M Nomad custom mats.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02042.jpg

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02033.jpg


After driving the car for a week, what strikes you the most is the sheer number of "big car" features -

Height adjustable rear headrests (to help prevent whiplash injuries) :

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02036.jpg

Power window buttons on all 4 doors, doors also equipped with 0.5 litre bottle holders:

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02034.jpg

Integrated music system with CD Player, AUX-in and 6 speakers. Sound quality is average though:

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02037.jpg

Remote central locking with anti-theft alarm:

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02046.jpg

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02069.jpg


All 4 power window controls on driver's door, driver's side window Auto down function, one button locking, auto-locking over 20 km/hr and child window lock:

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02047.jpg

12V socket with cigarette lighter:

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02048.jpg

Height adjustable drivers seat:

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02061.jpg


Door Ajar indicator:

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02065.jpg


ABS

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02053.jpg

Spring loaded grab handles:

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02060.jpg

The gear lever too is well finished with leathery / soft plastic feel to it -

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02071.jpg
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Old 3rd January 2016, 00:16   #2
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

Good AT choice in that budget. The i10 would have been more powerful to drive, but your usage does not necessitate it. Apart from FE being a concern with the i10-AT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat
After driving the car for a week, what strikes you the most is the sheer number of "big car" features.
Another thing that is big-car like about this tiny car is the weight. At close to 900kgs, it weighs in as a Liva or the new Baleno. The weight could be because it was exported.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 3rd January 2016 at 00:17.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 00:29   #3
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

One major shortcoming of the A-star when it comes to features is that the rear view mirror does not have day/night mode. This makes driving the car at night rather irritating.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02044.jpg

I intend to solve this by replacing the OEM mirror with MapmyIndia.com's SMART MIRROR 100 soon. It is equipped with GPS, video playback and reversing camera.

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However, you soon forget this minor setback when you notice the huge amount of space at the backseat - for a 5 year old.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02032.jpg


Also, the 130 litre boot can comfortably hold a couple of full-sized umbrellas.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02054.jpg


The boot even has a nifty closed compartment where the jack is stored. Thankfully, it does not rattle.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02055.jpg

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02056.jpg




The Drive:

The 67 BHP engine starts with an unusual diesel like sound. Press the brake lever, slot the gear lever to "D", release the brake and the car takes off immediately without pressing the accelerator. This is a boon in stop-go-stop traffic and also prevents the car from rolling backwards on inclines - very useful for new drivers. The A-Star even gets to 20 km/hr without using the accelerator.

This is my first automatic, so I can't comment on how quickly the gear changes etc. The best way to describe the drive in Bangalore traffic is - THERAPEUTIC. The engine and the transmission gets the job done with minimum fuss. You can quickly get to 60 to 80 km/hr and the cabin still remains reasonably quiet with low wind/tyre/engine noise.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02059.jpg

Fuel economy: The A-star AT returns 9 km/litre under our driving conditions in Bangalore (short drives, 2 or 3 trips per day). Under similar conditions, the Santro manual gives 10 km/litre and the Honda Civic manual gives 8 km/litre

For 6 footers (my wife is 5'8"), the driving position and room in the front is perfect. Jumping into the A-star from my Civic involved no "familiarization" issues. Everything falls into hand perfectly and the view is pretty good too.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02041.jpg

The steering, as expected from a Maruti EPS, is light but is not totally devoid of feel. Thankfully, the steering is pretty "quick" and makes a light work of squeezing through traffic. The "return to center" action too is pleasing after you make a turn. However, there is atleast 10 degrees of "play" on either side from the center position.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02040.jpg

The ride quality is a bit of a mixed bag. Even if the road surface is broken (as normal city roads are), you can drive through at a good pace. However, on really bad roads with deeper pits and potholes, the ride gets bouncy/jumpy. On such surfaces, the ride quality is worser than my dad's old Santro Xing. The best way to tackle such surfaces is to drive slow, and let the AT take care of gear changing duties.

VERDICT:

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02058.jpg


There is no doubt that A-star is a flawed car. The limited rear legroom makes it a 2 + 2 seater (2 adults & kids) - unlike the Tata Nano AT or the i10 AT. But surprisingly, when its time to go out on weekends (within the city on traffic infested roads), I reach for the keys of A-star instead of the Civic. Flawed, but Charming.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 00:57   #4
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

Congratulations on an ideal city runabout for a new driver.

Could you share more details about this aftermarket collision avoidance system? What did it cost you and exactly how does it work?
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Old 3rd January 2016, 05:17   #5
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

Congratulations on the car! Definitely a sensible buy and I much prefer its styling to the new micro hatches from Maruti.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Flawed, but Charming.
That last line I think perfectly sums up the car mate

Could you elaborate more on the collision avoidance system? Would be interesting to know more about this and how effective it is I believe this is the first I am hearing of something like this in the aftermarket scene.

Wish your wife and you tons of happy miles in the little charmer
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Old 3rd January 2016, 05:29   #6
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

Congrats smartcat !!! A good buy indeed !! I liked the way you started that thread referring to the OLX ad. Wish you lots of happy kms and hope that your collision avoidance system(the almighty) is always with you.
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Could you share more details about this aftermarket collision avoidance system? What did it cost you and exactly how does it work?
Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Could you elaborate more on the collision avoidance system? Would be interesting to know more about this and how effective it is I believe this is the first I am hearing of something like this in the aftermarket scene.
He is mentioning about the god idols as the collision avoidance system, which protect us from any unwanted situation.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 07:32   #7
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
There is no doubt that A-star is a flawed car. Flawed, but Charming.
Firstly, let me congratulate you on your acquisition. You chose the right runabout for a beginner.

Speaking of flaws, no machine is perfect mate. What matters is how delighted we are with them.

Wishing you and your family many happy miles with your little star!
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Old 3rd January 2016, 07:37   #8
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

@Smartcat, Congrats ! Have been through pretty much the same path. I had considered the three cars, but left the i10 out due to it's FE and higher cost of spares. I had booked a Nano AMT, and in parallel, was looking out for a A-Star AT. We finally got a Blue A-Star AT a few months back. It's just right for the city !


1. Ride : you must be on stock JK Vectra 155/80 R13.
I moved to Yoko Earth-1 175/65 R14. This made a good difference.

While ride has improved, I still need to work on improving the NVH.

2. FE is ok since the running you mentioned is not much. On more regular use, I have touched 11.8 kmpl. (And I am not a sedate driver :-) )
FE has not dropped due to the upsize.

3. Your car has those small bottle holders in the door pads .. nice !

4. Good that you have got spring-loaded grab handles on the (inside) roof. (I dont)

Coincidentally - we got same Ganesha idol with our used A-Star AT, sitting down there :-), But now he is up on the dashboard


Happy driving !

Last edited by condor : 3rd January 2016 at 07:59.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 12:39   #9
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Another thing that is big-car like about this tiny car is the weight. At close to 900kgs, it weighs in as a Liva or the new Baleno. The weight could be because it was exported.
That's (good) news to me. Although, the doors & tailgate close with a "clack" instead of "thud", but the external body panels feel solid when you press against them. And no rattles @ 35,000 kms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
Could you share more details about this aftermarket collision avoidance system? What did it cost you and exactly how does it work?
Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Could you elaborate more on the collision avoidance system? Would be interesting to know more about this and how effective it is I believe this is the first I am hearing of something like this in the aftermarket scene.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayank0782 View Post

He is mentioning about the god idols as the collision avoidance system, which protect us from any unwanted situation.
.

Right. It works on Prayer Power. You pray to Lord Ganesha before starting the engine. My wife has a history of crashing my car into an electric pole, the garage door and the gate (at low speeds).

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
We finally got a Blue A-Star AT a few months back. It's just right for the city !
I think blue and black colors look best on an A-Star. Do you have a thread on your car here? If no, post some pics here.

These colors hide the open-mouthed grille, which splits opinion.

Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-dsc02057.jpg

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Quote:
Ride : you must be on stock JK Vectra 155/80 R13.
I moved to Yoko Earth-1 175/65 R14. This made a good difference.
Yes, these are OEM JKs. Will upgrade to R14 soon and see if it improves the A-star's Jekyll and Hyde ride quality.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 15:36   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I think blue and black colors look best on an A-Star. Do you have a thread on your car here? If no, post some pics here.
The white you have got is really nice ! The other color I liked is that dark grey color.

Our car:
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This was not the color we picked, but color happened to be this one for the car we picked

And no doubts about the tyre upgrade ,, Go for it !
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Old 3rd January 2016, 16:05   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
It works on Prayer Power. You pray to Lord Ganesha before starting the engine. My wife has a history of crashing my car into an electric pole, the garage door and the gate (at low speeds).


Till I read the clarification I too was scratching my head trying to figure out this inexpensive technological innovation. Thanks for clarifying Smartcat.

All said and done, excellent pictologue. Summed up almost every thing. Rating the thread a full 5 stars.

Awaiting the next gizmo of yours which is the map my India navigator in the IRVM.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 16:47   #12
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
One major shortcoming of the A-star when it comes to features is that the rear view mirror does not have day/night mode. This makes driving the car at night rather irritating.

I intend to solve this by replacing the OEM mirror with MapmyIndia.com's SMART MIRROR 100 soon.
Bro, have a look at this post of mine. I too have this issue where the IRVM has no D/N setup in my Alto K10.

D/N IRVM

Bought it for Rs 700 from MGP dealer.

Alto's IRVM vs WagonR VXi's IRVM
Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-alto-vs-wagonr-irvm.jpg

D/N IRVM
Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic-8.-refix-cover.jpg
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Old 3rd January 2016, 20:11   #13
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

Congrats on the purchase. A good buy. I have had vague thoughts of a 2nd AT city run about and in my mind, if i plan to go ahead, the first option to look out for is an used AStar. Would prefer it over a new nano. The presence of ABS is a huge plus.

Surprised to see that True Value had the car. I had casually checked with Bimal True Value few months back and was told that an AStar AT in TrueValue was a rare specimen. Good price too.


Wish you all the best.

Edit: Forgot to mention. Well written with a nice dose of subtle humour.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 3rd January 2016 at 20:16.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 20:28   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Bro, have a look at this post of mine. I too have this issue where the IRVM has no D/N setup in my Alto K10.
Bought it for Rs 700 from MGP dealer.
Alto's IRVM vs WagonR VXi's IRVM
Anurag, I did ask the service advisor if I could swap some other Maruti's day/night IVRM onto the A-star for which he replied in the negative. I will specifically ask for Wagon R's rear view mirror.

Do I need to specifically ask for VXi part? Is this the 1st gen Wagon R or the 2nd gen? From your photo, it looks like it will fit on my A-star.

But I do need a rear camera on my A-star to make the car more new driver friendly. My wife is so nervous about reversing into somebody or something that she prefers to drive around the block, instead of reversing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post

Surprised to see that True Value had the car. I had casually checked with Bimal True Value few months back and was told that an AStar AT in TrueValue was a rare specimen. Good price too.
Very rare. You need to check many TrueValue outlets to zero in on one. Hyundai i10 ATs in the used car market is relatively common.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 21:10   #15
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Default re: Pictorial review of our pre-owned Maruti A-Star Automatic

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Do I need to specifically ask for VXi part? Is this the 1st gen Wagon R or the 2nd gen? From your photo, it looks like it will fit on my A-star.
It is WagonR VXi specific. Why not order the same part from the MGP Dealer as given and they'll procure it for you.

Part Number: 84703 M 81A21 - 6GS
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