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Old 20th September 2016, 23:50   #31
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

As someone who really likes vw, om namah gt tsi had me in tears.

Extremely well written review which I never felt bored of during the read. Dad's colleague had a zen back then as well where I spent a lot of time in.

Wishing you many happy miles with her!
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Old 21st September 2016, 00:00   #32
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

You just stole my heart, coughed up everything in there about the Zen, and brought it to life here in this thread . A million thanks
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Old 21st September 2016, 00:55   #33
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

Just loved your writing style.. Very engaging writing for not just a 22 yr old but anyone.

I can agree 100% of your description of Zen. Its a no-nonsense non-pretending honest car built for personal transport and a bit of fun

I was looking for a cheap car for my parents in 2014 and found a 2002 Zen LXI, MPFI with 60K on the ODO. It came with R13 Alloys and Yoko A Drives so handled very well with minimal road noise. Paid about 1.05L for it (Its Bangalore )

Went on a Chennai - Tirupati Trip and never once had a problem with the car. It did 1000+ KMs with out a fuss and I really find my beat a little wallowy after I drive it back to back after the Zen. I still have it and use it to run errands.. Its a brilliant little car for performing the way it even after ~15 yrs.
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Old 21st September 2016, 01:13   #34
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

You excellently penned down the bond between you and your cars (The fiat first and the Zen later). It was really a treat to read the article. I really loved how you used the broken door pad as a bottle holder. :P

The reason I started reading the article was because I too have a Zen (2001 VX) and was just working on the ownership report. I share almost similar views on everything you mentioned; the seating position, the average brakes, the gearbox and everything. It is a wonderful little car.

However, there are two things I would try and debate just for the sake of it.
1. It is not an honest machine. :P It gave you the impression of being a small city car but it started out in 1993, if my facts are right, to be a premium offering over the Maruti 800. It was supposed to be a luxury/style statement back then. Of course over the years the status quo slowly died. As to why you got the impression of its seemingly cheap build could be because of the standards set by your earlier car and also the day and age that we are reviewing the Zen. Back then it was decently built and the problem was that Maruti left it that way till the end.

2. I am not sure how many here would agree with me, but the Zen is a stable little machine. For its size and weight I love the confidence it shows at slightly unlawful speeds. It can comfortably take speeds upto 120 kmph even with the 12 inch that the post 2000 models came with. However 80 kmph is too modest in my opinion. Again, since you had the Adventure earlier, your point is valid as the Zen cannot hold a candle to the stability of the Fiat. But I drive Fortuner just as much as I drive the 15 year old Zen and I am quite comfortable at 120 ish speeds.

I mentioned the above two points in length for I loved your writing style and wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Many more happy miles.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 21st September 2016 at 01:19. Reason: removing mention of unlawful speeds.
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Old 21st September 2016, 01:30   #35
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

This is the best ownership review I have read in months. You have reminded me of the car I was given in College life - A Hyundai Santro DX - ii 1999, model. Cheap Thrills are fun actually !!!
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Old 21st September 2016, 01:51   #36
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

The original hotrod favorite during the heydays of modifications! Zen with Esteem/Baleno engines were all the rage, and brings back memories. The age of this car might make it tricky for you to consider to keep it stock or go wild - it seems to cut across both ways!
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Old 21st September 2016, 06:41   #37
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

You have superb writing skills. You brought me to tears. I love the zen. As a matter of fact, I too am 23 years and grew up oggling at zen, matiz, cielo, esteem. Even though we had a maruti 800 back at home, zen was my hero. I remember that my father gifted me a zen toy car and even though I had many other small cars whose names I did not know back then, zen was my hero. I saw car movies and later on, I used to build ramps and threw zen on it with full force just to see my hero toy car fly. That is how much I love zen. Even today when I see a zen I oggle at it's timeless beauty.

I love zen so much that I hope one day I will buy a zen. I would have bought a used zen but my family calls me nuts for my interest in cars and stops me at even the slightest inclination towards cars. I have resurrected my dad's old maruti 800 and I use it for everyday commute. Parents were opposed to it from the beginning because why should a kid use a car instead of buying a new bike. I told them that the old cars with simple engineering are precious and should not be let go and putting the car in backyard is no way to preserve a classic. They have agreed to it finally when I told them that the price of a new bike could only offset the running costs of my car when I used the car for more than 2 years. And now when I go to office everyday, it is running so well that even though we have a big Hyundai Getz at home where we can travel in great space and luxury, dad still prefers taking maruti on highway because it is simple, honest, true, has less running costs, high visibility and low slung seating which make for a fatigue free ride.

Take zen for a long spin on a big tour and you will thank God for giving you the pleasure of owning a zen. Trust me the low seating position makes ride truly very comfortable and stress-free. The all-round visibility and the flat body lines will help you identify your car limits perfectly. It gives you unbridled joy when you know that you are in control of your machine. The Naturally Aspirated engine making it a blast to drive. Of course you have MPFI whereas carburetted engines are even more honest about power delivery.

Regarding it being a cheap and basic car, my friend, you have not seen another car of similar vintage. Just sit inside a Maruti 800 and you will find what a basic car means. Zen was the premium hatchback whereas 800 was barebones.

One more brilliant point that you made me realize is how excess we have in the modern world. I have a car with one cylinder and 200cc less than yours but still it is a joy to drive in non-AC in warangal traffic. I can trail autos who generally make way through traffic and once on free road, I overtake them. I see in my rear view mirror that all the bigger cars are left behind. The joy of squeezing through every gap is unmatched. The excess power, the excess space is not at all required for a city commute. And that excess will cause an excess in pollution, excess in parking space and excess of budget expenses.

But like any other petrolhead, I too was itching for an upgrade. I am pouring a little bit of cash month by month to replace parts of the maruti and bring it back into showroom condition which has evolved into a fettish of mine. Looking at classifieds, I keep on thinking what if I spent the same money but sold this car. I could get a powerful Ford Fusion 1.6 or Fiesta 1.6 or Ikon 1.6 or 1.8 or Chevy Optra 1.8 or Lancer 2.0 or Palio 1.6. I keep on cursing my parents for not letting me the freedom to use my part of savings for buying a so-called more competent car to start with modding it. But after reading through an insight into your story about Maserati where the moral is that do we need to have such a luxury, the itch has died off completely. That thought is very soulful and I hope there are such brilliant human beings as you are.
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Old 21st September 2016, 07:23   #38
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

Whoa! Amazing write up Samar!! What a rush of memories! Keep us updated on the adventures of Sally. All the best!
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Old 21st September 2016, 07:34   #39
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

Samar. What a lovely humorous style of writing you have!
First class journalistic material.

Most enjoyable to read and you've got one thing that many people haven't. The ability to grip the reader from the word "GO".

I enjoyed reading this set of posts of yours and hope you'll write many more!

I especially enjoyed the story of the Adventure...

Do please (just for fun) review the Gypsy and other similar "seat of the pants" cars for our collective enjoyment, will you?

Cheers and all the best!
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Old 21st September 2016, 10:10   #40
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

In simple words - Honest and Gripping.

Brought back old memories, the first car i drove to learn was a zen and then you also raked so many thoughts in mind - zara pants vs boxer shorts, plastic cladding telling things they can do and when interpreted it can lead to a lot of thoughts

Amazing writing, waiting for more to come from you. Enjoy your Zen
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Old 21st September 2016, 10:51   #41
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samar117 View Post

Did you know the Zen came with Power modes? No? It did.

It's called the AC button.

Power mode: AC off. One person in the car. You are invincible. Nothing can stop you. The car behaves like a really angry and flustered terrier. The engine pulls well at all RPMs and at all gears very linearly. Advantage of the linear acceleration is the very immediate nature of the vehicle. Your foot can easily tune the accelerator and make the engine and car dance. It makes for great spirited driving right uptil 80 kmph, after which it's time to slow down Sally. Enough of fun.

Comfort mode: AC on. For regular traffic use, the power is adequate. But give it the beans, and you're faced with lethargy. The angry terrier turns into a lazy labrador. The air-con really does sap a lot of power from the Zen. But again for regular traffic days when you are stuck behind that WagonR, you atleast have cold air blowing at your face. It's no chill your bones AC, just gets the job done. Oh and also, there are three levels for the blower. Stage 3 is an absolute no-no. It's as loud as a hair dryer right on your face.
This part is absolutely hilarious. But man, AC off with only drive it was kind of rally car on twisties, in good hands it can really match other cars in dynamics.

I have owned 2003 MPFI Zen LXi but now sold off and I can totally relate to what you have mentioned in your ownership review. Top notch writing, full marks here to bring out the emotions, it also helped me relive those days. After all these years, this car still pulls the string in me. I always give a second look whenever it passes by. Almost perfect cuteness and sporty design.
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Old 21st September 2016, 10:55   #42
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

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Originally Posted by saishivaj View Post
It can comfortably take speeds upto 120 kmph even with the 12 inch that the post 2000 models came with. However 80 kmph is too modest in my opinion. Again, since you had the Adventure earlier, your point is valid as the Zen cannot hold a candle to the stability of the Fiat. But I drive Fortuner just as much as I drive the 15 year old Zen and I am quite comfortable at 120 ish speeds.
Thats true. Even my Zen does 100+ without fuss. Braking is the let down, in otherwise a beautiful car

And you kindled the thoughts in me about my old Zen, which i'll restore back to glory one day! Will definitely miss her.
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Old 21st September 2016, 11:42   #43
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

Excellent and engaging narrative style. You captured the essence of this car beautifully.
After owning several SUVs/MUV (Xylo,XUV & Xenon) and hatchbacks (2 Palio's) I bought a 2005 ZEN last year in Bangalore. And I can tell you I enjoy it the most among all my previously owned cars, just because of the fun of riding it in Bangalore traffic. It can just make its way out of mad traffic jams and keep you ahead of everybody else. Yes I agree it has its own shortcomings in form of brakes and AC but its not what car you can afford, its what the city can accommodation...and ZEN just fits in perfectly.
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Old 21st September 2016, 13:16   #44
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

Nice write-up. Some threads of the forum are worth a second or third or even more reads either due to the information they provide and/or due to the way it is narrated. Yours belong to the latter group. It really is a blessing to be able to pen down your thoughts in such a light and interesting manner. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Old 21st September 2016, 13:54   #45
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Default Re: Cheap Thrills: My pre-owned '03 Maruti Zen VXi

Quote:
Originally Posted by crdi View Post
Nice write-up. Some threads of the forum are worth a second or third or even more reads either due to the information they provide and/or due to the way it is narrated. Yours belong to the latter group. It really is a blessing to be able to pen down your thoughts in such a light and interesting manner. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
I loved driving my father's 1995 M800 - and also his 2014 Zen - except for the fact that neither vehicle is anywhere near designed for six foot tall people with a big gut. Absolute pleasure driving it and horrendous cramps once you squeeze yourself out of the vehicle.
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