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Old 26th November 2008, 14:40   #196
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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
If he can afford to buy a car, he should be able to drive to work as well. If your logic were true, there would be no cars in our parking lot, including mine
A lot of my friends have Swifts and the likes but when it comes to driving them, almost all of them prefer the office cabs unless the distance is within 10-15 kms in which case I would have driven my car to work as well.

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Originally Posted by enter View Post
Dude.. lets apply some basic math over here. Assume you drive 40 kms a day, or 1200 kms a month. i10 will cost you around 5000 rs a month. A* or Alto would cost around 4000 rs a month for that. Saving of 1000 rs a month.. Besides, the insurance will cost 400 rs a month less, that means.

Assuming most of us take loans to purchase items who cost 6 digits..

Its the same as buying a car worth 300,000 rs (assuming you have the same mileage as santro, i10 1.1, wagonr,..etc). Now does A* really look a compromise?

Wow..
How did you arrive at the figure for A* for a monthly running of 1200 kms? Are the fuel average numbers out? And how will the insurance cost go down by Rs 400 a month? Dude its all beyond me.
We buy bigger better cars for a reason and i10 is clearly the better of the two. Accordong to you mathematical calculations which make little sense to me, Tata Nano would be a perfect buy, why do you even want to go upto the A*!

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Last edited by Technocrat : 26th November 2008 at 15:35. Reason: see note in post
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Old 26th November 2008, 15:02   #197
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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
We buy bigger better cars for a reason and i10 is clearly the better of the two. Accordong to you mathematical calculations which make little sense to me, Tata Nano would be a perfect buy, why do you even want to go upto the A*!
The answer is there in your comment itself - " We buy bigger better cars for a reason".
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Old 26th November 2008, 15:24   #198
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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Good review, but I think a lot of things are relative. For example, I have driven an Alto (in Nagpur) with the AC on and found it to accelerate pretty well. The alto engine also revvs better, which is noticeable on the roads where Altos beat many other (similar sized) cars off the block, initially.
If peak power is almost 20bhp more, and is developed at the same RPM as the Alto (as mentioned by another), then is the A Star so much heavier that it's performance in the city is so poor?
Velu, many here are race-car owners / pretend to be so. They don't think from common man's side. Maruti introduced A-Star for common man, especially for their city driving, and not for racing in the highways or using as a taxi car.
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Old 26th November 2008, 15:42   #199
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Checked out the car today, No test drives were available.

I was somehow dissapointed as my father who is not much tall is planning to replace his Alto VXi & A star looked like a good contender. The observation are only w.r.t. his requirements

- The dash is too high with Stereo right in line of eye sight which is good for tall people but might not be for shorter people
- Rear seat is not an issue since the seat would not be pushed back
- The door maps pckets can are narrower than those on Alto
- The boot space is smaller than Alto.

I will ask him to check it out once before making any decision.

Otherwise this seems like a nice car for couples who wont be having rear seat occupants most of the time.
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Old 26th November 2008, 16:40   #200
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Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Otherwise this seems like a nice car for couples who wont be having rear seat occupants most of the time.
More and more manufactures are targeting this kind of customers now. GM and Hyundai are planning to develop 800CC cars in near future.

Tata Nano comes next year. Bajaj is on their way.

These cars will ofcourse be smaller, fuel-efficient and cheaper cars, than spacious, powerful and costly ones. They just follow the Maruti way!

Last edited by romeomidhun : 26th November 2008 at 16:42.
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Old 26th November 2008, 16:54   #201
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Originally Posted by romeomidhun View Post
More and more manufactures are targeting this kind of customers now. !
Oh, Astar was indeed targeted for couples?
Didn't know that, we were just guessing it
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They just follow the Maruti way!
Yeah, even Merc, BMW, VW, Toyota etc follow the Maruti way
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Old 26th November 2008, 17:05   #202
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Actually they follow the Suzuki way which is the Global leader in making Small cars
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Old 26th November 2008, 17:06   #203
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Originally Posted by finneyp View Post

Yeah, even Merc, BMW, VW, Toyota etc follow the Maruti way
How I wish there was a small Merc/BMW... for something like 7-8 lacs on road
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Old 26th November 2008, 17:16   #204
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Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
How I wish there was a small Merc/BMW... for something like 7-8 lacs on road
Actually, there is one fantastic small car from Merc called Smart, it is available in US, Europe etc.
Priced around 5 lacs.

Check here: smart fortwo pure
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Old 26th November 2008, 17:37   #205
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Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
Yeah, even Merc, BMW, VW, Toyota etc follow the Maruti way
Keep your sarcasm with you, mate...

Actually, they will be forced to take that route because of the current financial crisis all over the world and high and changing fuel prices.

The three auto giants Ford, GM and Chrysler from U.S. are struggling and asking for bail-out now, because they concentrated on bigger gas-guzzlers than small fuel-efficient cars.
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Old 26th November 2008, 17:54   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
Actually, there is one fantastic small car from Merc called Smart, it is available in US, Europe etc.
Priced around 5 lacs.

Check here: smart fortwo pure
wow! would definitely buy one if it was available in India!!!

But looking at prices of Merc cars here I doubt if they'll sell for anything less than 12-15lacs on road, if ever introduced! And at that price it will just be a plaything for the likes of Bipasa Basu rather than poor me :(
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Old 26th November 2008, 21:10   #207
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Originally Posted by palioman View Post
we in India prefer looks last ( in cars).Else how would that ugly Santro become a hit, .
I think this is true.
When one of my friend wanted to buy the santro (first version) I had accompanied him to the showroom. When we told the sales person that we liked the styling (we had really liked it ) she was suprised and said for the first time she had come across someone who liked the styling of santro! According to her, all those who had bought Santro for other qulaities just disliked the styling.
Even many buyers of NHC never liked the looks of it.
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Old 27th November 2008, 07:43   #208
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Default A star driven.

Maruti A-Star review + test Drive-dsc00748.jpg

While the whole world is trying to cut down their expenses, Maruti went ahead and added another small car to its already big portfolio. What is it to be so confident about the A star? To find out, I borrowed one and drove it over a few hundred kilometres over a period of 36hours.


Those of you who have gone through Sidindica's post would say I'm wrong here. But you see, opinions differ from person to person. I was analysing the car in a neutral attitude and found that as a small car, it was in many ways better than what we have had from Maruti so far- read Alto, Wagon R and the horrible Estilo.
Maruti A-Star review + test Drive-dsc00725.jpg
I started early in the morning
Maruti A-Star review + test Drive-dsc00728.jpg
The A star got everyone interested. People stopping bikes, asking questions and the lot. Couldn't take many pics.
Maruti A-Star review + test Drive-dsc00734.jpg
Maruti A-Star review + test Drive-dsc00747.jpg
Maruti A-Star review + test Drive-dsc00750.jpg
Wont it look better if the B-pillars were black?


Slotted in between the Wagon R and the Swift, the A-star looks like a comic book character. It is a personal thing about styling but here is what I felt. The headlamps felt like an amalgum of circular and triangular elements. The front grille is a two piece affair but the thick black strip at the middle being black in colour, gives it a bulgarian beard look much like an Audi. Bonnet shut lines are accentuated by a rubber beading much like in the Corolla Altis. Moving to the side, the window sill tapers upward, giving it a sporty character. The rear lights have crisp detailing but are the only saving grace of an otherwise bland design. Overall, the styling was acceptable and I found it rather cheerful than offensive.

Step inside and you are in a sea of plastic but Maruti has cleverly opted for a two tone design here with an ash-black combination to break the monotony. The steering wheel reminds of the Swift, so do some of the switches, knobs and the air condition vents on either sides of the cabin. The upper part of the centre console emerges out and has the AC vents and the built-in stereo. The four speaker stereo sounds decent and is very easy to operate. The main instrument console consists of a large speedo and an LCD that has read outs for fuel, odo and trip functions. The tachometer housed in its own pod is a neat touch and looks cool but is partially hidden by the steering wheel. The quality of the plastics is good, way better than other budget offerings from Maruti.

The front seats have adequate bolstering and good lower back support. The i10-like built in head restraints could do with some more padding because normally, at a comfortable back rest angle, you would find your head a few centimetres away from it and not resting on it, which can be tiring on long drives. Although the high window sill and the bulky front seats make you feel helmed in, the rear seats are a reasonably comfy for two. Boot space is just about adequate and high rear bumper and the wide tail lamps eat into the loading aperture.

The engine left us impressed however. The new 998cc engine, dubbed the KB series, with just three cylinders develops a healthy 67bhp and 90N-m torque. It has a 4valves per cylinder architecture and is mated to a slick 5 speed gearbox. The engine though cannot hide the inherent qualities of a three cylinder unit, is quite refined at idle. You crank it and after the chirping of the staring motor, there is silence, as if the engine didn’t start on the first crank. But in reality it would be running and the only tell tale would be the tachometer. Performance is adequate for a city car. Low end torque could have been better however. Pottering around town is easy with the light clutch and delicate controls. The engine gets buzzy at high revs and is working hard on highways, but then this is a puny 1.0litre engine. It is quite frugal. I managed around 16 - 18.3kmpl.

The car rides acceptably well for a small hatch. The suspension irons out most of the irregularities on the road and is more or less inaudible. Care must be taken on broken patched at high speeds as your head is very close to the roof. Handling is benign. The electronic power steering is light and direct. Feedback is not bad either. Pointing the car is easy as is getting its tail out in corners. The car has an identical 2360mm wheelbase like the Alto, Wagon R or the Zen Estilo, but the wide track gives it a more planted feel. Braking with ABS felt secure and pedal feel was consistent.

Overall, the A-star comes across as a contemporary, well built city car. The new 1.0 engine offers a nice blend of performance and economy. The handling is involving and the ride quality commendable. At Rs3.46 lakhs(ex showroom, Cochin) for the base model, it is not bad value either.

What makes it look inferior is the Hyundai i10 which has more space, better quality, better interiors and a better engine (1.2). The A star is cheaper to buy and is a bit more frugal but if you can spend the extra bit, get an i10.
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Maruti A-Star review + test Drive-dsc00767.jpg  

Maruti A-Star review + test Drive-dsc00762.jpg  

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Old 27th November 2008, 07:52   #209
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Nice review man. You really had time for such TD. Lol.
Quote:
I borrowed one and drove it over a few hundred kilometres over a period of 36hours.
After all its from Maruti. Maruti, who knows our pulse for the last couple of decades.
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Old 27th November 2008, 09:03   #210
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Quite to the point and crisp review there.As you have pointed out the biggest problem for the A-star is the i10.

Well reading about the 'head rest'-are they not head restraints-which prevent whiplash injury rather than to 'rest one's head on'.

Excellent pictures and nice framing too!
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