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Old 18th September 2009, 23:18   #1
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Default A-Star LXI 3000Kms Done!

Somehow I never got around writing a review on my car. It has been 05 months since I bought this car & completed 3076Kms till date. So here goes my story.

It was around Nov 08 when I was starting to entertain thoughts of my first car. My aunt has a santro xing 2004 model which i started to drive regularly as i had not driven a car in many years. After i got confident of my driving abilities it was time to narrow down my choices. With a budget just above 04 lacs, my priorities were as given below:

1) Latest Engine.
2) Smooth Gear Shift.
3) Excellent High Speed Handling & Easy Parking.
4) Looks that stand Out.
5) Fuel Efficient.

Now with the above priorities & budget. I narrowed down to 03 choices:

1) Hyundai i10 Magna with 1.2 Kappa Engine.
2) A-Star lxi with 1.0 K10B Engine.
3) Spark LS with 1.0 S-tec Engine.

Test drove all the 03 cars and here is what i found.

1) Spark - Test drove this first. This has the best package in terms of price out of all the three. Has almost no engine sound. Space is well managed. Visibility is good. High speed handling is good. Gear shift is worst among all 03. Parking was a breeze but i felt that steering is very dead (comparing all the 03 with santro which i drove regularly). Looks are good but feminine. Comfortable at low speeds but gets a bit bumpy at high speed (120Kmph).

2) i10 - Interiors were a big turn-off (not a fan of beige). Handling is same as in a santro but ride is much smoother. Parking is easy as this one has the best visibility of the 03. Gear shift is smooth but throw is long compared to santro. Positioning of pedals was odd. Looks nice from front & rear but side profile is not that outstanding. Because of tallboy design & soft suspension setup cornering was not as good as the other 02.

3) A-Star - Wow! Best High Speed handling of all the small cars i've driven (which includes santro, wagon-r, zen-carb, matiz, 800dx). Gear shift is the best among 03. Visibility is poorest of the lot but i kinda have got used to it now. Suspension is hard but that adds to the fun to drive factor. Best ground clearance out of this lot.

Took my mother on all the 03 test drives, she liked the spark but i was really sold on the handling of a-star. we both passed on the i10 coz it felt more or less like a santro. finally it was in the month of march that i booked my car. On road price came to 3.89 lacs which was what i wanted. Gave me enough room to buy accessories & music system of my choice.

will follow up my review later...
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Old 18th September 2009, 23:26   #2
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Great choice & a good comparo. Can we have some photos as well ?
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Old 19th September 2009, 01:21   #3
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Congrats Rahul,

Have you got a chance to check the Fuel Efficiency of A-Star?

Do post some photos of your lovely car.
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Old 19th September 2009, 09:20   #4
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Originally Posted by Aarman_008 View Post
Congrats Rahul,

Have you got a chance to check the Fuel Efficiency of A-Star?

Do post some photos of your lovely car.
I'm curious to know about the current FE on your car. I've got an alto (Aug '08) and get around 17-18 kmpl and would like to know what i'm missing by not going in for the A-Star.
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Old 19th September 2009, 09:42   #5
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Hi Rahul, A* is a good car. It was supposed to replace the Alto in India. But we have Alto and A* selling in parallel. I was also drawn close to buying an A* but decided against it and got an i10.

I wish to know the following:

i. What color of A* did you get? Was it an instant head turner
ii. What is the FE which the KB10 returns? I am sure 3000 kms would be right to give an accurate FE report
iii. Did you do any long trips with the babe? How was the handling in the highways.

I plan to gift a A* to someone special to me, so hence I would need your initial "Owner's" feedback before I decide on the hatch.

Thanks,
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Old 19th September 2009, 11:05   #6
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Pics pics pics!!! The A star is easily the car to have if you don't mind the cramped back and boot. Good choice!
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Old 21st September 2009, 04:09   #7
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Part-2

So now when i had finally booked my car it was down to getting the color of my choice. Bad news "Arctic White (metallic)" was not available in stock. Sales guy informed me that would take atleast 20 days to get that colour although silver & blue are available in stock if i want. I had always pictured myself in a white car with black interiors & black alloys so there was no chance that i would have settled for anything else. So i went home thinking i'll call them after 2 weeks.

3hrs later Mr.Tiwari (salesperson) calls me that they have a white lxi available now. He said that it was already booked but the booking got cancelled coz the guy heard about ritz getting launched and he changed his mind. I was glad to hear that. Now came the date of delivery. I told my boss that i would be gone for a couple of hours & went to showoom at 12:00hrs. Car was ready in 15min. Paper work took another 10min. After that I went home got my mom, my aunt & my cousin & came back. After doing puja the guys at showroom handed me the keys. I gave the keys to me cousin brother & helped my mom & aunt get seated in the rear. A strange sense of accomplishment came at that moment. Here I was at 26yrs age buying my first car and my mom getting to ride on it instead of my old pulsar. No greater feeling for a middle class guy like me. Dad would have been proud. Anyways, my brother drove the new car of the showroom with my mom & aunt while i followed in the santro. Went to nearest IOC pump and filled it up. Went back to office at 15:00hrs. That night i took out my car for a long drive (50kms on highway at 00:30hrs) and here are my initial impressions.

1) Pick up was really sluggish in 1st & 2nd gear. I did not rev it hard as i was running it in. Gear shift was quite hard compared to what i test drove earlier (maybe because of new car i guess).
2) Fantastic high speed handling & brakes. I even did tried the zig-zag manouver at 60kmph that F-1 drivers do before races. The steering response was fantastic. The car did not screech or dove like a santro would have at that speed. I must say that the steering feel is more like an HPS as in santro than an EPS. (Spark felt like EPS).
3) Front seats have very long travel and can be adjusted for a perfect driving position. MSIL have screwed up with this car. This car should ideally be a 3 door coupe instead of 5 seater (MSIL)
4) Got a 5inch nail stuck in the rear right wheel which i saw the next day morning. Got it removed and puncture repaired. Without tubeless tyres, i would have been stuck in the middle of highway at midnight.

After about a month of driving i decided to check the mileage just before first free service. Method used was tankfull to tankfull with 20%AC & 100% city driving. It came to 14.9kmpl. Mind you this was before first free service with barely 200kms on the odo. I must also clarify that i am not a very sedate driver and tend to rip whenever i get a chance.

Part -3 will follow. Sorry i can't post everything at once. Since there are not too many reviews on A-Star in this forum, I would like to provide every little detail about my car in this thread (pros & cons) with pics of course.
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Old 21st September 2009, 11:52   #8
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nice writeup!
I would have really considered the A-Star if it came in A/T. Its only one / two people in my car most of the time!
Do continue writing your experience.
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Old 4th October 2009, 21:02   #9
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Part-3

OK! Time for the first free service. I gave my vehicle at 11:00 hrs & was there to collect it at 16:30hrs. Checked & found that the interiors were soiled with mud. Opened the glove box to keep the service book & the entire glove box came out in my hand.

I was really pissed off. I did not expect this from a maruti dealer. I was ready to lodge a complaint with the showroom manager when the service center supervisor came running to me! He practically begged me not to complain & that he will fix all the problems within 10mins. Turned out the the glove box was yanked from its socket by one of the cleaners & he did not clean the interiors after that mishap. Anyways the interior was thoroughly cleaned & a new glove box was installed free of cost. The service supervisor gave me his cellphone no. and told me that he will rectify any other damages if found and requested not to complain to higher authorities. I was pleased with his gesture and i assured him that i will not do so if i get proper service in future.

After 1st service, pick-up had improved significantly in 1st & 2nd gear. Gearbox has also become smoother particularly while engaging reverse which was not the case earlier. Mileage remained the same however.

Then came the monsoons. I went on a 140km trip to bhilai and the car performed admirably on the highway. Despite heavy rains & water lodging on the roads, the brakes offered adequate bite & the handling was excellent. The only problem i found was there was a lot of condensation on the rear windshield and i wish there had been a defogger/rear wiper (not available in the zxi variant also). MSIL should seriously consider providing them.

Got my first scratch on the rear bumper courtesy of an eager auto-rickshaw trying to overtake. Went to agency and was told that the whole rear bumper will be repainted with a price quote of Rs.1200/-. Since arctic white is a metallic colour, it is expensive. Took it to a body shop outside. The guy who onws the body shop works as a supervisor in hyundai service center. He painted the same portion for just Rs.250/- and it looks as good as new. He warned me not to use paint cans as they will spoil the look of my car.

Now i was really bored and decided to get some accessories fitted. Besides floor mats & mud flaps, I did not buy anything from the agency.Here is what i got:
1) Autocop pirahna remote locking + autocop front powers windows - Rs. 8300/-.
2) Sunfilm (70%) - Rs. 1000/-.
3) Seat covers (fabric) black & grey two tone - Rs. 1500/-.
4) Kenwood KDC-MP5043U head unit (with USB) - Rs. 6300/-. (wo bill but with warranty).
5) JBL GT5-S265 200W (4-speakers) - Rs.1100/- each.

As for the sound,many people have asked me how i managed to get a bass tube fitted in such a small boot. I just laughed and replied that there isn't any. Sound quality is awesome and the whole car starts vibrating (speakers in 4 doors stock locations) when i play 50cent-candyshop at traffic signals.

Part-4 will follow...
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Old 4th October 2009, 22:17   #10
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Looks like the car is growing on you!
Enjoy it.
How do you find the engine noise?
And how is the pulling power and handling when 3-4 adults sit inside?
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Old 4th October 2009, 22:55   #11
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Nice review Rahul, congrats on your purchase and enjoy the drive. When you mention the suspension is a bit hard, does it feel bumpy at the rear seats like Swift?
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Old 4th October 2009, 23:01   #12
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Is this by any chance your first car, if not can you please make a comparison of A-star with your previous car. I do come across a lot of people who are thinking a lot about A-star especially since its is next version of Alto but beyond a lakh as far as budget is concerned.

Anyway as mentioned can you please make a comparison of A-Star vis-a-vis your previous car? And let us know.
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Old 4th October 2009, 23:27   #13
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Quote:
How do you find the engine noise?
And how is the pulling power and handling when 3-4 adults sit inside?
Hi BenjiRoss! Engine noise is minimal as there is an sound insulation fitted under the bonnet! It is a standard fitment on all A-Stars. Power & handling remains same irrespective of no. of adults inside however there is a drop in power when AC is on. Mind you the AC blower is loud but cools effectively in 42 deg summer heat.

Quote:
Nice review Rahul, congrats on your purchase and enjoy the drive. When you mention the suspension is a bit hard, does it feel bumpy at the rear seats like Swift?
Yes balajird but not exactly! This car has does not have independent suspension at the rear. This results in firm & bumpy ride on uneven roads but works well on smooth roads at high speeds especially during fast corners (the car does not dive at one side).

Quote:
Is this by any chance your first car, if not can you please make a comparison of A-star with your previous car. I do come across a lot of people who are thinking a lot about A-star especially since its is next version of Alto but beyond a lakh as far as budget is concerned.

Anyway as mentioned can you please make a comparison of A-Star vis-a-vis your previous car? And let us know.
Xingamazon! this is my first car but i've driven a santro xing extensively before buying this one! Apart from rear space & visibility issues this is a superior car to santro. engine capacity is less than that of a santro but you don't feel it! As expected peak torque is delivered at a higher RPM compared to the hyundai but i've adjusted to that now! Dare i say that gearshift is smoother than santro!
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Old 27th August 2010, 14:19   #14
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Default EDIT: 11000Kms Done!

Part-4

Sorry for not posting earlier! Had been busy & did not get any time to gather my thoughts & put a nice write-up. I have completed 11000Kms. Noticeable changes after 2nd service have been:
1) FE has considerably improved. Gave me 26.2kmpl on a highway run of about 370kms. City FE is consitent at 17-19kmpl with intermittent AC usage. Used tankfull to tankfull method for checking FE. During this time, I also found that over inflating the tyres by about 2psi improves mileage significantly.
2) Tyre noise has increased. I am considering changing the OEM JK Vectras to Michellin.
3) Pick-up in the initial gears has improved significantly even with AC on.

One of my friends has bought an alto K10 vxi. Took a drive of the same. Found that pick-up is better than my A-star but handling & braking is no where near confidence inspiring. He in turn drove my car and said that he should have gone for A-star if it was not for budget constraint.

In the meanwhile, I received a call from a Maruti Executive. He asked me all sort of questions about my car and how the experience has been till date. On asking he replied that maruti is conducting surveys with all A-Star owners.

Overall i'm quite happy with my car.
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Old 27th August 2010, 14:47   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul18348 View Post
In the meanwhile, I received a call from a Maruti Executive. He asked me all sort of questions about my car and how the experience has been till date. On asking he replied that maruti is conducting surveys with all A-Star owners
IMO, this means that Maruti plans to rework the A-Star.
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