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Old 19th September 2009, 18:04   #1
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Default Test Drives : Punto, i10, Spark & A-Star

Previous car - Wagon R, drove for more than 5 year.
City of stay - Bangalore
Requirements( In order of priority ) :-
1) Safety - Its not so much the airbags and ABS, its the built and the pakka body of the car.
2) FE - We all know what it is
3) A.S.S - Frankly, I have had pretty bad experience with Maruti A.S.S. I have tried almost 10 service centres in various big cities. Large number of service shops does not mean good service. Its the need to keep customers happy.
4) Comfortable ride and handling - Largly city drive.
5) Longevity - Car should not develop nagging problems over a period of time.
6) Space - sitting for 4 with adequate boot space is fine.
7) Value added features - Rear wipers, tilt steering, foldable seats,etc
8) Looks -
9) Speed thrills.
10) Treatment by the seller.


Let me just fast forward to the good parts :-) -

Punto(1.2 Active) -
Excellent car. Even before the TD, I was inclined for buying it. I went to the website and applied for test drive. Prerna Motors called me and promised a TD but never showed up. Went to both their showrooms but could not get the car. Finally, went to concord and got the TD.
Car gives you a royal feeling when inside. I caught several people admiring it on road. Made me feel special. Ride was smooth. At low speed gears were also smooth. Interiors are satisfactory, though not the best.

But, on cramped roads, I found it difficult to manage the car. Dont know why, but the weight and the size of the car got on me. Infact, once I hit the front-left part of the car into a barricade. Car also take long time to move from 60 to 100.

Report card :-

1) Safety - Yes, Yes, Yes
2) FE - OK
3) A.S.S - OK ( 15 K service interval and 4 year warranty is decent )
4) Comfortable ride and handling - OK . On one hand, it was smooth on rough roads. But on the other hand, it was difficult to take u-turns or manoever in busy streets.
5) Longevity - Dont know. Any feedback ?
6) Space - Yes, Yes, Yes
7) Value added features - Yes, Yes, Yes
8) Looks - Yes, Yes, Yes
9) Speed thrills - No No NO
10) Treatment by the seller - No

Overall, I feel its a very good car, but probably something I would like to own when I have a big family ( hopefully after 10 years or so ).

i10( 1.2 )
1) Safety - No. At high speed it feels little shaky and i was nervous about applying suddent brakes. Feared it could lose balance.
2) FE - Yes, Yes
3) A.S.S - Yes, Yes, Yes, going by the books and 5 year warranty service.
4) Comfortable ride and handling - Yes. Ride was little bumpy. The car gives you consistent speed/pick on low speeds and high speeds. Gears are also good.
5) Longevity - Dont know. Any feedback ?
6) Space - Yes, Yes
7) Value added features - Yes, Yes
8) Looks - No No
9) Speed thrills - Yes
10) Treatment by the seller - Yes, Yes

Personally, I feel the car is good in all aspects. But I just dont relate to it. May be its too perfect for a average guy like me . But I am getting good discounts from the dealer and was very impressed by the courtesy shown by them.

Spark
1) Safety - No. At high speed it feels little shaky and i was nervous about applying sudden brakes. Feared it could lose balance.
2) FE - Yes, Yes, Yes
3) A.S.S - No , gives 3 year warranty only. GM does not have good reputation either.
4) Comfortable ride and handling - Yes,Yes. Excellent pick up at 1st gear and ride was really zippy. Never felt like it was any inferior to 1.2 engines.Gears are also good.
5) Longevity - Dont know. Any feedback ?
6) Space - Yes
7) Value added features - Yes, Yes
8) Looks - Yes
9) Speed thrills - Yes
10) Treatment by the seller - Yes, Yes

If not for Safety and A.S.S, this was a perfect car. But somehow, south korean car with American mfg does not induce feeling of safety so much.

Finally, I decided to try A-star. Want to mention that I have a negative mindset towards Maruti A.S.S and products,based on my personal experience. It built its market in india when there was no competition. Now its just milking its reputation in India. I guess I just made the most blasphemous statement ever , in this forum.

A-Star
Was pleasantly surprised, the moment I sat on it and started it. It felt very good. Solid built, excellent pick up, and good zippy drive. For some reason I felt very safe in it. I think the wide stance really works for the car.

1) Safety - Yes,Yes. Wide stance and the built of the car made me feel very secure. ABS and Air bag also comes in the budget. But not too sure about the regular brakes.
2) FE - Yes,Yes,Yes
3) A.S.S - OK. Comes with 4 year warranty. But I am generally wary of Maruti Service.
4) Comfortable ride and handling - Yes,Yes. Excellent pick up at 1st gear and a feel good ride. I also liked the visibiliy. Never felt like it was any inferior to 1.2 engines.Gears are also good.
5) Longevity - No. I am pretty sure that this car will give me nagging problems after 4th year. I just feel it.
6) Space - No No. Though foldable seats help.
7) Value added features - No No No. Even the high end version is bland.
8) Looks - Yes
9) Speed thrills - Yes
10) Treatment by the seller - OK.

Seems like a car that i can buy. But yesterday checked the car sales in one of the threads. Its bad. I also think its over priced. It should be cheaper than Estilo.

Thanks guys for hearing me out. Your inputs will greatly help me take a decision. And my apologies if my opinion(s) hurt anyone's sentiments.
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Old 19th September 2009, 22:08   #2
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Personally, I would say that since you are wary of A.S.S of Maruti, choice can be narrowed down to between i10 and Punto. Out of these, You need to see for yourselves which is a more bang per buck. Just count the number of times you said yes for each feature ans that should sort out the confusion.
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Old 19th September 2009, 22:28   #3
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I would recommend the A star anyday just for the safety features. The rear is cramped though.
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Old 19th September 2009, 22:29   #4
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Is the Ritz 1.2 ZXi out of your budget?
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Old 19th September 2009, 22:37   #5
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I share your sentiments about Maruti. Had a M800 eons ago and never want to buy a Maruti badge ever again. Also, I think their car lacks sturdiness.

Not sure what your top priorties are - looks, space, FE?
That might help you weigh some of your priorties and help get you a better answer. Just my 2 cents

After having test driven the I20 and Punto MJD, I settled for the Punto E+. Found the drive very much to my liking. And yes, I am a family man :-)
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Old 19th September 2009, 23:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphean View Post
i10( 1.2 )
1) Safety - No. At high speed it feels little shaky and i was nervous about applying suddent brakes. Feared it could lose balance.


Personally, I feel the car is good in all aspects. But I just dont relate to it. May be its too perfect for a average guy like me . But I am getting good discounts from the dealer and was very impressed by the courtesy shown by them.
I beg to differ with you on the 1st point.
May I please know why have you marked safety as 'No'? The car has ABS / Airbags as options!
I have driven my car at 120kmph and it feels rock steady - although on aftermarket tires. Are you suggesting higher speeds?

Last edited by blackasta : 19th September 2009 at 23:19.
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Old 19th September 2009, 23:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
I beg to differ with you on the 1st point.
May I please know why have you marked safety as 'No'? The car has ABS / Airbags as options!
I have driven my car at 120kmph and it feels rock steady - although on aftermarket tires. Are you suggesting higher speeds?
You might feel its alright but he's buying the car. Let him feel confident in it at high speed.

And I think the ABS/Airbags version is out of his budget whereas for the A-Star, it is within his budget.

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 19th September 2009 at 23:40.
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Old 20th September 2009, 00:13   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
Is the Ritz 1.2 ZXi out of your budget?
Yes, it is. Looking for something within 4.5 Lacs on road. Can stretch it to 5 lacs only for ABS.
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Old 20th September 2009, 00:24   #9
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If he is not feeling confident about the braking of i10, why go for it?

Since Safety, FE tops your priority, I would recommend you to go for Punto. Fiat is anyway giving service warranty to take care of the A.S.S.

Punto is good in steering control and handling.
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Old 21st September 2009, 12:56   #10
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Just go for the Punto. You will get used to the larger turn circle diameter.
Haven't you seen much bigger cars being driven in very narrow streets in Bangalore?
Its all about getting used to the car.
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Old 21st September 2009, 13:18   #11
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Hi,

Better go for Ritz, it will almost satisfy your needs and also you won't loose your tall image as well :-). Ritz is anyday better than these, interms of mileage, performance and drivablity. And the build quality is improved when compare with other maruti products.
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Old 21st September 2009, 19:13   #12
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C'mon wake-up, the 800 was a 25 year old design... No point comparing it to the new ones on the block (read A*, Swift, Ritz & SX4).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aarenes View Post
I share your sentiments about Maruti. Had a M800 eons ago and never want to buy a Maruti badge ever again. Also, I think their car lacks sturdiness.
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Old 21st September 2009, 20:26   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphean View Post
Spark
1) Safety - No. At high speed it feels little shaky and i was nervous about applying sudden brakes. Feared it could lose balance.
My steed is a GP E+ whilst my soon-to-be-better half drives around in a Spark.While shopping for the Spark,I also TDed the i10 and had the same feelings as you.

In case you are a person who loves travelling and would be hitting the higway often, look no beyond the GP.
Why?
I was driving on Mysore road @ 120 with my mom in the back seat. She only screamed at me when she managed to see the speedo somehow.(Nothing slows you down better than your mom )
However, I am so looking forward to my marriage, specially since on day#1, I would be swapping the car keys. I just love the Spark in city.Nothing comes remotely close. I too, like all GP owners,am plagued by the big turning radius and big car feel whilst the Sparky is a hoot to drive.Its like a point & shoot.Any narrow gaps in traffic and you can slot it in.
Have taken Sparky till 160kmph on NICE. The car was pretty stable.The brakes are pretty good.Also have managed to do wheelspins @ 3rd.
But the primary reason why I want the keys to the Spark would be its uber-quiet mill. The car has completed its 2nd service.Its just too **** quiet.It seriously needs a tacho to tell that its on!!Have re-cranked it several times.It just feels like a electric car: an electric car with amazing pick-up.After a jaunt on the Sparky, my E+ MJD sounds like a John Deere(no offence meant to JD owners).

The balls in your court
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Old 22nd September 2009, 09:29   #14
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My personal favorite is Punto any time, but looking at bangalore traffic condition and my bad driving skill (still learning to drive on Indian roads:-)) I could not look anything other than Spark. Bought Spark last month and I am extremely happy with the decision. Driving in city traffic is a breeze, and I agree with aqualeo2040 on his comments on engine. Even today I recranked it, it's hard to tell engine is running until you look at the panel in front...super silent.

I cannot comment on safety aspect of it, but I took Spark close to 100 once never felt unsafe

Some of my colleagues were against my decision but after driving it they just fell in love with Spark.

Last edited by Latheesh : 22nd September 2009 at 09:31.
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Old 22nd September 2009, 14:04   #15
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Hi morphean,

I'm surprised to see that Maruti Suzuki's Estilo and Ritz are not even mentioned in your list.

Since your requirement is mainly for the city, I would suggest that you give more importance to driveability in city conditions rather that stability at high speeds.

Also, you need to fix your budget (roughly) and then fix the sub-segment (1000cc/1100cc/1200cc) in which you intend to make the purchase.

Once you decide on these things, decision making would be very simple.

My suggestions would be

1000cc
---------
1. New Estilo (with K-series engine)
2. Spark (lots of discounts currently)

1100cc
---------
1. i10 ERA 1.1 iRDE (excellent city drive, best all rounder)
2. Santro ECO (if you are interested in LPG option for low fuel costs)

1200cc
---------
1. Ritz (spacious, powerful and comfortable)
2. i10 1.2 Kappa (tested and proven engine but slightly low FE)

Finally, if you are open to venture into Fiat territory (not the best A.S.S.), why not check out the Indica Vista as well. It would satisfy most of your requirements.

Rohan,
Bangalore
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