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Old 27th September 2009, 13:58   #1
SLK
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Default Ritz VDi - Initial Ownership Report - 2 months

I wanted to drive, think and analyze before posting a full blown review of my latest acquired car.

FACTS FIRST
Model: Ritz VDi ABS
Price: 5.65L
Date purchased: 28th July 2009

Add ons:
Sunfilm: Garware Icecool elite – 6k
Steering cover: Leather wrap - 400
Remote locking: Nipon – 5k
Tyres: Bridgestone Turanza 185/70 R14 – 12.5k
Music system: Nipon – Original in dash [free from Maruti]
Speakers: Some 6” JVC [front doors], Some 6” JBL [rear doors] – 5k
Extended warranty: 4th year – 2.6k
Seat Covers: Simple dual tone cotton covers – 1k

Now the story:
My wagonR was getting boring and old [in that order]. I wanted something new, something more interesting, something more than a 100bhp and something diesel. One of my very close friend has a Verna CRDi and I was always impressed with that car, so I didn’t have to think a lot before deciding on getting one. Say a day before booking, [something like premarital jitters] I wasn’t sure whether it was a good idea spending almost 9L on this car, which was fast and that’s it! [There was no other diesel close by either]

Recession apparently hit! And no increments too! Decided to play safe and stick to something cheaper and VFM and diesel of course. Got hooked to the Punto [HOT! Very HOT!], red was my colour! [my WagonR too]. Took the Verna friend to a test drive, BUT both of us were more or less disappointed with the drive and the seating space in the car.

In the background of all this, my father was always trying to convince me onto a Maruti, a Ritz. I had so far completely refused to even look at that car! That is not a car an enthusiast buys! After 9 years of WagonR.

Still, immediately after the disappointing Punto drive, I had spare time and went on to see, the Ritz [just to tell my father that, see I did consider it] and what the hell, this car drove ‘normal’ no complaints, responsive engine, decent space, decent interiors, basically there was no reason, not to buy this and specially when Punto let me down!

Still as people say, the heart goes for the Punto [the red one], I was not at all excited about the buying the Ritz in any bright colour. So I got one in Dark Grey.

End of story…

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Coming straight to my experience with the Ritz as I have driven it for about 2 months now and more than 3700kms.

Seating
The front seats are very good; the bucket is just perfect for me, appropriately curved and good back and thigh support. The seat cushion is soft; it’s softer than all the other cars I have, again making the seating comfortable.
The rear is another story, the seats are OK, nothing great to talk about, it’s better than all the other tallboy hatchbacks [like the wagonR, santro, etc.] but that’s about it all. The seatback is not as laidback as a sedan like NHC so the long journeys might not be that great.
This is sure worth a mention that, I found the seat and steering height to be perfect, that is why it took me 4 days to notice that there was no steering height adjustment option.

Space
Space is what you expect from a tallboy car! At least in the vertical dimension and it does not disappoint there.
The cabin is roomy. The legroom is appropriate. It’s got exactly the amount of space you expect from a slightly bigger hatch. To put things into prospective, this car’s got noticeably more space length-wise and width-wise than the wagonR and when compared to the NHC, it only loses out on the rear space.

Talk about storage space and it’s just pretty cool, at the front. But at the rear, there is absolutely nothing. [I have just sat at the rear once]

Interiors
Neat, is the word that comes to my mind for the nicely put together dashboard. There are no panel gaps, or scope for any of those in the design. Everything feels so 1 piece.
The quality of plastics is good for most part. The door handle console is the only thing that feels a bit crude.
All switches and buttons are in comfortable places, and pretty easy to get used to.
The tacho! Well that’s something that I’m not too fond of, I mean it looks good, but it’s too far away from the Speedo. I can only look at one of those at any given point of time. It looks pretty cool at night with its lights on, but it’s too small too far.

NVH
Ahh! My grudge against Maruti goes in this section. The engine is smooth, it’s not even noisy! But the clatter is completely intrusive in the cabin. At the idle rpm, its completely audible inside, between 1500 to 2000 it’s very loud [like a Indica V2?], it’s only after 2000 that it starts to settle down as a normal engine.
On the vibration and harshness front – thumbs up. This is a gem of a diesel engine.

Gearbox
Gearbox always felt precise, but was a bit hard in the first 1000-1500kms. Now it’s much easier and I love those short shifts, just too good.
The gearbox has a weird problem though; it tends to give a feedback in the 3rd gear. Basically the gear lever moves a little bit along with the accelerating/decelerating of the engine. This can get irritating at times, and actually has made me quit holding the gear lever.

Otherwise the gearbox feels solid and heavy. The ratios are perfect for both city and highway. The 5th gear does 100km/h at about 2400-2450rpm, which is pretty comfortable.

Steering
I don’t really know, why people seem to think EPS is not good. This EPS is good. It can weight differently in different cars, but I have never had any complaints with any EPS [we got 4 here].
After changing the tyres, the steering is a bit heavier than what I’d have liked it to be, but then that was to happen.
At high speeds, the steering feels very good, very planted and confident.

Engine
The torque is the best part of the engine; it just blows you away the first time you get the boost in the 2nd gear.
Again, 75bhp isn’t exactly what I was looking for, so obviously it has its limitations when compared with more powerful engines. What set’s this engine apart is the effortless power delivery as against the petrols where you really need to rev hard to extract the power.
I’ve managed to push the car to 160km/h on the Speedo. It got there without much complaining but refused to go any further. The tacho was hovering around 3800rpm while at that speed and this was on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, one Sunday morning.

Handling
I’m not really a stuntman, and have been used to driving the WagonR before this. The handling on the Ritz with the 185’s is pretty good, a huge upgrade from wagonR and the likes.
Tall car body roll is there but not so much that it’ll bother most, it’s very controlled.
Bottom line, the handling is good for all highway/ city driving, at any speeds. But it’s just not a sports car.

Ride
The suspension is slightly softer than the swift, which shows on the ride. The ride is very good, very smooth and relaxed. The ride is any day better than my NHC, and not really comparable to the WagonR.
There is a downside too; the suspension doesn’t have the depth to handle any sharp irregularities on the road. Say a 1cm high joint or patch on the road unsettles the ride, somehow, this doesn’t happen to the NHC.

FE
That is the other reason I bought a diesel for, cheap running. The car is consistently returning 17.5-18km/l on Delhi-Gurgaon runs, in peak office hours. And I haven’t even been driving easy.
With this driving my wagonR would probably return 12km/l

Rattles
Does it? Or does it not?
Depends, how you define a rattle; yes there are a couple of sounds, very meek but there.
The driver side door has some sound on rough roads, and the non-driver side door has some squeak on turning hard towards the right. I’ll never complain to MASS for these, will probably sort them out myself, whenever I get time.

One line summary
It’s a very good car, will never regret buying this over Punto; but it’s not exciting.

Scratch status:
Got 1 scratch on the bumper while parked in a MCD parking.
Got a small dent on the door, at the first service at Competent Automobiles [Gazipur] when they bumped some other car’s door into mine – and they said we can’t handle cars so delicately.

So basically first service is done, second will be due soon.
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Old 27th September 2009, 14:06   #2
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Drove a VDi a week ago for five kms - the best thing about the car is its roomy feel and the good all-around view.The RVMs are great.

I am not a diesel fan but liked the driveability of the car through.

Great choice and happy years of driving ahead !!
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Old 27th September 2009, 14:10   #3
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Nicely written buddy. How's the body roll in high speed turns?
Also, do you have films all around? including front windshield?

Also, after this

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK View Post
Got a small dent on the door, at the first service at Competent Automobiles [Gazipur] when they bumped some other carís door into mine Ė and they said we canít handle cars so delicately.

So basically first service is done, second will be due soon.
are you sure you shall take your car to the same service center? They seem to be doing you a favor by servicing your car which you bought with your hard earned money! and the attitude is pathetic.
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Old 27th September 2009, 14:12   #4
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Congrats!!!!! on your New Car. Quite a unbiased report. Keep it up.
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Old 27th September 2009, 14:12   #5
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Nice review - to the point

I have never been a Maruti fan and this car is the first car ( after esteem ) that I have liked. The Ritz is a no nonsense car and the diesel is absolutely VFM and with good FE.
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Old 27th September 2009, 14:33   #6
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Nice review - I have a ritz petrol zxi and lots of things are common. I agree about the third gear feedback/movement - irritating!!
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Old 27th September 2009, 14:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Nicely written buddy. How's the body roll in high speed turns?
Body roll is OK, it never feels like bending over to one side . But then I'm not sure how many high speed turns I actually take.
But, yes, I don't see myself going slower than the sedans at curves.

I'm sure body roll is more than the low slung sedans but not something that bothers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Also, do you have films all around? including front windshield?
No only the sides and rear, all film is legal; i.e 50% sides and 30% rear. It's actuall very light.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Also, after this

are you sure you shall take your car to the same service center? They seem to be doing you a favor by servicing your car which you bought with your hard earned money! and the attitude is pathetic.
I specially went to this service centre [out of my side of Delhi] after some 3 years, since it's the biggest, but they dissapointed again.
Maruti MASS is just namesake, they are mostly in-competent and inefficient. Will try Motorcraft in Noida next time.
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Old 27th September 2009, 21:26   #8
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Very well written. You have given us a wealth of information, and a very fair assessment.
Getting our Ritz Zxi in a couple of days.
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Old 27th September 2009, 22:04   #9
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SLK,
The Diesel Swift also has the same behaviour with the gear lever feedback/movement. Any particular reason for this?

Cheers,
Mahesh Kora
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Old 28th September 2009, 11:23   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filcord View Post
Getting our Ritz Zxi in a couple of days.
Cool, zxi is a full package, almost no addons required


Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
SLK,
The Diesel Swift also has the same behaviour with the gear lever feedback/movement. Any particular reason for this?
No idea! Though if I were to guess, they wanted to keep some play in the gearbox so that it can handle the torque, but somehow that play transfers to the gear lever when in 3rd.
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Old 28th September 2009, 11:23   #11
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@slk Good review.Somehow the rear of the ritz has started growing on me. I find it good now. I had to settle with its fatter cousin as GP\Ritz were not in the market then. But i dont face any feedback on the gear lever.
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Old 28th September 2009, 12:12   #12
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Nice review there. Very honest.

Congrats for your purchase. Drive safe.
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Old 29th September 2009, 11:03   #13
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Congrats on the Ritz, SLK! It is the perfect upgrade to a WagonR. Smart move with upgrading the tyres too. What did she come shod with from the factory? The one I TD'ed had lousy JK tyres which gave up way before the car did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK View Post
The cabin is roomy. The legroom is appropriate. It’s got exactly the amount of space you expect from a slightly bigger hatch.
It's an exceedingly well packaged hatch. Space utilization is fantastic.

Quote:
Neat, is the word that comes to my mind for the nicely put together dashboard. There are no panel gaps, or scope for any of those in the design. Everything feels so 1 piece.
The quality of plastics is good for most part. The door handle console is the only thing that feels a bit crude.
The Ritz does come across as better built than the Swift.
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Old 29th September 2009, 11:17   #14
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A very practical decision SLK. The Ritz is the perfect hatch for city driving and that " World engine" makes it frugal as well. I never liked the rear initially but it has grown on me. It looks like a new age small car. The FE you are getting is fantastic and always expected from this power plant.

Drive safe and lets have some more pictures.
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Old 30th September 2009, 18:04   #15
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Congratulations SLK, Enjoy your ride. Could we have some pics, esp of interiors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK View Post
Got a small dent on the door, at the first service at Competent Automobiles [Gazipur] when they bumped some other carís door into mine Ė and they said we canít handle cars so delicately.

So basically first service is done, second will be due soon.
Now, that is some attitude. What do they mean by handling cars delicately? Would it not cost money to repair that? I think that needs to be brought up to Maruti.
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