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Old 5th December 2009, 17:00   #1
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Thumbs up SX4 ZXi AT Test "Ride" , VXi MT Test Drive

Took a test "ride" of the SX4 ZXi yesterday. Didn't take a test "drive" as they only had the AT version while I want MT. Should get MT TD tomorrow, will update tomorrow if so.

Exterior:
- To put it briefly, I like it, but not sure how many others will agree!
- The new alloys and massive tires look real good, all the body lines flow well, fit and paint finish damn good
- Front discs look good, all-discs would have been better!
- Something about the overall body lines looks quite different from the existing SX4 but unable to put my finger on it
- Rear seat area is the widest part of the car and that works well for the interior rear seat space as well
- Boot loading lip is a bit high so will be a pain to load heavy stuff
- Plus points for rear windshield embedded antenna and ORVMs folding in both directions
- Entrance to our building features a large bump + depression where Civics and Optras do belly scrapes unless driven very carefully, SX4 just rolls over with several inches to spare
- Looks a bit massive and difficult to park in city

Interiors:
- My main requirement, putting 2 adults + kid booster seat (centre) + 1 baby in lap in the rear seat works!
- We loaded up in this manner at the back and went for a short spin, and can safely go with this configuration for a Pune - Mumbai non-stop drive (3-4 hrs depending on local traffic), though longer drives will need a break
- But 3 adults at the back will be, strictly speaking, only for in-city travels under an hour at most
- Rear seat angle good, lower back support good but could have been better. Under thigh support and leg room very good for an average Indian, tall folks (6 ft +) will be a little discomfited
- Rear seat not claustrophobic at all, windows below shoulder level give an airy feel.
- Getting in and out of rear and front passenger/ driver seats is very easy. Though rear seats are quite close to the door hinge so a BIT of effort required there
- Rear seats not folding is a bit of a hiccup, but given the massive boot, one I can live with
- Seat fabric good but not great, didn't like the default colour
- Boot big enough for all the stuff I need for a long trip including my son's pedal car!
- Interior trim quality good, saw several comments re not-so-good quality here so was a bit surprised, but yes its not what you'll see on a Skoda Superb. Didn't like the wood finish on the arm rests...
- Handles, switches, buttons quite solid as well, but clear plastic on the ACC and Vent control dials had got scratched a bit already
- Liked the look of the 3 dial ACC/ Vent Control, the music system controls could have been better looking. USB, Aux In and steering controls are a plus
- A LOT of dials and lights squeezed in below the stering wheel making it a bit confusing at first glance, but should get sorted out after using for a while
- BUT, as per the sales exec, no separate light to indicate ABS malfunction, this is supposedly indicated by the Engine light. Doesn't ring true, can anyone confirm?
- The ACC is very powerful and didn't miss the lack of rear seat vents. It is winter, but it chilled the cabin till the back fairly quickly, even while zooming off.

Ride (can't comment on Handling yet)
- Back seat ride is good. Suspension makes sure that you don't feel small bumps. Large ones can be felt but definitely not uncomfortable
- Bit of roll at the rear seats, but contained
- Very little road noise filters in, but yes not as dead quiet as a Merc. A bit of the engine sounds comes in but sounds good!

Engine, Transmission, Braking
- Again, will update post TD, just a few comments for now
- Some of the kick ups in the AT were felt at the rear, possibly because the sales exec was really flooring it, but I got the feeling that I could have done it more smoothly in the MT
- Engine pulled away quite strongly with little noise and braking on the whole seemed sharp
- Bosch ABS unit, supposedly controlled by the ECU (which supposedly explains the lack of a separate ABS malfunction light). 4 control lines heading out, so seems to be a true 4 channel system (though the sales exec was saying that ABS is "only at the front")

Service
- 2yr/ 40,000 kms warranty standard, suggest get the extended 3yr/ 60,000 kms one as it only costs Rs 3,990 extra and is from Maruti, not the dealer. But spares and labour are extra
- Key repair item prices (include labour where applicable)
Each headlight assembly: Rs 7,000
Each taillight assembly: Rs 3,800
Front bumper (incl repainting): Rs 5,300
Rear bumper (incl repainting): Rs 4,800
Alloys (set of 5): Rs 32,000
Each tyre (JK Vectra): Rs 4,000
ORVMs (each): Rs 1,700
- As per the sales exec, Maruti Insurance covers head/ tail light assemblies 100% costs (others cover 50%) so is recommended
- Its a Maruti!

Pricing:
- OTR in Pune (PMC), including Rs 3,990 extended warranty
VXi: Rs 7.60 lakhs
ZXi MT: Rs 8.34 lakhs
ZXi MT w/ Leather: Rs 8.69 lakhs
ZXi AT: Rs 9.03 lakhs
ZXi AT w/ Leather: Rs 9.39 lakhs
- Across the forum can see offers of Rs 20K - 25K discounts, apart from Exchange Bonus and Corporate Discounts, being offerred in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow
- However in Pune, Delhi only limited Exchange Bonus and Corporate Discounts being offerred, no discount, with a sting to have to pay an extra 3% as per the new year prices if the car delivery doesn't happen by Dec 31st. Why???
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Old 5th December 2009, 17:27   #2
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man what is this!!!! i am shocked by the report. One of the best reprot even the manufacturers cannot manage this. Awesome.Hats off.
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Old 5th December 2009, 18:36   #3
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Originally Posted by shishir_bn View Post
man what is this!!!! i am shocked by the report. One of the best reprot even the manufacturers cannot manage this. Awesome.Hats off.
Thanks Shishir.. Not quite sure what you meant by "shocked by the report"/ " even the manufacturers cannot manage this"..

I did like the vehicle, ticks all the boxes for me, but am a bit annoyed that discounts available in other places not available in Pune.. Will have to squeeze accessories out of the dealer, else no deal...

Will TD MT if I can tomorrow and update..
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Old 5th December 2009, 20:36   #4
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"shocked by the report"/ " even the manufacturers cannot manage this"..I meant so much of details you have managed to write. SO i was shocked and the details which you have covered even the manufacturers fail to cover during any presentation/by any dealer....so not to worry..Enjoy..
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Old 5th December 2009, 21:16   #5
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Default Great report!!

Great report, mrwalker! I agree with everything you have said. Waiting for your review on the MT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- To put it briefly, I like it, but not sure how many others will agree!
I couldnt agree with you more! I just love the muscular stance!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- Something about the overall body lines looks quite different from the existing SX4 but unable to put my finger on it!
Its probably that you were looking at the vxi before the new zxi. The huge 10 spoke wheels give the car a different character alltogether!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- Boot loading lip is a bit high so will be a pain to load heavy stuff
True! But have you noticed that the boot is very very light. Its easier for ladies to open and close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- Plus points for rear windshield embedded antenna and ORVMs folding in both directions
I Just ran out to the garage to check the 2-way folding OVRM's. I am embarrassed to say that i didnt know it could be folded both ways!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- Looks a bit massive and difficult to park in city
The rear is slightly high and coupled with the big headrests, it makes it hard to reverse. Reverse sensors are highly recommended. It reminded me of reversing the octavia for the first coupla' days!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- Seat fabric good but not great, didn't like the default colour
For some reason they went in for this weird fabric that could get soiled easily. Its rough and the design accumulates dirt easily.
I wished they used better plastic for the steering wheel. Something less plasticy and more classy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- Boot big enough for all the stuff I need for a long trip including my son's pedal car!
Dont forget the toolkit organizer under the mat. No more toolkit clatter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- BUT, as per the sales exec, no separate light to indicate ABS malfunction, this is supposedly indicated by the Engine light. Doesn't ring true, can anyone confirm?
It does have a separate ABS malfunction light. you can see it lightup when you turn on the battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- The ACC is very powerful and didn't miss the lack of rear seat vents. It is winter, but it chilled the cabin till the back fairly quickly, even while zooming off.
The cooling in front is fab but the rear takes quite a while to cool down. Rear vents seem necessary here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- Back seat ride is good. Suspension makes sure that you don't feel small bumps. Large ones can be felt but definitely not uncomfortable
- Bit of roll at the rear seats, but contained
- Very little road noise filters in, but yes not as dead quiet as a Merc. A bit of the engine sounds comes in but sounds good!
The car bounces about quite a bit on bad roads at slow/high speed. Its quite a light car and the height can make passengers uncomfortable at speed.
I can barely hear the engine and the cabin is very quiet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
- Bosch ABS unit, supposedly controlled by the ECU (which supposedly explains the lack of a separate ABS malfunction light). 4 control lines heading out, so seems to be a true 4 channel system (though the sales exec was saying that ABS is "only at the front")
This is not true. ABS is for all wheels.

I want to add that the headlights are absolutely useless. And so are the aux-lights in the bumper. You just cant see anything in the city and you are absolutely blind on the highway!
The reversing light isnt anything to write home about either. There is only one light on the left and only that side gets illuminated!

Last edited by james : 5th December 2009 at 21:33.
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Old 5th December 2009, 21:45   #6
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Default hey !! mrwalker

hi there.i currently own the (now) old version of SX4 ZXi without the leather seats version. here are a few opinions:

1. Like u said the rear cabin is realy airy and seats are spacious too. the rear seat centre arm rest doesnt pose much of a problem. once i drove from pune to mumbai with 5 people (1 child and 4 adults0 loaded up in the rear seat and there were no complaints.

2. The GC along with the reallyyy large tyres is a boon on all indian roads. you never have to worry about those bad roads and potholes (isnt this the first thing we want from a car?).

3. That apart, a maruti is a maruti. the car has not given me any problem till date and i've already done 14k kms. been on long trips such as pune-nagpur, pune-ganpatipule, pune-murud-harihareshwar etc.

4. I fall in love with the car with every kilometer more that i drive it. I am really glad i didnt go for the ANHCs or lineas of this world (no offences to them, though).
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Old 5th December 2009, 22:59   #7
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post

BUT, as per the sales exec, no separate light to indicate ABS malfunction, this is supposedly indicated by the Engine light. Doesn't ring true, can anyone confirm?

- Bosch ABS unit, supposedly controlled by the ECU (which supposedly explains the lack of a separate ABS malfunction light). 4 control lines heading out, so seems to be a true 4 channel system (though the sales exec was saying that ABS is "only at the front")
I am surprised to know that SX4 does not come with a ABS error reminder light, even my Swift VDi abs had it.

Please dont take these car salesmen so seriously, SX4 comes with a proper 4channel abs with EBD and brake assist.

The only vehicle i know sold with ABS but without EBD is Mahindra Scorpio, it comes with 3channel ABS. But still the brakes are very good.
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Old 5th December 2009, 23:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shishir_bn View Post
"shocked by the report"/ " even the manufacturers cannot manage this"..I meant so much of details you have managed to write. SO i was shocked and the details which you have covered even the manufacturers fail to cover during any presentation/by any dealer....so not to worry..Enjoy..
Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
Great report, mrwalker! I agree with everything you have said. Waiting for your review on the MT.
Thanks again! Inspired by GTO you know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
The rear is slightly high and coupled with the big headrests, it makes it hard to reverse. Reverse sensors are highly recommended. It reminded me of reversing the octavia for the first coupla' days!

For some reason they went in for this weird fabric that could get soiled easily. Its rough and the design accumulates dirt easily.

I want to add that the headlights are absolutely useless. And so are the aux-lights in the bumper. You just cant see anything in the city and you are absolutely blind on the highway!
Hmmm looks like a list of accessories I should try and get for free if no discount is offered: Reverse sensors, seat covers, better head lights, apart from sunfilm and underbody/ door panel Dinitrol treatment. Any recommendations from SX4 folks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
The cooling in front is fab but the rear takes quite a while to cool down. Rear vents seem necessary here.

The car bounces about quite a bit on bad roads at slow/high speed. Its quite a light car and the height can make passengers uncomfortable at speed.

The reversing light isnt anything to write home about either. There is only one light on the left and only that side gets illuminated!
Hmmm I found the cooling to be quite quick and effective, possibly because Pune in Dec is quite cool and the sales exec must have driven it over with the ACC on.

Re bouncing around, true but I prefer this to the sharp kick up the spine in the WagonR and the bobbing around in a Scorpio...

Reverse light on one side only? Damn

Quote:
Originally Posted by SX4LOVER View Post

1. Like u said the rear cabin is realy airy and seats are spacious too. the rear seat centre arm rest doesnt pose much of a problem. once i drove from pune to mumbai with 5 people (1 child and 4 adults0 loaded up in the rear seat and there were no complaints.
Wow that was something! But did you take a couple of breaks to stretch out? My point was that with 2 adults and 2 kids in the back you can do the trip non-stop comfortably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post

It does have a separate ABS malfunction light. you can see it lightup when you turn on the battery.

This is not true. ABS is for all wheels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I am surprised to know that SX4 does not come with a ABS error reminder light, even my Swift VDi abs had it.

Please dont take these car salesmen so seriously, SX4 comes with a proper 4channel abs with EBD and brake assist.
As James has pointed out the ABS light is there.. Funny I didn't see it come on in the TD car. Agreed 4 channel ABS, to be charitable I guess the sales exec was stating that the ABS system was in the front...
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Old 6th December 2009, 00:42   #9
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Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post


Wow that was something! But did you take a couple of breaks to stretch out? My point was that with 2 adults and 2 kids in the back you can do the trip non-stop comfortably.

yeah. we took one halt at CCD enroute. there was not traffic since it was a sunday early morning and therefore we just continued till mumbai. the rear benchers included my mom-in-law, wife, sis-in law 1 & 2 and a child. they never complained of anything, esp my mom.

the other thing is that the car pampers the driver so much in terms of comfort that there is no exhaustion even after 12-14 hour long drivers (with sufficient breaks of course)
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Old 6th December 2009, 00:46   #10
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Very comprehensive list of points indeed.
Do update the thread when you take a test drive.
With respect to discounts, Do talk to more than one dealer and drop hints that other dealers are giving you a better deal. I am sure they will climb off their high horse. I understand that the dealership currently has cars in stock (at least Sai Service does - thats what the sales lady mentioned when she was trying to get me to book in a hurry) so they would be itching to get them off their hands so don't fold in without a fight for discounts. Also, check for corporate discounts if applicable.

All the best!
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Old 6th December 2009, 02:44   #11
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listen carefully sir,

first, don't believe the salesman AT ALL! especially on the technical stuff he says! or even generally about the car itself!! if you wanna know stuff read the threads or just put questions here, SX4 owners and highly qualified auto experts here will answer your questions!!

you must get some discounts! demand for it!!! they are giving out 25k discounts on SX4 for sure! demand demand demand!!

get insurance done from outside! dealers rate will be very high!

if they give accessories to you!! be careful about it and see if they are not cheap and they are worth it!

i don't think there are any delivery issues or too much demand (salesman's lies) they want to clear out stocks before Jan!! and stock for Jan should have arrived! already!! they know the demand cycle very well they are maruti!

i think in the end this is an awesome car itself!! linea has its own charm! but sx4 now with the auto box is really value for money! that's what i feel!

Last edited by Caramelo : 6th December 2009 at 02:48.
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Old 7th December 2009, 11:57   #12
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Default SX4 VXi Test Drive

Got the TD yesterday but it was for the VXi MT variant, not ZXi. Key differences
- No ABS, airbags, driver seat height adjust, steering audio controls, ACC
- 5% lower GC due to smaller tyres, 180mm vs 190 mm for ZXi
- Tyre width less, 195mm instead of 205mm on ZXi

Also the vehicle was a stock car (Silver) with no registration and, as you can guess, the speedo "not working".
Because of this the TD was limited to a stretch of busy city road and a climb and descent to a small hill. The
road was twisty, badly patched at places and a mix of empty and people walking and on cycles, two-wheelers
etc. I rarely got to go to 4th and managed to slot 5th just once.

With these caveats in place, feedback as follows. (How does one change the thread title now?)

Interiors (mainly Driver position)
- The gear lever and wiper/ light controls are easily accessible, no issues with being hard to reach
- Steering wheel (as pointed out by James) is a bit slippery, a good steering cover would help. Horn easily
accesible. Steering height adjust standard
- Had earlier commented that the steering seems a displayed to the left by half a cm or so, but didn't get any such feeling this time
- Seat is very supportive and as James said can be used for long drives with no problems. I have a bad back so
was worried by the lack of a lumbar support toggle, but the seat is good enough so I don't need to lose leg
support by putting a support seat back.
- Height adjust not available in VXi but I didn't feel the need for it as the view is pretty good
- The SX4 brochure claims a 'wedge' in the A-pillar to improve visibility, but the sales exec was unaware of
this and as there was no old SX4 available I was unable to compare. Checked with an old one in the parking
today and the quarterglass seems a BIT bigger. Can anyone confirm?
- Pedals a little high but the leg position to reach them is quite good
- There is a slight 'L' shaped metal arm leading to the clutch pedal, I suspect to free up space for the dead
pedal, which is nice. The 'L' arm seems a bit odd at first and feel that the foot will get snagged there, but get used to it fairly quickly
- There IS an ABS light on the dash for sure (even on the VXi!). The AC controls down't look as good as the ACC ones imho
- The front passenger seat is the best seat in the car, I will certainly be sitting there whenever I can!

Exteriors:
- I THINK I have figured out the difference in the exterior lines compared to the old SX4. In the old one, the
boot is the widest part of the exterior, while in the new one the rear seat area is the widest. Can anyone
else validate this?
- Saw 'Silky Silver' and 'Oyster Blue' as well apart from the White on the AT TD vehicle. Might go for the White one in the end I think. Am totally against dark shades so all the other colours (Grey, Beige, Black, Brown) are not for me

Engine, Transmission, Braking
- The engine powers up with a good sound and the engine noise is low but audible in the cabin. I like it
better that way
- Gear shift is very good but not great, can change gears very smoothly. Even then I managed to slot it in a
no-gear once (with the resulting gnashing sounds) while downshifting to 3rd, probably my mistake!
- The clutch pushes back very aggressively leading to a couple of embarassing engine stalls while starting off
and a slight twinge in my old 'football-knee'. I hope this eases off else will be a real problem in city
traffic
- Vehicle pulls away very quickly in 1st once you get the clutch release right, and 2nd comes along at the
right time as well. Could go up hairpins in 2nd quite effortlessly, however an attempt to start off from 2nd
(on a level road) resulted in a stalled engine.
- 3rd is good but a bit disappointing in the uphill stuff, it was dragging a bit (2 adults + AC) until we hit
around 40 kmph from when it started pulling away strongly. Sorry can't give an accurate RPM reading for this
shift as I was too busy steering, but it was definitely somewhere north of 1,500 rpm
- Can't say much re 4th and 5th except that the gear moves in quite smoothly. Didn't attempt to reverse either
- Can't say much about braking other than that when the brake is pressed the vehicle stops! Knowing that this
is not a demo car and given the test road and the fact that there was no ABS on this variant I didn't try
anything aggressive

Ride and Handling
- The road had several patch-works and small bumps and potholes. Took it fast over them and barely felt any of
this apart from a slight shake. Not sure how the rear seat ride was though. A bit of the sound did filter in,
but not much
- Handling is good. Took a few downhill hairpins fast and the felt a little roll but it was very easy to point
the car in the right direction. Again no high speed cornering was done given the TD road so...
- Turning radius is decent, can easily do a 2-point turn in a standard 1.5 lane city road

Pricing
- The trend of no discounts apart from 15K exchange bonus, small corporate discount and a warning about
potential price increases (as early as 20th Dec), continued here
- Got quotes for a few accesories as below, but once again no offer to throw these in for free
Transparent PVC floor mat set: Rs 1,200 (quite nice looking)
'Carpet' floor mat set: Rs 1,800 to 2,000
Body Cover: Rs 2,000
VKool filming: Rs 23,000 (including 90% clear for front windshield)
3M film: "No idea, need to check"
Underbody + top teflon coat: Rs 8,500
Underbody alone: Rs 3,500
Fabric seat cover set: Rs 4,500 ("take leather as it will handle spills better")
Reverse sensors: Forgot to ask
Steering cover: Rs 510 (leather supposedly)
- Earlier quoted on-road prices include around Rs 3,000 towards 'incidental charges' for registration
- Was promised that if a discount is announced later, but before invoicing, I would get that as well. Seems a a little pointless to me given that I need to make my part of the full payment before invoicing

Delivery
- Told that I can come and see the vehicle before registration but it will not be possible to ask for a different one at that point, so pointless. Not allowed to go and see vehicles at the stock yard, as if it's a nuke stocking facility
- My colour and variant available in stock yard already so I'll be hanging on for a goood discount for sure!
- Wating period for AT variants around 1 month supposedly
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Old 7th December 2009, 12:22   #13
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See dude again you have delivered it. Amazing man. How can you do this
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Old 7th December 2009, 12:26   #14
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See dude again you have delivered it. Amazing man. How can you do this
He he, thanks! Apologies for the line break problems, but my net connection is not co-operating and am just unable to fix them despite trying a couple of times
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Old 7th December 2009, 14:27   #15
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mrwalker, you have a knack for putting your thoughts, ideas and feelings into words!
I liked both your reviews as they were thorough and to the point.
Are you keen on the auto or the manual? I suggest you try out the zxi as the feel is quite diferent from the vxi. I enjoyed driving the zxi more than the vxi.
The Clutch is a real pain and you have to keep the revs quite high while taking off on an incline as its very jerky. I hope it reduces after a while.

Isnt there any other dealer in pune? I feel you arent geting a good discount/price with your current dealer. You could check in mumbai and do what i did. I picked up the car from a newish dealership thats giving big discounts as they are trying to woo customers from the other dealership. Servicing will be done at the dealer that has been servicing our maruti's for over a decade.
You are at full liberty to reject the vehicle before its registered incase you arent happy with it and your reasons are justified. They cannot force a car on you!
I Got the car in 10 days as promised. Its silver! I wanted blue at first hoping it would look like the Fiesta S colour but sadly it as a light shade of blue and looked odd. So asked for the silver!
I bargained and got the Transparent PVC floor mats for free. They are better than the carpets as they dont absorb water or stink.
Dont get the Underbody + top teflon coat. The top coat goes off in no time and is pretty useless. Just polish the car yourself every month. The next time you check out the sx. have a look at the bottom. Its got a coat or some rubber thingie applied on it. You'll notice the same thing under the paint on the sides where the skirts will fit.
If you dont mind the skirt-less look, keep the car stock. The front bumper skirt reduces your approach angle quite a bit.
Get art leather seat covers. They cost 5k or so. Easier to clean and maintain.
Dont fit the mga reversing sensor. Its utter rubbish. Get the xenos/etc kit fixed from out for 3.2k. its got a mirror with a display that clamps onto the existing mirror.
Regarding the turning radius, its AWESOME!!! Lately i had been driving a lancer and i used to get bugged with the turning radius. The sx TR came as a very pleasant surprise to me!!!

Im attaching some pics of the mats!
SX4 ZXi AT Test "Ride" , VXi MT Test Drive-mats.jpg
SX4 ZXi AT Test "Ride" , VXi MT Test Drive-mats-1.jpg

Last edited by james : 7th December 2009 at 14:32.
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