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Old 25th December 2009, 21:27   #1
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Default SX4 ZXi VVT - Ownership Experience

The Dream:

I started looking for a perfect upgradation to my Santro Xing around Sept 2009. Needless to mention, Santro is an amazing car and I really had a heavy moment parting with her. She was always there whenever I needed her. But then as they say - Change is the only constant, the need for a sedan arose from lack of space : courtesy - my two little angels.

The Hunt:

My hunt for a sedan was orineted around various factors:
  1. Requirement : A mid size sedan with adequate inner space, reasonable boot size, with more or less all standard new-age safety/electronic/cosmetic features, a car which could take up city as well as highway driving equally well, a less-maintenance car with good A.S.S. and above all - higher reliability, i.e. A friend in need...
  2. Budget - 7 to 9 L and could stretch to 10 L (provided there is proper justification)
  3. Diesel or Petrol : Looking to my monthly mileage, which is at best 1000 Kms, a diesel was not justified, though a diesel could have tempted me to use more. Also relatively higher maintenance, diesel smell etc. justified a petrol vehicle. However, both the options were still open to the last moment of my final decision.
  4. Brands Considered: Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Maruti SX4 (added to the list only towards Oct end - as I was kind of Maruti-fobiac), Fiat Linea, Chevy Aveo and Tata Manza. Want to mention here that diesel versions of Verna, Fiesta and Manza were also in the list. Did not consider Honda at all because of pricings, low GC and comparatively high maintenance (in case needed along with spare parts cost). Also Linea diesel was not considered for a 1.3 L engine at 9.3 L on road. In addition, there was speculation of Fiat introducing 1.6 L MJet in near future.
The Mission:

Started with Ford Fiesta:
As I liked that car very much for its neat finish, very good driveability, relatively sturdy body, and the PRICE. Test drove 3/4 times, once even took the S version to Nice road for a 150+ speed drive. Did not get a chance to drive the ZXi/SXi version for a longer stretch. I am not elaborating much on the quality of the car as the same has been described many times in the forum. Frankly this car was in my mind till my finalization. As most of you would have known that in Dec, there was almost 70 K discount for the ZXi leather limited edition. So what made me think otherwise ? Here are some reasons what made me eliminate Fiesta - A new version is definitely anticipated shortly, a comparatively smaller A.S.S. chain, poor resale, and increasing maintenance cost over time.
Fiat Linea:
Liked the car purely on her looks front. But admittedly, the interior I found boring to a great extent. Also the GC is only 165 mm. And there were very poor responses from both Concorde and Prerana as if they were doing favour by selling cars to customers. Otherwise a good option it was.
Tata Manza:
IMO the best VFM so-called-sedan in India by far. Did not like the fit and finish at all. Also there was a waiting period of 1 to 1.5 months. Again dealers were to blame to a certain extent as i mentioned in case of Linea above.
Hyundai Verna:
Here again test drove both petrol and diesel over open space like outer ring road and busy streets like richmond road - multiple times. Diesel was ruled out for the price factor otherwise that was a sure finalist. Petrol, honestly, was also very good option. And Santro had already proven the A.S.S., maintenance, resale factors of Hyundai stable. Then why not ? By that time I had TDove the SX4 and found equally impressive. The prime reason for not going ahead with verna was price difference between SX4 VVT (after discount of 25+25 K) and Verna VTVT. Verna was available for 8.15 L nett and SX4 VVT was available for 8.38 L. So what justified the extra cost of SX4 ? BS4 engine, ARAI rating of 15.5 kmpl FE, 2+2 year warranty (against a 2+1 for Verna), 16" wheel with 190 mm GC (vs 14" wheel with 170 mm GC of verna), Airbags, EBD (Verna has only ABS), Steering mounted audio control, a 505 Litre boot (as against 350 L boot of Verna) and some essential freebies which I was getting with SX4 which were not available with Verna.
So here goes the verdict - SX4 ZXi:
As i already mentioned in the beginning of the thread that I was not in the FOR of a Maruti from the beginning. But then I just thought of taking a TD of SX4 for the sake of TD. And voila...the TD changed my whole perception on Maruti. (I still can't accept the poor body build quality, fit and finish, engine noise compared to a Verna). However, NO car is perfect - so one has to compromise somewhere. Finally it was SX4 ZXi and the reasons I have already mentioned above. By this time I was almost in last week of Nov. Wise as I was (LOL), thought of waiting till Dec for getting a good deal and YES the deal was there.

Booked the car with Pratham Motors, Ring Road with Clear Beige color option on 14th Dec. The sales person was Lohit and I must say that the whole process from TD, pre-booking thru booking till delivery was handled in a very professional and friendly manner. Lohit was quite helpful throughout. I was promised of delivery on 21st. However the car reached the showroom on 21st only because of transport delay (winter season). Anyways, I had no issues for a 2/3 days delay and I decided of taking the delivery on 25th Dec.

Finance and Insurance:

Got a good bargain from HDFC with bundled comprehensive insurance (forgot to mention I did not go with the dealer quoted insurance thereby saving around 4K extra). The finance was sanctioned in flat 1 day and the DO was sent the 2nd day. I exchanged my Santro for the SX4 and the Maruti True Value did give me a good deal.


Reached the stockyard of Pratham on 23rd Dec morning 11 am. Almost 2 hours, I was through with my PRI. Thanks to the very very helpful PDI/PRI checklist available on T-BHP. Satisfied with the condition of the car I left the stockyard. The car is manufactured in Dec 09 and the tyres are Nov 09 Mfd. Did check some dirt marks on the door trims and asked specifically to remove the same clearly. The car odo showed 13 kms. So far so good.

The D'Day:

As re-promised by Pratham the car was ready for delivery on 25th Dec. We (along with family) reached the showroom at around 3 PM. 25th being a holiday most of the staff were off. However, Lohit had taken care of the registration and number plate the previous day and all documents were ready. Again did a PDI as per T-BHP suggestion - finished in almost 20 mins. A brief demo was shown by the executive as I was not interested except for few newer thingies of the SX4. Captured the exciting moment in my Nikon. Did a small Pooja and we were all set to zoom. None of the accessories were ready except the under chassiss quoting because of the holiday. (actually all the payments were made only on 23rd afternoon) and the car was registered on 24th. So literally there was not much time for the accessories to be fitted. Also I insisted on fitting the same in my presence. Hence going tomorrow again for fitting the accessories. Finally handed over the gift (T-BHP influence) to Lohit for his good work through out and left the showroom.

Additions/Upgradations Planned:
  • Sunfilm: 3M CR 70 for windshield and RE 50/70 for sides and rear.
  • Tyre: YOKO ASPEC A348 - 215/60-16 for all 5 exchanging the JK Vectras.
  • Steering Cover
  • OSRAM night breaker for headlamps or a 90/100 plug-n-play set with relay (no alteration to the stock circuit).
First Drive Impression:

Drove around 17 km from the showroom and the drive was smooth. However, felt the engine was a bit hot after the drive (as felt from the heat coming out of the bonnet) for this stretch of driving. Anybody else has observed anything of this sort ?

More on the ownership experience to come over time. Some pics here.
Attached Thumbnails
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SX4 ZXi VVT - Ownership Experience-dsc_0291.jpg  

SX4 ZXi VVT - Ownership Experience-dsc_0292.jpg  

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Old 25th December 2009, 21:31   #2
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Congratulations on your new buy and welcome to the group!
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Old 25th December 2009, 21:40   #3
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Congrats man!! Good write up & yes SX4 looks smashing!!
Happy motoring...

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Old 25th December 2009, 21:41   #4
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Originally Posted by DigitalDragon View Post
First Drive Impression:

Drove around 17 km from the showroom and the drive was smooth. However, felt the engine was a bit hot after the drive (as felt from the heat coming out of the bonnet) for this stretch of driving. Anybody else has observed anything of this sort ?
1) Congratulations! SX4 is a very good car that covers most of the points better than others in the same segment.

2) About temperature, I think that :

a) Initially when the engine is in breaking period, due to microscopic irregularities, the engine will heat up slightly more. But in modern motors this is not very much pronounced as much as older generation motors. But nevertheless a little bit is present.

The very very small irregularities on surfaces of cylinder and piston create this friction. Wait till beading in process is over.

b) Even after 40K kms, our Baleno hood is very hot after a drive, so this is normal. You may feel that a lot of heat is coming out, but this could be perfectly normal. If the temperature gauge does not move into hot zone. Remember this is nothing. If the temperature guage is not above normal, then the feeling of heat coming out need not matter you. Its normal.

Dont worry, you new friend is perfectly normal.
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Old 25th December 2009, 23:17   #5
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Congrats on the your new friend. Do post your experiences with the new SX4.
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Old 25th December 2009, 23:32   #6
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Congratulations for a great acquisition. I got mine on the 14th of this month and its such a pleasure to drive.
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Old 25th December 2009, 23:36   #7
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congrats on the new acquisition dude, nice write up too! the pics of your car are super as well, drive safe!!

just curious, how much did True Value offer for your santro?
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Old 25th December 2009, 23:39   #8
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Aha!!! Congrats buddy.Sweet ride.Hope to catch it in action during our next meet
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Old 25th December 2009, 23:49   #9
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Congratulations ...keep her tidy and she will serve you well...
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Old 26th December 2009, 00:44   #10
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Congratulations on the new man (!) in your life!!!
The SX4 is still on top of my wish list.
Drive safe.

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Old 26th December 2009, 01:34   #11
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Congrats Brother.im also looking for and SX4 for (Auto Box),please post some interior pictures.
Drive Safe.
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Old 27th December 2009, 00:42   #12
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Hi Sir,

Congratulations for your new car. The photos are all good. Your car tempts me to look for the same, if it comes with diesel. I am a diesel head coz I drive more.
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Old 27th December 2009, 06:16   #13
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I have driven long stretches on a good friend and a fellow BHPian (neoranjit's - same colour, incidentally!) SX4, but never felt the engine heating up any more than normal.

Like someone said, it could be the running in. Take her to the first 5k on the clock gently, and change the engine oil and filter at first service. And at every 5k on the clock then on...
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Old 27th December 2009, 11:35   #14
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Default Great Car!!

Hi DD,

thats one hell of a stunner you have there. its an amazing car, the best out of maruti stable date. rock solid, confidence inspiring, spacious, decent mileage, creature comforts, safety. its got everything!

congrats on the purchase!!

do post some interior pics and let us know about the deal you got from truevalue. thinking of disposing off my dad's Indigo XL.
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Old 27th December 2009, 12:06   #15
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Congrats on your purchase. How's the low end torque of the car ?

Do post some more pics of the interiors.
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