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Old 7th January 2010, 15:40   #16
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Originally Posted by Fornax View Post
Thanks DD, you know, I've read reviews written by you, abhi123, vivprasad & mrwalker so many times, that I owe you guys a big thanks for helping me make an objective decision. For now, I'm very very happy having made this choice

About the clutch & brake pedal placement, I wasnt particularly inconviened by it (yet). Further, I'm yet to arrive at my ideal seating position - hence had a bit of stiffness in my leg, that was about it. However, I'll try to judge this more carefully tommorrow.

Thanks abhi123, suggestion taken! It'll be possibly another 20-25 days before I change it though, but should I be asking for CPC2 or is there a technical name to it?
You are welcome Fornax. Indeed a good decision.

I am also doing trial and error with the seating adjustment. What I feel is the brake pedal should have been placed a little towards right. Will check with MASS if any DIY adjustment could be done. You will feel the pain if you continuously drive for almost an hour in typical B2B traffic.

CPC2 stands for Conti Premium Contact 2. You can ask for continental CPC2. Its available in the stock size. In my case I changed it to 215/60/16 - Yoko A348, the OE fitment tyre of Camry. Though the handling is better but I am feeling a stiffness in the steering because of the extra width.

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Originally Posted by Fornax View Post
Thanks James.

As stated earlier, I did go down to check out what you said and what was told to me by the Maruti instructor. Although, I must say, I had not noticed the difference in color before this.
The reverse lights aka diferent color stands - The red one IS a fog lamp. The white one IS the reverse lamp - based on european design. However, ideally the Fog lamp should not be placed at that height. Instead it should have been placed on the bumper like dezire. Then only it serves its purpose of a fog lamp (fog thickness increases upwards from ground level).
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Old 7th January 2010, 23:19   #17
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I have tried to look for the inconvenience with the placement of the clutch/brake pedals, but have not had any problem. My drives are typically between 2-20 kms at a stretch and maybe that is not enough distance for the leg stiffness to set in.

I have also not been bothered by the tyre noise or the ride. With the windows closed most of the time, hardly any noise filters through> Again due to running in restrictions, I have not taken the car above 100 kmph, that too very occasionally. Usually I stick to around 80 max.

In principle, I belong to the old school, and would not change anything stock before giving adequate time to myself to judge the necessity for the change.

Regarding seat height, I have set mine such that I can see the slope of the bonnet including the left headlamp assembly corner. The steering is adjusted accordingly. I am of decent physical height myself, but one of the pleasures of the SX4 is the high seat position in the SUV mould.

I have driven my SX4 for about 3 weeks and I am very happy with the way the car is, and the way it runs. Its a pity I have to wait for the running in before I can take it on a highway for speed.
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Old 8th January 2010, 10:47   #18
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Originally Posted by vivprasad View Post
I have tried to look for the inconvenience with the placement of the clutch/brake pedals, but have not had any problem. My drives are typically between 2-20 kms at a stretch and maybe that is not enough distance for the leg stiffness to set in.

I have also not been bothered by the tyre noise or the ride. With the windows closed most of the time, hardly any noise filters through> Again due to running in restrictions, I have not taken the car above 100 kmph, that too very occasionally. Usually I stick to around 80 max.
I watched closely on the placement of the brakes etc. and what I found could be the culprit is the distance between the clutch and brake pedals. Ideally there should be more gaps between clutch and brake than the same between brake and acc. Here in SX4, all the 3 are placed equidistant, which is a terrible design flaw. In effect you have to sit with both your legs adjacent whenever you are to use clutch and brake simulteneously - which actually will cause a leg pain after a prolonged drive. If you check the gaps in any Hyundai or Honda you will be able to feel the difference. Solution - I will check with MASS if I can use some kind of extension to displace the brake and acc pedals slightly towards right or bring the clutch slightly towards left. Actually the clutch lever is a right-bent lever so if we use a straight lever that itself will solve the purpose by positioning the clutch towards left.

On the tyre - Its not only noise, there are some other benefits for which one should consider changing the stock JKs, e.g. -
1. Comfort - You will feel this outrightly. Even the dealer person acknowledged its far better with Yoko than JK. Imagine what would be with Michelin.
2. Safety - JKs are most unreliable tyre, evident from many members complaining bursts. Also being a hard tyre more prone to brittle over time.
3. If at all you want to change you should do it right at the showroom level to get good returns - I got 3500/- for each stock JK.
4. Wet grip - is very bad with JK vs Yoko, Conti, Michelin and for that matter to Apollo Acelere.
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Old 8th January 2010, 12:25   #19
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I watched closely on the placement of the brakes etc. and what I found could be the culprit is the distance between the clutch and brake pedals. Ideally there should be more gaps between clutch and brake than the same between brake and acc. Here in SX4, all the 3 are placed equidistant, which is a terrible design flaw. In effect you have to sit with both your legs adjacent whenever you are to use clutch and brake simulteneously - which actually will cause a leg pain after a prolonged drive. If you check the gaps in any Hyundai or Honda you will be able to feel the difference. Solution - I will check with MASS if I can use some kind of extension to displace the brake and acc pedals slightly towards right or bring the clutch slightly towards left. Actually the clutch lever is a right-bent lever so if we use a straight lever that itself will solve the purpose by positioning the clutch towards left.

On the tyre - Its not only noise, there are some other benefits for which one should consider changing the stock JKs, e.g. -
1. Comfort - You will feel this outrightly. Even the dealer person acknowledged its far better with Yoko than JK. Imagine what would be with Michelin.
2. Safety - JKs are most unreliable tyre, evident from many members complaining bursts. Also being a hard tyre more prone to brittle over time.
3. If at all you want to change you should do it right at the showroom level to get good returns - I got 3500/- for each stock JK.
4. Wet grip - is very bad with JK vs Yoko, Conti, Michelin and for that matter to Apollo Acelere.

Thanks DD, shall certainly keep in mind. Will also look at the clutch/brake from your point of view.
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Old 8th January 2010, 13:53   #20
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The SX4 Club seems to be increasing by the day. Welcome to the club pal and enjoy what is the closest India has to a crossover vehicle.

I have never been in convenienced by the pedals. I had been using the Indica for over 4 years and the ergonomics of the SX4 were way ahead.

As far as the rear lights are concerned one reversing light and one rear foglamp.

JK tyres, squeak like piglets. However I believe 215 is an overkill. As it stands the 205 are way ahead of what is offered on any other car.
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Old 8th January 2010, 19:48   #21
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The JK tyres are not that good. However, they are sufficient, and it makes sense to retain them if you drive on rough roads. If you do drive only on good roads, and want higher speeds than 120 kmph, it does makes sense to upgrade.
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Old 9th January 2010, 00:08   #22
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Hi Fornax,

Congrats on the new babe.
Whatever you do do not ride the clutch on slopes. Use the hand brake instead or else you will find yourself having to replace the clutch plates in a very short space of time as Maruti clutches are renowned for being relatively "weak". They will also not change clutch plates under warranty.
Just my two cents.
Enjoy the car.
It's a beauty and is top of my wish list.

Cheers

SS
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Old 9th January 2010, 00:58   #23
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Congratulations Fornax,


The SX4 is a great car, but it takes a little longer to get used to it.

Tyre upgrade is recommended as the JK's squeal, scream and slip.
I've got GoodYear Eagle NCT 5 (225 / 55 / R16), Sold my JK's on day 2 of owning the car for Rs: 3300/- each

drive safe and keep us posted.
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Old 9th January 2010, 05:09   #24
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Congrats Fornax on your Purchase.SX4 is definitely as wise decision for Indian Roads.A pure VFM Car. your Car looks absolutely stunning. How about some Interior Pics?

Also SX4's A pillar has always been an uncomfortable design.Does it have any improvements with the new design?

Do keep us posted on your drive experience and FE.

Enjoy
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Old 11th January 2010, 00:49   #25
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Just to add, one of the key reasons I ended up changing my stock JKs was that I frequenty travel on the Mumbai Pune expway where it's easy to touch 140+ even without realizing..
I can live with the noise and the slighly bumpier ride with the stock tyres, but On the first drive to Mumbai on with JKs, the car started getting wobbly and the steering was perceptibly shaky!
Surprising, because my 7 year old Corsa could easily handle the same stretch without any jitter whatsoever...
Now even though I should not (and try not) to speed beyond 100-120 max, the fact that I knew the stocks were incapable of handing 140 made me wary of using em at anything about 80....
I just returned from a trip over the weekend and the new Continentals have made a remarkable difference to the stability and the handling... not to mention the incidental benefits of significantly lower noise and some (minor) improvement in ride softness...
Total wallet hit post exchange was 17.5

Last edited by abhi182 : 11th January 2010 at 00:50.
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Old 11th January 2010, 02:39   #26
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Thumbs up 170 Kms update + 580 Kms update

170 KMs update (Date: 08-Jan-2010)

After that minor scratch, I had gotten a little nervous about my ability to drive this beauty, however after 170 Kms with a mix of both smooth & b2b traffic, its’ getting much better. To further my confidence, I plan to go on a Pune trip, just like I did with my Indica.

A few notes on the car – mostly comparisons to my earlier Indica:

1. Sound: The audio-sound is just about OK. I had a really good (12K in 2004) pioneer head with four thumping speakers. What I have now, is a pale shadow of what I gave away for free. It works for now, but a serious upgrade candidate for the future.

2. Scratches discovered: There are scratches galore on the power window knobs, as if someone did a stress test on those using keys. God knows what’s the history behind this. (1 negative point finally for Maruti)

3. City Handling: My office road is 7 kms with 7 signals, and I did manage to stall a few times – especially when I am first at the signal. I was so used to thumping the gas on my Indica, but can’t afford to do it anymore, neither am I required to do so. You can pull away easily amongst bikers and other vehicles, just need a tad more control over the 3 pedals. That said, I’ve consciously reduced my clutch-driving bit, though still not 100% there in terms of sedan driving. The car handles as good (if not better) as my Indica - adequate grip, easy maneuverability and amazing predictability, and the coolest of all being it gobbling up of small bumps. The 16-inchers play a critical role, and are a world-apart compared to my 12-inchers earlier. One unexpected surprise is her turning radius, it’s not as over-whelming as I had assumed by its size - for instance approaching a U-turn with a 2 feet margin on right, and I can easily drive into the 2nd lane on the opposite side. More on city handling in the Pune-trip below

4. Seats: The front seat provides good side and back support. But the lower-side of my thigh still hangs in air, and is causing a bit of discomfort. Tomorrow is experimentation day – being the first weekend since my beauty came home.

5. Discovery of the week: Headlights ON warning: There is harsh alarm that sounds when, the engine is turned off and you try and open the door without first switching the headlights. I got confused at first, but figured it out by trial-and-error. Neat feature. (Guess I need to spend some time on the thick manual)

Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai drive (Date: 09-Jan-2010)

This drive was unique as it was meant entirely for me spending time with my car; the destination itself had no purpose – that’s until my wife sneaked a visit to her relatives. We took off at 170 on the odo & 11:00 on the clock this Saturday, with some 80s Hindi music for company. The following are my evaluation key-notes during the drive:

Fuel-Economy & Running-In: Very initial numbers here, but for the earlier 132 km city driving + one way trip to Pune (Kothrud) got me a FE of 11.12 km/litre of Speed. Since the Mumbai-Pune leg was done during the day, I broke some rules of running-in the engine. The car was eager, and it was too hard-to-resist, hence did a top-speed of 130 kmph, after which she didn’t seem eager. 120 kmph was the new 80 for me, easy to reach and maintain, however I would say most of the drive was done around 100-110. The most exciting part was the lonavala-stretch done at 80 kmph – helped by an tourist Innova which I followed religiously. While on the way home I decided to stick to 100 kmph, since we started at 19:45.

Headlights & Night-driving: Did not require fog lights, as illumination was more than adequate. Drove for most part using the dipper, and it did not give me any surprises in terms of tail-light-less trucks etc. The lack of tints on my rear-window meant a lot of painful headlights in my rear-view mirror. A possible advice would be to slap on smart rear-view mirror that reduces this glare. I’ll evaluate the need once I get my (free) tints installed. The lonavala section was done at about 60-70 kmph – partly due to night conditions and partly because there was no Innova to follow .

Automatic Climate Control: Was looking forward to evaluate the ACC and set it to 24 the moment we started. Entire drive – I mean even the toll-naka bits, was done with ACC on. The fan does blow pretty hard when the car is left in the sun for a while, but the overall benefit is colossal. There is almost none to negligible loss of power, no effect on over-taking, and is fairly efficient in maintaining the right temperature. I repeat – no touching the knob throughout the journey.

Handling & Sounds : The car is very precise, and will hold the line you choose for it, period. Ride-quality is very smooth and noise levels (cabin / rattle) were zero. For a good 30 mins I put the audio on mute, to listen in on the overall noise. I heard the familiar roars of tyres and wind, with the wind making an additional whoosh underneath as well. The Vectras are quite loud, but not close to irritation level and can be cancelled once the volume is set above 15 (or thereabouts). Yes, Maruti could have done more to insulate the cabin from external sound, but again, its’ not a turn-off…yet. The Engine itself does groan mildly (ex-Indica owner, mind you) after 2700 rpm, which is quite likeable as you feel assured somehow while going fast. The steering gives a sufficient amount of feedback, to ensure a controlled drive.

Ergonomics: I am a single-hand driver, with the other being used to changing gears or operating music, although on tight-sections I do use both hands. Given this, I sincerely felt, an arm-rest would do wonders to the drivers’ comfort. The seat was adjusted to a low-set position along with the steering, which led to mild stiffness in fingers, lower thigh and upper arm. The back was fine, and I am quite happy overall with this driving position, just like to stress, that we took a mid-way halt on both legs of our journey. A nice stretch does wonders! In fact, I had never felt so fresh even after a 120 km round-trip to Nerul, partly attributed to luck as we didn’t encounter b2b traffic anywhere, except toll-nakas (if you count that).

If I missed something, please let me know, as I have enough data first hand to share my views.

OT: I was really looking forward to a speeding Linea on the expressway, but in my entire drive – I did not encounter a single Linea. Doesn’t mean anything really, just something I was yearning to see.

Thanks for the wishes guys, I indeed am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maglev View Post
Congratulations Fornax,
…Tyre upgrade is recommended as the JK's squeal, scream and slip….
Dude, which car is that? It’s barely at 5000 rpm while touching 190! Absolutely amazing!
On the tyre upgrade, I think I’ll do the seats first, and then depending on the hit, will look at the tyres.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cedizen View Post
…Also SX4's A pillar has always been an uncomfortable design.Does it have any improvements with the new design?...
AFAIK, the A-pillar has not been redesigned in the new SX4. It is certainly a risky feature, unless you are careful while turning right, or coming to an intersection that has no traffic-signal. Also, its’ not really the 90-degree right that you need to worry about, rather the 110-120-degree right turn that can leave you stumped.
Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi182 View Post
…On the first drive to Mumbai on with JKs, the car started getting wobbly and the steering was perceptibly shaky!
Surprising, because my 7 year old Corsa could easily handle the same stretch without any jitter whatsoever...
Now even though I should not (and try not) to speed beyond 100-120 max, the fact that I knew the stocks were incapable of handing 140 made me wary of using em at anything about 80....
Like I said earlier in the review, except the long straight on Pune side where I did hit 130 once, most of the drive was at 100-110 and felt pretty firm and rooted. Just curious, were you at 30 or 33 psi? Also, could this be due to the car backgrounds we come from?

ODO: 580
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Old 11th January 2010, 08:44   #27
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Hey Fornax- Congrats on your new car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fornax View Post

The lack of tints on my rear-window meant a lot of painful headlights in my rear-view mirror.
But, I am sure SX4 is equipped with day/night rear view mirror, which makes it ease for night driving. Or have I missed some thing?

Enjoy your new car!
Cheers,
Jai
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Old 11th January 2010, 10:54   #28
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Originally Posted by nevertouchme View Post
...But, I am sure SX4 is equipped with day/night rear view mirror, which makes it ease for night driving. Or have I missed some thing? ...
Thanks Jai, looks like the SX4 is indeed having day/night rear view mirrors. However, in spite of that the cabin had sufficient light due to high-beam driving by most cars, guess Maruti had not factored in the bright-headlights on cars these days.
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Old 11th January 2010, 11:44   #29
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Excellent review from the drive!

A few points
- How was the uphill performance? I realise the expressway has a very gentle grade and it was just two of you but any info on the best gear/ rpms would be useful
- Stalling in city, yup have had this happening to me a couple of times as well, need some time to get used to the clutch release
- Headlight warning, there are a LOT of warning lights and buzzers, need to RTFM once :-)
- Under thigh support, agreed a little weak at front. What has worked for me is to jack the seat up to the highest position and then move it back till the clutch is fully pressed at almost full leg extension
- Haven't experienced any problems with the pedal positions as described by DD
- Rear 3M RE70 film on mine has done a good job of dealing with idiots with Xenons on high beam
- Have seen others (mostly City guys!) commenting about the poor steering feedback at high speeds, how was your experience?
- Re the tyres I guess if you have the budget then change them. Though I don't agree with JK tyres being unsafe and prone to bursts. Have the stock JK ones on my WagonR last 4.5 yrs, 39,000 kms subject to all sorts of bad roads, high speed and the usual overinflation from MSS. Only one tyre has developed a sidewall bubble and has duly been banished to the boot
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Old 11th January 2010, 12:23   #30
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Good write up Fornax. And good to see that there are no major issues you felt. The ACC is really a boon as I said on my own thread since temps in LKO over the last ten days or so have hovered between 3.8 to 14 C, and the car is very comfortable with ACC on (this morning was 9 C when I left for my lab). The engine has stalled on a couple of occasions with me as well (also reported in my thread), but that is just a matter of getting used to a new setup I guess. I have so far not crossed 100 kmph, frankly keep the car around 80 max. The A-pillar is not such a problem as reversing the SX4 at night against a wall/other car etc. But I am getting used to that as well, and eventually may not go for parking sensors.
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