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Old 6th January 2010, 01:42   #1
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Cool SX4 ZXi MT – 2010 – Nuevo Ownership Review

The Easy Part – Choice
When SX4 made its’ debut in 07, I was swept away completely by her looks, features and value offering. However, my old car was doing fine then, and I was in the market for a new flat thus ruling out the possibility of a buying a new sedan. I did however promise myself to relook at the SX4 once things settle down a bit.

Around mid-December-09 I began the hunt for a new sedan, the SX4 was naturally at the top of my list. Amongst the newer cars, the Linea had also set my heart racing, so I took a test drive, but came back disappointed. (Linea owners - my objectives and their weights were possibly different - for what its’ worth, my vote for COTY went to Linea).

The SX4 test-drive however was overwhelmingly positive, hence without any further hesitation our decision was done.

The specific parameters I was looking for in my next car were as follows:
1. Safety Features : ABS, EBD & dual Airbags were a must.
2. Cabin Space : Let me just say this, the one shining feature of my Indica was Cabin Space, and my next car, had to better it.
3. Petrol : Done with diesel at least for the near future.
4. Indianization : Turn-indicators on the right, bad-road compatibility (GC, alloys, tubeless tyres) and tolerance to harsh weather.
5. Boot Space : Boot space needed to be adequate, as my Indica rear-seats had a split-fold, and we often made most of that feature.
6. Engine Performance : I am not comfortable with the concept of a hatchback-engine in bed with a sedan.
7. Value for Money : Needless to explain.
8. Low Cost of Ownership : Cheap & widely available spares, good fuel economy and reliability.
9. Superior After-Sales & Support : I’d owned a TATA vehicle for 6 years. TATA has improved lately, but the initial suffering left a long-lasting impact I guess.
10. City Drivability : I think I am around 25:75 on highway:city, hence, my new car needed to be easy to maneuver in City as well as comfortable on the highway. Chances are that the ratio might get pushed to 40:60, as my daughter is approaching her first birthday.

The Buying Process
My first car was bought without me leaving my house, courtesy JMD, a direct-marketing-agent. However, after team-bhp.com, that option was ruled out. The dealer – Spectra Motors, Borivali and more specifically the sales executive, Rahul Gangwani made the entire process quite smooth. Had to visit the dealership only twice, once to exchange my old car, and once to submit all the documents for my loan. The deal was stuck as follows:

On-Road Price ((SX4 ZXi Manual BSIV)): 854,747
Exchange Price for my 04' Indica DLS (bonus included): 137,000
Corporate Discount: 3,500
Cash-back: 1.25% of loan amount
Interest Rate: 10.00% for 5 years
2-yrs Extended Warranty: 7,990
Free Accessories: Front, side & rear sun-control film (Garware), leather steering cover, body cover & transparent carpet mats.
Paid Accessories (planned within a week): Seat covers, reverse sensors, under-body anti-rust treatment and engine treatment (safety from rats).

PRI-Check (Pre-Registration Check) at the dealers’ stockyard
Spectra was kind enough to allow me a PRI check at their stockyard without having paid a single rupee, nor having signed on any dotted line. The stockyard is located at Vasai, off the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. The inspection itself was detailed, and folks at the stockyard didn’t mind my checking. Odometer reading was 4 Kms, no patchups visible and no scratches either. Overall, I think I was simply thrilled to see my next car in flesh.

D-Day::05-Jan-2010
Took AM off and went to the dealership at about 11:20. Undertook the PDI check – quite lenient this time – and completed the formalities. Was able to drive out of the dealership at about 14:40, as the Tax-Receipt was awaited from RTO. Distributed ½ kilo of sweets at the dealer, and gave a small token to the folks who’d helped clean and prepare my car. A small Lord Ganesh idol was given free along with two keys to my car. I got a beautiful surprise when a song wishing “Congratulations” was played out for me, with everyone smiling and wishing luck. Later, a customer service executive asked me to rate the quality of service received and general feedback. Another person explained the tiniest bits of details relating to the plethora of switches inside the SX4. A photo commemorating the day was taken and a print given immediately, got a few other snaps too which they happily saved to the USB I was carrying.

Gyan: I’ve heard some folks complain about SX4 having a single reverse light. That’s incorrect – the truth being there’s one automatic reverse light, and one manual. The manual one can be turned on at the flick of a button, thus giving you rear illumination at both sides, if needed. The manual one, for some reason, is called the rear fog light, which might explain the ambiguity.

As noted by other owners, music played via USB sounds much better than disc or radio. I do have an unlimited broadband, so works for me.

The first trip to the petrol station bought me to my senses, a full tank cost 2500 bucks for 48 litres of speed! The interesting bit was getting the tyre pressure checked, as the dealer had set all tyres to roughly 50 which irritated the guy as all he had to do was lower it to precisely 30.

Odo reading at full tank: 38.

First Drive Review & Heart-break
In the evening, we decided to take her for a spin, and left home at 20:45, the obvious route was a round-trip across Bandra-Worli Sealink (BWSL). First impression of my car was quite amazing, the gear-shift was smooth, the car & tyres made no sound at all ( ”outside noise seems to be on mute” – Wife ) and the engine was almost hungry to tear the road apart. Over-taking trucks, ricks and old taxis was a breeze – no down-shifting. The 3rd gear has a great range tried from 25-50, no worries. 4th was again neat, could go from 30-60 without much (if any) clutch. The 5th was not tested much as the BWSL had a speed-limit of 50 and I was hell-bent on sticking to it. Hence I stayed in 4th all the way, even while going over those subtle but not insignificant speed limiters.

ACC is a boon, as it means NO touching the knobs once the car is set in motion, and the ACC cools very efficiently. However it needs to be tested during the day, before a final verdict.

The handling and ride-quality was excellent, the WE Highway has quite a few surprise craters, and I was able to dodge most, however the max speed I had set myself was 65, and barely crossed it during this drive. So this remains an open item pending evaluation untill the running-in period is complete.

While being south-bound, I had noticed a jam on the other side stretching from the TOI flyover right upto Jogeshwari. Fortunately for us the jam had receeded upto Goregaon by the time we returned. Unlike signal-jams, vehicles were moving intermittently between 1-10 kmph. This was my first taste of city driving in my SX4. The car was quite easy to drive in the bumper-to-bumper traffic, at no point did I feel that the engine would stop due to excess clutch-release, nor did the 2nd gear complain about being used at 4-5 kmph. At various points, I had to stop on inclines, but despite having four adults+1 teeny weeny child and ACC on, there was no lack of power, in getting the vehicle moving in the forward direction. I got so comfortable, that I could ride the clutch on stop-go traffic on incline, without braking! (For some reason, I consider this as one of my better driving skills)

I was getting the feeling she is coming out with flying colors, when a motorist, who was clearly imbalanced (due to his body size) tried to follow a teenager on his bike. In doing so he did the most heart-wrenching thing, he grazed my stationary car at its’ left-rear corner leaving a couple of long ugly lines of rubbery black marks. A slight scratch was found later on the tail-light assembly as well. Nothing serious like a dent, and I'm willing to accept it, as long as it proved to be my good-luck tika.

That said, any suggestions of car cleaning compounds / brands that would help clear it off is always welcome. They do appear to be smudges rather than paint coming off, as they seem to wear off slightly, when rubbed with water-soaked cloth.

Initial Verdict
Most of what was hinted in the test-drive was found to be true., hence one more satisfied customer in the kitty for Maruti.

PS: Regardless of the advt punch lines, I really cannot relate to associating the masculine gender with cars.

PPS: More photos to follow.
Attached Thumbnails
SX4 ZXi MT – 2010 – Nuevo Ownership Review-100_2532.jpg  

SX4 ZXi MT – 2010 – Nuevo Ownership Review-100_2530.jpg  

SX4 ZXi MT – 2010 – Nuevo Ownership Review-100_2529.jpg  


Last edited by Dippy : 18th January 2010 at 11:20. Reason: On request
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Old 6th January 2010, 08:31   #2
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Congratulations to you on a great buy Fornax. I have had mine for 3 weeks now, and it is fun to drive. The air pressure issue seems common to a lot of buyers as mine was 47, 42 in front and 17, 10 in the rear. And if the scratches are just rubber, they would certainly go.

I too was keen to get reverse parking sensors installed but then thought of using the car without them before deciding. The tail of the SX4 is really up, but so far I have not had a real problem in reversing, because in a lot of reversing situations, there need not be an obstruction. I am still in the assessment mode, and so, I guess you could try without it for some time, and then take a call.

Congratulations again.
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Old 6th January 2010, 08:58   #3
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Congrats on your purchase. I would be really interested in knowing your feedback after the first service on the performance of the VVT model. I am sure it will be a great experience for you. (OT: Only other model i would have considered would be the upcoming turbo model of linea, but then you would need to wait.).
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Old 6th January 2010, 09:47   #4
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Hello Fornax,
Congratulations on your new baby!
Buy a can of rubbing compound, should be available at any hardware store, apply the paste on the area leave it for a few minutes and wipe/rub it with a clean cloth and all the scratches will disappear like magic. It removes paint/rubber etc which may have come on your car by the other object. Unfortunately if your paint has come out then it won't help.
Its not recommeded regularly as it does cut the paint, but for such scratches its the best thing to do.
Enjoy your car - its Bombay and these things happen
Regards
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Old 6th January 2010, 09:59   #5
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Congrats Fornax

Please add some interior pics of this beauty.

P.S : What is the price difference between the Zxi MT and Zxi AT?
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Old 6th January 2010, 11:16   #6
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Congrats on the new purchase.

About the reverse light. Is it a new addition to the NEW SX4 or was it like this in the earlier version to. Is the white portion for reverse light there on both rear light clusters?
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Old 6th January 2010, 12:12   #7
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Hearty Congratulations Fornax!

I got mine on 25th Dec. Till now its a pleasure to drive this monstrous car. Do you feel any inconvenience in terms of position of clutch and brake pedals, especially if you drive for an hour in typical B2B traffic ? I feel the gap between these 3 pedals are too less.

Nevertheless enjoy the company of your new partner and do post your experiences.
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Old 6th January 2010, 13:07   #8
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Congratulations mate!
One serious suggestion though, do yourself a favor and replace the OEM JK vectras...

Without any offense to anyone, I am not crazy about extracting the last ounce performance or handling from my car, and am more of a regular driver (a bit on the enthusiastic side).... so my initial thoughts on a tyre upgrade was that it would probably be not worth the cost...
And I was so wrong... Shifting to Continental CPC2s has made a huge difference to the cabin noise , comfort levels and overall handling of this beautiful beast!
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Old 6th January 2010, 19:36   #9
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Congrats on your new car Fornax!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fornax View Post
Gyan: I’ve heard some folks complain about SX4 having a single reverse light. That’s incorrect – the truth being there’s one automatic reverse light, and one manual. The manual one can be turned on at the flick of a button, thus giving you rear illumination at both sides, if needed. The manual one, for some reason, is called the rear fog light, which might explain the ambiguity.
The above is incorrect! The rear fog lamp that comes on at the flick of a switch is basically the fully illuminated brake lights. When the switch is turned on, the brake lights come on(same as when you press the brake). This feature is used when you are going through a fog filled place and want brighter rear lights. The chances of someone rear-ending you are reduced!
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Old 6th January 2010, 23:15   #10
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Default Thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivprasad View Post
... I am still in the assessment mode, and so, I guess you could try without it for some time, and then take a call....
Thanks vivprasad. Ditto, am not thoroughly convinced yet about the reverse-parking sensors either, so evaluating the need. Will update if I do go ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunsasi View Post
...I would be really interested in knowing your feedback after the first service on the performance of the VVT model.
Thanks arunsasi. I shall update once the 1st service is done. Not too far in time I'd add.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunsasi View Post
...Only other model i would have considered would be the upcoming turbo model of linea, but then you would need to wait.
Heard that the top-end TJet is about 100K more than the top-end FIRE. At that price, its' creeping into City territory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
...Buy a can of rubbing compound, should be available at any hardware store, apply the paste on the area leave it for a few minutes and wipe/rub it with a clean cloth and all the scratches will disappear like magic...
Thanks Cyborg, I did ask around based on your suggestion and one the office driver did have it in his car. Got about 95% cleaned up, the remainder does seem permanent due to paint peeling off. But its' like 3cm x 0.5cm line now, so will live with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
Please add some interior pics of this beauty...What is the price difference between the Zxi MT and Zxi AT?...
Thanks prateekm, will definately post interior pics once I put some trims & seat covers. The OTR-Mumbai price difference between AT & MT (non-leather) is 71150.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
Is it a new addition to the NEW SX4 or was it like this in the earlier version to. Is the white portion for reverse light there on both rear light clusters?
Thanks gemithomas, the clear (white) portion is only present on the left, the right is red. There is some ambiguity about this, based on what james has said and what I was told. Plan to go down and check out myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalDragon View Post
Do you feel any inconvenience in terms of position of clutch and brake pedals, especially if you drive for an hour in typical B2B traffic ? I feel the gap between these 3 pedals are too less.
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi182 View Post
...One serious suggestion though, do yourself a favor and replace the OEM JK vectras..

...Shifting to Continental CPC2s has made a huge difference to the cabin noise , comfort levels and overall handling of this beautiful beast!...
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?

@James: Thanks buddy, I'll do a detailed review first first-hand of the said feature, and post my findings.

Last edited by Fornax : 6th January 2010 at 23:15. Reason: Typo
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Old 7th January 2010, 00:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
Congrats on your new car Fornax!
Thanks James.

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
The above is incorrect! The rear fog lamp that comes on at the flick of a switch is basically the fully illuminated brake lights. When the switch is turned on, the brake lights come on(same as when you press the brake). This feature is used when you are going through a fog filled place and want brighter rear lights. The chances of someone rear-ending you are reduced!
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.
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Last edited by Fornax : 7th January 2010 at 00:34. Reason: Cleanup
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Old 7th January 2010, 01:04   #12
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Quote:
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.
I stand corrected! But on my car, all the brake lights(except the high-mount light) get fully illuminated on turning on the rear fog lamp switch!
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Old 7th January 2010, 10:55   #13
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Beautiful car... the new sx4 is indeed a joy to drive, the cabin noise is almost negligible, the new sx4 has evolved a long way from its predecessor... enjoy your ride !
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Old 7th January 2010, 12:00   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fornax View Post
Ditto, am not thoroughly convinced yet about the reverse-parking sensors either, so evaluating the need. Will update if I do go ahead.

Thanks Cyborg, I did ask around based on your suggestion and one the office driver did have it in his car. Got about 95% cleaned up, the remainder does seem permanent due to paint peeling off. But its' like 3cm x 0.5cm line now, so will live with it.

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?
Congrats! The silver one seems very popular!!
- Reverse sensors, not convinced as yet either, though I may change my mind after the first reversing bump...
- Re the scrape, a bit of touch up/ wax will help keep it in shape until you get the thing fixed
- Re reviews, you're welcome!!
- Re pedal position, seems ok to me but a little difficult in extremely packed stop and go traffic. I'm putting it down to a slightly heavy clutch action which should get better with use
- Re tyre noise, I've finally experienced it while taking it above 80 kmph, but only on concrete roads. No such problem with tarmac and I'm well above my budget so leaving them as is for now...
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Old 7th January 2010, 14:15   #15
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fornax, congratulations on your sx4.After fiat,tata and mahindra, its maruti now on teambhp raining with its sx4 VVT selling good.Wishing you happy ownership.
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