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Old 6th April 2010, 17:22   #1
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Default Mettalic sunlight copper DDiS comes home to papa

Hello Friends,

This is not quite an initial ownership thread - My DDiS was bought last year and I wrote this set of articles when I bought it! Just got too lazy and now am sharing my thoughts about the car. Will add more as I go.

************************************************** *

Thanks to each and every one of you for the wonderful work that you do in this forum - the last 2 months have been eye opening for me!

Well, I'm new to the furom (obviously!) and only came across it on google while researching for my next car. Of late, I'm spending some serious time on the forum and would like to possibly contribute more in the future.

Work in Chennai in the IT industry. Owned a 2000 Carb Zen for the past 6 years (2nd owner - got from reliable friend). Gee - what an awesome piece of equipment! Would have never (EVER!) changed the car had the looks not gotten a little dated (particularly the interiors) and had the technology not moved ahead so much (green etc etc)!!!

Well the lack of space was getting to be a constraint sometimes too. Even the AC was no longer serviceable at Maruti A*S*S as the gas had been discontinued by Maruti!

After extensive research (thanks to tbhp) narrowed down to:

1. i10 kappa
2. Indica Vista Quadrajet
3. Swift Diesel Ldi/Vdi whichever available earlier
4. Ritz Diesel (not as much as the others - mainly wanted to see how the "new swift" looked)

Test drove the i10 first and almost immediately signed on to buy it! Wonderful refinement, best in class interiors and comfort and great looker - in my opinion the best looking car of the lot!

Had settled on the lowest end Magna model as the others came with an in-built stereo that had no USB connectivity and for which there were no options! Did not want to pay the extra money just to throw the stereo and possibly even the 2 rear speakers away! That was one turn off I could not live with!

Only thing - I just love the looks with the rear spoiler on the i10 and was therefore asked by the dealer to pay an extra 8k (I think - not sure)
for the spoiler.

Best thing about the car was the awesome deal. Talked to Mr.Venkat from HMP in Chennai and the guy is simply great! Awesome communication and patient answers to all my queries. Anyways deal was free:

1. Keyless entry
2. Sunfilm
3. Seat covers
4. Steering cover
5. Car cover

This was in addition to:
1. 10k exchange bonus for my Zen
2. Roughly 12k cash discount (free insurance I think)
3. 4k Corporate discount

Agreed - the i10 is probably a slightly over-priced car, but this more than evens up the pricing gap! In fact I dont feel the kappa is all that overpriced in the first place and this just sweetens the deal a whole lot more.

Only down-side was the poor pick-up in 1/2 gears (compared to my Zen). I told the TD guy that as well - "my Zen could beat it blue on a free-run from a signal". Again, if we are talking about NH7 (or any really free road for that matter), I also realize that the i10 may catch up a cpl seconds later and is possibly the more powerful car. Feels really powerful, build quality is excellent and ride is very confidence-inspiring.

So, I was all set to make the payment and take delivery when I thought:
"What the hell - why not TD a Vista as well. After all its the same price!"
Gee - that was such a bad thing to do... meant I could no longer buy my lovely little i10.

Went to the Concord showroom near Velachery for the Vista TD (was planning to goto HMP from there to make the payment - seriously!).

Wow! what a car. Turbo is just so addictive and the ride quality just beats the crap out of everything else (including the Swift - IMHO).

So unlike a Tata product - I was really surprised - I mean I wanted to TD it just to go over the motions, but I just fell in love with the car.
Seriously - if the car was marketed by Maruti/Hyundai, I'd never think twice about buying it and its probably the best overall car of the lot - and by a fair distance. Guys who say its not that fun to drive may have their own reasons/expectations for it (maybe they are used to better cars etc) - wrap your arms around the wheel of a Vista - and I'm sure you wont be disappointed.

Same goes for the interiors - think its somewhat understated in most reviews - in my opinion - it has a pretty good interior. My advice to most people would be to take a look before jumping to a conclusion - particularly on the Vista because I myself had an impression of "Its just another Tata" - which is so not true.

I was not very happy or confident about their servicing capability in the end. People were also not as confidence-inspiring as those at MSM for instance (thats Maruti Service Masters for the non-Maruti folks out there - Maruti's *OWN* service centre in Chennai - near Guindy). Started with them for service of my Zen some 3-4 years back and never went to anyone else after that (was previously with ABT who are also actually pretty decent as well). Their place is some 20+kms away from where I stay and I probably cross like a dozen Maruti A*S*S's to get there - but have still been going to them for the past 3-4 years - must mean something to me! Honestly though, I think the quality of their service has gone down a bit over the years - but those people still inspire a lot of confidence in any conversation.

Added to this, I also heard some horror stories from a previous Indica Diesel (not Vista) owner about the service. This particular person had since sold the Indica off and settled for the 1.1 i10 and was extremely pleased with the Hyundai service and the car.

OT: Think Hyundai service may possibly be catching up with Maruti! Maruti reach still rocks though! Had a serious breakdown on my way to Bangalore once and found ABT (no less) within 5kms distance. Was very pleased.

Anyways, coming back to the topic of the car - my heart just goes for the Vista today but, I had one more card up my sleeve... Swift Diesel. Get to stick to my favourite MSM and its the same engine as the Vista (or vice-versa maybe)!

Best of both worlds. Test drove the car - went as expected. Super driving feel - just like my Zen. Kudos to the DDIS, super silent in cabin (think the Vista was even quieter, but its no show-stopper anyways). The build quality of the body is not very confidence inspiring, but hey - I have many many really competent servicing guys really close to work, home - everywhere!

Seriously - for the money they make us pay - I for one would happily pay another 5-10% for a better quality body - even a fly could cause a dent in the body of an 800/Zen/Swift IMHO - but important point is - "I can live with that".

The gear shift quality is very good - again I felt the Vista scored on this too - but by a minor 0.000001%. Similar to the Vista - think too much has been said about the boot space, rear seating room and the rear leg room of the Swift. It is actually pretty decent - I was expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised by all 3. Not that I have not seen or been in a Swift before, just that I had never paid attention to these things on another person's car and had taken the comments I read on the net at face value. Now that I seriously looked at it - I said "Heck, I could live with that".

Anyways - to summarize, all 3 are very decent for a car in this class and while the Vista is the clear leader in all 3 of these departments (with the swift following in 2nd place and the i10 being the smallest of the 3), the difference is in fact "not that great". They are all fairly comfortable and comparable.

Case in point: on my Zen and on the Swift there is hardly any leg room for the rear passengers when the front seats are pushed all the way back. I'm about 5-11 and have the drivers seat on my Zen pushed all the way back (some of friends ask me to just remove the front seat and drive sitting in the rear seat!).

On the Swift, I *CANNOT* push the seat all the way back as the pedals get too far if I do that! Therefore, in my normal seating position with possibly the same level of comfort as in my Zen, I'm not all the way back on the Swift and the rear passengers thank me for that!

Same goes for the cabin space at the rear and the infamous "claustrophobic feel" etc of the Swift - my advice - check it out - its not as bad as its sometimes made out to be. People have different ideas about how each of these aspects should be in their car and conclude based on *their* requirements - yours dont have to be the same - heck, yours *WILL* not be the same.

So, back to the topic of the car - I already loved the Swift and had initially "ignored" it only because "everyone has it". Now I think I know why everyone has it. Immediately after the test drive, showed it to boss (missus and 2-yr old) that weekend and once they okayed it, the deal was done.

Positives for Vista: build quality, space, cabin-feel, suspension, smooth-ride.
Positives for Swift: Service, looks and drive feel/peppiness - truely a drivers car like the old Zen

Difference is all the positives for Vista are very very marginal in nature (with the exception of suspension which I thought was really good compared to the Swift), whearas the service quality difference for Maruti is substantial.

Overall win is for the Swift inspite of all this as I could live without the positives of the Vista!

Made my booking at Popular Motors, Anna Nagar, Chennai. Overall experience has been positive so far.

No freebies :-( Except for the mats and stuff which cost next to nothing anyways. Also a "steering cover" is being thrown in, but I would not bet on the quality of that stuff and intend to replace it on day 1 of my ownership.

Infamous waiting time for the Vdi (with or without ABS). Mettalic Sunlight Copper Ldi was available in a short timeframe of about 2 weeks which works just fine for me - finances etc. All done now and waiting for delivery - likely to be 2nd week of June, cant wait! My personal favourite on color was Grey followed by Copper followed by silver. Copper is the least seen on Chennai roads among these 3 and therefore I had no reservations about lapping up the early delivery offer.

I'm OK with Ldi, only major things missing are the Power Windows and the rear seat head restraints. Both of them are not all that important for me. Hardly ever bring the windows down, so there go the power windows.

Normally dont have a 3rd passenger in the rear - so the head restraint goes out the window as well. Some other missing stuff is discussed below along with my accesorizing plan.

And almost an after-thought: delayed my purchase by more than a month to see what the Ritz looked like. Also briefly considered it since it's a new car etc etc, but just dropped the idea in the end. Cant live with the rear looks of the car. The interiors seem to be very good and the seating also appeared to me to be slightly more comfortable than in the Swift (tried both out on the same day).

But the overall driving feel of the Swift and the presence was far superior. My only thought even now (after I have already booked my Swift) is - "maybe the Ritz wont have the rattles". But given that the prices of the 2 cars are exactly the same (only 3k diff on a price above 5L (considered only diesel)), Swift just appeared to be the better choice and the rattles can always be fixed.

Other minor differences like more space for stuff etc are not all that important to me. Only thing I would have loved on the Swift was the 60:40 foldable rear seat - lovely thing to have. Just told myself "I can live without it".

Have already planned some add-ons after purchase:

On Day 1 of purchase:
1. Stereo and 4 speakers - currently checking out the appropriate section for the right choice. No real budget constraint, but would not want to put
in more than 15k or so everything included. Just cant take the trouble of "protecting" an ultra-expensive stereo after purchase. I am somewhat of an audiophile, but have minimal expectations from the car audio. Absolutely need front USB connectivity - this is the one I expect I'll use all the time - even CD support is optional for me. If bluetooth connectivity is available, it would be an added bonus. Steering controls would be an added bonus and highly desirable apart from the remote - checking out the Blaupunkt/Panasonic options on this. Have to add a rear parcel shelf (if there is no provision to hold the larger speakers in the boot) - not planning on having in-door speakers at the rear. No subwoofer etc for me.

2. Keyless Entry (this takes care of the missing "central locking" feature in the Ldi. Vdi already has it. Dealer says cost of keyless entry is
same regardless of whether they add the central locking feature or not as its part of the package). If difference between dealer quote is not too far off from the after-market quote, intend to stick with the dealer for this as I dont want the after-market kids fiddling around with the electronics of the car and screw up my warranty one way or the other!

3. Sunfilm - intend to go for 3M - front windshield included (depending on cost)

4. Reverse Horn - I know some dont like it - but hey - reversing, even with a horn is quite a nightmare where I am.

5. Car, Steering, gear knob, hand-brake, Seat covers (nothing flashy here, probably high-end fabric, cause my bottom seems to sweat a lot on the artificial leather upholstery on my Zen, but I'm fairly comfortable on the fabric upholstery of my pop's M800)

6. Change stock internal rear-view mirror to Day/Night type (already available in Vdi)

7. Change stock co-driver (maybe even driver side if its only like a cpl of hundred bucks or so) side sunvisor to one with a vanity mirror (for missus - already available in Vdi)

8. Tyres! No alloys for me - intend to keep the stock rims. Thinking of the Michelin XM1+ 185/70R14 - same size as the Zxi. Got the contacts of Michelin authorised dealers in Chennai from their website - intend to call them tomorrow or so for quotes.

9. Tacho - have to first ask dealer if Maruti themselves would do it for me. Dont want the aftermarket guys fiddling with such important stuff!

10. Tubeless tyre repair kit for emergencies

At first service:

1. Under coating with anti-rust treatment

2. OEM clock in the dash (Vdi already has it - might even go for after-market on day 1 if I like what I see and its not too much work)

3. 12v power supply for mobile phone charging at the front (Vdi already has it)

Doubtful additions, but will probably decide in days to come:

1. Front fog lamps

2. Black A & B pillars

3. Left ORVM (dont know if its part of std equipment on Ldi).

4. Power windows (mostly a no-go. As I said before, one I hardly ever use it and two I've heard people question their reliability(just dont ask me who they are why they questioned it - I just dont care!))

5. Maybe body colored ORVM's and door-handles. Maybe some art work on the handles and ORVM's.

6. Some simple Body art on doors - nothing flashy!

7. Some dash beautification - not thought about this

8. Maybe the full wheel cap from the Vdi

Any dealer suggestions/recommendations for these add-ons (particularly keyless entry, stereo and sunfilm) in Chennai would be much appreciated. Will probably stop by at GP road for the other accessories anyways after taking delivery of the car.

Thanks friends for all your help in making my decision so much easier. The last 2 months have been a lot of fun. I will keep updating this thread with info as and when I have it.
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Old 7th April 2010, 13:43   #2
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OK - Some more progress... Talked to the stereo guys first:

Talked to the dealer! He had some JVC/Kenwood models that I was not very impressed with. Decided to try my hand at Radio Warehouse, Kasi Chetty Street and GP Road.

They have a Pioneer low-end model with USB and aux at the front in mind. Pricing seems to be really attractive on the "without B&W" front. Too tempting for me - besides a HU failure is also an implicit opportunity
to upgrade the HU ;-)

No cutting cost on the speakers though - want 4 good speakers for the car that I hopefully dont have to upgrade for a long time. Thinking of the usual component and coaxial recommendation.

Have seen some Polk Audio and JBL speakers. Was initially planning on adding a tray at the rear for some JBL 6x9's. Given up the idea now after reading through all the posts on the forum.

Cant live with any more rattles than the ones the Swift would anyways throw up. Besides, I'm not the kind of guy that'd spend a couple of hours each week on setting these loose ends right - would be too busy ripping her off!

Decided on going with 4 6.5-inch speakers on each of the 4 doors. No sub as I mentioned before. Planning to make the purchase this weekend and get it fixed by the Radio Warehouse guys or MSM (not yet decided). Had called the Radio Warehouse guy in Anna Nagar and the guy on the phone did not seem to understand what I meant when I asked them if they could take care of damping for my front doors. Thats not very confidence inspiring, however I do not wish to pass judgement without seeing those guys first - so hopefully this weekend will tell me if I should go with them. I have also heard that these guys have a good amount of equipment with them and will decide if I should just buy the stuff from them too.

Was somewhat interested in the Panasonic HU's since its a brand that I like anyways for everything I own (I know - strange, but true! No accounting for people's taste!). Talked to their head office in Chennai after getting their contact details from Panasonic's website. They said they don't retail directly and that Radio Warehouse was one of their authorized dealers and asked me to contact them - so that increases my confidence level on RWH.

Next comes the sunfilm. Dealer said he could provide some sunfilm by the name of "llumar" (I'm positive I'm getting the name wrong here - sounded something similar). Sounded like a very popular name as well.

Looked at some installations - seemed to be of good quality. Also the dealer seemed to have done a good job. Nevertheless, talked to MSM (my favourite) about this and they said they could install 3M sunfilm for me. Its the RE50 and RE70 for me - no RE35 or any other film thats not legally allowed. I dont plan on breaking any legal rules except the speed limit :-)

PS: Maruti is one of the authorized dealers for 3M sunfilm as per their (3M's) site - and hence MSM. MSM being "Maruti" deals with it and only it. Other dealers like Popular Motors are not obligated to do so.

Icing on the cake was that the 3M was also some 20-30% cheaper! Deal-breaker for me. Now that I've had some more time to think about all these things, not sure about the sunfilm on the front windshield - not that finances are a problem, I'm just not sure if it would be worth the substantial amount of money it costs. The current quotes I got from Popular/MSM include 6-inches of film from the top of the wind-shield on the front - I'm thinking "Maybe that's good enough".

Plan on taking the car to MSM right after delivery to get this done. On a related note, MSM also said, they'd do the fitting of the stereo and speakers if I brought it along - nice of them (not that its free). Just trust them to do a good job. I also asked them about the HU/speakers they had and since they are Maruti-owned, they said they could only sell OE stuff and it was all crap.

Next came the keyless entry. Since it was so important and critical, did not want to go with anything but OE. So, Nippon it was. Talked to the dealer and got a quote for it. Talked to MSM and their quote for the same thing was like 10% less! So deal! Further, they also had a lower-end version of the keyless entry thingy without any security features. This is something that interests me - since the Swift already comes with icats - dont know if the Nippon is really going to hold anyone (with evil intentions) back more than the icats. Have not decided on this yet - hopefully, will decide when I goto MSM for the installation.

Further, I had originally been informed that keyless entry with or without central locking would cost the same. Not surprisingly, this is not the case and keyless entry with central locking costs about 1K more. Not that it would matter to most people spending more than 5L on the car in the first place - just thought I'll clarify the position.

Only downside to all this MSM stuff - have to leave the car with them for a whole day to complete the installations (ICE, keyless entry, sunfilm) as they are always so crowded!

Finally came the time to check out the Tyre upgrade options. Had settled on 185/70R14 Michelin XM1+ after going through the forums. Got the address of the Michelin authorized dealers in Chennai after a ton of browser related issues in opening up their map-based page (between IE7, IE8 and firefox - mostly security settings and plugin related).

Called a tyre point at Anna Nagar first. Some lady picked up. Did not seem to be interested in a new customer at all! Maybe she's just not a morning person! Asked me to come over to hear options about exchanging my OE tyres for the XM1+. I mean - how much work is it telling the prices when the new brand is known and I'm sure exchanging Swift tyres is not something they may be doing for the first time. Maybe no one goes there because of this person - sure as hell, I'm not driving 5+5=10km just to find out how much a tyre costs in a particular shop!

I asked her to continue doing whatever she was supposed to do (in a much more polite manner of course) and cut the call - would never deal with them again.

Called "Millenium Tyres" in the vicinity next. At least the guys were helpful. Listened to what I had to say and also gave me a rough quote - but could not confirm the prices. Said they'll discuss with the owner and call back. I have not heard from them yet - but the guy did appear to be sincere - so if the price works out OK, will probably go with them.

Called "Sri Mahaveer Tyres" later and the guy at the shop just seemed to have a hearing problem or maybe the connection was not of a very good quality, but could not complete the discussion. Guy did seem to be sincere and seemed to be very aged on the phone. Planning to call a few more dealers before deciding. All of these dealers are from the michelin.in site.

Talked to both Popular and MSM about the Tacho - said they could not upgrade it and that an upgrade to get the tacho integrated into the main console was not possible at all. They said that after-market ones could be fitted but that they would stand out like the ones on the A-Star, and totally unlike the ones on the Vdi. So there goes the tacho - think I'm probably going to drop it off the list.

Have to also talk to the dealer about getting a number I want for my car - nothing fancy - just want a number similar to the one on my Zen since its been somewhat lucky (touch-wood). UPDATE: did talk and a no-go there. Looks like the options for a "number-choice" are very limited and its expensive as hell!

Heart is now aching at the thought of letting my Zen go. She seems to somehow know that I'm letting her go and her performance just seems to keep increasing each day! One thing is clear - come the day for delivery of my Swift and letting the Zen go is going to be a tearful affair - in fact I have tears on my eyes now as I type. Always used to look at myself as a tough guy - boy, this aint easy!
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Old 7th April 2010, 17:02   #3
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Superb write up ddis,

I must say you have a way with words. Inspite of this being an ownership report, the hatch comparo you have done can be useful to many a prospective buyer. I liked your attention to detail when you bought your car. Since its been a year, hows the Swift doing now? An update on the kms covered, FE and ownership experience please. And for a review like this, pictures are a must so post them soon.

P.S : Why no alloys?
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Old 7th April 2010, 19:14   #4
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thats a long thread. very well written dude. awaiting pics

how come you let a carb zen go! even i felt sad reading the last para from you
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Old 7th April 2010, 21:52   #5
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Glad you guys liked it. Yeah - letting the Zen go was indeed a tearful affair in the end and even today I feel the Zen had much better build quality compared to the Swift - but the Swift engine is just outstanding and makes you forget about the dents and the rattles once we get going ;-)

Pics certainly coming - need to dig them out since this was a while back! There's lots more I had "penned" down that I will update here in the next few days. If this can help one poor soul searching for his next car - job done I guess!

@dippy: The car is doing really good now - it has become really smooth and power delivery also seems to have straightened a bit - but the turbo-kick is unmistakable and gets kiddo completely charged up. All of this and more in subsequent updates.

Also, same with the alloys - that is the one thing I regret now :-( I feel I should have gone for some groovy-looking alloys and also upgraded the tires to 185/70R14. Real pity. First few days - I was intoxicated by the power/pickup/turbo etc and had the feeling the stock tires were good enough (I was still treating Swifty like the Zen this time I guess).

Now that I have grown to understand her better, I can actually feel the crappiness of the tires and really wish I had gone ahead with the upgrade then. Now I get nothing in return for the rims/tires (maybe peanuts - lol) and therefore am stuck. I'll give it another year or so and then - I'll certainly go for the upgrade (even earlier if I meet someone interested in my tires/rim).

Since my week-long Chennai-Ooty-Masinagudi-Coimbatore-Chennai trip with Swifty starts in 2 days, updates will probably be slow - but they will all certainly find their way into this thread.
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Old 7th April 2010, 22:17   #6
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Nicely penned down, ddis_dude. Carb Zen is still one of the best machines by the Maruti stable. I still drive one . Nice work on the LDi, though you will miss the tacho.
Waiting eagerly for the snaps now. Dont think whether I have seen the color yet.
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Old 8th April 2010, 07:11   #7
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Nicely written, addition of photos would make it perfect. Congrats on the new car and drive safe. Its not funny to break speed limits - Safety First!

Sorry for going a bit OT and hijacking your thread , but just something that I hope most of our members would see and realise the difference a small change in speed can make.

Getting back to your thread, please do post pictures - including that of the old zen , which I am sure you must have loads of.

Last edited by Takumi-san : 8th April 2010 at 07:21. Reason: video added
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Old 8th April 2010, 09:11   #8
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Boy, that was some read. Congrats on the car. Drive safe!
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Old 8th April 2010, 10:07   #9
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Finally - D-Day has come and gone!!! There were some problems with delivery dates due to "auspicious day" considerations on the part of my family. Did not want to go against them and give them a chance to say "I told you so" later - so went with their suggestions and took delivery of my spankin' new Sunlight copper Swift DDiS on Saturday. Wow!!! What a car - I'm so excited just to see it!

Overall experience was awesome. Car was available with Popular Motors on the same date they claimed - Monday as it turned out! Got a call on Monday evening saying my car had arrived and that they needed some confirmation about address change etc.

This whole thing happened since I bought the car on company lease through Orix India. Since there is such a long waiting time for delivery of the Swift, I was told by both Orix and my employer to make the booking on my own and to start the leasing formalities after delivery confirmation from the vendor.

ABT was willing to deliver a Silver Swift DDiS within 2 weeks as the vehicle was in transit and I wanted to go with them since I really liked the color.

As it turned out - Orix have a "preferred vendor" list and ABT was not in that list. They were very helpful and in fact said they'd still process the application through ABT as long as my employer approved it. At the same time, they also asked me to contact their preferred vendor - Popular Automobiles in Chennai.

When contacted the guy at Popular said that he could also provide either a silver or a Sunlight Copper DDiS within 2 weeks once again claiming that the vehicle was in transit. Decided to go with Popular since I could save myself the time of dealing with Orix and my employer on the "preferred vendor" thing.

By the time I made up my mind though the Silver DDiS was gone and he said only the Copper DDiS was available. My preference was for the Vdi and that had a much longer waiting time as well. Went ahead anyways with the Copper DDiS and boy - am I happy I chose that color. Its absolutely gorgeous! Wonderful to look at and the Silvers are just too common - at least here in Chennai.

Anyways - back to the delivery issue - car came in on Monday - got a call for registration intimation on Wednesday. Had already requested for a pre-registration check with the vendor. Dropped by their showroom for the check around 11am on Wednesday and the car had been parked on another street just off the main road to avoid dust and stuff. Dealer offered to give me a ride to the place, but since my Zen was parked closer, we just took the Zen. It was very close. Reached the place and noticed that there were 2 Copper DDiS waiting there. Guy did not know which one was mine! Went back and got the details as well as the keys and had a look.

Went through the TBHP checklist and everything seemed to have been well taken care of. Everything was the way it should have been. Was praying for MRF tyres since they carry a better exchange value (1300) as compared to JK (800-900). No luck on that front! Spent about 15 minutes checking the engine out etc and everything seemed to be OK. Speedo read 25 - fair enough! Gave the go-ahead for the registration.

Vendor said I could take delivery on Wednesday itself, but that the car would be without number plates and that I would have to return on Thursday for the plates - which I did not wish to do - has already spent the best part of the last 2 weeks on TBHP and wanted to start getting back on track on the work front - they were paying for the car you see!

Plan was then to take delivery on Thursday. "Auspicious day" considerations finally meant I could not take it either on Thursday or Friday due to some last minute changes to the "Auspicious Day Rules". Family said I should have taken it on Wednesday itself! Well - no point arguing with these folks - so gave up and confirmed Saturday morning delivery to the dealer.

Come Saturday morning and all of us were waiting all dressed up for the big event. Left around 9 expecting it would be our last trip on the lovely Zen, stopped at Saravana Bhavan for breakfast and reached the dealers place around 10:30. Car came in about 5 mins later and all our mouths were watering! Went through the paperwork with the sales guy. Everything seemed to have been well taken care of. Even the refund of my initial deposit had been planned well by the dealer.

Got all the paperwork sorted out and bummer!!! Some problem with Mahindra Motors - they were the folks I was selling my Zen to - they had received the draft for payment towards my car, but there was a spelling mistake with the draft! ***fgkj***. Got really frustrated. Mahindra "generously" offered to take the car and make the payment later which I promptly put down. Only way now was to have my dad drive the Zen back home in the evening - since I had planned to leave for accessories right away! Mahindra said nothing could be done since it was a Saturday and that things would only move on Monday/Tuesday. Asked them to keep at it, left the Zen parked near Popular on the street and proceeded with the delivery.

So, the rep showed me around the controls on the car. Most things were similar to the Zen anyways, so got through with all the formalities pretty quickly. There was a pandit waiting in the showroom itself. Did the pooja. Gave a small gift (pen - Rs.80 worth) to the sales rep and off we went.

Fuel gauge was so far below "E", I was wondering how the car even started! Thankfully, a 5-liter coupon was provided - that could only be used at the diesel-pump right next to the dealers place - car would not have ridden much more anyways I guess given there was next to no fuel in the tank. This petrol pump happened to be HP and since I have my own favorite pump here in Chennai (BP on college Road, Nungambakkam - always got more miles with a single tank full from this pump than with any other - even the BP-owned pump in Anna Nagar does not seem to fare any better), went for just the basic 5 litres, got rid of the ribbon decoration and left the pump.

A big difference straight away is the pulling power - particularly in 2nd gear the car is very peppy and feels ultra-powerful. So much so that I was initially not at all confident of handling the car in 2nd gear in bumper-to-bumper/slow traffic - even without any throttle, the car just seemed to be flying and I constantly found myself riding the clutch or worse - braking!

Next stop - my favorite pump at Numgambakkam en route to GP road. Gassed up for around 900 bucks - that's a lot of diesel man. Not having to go once a week to the pump seems to me to be a big relief.

Next stop - Chandru Automobiles at GP road. Accessories bought:

1. Pioneer 2190 HU with bill and warranty
2. JBL GTO components at the front
3. JBL GTO regulars at the back as recommended by both TBHP and the guy at the shop
4. Fabric seat covers
5. Side moulding
6. Steering cover

Poorer by the best part of like 15 grand. All this also took up the best part of the afternoon and the evening - was already getting dark and did not want to be too late to return. It had gotten so late that it was not possible to fit in keyless entry and sunfilm. Further, I was not very comfortable handing over these 2 important things to the kids over there.

Next stop - Popular once again to pick up my Zen. Dad took the wheel back home. Stopped by a family temple on the way back for another short pooja and that was the end of the day. Only problem - we were not expecting to park 3 cars at home that day (including dad's 800) as only 2 cars can be properly parked under cover inside our house. There is some more open space, but under a coconut tree that frequently drops a coconut or 2! Parked the Zen under the coconut tree, placed a full sized mattress (from an unused bed) on top of the Zen, put on the car cover to prevent the bed from falling over, crossed fingers and went in. Good for us - there was a coconut drop that night, but car was saved thanks to the mattress.

Had already been a long day - wanted to go over the user manual, but was pretty tired and decided to do it later.
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Old 8th April 2010, 10:45   #10
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A query on zen, How much you got for the 2000 model carb zen? if possible please post pics of zen as well
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Old 8th April 2010, 14:21   #11
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recshenoy - unfortunately, I did not get a very good value for the Zen. I let her go for 1.2L's and have since been told that I could have got up to 1.5 or even slightly more for her.

This might have to do with the fact that there was a bit of rusting on all 4 doors - this started very early - maybe a manufacturing defect or something. I got it rectified when there was some major tinkering done to the 2 driver side doors - an Omni (taxi) brushed me on my way to work. But it still came back each time.

Further, the vehicle was left mostly just parked for long periods multiple times (pops would just turn her on/off once a while or take her on a short ride). Between 8-11 months thrice. And for 1-2 month periods at least twice.

But the darling never complained. Each time, she would start on the first try after our return and run a little jerky for a week - after that it was invariably smooth as butter. But this also deteriorated the paint finish and looks a bit.
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Old 8th April 2010, 16:36   #12
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As it turned out - one problem after another within Mahindra Motors prevented those guys from picking up the Zen for the next 4 days! They could only pick the car up on Thursday and that meant the Swift just sat in the parking lot those 4 days as I used the Zen for all my travel needs (while we can comfortably park 3 cars inside the house, entry and exit is first come first served - something we have to change pretty quickly).

Zen finally left only on Thursday - but not before a lorry-wallah decided it looked too-well rounded at the rear-right and gave it a nudge. Caused a minor dent and a broken tail-lamp. Wanted to tell the guys about it - but heck this only happened in the first place because of those guys, so left it at that. When those guys came in on Thursday - they did not seem to care much about the new dent which was quite a surprise to me. Anyways that was that. My favorite car of 6 years was gone and it was not pleasant! But I was also secretly happy about the new entry in my life!!!

After 4 days of lying around, finally my baby came out for regular use on Friday. Ride to work is about 10kms and wow! Already it seems such a pleasure to drive. I am trying to follow the principles laid out by the TBHP folks with regards to running in. Going easy on the baby for first 200 or so KM's with the occasional burst of RPM. Will probably keep increasing the intensity of the bursts in time.

Noticed that there was a problem with the side molding I had fitted. The ones on the 2 rear doors looked like they were about to fall off. Took them off before they did fall off for exchange at GP Road.

Just one day of driving to work and off to MSM for the rest of the accessories.

All of Saturday devoted to MSM. Accessories fitted:

1. 3M RE50 sunfilm on the windows and the rear. There is a 6-inch strip on top of the front wind shield too. Decided to work on the front wind shield after a while.

2. MGA Nippon central and remote locking
3. Day-night rear view mirror from the Vdi
4. Co-passenger side sunvisor with vanity mirror for the missus
5. Reverse horn
6. In-dash clock
7. Cigar lighter

Poorer by the best part of 12 grand, but every penny is worth it so far. Also, since this is handled/managed by Maruti themselves, everything is guaranteed to be MGA - no aftermarket stuff.

Remote locking works great. The folks at MSM screwed up the stereo system while installing the central locking stuff. I did not notice this at the showroom itself as I had detached the faceplate from the HU before dropping the car off (the MSM guys insisted I do this). Fit it back and while the HU seemed to be OK and playing FM/mp3CD/USB all normally, no sound from the speakers - bummer!!!

Luckily was heading straight towards GP road anyways for the side molding and dinner! Stopped by Chandru at GP Road. Guy said the molding part seemed to be defective, so took off both the front ones too and replaced all 4 with a new set. This time, however, he gave me the offer of going for either the plastic ones or another set of rubber moldings - I said "do what you think works best - I dont care anyway. Should work reliably for as long as possible". Guy got a set of rubber mouldings and fit that in the car this time and this set seems to be pretty good. Think problem is that the rear door of the Swift is somewhat curvy and that turns the moldings off. Have not had any problems whatsoever with the plastic moldings over the past 6 years with my Zen and the past 9 years with dad's 800.

Onto the problem with the music system. The in-house expert came by - turned out he was the guy that installed the HU. Seemed to be quite an expert. Looked at the symptoms and said that one of the 4 speakers was shorted or touching the door and he said it was going to be very difficult to find it by physical examination. Took out the HU and narrowed down on the rear-left door by blowing the fuse off. I was very apprehensive about this method of testing, but he replaced the fuse and everything seemed to be back to normal. He then opened up the rear left door trim assembly and found and fixed the "problem". System was back to normal and functioning great. Did a sanity test to make sure the central locking was still functioning as it should and everything appeared to be working great. Tipped him with a hundred and left for dinner.

The day-night rear-view mirror seems to be great. Really great for night time driving.

The sunfilm seems to be lighter than I thought, but fairly effective. Pretty good overall. I had thoughts of going for RE70 for the rear and am now thankful I did not do that. The glare from vehicles in the night time is quite substantial on the rear-view mirror unless I change it to the night position. Also, the visibility seems to me to be a little on the higher side in fact. Could probably have even tried RE35 all round I think.

There was a minor mis-understanding at MSM about the reverse horn. They put in the highest selling horn - the AR Rehman Airtel tune. I in fact had assumed that it would be the regular "tuk-tuk-tuk" one. Noticed this only after the bill had been paid, but the guys were decent enough. Brought in the "tuk-tuk-tuk" and replaced it right away.

************************************************** ******
The only thing left out so far is the tires. I had spoken to a few dealers about this and none of the replies was confidence inspiring. Also had a look at Bridgestone (Turanza I think) tires at MSM in consideration of the exchange. The MSM guys quoted 500 bucks per Tyre for the stock tires - said the Tyre was real cheap!

However, having ridden the vehicle for a while now, I - for one - am completely comfortable with the stock tires. Maybe more performance oriented folks require the upsize, however I don't feel the need - yet.

Therefore, decided to stick with the stock tires for the time and go for a change - maybe around 20K.
************************************************** *******
One interesting observation I almost forgot about. When I first picked up the vehicle and headed to the HP gas station for the 5 liters of Diesel, I recall seeing the "A" odo at 45.1 or so. Gassed up and reset it to zero as I like to keep track of KM's between gas-ups. Noticed that the ODO was in fact the "A" trip-meter and not the master odo. Wanted to track the total usage by the dealer before hand-over and had overlook this. So, immediately changed over to the master odo and noticed that the master odo was in-fact showing lesser than the "A" odo!!! I was shocked, but I had no way of proving it since I had already zeroed out the "A" odo. The difference was only marginal - like a km less or so. Additionally, its also possible that I misunderstood/mis-read something along the way - but I am pretty sure of the finding.

Was left wondering if the master odo had been reset by someone without having reset the "A" odo. This, sure is very unusual.

Digged up TBHP threads on getting vehicle manufacture dates from the chassis number and saw that the Swift was manufactured in May 2009 (last month). Give transportation a couple of weeks and it is highly unlikely that something has been tampered with - but convinced myself that even if something was indeed done, cant be anything major.

One way or the other - vehicle gives me a major smile in the face every time I see it. Just begging me to take off - almost! I am so glad I dropped the idea of buying the i10 and decided to shell out the extra bucks for the diesel. The low-end torque is just amazing.

Came across a Santro-wallah (spoilt kid in all likelihood) on a fairly open/free road trying to show off his driving skills by cutting across other cars (mine included - since I was still running the car in) and decided to give him a glimpse of the power! Wow - zooommmmmmmmmm... he was out of sight before you could say "santro". Best part was - saw him "eye-to-eye" through the window before disappearing and could see the look of awe in his face! Pretty evil of me - he he he!!!

Dont think the AC has any effect on power delivery. Maybe the effect is there - just not noticeable with my sedate driving style so far (with the occasional burst).

Coming back to my senses though - the difference in price is quite substantial:

1. The i10 kappa was fully loaded as it came out of the showroom. Nothing to add! Substantial time, effort and money (cost of travel) saved in the process.

2. Gave me a really good offer for my Zen and could drop it off at the HMP showroom while picking up the i10. TrueValue evaluation of my Zen was horrendous to say the least. Had to eventually sell it off myself and went through endless trouble in the process.

3. More than 1.2 - 1.3 lacs cheaper on road (i10 kappa Magna v/s Swift Ldi after factoring in all accessories)

Some cons:

1. Stock stereo without USB provided by dealer
2. No choice of sunfilm make/quality
3. No choice of keyless entry - basic model Autocop the only option
4. No choice of seat cover make/quality

But hey - I like the vrrooooommmmmmmmm... Totally love my Swift.
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Old 8th April 2010, 18:10   #13
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Hi ddis ,

Congrats on your buy , I think u seem to have a passion for writing .

Take care of your baby.

Post some pictures after you receive her .

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Old 8th April 2010, 22:16   #14
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I must say you have penned down the things in a very nice way.
I guess people here @ TBHP have some serious writing skills :-)
Post some pictures from the archives, would love to see them .

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Old 9th April 2010, 11:09   #15
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Thanks a lot hari78 and Schoudhury - glad you liked it. More coming and pictures of both swifty and my good ol' Zen will certainly be added to this thread in the next few days.

Unfortunately, I'm off with my trusted swifty to Ooty-Masinagudi-Coimbatore on a 9-day trip starting tomorrow (this was a spur of the moment thing and not at all properly planned) and therefore this will only happen after I am back. In the meantime, I found another set of thoughts I had penned down and will post that in a moment.
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