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Old 3rd August 2010, 11:04   #16
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Default Congrats

Hi AD,
Congrats on the new buy!!!
Welcome to the SX4 family.
Hope you have lots and lots of fun ride in the beast

The best thing I liked about your story was the way you went with your analysis on what you require and what you don't.

For my next car, I should do that.

Just one more thing.

If any of your friends have ANHC, please take a look at the interiors of that and compare it with SX4.
One of my friends bought ANHC recently.So both of our cars were placed next to each other and we were just studying it.
(He is not a blind Honda follower like many here in the forum. If there's anything he doesn't like, he says/admits it.)

People give lots of gaalis about SX4's plastic quality and interiors.Actually we didn't find overpriced ANHC far better than SX4. On top of that ANHC the door knobs are plastic which is waiting to come off.
Are the chrome knobs new fad for audio systems? That also looked bad in ANHC. And audio controls are protruding out a little.

Please note, I didn't talk about the heart of the vehicle. That'll be a separate thread for debate :-)
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Old 3rd August 2010, 11:11   #17
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nice review, not sure if I missed which version it is ? Vxi or Zxi ?

Also share interior pictures. Discounts ? Accessories ?

Only when I saw the picture, could find that its black, looks cool, take care of the color.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 15:31   #18
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What a mature selection/buying process. Your writing is excellent and some of those magazines may come and ask you to write reviews on new cars soon. Congratulations on the buy.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 18:37   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fornax View Post
Congrats AD. That was a nice detailed description of the purchase process and looking forward to your initial ownership impression.
Thank you, Fornax. And thanks a lot for replying to my PM about my PDI question. It helped a lot! I had also read your thread as a part of my research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Congrats. And your review on your TDs and comparison are too good. Will certainly help the prospective buyers of both cars.

Happy driving.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by diwakarmuthu View Post
@ Dr. AD; Congragulations first for a very beautiful car. Fantastic post too. I also had very similar confusions, only difference was that I was comparing SX4 with a SUV and my heart eventually sided with the SUV. Your analysis is detailed to the last point and it will definetely help all the T-BHP readers.
Thanks. Yup, I cam imagine one can be in a similar dilemma about SX4 and a SUV. SX4 is in a unique segment where one can compare it with a car as well as a SUV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Congrats on your Black Beast Dr. Ad and what an Acquisition!!

Your review was very precise & had all the details which should help loads of possible buyers to decide between the Beauty & the Beast in future.
Thank you very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by askicode View Post
Congrats AD. It was very good meticulous review. Hope you enjoy riding the SX4 for many years to come. I too had exactly similar reasons as yours to go in for the SX4, though I was battling it more between the SX4 and the Honda City... Happy Motoring and do write about your initial ownership report of this black beauty
Thank you. Actually I have gone through your thread as well while researching on SX4. You have a nice SX4 yourself, and your car's color (Oyster Blue) looks very good. My wife really liked that color, but I had decided that my next car (i.e. this car) had to be Black, and thankfully my wife did not have any objection to Black.

Quote:
Originally Posted by p'arth View Post
Dr. clearly a decision taken from the brain and not the heart ... SX4 clearly scores in the most practical parameters. With SUV style seating and looks you can drive almost in any terrain in India.

As rightly said the SX4 looks are not of "love at first sight type" but of "gradual liking".

Enjoy many miles.
Thanks. Yes, it was finally a decision taken with brain and not with heart. The heart was always with Linea. Maybe the fact that I dragged on the decision for a year was a critical thing. In many decisions in my life, I have observed that if I take a quick decision, it is usually taken by the heart. And if I take a lot of time to make the decision, it is usually taken by the head.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 19:12   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Congrats Dr. AD!. That was real hard fought battle between the Linea and SX4. Owning a Fiat earlier and opting for the SX4 was a little surprising to me.

Do enjoy many more miles with the SX4. By the way, the car looks good in black
Thank you! Actually you had raised this question of Linea Vs. SX4 in your own thread, and that thread was used by me in the early stages of my decision making. Thanks for your thread!

I will not call it surprising to opt for SX4 given that I already own a Fiat. Once I went through the initial subjective thinking and emotional turmoil, I tried to look at both cars as objectively as I could. At that point, I tried to ignore the fact that I already own a Fiat, and decided not to let this influence my decision either way.

All four cars I have owned so far (listed in my signature) are from four different brands. Not because any of these brands were bad, but because each time I tried to choose the best possible car for my requirements and budget at that point of time, and did not give any undue priority to the brand I was already owning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nurni76 View Post
Fantastic review. I just loved the narration style. Great to know that several parameters were assessed and the decision taken. Unlike you, for me SX4 was love at first sight; the sheer masculine looks and the wide rubber made me just love this vehicle. My 3 years of experience with this beast has been superb. However, 2 days ago, my impeccably maintained black beast was banged into by an irresponsible idiot when parked. It pained me to death.

Congrats and drive safe
Thank you very much. Sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident with your SX4. I can imagine your pain. I am currently paranoid about exactly these things while driving my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
What a review, great narrating style. Congratulations on the beast. The black colour looks majestic and does have a great road presence. Waiting for more pics of the black beast.

Its good to know that you did not have any great issue with the quarter glass since a couple of my office colleagues crib about it almost everyday reg'ing the hampering of the vision.

Happy mile crunching, drive safely. BTW pls mention the OTR cost, insurance and which dealer did you buy from? Its good to know that you were alert when the dealer tried to pass off a March vehicle. T-BHP rocks.
Thank you.

Regarding the information you asked, here it is:

OTR cost in Bangalore for SX4-ZXi is 9.31L. I got the standard discount of 25k and corporate discount of 3.5k. No other discounts. I went with Maruti insurance, which is actually from Royal Sundaram. I did not have any strong reason to either accept for reject any particular insurance company, so I went with the 'path of least resistance' and took the insurance through the dealer.

I bought this car from Pratham Motors on Outer Ring Road. May be this is a good place for me to explain my interaction with them.

First of all, it was a great experience dealing with them. And no, they did not try to purposely pass on a March vehicle to me. They had clearly told me that they can't control which cars are loaded into the truck from the factory and sent to them. So without any promise from their part about month of manufacturing, they offered me whichever vehicle that comes from the factory. It so happened that the first one that came was manufactured in March, and as soon as I pointed it out and rejected it, they accepted this fact and allocated me the immediate next vehicle in transit. Then in 3 more days this next vehicle came in, and I was offered a chance to do a PDI and accept or reject it. It so happened that this one was manufactured in July, and I gladly (after due checks and discussions) accepted it.

So overall, they acted very professionally about the whole thing and I do not blame them.

By the way the sales manager working with me through this entire process was Praveen Kumar, and he was excellent! I was really very cautious about every small matter and kept on asking him a lot of questions about everything. He took all my grilling in the right spirit and handled all my questions well, kept pretty much all his promises, and overall provided me an excellent service.

Based on my interaction till now, I am totally satisfied with Praveen and Pratham Motors. I gave them excellent scores in the feedback call as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Ranger View Post
Fantastic, neat and crisp review Dr.Ad. Both Linea and SX4 are wonderful cars and the way you have compared and penned their functionalities is wonderful. Keep posting your experiences with your beast and updating the thread.
Thank you.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 19:33   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkbkr1212 View Post
Hi AD,
Congrats on the new buy!!!
Welcome to the SX4 family.
Hope you have lots and lots of fun ride in the beast
.
.
.

If any of your friends have ANHC, please take a look at the interiors of that and compare it with SX4.
.
.
.
Thank you! Well, honestly, I have not looked at the ANHC interiors that closely to comment on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
nice review, not sure if I missed which version it is ? Vxi or Zxi ?

Also share interior pictures. Discounts ? Accessories ?

Only when I saw the picture, could find that its black, looks cool, take care of the color.
Thank you. It is ZXi, as mentioned in the title of the thread . True, I did not prominently mention that the color is Black.

Regarding discounts, as I mentioned in my previous post, I got the standard 25k discount and 3.5k corporate discount. No other discount.

Regarding accessories, I got reverse parking sensors (Red Soul), sunfilm (Nanolux 40), underchassis coating, Teflon coating, mats and car cover as free accessories. I will review the accessories in detail in a separate post very soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstonMartin View Post
What a mature selection/buying process. Your writing is excellent and some of those magazines may come and ask you to write reviews on new cars soon. Congratulations on the buy.
Thank you very much for your kind words. Words like yours encourage me to write more!
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Old 3rd August 2010, 19:57   #22
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Congrats Dr.AD! 13 months is a really long drawn out process. And I thought my 5 month endeavor was loooong!

So, GC and inside space ruled your roost.

Smartcat and you have bitten... I will sometime soon
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Old 3rd August 2010, 20:01   #23
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Congratulations on your SX4 and very nicely written Guess you wanted to go for a sedan but, why did you rule out Fiesta and ANHC?
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Old 3rd August 2010, 20:23   #24
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Congrats! Me too bought an SX4 in July (Got it on July 3rd exactly). Interestingly, I was also in the same dilemma. But I had already ruled out the petrol Linea and considered only the MJD. Excellent ground clearance, *** and all round performance made my decision.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 21:38   #25
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Congratulations Dr. AD! A very well written review and I especially liked the way you compared SX4 with Linea from your perspective and requirements. Enjoy the new ride!
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Old 3rd August 2010, 22:05   #26
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Many congratulations, Dr. AD! I remember our discussion on the PDI in the other thread and I hope everything has worked out and I wish man and machine many wonderful miles together.

I really liked the way you compared the Linea and SX4. As someone who's scraped his new Civic's underbody very badly on only the second day of ownership I can totally understand how you must be feeling about that incident with the test Linea. The SX4 is clearly the best in this regard.

Regards,
spadix
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Old 3rd August 2010, 22:33   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echo77 View Post
Congrats Dr.AD! 13 months is a really long drawn out process. And I thought my 5 month endeavor was loooong!

So, GC and inside space ruled your roost.

Smartcat and you have bitten... I will sometime soon
Thanks a lot, echo77. And best luck for your own selection and purchasing process. Keep us updated on your selection process. Should I read more into the word "endeavor" that you used? ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by _raVan_ View Post
Congratulations on your SX4 and very nicely written Guess you wanted to go for a sedan but, why did you rule out Fiesta and ANHC?
Thanks! It is easier to answer the ANHC question. It was simply out of my budget. The V variant, with alloy wheels, is way too expensive for me even to consider. Fiesta question is more difficult. I did consider it seriously, but eventually it was ruled out due to various reasons such as dated design which is long overdue for a complete overhaul (expected next year), relatively cramped interiors, lack of automatic climate control (which I absolutely had to have based on my experiences of how annoying it can get to keep fiddling around AC controls during long drives), lack of steering mounted audio controls, relatively low GC etc. But I must admit, Fiesta 1.6 is a damn good car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hafees View Post
Congrats! Me too bought an SX4 in July (Got it on July 3rd exactly). Interestingly, I was also in the same dilemma. But I had already ruled out the petrol Linea and considered only the MJD. Excellent ground clearance, *** and all round performance made my decision.
Thank you, and congratulations on your new SX4 as well! I am sorry if I missed you ownership thread. Glad to know that someone else was also in the same dilemma ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mTorque View Post
Congratulations Dr. AD! A very well written review and I especially liked the way you compared SX4 with Linea from your perspective and requirements. Enjoy the new ride!
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spadix View Post
Many congratulations, Dr. AD! I remember our discussion on the PDI in the other thread and I hope everything has worked out and I wish man and machine many wonderful miles together.

I really liked the way you compared the Linea and SX4. As someone who's scraped his new Civic's underbody very badly on only the second day of ownership I can totally understand how you must be feeling about that incident with the test Linea. The SX4 is clearly the best in this regard.

Regards,
spadix
Thanks a lot, spadix! And yes, thanks for your inputs to my PDI questions. I did check out other cars as you had suggested to eliminate my doubts before I signed on form 20. Wish you happy motoring with your new Civic as well!
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Old 3rd August 2010, 23:21   #28
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Default Initial review after 250km

Thanks for all your nice comments guys. Here is the first review of my car, exactly at 250km on the odometer!

The first 250km have been both enjoyable and informative, as I am understanding more and more about the car with every km of driving it. Test drives always give you a limited information and hide some things from you. Therefore, regardless of number of test drives, you always learn more about the car when you buy it and then start driving it. Some of the TD experiences and observations turn out to be correct, some turn out to be incorrect. It is actually fun to compare your 'updated' thoughts with your TD observations.

So here are my very first thoughts. 250km is still too early to make any definitive comments, and it is very likely that my opinions will change further as I drive this car more. So please take this review as a reflection of my very early opinions which may change in future.

Out of this 250km, I drove about 100km in the typical city traffic in Bangalore. On the very second day of owning this car, which was a Sunday, I decided to test it out on a highway. My wife who also loves this car, was just as eager to experience the highway ride and happily joined me for this drive. We drove on NH7 towards Krishnagiri, drove upto the HP petrol pump just before Krishnagiri, had a lunch at the restaurant there and drove back. For those who don’t know this road, it is an absolutely beautiful four-lane expressway with super-smooth surface! One can easily (and most drivers usually) do more than 120kmph here. Since my car was just one day and less than 100km old and I had to be careful about the run-in procedure, I did not push it hard enough. But still I ended up driving at about 100kmph (for some portion of the road) and ended up covering a total of 150km (roundtrip) on this highway. This was my very first experience of driving SX4 on a highway (unfortunately could not do this in a TD), and it taught me a lot about this car.

Here are a few pictures taken during this drive.

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-sx44.jpg

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-sx42.jpg

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-sx43.jpg

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-sx45.jpg

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-sx47.jpg

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Before I go on, a quick note about my run-in procedure. I have gone through the entire thread on running-in a new car, and also through the 'controversial' Mototune article by Motoman. Maruti manual does not give any concrete information (apart from some usual meaningless tips) about running-in. Given all this, I decided to take my own path: drive the car just normally, and push it hard only occasionally ( boy, I can't erase the piston ring theory by mototune from my mind). But even on a couple of occasions when I did push it hard, I did not go for any sudden acceleration, and did not cross 4k on the tacho (well, did I actually drive it hard, you may ask). Any acceleration was with moderate rev-up from 2k to 4k. So I have anyway not violated the guidelines of Maruti manual.

1. What I like so far:

1.1 Engine: As I found out during my TDs, the 1.6L, 103bhp VVT engine is really nice! I am liking it even more now. I am getting a hang of optimally utilizing the power band of this engine, and it emits a beautiful sound when in power band. On paper, and as reported by ACI as well, this car has a relatively poor in-gear acceleration times and in turn poor drivability. However, I did not find any issues with drivability at all. Maybe the secret here is that I actually enjoy working through the gearbox (for any car I drive), and hence I do not care much for in-gear times. This is precisely the reason why I hate automatics and love stick-shifts. Working through the gearbox is one of the primary pleasures of driving a car. Anyway, more on the gearbox later.

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The engine pulls quite well in both city and highway conditions. On highway, in 5th gear and at about 90kmph, the engine RPM is about 2.5k, and it sounds just right at that point. I did not try to push further from that point, but I have a feeling that if I push, it will be happy to rev up quickly to 4k and beyond and propel the car well beyond 110 kmph without having to downshift to 4th. If this turns out to be true, I will be happy. But downshifting to 4th is not a bad idea at all, and I did try this and the results were nice! The engine pulls cleanly and strongly once (while already at 2.5k RPM and 90 kmph) downshifted to 4th and with even more beautiful sound. Who needs a music system?

Back in Bangalore city, on a flyover, I started to climb up in 5th gear and at 80kmph. Sensing an opportunity to test out the engine, I decided to neither downshift nor push it hard. The speed dropped to 75kmph while at the top of the flyover. Not bad performance at all for the 5th gear.

About the lower gears, I love the 1st and not too impressed by the 2nd. As I mentioned in TD observations, 2nd is a bit weak. But 3rd is pretty useful again. I got a nice opportunity to test the pulling power in low RPMs on Monday. In my excitement, I showed my new car to my colleagues. Four of my colleagues jumped in (one fellow had to sit on the notorious hump in the middle of the rear seat) and asked me to take them for a spin. Great, I thought! This was a good chance for me to test the beast. So, with 5 people on board, with AC on, I tried a couple of quick 1-2-3 gear-shifts while maintaining the RPM at about 3k. And the results were impressive. The engine did not feel stained at all. Nice and clean pulling power at 3k ensured smooth acceleration without any fuss. And I ensured that they all listened to the engine note and almost forced them to appreciate it.

Overall, I am very happy with the engine. Even better than I thought it was during the TD! Did I already mention how better the VVT engine is as compared to the earlier iteration? I have tested some earlier SX4s as well (in used car market, for example), and I was unimpressed by the motor. It felt a bit coarse, and felt strained whenever pushed hard. The VVT eliminates these issues completely! Good job, Suzuki!

1.2 Gearshifts: Pretty nice, except for some occasional hesitation to slot into 1st. I am totally enjoying the shifts into 2nd through 5th. Even reverse is pretty good. I had read about hesitation to slot into reverse, but actually found reverse to be pretty nice. I just hope the 1st gear hesitation is something temporary and either it will go away or I will find a way to slot it in better. Overall, the gearshifts are nice. It is a pleasure to work up the gears from 2nd onwards.

1.3 Visibility: The front visibility was always great in an SX4 and was never in question. What was in question was the front quarter glass. I am now convinced that it is a non-issue. I did not find any single moment when the visibility was an issue. In fact, I found visibility to be better than my Palio. Palio has pretty thick A-pillars and this creates big blindspots on both sides of the car. SX4 is much better than Palio here. Maybe those who are used to cars with thinner A-pillars find SX4 to be a bit problematic, but for a Palio owner, it is a not even an issue. Even rear visibility is not a problem for me at all. I fail to understand what is the fuss about rear visibility in SX4. Maybe the issue existed with the 'fixed headrests' in earlier models. The new adjustable headrests do not hamper rear visibility, and I thought the rear vision was pretty OK. Nothing great, but nothing bad either. Overall, I am very happy with the all round visibility.

1.4 Automatic Climate Control : As noticed during TD, the Automatic Climate Control works just great! I always had a painful time in my Palio trying to play around with the AC controls. It invariably gets either too hot or too cold. But with ACC in SX4, I am pretty happy. It works especially well in the mornings with outside temperature already down to 22C. This is a tricky situation for a manual AC to handle. But the Auto AC, once set to 23 (my personal preference) does a perfect job.

1.5 Ground Clearance: It sounds almost cliché by now, but I just can not not mention this here. Even with 5 of us in the car (in the above-mentioned scene), and with big speed-breakers on the Outer Ring Road to be crossed, the beast did a great job. All speed-breakers were easily conquered at moderate speeds of about 30 kmph with so much load in the car! Awesome!!

1.6 High-speed ride: Once the car gathers a decent speed (say about 50 kmph), then the suspensions behave much better than otherwise. It feels as if some rude and obnoxious person has suddenly become nice and friendly. Potholes are soaked in with aplomb at these speeds. There is a muted (but audible nevertheless) thud from the suspensions, but nothing more than that. Nice and mature way of dealing with the road at that speeds. In fact, given the poorer low speed ride, it is almost tempting to raise your speed while going over a rough patch and enjoy the high-speed ride of the beast. But I am not yet sure if this is a good idea, and I am keeping my opinion on this reserved. But overall, I am pretty happy with high speed ride.

1.7 Brakes: Absolutely fantastic! I had already observed this during TDs, and now this is confirmed. SX4 has very good brakes with perfect feel and bite. On NH7, I was eventually looking for a U-turn to return back to Bangalore. At one point, I noticed a U-turn on the highway a bit late (not too late). I applied the brakes gently (there was no need of panic braking; I wound not have done anything stupid like that anyway), and the car slowed down with a lot of maturity, elegance, stability, and absolutely no awkward movement at all. Great job! The brake feel is one of the most critical parameters that decide the driver confidence and pleasure on highway drives, and SX4 gets full marks on this front.

1.8 Alloys: I simple love these 16 inch alloys! To be honest, I liked the chunky 5-spoke alloys of the previous generation SX4 better. I wish I had those alloys (although these new 10-spoke alloys are also very good and look classy) Funnily, I enquired with the dealer if I can have an option of exchanging my alloys with the earlier designs (as accessories, for example). He thought I must be mad, and did not even bother to entertain the question properly.

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-sx411.jpg

1.9 Small but significant things: Like most modern cars, SX4 has some nice touches. I really like the bottle holders in the door pads that can hold 1L bottle. Such a small thing, but still lacking in many cars (including my Palio)! In my Palio, we keep a couple of bottles on back seats. These bottles keep rolling and making noises. I hate that. No such problem in SX4 and my wife was happy to keep a nice cold water bottle handy during the highway drive. The remote control for the music system is a nice thing for my wife. Another small thing that I love: when I stop the car and take the keys out of the ignition switch, the doors unlock! Neat! My habitual motion here is to pull the door unlock lever, and I get pleasantly surprised when that happens automatically for me exactly when I need it. As if someone is reading my mind. The "improved" rear armrest is another nice touch. Maruti has done a small improvement in this armrest sometime around April-July 2010 and now the armrest is much wider. Looks nicer too, and it is more ergonomic than before. And of course, the steering mounted audio controls are extremely useful! By the way, I also love the new (i.e. on VVT model) grill, which I feel looks much better than the earlier grill. The silver grill on black color looks really cool!

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-sx46.jpg

2. Things I am neutral about: Now here are a few things on which I would like to keep my opinion reserved until more evidence is available. For now, I am neutral about these. I will give an update on these as I keep on driving the car and keep on understanding more.

2.1 Handling: Seems adequate based on my short experience so far. The tight suspensions help in handling. But definitely not in the league of Linea. I will need many more kilometers on this car before I can confirm my opinion about its handling.

2.2 Steering response and feedback: The EPS on SX4 is not very popular on this forum, and I was not a big fan of this either. My car is one of the first cars with something that Maruti calls as "new improved EPS". I am not yet sure what the improvement is. It certainly feels much lighter at slow speeds. This is not necessarily a good thing. I even complained about this to the dealer during PDI, and he was amused that I am not appreciating the lightness of the new improved version. It does weigh up nicely at high speeds, but the weighing up is still a bit artificial, and the feedback is totally missing. I need more driving to evaluate this better.

2.3 Wind noise at high speeds: SX4 is not aerodynamically well-designed anyway, so wind noise at high speeds is both expected and experienced. I felt some wind noise at 100kmph; certainly more than Palio, but nothing really serious. I was expecting some really bad noise, but thankfully it was not that bad. But still, I could feel the wind resistance and the wind sounds on all three sides of the car. Also, the high GC is a problem in this situation. The wind flowing through under the car causes both some sound and some uncomfortable feeling. Not that the stability is challenged to a noticeable extent, but the possibility remains. Also, I have a feeling that the wind noise will increase exponentially as I increase the speed beyond 100, which I did not yet do. Again, need more evidence to evaluate this better.

2.4 JK Vectras: Oh boy! I have heard and read so much about these tyres that at one point I had almost decided to dump these as soon as I get the car and go for CPC2 or Michelin LCs. But surprisingly, I found the JKs to be pretty OK so far. I have yet to hear the noise of this JK that is so talked about. I even found the grip to be adequate. Probably the 205 width compensated for any bad qualities (if any, that is) of JK Vectras. I know it is too early to comment on this, so I will wait till I have more evidence. But for sure, any immediate plans of dumping the JKs are shelved and this also saves me some cash for now.

3. What I did not like so far:

3.1 Low speed ride: It is poor. This fact was well known to me through various reviews, and was also evident during TD. Thus, it is not a surprise, but rather a confirmation that low-speed ride is indeed poor. Slower the speed, worse the ride. At very low speeds (say 15 kmph), if I drive over some really bad potholes, then the whole car rocks and roles and passes on all kinds of motions to the passengers. I guess I will have to just get used to this. In my previous posts when I mentioned that one has to be very sure that they can live with some serious weaknesses of SX4 before going for it, I was primarily referring to low speed ride.

3.2 Music System: Again, I always knew this was poor and the reviews for OEM music systems for both Linea and SX4 were fairly negative. Actually, I am neither an audio expert nor a big music fan. Therefore, I never even bothered to listen to the music during any of my TDs. In fact, I always did all my TDs with music off so that I can pick up any sounds from the car. I had resigned to the fact that I will end up with a poor OEM music system. And this turns out to be true. Even though I have no knowledge about sound quality, I can make out that it is bad. May be I will seek some expert help on changing OEM speakers to something better and see if that helps. I wonder why these manufacturers can't provide reasonably good music system for cars costing as much as 9L.

3.3 Sound insulation (or lack of it): Insulation from outside sounds is pretty poor. All outside noises are heard inside the car, particularly when the music system is off and when the ACC blower speed is very low. During all my TDs, the ACC had never settled on the set temperature (since the TDs were typically short), and hence the blower noise was always high. The high blower noise covered up some other noises. Now when I drive the car with ACC already settled on the set temperature with minimum blower speed (and the blower is pretty silent at low speeds), I can hear lot of outside sounds. Thus, this is one unpleasant surprise based on something that was hidden away during the TD.

3.4 Dashboard reflection in windshield: I knew during the TD that this is going to be a problem, especially with the beige interiors of the VVT model. And unfortunately, I was right. The beige dashboard reflects badly in the windshield especially for some specific angles and intensities of sunlight. I will just have to live with it, I guess.

3.5 Small but annoying things: The remote key can open all doors, but not the boot. This is pretty ridiculous, and after having opened all doors remotely, I hate to have to insert the key in the boot lock to open it manually to put something inside. It is not a big problem actually, but nevertheless it is annoying! Similarly, the window buttons are not backlit. Again, not a big deal, but why skimp on such simple feature? And last but not the least, I really wish it had proper MID like Linea. For a car that costs more than 9L, it feels pretty ridiculous to miss out on these features.

This is all for now, all based on a paltry 250km of driving. As I mentioned, I am sure I will change my opinions on some of these things in future. But for now, I am very happy with the overall experience with the car, and for the mere 4 days I have owned the car so far, I have liked it even more on every single day than the previous day. I hope the trend continues!

Thanks,
-AD
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Old 4th August 2010, 08:42   #29
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Excellent review. Giving you 5 stars

Whats best is that this review comes up exactly on the day i was looking around for some good sx4 vvt reviews. My father is planning to replace our Ford Fusion. And the sx4 is one in the radar
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Old 4th August 2010, 13:18   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
Excellent review. Giving you 5 stars

Whats best is that this review comes up exactly on the day i was looking around for some good sx4 vvt reviews. My father is planning to replace our Ford Fusion. And the sx4 is one in the radar
Thank you very much! Really appreciate you giving it 5 stars. I am glad the review was useful to you.

Fusion to SX4 seems like a logical move. I think people who like SX4 typically like Fusion, and vice versa, given the cross-over segment of these vehicles. If Ford had a latest Fusion model selling today with ABS, airbags, climate control and other goodies, I would have most certainly considered it very seriously.

Compared to Fusion, you may find the SX4 ride to be somewhat better but the handling to be somewhat worse. So it is a classical trade-off and it will be really interesting to compare these cars in more details and see what comes out of that analysis.

Thanks,
-AD
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