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Old 3rd August 2010, 16:33   #1
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Default Maruti A Star on busy roads

Ok, so it has been about 2 weeks since we bought the A-Star (actually, my wife has bought it, and technically, its her car ). This is a review in her words, picked up from her blog. Its a straight-from-the-heart, no-numbers, no-technical-details review. I will add my words at the end of the post.


Quote:
Perfect size for a good city ride at a great price.

Given a choice, I wouldn't want to drive on Bangalore roads every morning and evening.

These days though, I love the drive every morning to work. The good weather accompanied with a good car is a pleasure on busy Bangalore roads. The look on the faces of people in other bigger cars when I sneak into that little available space is inspiring. Every time I see a person struggle with his/her car, I feel contented with my choice.

A-Star can challenge all those badly trained BBMP speed-breaker markers and beat them hands down, pants down. On every speed hump, every other car's speedometer shows speed a little above zero, while I can still come down to 10-15 kms/hr and glide over the hump. Car door locks are very well designed to make sure that kids with very good motor development can unlock the doors, a big thumbs up for people with lil monsters in their house.

It runs smooth on 2nd gear at a speed of 5-10 without having to step on the clutch, perfect on a highly-traffic-ridden-snail-paced-roads. Zoom on 5th gear and take off from starting speed of 40kms/hr ensuring fuel efficiency which goes upto to 17kms/ltr on city roads. The moment you see an empty stretch u can hit 5th gear. The breaks are spongy which is again a plus for a good city ride. The gear shift is perfectly positioned, not too close to each other (like Honda City) to not notice what gears it is in, nor too far apart that touches the co-passenger's knees when being changed.

The most irritating part of my work i.e. commute to work has just turned out to be a little more than bearable. Infact the drive is pleasurable, but the time I take to touch down could still have been better utilized.

BTW, I go through every conceivable bottleneck of south Bangalore twice a day!
The background:

We have a 2007 3.0L Safari that she was using as her daily ride to office. Now I am not going to mince any words by saying that it is equivalent to guiding an elephant through a crowd of people during the Kumbh Mela. Thats Bangalore for you during peak office hours. Add to that a few sharp turns and U-turns, driving the Safari was a huge task. So, the hunt began for a small car. Now the car needs to be really small, but be a good driver's car. The Nano, A-star, Alto, Spark and i10 were the contenders. The Nano and i10 were shot down straight away for being too small and underpowered (Nano) and for being Ugly and having beige interiors (i10). We test drove the Spark, Alto and A-Star. We liked the Spark. Alto was ok, but we loved the A-Star. Its interiors were fresh, looked cute and the engine was a delight. The size was just right for two of us and our two little boys.

My views:

Ok, its a smooth engine, but its going to get smoother as we clock more kilometers in it. We have already done 600 kms in 2 weeks, should be due for its periodic checkup at the end of the regulation period. The power drop is very perceivable when the AC is turned on. The ground clearance is fabulous, most other cars would scrape their bellies on the humongous speed breakers (car-breakers?) of South Bangalore, this little fellow just flies over them. The suspension is a little stiff, but we like the feel. The steering is a little vague - I will put this forward during the first checkup, lets see what the service folk has to say. Okay, here are the pics...
Maruti A Star on busy roads-img00046201007220912.jpg
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Old 3rd August 2010, 18:29   #2
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Congrats on the purchase. Which trim is this? LX/VX/ZX ?
Also is the engine smooth? I thought 3 cylinder ones should be a bit noisy.

A-Star is one of the better Maruti products from a build point of view. Truly Great.
On looks I think people have love-hate relationship. For me its a stunner.

Only negative is the boot. How do you manage that today?
Take the elephant out?
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Old 3rd August 2010, 18:39   #3
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Congrats on the purchase. Happy to know that spark was on your list. I baught spark almost a year back. And trust me i dont think twice before taking it out in heavy traffic during daily office commute. Even parking is breeze. Small car in city really pay off.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 18:43   #4
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^ Engine is rough only during idle, its smooth otherwise, rev friendly too.

Congrats for the little Star wanderlust!
Btw steering lacks a direct feel, but it should not feel vague at all, it is a good handler compared to others in the segment.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 19:00   #5
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@Wanderlust, congrats on the buy - and even more so since your wife is comfortable with it. Liked the short crisp write up about her own set of wheels.

Do a b-pillar blackening. Will look nice on your car.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 19:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Congrats on the purchase. Which trim is this? LX/VX/ZX ?
Also is the engine smooth? I thought 3 cylinder ones should be a bit noisy.

A-Star is one of the better Maruti products from a build point of view. Truly Great.
On looks I think people have love-hate relationship. For me its a stunner.

Only negative is the boot. How do you manage that today?
Take the elephant out?
ampere it should be a lxi identified by the below facts from the photos:

-> no wheel caps
-> black colored door handles.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 19:25   #7
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Congrats on the new buy mate!! I was in a similar situation where the final 2 contenders were A-Star and Chevy Spark. I chose Spark as it seemed more pep, more silent,a little more boot space and costed less too. But i still do believe that A-Star looks better than Spark.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 22:07   #8
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Congrats wanderlust. Nice and sweet review from the user. Have a nice driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MutantX View Post
ampere it should be a lxi identified by the below facts from the photos:

-> no wheel caps
-> black colored door handles.
MutantX, I agree with you, this IS LXI.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 22:14   #9
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Nice buy - I would have actually considered buying Astar myself if it had an AT box.
Planning for any upgrades?
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Old 4th August 2010, 11:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Congrats on the purchase. Which trim is this? LX/VX/ZX ?
Also is the engine smooth? I thought 3 cylinder ones should be a bit noisy.

A-Star is one of the better Maruti products from a build point of view. Truly Great.
On looks I think people have love-hate relationship. For me its a stunner.

Only negative is the boot. How do you manage that today?
Take the elephant out?
Yup, take the elephant out whenever we need to go out with luggage. In fact, my in-laws prefer the elephant than the "frog" whenever they ar ein town.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
^ Engine is rough only during idle, its smooth otherwise, rev friendly too.

Congrats for the little Star wanderlust!
Btw steering lacks a direct feel, but it should not feel vague at all, it is a good handler compared to others in the segment.
True, its close to a small diesel engine (slight exaggeration) during idling, and pretty smooth at revs. And man, does it rev up!! I took the test drive vehicle all the way to 80 on 2nd gear and it just zoomed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
@Wanderlust, congrats on the buy - and even more so since your wife is comfortable with it. Liked the short crisp write up about her own set of wheels.

Do a b-pillar blackening. Will look nice on your car.
Thanks, I am contemplating doing that and adding rubbing strips also on the sides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightening-Fast View Post
Congrats on the new buy mate!! I was in a similar situation where the final 2 contenders were A-Star and Chevy Spark. I chose Spark as it seemed more pep, more silent,a little more boot space and costed less too. But i still do believe that A-Star looks better than Spark.
Yes, we picked the A-Star over the Spark just for the looks and service network parts (There are more than 2 Maruti service centers less than a kilometer from my place)

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Nice buy - I would have actually considered buying Astar myself if it had an AT box.
Planning for any upgrades?
Yes, we would have gone for the VXi maybe, but we just needed the basic power steering and AC. Come to think of it, they should have provided at least the power windows on the front!


Thanks everyone, will update once the first service happens and the FROG clocks more kilometers!
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Old 4th August 2010, 16:32   #11
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Congrats on the Star. This is the Lxi variant. From the test drive I had all i can say is, this definitely does have some decent handling for the segment.

Do enjoy many more miles in the Star
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Old 5th August 2010, 16:10   #12
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Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Wanderlust on the A-Star. If you don't need space at the back, it's a heck of a hatch (EDIT : I just realised that rhymes). Better on the open road than the city though....but great handling and thoroughly entertaining to drive.
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Old 5th August 2010, 16:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Wanderlust on the A-Star. If you don't need space at the back, it's a heck of a hatch (EDIT : I just realised that rhymes). Better on the open road than the city though....but great handling and thoroughly entertaining to drive.
Thanks GTO, I just realized that if we had postponed the decision to buy the A-Star by a month, there would have been one more to add to the confusion
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Old 5th August 2010, 21:31   #14
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Congrats wanderlust for the A*. The car really need some good shoes. Its looking too plain jane in those steel rims.
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Old 5th August 2010, 21:47   #15
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Congrats wanderlust on A-Star.

What do you say about Alto K10? Which do you think is more VFM - A-Star or Alto K10?
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