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Old 10th June 2010, 21:28   #1
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Default Baleno LXi (2005) -- Good Buy?

Guys, the deed is done, but would still value your opinion ... facts below:
  1. We (me and my brother) needed a car urgently (dad's had an angioplasty, and his transportation to/from hospital, plus my ride to office, etc).
  2. We were pressed for time. I have a heavy office schedule, and the brother is scheduled to start a professional course in Cochin on 15 June. I was out-of-office for the whole of May (first half holidaying in DxB, second half in and around the hospital with dad), and so cannot stay away from office for long, to search for cars
  3. I am stationed in Bangalore, am not yet proficient in Kannada, and don't know any car brokers personally.
OK, that is the background. We decided on an old-model Zen, in the 1.5–2.0 lakhs range. A preliminary search gave surprising results ... the old-model Zen is not very common in the market. Most dealers we approached said the car is still in much demand (or may be that's their standard lingo!) ... anyhow, I reluctantly took off one day from office (last Monday), got in a cab with the brother, and started scouting North Bangalore for a suitable car.

But to no avail! No Zens that:
  1. Were accident free
  2. Were in decent condition
  3. Came in the 2001–2003 range
  4. Came for below 2.0 lakhs
These were, we felt, not very formidable conditions. Anyway, to make a long story short, we landed in the Bimal True Value in Marathahalli, and still no Zens. However, we were both at our wit's end, and then our eyes fell on two gleaming black Baleno LXi cars parked in the compound. Stop clock.

My brother looked at me. I could read the question in his eyes. "Won't fit in our budget," said I.

"Yes, but this is a segment apart ... why don't we start the thought process again?"

One sentence, and out went so many days of thinking/consulting/conferring/brain-storming. "OK, let's see the car first."

We circled the first car, like wary kickboxers before a round begins. The car didn't jump, and we were soon inside. The tag was stuck on the windshield.
  • Car: Maruti Baleno LXi
  • Model: 2005
  • KMs run: 51,000
  • Engine capacity: 1594 cc
  • Power output: 91 bhp
  • Price: Rs 3,50,000
  • Insurance: Comprehensive, paid till March 2011
  • Tax: Lifetime Karnataka tax paid
  • Features: Alloy wheels, OEM music system, central locking, Sony Xplod speakers in the rear
Pics here:

Baleno LXi (2005) -- Good Buy?-001.jpg

Please pardon the picture quality. These were shot with my E71.

Baleno LXi (2005) -- Good Buy?-002.jpg

That above is me ... am slightly bulky, and getting in was not very smooth. But, I'll live with it ... the steering column can be tilt-adjusted, BTW.

Baleno LXi (2005) -- Good Buy?-003.jpg

Alloys are dirty ... may be they will be cleaner once they jet-water the wheels before delivery?

Baleno LXi (2005) -- Good Buy?-004.jpg

Notice the colour of the indicator lamps on the back light.

Baleno LXi (2005) -- Good Buy?-005.jpg

We both thought the car looked good.

By this time, the sales chap had come to us. Very affable guy, name Santhosh. Nice smile.

He told us it was a single owner car, and the sale was owing to the owner upgrading his ride. Of course, he would do everything to make the buy smooth. Of course, he would give us a discount. Of course, he would give us a test drive.

Of course, we would test-drive it!

I have owned an Esteem in the past, and I expected the drive to be somewhat similar. And it was, I thought. (Can anybody tell me if this is a faux pas assumption?)

We drove around the block. The air-con was top-notch. The seats were art leather. The switches and electrical accessories were all working well. We were getting hooked, slowly but surely.

We got back, and looked at the second car, and decided against it. If it was to be, it would be the first one.

Some minutes later, I had beat the price down to Rs 3.35 lakhs. I am not good at bargaining, and my brother was of little help. I felt I could have done better if he had been a bit more enterprising, rather than standing outside and ogling at the car.

OK, so that was the deal. Rs 3.35 lakhs, and the transfer charges, everything else, would be taken care of by the dealer. The car would be changed to my name in 45–60 days, and the insurance too would be changed. They would handle all the paperwork.

I said yes, paid Rs 5,000 advance, paid the rest with my brother’s cheque, and went home. They will call me once the cheque payment realizes.

Now, tell me, my Team-BHP comrades, did I screw up?

With the price, and with the choice … please comment!
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Old 10th June 2010, 22:07   #2
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Great ride GoldenParadox. I am not quite sure about the prices in Bangalore for the Baleno but my friend just purchased a Baleno Vxi 2005 (2005 December i think) for 3 lakhs from the Maruti True Value in Kochi. Single owner, done under 50000 kms, accident free and in perfect condition. So far the car doesn't have any problem.

I was also looking for a Maruti Zen in Chennai for a few months before I got a Single owner 2003 Lxi model from Kapico True Value here for 2 lakhs. Like you said the brokers here were telling me that the car is a rare car now and is very much in demand and the prices cant go lower than that.

Your car looks top notch and in my opinion, its a good thing you went for the Baleno instead of the Zen. The price could have gone down a little more but its a good buy nevertheless.
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Old 10th June 2010, 23:02   #3
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very very good car.baleno is one of the best drives car and it is comfortablr too.am sure you will love her.about price i cant comment becouse its Bangalore!still good buy.
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Old 10th June 2010, 23:53   #4
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Thanks ... also, what is the exact difference between the Baleno LXi and VXi?
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Old 11th June 2010, 00:14   #5
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Both the vxi and the lxi variants come with the same 1.6 engine to start with.

Vxi comes with climate control a/c which is still one of the best a/c's in a car that money can buy for you. 14 inch alloys, kenwood maruti CD player and 4 speakers and finally a height adjustable seat for the driver.

the vxi also had a silver trim on the center console for the dashboard instead of the black one on the lxi.

You have made a good choice. This is a great car to live with and great value for money.

Enjoy!
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Old 11th June 2010, 00:55   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenParadox
Car: Maruti Baleno LXi, Black
Model: 2005, KMs run: 51,000.
Sounds just like my Baleno-Lxi, except that my car has run 11K kms lesser.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenParadox
I had beat the price down to Rs 3.35 lakhs. Now, tell me, my Team-BHP comrades, did I screw up? With the price, and with the choice … please comment!
With the choice, hell no. That is one helluva car to drive and at the same time is frugal on fuel.

On the price, a similar vintage Baleno could be got in Chennai (from owner, not TrueValue) for around 2.5 - 2.7lakh as per tbhp-ian Proxima who after his search for a Baleno is a local used-car expert.
But taxes in Blore being higher, I guess 3 - 3.1lakh sounds OK-ish to me. And in your case, TrueValue have to add their cut. So overall looks OK to me, though you/brother could have bargained more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenParadox
Notice the colour of the indicator lamps on the back light.
Yep, till 2005, Balenos came with yellow indicator lamp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenParadox
I have owned an Esteem in the past, and I expected the drive to be somewhat similar. And it was, I thought. (Can anybody tell me if this is a faux pas assumption?)
The Esteem is a good car, but still wrong assumption. You will know as you drive the car around and see where it scores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenParadox
We got back, and looked at the second car, and decided against it. If it was to be, it would be the first one.
Why did you not take the other one ? I see it in the background with a high spoiler. Any specific reasons against it ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron_9191
Vxi comes with climate control a/c which is still one of the best a/c's in a car that money can buy for you. 14 inch alloys, kenwood maruti CD player and 4 speakers and finally a height adjustable seat for the driver. the vxi also had a silver trim on the center console for the dashboard instead of the black one on the lxi.
Plus : Wider tyres, rear defogger, remote-antenna and some other stuff I forget. Having bought an LXi, in hindsight I think I should have paid the 40-45K extra and bought the Vxi. Since, there is no Undo button in life, decided that any car I buy in the future, will be the fully-loaded version.
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Old 11th June 2010, 01:31   #7
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@GoldenParadox : Good buy. One cannot go wrong with the baleno. Like many have mentioned, its a great car to drive and the AC is the best one could get. Regarding the price, well, I bought a 2004 Baleno LXI, done 28K on the ODO, Last year. I payed 2.7 lakh for it. It was/ is in top notch condition. Did not have to change a thing in the last 8 months( apart from regular servicing). Maybe I was lucky. The ideal price for your car would have been between 2.7 - 2.9 lakh but to get such a deal,one needs to be very patient. I looked around for more than 3 months and hardballed with the seller for more than a fortnight.

All in all, if you are enjoying the car, then thats the end of it. Few thousands here and there do not matter as long as the car brings a smile to your face, each time you drive it.

Enjoy the car and happy driving.

Last edited by RVD : 11th June 2010 at 01:34.
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Old 11th June 2010, 02:47   #8
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You were short of time and needed a great car at the drop of a hat. You acquired a great car, by the way, and congratulations. It is always easy to reflect on hindsight that it could have been this or that. However, remember you were on a tight timeline and a tight budget, which you stretched a bit to get this great car.

Yes, this car would be available at around 300 K from a direct owner, however, in order to save that 50 K you must have patience, and keep at it until you find a good car, and these things sometimes takes months or even years. True Value added their cut, you got a lot of accessories, and the cost of transfer and the hassle is looked after by the dealer. Great deal for your situation. Enjoy the car, all you need to do is floor the pedal, watch the tacho swing round and kick you back in your seat. Get a loud exhaust, and the only ICE you will need is in your late night scotch, when you stop grinning, that is. Good luck, pal.
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Old 11th June 2010, 22:52   #9
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Congratulations on your buy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenParadox View Post
Notice the colour of the indicator lamps on the back light.
Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Yep, till 2005, Balenos came with yellow indicator lamp.
'Yellow' tail-lights cost 5.9k a pair.. and the 'White' tail-light costs 4.45k apiece! Sadly, I found that out yesterday! :(

Last edited by MA5K : 11th June 2010 at 22:54.
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Old 12th June 2010, 19:49   #10
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3.35 from truevalue in Bangalore is a good price. Congrats on your buy and enjoy the ride.
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Old 16th June 2010, 02:10   #11
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Thanks, fellas ... I knew I could count on you guys to tear it down to the strands and give honest opinions...

I will be picking up the car only tomorrow ... will post a more detailed report on the car after I get my hands on (and right foot in!) it.

Thanks, DJANGO and RVD ... very valid points. I don't regret the purchase now, actually ... I think partly because what you guys said makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
The Esteem is a good car, but still wrong assumption. You will know as you drive the car around and see where it scores.
The way my brain worked was, Esteem is 1.3L, 85 bhp, and Baleno is 1.6L, 91 bhp ... really very marginal difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Why did you not take the other one ? I see it in the background with a high spoiler. Any specific reasons against it ?
Yup, it had a spoiler, and a remote antenna too. Plus it was 2006 model ... but:
  1. Cost was higher, at Rs 3,80,000/-
  2. No leather seats (though I would not complain about that...)
  3. All 5 tires were worn out and wouldn't last 2000 kms
  4. Same mileage on odo
  5. And, most important ... we didn't connect with the car ... you know what I mean?
Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Plus : Wider tyres, rear defogger, remote-antenna and some other stuff I forget. Having bought an LXi, in hindsight I think I should have paid the 40-45K extra and bought the Vxi. Since, there is no Undo button in life, decided that any car I buy in the future, will be the fully-loaded version.
"Since, there is no Undo button in life" -- nice line. The previous owner has setup alloys and wider tires in this car, so that's fine. Will miss the other stuff, though. Especially the driver seat height adjustment.

Also, is it possible to get a rear defogger installed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MA5K View Post
'Yellow' tail-lights cost 5.9k a pair.. and the 'White' tail-light costs 4.45k apiece! Sadly, I found that out yesterday! :(
Gulp! Wish I hadn't asked!

Like I said, will post more info and pics shortly...
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Old 24th June 2010, 14:25   #12
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GoldenParadox: Beautiful ride. Please upload more pics of this beauty with a detailed report. Any modifications planned? I must say this car is much better than you old IKON

Enjoy your nice ride.
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Old 24th June 2010, 16:49   #13
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Lovely ride GoldenParadox. Black Balenos look sweet!!

Last edited by Viju : 24th June 2010 at 16:49. Reason: Typo error
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Old 3rd July 2010, 14:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImranShahnawaz View Post
GoldenParadox: Beautiful ride. Please upload more pics of this beauty with a detailed report. Any modifications planned? I must say this car is much better than you old IKON

Enjoy your nice ride.
Thanks, Imran bhai ... I enjoyed the Icon 1.6 too ... was a muscle car, and had oodles of power...

No major mods for now. Keeping it stock until the warranty runs out... Am shifting to synthetic oil, though. Next service...

More pics etc posted here (Maruti Suzuki Baleno LXi (2005) ... Got Her Home!)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viju View Post
Lovely ride GoldenParadox. Black Balenos look sweet!!
Thanks, Viju...
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