Team-BHP > Team-BHP Reviews > Long-Term Ownership Reviews


Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 3rd October 2022, 05:52   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: BANGALORE
Posts: 30
Thanked: 72 Times
Default The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

I donít intend this to be a full fledged ownership review of the Maruti Suzuki Zen, but a brief record of my thoughts as a owner without having to cover all the aspects of car ownership.

How it all started?

About 10 years ago, I was in the market for a car. I wasnít very specific about purchasing a new or used car at the time, but as I did my research, I was seriously looking at used cars. I didnít even finalize the Zen as I was looking at sedans and hatchbacks alike. And I finally purchased a used Zen in June 2012 and it has been with me ever since.

What I love about the Zen and dont?

Itís a small car. It can fit in a tiny parking space where most larger hatchbacks cant or donít. While thatís a good thing, the small size is its downside. Its got lower legroom and smaller boot space. When I drive home to Kerala, I travel with enough luggage for a week, but I return with literally half a house. Every. Single. Time.

Notes and Rants
1. As I drove home the car after paying the amount in full and signing all documents in June 2012, I told myself that Iíll purchase a sedan in 5 yearsí time. Yet, here I am with the Zen after nearly 11 years.

2. In my apartment complex, the Zen is the oldest car. The next oldest one is an Esteem manufactured in May 2005.

3. In the 10 years of ownership, Iíve driven about 55,000 kilometers. The odometer reading now stands at 88,500 kilometers as I drive much less due to the Covid situation.

4. One specific gentleman who is part of the security keeps nudging me to buy a new car. When he sees me he says, ĎApartment 101 brought a Vernaí, ĎApartment 306 brought an XUV500í, ĎApartment 318 brought at i20í and so on. I smile back at him as I donít think Iíll buy a new car anytime soon, given my current usage.

5. On 2 separate highways drives, Iíve noticed how owners of bigger cars felt insulted or insecure if I overtook them with the Zen. I wasnít fast by any means; thereís 2-3 adults with me, thereís luggage in the boot and I happen to overtake them when theyíre slow or slowing down. My mother-in-law once remarked that my car may not be big and fast, but it sure is an ego-killer.

6. A month after I brought the car, I drove with it to the office at least twice a week. On the days I went with my car, I noticed that colleagues would turn up to the office earlier than usual. I usually reached the office early, between 8 and 8.15 am. Colleagues who wouldnít reach the office before 10.30 am used to be in the office between 9 and 9.30 am. I noticed this pattern for about a month or so and then things went back to normal: I would be the only person in the office other than the security personnel till about 10 am or 10.30 am or so when my colleagues started coming to work. It turned out that the MD of the company had a Zen: it was the same color as mine and my Zen was mistaken for his. Someone figured out the difference between the MDís Zen and mine (other than the registration): mine had alloy wheels and leather seat covers. The MDís Zen had steel wheels and fabric seat covers.

7. The most Iíve driven the Zen on an everyday basis was when my wife and I were expecting our babies. Other than this, it was driven every Sunday to church and almost every Saturday to get groceries.

8. Iíve driven other cars and Iíve noticed that thereís very little in the Zen that draws your attention; which means I tend to enjoy the drive much more.

9. Iíve gotten the ĎYouíre-a-senior-engineer-now-and-you-still-drive-that-car?í look many, many times. Iíve been asked the same question many times too. The question used to irk me initially but now I simply say ĎYesí. That answer doesnít seem to have a good comeback from the questioner.

10. Once, I got back home after running some errands and as I parked the car, a tall gentleman with a toddler in his arms approached me. He nodded, smiled and wished me ĎGood morningí. And I responded in the same manner. The next sentence surprised me. He didnít introduce himself; instead he asked me if I knew what the biggest regret in his life was. I said no, and he said it was selling his Zen a few years ago.

11. I had to get a notary attestation in 2021 and just for a single signature and a seal, I spent nearly 1.5 hours at the public notaryís house. Why 1.5 hours? Why at his house? Because the notary was a friend of my brother-in-law and they spent time chatting since they hadnít met since the beginning of the pandemic. When I finally got the attestation and drove back home, I told my brother-in-law that I wasnít there when God was passing out patience. Yet, it is ironic that I have been patient and brushed off the itch to get a new car for so long.

12. Servicing is done at every 10,000 km mark and its headed for it 90,000 km service before the end of the year. The servicing cost is fairly on par with other cars and I go by the principle that ĎIf you take care of the car, it will take care of youí.

13. The bullying bothers me a bit. Some people have this itch to bully and it shows up very often when I drive. I can understand buses and bigger commercial vehicles wanting to bully but what gets to me is when say a Hyundai Eon does it. Or a Santro. In such instances, I let them pass and wish them in my mind with ĎI hope you have the day your deserveí.

14. The tires were upsized from 145/70 R13 to 155/65 R13 and make for better grip with minimal loss of mileage.

15. Speaking of mileage, I get about 22-24 kmpl on the highways and about 14-15 in Bangalore city.


Selling it?

I donít have an answer for this question. Maybe I might, maybe I wont. I have lost count of the people who have asked me if Iím selling my car but here are the ones I remember:

1. The first HR manager at my company in 2012 asked if Iím selling it nearly 3 weeks after I brought it.

2. The second HR manager at my company asked if Iím selling it as she preferred a small car. She now drives an automatic i10.

3. Once the a/c condenser had to be replaced and I drove it to a workshop after Gunjur, Bangalore as they had the OEM parts. The service manager there asked me if Iím selling it.

4. On the same day I went to get the a/c condenser replaced, I had to get a certain part welded. I drove with the a/c technician to a nearby welding shop and someone there asked me if Iím selling it.

5. Once I had to drop a relative at Cochin airport for an early morning flight. I got back home by around 6.30 am and told my wife Iím going to bed and donít bother waking me up; i.e. Iíll get up when I can and Iíll have what seems appropriate at the time, maybe a late breakfast or lunch. My wife woke me up at 10 am and told me thereís two people outside to see me. I stepped out and I saw two people, one of them is a service technician at Yamaha Motors and I recognize him from the uniform. He said he saw the Zen and brought his friend who wanted to purchase it. I turned down the offer.

6. In March 2020, while I was getting the Zen serviced at Bimal Maruti in Mahadevapura, one of the technicians offered to buy it for Rs. 80,000. I turned down the offer.

7. When returning from Kerala in January 2022, I stopped to refuel in Gundlupete, Karnataka. There was a family in a larger car and one person from the car came over and inquired if the paint is the original one. I replied in the affirmative, and then he asked if I'm interested in selling the car. Like always, I turned down the offer.

When I head home for holidays, I rent cars. Thus far, Iíve rented and driven the Maruti Suzuki A-Star, Alto 800, Alto K-10, Ford Ecosport, Hyundai i10, Grand i10, Tata Indica, Indigo and most recently the Nissan Micra. These cars are so good to the point that when I come home and drive the Zen, I get suspicious: I feel like someone stole a nut or a screw from the car because the steering and the clutch is so light. But then I realize Iíve been driving another car for the last week or the last 10 days and thereís a certain simplicity in the Zen that few other cars have or can match.

And here she is in all her glory...
Attached Thumbnails
The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)-zen2.jpg  

The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)-zen1.jpg  

jensjoseph is offline   (48) Thanks
Old 3rd October 2022, 06:55   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
shankar.balan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 9,352
Thanked: 10,943 Times
Default re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

This is a lovely and heartwarming story.
Evidently you, like many of us, love these old cars.
If I were you, I would keep it.
Its a lovely car.
Incidentally yesterday I saw a beautifully kept Yellow Zen of the 1990s vintage in Lavelle Road. And this morning on my walk I saw a lovely silvery beige one of the early 2000ís vintage on one of the nearby streets.

You should join the Old Maruti Club of Bangalore.
I ll PM you the contact personís number.
And you should also ask that Esteem owner to do so.

All the best with that modern classic Zen of yours. It still is a head turner for sure!
shankar.balan is online now   (4) Thanks
Old 3rd October 2022, 07:43   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Rajeevraj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,287
Thanked: 15,241 Times
Default re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

Very nice update. I used to have a Zen from 2007 to 2011. It was a 2003/4 model similar to this one. Lovely little car. Main reason for changing it was the small boot which made it impossible for for me to manage the Kerala trips like you mentioned.

Not surprised that you are able to easily keep up and overtake modern cars. The Zen was a simple no nonsense, absolutely fun to drive car. Which is why even today so many people are behind you for buying it.

You should hold on to it even when you upgrade. Wish you may more miles of happy ownership.
Rajeevraj is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 3rd October 2022, 07:43   #4
BHPian
 
deep_bang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore / Boise
Posts: 788
Thanked: 925 Times
Default re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

The zen was a head Turner back in 2005. Now, a good well maintained zen is even more of a head Turner. I never owned one but always aspired to own one.

Do keep the car and let it serve you. If you do buy a new car, please keep this as your second one.
deep_bang is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 3rd October 2022, 09:16   #5
BHPian
 
denzdm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: MH04
Posts: 47
Thanked: 224 Times
Default Re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

Reference to Point 10 - Though I was not that gentleman, however, I regret to this day selling my dear Aug 2002 Jelly Bean Zen 6 years back. I wish I could get her back. The only reason for letting her go was an upgrade to the new car and in Mumbai, parking spaces are at premium.
denzdm is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 3rd October 2022, 18:02   #6
BHPian
 
vasanthn21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 801
Thanked: 495 Times
Default Re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

Your post makes me so nostalgic! I had a similar Zen mpfi, and it was our first car. Still remember it very fondly. Bought it second-hand with a mileage of about 19k, and drove it until about 95K. Have so many memories with the car.

After selling our Zen, bought Tata Zest and have driven for more than 1 lakh kms, but my team-bhp dp still is the Zen!

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 3rd October 2022 at 18:06. Reason: Correction of typo
vasanthn21 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 3rd October 2022, 22:26   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 43
Thanked: 91 Times
Default Re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

I am also in possession of Silver Color MPFI Maruti Zen 2005 model. Eight years back my Uncle gifted it to my wife. That time odometer reading was 12,000 kms. Now it has clocked 53,000 kms. I have upgraded its wheel to 13" size with fitment of alloy wheels. Also using spacer for better ground clearance. Rest of the car is in stock condition with stock paint. It shares garage with mine other vehicles 2003 model MM 540 DP (also in stock condition)., Nissan Terrano and Wagon R.
Attached Thumbnails
The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)-img20210303wa0014.jpg  

rch_vijayant is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 4th October 2022, 10:35   #8
BHPian
 
Geo_Ipe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vellore
Posts: 824
Thanked: 2,223 Times
Default Re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

Special congratulations to jensjoseph for maintaining his Zen so immaculately! Having a 17+ year old car as your daily driver is something special indeed - mine is a 2005 Scorpio.

Just sharing a thought that came to my mind when I saw the title - Jellybean. I was under the impression that that particular nomenclature belonged to the Zens which came before this particular facelift. The Jellybean Zen was a classic design and was aspirational for a lot of 90s kids!

Sharing a pic of BeemerBug's Zen from our forum for reference.
Attached Thumbnails
The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)-screenshot_20221004102916__01.jpg  

Geo_Ipe is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 4th October 2022, 11:20   #9
BHPian
 
Shreyfiesta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Kochi
Posts: 213
Thanked: 2,208 Times
Default Re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

Really nice thread, brings back a lot of nostalgia. We used to have a similar Silky Silver 2005 Zen LX in our family for about 12 years. This particular facelift model of the Zen is known as "Zen Tiger" among enthusiasts. Honestly speaking, I don't know why is it called Tiger. I see no resemblance to a Tiger
Shreyfiesta is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 16th October 2022, 22:01   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10
Thanked: 10 Times
Default Re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

a very good car. had a grey one for 3 years in the early 2000s. good mileage, reasonably powerful for its size, back in those times. loved the look and feel.
'upgraded' to a Hyundai accent, a roomier car of those times
arsenalfan is offline  
Old 17th October 2022, 04:06   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
shankar.balan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 9,352
Thanked: 10,943 Times
Default Re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
Just sharing a thought that came to my mind when I saw the title - Jellybean. I was under the impression that that particular nomenclature belonged to the Zens which came before this particular facelift. The Jellybean Zen was a classic design and was aspirational for a lot of 90s kids!
When the Maruti Zen was launched in 1994-1995, its advertising and product descriptors were all about the ‘Modern Jellybean’ shape/ styling. Yes indeed the Jellybean was an ultra modern, yet soft and non aggressive shape and as per the advertising it allowed the car to cut through air more efficiently on account of its aerodynamism. The advertising around this shape really became more prominent in 1995 with the advent of the Yellow Zen - that was their ‘Hero car’ in a ‘Hero Colour’. In the India of those days, still embattled in the throes of fading Protectionism and austerity for the common man as-the virtue to end all virtues, it was an absolute first, a joy, a mood elevator and a highly enhanced experience, considering the sea of boring automobilia which engulfed us at that time; the Zen, with its striking looks, stood out like the Pole Star in an ocean of mind-numbing drabness.
shankar.balan is online now   (2) Thanks
Old 17th October 2022, 12:01   #12
BHPian
 
HighRevving's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 42
Thanked: 138 Times
Default Re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

There was something about the Zen in the late 90s and early 2000s. Extremely practical and peppy. While I drove a 800 in that era till its meter reset - (remember the time when the meter used to go 00000 after 99999? ), I always loved the ride of the Zen - felt like a magic carpet ride compared the to the leaf springs in the 800.

I have had the pleasure of owning one, got her a polish just a few days ago. I drove it around Mysore just last weekend and somehow felt, there is nothing more you need if you just want to move around a small town.

The car is completely stock, it has done just 55,000 KMs from 2003 - the only mod I had to do was cut the door pads in the front doors to install speakers. Otherwise, none.

Here is a random photo from 2020.
The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)-157032380_1044774346290892_1408885933672026145_n.jpg
HighRevving is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 17th October 2022, 12:26   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
shankar.balan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 9,352
Thanked: 10,943 Times
Default Re: The story of my 2005 Maruti Zen (Jellybean)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighRevving View Post
There was something. While I drove a 800 in that era till its meter reset - (remember the time when the meter used to go 00000 after 99999? ), I always loved the ride of the Zen - felt like a magic carpet ride compared the to the leaf springs in the 800.

I have had the pleasure of owning one, got her a polish just a few days ago. I to install speakers. Otherwise, none.

Here is a random photo from 2020.
Attachment 2368942
Such a lovely car, your Maroon Zen.
Truly!
There is really something intangible about those cars of the 1980ís, 1990ís and early 2000ís.
They had Ďsoulí, like Jeremy Clarkson says.
And yes! Youíre right. Those vehicles (including my Gypsy) all have those mechanical counters as odometers. And are calibrated upto the max kms number 99999.
shankar.balan is online now   (2) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks