First, I would like to thank Team BHP for accepting me as a member
. I have been reading up a lot in the past 3-4 years and I would like to thank all the members sharing useful information over the years helping me making my second car purchase go easy.
My previous car was a 2017 Maruti Suzuki Baleno Delta Diesel MT which is a good car, drove it for 60k kms with no issues whatsoever. I did not want to sell it, however the 10 year policy in Delhi NCR plus the recent BS4 diesel vehicle temporary ban made me think of investing in a petrol car for the time being as available Hybrids are out my budget and electric ones do not suite my requirement. So, in Sept 2022, I started looking at other options and in December after I finalized my options started taking quotes from different dealers for Baleno and got a good price from Spinny for 4.35 lacs and sold it in Jan 2023.
My search for new car was with requirements as listed:
• Reliability, ease of day-to-day use, it is a major thing as I don’t want to spend my time sending car to be fixed every now and then.
• Good Ground clearance which obviously shifts the segment to compact and mid-size SUV and I have limited parking space so I could only consider under 4.3m car which narrowed it down to 4-5 cars.
• Comfortable and enough cabin space for at least 5 people & boot space for long trips.
• Good fuel efficiency
• Budget 16-19 lacs on road.
I will be going for a Manual transmission as I love to drive MT’s you just feel connected to the car while driving. I just haven’t been able to convince myself for an automatic yet maybe the next one as I get older. :P Cars Considered:
• Hyundai Creta – was waiting for the facelifted version but company announced that it won’t be launching anytime soon, and it won’t be same as the international model which looks like the new gen Tucson which is a gorgeous car. (rejected)
• Kia Seltos – looks better than Creta but suspension and ride is stiffer, new model launch upcoming but no specific date. (rejected)
• Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara - comfortable, reliability, safer platform, good FE. (shortlisted)
• Maruti Suzuki Brezza – comfortable, reliability, safer platform, good FE. (shortlisted)
• Skoda Kushaq – Low fuel economy and reliability issues for ac and power windows?? rejected
• VW Taigun – same issues as Kushaq!
Tata and Mahindra were never considered because of their reliability issues, and they don’t suit my sedate driving. I don’t need a performance-oriented car, I just need one which is easy to drive and live with. My options were limited between Creta, Seltos, GV and Brezza. I have previously driven Creta and Seltos and they are nice to drive and easy to live with, but as mentioned above the new versions being near to launch but with no confirmation I had to reject them. Toyota Hyryder was also never considered as I do not like the looks and I have a known who works in Maruti as an SA and it has been quite easy for me in the terms of service and maintenance of my Baleno, so Maruti was practical choice here as both are the same cars underneath. Middle class family woes to get bang for your bucks. :P
This followed into my multiple visits to different dealers in Arena and Nexa to choose between Brezza and Vitara, both are pretty to look at, identical in engine & features too, well the choice within the budget would be Brezza ZXI+ MT and for GV it was MT Zeta variant. Sunroof + 360-degree camera was the only major difference. I personally don’t think that having a sunroof in Delhi’s summer is a good idea. Last summer my Baleno’s windshield cracked because of heating which made me go towards Zeta variant for GV. In between I kept reading up on fellow BHPians posts on GV about sunroof and failure of aftermarket products on keeping the heat at bay and the headroom also very less in Alpha variant, feels claustrophobic.
A few of my friends suggested the practical choice to go for Brezza ZXI+ and save money but the heart kept saying Grand Vitara as it looks beautiful, better road presence, better GC and over all a premium feel over Brezza. So, I mean why not! The only problem was parking space in my house we have an indoor parking and its very limited space for one car and one two-wheeler, earlier we used to park outside but there was no open space left as remaining empty plots started having houses built. In 2021 we converted one of our ground floor rooms in parking area which was enough for a big hatchback like Baleno. I was sure about Brezza that it would fit in the parking as the dimensions are same as Baleno, but I was sceptical about Vitara as it is longer and wider. Booking and delivery experience:
I went with Competent Nexa Dwarka for Booking as the SE Rakesh Joshi was very courteous enough to bring the vehicle to my home and clear my doubts about the parking space, confirmed officially that black edition booking is open, and it is available only in Zeta & Alpha variants. Over the years Maruti has gotten really good with customer experience, when I went to buy the Baleno, I had zero knowledge about cars and the SA never shared enough information to us about the buying process and the product, it was not a very good experience back then. But things have changed now. The car was booked on 14th Jan and the standard time of waiting period of six months was mentioned but SA gave me assurance that the car would be delivered most probably in Jan only.
This car is beautiful to look at especially in this black colour. I was initially planning on going with silver or navy blue but then at the time I was finally sure on which car to buy the black edition was announced. After my booking I got to see the color at the auto expo, and I knew I made the right choice.
Many people keep saying that Black color is difficult to maintain and looks dirtier than others, but the looks are worth it and I believe it doesn't matter any color which you are buying has to be maintained in the proper way otherwise it’s the same story. Moreover, in Delhi if you park your car in an open spot for a few hours it starts to look it hasn't been washed in years regardless of the color.
The SE was giving me regular updates on allotment and around 1strd Feb I was informed the car has left the plant and will be received in a within a week’s time and can be delivered before 10th Feb. We had already completed the bank formalities and only the downpayment was remaining. On 5th Feb during mid-day, I received the call that the car is at showroom, and I can visit for the PDI. Fortunately, it was Sunday, and I immediately went. As I reached the showroom the car was parked outside it had been delivered from the stockyard an hour ago only, they told me they received the car in stockyard last night and the SE and other Nexa personnels were very excited to show me the car as it was the First black edition that had arrived and would be delivered from their dealership. After I had seen the car in daylight the SE immediately asked attendants to park the car in basement parking to avoid any scratches. I completed the PDI using Team BHP PDI checklist in the basement parking everything was good. The car had only 29km on the odo. There were no damages as such. I had previously prepared and sent the SE a list of the accessories for GV from the MGP website which I needed, and it was discussed that during the PDI he will arrange the available ones for me to see if they actually look good on the car or not then I can finalize. The accessories personnel came with all the available ones from the list and showed me each one by placing on the car showing the looks which was very convenient. We set the Delivery Day for 8th of Feb and in the next couple of days we completed all the other formalities for payment, insurance etc.
The list of accessories. I have gone for all black and smoked chrome as I do not like much of silver chrome and the front grill already has so much of it:
1. Tail lamp garnish black: 390 (installed)
2. mud flap: 490 (installed)
3. head lamp garnish black: 590 (installed)
4. Front skid garnish: 650 (Not available will plan to install in later)
5. Rear LED garnish smoked: 1390 (installed)
6. Rear skid plate smoked: 2790 (installed)
7. body side moulding smoked: 3290 (installed)
8. door visor smoked: 3390 (not available)
9. Front bumper extender smoked: 3590 (wasn’t looking good enough, it had glossy black finish, SE also advised against it as it would not look good after a few months of wear and tear)
10. sidesteps: 13990 (installed)
11. roof rail garnish: 4350 (not available, not sure if I would go for it or not as the ones in alpha model are for real usage and these ones just for looks)
On 8th the SE called us in mid-day after all the accessories were fitted so we would not have to wait much longer, We completed the remaining formalities for delivery and in the meantime the car was brought up in delivery area and I checked for all the accessories that I had finalized as it turned out they had missed the black rear skid plate to which they apologised and gave me a choice if I want to get it fitted at that time or on the weekend as it would taken an hour to get it installed. As discussed with my family and everyone was ready to wait so I got it installed then and there only. In the meantime my father and brother thoroughly checked the billing documents and I checked the vehicle for any damages everything was good. A lot of people who were visiting the showroom were lining up to see the beauty, enquiring with the SE about it. We visited around 3:30pm and around 6 we were ready to leave with the car. It was hassle-free and good delivery experience better than the one we had for Baleno. All the queries of my brother and father relating to car were eagerly answered by SE and other Nexa personnels during the delivery process. Interior Quality, Seating & Space:
The interior quality is much better than I had in Baleno the plastic quality is improved it’s not on the flimsy side you could notice the difference in the dash and door pockets. Although the bottle holders in the door pockets could have been a bit larger, they can hold one ltr bottle, but they won’t fit a one ltr flask which is a bummer, Baleno could fit a flask easily with the plastic on flimsy side it could extend a bit too.
The seats I feel are a bit smaller although I do not face any difficulties in driving or feel tired after driving but I do feel under thigh support to be less, I think I could solve it by having bucket seats but can’t do anything because of the air bags. If anyone have any suggestions, please do let me know.
The armrest is big enough and comfortable and the one on the door too. The boot is big enough to carry your luggage for long journeys. The Zeta variant has enough headroom, and it doesn’t feel claustrophobic inside it. The smart play pro plus works smoothly with android auto, I had an occasional connection problem with android auto, but I believe it was as I went away with my phone while it was connected and came back, nothing as such which a simple ignition turn off and on won’t fix. Music system quality is decent, but I do feel that the rear speakers are not the same quality as the front ones sometimes it feels they are not even running though I do not require a high quality one but in future I might change the rear ones. I have added only required things from the aftermarket I like to keep the car stock as much as possible. I have a friend who owns a car accessories shop, so I have bought almost everything from him. Apologies for not sharing the prices.
• Tyre inflator
• Led cabin lights.
• Leather wrap for steering Driving experience and First service:
On the delivery day itself I drove the car for a good 120 kms, which included the short ride to temple and dropping my family home then I went towards Gurgaon to see some friends and back home. The ride quality is so smooth, and cabin is much quieter than Baleno, especially the engine, coming from a diesel vehicle it was very strange for me to drive a vehicle with almost no engine noise at city speed limits. Mostly it is the tyre noise only inside the cabin. The suspension setup is so good that it easily handles the bad roads, even the big bumps. 101 bhp might not be a big number for a lot of people but for me it is fine suits my sedate driving style. It gives you enough power in city conditions and for cruising on highways.
We already had a plan to go to our village before the delivery I had decided if the car is delivered on time, I would be using It for the journey and on 15th Feb the GV’s first long trip happened. We left for our village in Uttarakhand, we were three people, my parents and me and loads of luggage, the entire boot was filled plus the rear two seats. The ride was butter smooth, my parents were very comfortable. The highway run was great too, the car doesn’t just gets the body roll at 80-90kms I haven’t driven it any much higher than this until now, even in the bends in Uttarakhand the car was planted at all times. Not anywhere I once felt that there is less power, maybe at higher speeds it’ll come to me as other folks have felt.
The bumpy roads after Khatauli and before entering Kotdwar the car performed fantastically, I had to make some sudden swerves at 50-60kmph due to big potholes, the car never felt out of control. The braking is better too thanks to all four discs, I felt braking power to be better than Baleno even for the front ones. The car is manoeuvrable in city even though it is big car, and it feels on the inside too. In tight spaces I do feel if 360 degree camera was available. The rear camera quality is good even in the night it very clear but then it is not with dynamic trajectory at this price point I think it is a must.
The headlight throw is good too I never once felt it to be inadequate in the night driving, I don’t think fog lamps would be missed, don’t know much about other counter parts in this segment.
I came back on 20th Feb and the round trip was around 700 kms and then car went for its first service at the Competent Automobiles in Matiyala, Nawada. As I mentioned earlier that I have known in service centre the service was swift & smooth.
Till now the car has run 1350 kms and have been giving excellent FE. I have been getting 14-16 kmpl in city and 18-20kmpl on highways. There have been no issues with the car as of now no rattling noises or anything yet. Overall, it is a good product from Maruti with a premium feel.
Improvements or things that should have been included in this price point.
• Leather and ventilated seats
• 360-degree camera
• Leather strapped steering.
• Switches, MID to be different than other Maruti cars.
Thinking of getting ceramic coating or PPF, still undecided. I will keep sharing my further experience with car.
P.S.: I am still getting used to the petrol engine and the light clutch. I do miss the diesel engine grunt and feel.