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Old 9th August 2021, 21:11   #1
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Default Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT

Background
The need for a second car arose as the maternity leave was slowly coming to an end. Leia was born in February of 2021 and wifey was enjoying the 6-month maternity leave. I alternate between the 2014 1.2 L MPI Highline Black VW Polo (Toothless) and 2010 Armour Gold metallic Honda Dazzler (Shadowfax) to shuttle between work and back as my daily drive. Though he is 8 years old now, he has been doing a fine job except for an O2 sensor and ABS sensor issue which Wheels Wisdom helped me take care of.

The need of the second car was that, firstly I finish work at odd hours depending on my patient load and secondly the Bangalore Cops love my car! (due to the KL registration). They stop my car at check points like Iím driving the car they had left parked at their home. After showing all valid documents they usually let me go rather disappointed but itís an unnecessary headache on a day-to-day basis and I usually think about 5 times before going out.
Although she holds a valid licence for LMV, she prefers to be chauffeured around (read pampered) than drive herself and had last shifted gears at least 6 or 7 years back. She had lost confidence to drive by herself after experiencing the Bangalore traffic and the narrow roads. The refresher course I offered to take was met with cold shoulders. She was willing to get back to driving provided it was an automatic and it was the smallest (narrowest rather) possible car.

She had set her eyes on a green e20 that our colleague owned and I had to break her bubble informing that it wasnít in production anymore. She wanted her dad to send a Mercedes Smart from Muscat but thankfully that didnít happen.

Requirements
1. Automatic
2. Small
3. Automatic
4. Narrow
5. Automatic
6. Did I mention Automatic?

Options considered
There were 3 cars in consideration
Maruti S-presso
Renault Kwid
Hyundai Santro
Datsun Redi-GO

Datsun Redi-GO was barely in contention. The thin service and dealer network and questionable future of the company in India were the main reasons. Honestly, I hardly gave it much thought.

Hyundai Santro was briefly considered. The fact that the car wasnít very successful was the main reason we didnít pursue it further. Although technically, service wouldnít be an issue, we really wanted a headache free car. The other factor was that it was not narrow at all. It was almost as wide as an Ignis.

Renault Kwid was also considered very briefly. The updated model and AMT did not get many favourable reviews. The Renault showroom nearest to us was in Sadashivnagar/ Kalyan Nagar which was another factor against considering it.

S-Presso was the main contender here, the main reason being the glowing praises showered by GTO. OK OK! Hold your Guns! I know about the GNCAP safety rating. I know about the weak body structure. Yes! I love my wife and daughter! Of course, Iím a BHPian! See, my requirement is a city runabout car. To travel 3 kms one way to work and back. Its definitely safer than a two-wheeler. And surely, youíve got to be joking if you think any car in Bangalore traffic reaches 4th gear. Hence, S-Presso AMT was the main contender here. Add to this the fact that itís backed by Maruti service and dealership network which is unparalleled. It is bound to pick up a few scratches and dents (I hope not too many) and its going to be easy to repair and cheap to maintain.

There is a small nostalgia element too here. The first car my dad bought was a Maruti 800. Circa 1994, I was 5 years old. He bought a blue Maruti 800 and it was the first Maruti 800 in our whole locality. It kept our family safe, took us to very many places and gave so many beautiful memories to cherish for close to a decade before we upgraded to a pre worshipped Zen VXI in 2004. I kinda wanted my daughter to experience the same.
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Old 9th August 2021, 21:13   #2
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Pre-buying experience

Day -6 (21.07.2021)
So armed with all the knowledge from reading Team BHP review 4 to 5 times, I walk into Varun motors about 3 kms from home accompanied by home minister. Politely greeted by the SA, we inform why we are here. She says she wants to see the car once, sit and measure it up once. Showroom folks gladly agree. We see the car on display which was a silver S-Presso VXI+ manual. She approves. But then she notices the red alto parked right next to it. She wants that. Its smaller, cuter and not boxy. I calmly explain to her that the 1 litre K10 is discontinued in Alto and itís no longer available in auto. Dejected, she approves S-presso and we return home to drop her off before Leia wakes up.

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I return to the showroom and start the discussion with SA Manoj and his team leader Ram. Explain to them what I need. They explain to me the colors, models available and the availability status. There was some pondering over VXI vs VXI + but in the end decided to go for VXI+. Meanwhile, they took me to the parking above the showroom to explain the difference between a VXI and a VXI+. I get to see the white S presso there and I immediately make up my mind to not to get the one in white

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The father-in-law calls! He had driven an AMT recently when he came to Kerala and was annoyed with its erratic behavior. Canít blame him. He has driven proper Automatics all his life and its not easy to get used to an AMT one fine day. He spoke to my wife and she flatly refused to drive either a Baleno (CVT) or Brezza (TC) and he resigns to his fate. Gives thumbs up for AMT.

Discusses offers available, gets a quote from the finance team. Asks them to bring a car home for a test drive and I leave. In Karnataka apparently, first 3 years insurance (1 year comprehensive + TP for next two years) is mandatory before registration and they pushed for their insurance saying future repairs etc will be smooth and streamlined. They also said the amount is capped and it doesnít make any difference which provider you take it from. I agreed, didnít bother with arguing about it. The pushed some Maruti smart card to avail referral loyalty points (not RTO) I refused. Also opted for 5-year warranty. The SA Manoj said heíll give me free mud flap, mat, perfume, idol, mobile holder and 12 V charging socket and I happily agreed. Received a corporate discount and some additional discount and we agreed on OTR 6.09 lakh. I told them to send a car for test drive and left the showroom

He promptly calls at 12.30 and tells he can bring the car. He brings it around at 1.30 pm and we go for a short test ride, same route she has to drive to hospital and back. She is mightily impressed how compact it is. I accidentally accelerate hard once and was suddenly reminded of how an AMT works. We finish the test drive and reach back home. She approves the car, wants it in Red and one final round of negotiations in the car and the price is brought down to 6 L OTR. I inform them that Iíll discuss the finance options and shall revert back to them in the showroom before end of the day.

We had some discussions at home and we decided not to opt for any finance. The best rates we were getting were 7.3% from SBI. Iím sure we would have found slightly better rates if we had enquired little more but we didnít feel it was worth the hassle. Next round of discussions was about the colour. Wifey was under the impression the S-presso red was similar to Alto red (uptown red) but it is brighter and it is called solid fire red. I thought it was a bit too flashy and after the initial excitement dies down, she would regret the choice of colour having to drive it to hospital and back on a daily basis. She definitely didnít want the Silver, blue or orange. We finally agreed on the metallic granite grey.

I reach the showroom around 5 pm to finalise the deal. As the final deal was agreed upon, I notice that they are charging me 7k odd for the ďbasic accessories packageĒ which included the mud flap, mats and etc which the SA had told was offering me for free. I really felt cheated at that point. That was a significant breach of trust. The team leader Ram intervenes, clarifies the charges again, apologises for the miscommunication and explains that itís the best deal they can offer. I really didnít have the heart to disappoint my wife and valued my time too much to delay this any further and hence agreed for it. They offered something called door beading as a freebie. Transferred a booking amount of Rs. 10,000 and left the showroom.

Day -5 (22.07.2021)
I get a call saying that a vehicle in transit has arrived in stock yard with is granite grey and I said I need to do a check VIN and do PDI before confirming. VIN decode was June 2021 manufactured vehile and I ask them to bring the car. They drive the vehicle down to the showroom from stockyard (about 30 kms away). I do a quick PDI of the vehicle, Odometer read 42 kms, everything looked great. I transfer rest of the money and ask them to proceed with the registration procedure.

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Day -1 (26.07.2021)
No updates from the Maruti team. On repeated follow up, they follow through. The road tax and insurance has been paid. I give them the OK to go ahead with Awaiting rest of the procedures from their side. They ask about the accessories, I said Iíll come by the showroom today to choose. I reach the showroom around 6 pm. Thereís a massive screen with a configurator which will help you see the model and make the way itís configured. I opted for front and rear skid plate, body side moulding (door skid) and rear camera. Door beading earlier ordered as a freebie was changed to wheel arch cladding. The accessories person and SA assures that the car will be ready for delivery the next day with all accessories. The accessories list shared from the showroom quoted a higher amount for every accessory compared to MGA website once I checked it later.

Last edited by Autodoc : 9th August 2021 at 22:39.
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Old 9th August 2021, 22:36   #3
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Default Re: Millenium Falcon lands : Story of our S-presso

Day 0 (27.07.2021) Ė Delivery Day

We get a message from the RTO with the number and registration. Few OTPs were shared back and forth. Few further documents to create affidavit was shared. I get an update from the showroom that the delivery can be taken at 5 pm. Myself and 2 friends reach at around 5.15 pm post work. The car was kept ready for delivery at the delivery area. Ours was the only car scheduled for delivery that day. I was initially elated seeing the car but on close inspection it was not neat or properly cleaned. We were made to wait while the SA Manoj kept going back and forth. Eventually he explained all the documents, service procedure, payment receipt, insurance receipt, tax receipt and handed over the keys. There was some delay from their end and we were made to wait longer and longer.

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Eventually, Accessories bill was not ready. Accessories were installed but the mats were lying in the back seat, they had kept the wrong idol etc etc. The friends who accompanied me made bit of fuzz and the relationship manager got involved and got the car cleaned thoroughly. Finally, we posed for the mandatory photo and we took delivery around 6.30 pm.

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I left the showroom with the understanding that Iíll get back once the HSRP arrives and take the accessories bill and settle dues if any. We get a call as soon as I leave the showroom and the accessories guy says that the bill is ready and he will deliver it immediately. We pull over, 5 mins later he arrives in a two-wheeler, hands over the accessory bill and swap the idols. We leave as soon as this is over.

Once I reach home, I go through the accessories bill and realise I have been charged for a vacuum cleaner apparently! Also a 12 V charger and mobile phone holder. I couldnít find the vacuum cleaner in the boot and realised they might not have handed it over. SA Manoj says he needs to check with the accessory guy.

Finally, I get the HSRP installed 3 days later and collects the vacuum cleaner too. The mud flaps were installed and the SA and service team says that with the wheel cladding in place; front mudflaps cannot be installed. Gets only the rear mudflaps installed, front pair is lying in my boot.

A small word of caution on the accessories for all prospective buyers. I was charged for quite of lot of things as part of basic accessory package without confirming with me. This was explained to me as part of the basic cost of the car and was explained in a such manner that this was being offered to me for free. It included
1. PVC Designer mat Rs. 1517
2. Vacuum Cleaner Rs 1686
3. Car care kit Ė Sonax Ė Rs 601
4. Idol Rs 226
5. Mobile Holder Rs. 359
6. USB charger Ė Rs. 773
7. Number plate garnish Rs. 422
8. Car deodorant Rs. 217

Taxes were charged extra on all these items. The only useful item in this was the Mat and Number plate Garnish. I would have said no to all these accessories had I known. Again, I confess, I was at fault since I was concentrating more on PDI and early delivery of the car and not on what was included in the bill. Also, I never received a single final bill from the showroom tallying amount paid and break up of each (Car, RTO, insurance, accessories etc). I was told there is no such bill on enquiry.

Is this the longest buying experience in Team BHP?
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Old 9th August 2021, 22:46   #4
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Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT-img_20210727_214149.jpg
Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT-img_20210727_214208.jpg
First Sight

Likes

1. Size – It’s such a compact car. Very forgiving for a novice driver. The short front overhang and engine bay, commanding seating position with excellent view upfront, narrow width makes it such a pleasure to drive in the city and narrow roads. In fact, I was apprehensive of the centrally mounted instrument cluster but I guess it helps newer/ short drivers with visibility. The tiny turning radius and high ground clearance are additional plus points.

2. The engine – The 1 litre K10 is such a joy to drive. Its so smooth and refined. At idle, its barely audible even in the absence of any engine bay damping/ cladding. It sounds really refined during the drive also.

3. Automatic – The transmission is no slouch. It does gets confused if you’re aggressive with the throttle but driven sedately, it never fails to find the right gear.

4. The smartplay studio with android auto is very user friendly and easy to use. The combination of this with hands free google assistant makes life a lot easy.

5. The car is spacious. It has better rear leg space than our toothless. The boot is also reasonably large.

Dislikes

1. The steering is super weird. It doesn't correct itself after a turn. I've easily driven 20+ makes and models of cars but have never come across anything similar.

2. I still haven’t gotten used to the location of central power window buttons. I hate the location. The lack of rear power windows in a car that cost 6 lakh on road also is not acceptable.

3. The glovebox is too small. There is very limited storage space for knick-knacks. The horn is pathetic. No body gives way no matter how long you honk behind them. I feel an upgrade is mandatory here.

4. The 165/70/R14 tyres are puny. I did consider a tyre upgrade but decided against it since the car is going to be driven around only within the city limits and an upgrade purely for cosmetic reasons felt unnecessary.

5. The spare key is a normal key without lock/unlock button. I can live with it though.

Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT-home-1.jpg
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Both the cars parked next to each other.

Driving impression

The initial feel once I started to drive was the bumpy nature. Drove straight to the fuel station, filled about 15 litres, checked the air pressure and reduced it from 37 to 32 psi. The ride improved a lot once the tyre pressures were reduced.

The car starts to move without any accelerator input. The car responds promptly to any accelerator input. First gear shift happens at 16 kmph, second gear at 24 kmph and the car easily reaches 5th gear by 50 to 56 kmph. Slightly easing off the accelerator to nudge the engine to shift helps a lot. The car is perfect to drive in city in traffic.

The AMT transmission can be tricky while attempting to park. The car is eager to respond to slightest of throttle inputs. Though the crawl feature can be used, for any situation requiring slightly more throttle input requires the driver to be really careful. I miss the clutch during this aspect where the response could be modulated by feathering the clutch.

I’ve never had to attempt a sudden overtake or sudden acceleration. So difficult to comment on that aspect. But sedately driven, this car makes me choose this over my manual. I’ve tried the manual mode a couple of times. Its definitely intuitive to use and will definitely come in handy if any aggressive acceleration is required.

Too soon the comment on the fuel efficiency. The MID says 11.x kmpl, I shall revert with Fuelio log once I properly do a tankful. Most of the driving has been driving lessons for Wifey, hence involving a lot of accelerations, sudden stops, driving in 1st and 2nd gears only. I have so far driven around 150 kms, all within Bangalore city. Not too worried about the “kitna deti hai?’ yet, let’s see.

Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT-img_20210801_224203.jpg
The first 100

Accessories and Upgrades planned

Nothing major planned for now but a horn upgrade is on the list for sure. I’ve ordered door edge protector, floor mats, leather key chain, blind spot mirror, bumper scratch guard, proklear raw xtreme CX, microfibre towels, USB type C cable, Jopasu duster rejuvenator and an L board for now.

Last edited by vb-san : 12th August 2021 at 12:35. Reason: a small typo
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Old 9th August 2021, 22:55   #5
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Summing things up

The S presso AGS is a no nonsense (if not the best) car for city use. Period!
The overall booking and delivery experience was mixed but, in the end, allís well that ends well. I had a very favourable interaction with Ram and team at Varun motors, would definitely recommend them. The car is recommended without a doubt provided the requirements are similar to ours. We had done enough research at home and knew exactly what we wanted and what to expect.

Finally, coming to the name. Weíve decided on Falcon ( short for millennium falcon) for now. Falcon joins toothless and shadowfax. Looking forward to many many miles of joy and safety.

Sincere apologies in advance for the poor quality pics - All were shot on my mobile phone with poor lighting. Apologies if the thread is not up to the Team BHP standards.

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Old 12th August 2021, 05:00   #6
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage today

Last edited by GTO : 12th August 2021 at 07:16.
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Old 12th August 2021, 06:21   #7
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Default re: Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT

Congratulations on your purchase.
To be honest, watching an S Presso drive by in a shade of orange, I thought it was the most abominable private vehicle on the road.
Your charming write up on the buying process and the soothing colour of your (wife's) car have made me tone down my harsh opinion albeit marginally.
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Old 12th August 2021, 07:39   #8
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT

Congrats on purchase of funky looking car from Maruti stable
S-Presso surely stands out from the crowd and small footprint with high GC is the perfect recipe for city errands.
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Old 12th August 2021, 08:57   #9
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT

Congratulations on your new city roundabout! Well I guess your purpose made a stronger case than the car's awkward looks. Great choice of colour! It hides all of those ugly cuts and creases.

1-2 years down the line, I'd suggest you to do something of this sort i.e., add a lowering kit to your car. It really does enhance the looks although I am not sure if it will help with the shoddy road conditions.
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Old 12th August 2021, 09:25   #10
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Default Re: Millenium Falcon lands : Story of our S-presso

Congratulations on the purchase, wishing you many happy miles on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Autodoc View Post
Dislikes

1. The steering is super weird. It doesn't correct itself after a turn. I've easily driven 20+ makes and models of cars but have never come across anything similar.
I remember reading in Parag's ownership report about this behavior right after a change of steering rack (IIRC) in his Ertiga. Get this inspected, maybe it requires a little tweaking. Could also be the start of the "sticky steering" that Maruti is known for.

Last edited by ike : 12th August 2021 at 09:26.
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Old 12th August 2021, 11:52   #11
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT

Congrats on the S-presso. The practical city car it is.

I too was less than enthused with the S-presso when it came out, but realized that it was because I was annoyed with the fact that the S-presso was the spiritual successor to our F10D WagonR than the present bloated WagonR.
Though, disappointing that the S-Presso still suffers from the sticky, non returning Maruti EPS of yore.

About the safety aspect. Agree. As a city car. Also my argument is that it may have scored 0 stars, but the cabin didn't crumble in like cars that were tested as recent as five years ago. Today's 0 star rating cars are much safer than than the 0 star rating cars of 5-10 years ago. Not to say, sub 5 lakhs new cars are way better compared to the safety of 2 wheelers.
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Old 12th August 2021, 11:55   #12
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Default Re: Millenium Falcon lands : Story of our S-presso

Congratulation Autodoc. You have picked the right choice for your requirements and the right colour. Im sure that it will serve you and your wife very well. I wont even say wish you tens of thousands of happy kilometers since your usage is so low .

I was quite surprised to see how the sales advisor (knowingly?) ended up misleading you on the accessories. In such a situation, usually the team leads step in, understand that their sales people have goofed up and then they take corrective action by 'waiving' the charges. Sometimes I feel these are all sneaky tricks to just try and fleece customers who dont want to ruin their purchase and delivery experience. Anyways, such things leave a bad taste in the customers mouth. So, its a Pyrrhic victory at best for the dealership.

Also, thanks for sharing that the prices of the accessories was higher than what it is in the MGA site. I just assumed that they will be the same. The next time someone I know buys a Maruti or a Nexa car, I will be sure to ask them to specifically ask on this and get the MGA sourced ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autodoc View Post
Dislikes

1. The steering is super weird. It doesn't correct itself after a turn. I've easily driven 20+ makes and models of cars but have never come across anything similar.
The Ignis that my Mom drives (similar use case to what you mentioned, 3 kms from home to hospital) suffers from the same. There is (Why the heck will Maruti-Suzuki not fix its defective & dangerous steering behaviour?) a thread on this and it looks as though Maruti is still unable to fix their steering systems. Since the Millennium Falcon is likely the only car that your wife will drive, it should not be an issue for her. But if you switch between your cars, you just need to keep reminding yourself of it.

Once again, congratulations.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 12th August 2021 at 11:57.
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Old 12th August 2021, 12:23   #13
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT

Congratulations on the S-Presso. A cousin of mine purchased it last year and I was very impressed by the driving position in the vehicle with very good visibility. Also we have nicknamed it "Mini-Scorpio" for the way it destroys city potholes due to its high GC It is a great city car indeed.
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Old 12th August 2021, 12:33   #14
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT

Thanks for sharing! Superb ownership report & I thoroughly enjoyed reading the buying process. I love the (ugly) S-Presso, but in MT guise (am not an AMT fan). It's got a great engine, is fun to drive in the city and under 90 kmph, narrow enough to squeeze through gaps like an autorickshaw and the taller seating has undeniable benefits. One of the best budget city cars IMHO.
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Old 12th August 2021, 15:21   #15
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Default Re: Ownership Review | Millennium Falcon lands | Story of our Maruti S-Presso AMT

Great color choice. Saw the orange one when it had launched and this looks waaay better. Wish you a great ownership experience.
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