T’was the year 2020 the pandemic, my 2nd Semester examinations (Bachelors of Computer Applications) had just started and abrubtly stopped due to the virus was at my native when the lockdown started. Government had announced that there are specific timings to get essentials and all of us initially found it difficult to adjust to the restrictions. Me and my uncle were the ones to go and get the essentials for the family members. I always had the craze for vehicles, be it a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler.
During the Pandemic, I noticed a lot of people on OLX and Facebook Marketplace selling vehicles due to financial issues. I was always keen on getting a Yamaha RX100, yes, I’m a sucker for old vehicles. The average price for a well maintained RX100 was about ₹45,000-60,000. I managed to spot a 1986 RX which looked to be in great condition. Spoke to the owner and he said he had maintained it supremely well and was ready to let it go at ₹42,000. I told my parents about this and Mom was convinced, dad was worried about spare parts and Fuel consumption.
Now here comes the best part, my parents ask my sister who is about 2 years younger than me about getting the RX100 and what she thinks of it. Obviously, she straight away says NO. She explained that getting another two-wheeler is not necessary when we already have a Scooter (Activa 2005), getting a car is a better option instead she mentioned. So, the search for a car began!
I found a 1996 white Zen with about 1.09Lakh on the odo. It was the carb model obviously since MPFi rolled out post 2000’s for the Zen. Me and uncle went to get a drive of it and initial impressions were good. Car felt peppy and had no Power Steering.
This was the first time I was driving a Zen. Checked body for rust spots and considering the vehicle’s age, there were very less. The engine had that same old common oil leak from the distributor in all Zen’s, other than that the engine bay looked good. Now coming to the price, the owner was adamant and ready to let it go at ₹55000. I quoted at ₹50,000. We both matched our prices in the middle and verbally settled it at ₹52,000. I hadn’t done the payment and told him I’ll come within the week with the payment and pick up the car.
Now final decision had to be done after discussing it with my parents. Parents gave the green signal and so did sister, but was not happy seeing photos of the car. So, I was set to pick-up the car and pay the owner the next day. I kept checking Team-BHP for the reviews and mods to be done on the Zen. The next day , it rained cats and dogs in the morning and I couldn’t go to pick up the car, called the owner and informed him I’ll come in the evening to pickup the car. He asks for advance, but since the amount was ₹52000, I assured him that I’ll come in the evening to pick it up. About 2 hours later I get a call from him saying the car has been SOLD! Didn’t want to talk much so I just hung up the call and genuinely felt sad about what happened. Finding the Swift
Back in 2019, I had paid a visit to my Dad’s friend place with my uncle and he mentioned he was selling his brothers 2006 Swift VXi which had run 64000km’s. I had taken a photo of it just to run the plates and check vahaan history. He mentioned he was selling it at a price of ₹2.8Lakhs and if my uncle were to buy, he would let it go at ₹2.5Lakhs.
I was persuading my uncle to get that swift because I loved its looks and color. My uncle has a 2010 WagonR F10D, he said the swift lacks the storage space and its low slung for him. I had to agree with him so it ended there.
Now coming to 2020 June, I had suddenly remembered about this Swift after the Zen incident happened. So, the next day me and my sister went to get essentials and slowly passed by my dad’s Friend’s place to see if the swift is still there or not. I was overwhelmed to see it there, Not knowing if the owners still want to sell the swift or not, I went and spoke to them and asked about the car, The minute they told the car is still for sale I was at all ears. While I was conversing with them, my sister checked out the car all around, Bodyline and everything was perfect. I clicked few photos of the car to show my parents. The car had run about only 800km’s since I first saw it in 2019.
Now coming to the price point, they quoted a price and I didn’t even bargain because OLX and marketplace were selling mediocre condition swifts which I ran away after seeing the prices above 2.4Lakhs and moreover they were high run with dented bodylines. Best part was Sister approved and told parents that if we are getting a car, this is the perfect one. So, dad spoke with his friend and the deal was settled.
Within that week , I got called to pick up the car and the car was washed thoroughly and kept ready.
Odometer on the day of delivery.
Recent photo with the previous owners of the Swift.
So, there it was, An Azure Grey 2006 Swift VXi with 64888km as my family’s first car. First thing I did after delivery was obviously a full tank and headed home. Sister again did a thorough inspection of the car as she has OCD of keeping everything clean and arranged. Now I wanted to know the history of the car, so I paid a visit to my MASS and asked for the service history since the previous owner used to only take it to MASS for any repairs / Service. I got all the service records from 2006 till 2019 on the Maruti app on my phone and the in-depth service record (Parts changed, Labour charges) was available only with MASS. The last time it was serviced was on 2019 January in MASS according to the Maruti App. Observations of the Swift. Likes
- Reliable G13BB MPFi engine and its power till redline
- Very light clutch
- Short gear throws with tall gearing
- Great AC cooling
- Refinement of the engine
- Stiff suspension gives you confidence when cornering hard at high speeds.
- Handling and feedback from steering
- Overall looks of the car, has a Timeless design
Driving experience of the Swift
- Low end torque is not great and requires downshifts for it get going on inclines.
- Fuel efficiency ( Hovers around 12kmpl in city)
- Rear seat space, It gets cramped due to the less leg room.
- Very small bootspace, Basically NIL in this decade.
- Stiff Suspension is tiresome in the city.
- Lack of ABS
- Missing features in VXi such as electromagnetic tailgate opener, Rear wiper with washer and Defogger.
- No Manual Day/Night IRVM in the type 1 Swift VXi/LXi
- RATTLES !! (Fixed later)
The car feels lethargic initially because of its poor low end torque but once it crosses 1200RPM there's no drama, it feels punchy. The gears are slick to shift through and the clutch weight is perfect. The brake bite is good but could have been improved further. The steering weighs up very light for the city, and weighs perfectly for speeds on the highway. I absolutely love the steering feel and handling of the Swift. The engine revs at 2100rpm at 80kmph on top gear. The throttle body is cable operated and I seem to like the cable operated accelerator rather than electronically controlled. Since the car is tall geared, its ABSOLUTELY FUN to redline it, the grunt is amazing and pulls strong till redline. First gear tops out at 60Kmph at 6700RPM redline, second gear tops at 100Kmph and so on. The power is distributed well across the rev band.
The ORVM's are not electrically adjusted and are manually adjusted from the cabin. A separate front Fog light switch is given near the headlight levelling switch unlike new cars which have it on the headlight stalk itself. The headlight stalk has a switch for the rear fog light which can be switched on when the headlight is turned to full position. No sort of tilt adjustable steering and no steering mounted audio controls are given, heck even the ZXi Type 1 (2005-2007) never got them. The seat is not height adjustable since its the VXi only ZXi got them, but even then the stock seat height in the VXi is perfect for my height (I'm 5'11). The previous owners have gotten the seat covered in faux leather with a good contrast colour.
Coming to the Fuel efficiency Point of view, The G13BB motor was never meant for fuel efficiency. It returns a fuel efficiency around 12-14 KM/L in the city and 17-21KM/L in the highway with my driving style. I do drive sedately with a very light right foot and have a habit of revv matching while downshifts. Photos taken within the first week of ownership Fixing the 12V Socket wires
Now since I was new to cars at that time, I was curious to know how it all worked and wanted to learn how to diagnose if and when I face any issues. The first thing I wanted to fix was the 12V socket which was not getting power. Checked the fuses and it all looked good. So, one day with the help of my grandfather I opened up the center console trim and was shocked to see wires eaten by Rats. Previous owner did mention due to their low usage, it was rat attacked but it was fixed in MASS for any issues regarding the same. I guess MASS forgot to have a look at this.
Me and my grandfather fixed it cleanly by depinning and soldering new wires and the socket got the power upon ignition. T'was job well done and assembled everything back perfectly. Start of Modifications and Accessories
The First month of getting the car, I slowly procured the accessories that I felt were necessary
- Door visors -Got these from my local accessories shop
- 12V Mobile Fast Charger- Sourced from amazon and came with a Type-c Cable. It was made by Amkette.
- Pair of Horns - I got these installed from my local auto electrician and replaced OEM horn which was squeaking.
- Armrest - I found this very useful during long drives in my neighbours Dzire, hence felt the need for it. Sourced it from Amazon during sale.
Those were the only accessories added on to the car in 2020, I had been out of the country and returned in Jan 2021. Even when I was out of I was preparing and listing what all needs to be changed at the 70k service.