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Old 10th November 2017, 19:53   #31
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

We have a Maruti Esteem in Kolkata, and it is a very good car. If maintained, it can last forever. Yes, there are minor issues that will need to be addressed (lights not working sometimes- replace fuses and the control stalk, power window failing- replace the switch) but it is still a very good buy for about 1 lakh INR.

The Zen maybe good to drive, but it is cramped, has almost no boot space and may be difficult to maintain. The Esteem was discontinued in 2007, so you can still find a 10 year old example that is well maintained. The Zen, although discontinued in 2006, was extremely dated by then. They launched the Estilo to replace it but it was a flop.

The Esteem also gives you 20 BHP more for the same price. It delivers about 12 kmpl in the city with AC and about 15 on the highway.
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Old 10th November 2017, 23:03   #32
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

Quite honestly, the automotive scene has moved far ahead of the Esteem, Zen and even the City (OHC) era. Sure, those cars were legendary in their own way but I wouldn't suggest anyone to buy those anymore, unless absolutely required.

If you want something safe, fun to drive and fuel efficient, get a 2010 Fiat Grande Punto 90hp (1.3L diesel). Prices hover around the 1L mark (my colleague recently sold his for Rs 1.10 lakh). It has the horsepower, the safety kit and will be very stable for your daily highway runs. And Fiat parts are pretty cheap too.

Don't like Fiats and their crappy ergonomics or their questionable support network? Look hard and you'll find a 1.3L Swift ZXi in decent condition a few thousands above the Rs 1 lakh budget. Again, for highway usage, it'll be much safer than the Zen or Esteem; and being an extremely popular model, costs and availability of parts and its upkeep will be quite stress-free.
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Old 11th November 2017, 09:30   #33
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Quite honestly, the automotive scene has moved far ahead of the Esteem, Zen and even the City (OHC) era. Sure, those cars were legendary in their own way but I wouldn't suggest anyone to buy those anymore, unless absolutely required.
Couldn't agree more.
But the used car market prices the cars mostly bought post 2007 notoriously. The more popular the car is, the more bucks you have to pay for it to buy in used condition, irrespective of the car's market value in second hand market. Examples like this. Plus one more interesting fact is that no matter what the value of the car is, owners price it according to the attachment they have with the vehicle. Therefore old cars are only option with a low budget.
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Old 13th November 2017, 13:35   #34
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

What about the Ford Ikon? The Ford Ikon had a tight chassis and the build was tough. Don't know about the Ford aftermarket scene in Assam, but Ford has been making worthy strides in aftersales support, from my opinion.
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Old 13th November 2017, 14:00   #35
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

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What about the Ford Ikon? The Ford Ikon had a tight chassis and the build was tough. Don't know about the Ford aftermarket scene in Assam, but Ford has been making worthy strides in aftersales support, from my opinion.
Current gen Fords have logically priced spares, but the old ones continue to have abnormally high sticker price. Someone I know needed a new Speedometer for his Ikon, and the cost of the speedo unit alone was 22k. Best avoided, specially for a student with a budget of a lakh.

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Old 13th November 2017, 16:27   #36
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

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... requirements in mind I zeroed in to two cars. First option is the Maruti Zen (MPFI only) and second is Maruti Esteem (MPFI only).
I was wondering what made you think of Zen, then after looking at your Location (Assam) and going through the Assam/Guwahati OLX page it is all clear

I could see a whole lot of Maruthi Zens up for sale, couple of Estilos too. But strangely, the number of kilometers run quoted seems to be low for their respective model year.

Would recommend visiting the Authorized Maruthi Service Center in your area to make a casual enquiry to the Service Supervisor. I remember Surakha, Bangalore (a popular Maruthi Authorized service center) had a white board where customers could list their car offered for sale. This was back in 2006-2007.
And best part was, the Service Center guys were ready to give you a brief about the car and even look at the service records to suggest how much one would have to spend upon buying one of the listed cars.

Good luck!
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Old 13th November 2017, 19:04   #37
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
If you want something safe, fun to drive and fuel efficient, get a 2010 Fiat Grande Punto 90hp (1.3L diesel)
I tend to believe 50+ km a day is on the higher side for a student living on pocket money and that you're better off with a diesel car.

A quick glance at OLX Assam showed me a Punto MJD Emotion Pack (75 HP though) for 1.75 lakhs. Given the low resale value and less takers for Fiat cars in general, I believe you can strike a good deal if you keep a close eye on OLX and other classifieds websites

I'm sure whatever car you buy, you'll have a good time with it in college. I'll be looking forward for your buying & ownership experience thread and travelogues here.

And all the best for your car hunt and studies
________________

Few years back, I got my first car - a well maintained 2002 Fiat Palio GTX Safety Pack - in my second year of college life. Coming from a FIATian family with a budget of around 1 lakh, we're confused only about which Palio 1.6 to buy. Driving a Palio GTX for the past few years, thought I'll share my inputs for college students searching for a fun to drive car in general :
  • Third Party insurance is an expensive affair for cars above 1500 cc (Baleno, Palio etc to name a few). Just renewed my insurance this evening and it set me back by almost 10k (last year it was ~8k). To put things into perspective, my dad paid 5k for our 2009 Fiat Punto MJD (comprehensive cover) this year.
  • Most of the FTD cars (again, Baleno, Palio, Esteem etc) that comes in budget will be 10+ years. There's always the fear of something going wrong in an old car (a sensor going kaput, hose giving away etc) at the back of my mind. I don't want to be stranded on road while with friends (And me being paranoid, there's always a spare crankshaft senor in my glovebox to be on the safer side)
  • I was surprised when I learnt that many of my friends were unaware about getting the car re-registered after 15 years. Being a student in a different state, I went ahead with driving school cum RTO agent. They came handy and the process was a breeze.
  • Never feel bad about not handing over the keys to your seniors and batchmates for their joyrides. I have seen things go wrong and it's the last thing you want.
  • At the end of the day, a fun to drive car is a dream come true during college life. But then, frequent drives with friends in an average car (that returns more kmpl) will be even more F-U-N

Just my two cents

Last edited by Klub Class : 13th November 2017 at 19:30.
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Old 13th November 2017, 23:58   #38
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

Going through OLX and other classified advertising websites extensively these days there are a few points that I have noticed particularly

1) Owners price their cars according to how good the colour is looking at the time of selling or how much kilometres the odometer is reading instead of judging the price based on factors like what is the present market value of that particular model or how much in a good condition the engine under the hood is.

2) If there are any aftermarket accessories, say alloys or good ICE setup that was fitted 10 years ago and are extremely outdated by today's standards, then also the price goes ridiculously up. Saw 15 year old Wagon-Rs and and Santros with 2L quoted price as they were "modified".

3) No respect for pricing according to brand value. Fiats with less demand and dying brands like Chevrolet go head to head in pricing department with Hyundais and Marutis.

To put it in simple words, generous sellers are a rare species like those gentlemen who use dipper at night
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Old 14th November 2017, 00:08   #39
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

I hope Iím not late for the party. Sorry to gatecrash. If you can stretch your budget by another 50k, I would ask of you to bid your money on the classic Baleno! You drive this car, itís got the essence of an esteem but drives a whole lot better than any car from its era. If itís modded with a good header and exhaust, youíll love the humming sound it makes.

Ah this reminds me of my first possession my pre-owned silver wonder Baleno LXi 2006!

Pic to lure you in;
College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?-6b32250d41884d0bb1dd7e1e99d3f870.jpeg

PS:
On the other hand, buying a 4 wheeler is always an added cost to your pocket no matter how good the car is - not to deter your confidence, but a well maintained car saves you from a lot of trouble. But a car thatís abused and comes to you with deceptive looks, Iím talking about added tension with little peace of mind left to enjoy it which is a lot more expensive it can prove in terms of your studies!

If Iíd a kid brother, my suggestion would be to go for a better bike from the showroom, with a good riding gear and enjoy it until youíre done with your graduation. Your parents will also be happy because youíve saved some grands for them and yourself from all the drama a deceiving car would bring in.

This is what I did during my graduation though Iíd a strong inclination towards 4 wheelers. My first car Baleno was bought only when I had a job in hand. Second one followed quickly because the zeal to upgrade never died which kept pumping my confidence at work to give all I had! Was working with supercharged mindset pumping out performance with a lot of BHP & TORQUE to reach my goal quickly (too much of unwanted gyaan!) - just shared my thoughts from a practical standpoint.

All the best eitherways!
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Old 15th November 2017, 17:08   #40
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

I would suggest searching for a Fiesta (1.6 preferably), you can find some decent examples under 1.5 Lac. Suggesting to extend the budget a bit only because of the the added value over the 15+ years cars that you are currently looking at.

Btw, if you find a good deal on a Chevy spark or the beat, I would suggest you take a good look at it. Even though the company may be shutting down, the service centers would still be running and also the spares are not a problem at all. Most garages can get it within a day, even electricals and clutch replacements which aren't very common in day to day working.

While Maruti is cheap to maintain(in that era of cars) and spares would be easier to find,in the end it would be an unreliable(and VERY IMPORTANTLY, AN UNSAFE CAR). The Esteem and Zen are from an era where crumple zones were unheard of, they are not 2002 designs, they're actually from the early 1990's , nearly 25-30 years old now. Look for a modern car especially given that you have to drive 50kms daily on an Highway in India. Safety features like ABS would be a godsend in this case, and do look for it since some variants of Accent and Fiesta had it.
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Old 9th December 2017, 15:34   #41
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

Your thread was one the main reasons for me wanting to became a member here after two failed attempts way back in 2012-13.

I was in a similar dilemma in 2015 i.e to buy a cheap car for my college duties.

The search begin in June 2015 and ended in February 2016 with a 2001 ZEN Vxi which was bought for 80 k with 90000 km on the odometer. As I write this the car done about 18000 km with me. As for the maintenance I had to get the battery replaced last year apart from regular oil changes.

So a 15-16 year old car can be a daily drive without burning a hole in your pocket provided it was maintained well & also you will need a bit of luck.

As for the used car scene in Assam finding the right car at the right price can be a task. Well most of the people here according to me don't seem to be bothered about the value they get for their old car, so they happily exchange it for a lesser amount, which are then bought by the car dealers & they increase the price by around 2x & reduce the odometer reading to around 40000-60000 km.

And the remaining few who advertise on OLX,Quickr etc. ask for a price that is way above the market valve & at times more than the price quoted by the dealer.

My advice for you would be to increase the budget to 100-130k and go for something like a Santro, Alto, WagonR which would be newer and more likely to have a service history as you want to keep the car for a period of 4-5 years. But having said that you can also buy a Maruti 800, ZEN if you get one cheap ( less than 70k) and if it feels like that it has been maintained well.

Here is a picture of my 2001 ZEN Vxi which was clicked in Golaghat district.
College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?-p_20161031_103216.jpg
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Old 9th December 2017, 17:18   #42
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

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Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
And the remaining few who advertise on OLX,Quickr etc. ask for a price that is way above the market valve & at times more than the price quoted by the dealer.

My advice for you would be to increase the budget to 100-130k and go for something like a Santro, Alto, WagonR which would be newer and more likely to have a service history as you want to keep the car for a period of 4-5 years. But having said that you can also buy a Maruti 800, ZEN if you get one cheap ( less than 70k) and if it feels like that it has been maintained well.
Alto and Santro have always been in the radar, 800 (5 speed only) is also into consideration and as for the Zen, the thread name says it all

Moreover, I have stopped searching for cars in classified websites such as OLX and Quickr for one and only reason which is the ridiculous pricing and I have been forced to believe that car buyers in Assam and OLX/Quickr don't go hand in hand.

On a side note, how is the spare parts scene of Zen in Assam? And needless to say, your Zen is one of the most well maintained Zens I have seen in a while
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Old 9th December 2017, 19:43   #43
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

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On a side note, how is the spare parts scene of Zen in Assam? And needless to say, your Zen is one of the most well maintained Zens I have seen in a while
First of all thank you for saying those kind words about my ZEN though I would say she looks better in photos.

According to my experience the current scenario w.r.t spare parts of ZEN in Assam is good. I had to get the passenger side inner door handle replaced once & the part was easily available even in a small car parts shop in Dibrugarh.

Also my car met with an accident where the front bumper, front fender, door, ORVM had to be replaced. All those parts were easily available in Guwahati. Having said with time getting genuine parts may get difficult as these cars were discontinued long back.

Also try to buy a car having a first party Insurance with a decent enough IDV. The repair cost for the above mentioned accident was around 20k ( about 25 % of the price of the car). Luckily for me I had to only pay around 4k from my pocket, while the rest was paid by Insurance.

If you are looking for ZEN, 800 try to get a 2003 and later model as from 2003 the A.C gas type was upgraded from R12 to R134 (R12 is banned & not available). As for Alto, WagonR they always came with R134 gas.
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Old 9th December 2017, 22:06   #44
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

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Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
If you are looking for ZEN, 800 try to get a 2003 and later model as from 2003 the A.C gas type was upgraded from R12 to R134 (R12 is banned & not available). As for Alto, WagonR they always came with R134 gas.
Yes I am well aware of the AC situation.

On a lighter note, when I am willing to buy a car which is older than half of the children in my family then creature comforts is one of the last things in my priority list
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Old 10th December 2017, 00:32   #45
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Default Re: College student with a budget of a lakh - Esteem vs Zen MPFI?

All things being equal, mileage, condition, single driver, maintenance record etc, I would put my money on the Zen. We have a 15 year old Zen in the family and even today it is being used for a daily commute of 72 kms by our older driver. I bought her in 2002 for my late father. Sometime later after his passing away it was given to our older driver who travels from 36 kms away. Today he commutes to work in it. Other than regular servicing and changing of parts as per schedule nothing extra has been invested on maintenance.

Both however are great cars. Another factor will be the condition, maintenance record and mileage on what you find. If the Esteem is better on these criterion then it should over ride a older more worn out Zen. Best of luck.
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