A big hi to All TAI-gers
This is my first post on this forum and I'm pretty excited.
We'll I'll start by introducing myself!
I'm Ahmed from Hyderabad, a crazy car enthusiast. As a kid, I always dreamt about owning a car and I should say I was fixated on Maruti ESTEEM from the day I saw it in the TV ad. Yes!! you heard it right! Maruti's best performing sedan ever.
Here goes the story how I got my first new car and the initial ownership experience. Note : I'm sorry if this post is too long but I want to take this as an opportunity to share my experience. Please bear with with me.
As a teenager, I always pestered my dad to buy a car for which I was given a thumbs down every single time and was said "get it when you can afford"
Finally, I got a job and the first thought In my mind as soon as I joined was to get a car. Obviously every guy would want a bike or a car. I chose a car.
I waited till I had enough cash to get a used car atleast(as I couldn't wait any longer for the cash to accumulate to buy a new car, I knew it would take forever )
Initially, I purchased a 1996 maruti Esteem
just for about half a lakh. (I know it sounds ridiculous, but that's all I could get for the amount - a pretty beat up esteem I should say. cant expect an AUDI at that price !).
I used it for about a month and a half and I couldn't keep up with it any more in terms of maintenance because it was a car with no life in it as it had already run past 1.5 lakh KM and was in need of serious repairs hence the previous owner happily gave it off, may be the owner treated her too bad because esteems are said to be loyal companions for longest. It had leaks, coolant problems, tyres worn out, literally no breaks, drank engine oil and petrol like water and rattled on smallest pot holes.
I finally had to sell it off with a heavy heart thinking that this is it, I'm not rich enough to maintain a car yet and poof!!! I sold it off for 30000/- INR. Well that's all I or anybody could get out of it.
2 months passed and the thoughts of driving and owning a car kept coming back and there I was again thinking of owning a car after all that happened with previous car experience (crazy me !!). This time around, I wanted something which would not leave a dent in my pocket. "Maruti Suzuki Zen"
was the answer- The only answer ha ha ha !
I knew I had a friend in my college who owned one and had plans to sell it. I tried my luck and prayed that he hadn't sold it yet so that I can grab it. (I was hesitant to go to any used car dealer as I never had an experience with the used car industry and I was sure I would be duped by the cunning dealers.). So I called up my friend and got the answer I was praying for. He said "Yes I have it and I'm looking for a buyer - Oh Yeah!!!! this was perfect- I thought in my mind and I immediately said "dude, I'm the perfect fit, I'm gonna take it. He was happy and It sounded awesome & we made a deal to meet up and fix a price. Model : Zen- AT
Year : 1998
odometer reading : 70000KM (car wasn't used that often I guess and as described by my friend)
quoted price : 1.2 Lakhs
Being a dear friend he agreed to sell it off for mere 60000/- INR after some convincing and desperation and I was happy. (It may be a way too pricey for a 98 model but as I said I'm not an experienced guy in terms of bargaining and fixing a price for used cars) I agreed to pay it off and took it the next morning (6:00 Am
yeah I know it sounds a bit crazy but that's how bad I wanted to own a car).
I got it washed, cleaned, repainted and restored the front drive shafts (refurbished), complete AC (Subros) and got a sony xplod music system(kind of basic system) replaced all bearings. (Total cost for restoration : around 30000 rupees). Total cost = car+ restoration = 90K.
Drove the car for about 6 months and realized this isn't what I want as it was small and was an automatic transmission. I loved it but I want some thing bigger ,better and a manual transmission. Hence, the research started for a perfect car that would fit in. My expectations were :
1. Should be Stylish
3. Good FE And the choices were :
1. The new Alto K10
2. Suzuki Swift
4. Celerio After a lot of research :
Alto - not big enough almost equal to the zen I owned
Swift : out of budget. (6.5lakhs was the price quoted. OOPS I'm not that rich at this stage)
Celerio : 6 Months waiting time (Nah I can't wait that long
[/B]WAGON-R [/B]: Perfectly Priced, awesome colors, spaceous, good FE. A little (may be too much ) boxy, but I thought that I can do some customization later to improve the looks as it fit all my other expectations very well. And.. Wagon-r it was !, soon, I got in touch with ICICI for the loan as I couldn't afford the full price at once. Paid 2 lakhs as down payment and the rest was financed by ICICI.(Thanks to ICICI, the process was fast with good interest rate and low EMI and it was done within a week) On road Price : approx 4.6 lakhs with discounts.
variant : VXI
Purchased : July 2014
Finally my blue-eyed Waggie (I call it so..) was delivered to my address by the Maruti personnel at 6:30PM which was supposed to arrive by 2:00PM (due to some delays at the showroom.) Features-
1. 4 power windows
2. electronically adjustable side view mirrors
3. passenger under seat storage
4. rear wiper&washer
5. double DIN music system by nippon (not bad i must say. It manages to shake the rearview mirror and side mirrors with the thump)
6. Blue parking lamps (hence the name blue eyed boy)
7. Fog lamps
8. Rear folding seats FREE :
Mats, steering cover, perfume,body cover,side rubber protector strips Additional expenses :
A rear spoiler (4800/- INR and underbody anti rust coat :2500/-INR ) 4 Months later
: Clocked only 1500 KM as I don't get a chance to drive too often or too far as I commute to office in the transport provided by the company. THE EXPERIENCE
so far : "PURE AWESOMENESS"
The drive is smooth and there is no engine noise in the cabin if the windows are rolled up but you can hear the engine very faintly if the windows are rolled down. Overall I'd say it is zero engine noise (Sort of).
You can put a light foot on the pedal and it takes you with ease, it feels like you are going slow but when you look at the speedo you'll realize that you are doing 60+ and thanks to the 14 inch fatter tires from apollo, It can turn in smaller spaces due to the grip and the good turning radius. Can be driven in traffic like Zip Zap Zoom!!!
You'll need to shift in to the 1st gear sometimes as it fails to pickup in lower speeds in 2nd gear. However, It can touch 140+ KMPH when there is enough room and when you are in the top gear. Tried it myself just to check (Never recommend it though). It can go out of control if you hit bumps as the vehicle is not that strong on road after 110+ due to the narrow shape.
You can feel the bigger holes on road but it manages to eat up the smaller pot holes.
AC can cool up the cabin in minutes in normal weather conditions but in the strong sun it may take a little longer. It still does the job pretty well for a car this size.
The dashboard is classy as it is bigger and better with the 2 din music system from Nippon (4 speakers in 4 doors) Sounds like it has an inbuilt woofer as it can shake the mirrors with the Bass/thump.
The windshield is wider and you can see the road clearly. But the pillars are little bigger which can some times be a blind spot when making turns. (have to peek from side window a little to make sure the road is clear)
Lots of space in the cabin in terms of storage and leg/head room. There is a drink/soda can storage space in the dash and there are 3 cup holders (sliders) one on passenger side : 1 on driver side 1 for front passenger and 1 for rear passengers, (holder is located at the rear end of hand gear)
Side view mirrors are big which can give a clear view of the rear traffic. These are adjustable with a joystick located on the driver side door panel which is very easy to use.
Panel gaps near the hood are little big though and can sometimes make you feel the hood isn't shut properly.
The tin/aluminium used for the car is somewhat delicate and It can sometimes get irritating if it rains as the roof is made of thin material and the tin makes loud banging tin tin tin noises when it rains. Positive traits :
1. Very light steering
2. good FE : about 18KMPL
4: AC is not the best but does the job.
5: lots of head room. (Tall Boy)
6. easy ingress egress (doors open 90 degrees)
7: 14 inch fat tubeless apollo tires for my VXI model (lxi gets 13 inch skinny tires only)
Negative traits :
1. Reverse gear sometimes makes a grrrr sound before engaging. (Seems to be a common problem with the Wagon-r's)
2.Looks boxy (bread box as it is known) but its acceptable to me.. looks liker a mini SUV.
3. Low pickup when the 3 people sit. (998 cc) Improvements needed :
1. a little powerful AC
3.pickup (basic expectation)
Overall I'd rate this car 9/10
for the effort form Maruti suzuki.
May be not the best in class but still the BEST
..You'll have to drive to understand this. There is a lot to come as I plan to MOD my car to my potential.
Now let some pics do the talking.
Leave your valuable suggestions & comments below. Thanks[/B]