Ride and Handling
The zest eats potholes and undulations on roads and highways for breakfast. Bigger bumps are transmitted and very large patches may throw the passengers but if driven properly even they can be cleared without any issues. The ground clearance of 175 mm is a boon for our roads, the zest has made through many large speed breakers and bad roads but it never scraped.
The only two instances where I scraped was when I took the cellar parking ramp at very high speeds and that was my mistake as it is common even for vehicles with 190-210 mm ground clearance vehicles to slow down there.
At corners it has a bit of a body roll owing to its height,heavy weight and ground clearance. I tried sharp turns at speeds of 80-100 kmph and it showed a bit of understeer.
Speeds upto 50-55 kmph are manageable on sharp turns.
The high speed nature of zest is good and the steering weighs up too early.
The ultra light EPS unit of ZF steering is good and I wish the steering weighs up a bit late as speeds climb up, it would further improve the handling of the zest on highways.
One feels to be in control and the steering inspires good confidence.
There is a peculiar sound at the steering column which I have planned to get it checked in the next service. Acceleration and Brakes
I have already covered the pick up and acceleration of the zest in the second part, so I will cover the braking ability of the zest here.
The brakes in the XMS are equipped with anti lock breaking mechanism, (ABS
of 9th generation from Bosch) which are good.
The initial brake play is a bit less and one feels if the brakes may stop the vehicle or not, but if applied with appropriate pressure the zest stops drastically from high speeds.
I had two instances where the zest stopped from speeds of 80kmph and 60kmph to standstill without any fuss. Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH)
The zest is silent with windows rolled up. On start up if one has a keen ear they can listen to a faint transmission noise which is emitted very prominently especially during start up on early mornings.
There is a mild vibration when the zest runs at high speeds with a.c full blast as the compressor takes the load. There is a firewall for insulation that is used to reduce the noise and vibrations from filtering into the cabin.
The road noise and small thuds are usually present but if one has the music playing even that is not audible. Sound system aka Harman Kardon system
This music system is simply great. I have XMS version which has lesser quality than the XT version HK system, but even then there is no coarseness and the sound from the system is delivered very appropriately . All the tweeters,speakers and bass system are simply great working in sync with each other and give an all round theatrical effect. Headlights
The low beam is not upto the mark and not apt for our roads. It is due to this that I have to use high beam many times inspite of not being happy about it. The headlights are good on highways and give a very premium feel to it. The projector headlights are very cool with a mix of white light to it. Space and comfort
The zest is very spacious as it is based on the vista platform. 3 people can easily sit in the rear seat. Due to its bench type of seat, the passengers can sit comfortably.
The suspension is softly sprung and it is because of this the ride is very comfortable. Comfort is given priority over high speed sharp handling and it shows on our indian roads.
The front passenger seat is the most comfortable place to sit
I hope I have covered all aspects of zest, if any parts are left out I request our TAI
members to do mention that so that I cover them as well.
I will try my best to keep this thread updated and post any updates as and when there are any in my ownership of the zest.