Maruti Suzuki A-Star Review & Pictures


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Maruti Suzuki A-Star Review Synopsis: Maruti Suzuki A-Star price tag was between Rs.3.72 – 4.58 Lakh. It officially launched in India in 2007.

India’s well known car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) conceptualized an all new futuristic hatchback christened as “A-Star” and showcased way back on Auto Expo 2008 in India. This car received an enormous response mainly due to its eye-catchy design, although the real model which finally came into production was poles apart and couldn’t successfully impress all. Inspite, A-Star has somehow managed to make an appearance in top-ten sales chart and even more so in the exportation graph.

Now, with the ever growing traffic, Automatic transmission cars, especially hatchbacks, have become a need of the day, and who else can understand it better than India’s very own manufacturer? Thus, Maruti Suzuki has recently launched A-Star Automatic Transmission model to give sleepless nights to only rival in segment, the Hyundai i10 Automatic. Let’s find out what makes this car distinguish from rest of the crowd.
 
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Looks and Design.

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Front-View.jpg

Well, we all know that A-Star is not a very new product for us, but as a quick recap let’s go into details of what it gets and what it doesn’t.

To start with, The looks of A-Star are better if termed as subjective. On one hand, it has some hardcore fans, but on another, some strict haters too. As an Auto-critic, A-Star looks somewhat sporty and cool enough to suit persons of age group anywhere between 19 to 26, refer it as a college guy’s regular toy or groomed software professional’s tight-traffic commuter.

We are not a big fan of large goofy head lamps though, which makes the fascia look more or less funky, however the single radiator grill on bumper with big “S” monogram on top of it gives a pleasing appearance overall. Also, since automatic tranny is available only in VXi variant, this model misses fog lamps and other such features.

On side profile, the design is not very well proportionate and looks awkward. The low-end front glides up at an aero-dynamical A-Pillar, which gradually goes to a peak and suddenly drops behind for a claustrophobic rear-end. One could probably get an idea of tight legroom as well as headroom easily from the exteriors itself.

Bulgy wheel arches with sharp waist lines are flat out, but ground clearance of 170mm is well enough to serve purpose at most of city road conditions. The A-Star has a compact rear-end with tiny rear windshield and even more so is the boot door. Shape of tail lamps resemble as grown up Alto-ish (Non-K10) tail lights, and huge rear bumper which covers almost 40% of its rear is quite well integrated.

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Rear-View.jpg
 
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Interiors and Comfort.

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Interior.jpg

Overall, Maruti A-Star may not look to be a large hatchback but astonishingly, it sports roomy cabin and wide opening doors which certainly are a boon. Once entered in, chances are that you will again stay surprised after looking at stylish dashboard and interiors which fit in perfectly well. Maruti Suzuki is however still using the Black - Grey dual color combination in the era of Beige - Black interiors, which to some extent, help in minimizing the plush and luxury feel.

Interior fabrication quality is not up to the mark and a few cheap plastic quality bits can be spotted across the car, such as central locking and power window operation buttons. The three spoke steering wheel is nice to hold, weighs perfectly and horn button is all feather touch, suitably well finished for India. But steering mounted audio controls are again a miss by Maruti. There’s a single master touch lock and unlock button for all door on the driver's side, and also all windows lock button. Headlamp adjuster typically operates 3-way and is incorporated right behind the steering wheel. Instrument console accommodates just a speedometer now. Yes, you read that right. No tachometer at all. Forgotten…This is an Automatic!

But the design is not very sporty or at least not a match to new generation models, the different symbols turn on and exhibit with various colors, which look good at night, also, as usual there are a couple of Trip Meters and time / fuel indicator in a digital gauge. Dual DIN like Audio system is placed right below the Air Conditioner vents with an extra space under it, with not-too-bright display and some buttons, which are easily in reach.

The quality of Audio is good and bass is pretty heavy for this little car. Left portion of the dashboard has a split styling for storing coins / pens, and glove box compartment can just hold documents, RC book and perhaps a small first Aid kit too. Front door doesn’t even have a bottle holder; You can instead keep water packets now (Pun Intended) :biggrin:. Doing cost cutting through vanity mirror seems to have become a common trend, of which A-Star has also been a sufferer. The Auto transmission gear knob is taller than usual and being an Automatic, you don’t see the clutch pedal, instead bigger brake pedal and gas pedals help occupying the space. Front Legroom can be made really abundant by pushing the front seat backwards and you can easily find a comfortable position. Head room could have been more generous though, but thigh support is good for city drives where the comfortless factor is felt in longer drives. Rear door opens wide as well and as a sought of relief, it thankfully does have bottle holders. However, rear bench is not too comfortable to be in, it’s not inclined enough to provide required comfort for long drives and lower head room means that roof loves to kiss the heads of 6 footers.

Now to put that straight, A-Star is only suited for individuals or a small family of 2 adults and 2 kids. Since the rear windows and windshield are undersized, the light inflow is very lesser which spoils the ergonomics. Moreover, Boot size of A-Star is 129 Liters, now do we have anything much to say about?

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Dashboard-Interior.jpg
 
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Engine and Gearbox.

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Engine.jpg

After K-Series engine taking place all around Maruti's stable, the A-Star Auto is no exception, but a step higher than its buddies. To ease all the dream of first time buyers and lady drivers in country, A-Star A/T comes aboard with peppy 998cc engine unit.

This Automatic 3-pot, 12 valve engine churns out the same 67PS @ 6200rpm and 90NM @ 3500RPM, like manual counterpart. Maruti A-Star’s gearbox uses a slot shift mechanism rather than the conventional system. Hold the brakes and slot the lever to the Parking (P) mode and crank the engine, with minimal jerk, A-Star is all set out for a ride. Engine is really silent with less vibration. Slot in the knob to Drive (D) mode, A-Star glides as a breeze up to 40 kmph without much of hesitation. This is the perfect select for bumper to bumper traffic, but once you are free from hassles, simply tap sidewards into “3” mode which helps claiming up to 70kmph on the speedometer. The “2” mode helps to drive the A-Star at the maximum speeds, where as the “L” mode lets you climb any inclined locations or steep parking zones.

Maruti A-Star is a no speed star; we managed to reach 0 kmph to 100 kmph in close to 20 seconds which is surprise for a small vehicle, there is a deep and significant lag which any sprinter can feel easily with this auto-gearbox. Since A-Star is tuned all for taller gear ratios, you attain the speed at the end of scene and no accelerating business with this car, further pushing of gas pedal down makes you hear growling noises even inside the cabin.

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Gear-Lever.jpg
 
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Performance and Safety.

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Wheel.jpg

The Auto Gearbox is good for city traffic use, especially under speed of 40kmph, but when you are in rush; A-Star fails to understand that better due to the significant lag seen here for approx. 2-3 seconds which might be devastating in some cases.

Although, In terms of handling, A-Star is another best contender from Maruti, and next to swift in terms of steering feedback. All you require is just to get involved with it and the engine positively responds to all your commands. Turning radius of 4.5 meter is amazing which results city driving even sharper. With gas filled MacPherson struts + coil spring at front and isolated trailing link + coil spring at the rear, suspension setup allows to comfortably tackle most bad roads. We managed to reach 130+ Kmph and to truthfully say, there is no splurging action which we expected out of A-Star. Handling is bit wavy and steering is lighter too, However braking is good, thanks to standard ABS across the range.

While safety factor reaching to its optimum level in Indian Automotive market, Maruti Suzuki is offering much required basic safety equipment as standard, such as Anti Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Break Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and Engine Immobilizer for the security, but absence of airbags is heavily felt, wish if Maruti could have offered it optional to complete this exciting package.

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-ORVM.jpg
 
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Fuel Efficiency and Verdict

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Instrumental-Cluster.jpg

A-Star's 3 pot engine with Manual Transmission has won accolades from ARAI for its frugal engine. Does the Auto Transmission deserve the same?

Well, In City drive we were able to extract barely 10kmpl and on the highways a slightly better figure of 13kmpl was achieved, considering normal driving conditions. The average fuel efficiency the car returned is 12kmpl in day long drive which includes 40% highway & 60 % City driving.

All in all, with limited number of automatic gearbox hatchbacks available in India at present, it could make a real difficult decision for buyers to opt between Hyundai i10 and Maruti A-Star, with price difference of only a few thousand bucks, however, for those who are strictly on a tight budget, and want a hassle free driving experience of automatic as well as an incredibly vast after sales network, Maruti Suzuki A-Star certainly proves to be a blind choice, which female drivers can easily enjoy driving too.
 
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Likes, Dislikes and Star Ratings.

What We Like In A-Star A/T? [thumbsup]

  • Peppy engine
  • Cheaper than Hyundai i10
  • Standard Anti-blockier system
  • Excellent After Sales Support
What We Dis-Like In A-Star AT? [thumbsdown]

  • Noticeable lag in automatic gear-shifts
  • VXi is compromise with price. No extra features (Foglamps, Alloys etc.) on offer as in ZXi.
  • In-adequate Boot space.
  • Somewhat cramped rear seating.

The Automotive India Star Ratings.

  • Design & Quality:
    (3/5)
  • Comfort Levels:
    (3/5)
  • Performance:
    (3.5/5)
  • Ride Quality:
    (3.5/5)
  • Handling:
    (4/5)
  • Fuel Efficiency:
    (3/5)
  • Safety:
    (3.5/5)
  • After Sales Service:
    (4.5/5)
  • Value For Money:
    (4/5)
 
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Price and Specifications.

Price:

  • VXi A/T: Rs.4,37,701
(Ex.Showroom, New Delhi)

Engine:

  • Max Power: 67PS @ 6200 RPM
  • Max Torque: 90Nm @ 3500 RPM
  • No. of Cylinders: 3

Transmission:

  • 4 Speed Automatic
Suspension:

  • Front: Mc Pherson Strut
  • Rear: Isolated Trailing Link
Brakes:

  • Front: Ventilated Discs
  • Rear: Drums
Wheels/Tires:

  • 155/80 R13 Tubeless

Dimensions:

  • Length: 3500mm
  • Width: 1600mm
  • Height: 1490mm
  • Wheelbase: 2360
  • Ground Clearance: 170mm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 35 Liters
 
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Let Pictures Speak.

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-AC-Vents.jpg

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Bootspace.jpg

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Center-Console.jpg

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Front-.jpg

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Headlamp.jpg

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Logo.jpg

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Rear.jpg

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Side-View.jpg

Maruti-Suzuki-A-Star-Steering-Wheel.jpg

Road Test Credits

  • Road Test & Photography: Zinam
  • Text & Format: 350Z
(C) The Automotive India. All rights reserved. Our content such as reviews, images etc. can not be reproduced in any form without written permission of our authority.
 

AMG

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10 in city
13 on highway

Arent these figures slightly low?

How much does an i10 auto deliver?
 
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Well done guys. Nice and crisp review.

I was surprised to read the FE figure - 10/13 on city/highway. Otherwise looks excellent choice for women drivers specially. Now we do have one alternate to i10.
 
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Lovely, I must say Zinam and Vibhor. Good job[thumbsup]
Maruti has at last got a replacement for the Old WagonR AT, and a credible competitor to the i10 AT that hasn't had one for a long time. I'd say, the A-Star AT is the perfect and most sensible choice for a young couple, a single man/woman, or a small family with a pair of young kids. It is the cheapest AT available in the Indian market, though we've had cheaper ATs, namely the Santro, WagonR and Zen AT.

However, I would prefer the i10 Magna AT, as it has enough space and, if you forget the presence of ABS in the A*, it is the safer of the two.
If only the i10 Magna had an option of ABS, or the Sportz came with ABS.

EDIT: I must say, the graphics/decals on the Road test vehicle look great!
 
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Thanks RSM, Arkin & Akash.

Mileage figures of i10 & A Star are almost same.

Hyundai i10 has an edge over Maruti's 3 pot. Hyundai i10 delivers 10kmpl in city & 14kmpl in highway respectively even when its 200cc greater!
 
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