Old is Gold: Maruti 800 DX Ownership Review


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350Z

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Most of you here might agree that any place related to Indian cars is incomplete without the discussion of Maruti 800. Needless to tell that I’m here referring to same car which has put our country on wheels and initiated actual the “car revolution” in India. Following same, today I’d like to introduce you all with a my little 800 which is serving perfectly well even after more than 8 years of ownership yet it has done only 21,000 Kilometers.

Why Maruti 800?

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Bought on 31st December 2002, this is not just another Maruti 800. During those days Alto’s launch was nearing and Maruti released this special 5-Speed Maruti 800 DX series which offered a little more for its price, like refreshed front grill, Extra rear parking lamp, Newly design instrument console, Covered interior trims, for instance.

I had very basic requirements and was looking for a small hatchback with in minimum budget, so stepped into the car market and checked a few cars including Zen Classic, Tata Indica, Maruti Alto. The Zen classic had horrible looks so it was rejected right on the spot and Tata was dropped down from list because of questionable reliability and maintenance concerns.

Now fight was between Maruti siblings, 800 and Alto. As said previously that Alto was latest entrant into the market and its base version with almost zero features was priced at approx. Rs. 3.2 Lakhs but on the other hand Maruti 800 DX top-end came at Rs. 2.8 Lakhs only and offered all the basic features which I needed and more or less both the cars were based on same platform, with same engine, all the difference being looks. So finally happened to seal the deal with an 800.

How’s it Performing?

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Look at these pictures and you’ll get an idea. It is eight plus years (…and counting) the car is still going strong and used on almost regular basis. However the rattling issues have come up with the time. Maruti Suzuki designed this car to suffice the needs of a small family which sure it does very well but with the times changing swiftly, people who love spirited driving will be quite disappointed because as many times this car is taken on long stretched highways or even plain empty roads, it growls for more power which its engine, unfortunately doesn’t allows at all. Below are quick description of important points which would be interested in:


  • A/C: Strictly average. Does the duty in normal days but when in middle of summer season, be prepared to get fried because it takes too long to chill the complete car.

  • Comfort: Due to car’s short height, getting inside and out is an ache for tall people. Front seats offer average room as well as comfort and rear is too cramped to sit and there will always be a fight between front and rear leg space. You'll need to compromise one.

  • Steering: It is one of a positive points of 800. Despite of being non-powered, the steering is quite easy to handle and also accurate. Thus u-turns in congested areas are a no problem at all.

  • Gear Shift: Gear shift is precise too but after the long–term use, it sometimes tends to stick at one place while shifting.

Number of Troubles Experienced:

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None. :biggrin: Considering the car’s life, Really I’ve not faced any major troubles and if any, they were fixed at nominal cost on MSIL authorized workshop. But if you still ask me, below is the complete list:


  • Rear tire puncture (thrice).

  • Battery failure after 5 years

  • Wiper blade broken (twice)

  • Under body corrosion

  • The interior lamps refuses to work at times.

  • Driver side window mechanism went kaput. Fixed @ 250 bucks.

The Accessories Added:

I love accessorizing the ride but on other hand also take care not to spoil it too much. Following are the accessories which have been installed yet.

  • Sony Xplod Audio System

  • Type-III Model Headlamps

  • Front Passenger Side ORVM

  • Body Colored Bumpers

  • Bumper Rub-guards

  • Wheel Covers

  • Rear Parcel Tray

  • Mud mats & Mud flaps

  • Seat Covers

  • Dashboard Wooden Finish

  • New Door Lock Pins

  • Center console + Cup holder

  • Window Sunfilm (50% visibility)
My Thumbs up:

  • Complete “car-like” looks and value for money.

  • Small dimensions assure easy maneuvering.

  • Easy to operate controls. Close to driver’s reach.

  • Nice steering and gearshift response.

  • Outstanding fuel efficiency figures.

My Thumbs down:

  • Small dimensions: feels very unsafe sitting inside.

  • Useless headlamps and interior lamps.

  • Almost nil boot space. Luggage has to be carried with passangers.

  • Squeaks and rattles are a Maruti Suzuki trademark (™)

  • So loose bumpers that one hit and it will fall down.

  • Small 800cc engine tends to heat up fast.

Summing Up the Overall Experience:

front.jpg

Hitherto the journey has been fantastic and trouble-free with little 800 and I’m sure it can easily serve a decade more with joy. I’ve no regrets for opting a Maruti 800 over an Alto, considering the situation eight years back. The Maruti 800 has proved to be a great city car without any doubts but not suited for enthusiasts and after all you can definitely not ask more for the price which you pay for it. :smile:


The Specifications:
  • Engine: 3 Cylinder, 796 cc producing 37 BHP and 6.01 Kgm of Torque.

  • Fuel Type: Petrol

  • Gearbox: 5 Speed Manual

  • Steering: Rack & Pinion

  • 0-100 kph: 26~ seconds

Dimensions:

  • Length: 3335 MM

  • Width: 1440 MM

  • Height: 1405 MM

  • Wheelbase: 2175 MM

  • Tyre Size: 145/70 R12

  • Kerb Weight: 665 Kgs

  • Ground Clearance: 170 MM

  • Mileage: 12-13 Kpl in cities and 18-19Kpl on Highways

Related Links:




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head-lamp.jpg

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rear.jpg

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speedo.jpg

dashboard.jpg

dash-sai.jpg

airvents.jpg



Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Excellent report, i must say. 5-star.

And you are right about steering in M800 is better than Alto. Non power steering helpd actually to have firmer steering, than very light steering of Alto.
 
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For a car that is 8 years old, the problems you've faced is pretty low. About the steering, you will never need powered one. The current days' cars cant stand a chance against 800 for all round visibility. Though we never owned a 800, we used to borrow one of my uncle's 800 for long trips. It does its purpose pretty well. It is a king in city traffic and small roads. Enjoy your ride. Happy motoring.
 
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Hey thats a pretty good report and great to know that you have not faced any major problem for 8 years till now! Rattling sound is present in the Swift too!

The car looks well maintained too! But i can see a crack in the front bumper left side and that must have prompted you to go for the bumper guards i guess!

Now if you can get some alloys it will be perfect!!
 
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350Z

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Excellent report, i must say. 5-star.

And you are right about steering in M800 is better than Alto. Non power steering helpd actually to have firmer steering, than very light steering of Alto.
For a car that is 8 years old, the problems you've faced is pretty low. About the steering, you will never need powered one. The current days' cars cant stand a chance against 800 for all round visibility. Though we never owned a 800, we used to borrow one of my uncle's 800 for long trips. It does its purpose pretty well. It is a king in city traffic and small roads. Enjoy your ride. Happy motoring.
Thank You! :smile:

Hey thats a pretty good report and great to know that you have not faced any major problem for 8 years till now! Rattling sound is present in the Swift too!
You'll find rattling sound in almost every Maruti car, Though not sure if it has been disappeared from latest models but otherwise, As I mentioned in review, It is a Maruti Suzuki Trademark.

The car looks well maintained too! But i can see a crack in the front bumper left side and that must have prompted you to go for the bumper guards i guess!
That's not a crack but paint peeling off.

Now if you can get some alloys it will be perfect!!
As of now, No plans for alloys but will surely consider them sometime in future. :smile:

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350Z
 
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That was a good brief report on your 800.

My friends dad have same model 800 with 5 speed gear box over 7 year i suppose. Even yesterday i drove that. It has developed just one single problem. In ac , Though the compressor is in fine condition its gas is leaking , Must be the pipe mistakes!


And Your pictures were nice.

The paint difference in the car body and bumper can be noted easily , i think you have painted a low quality paint on them. It looks without any shining.

And the bumper guard! its been screwed on the bumper? Its suppose to be stick on.


The 800 have found many homes throughout.

We missed owning one as the omni's waiting month was 3 months where as this one was 8 months like in 1989. So we got the omni.


Though we missed in owning one , i have got lot of 800's to drive around.

Cheers[thumbswink]
 
Thread Starter #9

350Z

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ilango[speed thirst];29032 said:
And the bumper guard! its been screwed on the bumper? Its suppose to be stick on.
Yeah it has adhesive on other side but after a small hit these guard falls off, so it has been now screwed on the bumpers.

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350Z
 

Arun

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The painting, well, is done badly. Just sanded and painted properly. In your case, I think the guy forgot to sand your bumper and painted it like an 8 year old with a brush. That is the only reason your paint is peeling off. Take it back to Carnation. Let them 'powerwash' the bumpers. Paint them again properly. Personally I'd prefer to keep the bumpers black.

Also, you said that the tiny dimensions of the car were a plus point. You added that to the negatives as well. Is it good or bad???

PS: What is that sticker on the rear windshield. What does it refer to? Just curious..
 
Thread Starter #11

350Z

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Also, you said that the tiny dimensions of the car were a plus point. You added that to the negatives as well. Is it good or bad???
Yes. It has an advantage and disadvantage in their own way.

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350Z
 
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awesome review, 5 stars from my side too!! i have seen this first 800 which is so well maintained and i never expected that it is 8 years old and hey only 21,000 kms till now? great! i liked the wood finish btw. keep this beauty maintained like this always. [thumbsup]
 
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Yeah as arun said , the paint quality and workman ship is low. He added a perfect point of sanding.!

Sanding it accurately and giving a good coat of primer and then good quality paint will last as much . From picture i can see no shine in bumper but in body its perfect. , so i guess they must have used asphalt paint on the bumper
 
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350Z

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For now, I'm not going to spend more since it is doing well without issues.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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