Friday, May 11, 2007

The rocker called SX4 from Maruti Suzuki

Update: I've booked the car.

I just had to put a post on SX4. Touted to be one of the most important – and significant – releases in the recent years in India, SX4 is a rocker from the word go.

For starters – I’m referring to Maruti’s newly released saloon called SX4, which is said to be next version of Baleno. This is very significant in the Indian car industry since Maruti has always been perceived as a ‘low cost’ or low-end (A1 and A2 Segment) car manufacturer, despite being the market leader. They proved themselves in the upper A2 segment by releasing Swift. And SX4 is Maruti’s answer in the A3 segment, and I guess they got it damn right.

Image Courtesy: Autocar India

SX4’s release had been hyped up until now with occasional glimpses of this stylish piece in European car shows. But everyone was tight-lipped about its price, and that’s again where Maruti made the perfect move. SX4 has been priced well below market expectations. The automatic version of Suzuki’s SX4 had been running in Europe as a hatchback for sometime now. With SX4’s release in India, even before it hits the most competitive market in the world (US), Maruti and Suzuki have shown the importance of India as a car market. SX4, in India, comes with features that are generally present in cars that are 2 to 2.5 lacs higher.

The base price of SX4 comes at 7.03 lacs on road – according to the business quote I’ve got from a dealer in Chennai. It’s longer, taller, wider and, in my opinion, much better looking than all of Honda City, Hyundai Accent, Verna, Renault Logan, Chevrolet Aveo, Tata Indigo, Ford Fiesta, Fusion, and a host of other cars in the same category. Running costs are certainly going to be easy on the pocket – what with Maruti’s spares and mighty service network. What more, it comes with a rocker of an engine that generates 103BHP @ 5500 rpm. Compare that with Honda City that generates 77BHP @ 5500 rpm and priced about a lac higher than SX4, with lesser features. In my own test drive, SX4 is vintage Maruti in refinement, smoothness and noise control. I think they’ve got it all damn right. This is a great move by Maruti to fulfill the needs of long time Maruti owners who are looking to stick with Maruti for the value the cars bring along.

I had almost zeroed in on Renault Logan which fits exactly my budget (6 lacs), but SX4 is simply irresistible. I really wouldn’t bother to stretch myself if this car hadn’t been from Maruti, but now this is serious food for thought. Let’s see what’s in store.

For people like me (who’re planning to buy a car) 2007 has been an amazing year. Logan was one of the most important releases in the recent years. It doesn’t look as stylish as SX4, and is apparently not the last word in refinement and noise control, but Logan is one damn good buy, in my opinion, for under 6 lacs on-road. For people who can stretch a little bit, SX4 is a great deal. If I were asked to choose petrol cars in difference categories, this would be my list: Maruti Alto to start with, Hyundai Santro in the 3-4 lacs range (or Maruti Wagon-R if you want cheaper running cost – the only vehicle with company provided LPG option), Maruti Swift in 4-5 lacs range, Renault Logan in 6-7 lacs range (or Maruti Esteem if you are ok with the looks), Maruti SX4 in the 7-8 lacs range, Toyota Corolla in 10 lacs range, Honda Civic beyond that, and then straight on to Mercedes.

Technology and choices have come a long way in the 12 years – which is when I first started driving with the hand-geared old Premier Padmini. My love for driving hasn’t lost a single bit since then. Days now are really exciting and I can’t wait to floor the pedal of one of these beauties!

SX4 on road price in Chennai (with sun film):
Base specification: Carwale research.
VXi (AC + Tubeless tyres + Power steering + Power windows + Central locking) - 7.03 lacs
ZXi (VXi + ABS + Stereo + Air bags + Alloy wheels + Auto air conditioning) - 7.80 lacs
Leather (ZXi + Leather seats) - 8.20 lacs

Also Read: Renault Logan hits the C (A3) segment


At Sunday, May 13, 2007 9:59:00 AM, Blogger Kavi said...

This is excellent. Baleno was kind of dated in looks and i always felt that it was underrated. Given the fact that rally drivers preffered the car to all else !

The tone up in looks and performance accompanied by a tone down in prices is certainly the best of recipies for the Baleno. Sorry SX !

At Thursday, May 17, 2007 2:12:00 PM, Blogger Jam said...

Hey there Govar,

At a tad over 8 Lakhs, the SX-4 is an amazing buy from the Maruti stable.

In fact, my old ramshackle Zen turns 9 yrs old this year, so let's see if everything goes well, for all you know I might just be owning one of these lovely babies in late 2007.


At Thursday, May 17, 2007 10:10:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

Jam, the VXi version starts at 7 on road. ZXi comes at 7.8, and the leather vrsion of ZXi comes at 8.2. It is an immensely great buy, no doubts.

At Friday, May 25, 2007 9:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey govar which is a better car
sx4 0r honda civic
Rs 7/ 11 lac

which is a better car if price is not a constraint /for self driving / maintenence /back seat comfort for tall people .

At Monday, May 28, 2007 7:36:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

Buddy you are comparing a Segment D killer car (Civic) vs. a Segment C car (SX4). Seg D cars are anyway better than Segment C cars. If price isn't an issue, here are the positivies and negatives, as I see it.

Segment D positives:
Bigger, wider, taller, more spacious in all respects.
More head turns
Better brands
Snob value

Segment D negatives:
Cars very big - lesser driveability in painful Indian traffic.
Lesser mileage - but nobody looks for mileage in Segment D.
Higher maintenance.

Primary, you buy a Seg D car, you got to have a purse that can feed it. SX4 would be a rather economical car with far lesser features.

Actually, I don't see a comparison at all. Why buy Seg C if you can afford a Seg D one? Civic is a stunner!

At Tuesday, June 05, 2007 4:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am also plannin for an SX4.. Can you help me with details on Fuel consumption for SX4??

Thanks, Arun

At Wednesday, June 06, 2007 12:33:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

Do I know you?

ANywaya, Fuel consumption is said to be around 11 in city and 14-15 in highway. I'm yet to get the exact figures but it does look like 10+ easily. I guess that's a decent bet for this powerhouse.

At Wednesday, June 06, 2007 9:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Govar,

I was just browsing for SX4 details while i came across your page :). Was hoping to get some tips from ya ;)
Actually am in a dilema of whether to go for the Fiesta, Logan, Aveo, Honda City or SX4. I know that Fiesta and Logan gives a mileage of 16-17 km/ltr in the city. Was just wondering on what SX4 would deliver. If its somethin close to atleast 15 i'll surely go 4 it..
You said you booked a SX4 right? Did they promise anythin on the mileage?? And did you book it in Chennai??
Please do HELP me decide on which car to go for..

Thanks, Arun

At Wednesday, June 06, 2007 11:00:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

I doubt if Logan/Fiesta is going to give 15+ in city. There's not a single car I know - not even my M800 or the underpowered Honda City ZX gives that much. With a 1400cc or more engine, I guess we should be happy with 12+.

I personally booked the car in coimbatore and got it last week. It's a beauty and a breeze to drive. It's supposed to give around At least 11 in city, and with what people say even 12/13 in city. I'm hoping I'll get around 12 - and I'm satisfied with that number coz you can't ask for a powerhouse of a car and great milage. It's either or. :)

If I can suggest something - go read Those guys are awesome. And please do not go for Aveo or Logan - they seem like a flop from now. SX4 or City sounds good.

At Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Govar..

I too have my eye on City & SX4 only. Thanks 4 the advice. Will chk Team-bhp too :)

Thanks - Arun !

At Friday, June 22, 2007 3:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all you guys out there !!!

I bought the AutoCar magazine, June 07 edition yesterday (21st June) only because their Cover page was "SX4 V City". The analysis is awesome !!!

AutoCar's "Value for Money" rating for SX4 is 8/10 and for Honda City the rating is 4/10.

Their overall rating of SX4 is 9/10. There are only 3 cars (i think) that AutoCar have rated 9/10. Honda Civic, Toyota Innova and now Maruti-Suzuki SX4.

I am convinced about SX4 after reading that article. I would be heading to a Maruti dealer soon.....


At Friday, June 22, 2007 8:25:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

Yes Rajeev. I bought the magazine looking at the title too, but that was after I bought and drove the car. :)

At Thursday, September 20, 2007 10:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi to every body.
Big wheels, low profile tyres and highest ground clearance means you can drive SX4 without giving a damn to the potholed roads. On the contrary even a pebble is enough to scrap the Civic's underbelly.

At Thursday, January 21, 2010 5:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

compared with fiesta,sx4 has a great styling.I have only test driven it, it was very comfortable,has great pick up and gave great mileage. The colours maruti has launched the car is impressive especially the black one, it is a head turner. The interiors seems great . The over all presence of the car is great.I am sure going to buy sx4 as my next car after all it has the name of maruti to it. Hope the car will a good resale sx4 is my choice

At Monday, May 10, 2010 3:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The SX4 sedan is fitted with an advanced M series engine. The M-series represents the future of Suzuki’s engine technology. It is designed to be compliant to Euro 4 and Euro 5 norms in future. Suzuki has developed this engine by picking up the best features of the engine series used so far in Suzuki vehicles and incorporating them in this latest series.

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