Ownership Review - Zen Estilo @ 54,000 KM

jeetcp

Mediocre me
This is an ownership review of our 2010 Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo Lxi, K10B.


“A No-Nonsense car without a soul or class, but tons of reliability and utility.”
That is how I would define her. Frankly, there is nothing in Estilo that defines it as a CAR, she just does the job and that’s about it. But she does have a lot many good things that only the owner would know in his heart and would appreciate her for them. I will talk about the strong points later on.


It is strange to write a review about a discontinued car, but let be it.

Few detail about the car:

Purchase: Feb 2010

On road price: 3.83 Lac, inclusive of Insurance and other expenditure. It was a good enough amount back then. The K10B was 1st introduced in Estilo, hence no discounts on offer.

Miles covered: 53,900KM till date.

Downtimes: None. Only downtime I had was when battery was dead once, else I had no downtime whatsoever(Touch wood).

Total fuel cost till date: Rs: 2,02,69.93

Fuel Volume: 3102.46 Liter Petrol

(Kitna Deti Hai) Fuel Mileage: 17.37 KM/L . Calculated by dividing 53900KM by fuel volume. Yes, I do maintain fuel log of all my rides.  Driven mostly within city, but at non peak times and mostly only 1-2 people onboard, 50% driving with AC.
I can safely assume mileage of 20kmpl on highway without AC.
Range: With 35L tank, I have to fill up at 500KM usually. Only once I was able to drive almost 680KM max.

Purchase:
One would say why we bought an Estilo? Well, back then it was the best option in market in that price range. Alto was short of space and power, Spark had no punch, WagonR was still using the old F10D mill with no so good mileage, anyway did not like Waggy looks. Santro was a strong case, but we all are pro-Maruti and Hyundai is perceived as an expensive brand. Did not even think about the indica.

Estilo facelift was launched back then with 1st K Series engine and all new gearbox, and best part… those ugly colors were removed from estilo and added the dusky brown color. Many estilo I see on road are of same color.
Estilo could be sold more if those so called women centric colors were never introduced.

All in all, it was a good decision buying estilo at that point of time.


Engine:
This is the strongest point in the car. Only because of that K10B unit, the estilo is a good investment. An Engine is a make or break for a good driving experience. Same unit later served AltoK10, Current WagonR, Celerio and I think A-Star too. However, tuning is a little different in other car, not much. My observation is that K10B is little less noisy in later Waggy, more refined in current Celerio.

Don’t know why Maruti did not give Tachometer. Heck, a cheap 2wheeler gets one. End result: I have been driving for past 4.5 Years wondering “How much am I revving”. 

Well, what I can say is that I am really satisfied with the engine. It revs very freely, except top band, is silent enough given the fact it has a cylinder missing, light weight, fuel efficient. Best part, after almost 5 year/53K on odo, it feels like new in all rev bands. We have a WagonR in family which is relatively new and both car’s engines give me same feel. For short distances, I like Estilo more than my SX4 for the way the engine responds to throttle.
I can easily take it to 100 without feeling out of breath. It does not feel good after 110 at all and 140 is the extreme that the car can touch. Though it would be impossible to handle at that speed given the vague steering and narrow track(width of wheels) and tall design. At low rpm, in city, I can easily shift to 5th at speed of 50 and it pulls well. A lot many times I find Odometer at 80 while I feel like doing 60. Car and engine feel at home.
All in all engine is very capable I think. But it is all good for less load only. It is not too great on torque. Put 5 people in car and it does not feel good anymore. A friend having 1.1 WagonR had same observation.

The engine bay firewall for in cabin noise insulation is not as good as in WagonR. Mount is another poorly designed area IMO.
I always feed her Castrol Magnatec 5W30 SemiSynthetic. It is a good oil IMO, specially for start-stop traffic.


Transmission & GearBox:
Gearbox is better than previous generation. It is precisely slotting. Lever does not dance when releasing clutch or accelerating. It shifts with a nice click sound and each is sure slotted.

Clutch on the other hand is just too light for my taste. At 27K odo, I was told by Maruti that clutch plates are gone and need replacement. I decided to keep them. Finally I changed them this march at 46K just to realize that they were quite all right. Could have lived more. The vibrations I was getting were because of a combination of reasons including rpm, throttle body cleaning, engine mounts, shocker and partly because of clutch. Old clutch could live some more.
Bottomline, Maruti has given me a quality product albeit not so good finished.


Brakes and Tyres:
I hate maruti for fitting almost all their cars except top models with drastically undersized tyres and of poor quality. Stock JK of 145/70R13 profile were useless and were a pain till 47K Odo. Changed them to Falken 165/65R13. Life is much much better since then. I have a thread of discussion on this.
http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/cars-f12/tyre-upgrade-145-70r13-t57765/

I recommend changing your tyres right after leaving the showroom if they are not good.

Brakes are good but that’s it. You press hard and they press hard. Our WagonR on the other hand has over sensitive brakes. I little push stops the car suddenly enough to shocks the people inside. I like Estilo breaks as is. I have had to do emergency stops a few time, they worked well. Older JK used to skid, but new tyre sticks to earth and does not let go.
Pads and drums have good life. At 53K, they still have some life left. Priced at over Rs,1500 each they are not particularly cheap given the maruti image.


Suspension and handling:
This is a weak area. Pre2010 estilo had soft suspension making it less dynamic. Mine had stiff one which made the drive better. But for my kind of fast driving, even on rough roads, front shockers have given up. They are leaking. However they still do the job. Will change them for Rs 3K for the front pair. Rear suspension could be designed better to handle body roll better.

Steering is superlight and I don’t like it. It has no feedback and does not come to center automatically. It is very easy to park her though. Women may like such steering IMO. Again, it just does the job but does not engage you as a driver. Over 110Kmph, steering is almost ineffective. You get a floating feeling.

Build quality:
Is not as good as Maruti cars older than 2008. Mpfi Zen was a solid build, so was 2005 etc Alto. Estilo sheet metal is thin. Paint on the other side is good. It does not look great but has taken some beating of sun and dust and after 4.5 Yr, it does not show age.
Other than thin sheet, I think otherwise the build quality is good. Given the low weight of close to 800KG, this is what we can expect.
Head lamp are very effective. Came with Phillips bulb and focus and through is good for 55/60W power. To compare, I did not find SX4 and Etios as good.

On Accidental safety, I don’t think that cars like these will do good. Afterall, driver’s legs are almost in the engine bay which is very thin anyway. Thankfully, I never had any accidently. By God’s grace, I was always able to break within distance. She has only minor scratches by auto drivers.


Quality otherwise:
Quality is relative term with different meaning for different people. While some would judge quality by fit and finish and luxurious feel, my definition is this:
If the product does exactly what it was intended to do, and keeps doing it over long duration, it is a Quality product.

By this definition, Estilo scores 8/10.
2 points are deducted for a) suspension leakage, thanks to my driving style those days, b) seats are no more that comfy c) Door plastic panels have squeak kit kat sound at times, need greasing I guess. d) Horn is not good.

Apart from that, she is as good as new.
On Reliability, she scores 10/10. I would not think a second before taking her to say Spiti or Leh if the reliability is the point.

Maruti products may not be well fitted, or built like tank, but they surely are reliable. Specially in Indian condition.
You feed them poor fuel, or take through broken roads, or pass through knee deep water, service at local garage etc, they keep performing.
Maruti is peace of mind.


Other Points:

1. Dash is small and plain boring. But it frees up a lot of usable space in cabin. Estilo feels spacious inside and feel airy. Someone I know feels claustrophobic in many high end cars and hence cannt travel. Whereas Estilo makes them feel comfortable.

2. Rear seat can accommodate only 2 adults properly. Upright seat means comfort is low. Rear floor hump is very small.

3. She looks so tiny, but boot is large. She can accommodate much more than WagonR. Without parcel tray space is good. Rear seat can fold. I have shifted house many times and Estilo carried so much of luggage.

4. I had fitted Panasound single din HU which I got form Rs 1350, with 2 oval 9X6 Nippon speakers on wooden box that I keep in boot, tweeters. I removed the door speakers after they went kaput. Whole setup sounds great and under Rs4500, it was a steal 4 years back. For comparison, the SX4 stock 4 speaker set is nowhere close in sound quality. Not all unbranded products are bad.
I think of putting a better looking HU, but will change only if the replacement sound is as good.


5. Drivability:

Again, she looks a tiny car but is capable of City, hills as well as Highway driving.
She is as wide as an auto rickshaw. Means I can negotiate traffic with great ease and can park her is tightest spots.
With only 2 people on board, body roll can be handled well, and that makes her perform good in hills too. I have done enough hill driving with her and driven fast enough, felt comfortable.

On Paper GC is only 165mm, but stiff suspension makes is move through potholes with never touching the under belly.

Tyres is what makes a car go fast. And with nice set of shoes, she can manage fast speeds. Tyre upgrade is highly recommended. At times I have managed above 95 speed on open stretches for hours without feeling uncomfortable. Though I maintain proper distances to keep safety ensured. Aerodynamically, she is not great but not as bad as Waggy.


6. Cost of ownership:

As written above:
Total fuel cost till date: Rs: 2,02,69.93. Miles covered: 53,900KM till date.
Fuel Volume: 3102.46 Liter Petrol
(Kitna Deti Hai) Fuel Mileage: 17.37 KM/L . Calculated by dividing 53900KM by fuel volume.

Apart from that, I have done following expenditure in last 4.5 years.

Insurance = 7,525 + 4,770 + 4,232 + 7,389 = Rs 23,916 for last 4 years.
Accessary cost = Rs.13,120
Service + Maintenance + Battery + Clutch + Tyre replacement + anything else = Rs.42,817
That comes out to be 79 Paisa per KM.

If you exclude Battery, Tyre and Clutch, than the cost comes to 42 Paisa per KM. That is way cheaper than maintenance of my Bajaj Pulsar. 
After Warranty, I get her serviced on my favorite Garage and visit Maruti A S S for any specific task only.



Bottomline:

Do I like Estilo? Hell Yeah.
Would I trade her with the likes of WagonR, Alto, i10? Hell No.

Should one buy an Estilo: Well, now it is discontinued. But irrespective of that I would say, go by personal liking. For regular customers, I would more recommend a WagonR which comes 25K expensive then her, but gives more upmarket feel from interior design and overall size of the car. I for one would still go with Estilo, because she suits perfectly for my driving style and my utility.
 
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anupmathur

Super Moderator
Staff member
Very well presented ownership experience!

The only part I did not understand is this:
....
Purchase: Feb 2010
.... It does not look great but has taken some beating of sun and dust and after 4.5 Yr, it does not show age.
....
Why 4.5 yr and not 7.5? :confused:
Typo?
 

jeetcp

Mediocre me
^ Thanks TG,

Just did foam stuffing on the front seats today. Almost 1.5 inch more foam is inserted between seat and seat covers to provide comfy feel. Left the seat covers a little loose deliberately else the foam gives very hard feeling. Though the seat does not look good now but comfort is very good.

Will see the results tomorrow after office drive.
Sadly I could not capture any photo while doing the measurement and stuffing alone.
 

rajk

Member
very nice review, i am having a 2007 zen estilo november model, floating feeling is there ,also engine does not feel powered one.
 

jeetcp

Mediocre me
Update at 6.5 years of age and 68,000:

2 years back when we got an SX4, we wanted to sell Estilo. I was about to post her on OLX. Thank God we did not.
She has been great use since. Having a 2nd car gives you lots of flexibility.

Monthly running is split between 2 cars so Estilo runs less now. Clocked only 15,000 km in last 2 years. But those are very important KMs.

Since SX4 became my primary ride, Estilo was taken over by home ministry. And since driving her in busy traffic is like playing with a toy, Wife is very happy with this no-nonsense car.
As always, she has been totally trouble free.

Except for fuel, air in tyres and 1 service a year, she needs no other care. Though I keep doing things like gently cleaning the air filter, checking coolent level etc myself.

I had changed the front break pads a year back, though the old still had half life left. The new pads are spongy, makes noise and they have friction in place of bite. My mechanic says that MGP has that issue some times, and Rane make will be better. I will change them again soon. Rear drums can last upto 90K km as per last inspection we did. That is how much breaks last on a light weight maruti driven with care. :p

The Falken tyre that I had put on her at 46K km are still going very strong and wonderful set. Though the rubber seems to become hard a bit.

I dont really have much to write about this car except good words and Many thanks for being such a nice asset. I am going to NOT-SELL it as much as I can. Selling will only fetch a small amount of money for such old car, but she is a utility to us as good as new.
 

deepam

Super User
Update at 6.5 years of age and 68,000:

2 years back when we got an SX4, we wanted to sell Estilo. I was about to post her on OLX. Thank God we did not.
She has been great use since. Having a 2nd car gives you lots of flexibility.

Monthly running is split between 2 cars so Estilo runs less now. Clocked only 15,000 km in last 2 years. But those are very important KMs.

Since SX4 became my primary ride, Estilo was taken over by home ministry. And since driving her in busy traffic is like playing with a toy, Wife is very happy with this no-nonsense car.
As always, she has been totally trouble free.

Except for fuel, air in tyres and 1 service a year, she needs no other care. Though I keep doing things like gently cleaning the air filter, checking coolent level etc myself.

I had changed the front break pads a year back, though the old still had half life left. The new pads are spongy, makes noise and they have friction in place of bite. My mechanic says that MGP has that issue some times, and Rane make will be better. I will change them again soon. Rear drums can last upto 90K km as per last inspection we did. That is how much breaks last on a light weight maruti driven with care. :p

The Falken tyre that I had put on her at 46K km are still going very strong and wonderful set. Though the rubber seems to become hard a bit.

I dont really have much to write about this car except good words and Many thanks for being such a nice asset. I am going to NOT-SELL it as much as I can. Selling will only fetch a small amount of money for such old car, but she is a utility to us as good as new.
++++++++++++++
Great going many more miles to munch.
 

jeetcp

Mediocre me
Had been thinking about our 1st car, Estillo.
It was a great companion for the 6-7 years. And some of the best time spent in young year.

I sold that in 2017 for 1.4Lac. If I want to buy the same car, dealers are asking for 1.5Lac. Crazy market.
 
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