Used Maruti 800: An Expensive Futuristic Vintage Packet

However, there are already reports on our blog about the used Maruti 800, but due to the growing demand of being ‘fuel efficient’ we then decided to have a throw at the best-in-class leader of mileage of its times. In fact it was our one of my cousin who had just learnt to drive a car and was willing to buy the one to get his steer clear-cut in the daily routines. However, not moving into the deep, we will just give you the upper crust of it in this posted article.

To take on the toil further on, we called up the free lance dealer and made out the appointment for a visit to one of the nearby garage. Hopefully, it is still said that the car of Maruti 800 badge was sold in October 2011, so due to its aggressive customer base many of the audience whom we had seen were not willing to sell their metal. It’s because, during the good olden days, the 800 was pronounced to be the people’s car, so keeping a one its sample in the covered garage of the house will sometime fetch a good resale value in the future, says one of the free lance dealer. Lest, the time and again, we were there at the garage shop in the time of another half an hour walk. And there was the car standing in the normal condition there in the shabby shed of the road-side repairing bay. Thought the model was of the 2002, hence the proper used car dealers did not entertained it in their repertoire for being too old, which in return was doing the rounds of such arbitraged workshops. We were then told that the owner is an old man so he is unable to come down this point, instead it was the garage owner who is now being renounced as the owner of that car. Though by luck that garage-wala turned out to be a good person when we started talking to him, hence our confidence now gets restored that was first lost on seeing him during the first 3 seconds, because of his appearance. Well, we were on the doubt that the garage owner may have ruled out the original parts from the car or his extra profit, so we decided to open the engine first to inspect rather than getting inside and making out the view of the interiors.

Used Maruti 800

To our relief, the engine and other technicalities were maintained in good condition, but there were some of the leakages reported on some interiors parts of it. While the free lance dealer was intending us to make a good bargain due to the leakages, but we realized that one is not the major, so the present owner of the car may not accept it to lose the brownie points for us due to those. Meanwhile, concluded all the rest to be okay, we were just about to close the bonnet when the cousin pointed out one more negativity. And that is the rust inclination on the hinged corner of hood. Though we didn’t think it as minor one, because the rust can compel one to make the replacement of whole body which may make the costing reach too mad than what could have thought. At this point of time we were turned off, yet another intervention of that free lance dealer came, and it bestowed us that , sir the pre-owned market in Kurla and Chor Bazaar will get you the spare parts and body too in the don’t cheap pricey and those would be of better quality too. Lest, it is a job for the one who is all time free and can make a regular visit there to get the perfect one for the amount being paid. Well, we then became totally disinterested to mark this in our purchase, but after walking half an hour from our home to there, we thought let’s take a test drive too. To be honest, the moment when we opened the door it was normal than it should be. All the clichés were restored in the perfect condition and the ACs were working very well. Hope so all the gremlins may fall in place, but the cousin who was sitting in the pilot seat had retarded us, there were some knick knack during the gear change. There were some of the electrical issues too, like the wipers were not in the so good condition, headlamps tend to stop sometime, or may not give the right response when you clicked the desired switch, and the aftermarket fitted power windows were not so desirable. While we then decided to end up the test drive on the street of our apartment, but before getting out there, we made a ‘brake test’ on the run, and to our surprise, it returned the more powerful result than we could have thought of. There was a strange reason behind it for being too aggressive, said the current owner.

He continued, the actual owner is an old man and was facing some problem in the legs, so to suit his health condition he wasn’t advised to drive the car much, but due to its love with the vehicle, he had made the braking powerful, so that the hard braking on the normal pedal condition may not land in him in some other fuss. And my cousin, who was driving the car, also reported the acceleration was at par than of the other Maruti 800, all because of the said reason. Lest, of all the excitement, we then decided to end our test drive, and was conclude the results whether we are interested in making the purchase or not. So taken advantage of my bonding with the free lance associate we then asked him for some time to think over and would make the decision then. In addition, the last factor which we were made aware of was the pricing. He asked us for more than the ‘three grinds’, which means a cool half a grind over the market rate, and that too with the nuisances stuffed inside. Hopefully, we then left the deal and made route to our home, back to the Google and calls to lug of free lancers again, hoping that something or the other may come out soon.

Well, ours decision of putting down that deal was the extra expenditure which we were slotted to borne it after the purchase, and to be true it wasn’t that current owner who had demanded such costs, the old guy who was ordering the decision from home was the main decision maker behind the scene. Hoping so, we asked the actual owner to cut down some of oodles of questions, he remained aggressive and refuses to sell. And this scene again to the point what we our free lance dealer had said above, the owner who owns a Maruti 800 tends to keep it there in the garage so the he may drive home a good sum of money when the day would pass by and this may become an eye candy for the vintage lovers, after all it had maintained the legacy for more than 25 years and is still giving out the true value for what the money is paid to.

Used Maruti 800- still the people’s car

What does it imply when you invoke the name of Maruti? Trust, Reliability, Assurance, safety and the list goes on and on and on. Maruti has been rightly nick named “The people’s company”. This was precisely the love and affection of the millions of Indian across the country which made this car an icon of its era. It is the car which made India truly mobile and hence it is a good second hand purchase. It was never been a Herculean task to locate a Maruti 800, as it has been with us for far too long and is still popular, cheap to run and buy. Even a used Maruti 800 hold its value relatively well. The reason being, the insatiate demand for the vehicle. The car had recently seen a face-lift so one can expect the prices of a second hand Maruti 800 to drop marginally. This is certainly a better time to lay your hands on this car, if you are looking to graduate from your motor cycle or for your everyday chores. The only difficult task at hand would be the decision to zero in on a particular model to look for. All cars belonging to the Pre-1990 era came with a heavy dose of Japanese components, and now are available at throwaway prices, but the only problem pertaining to such cars is the scarce spares and its cost. A Post-1997 car would certainly be a good bet, especially if you can get hold of a, MPFi-engined , five-speed car, which Maruti shortly discontinued. The said car had monocoque chassis that translated in the suspension, engine and gearbox being mounted over the frame. Thus checking for damages to the chassis and car’s body becomes very much important. It is not a rocket science to find out the damages due to a mishap, as it is highlighted on the 800’s body very easily.

The first chore while inspecting a used Maruti 800 is to put the car on a ramp and inspect the apron and the cross-member in the front to see if they show signs of rusting. And if you find it so, be rest assured that the vehicle has been involved in mishap, and a welding job has been performed on it. This has a tendency to erode very soon and will take a lot of your attention from time to time. For instance, front apron for each side bills you around Rs 8000.

One must check the underbody for signs of folds and kinks near the rear and front. Any indications of these implies that the car was in a rear or front end shunt. Also inspect if the C-pillar and A-pillar in them have folded, and in case you manage to notice any kinks on the surface of the roof, it is a guaranteed case of car crash. Hence, as a cardinal rule one must keep away from such cars. The arm of the suspension in the front is very damage prone. One way to check its health is to observe the position of the wheel. If the wheel is not uncentered in the well, and is a tad closer to the arcin the rear, it means that the arm is in a damaged state. Rusting of the body is a common phenomenon near the sea-side, and also translates that the car may be left at the mercy of the rain gods. Also check the wiper spindle on the driver’s side, as this collects a lot of moisture and debris, and rusts. Move the spindle while lifting the wiper blade. If it shows movement, corrosion has taken place and it would be expensive to refurbish it. Another favorite area of rusting is under the doors and beneath the carpet. Collection of water in between the space of the door results in the corrosion of the door sills. The mechanical aspect of the used Maruti 800 is straightforward and very simple and is generally free of trouble. The Maruti 800 engine can withstand a mileage of 80,000 km without needing any particular attention, provided the car is maintained properly. Check the Carb for shape in early carbureted models. Circuits inside the aluminium of the Carb are usually destroyed by bad fuel quality. A new one is billed for Rs 7,000. Generally the clutch last for a good 30,000 km, but wears out prior to this mark if driven rashly.

While you are on a test drive of a second hand Maruti 800 you are planning to buy, see if there is judder when starting from halt in the first gear. CV joints and Drive shafts are prone to wearing. Drive forward and maneuver the wheels to both sides. If you notice a noise of a knocking, it implies that the driving shaft has surpassed its utility and will bill you around Rs 2,800 to get a new.

Used Maruti 800s that have clocked greater than 40,000 km need to inspect their brakes, steering and suspensions checked. Post-1997, the model was equipped, at the rear, with suspension of coil spring. But in case you are opting for a leaf spring suspension, check if the parabolic spring has broken or sagging, overloading is the real culprit in these cases. If not so than the only thing that needs to be done is the little job of the stabilizer bushes, which needed to be replaced at 20,000 km.  Meddling with odometer of a second hand Maruti 800 is a child’s play. So it becomes imperative on your part to check for the authenticity of the mileage. Another way of ascertaining, if the odometer is tampered with, is cross-checking the reading on the meter with the date of tyre’s manufacturing.

A considerable number of used Maruti 800 has gone through rough times, due to the attribute that it comes with i.e. cheap. This results in the manhandling of the car by most users, which they would not prefer with other cars. If at all you have happen to ever witnessed a Maruti 800 carrying 10 person or loaded to its hilt with goods, you might get an idea what we meant by it. But nevertheless it is sturdy and reliable car that can gracefully take a hell lot of bad abuses, also repairs are inexpensive. So in case you happen to come across a second hand Maruti 800 in good shape, take it to an authorized Maruti work shop. Give it a thought and find out the repairing cost for the same, and if at all it is still appealing, take it. A more convenient way of ascertaining this is to visit the used car dealership of Maruti the True Value showroom. Reselling of Used Maruti 800 is done after they go from a series of detailed check-ups. The cars in the True Value dealership will be a tad pricier, but it definitely comes along with a mental-peace warranty card attached to it. The used Maruti 800 price from the 2004 batch would be Rs 1.3 lakhs and upwards whereas an older one would go anywhere from Rs 40,000  to Rs 60,000 .

Tata Nano in India and used Maruti 800 – a showdown


This is one inevitable comparison, seeing that the Tata Nano in India is newly launched whereas the Maruti 800 is an icon of yesteryears. The latter actually carried the mantle of been the lowest priced car in India and now it’s position has been dethroned. This is because of former which claims to be the lowest priced car not just in India but across the world. Launched in 2009, the Tata Nano has ended the streak of India’s cheapest and best selling car. So much so that, Maruti Suzuki had to stop production of this car. However that doesn’t take away the virtues of this car. Here I have given you a rundown as to why one can opt for a used Maruti 800 or go for a new Tata Nano.


Tata Nano: Since this is the newer car of both, I would concentrate on it first. The Tata Nano looks like an egg shell. Now I know that I have already mentioned this in the Tata Nano review however I would still like to call it the same. It is more of utilitarian design but nowhere does it look offensive. It has a missing radiator grille at the front and tear shaped fog lamps{the latter is available only on the top variant and there is no space for them on the lower ones.}. The made for Europe Tata Nanos have alloy wheels however the Tata Nano in India make do with steel wheels of size 135/70 R12 for the front tyres and 155/65 R12 for the rear ones. The rear also shows a curved form and reveals the radiator grille. It has a single tail pipe which resembles the one from an humble rickshaw{which by the way costs more than the top variant of the Tata Nano}.

Used Maruti 800: Now, the Maruti 800 has spawned almost 3 decades. Its basic shape has remained very much the same. It was inspired from the 80s and nowhere does it look as modern as Tata Nano in India. Earlier Maruti 800s had that oblong noise with little to comment upon. Actually the cars from that era all looked the same. This car also featured 12 inch wheels with no alloy wheel option. The rear end also underwent many changes during the course of its evolution. The post 2004 models got clear lens blinkers.

The Tata Nano in India wins this round based on its newer design.


Tata Nano: Sufficiently roomy is what we would call this cabin. It has better space utilization than the Maruti 800. You would rather prefer to climb into a cabin rather than crouch into it. The seats are comfortable with integrated head rests. The dash board is also very well built with no uneven panel gaps. It is also very smooth. There is a single glove box however don’t expect too much from it other than carrying a few papers. There are also two cup holders. The steering wheel is also finished nicely. The rear seats are also good with enough thigh support and the high roof line. There is ample space for 4. The boot space is barely adequate at 125 liters. The Maruti 800 was the benchmark while making the Tata Nano and this has ensured approximately 22% more space.

Used Maruti 800: Now, anyone who has been staying in India since the past 10 years would definitely vouch that they have seen a Maruti 800 crammed with people. So much so that a 5 seater passenger car has about 7 people into it and the car happily jogging along. It however doesn’t ensure that the used Maruti 800 would have the same space. The dashboard design was pretty much ugly. There would be loose wires hanging from everywhere. The AC controls are also huge and ungainly. The seating is also very low and this means that you would have to crouch to get into the cabin. Moreover once you have plonked yourself into the cabin, you would have to wrestle with the non power steering{most of the cars sold were without this basic necessity, not that the car needed it anyways}. I personally, been a 6 footer didn’t find the seating position comfortable. Even in the rear seats{more comfortable than the front ones, chauffer driven anyone?}. I have this personal opinion that older Maruti 800s carried far more space than the newer versions. What this car does offer is more width and thus seating three wouldn’t be a problem. The low flooring also means that there isn’t enough of thigh support.  The interior quality is way below that of even the Tata Nano in India. The boot space is also bigger than the Tata Nano at 170 liters. However the time many of the used Maruti 800s would have spent on the road is testimony to their build quality.

Somehow it doesn’t feel right but the used Maruti 800 takes this one away primarily been a 5 seater.

Handling and ride quality

Tata Nano: On the ride, this mini Tata has got a highly advanced suspension. This one is composed of independent front suspension. This along with the 180 mm ground clearance means that this car should clear the rough with a smile on its face. The ride is good at low speeds however at high speeds{which rarely anyone with a Tata Nano would attempt} it is affected by the crosswinds. However small bumps at higher speed also affect this dimunitive performer. The handling is also good with the non power steering doing your bidding. It however is a bit heavy than what I expected atleast in this company.

Used Maruti 800: The used Maruti 800 has a trailing type suspension which means that it is pretty much noisy over the rough roads. If anything, Maruti had provided for hard shock absorbers at the rear which lead to a good handling package but would take a toll on one’s back if you are going to sit there for long. The handling is more surefooted than the Tata Nano in this case and since the car sits low, it is less buffeted by the cross winds. The suspension has been revised over the years however the net result always ends up the same. Post 2005 used Maruti cars would have a soft suspension set up.

This is won by the Tata Nano, no questions asked.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

Tata Nano: The Tata Nano in India features one of the smallest engine for a 4 wheeler. It has a 624cc, Rear Mounted, MPFi engine which puts out 34.55 Bhp @ 5250 rpm and 48 Nm of torque @ 3000 rpm. Coupled with a 4 speed gear box and a kerb weight of just 600 kilos, this car shoots from 0-100 kmph in 22 seconds. The top speed limited for it is also 105 kmph. Not serious kick in the gut figures but consider the factor that this car would be used mostly in the cities and not for highway jaunts. For the city use, this car is quite apt. Its gear box is also a smooth shifting unit. The brakes are also front disc and drums at the rear. Safety equipment doesn’t amount to much for this car as it is a built to price car. It has a collapsible steering column with side intrusion beams and a rear mounted engine. Fuel efficiency is very good with the Tata Nano returning an overall figure of 21 kmpl in combined city and highway conditions.

Used Maruti 800: Now you may find used Maruti 800s with different engine configuration and states of tune. This is because over its life cycle the car has seen a 1000 cc engine and also an 800 cc one. It also has got 4 speed and also 5 speed transmission. I would prefer the 4 speed one. Since the 1000 cc engine was a limited edition, I would concentrate more on the 800 cc one. It produced 37 Bhp and 51 Nm of torque. This combined with weight of 680 kgs made this car a good performer as it could do speeds in excess of 130 kph. The gear box was a bit vague though. The brakes were front discs and rear drums. Safety was unheard of in a Maruti 800 and hence I would rather omit this topic. It was always Bhagwan Bharose in a Maruti 800. Fuel efficiency was the talking point in a Maruti 800 until the Tata Nano stepped in. Fuel efficiency would hover around the overall mark of 18 kmpl.

The Tata Nano wins this round as well.


Now, this shouldn’t be a tough one considering the factors taken above however looking at the overall reliability and the way that it has served the Indian car buying public, I would happily recommend a used Maruti 800 than a Tata Nano in India. This is because of the Maruti reliability factor plus a used Maruti 800 wouldn’t go up in flames unless you did something stupid in it. For the price of a new Tata Nano standard, you would easily get a 2004 used Maruti 800.