One of the favorite cars amongst Indiandrives staffers and especially me, the Maruti Ritz, has been around in India since 2008. Not too old then. Our staffers have always held a high regard for this small big car from Maruti. So when recently one of our staffers expressed a keen interest in the Ritz, it was a green signal from me. However there was a slight problem. The problem was that he didn’t have enough moolah for a new one and also the diesel variant of the Ritz commands a waiting period of two months. He also didn’t want to take a loan. So I suggested to him that we try out a used Maruti Ritz. Though he wasn’t too comfortable with this idea of going in for a used car, he eventually agreed to check out a few cars in the used car market. He eventually had his eyes set on a light red colored model. He asked me to accompany him the next time he went over there and asked me to list out some tips to check while buying a second hand Maruti Ritz. Some of the tips that I have given him are being shared with you guys as well here.
The body of the Ritz is corrosion free and so there is no problem on that front. Moreover, since the car is relatively new and due to its high set seating position, scratches on the bumpers or even the wing mirrors wouldn’t be a frequent problem. The head lamps are also of the clear lens variety and hence chances of them darkening out isn’t usual. Owners who might have put in higher wattage bulbs however would certainly have thought of reselling their car in the longer run since higher wattage bulbs thaw against the glass and cause it to darken. Do check out if the lamps are the original ones. The 165/80 R14 tyre size for the diesel is quite sufficient whereas the 185 /70 R 14 for the petrol variant is more than enough to handle the daily chores. However do checkout the tyre tread pattern. Post 35k kms, the tyres need to be replaced. Going for aftermarket tyres would cost around Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000 depending on the choice of wheels. The best part is that none of the owners of the Maruti Ritz have reported any problems with their cars and as such, the Ritz is a trouble free vehicle.
Coming to the interiors of this car, the usual Maruti plastics find their way inside the cabin however these are of a bit higher quality than the ones on the Swift. If you are looking at a diesel powered used Maruti Ritz, then it would be devoid of a tachometer whereas the petrol car features one fitted above the dashboard. Maruti have taken feedback from the A-star customer seriously and have fitted the revometer to the left side of the dashboard rather than the right hand side one. The seating arrangement is spot one and perfect one for even taller drivers. The dashboard mounted gear lever liberates lots of space inside the cabin. Two cup holders in the front cavity seems a useful touch. The seats, however are a bit on the harder side and would pose a problem as far as long drives are concerned. The fabric is also of the harder type and soils easily. Maruti have skimped out on equipment in this car and only the top end model gets a factory fitted music system. The tall boy design however liberates lots of space inside. Though the boot space isn’t anything to speak about, it still can carry around two big suitcases. Even though it’s a hatchback, rear seat passengers wouldn’t have anything to complain about.
Since the Ritz is based on the Swift platform, the underpinnings of this car are very robust. However check for loose front trail arm ends. Some service centers have noted that customers have faced minor issues of the car veering to the left side of the road even when the steering is held straight. Watch out for this problem in the test drive of the car. The accelerator pedal is very responsive, responding to even slight dabs on it. Check for an overtly tight clutch pedal though. This would mean worn out clutch plates and replacing them would cost Rs 8,300 including labor charges. Also in the interior section, do watch out for a loose glove box lid. Some of the earlier Ritz car owners were reportedly frustrated with the glove box’s inability to hold itself in place.
The car’s suspension has a rough edge to it however that is to be expected since this car has been tuned to provide equal thrills of both ride and handling. The tall boy design handles well and is relatively unfazed by crosswinds most of the times. Visibility in the front is very good however towards the rear, due to the thick window sills, the visibility is a bit hampered. Many of the owners would have fit in rear parking sensors to do the job of guiding them. Electricals overall are trouble free and click into place with a precision. The used Maruti Ritz in India would be available in two engine trims, a 1.2 liter K series petrol and the famous 1.3 liter Fiat multijet engine. Both the engines are relatively trouble free and perform without a glitch. The petrol motor has 84 Bhp on tap while the diesel makes do with 74 Bhp. Both the engines and the 5 speed manual transmission are equally at home in the city and on the highway. The steering wheel is also a trouble free unit and delights with its light controls. Steering mounted audio controls are available only in the top end ZXI model of the petrol variant. Routine servicing is what the engine of the Ritz demands and for that be prepared to shell out Rs 4,000 every 10000 kms. As per our AC tests, the Ritz’s AC unit is also highly effective however do take a close look if the AC has been serviced or not. Since this car is relatively new, it would still be under the 2 years warranty program offered by the company. Do check out if the used diesel car that you are looking out for isn’t part of the recall program that Maruti had arranged for their diesel engine cars. If the car indeed is part of the recall, do checkout if the necessary repair work has been carried out or not.
An air filter replacement for this car would cost Rs 180 for the petrol variant while the diesel variant commands a price of Rs 260. The oil filter in the petrol costs only 90 bucks while the diesel costs approximately 5 times more at Rs 400. Fuel filters also see the same difference with the petrol one’s costing Rs 300 whereas the diesel one commands Rs 1,200. Service costs on the diesel are also slightly higher at Rs 4800. As the petrol engine is very rev happy, do watch out for timing belts gone kaput. Cleaning the injectors on the petrol motor would make it perform as new. Insurance costs would range between Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 depending on the variant and the model year. The used Maruti Ritz price is Rs 3.40 lakhs for the 2009 base petrol model while the top end ZXI with alloys, ABS, EBD and dual air bags would cost around Rs 4.20 lakhs. The used Maruti Ritz price for the 2009 diesel model will be around Rs 4.45 lakhs. Its better to go in for the base variants of these cars as the top end models spoil the very purpose of buying a used car.
The other options for a used Maruti Ritz are the desirable Chevrolet Beat LT model which comes in at Rs 4.55 lakhs or the Ritz’s more dynamically desirable cousin, a used Maruti Swift for about Rs 3 lakhs. Considering that the buyers in this segment would looking out for a used car in the price range of Rs 3-4 lakhs, a 2006 used Honda City would be available for Rs 4 lakhs as well. As for my office buddy, he went in for the Maruti Ritz Vxi version for Rs 3.70 lakhs from the earlier batches. He is getting an approximate mileage of 13.8 kmpl with the aircon on full blast. Needless to say, he is very happy with the purchase. Overall, the Maruti Ritz is a peace of mind offering and one which comes with Maruti’s peace of mind after sales service.