Maruti Suzuki India Limited have burnt their hands earlier on with the introduction of the Maruti Baleno and later on with the launch of the Versa. Not to forget, the Maruti Grand Vitara. However their other big car offering, the Maruti SX4 was well received by the car buying populace. Its sales however were not a patch on the very formidable Honda City. However sales were not as much as Maruti would have hoped, almost in the same ballpark as its small hatchbacks. This doesn’t mean that the SX4 is not good as a second hand buy. Infact it is a complete value for money product as a used buy. Since the diesel model has been launched recently, examples of the petrol model are coming into the market very soon. Launched in 2007, the butch car from Maruti stables evinces second glances from the on lookers. Here are a few tips on what to look out for when buying a used Maruti SX4.
Due to its large front overhangs, the SX4 was prone to scraping its nose not on speed breakers but on the pavements, if the previous owner wasn’t too careful about this aspect. However these can be taken care off with a light polish job which the seller or even the used car house would do for free. Even if the second hand Maruti SX4 you are eyeing to buy has got a slightly bent fender or stuff, then also don’t be worried since the SX4 has one of the cheapest prices for spare parts in its segment. The SX4’s gum ball size tyres used to be gobbled up pretty fast by the heavyweight car body and hence check into this if the tyres have been replaced around the 25k mark. Many of the owners had fitted in reverse parking sensors on their SX4s and if you find one such example then consider yourselves lucky since the SX4 is quite a pain to reverse. Additionally, if its not present, then you can fit in aftermarket ones for only Rs 1.5k. Many of the used Maruti SX4 cars would be found with side skirts and stuff which the company later on started offering on its Zxi variant. These side skirts however were loosely fitted and do check out if the SX4 you are buying has these bolted on correctly.
As for the interiors, the first thing to check out is if the carpet and upholstery emit a foul smell. If they do, then don’t attribute this to the rainy season. Infact, rain water or even the washing water may have accumulated in the AC’s cooling coil and hence must be soaking the upholstery and carpet. Well, to get this problem fixed is a time consuming as also expensive proposition. However if you are getting a good deal on the second hand Maruti SX4, then this shouldn’t be a deal breaker and you can ensure that it is cleaned or treated accordingly and then passed onto you. As for the plastics, they do hold themselves well though some Swift like gremlins including rattling body work have been found in the 2007 and early 2008 batch cars. Dashboard quality is good however the light colored seats stain very easily. Space is ample in the SX4 and the SUV like perch position is also good. Boot space is at par with rivals if not less. Coming to the boot space, do check out if the boot linings have gathered rust. If they have, its better to move away from such a model.
For the driving part, if the second hand Maruti SX4 that you are driving makes some rattling noise from the front left hand corner, then it means that there could be a problem with the steering rack assembly. With the steering rack assembly going for either a replacement or repair means that your wallet would be lighter by Rs 27k. The front strut assembly is also known to emit rattling noises, so even it has to be checked. Rs 5.5k is the price that one pays per set for the strut assembly. The SX4 had a sort of harsh ride quality to it and this shouldn’t be a deterrent while buying one. Suspension linkages on some cars need attention as early as 15 or 20k kms. While driving the car, if the clutch has to be slipped too much, then it means that the clutch assembly has gone kaput and would cost about Rs10k to replace. Even the interior upholstery, if it has any cuts or cracks or even tears, then it is better to move away from such a model as they are expensive to be replaced. The high ground clearance means that it stays away from speed breakers and the belly is highly unlikely to scrape.
The 1.6 liter engine is the one which would be easily available in the market since the 1.3 liter diesel has been just launched a couple of months back. This engine is not from the K series family and hence is not as fuel efficient. It however has a good revving capability but then tends to become very noisy towards the top end. Its not so fuel efficient nature however didn’t earn it many fans. The used Maruti SX4 should return around 8.6 kmpl in city and 14.2 kmpl on the highway. Not earth shattering figures but wouldn’t bruise the wallet much as well. CNG and LPG after market fitments would be a common fair on most SX4 models and its best to avoid them unless the registration book says that it is factory fitted. The 103 Bhp of power is enough for this sedan and also there is sufficient torque for both city and highway runs. The electronic steering wheel is said to be a trouble free unit however the gear lever is a bit baulky to slot into gear. The new diesel variant however takes it easy and has got a nice gear shift action. ABS is present as a stopping aid however brake fade is prominent in a used Maruti SX4.
Engine oil change which has to be done once in every 10k kilometers or in a year costs Rs 1600 while the air filter costs Rs 370 and the oil filter costs Rs 133. All these and the labour charges running into Rs 1900 means that servicing a SX4 is on the lower side of things. As for the prices, used Maruti SX4 cars don’t hold their value as well as some of the other cars from the Maruti stable. Infact prices have halved down over the years. For a 2007 base model, the price is only Rs 3.5 lakhs. The second hand Maruti SX4 price from the 2008 batch and that too for a top end variant is Rs 5 lakhs. You save roughly over Rs 2 lakhs in the bargain. A used Maruti SX4 is a good poser value thing and plus being a Maruti has its own perks. Well, we don’t need to tell you on that thing, aren’t we?