Please Tell Us Your City
Satish Kalepu Satish Kalepu Tuesday 20 September 2011

I am not one of the zip-zap-zoom drivers, nor am I an ardent Maruti Suzuki fan. Quite on the contrary, I am a Hyundai gal and I am looking for a comfortable car good for city rides. Yet here I was for a test drive for the new Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo. I have been quite amazed by the Maruti Suzuki furor over past few weeks regarding its KB series engine, so it was time for me to face it!

To go ahead, I really liked the test drive and was quite happily impressed. But am I really impressed as much that I buy the car? Read on!






Are you wondering why I choose to discuss design and style first? Aw c’mon, all men out there – it’s female instinct: looks and design matters, so does the inside tapestry! Who is first interested in the messy oil engines? Not me!

The Zen Estilo on the first look was a quite a pleasant sight. Two brand new models were shining brightly in the showroom lobby with an equally impressive mileage kiosk “18.6kmpl”. Quite impressive! The front styling is quite fancy but you don’t really see any striking difference from old Zen. But yes, the interiors have changed to new dual colour tone of coffee with beige.

Now, it was quite easy to enter the new Zen Estilo! I am tall and I have always loved tall-boy models like Santro with more head roof. Now here is the new Estilo and I can easily get into it, without slouching on to the seat and not banging my head either! WOW, the car is taller by 200mm! I find the inside space pretty much same as the earlier model although the sales guy told me that the wheelbase is 25mm longer than older Zen. 


The LX model comes only with AC and it’s like a stripped down version without any power windows either. LXi model has power windows in front two windows. VXi model has all four power windows, AC and rear defogger along with other standard features. It also has optional features like ABS and dual air bags. Keyless entry is quite impressive and intelligent sensing makes it impossible to start the ignition without the original key. So it means that even if someone manages to open the car door, the car will not start!

The seat is as tall as my old Santro and I have a good view of the road. But do I need a high seat to view the road? No! I need a high seat to see clearly while parking in congested city areas - how I hate shoe-box parking – which I can do easily in this car.

The front dashboard is quite impressive, with all dials and meters. It is done in coffee colour and it looks quite pleasant, but how long will this beautiful colour last if sun is blazing all round the year? Even grey tone starts looking dull after sometime! Dashboard has complete digital display featuring fuel, mileage and trip meter.

In spite of good seat adjustment the high dashboard does not give you that comfortable feel. I would have rather preferred a flat or a nicer dashboard.

Now for all the male readers - the new KB series engine is really superb and gives an impressive performance. Another thing that impressed me was the steering wheel. I would call it the intelligent steering wheel! The power output to steering wheel depends upon your speed. Unless you plan to chase hoodlums, you wouldn’t be taking steep turns at corners, would you? So the steering gets only as much power as required at the speed you are driving at. Steering wheel is definitely lighter than Santro and gives you better maneuverability.


Well, even though this is not my cup of tea, I guess you will be interested about the specs of the car!

The New Zen Estillo has a 998 CC, 3 cylinder engine with power output of 68 BHP and torque of 90NM. The earlier version was a 4 cylinder 1.1 liter with power of 67.8BHP and 84 NM torque. Hence, quite a good improvement from earlier version.

Other than this all other parameters remains like that of dimensions, boot space etc. remain the same.

Maruti Suzuki claims that Estilo is capable of delivering a mileage of 18.6 kmpl but consumer feedbacks wavers between 17-18 kmpl. Only few Estilo had been sold so far and sales guy told me more feedbacks are still awaited. 


Well, the drive was definitely smooth. Gears were just like those of the Santro and the sales guy told me that it’s a new car and they will ease gradually!

Zen Estilo has lower ground clearance so when I bumped over a good ol’ ditch, the ride was suddenly bumpy. Not that I was expecting the smoothness of an SUV but still it could have been smoother. I crossed a rough patch, a gravel path with shapes of sand dunes. The car glided smoothly but I was scared that the chassis might bump or at least the front bumper will definitely have a nose-dive experience. 
After that I took to the highway and touched only till 80kmph (I told you I am not a zip-zap-zoom driver). I loved it and the car gave a good aerodynamic feel. The pickup was nice and turning was smooth as well.


Tech specs
Technical Specifications
Make Maruti Suzuki
Model Zen Estilo
Variant Vxi
Engine Capacity 998/3 cyl
Power 68/6200
Torque 90/3500
Gears 5/M
Dimensions in MM
Length 3600
Width 1495
Height 1595
Wheel base 2600
Ground clearance 160
Kerb Weight in Kg 845
Fuel tank capacity 35
Mileage 20.2
Tyres rating 145/70 R13
Tyres type Tubeless
Minimum turning circle radius in M 4.6
Features Lx LXi Vxi
Power Steering No Yes Yes
Power windows No No No
Central locking No Front Front & Rear
A/C Yes Yes Yes
Music system No No No
Fog Lamps No No No
Rear wind shield washer No No No
Defogger No No No
iCATS Yes Yes Yes
Security System No No Yes
Fabric Seats Yes Yes Yes
Collapsible steering column No Yes Yes
Tubeless tyres Yes Yes Yes
Cup holders in console No Yes Yes
Child Lock No Yes Yes
Front Foglamps No No Yes
Immobiliser No Yes Yes
Key off remainder No No Yes
ABS No No No
Air bag No No Yes
Ex showroom Mumbai 358421 394586 423213
Maruti Suzuki
Zen Estilo
Variant Vxi 1.0 LT GLS
Engine Capacity in Litres 998 993 186
Power PS/RPM 68/6200 63/5400 63/5500
Torque Nm/RPM 90/3500 90/4200 96/3000
Gears 5/M 5/M 5/M
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes No
A/C Yes Yes Yes
Music system No Yes No
Fog Lamps Yes Yes No
Rear wind shield washer Yes Yes No
Defogger No Yes No
ABS Yes No No
Air bag No No No
Average fuel efficiency  20 17 16
Ex showroom Price Mumbai 423213 400372 402450

The new Zen Estilo has been revamped for better. It is also cheaper by Rs.15000 than old Zen and the range starts from Rs. 3,26,865 (ex-showroom Mumbai). The brand new Estilo is definitely capable of giving Santro Xing, Indica Vista and even Wagon R run for their money. Mileage is also quite impressive but will I change it for my Hyundai Santro? Umm... I have to think about it! Let me check out new Santro Xing, Chevrolet Spark and more cars! 

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