Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Car - Ritz Zxi

It has been almost 2 months since i took the Ritz (Zxi, Baker's Chocolate). Over these days i am happy to notice a steady increase in the number of Ritzs on road. And why not, as per my experience (and many reviews on the internet) it is a real value-for-money, practical car. If you have a weak lower-back, has a tall frame to carry with you and do not yet want a "big" car, the Ritz is a boon!

When i decided to go for a new car, my prime consideration was a higher and better riding posture than my good old Zen. And my budget was around 5 lakhs.  So the options for me were rather limited. The following were considered:

  • Swift: Tried and tested. But tired of seeing so many of these on road.
  • DZire: Big car, with a spacious boot. Diesel VXi and ZXi was out of my budget.
  • Ritz : Excellent riding comfort.
  • Polo: Good car again. Struggled to squeeze in to the driver seat though.
  • i20: Good car. But low platform.
  • i10: Very popular and successful. But small and cramped interiors.
  • Grand Punto: Good looks and aggressive pricing. But FIAT service?
Given my past history (a happy one, that is) with Maruti Suzuki and an exchange bonus on the offing, i streamlined my choice to the top 3. Swift was the safest option. DZire (though bit costly) was the big car option. And Ritz was the most economical (though unconventional). The next question was to whether i should go for petrol or diesel option. My average commute is around 1000 - 1200 kms/ month. A quick computation showed that for an ownership of 5 years, the difference is not that much. So why compromise on the better ride quality and lesser maintenance hassles of petrol version?

I took test drives of all three short-lists. I was inclined to take an ZXi option as it had front SRS airbags, ABS, alloy wheels, wider tyres and a host of luxury, comfort and safety features. So zeroing on the Ritz was not that difficult for me (except that most were frowning at its looks). DZire was way over my budget and (in my opinion) the Swift is no better looking than the Ritz. The Swift is costlier and Ritz had a 5K advantage on the exchange bonus (15K for Ritz and 10K for Swift) at that time. Another favouring point for Ritz was the availability - the Swift had a 1 - 2 month waiting period, whereas Ritz Zxi was in stock (lucky me).

Ritz has a tall boy design and is deceptively large for a small car. I could make out the real difference only when i parked my old Zen along side the Ritz. It has ample headroom and leg room in the front. Back is not crammed either. The boot is acceptable for a hatch. The other pros and cons of the Ritz are:
Pros
  •  Comfort getting in and out of the car
  •  Drive quality - the K series engine and well placed gear ratios
  •  Good enough ride in the back seat
  •  Overall build quality
Cons
  •  Not so smooth gear shift
  •  A-pillar blind spots
I took delivery on 3rd March and as on today (27th Apr) it has completed a near flawless 2500 kms. I get a mileage of around 12 - 13 kms/ lit (which should improve by the time of 2nd service) for  predominantly city driving (with A/C on). Notable problem other than the gearshift include a possible problem with the catalytic converter (foul smell from the exhaust - a problem currently under observation by the dealer).

So there you have it. A first hand review by a new and happy owner of Ritz. Comments are most welcome.

7 comments:

George said...

Good points Gunny. Better have that exhaust bit checked up pronto.
Truly a great car, but have to add one negative point. The boot - a little small. If the space had been 50 L more, it would have been perfect!

Ganesh said...

@ George - Completely agree. But with the 60: 40 split, i feel that even that problem is solved. Compared with my good old Zen (i still love/ miss that car though) the boot is spacious. A touch more would have been perfect! :-)

maruti said...

Thanks for the wonderful review

Regards,
Maruti Ritz
http://twitter.com/ritzbymaruti
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=125937078546

Ganesh said...

@ritzbymaruti You are most welcome!! And thanks for the RT!! :-)

totalbhakti said...

i bought I10 in lieu of ritz i thought i10 has more fuel efficiant. regards www.totalbhakti.com

Ganesh said...

@totalbhakti Congratulations on your i10. I think it is a good car too. And as far as i know, it is a touch better on fuel economy as well.

But it is purely a personal choice. I think a car should match the owner's personality, driving style, physical structure, etc, etc. At the end of the day, it should give a feeling that, yeah, this is waht i like!!

Regards
Ganesh

jake tyler said...
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