Staying at the top of the sales chart year by year is not an easy job. Yet India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki keeps on doing so, without any problem. Since its inception in 1981, Maruti has been loved by Indians due to affordability. In these 39 years, the company has introduced many cars that have been cherished by the customers, while some were not welcomed with a big heart. Here is the list of 10 such forgotten Maruti Suzuki cars in India that have been a part of this legacy.
SX4 | For The Man In Every Gentleman
This sedan was launched back by the company back in 2007. The premium looks and the stylish interiors made it an instant success story. SX4 had an amazing ride quality. It was powered by a 1.6-litre VVT DOHC petrol engine which could churn out 104hp of power and 145Nm of torque. But with the advent of diesel engines in the segment, SX4 started losing the monopoly in the market. In 2011, Maruti Suzuki tried to revive the SX4 by introducing a 1.3-litre DDis diesel engine which could produce 88hp of power and a torque of 200Nm. But by the time SX4 got this oil burner, it was too late. The sedan was discontinued in 2014. You might easily see one running on the roads at present.
Zen | The Name Itself Is ENOUGH
How many of you know that the name itself is an acronym. The full form of ZEN is Zero Engine Noise. Yes, that’s totally true! The Japenese word ‘Zen’ also means complete. This 5-door hatchback was introduced back in 1993. The car was a huge success, the reason that even the current generation might be familiar with the name. The car came with minimalistic interior and great driving experience. Maruti advertised the car as a 5-speed workout – Start with anticipation and end with exhilaration.
Powered by a 1.0-litre all-aluminium engine which was one of the most silent engines available in the segment, Zen was a famous car among the families in India. It was discontinued back in 2006 after a successful run of 13 years. You can still find a modified or even a fully stock Zen on the Indian roads.
Celerio Diesel | Life takes a leap
Celerio was the first Indian car to be equipped with the Automatic Gear Shift (AGS) technology. It was introduced in 2014 and is still sold in the market. But there was a diesel variant too, for a brief period of time. Equipped with a 0.8-litre turbocharged diesel engine, Celerio Diesel was launched in 2015. The car had a power source of 47hp and a peak torque reaching 125Nm. Celerio Diesel had the best-in-segment mileage of 27.62kmpl. But even after all this, it was not able to attract a lot of customers and was discontinued in 2017. Not many of you might even know that there was a diesel variant too.
Kizashi | Most Premium Maruti Ever
Not everything that glitters, sells. Maruti Suzuki launched the Kizashi back in 2011. It was the time when the whole world was reviving from the global recession of 2008, India reviving slower than the world. The car was brought in India via CBU route which means higher price due to the import duties. The most important factor for the failure of this ultra-premium car was Maruti’s own brand value. Since its inception in 1981, the company has been known to introduce affordable and fuel-efficient cars. Kizashi was none of these. Want to know what all went wrong with the car in India? Click here.
Gypsy | Driven By The Spirit Of Challenge
This off-roader from Maruti Suzuki is rather an immortal car and not a forgotten one. It still roams on the roads although it’s not in production at present. Gypsy is expected that the cult beginner will be back with the introduction of Gypsy/Jimny in India. The off-roader was launched in the December month of 1985. It has been famous amongst rally car drivers and off-road enthusiasts. But what’s interesting to know is that 90% of sales were made to the Government agencies, police or the military.
The sturdiness and multi-terrain capabilities made it the carrier of the first line of defence of India. This car might be discontinued, but as said, some legends never die. They just take a break and return back stronger than ever. There is a whole list of Immortal Indian Cars, you’ll love to check out! Click here. And wait, there’s a second part too. Click here.
Zen Estilo | A Bad Regeneration
This is just an opinion, many of you might have liked the Zen Estilo. Zen name has a legacy in itself, which company tried to revive with the Zen Estilo. The low-budget compact hatchback was launched in 2007 after the discontinuation of Zen. It was never able to hit the nostalgia as the design was pretty different from what people were used to with the old Zen. Estilo was discontinued in 2014 after an okayish run in the market.
Alto | The King Of Good Sales
The Alto remained at the top of the sales chart for 15 years only to be dethroned by one of its siblings, Swift. The current Alto was launched in 2012. Before that, the Alto used to look a lot different, more towards the Maruti’s old design. It was welcomed in 2000 by a lot of customers making it one of the best selling hatchbacks in the country in no time. Alto got a total revamp session and the old Alto was lost in the past. This is how you keep on the legacy of a car carried and not by what was done to Zen.
Stingray | Sportier WagonR
It was a cosmetic upgrade to India’s favourite taxi, the Wagon R. It had more premium interiors and exterior than the Wagon R. Talking about the engine, it was the same as that of the Wagon R. All this added to the cost and the customers were not ready to pay more for the same car with just a few newbies here and there. Stingray was never able to pick up and was discontinued within 4 years in 2017.
Baleno | It was not always a HATCHBACK
Launched through the NEXA channel of Maruti Suzuki, Baleno has been the most successful subcompact car in the premium segment. But many of you might remember that it was not always a hatchback. This nameplate was used by Maruti Suzuki earlier in the year 1999 when the company launched the sedan. It was a good selling sedan as the segment was not flooded with a lot of rivals at that time. It was discontinued in 2007 paving way for the SX4 sedan later.
Grand Vitara XL7 | Another Failed Try
The Suzuki Grand Vitara XL7 made its way to our shores in 2003. It was a powerful SUV powered by a 2.5-litre V6 engine. But this was the first time Maruti Suzuki took the CBU route to bring in one of its premium offerings in the segment which was being ruled by the Tata and Mahindra at that time. If Maruti learnt from this failure, Kizashi might not have failed. But with such a huge share in the market, Maruti could afford such failures.
So, this was the second list of forgotten Maruti Suzuki cars in India. Did we still miss any? Let us know in the comments section below if you remember any cars other than these.
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Well written. Unfortunately the headline does not match the content purely for the reason that the list includes iconic models from Maruti Suzuki which cannot be forgotten by people, general public as well as car enthusiasts. Case in example are: Baleno, Gypsy, Zen and Alto.
The cars which are possibly forgotten to a greater extent would be in the lines of Maruti 1000/ Esteem and Versa.
The title has been written while keeping in mind the new generation who are not well versed with the iconic models from the company. Stay tuned!
We have the 1st generation alto in our house and in my grandfather’s house also
What about the Maruti Ritz?