From the last century to till date, one could hardly forget the iconic cars and brands that laid the foundation of the Indian Automotive industry. One such name will always remain in our petrolheads, that is ‘Maruti Esteem’ (Maruti 1000). The car was the first car in India to start the modern sedan trend and took the market with a breeze. Well, it is hard to resist talking about such legendary cars. So let us rewind into what the car had to offer in those nostalgic days.
Maruti Suzuki Esteem and Maruti 1000 | Insights
The sedan was exclusively made for the elite class. Moreover, it was seen in many movies wherein the superstars like Anil Kapoor took a stroll with their girlfriends. This was because the car offered a bit more than what we’d pay for. Hold it right there, though it was more than worth it, the Esteem was priced at ₹3,81,000 which was considered a lot for the time.
Keeping that aside, let’s look what the then-modern sedan had on its menu.
Under the hood
Maruti Suzuki Esteem or Maruti 1000 were the cars of two different generations. Indeed both of them offered two generations of the engine.
- The Maruti 1000 in 1990 came with 970cc naturally aspirated motor producing 46hp of max power.
- On another front, Esteem in 1994 was the facelift of the Maruti 1000 having a considerable power upgrade. The later Esteem featured a 1.3-litre naturally aspirated engine producing 65hp of power and nearly 90Nm of peak torque.
- Later the second generation of Esteem got even more powerful. Equipt with the same 1.3-litre petrol engine it produced more power of about 85hp. This is when the car got upgraded to EFI over the carburettor.
- In the beginning, the sedan came with a 4-speed transmission and later was upgraded to a 5-speed gearbox in Esteem.
On the Inside
- For starters, the car was a lot spacious for its size, sitting 3 adults at the rear was not a problem. Besides, it had a lot of boot space for your long weekend rides.
- Another score the car achieved was the climate control system the car offered. That’s not even the cool part, yes there is more! Talking about climate control the side AC vents were on the DOORS. The people at Maruti gave a connecting duct at the end of the dash
- More to the interior, are the dedicated slots for the speakers in front and the back. This was seriously unimaginable in 1990 when the car was new.
- Talking about the music system or deck, the car had an option of a Sony system which had a cassette player and an FM-Radio.
- On the safety front, guess what the car got seat belt pre-tensioners in 1990 instead of those lose seat belts.
- Including to that was a cigarette lighter that the car came standard with (the most important feature car should have – reference: Deathrace)
Maruti Suzuki Esteem
This was the first facelift and name change the Maruti 1000 got. To be frank this was not merely a name change or face life for that matter. This is where the modern sedan got a bit futuristic.
- This was not just cosmetic upgrades. The car came with new hydraulic power steering.
- Alongside that, the car also got power windows on the top variant.
- Talking about the climate control in the car, the Esteem finally for the AC for the passengers.
- Well, the cool part about this generation was that before the touchscreen of better music systems could even arrive the car had a 2-Din space for the music system. This feature was not available even in some later generation cars.
- It was surprising that the car came with front disc brakes in 1994.
So, by now I know you too love legendary old cars so here are some more interesting facts about the Maruti Suzuki Esteem or Maruti 1000.
Enters the Maruti Sedan in Motorsports
Maruti Suzuki in the late 90’s century made the car so versatile that it was a car enthusiast magnet. People not only bought the car for sheer luxury but also for its driving dynamics.
Not only that the car could also be tuned according to the customers’ needs. Hence, motorsport enthusiasts took the engineering to a whole new level. (Thought it ruins the appeal of the car but well-engineered mods in the car are always appreciated)
The mods included a whole new powertrain, turbo-charged esteem and esteem specifically for rally racing.
There is a different arena for these cars in the hall of fame. Maruti Suzuki used to be good back in the old days. Now it’s just fuel-efficient boxes running on the roads while a moped passes through them. I hope that Maruti plans to bring the iconic era back. Till then keep enjoying the glimpse of history through us!
Another Fun Read: 10 Forgotten Maruti Suzuki Cars in India: From Versa to Esteem