Maruti Suzuki Zen: A car firmly etched in hearts of Indian buyers

Friday 01 November 2013, 10:59 AM by

Hatchbacks have been a popular choice amongst middle class and upper-middle class Indians, for long enough, mainly because these cars are affordable, compact in size and best suited for the crowded roads of India's metropolitan cities. Indian automobile industry has extensively evolved and so has the hatchback segment, however, one brand that still dominates the car market with its comprehensive range of hatchback is Maruti Suzuki. It is a popular name in almost every average Indian family as the auto maker offered some of the best selling cars starting from the entry level 'Alto' to the other hatchbacks, like Ritz, Swift, Wagon R, Zen and A-Star.

Maruti Suzuki Zen: A car firmly etched in hearts of Indian buyers |
Maruti Suzuki Zen: A car firmly etched in hearts of Indian buyers

Out of all the aforementioned cars, Zen has been the most prevalent model in the hatchback market, as compared to its contemporaries. The Indian car market was first acquainted with Maruti Suzuki Zen in the year 1993, which marked the genesis of a blockbuster in hatchback segment. Till recently, it was listed as the second most popular hatchback after Maruti 800. Maruti Suzuki Zen was a 5-door model, which acquired a significant fame in the country since it was introduced. This hatchback was amongst those few cars that did not see any change in its exterior design for a long period, despite the constant evolution of Indian car market. It was only in 2003 that it underwent a complete metamorphosis in terms of looks. What made Maruti Suzuki Zen a preference among car buyers are a number of features that it came loaded with.

It was in 2010 that the last generation model of Maruti Suzuki Zen was offered to the price sensitive Indian buyers. Named as Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo, it was brought up as an alternative fuel operated passenger car. Unlike the previous engine versions, Estilo was integrated with company's flagship CNG kit that operated on an Intelligent-Gas Port Injection (i-GPI) bio-fuel technology. Main advantages of incorporating this technology was lesser emissions, higher power and superb mileage. Also, this model was developed keeping in mind the general concerns like safety, reliability and performance. Despite, being economical and highly fuel efficient, Maruti Suzuki Zen was phased out from the Indian auto market, owing to its old school type design.

However, it must be noted that ever since its launch, Zen Estilo failed to captivate the buyers of its predecessor, the old Zen. The auto giant tried to renew the Estilo by introducing new advanced features, but could not fetch a decent value in the hatchback car market. In the present day car market, there is no brand that is as trusted by buyers all across the nation as Maruti Suzuki. Proving this fact, the company has been cited as the largest passenger car maker of the country. Interestingly, the old Zen, which dominated the hatchback segment in last decade with its whooping sales figure, still fetches a decent value in the used car market.

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