Maruti Suzuki has been the highest selling car manufacturer of our country for decades now. Almost all the cars launched by this company have sold in really high numbers. That said, people have forgotten about some of these cars. Also, the younger generation doesn’t know about all the cars that Maruti has sold in India. Here’s a look at 10 FORGOTTEN cars and SUVs from Maruti Suzuki.
While the Maruti SS 80 was the first hatchback from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, it’s the 1000 that became the first-ever sedan from the popular manufacturer. The 1000 was sold as the Suzuki Cultus internationally, and back in the day, came across as a sufficiently premium offering. Launched in 1990, the 1000 came with a 970-cc petrol motor that wasn’t too powerful, but a light weight of just 825 KGs made the car adequately powerful.
Yes, we all know about the Omni but do you remember its high-roof version? Maruti sold a high-roof Omni to cater to those looking for a more spacious multi-purpose vehicle.
The Maruti Zen was a fun-to-drive, funky li’l hatchback that is almost a cult classic today. Maruti also sold a slightly different-looking version, which was called the Zen Classic. The Classic had a retro-esque front-end styling, which pretty much failed to impress Indian car buyers. Other than having a cosmetically different front-end, the Classic was quite similar to the regular version in every other department.
Today, the Vitara Brezza is an instantly recognizable compact SUV that has been very popular among the compact SUV buyers. The Grand Vitara, however, failed to find any takers. The Grand Vitara was a CBU and was available only with a 2.4-litre petrol engine.
While the Maruti Baleno sedan wasn’t the most popular car in its segment, the demand for its station wagon variant was even lower. Station wagons have never sold well in India and the Altura was no exception. The Altura was powered by the same 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated petrol engine that powered the sedan. It was even as much fun to drive. However, it didn’t find many takers.
The Maruti Ecco MUV is based on the Maruti Versa, which was basically a more powerful and premium offering. However, it failed to impress buyers. No, not even Amitabh Bachchan could persuade car buyers to put their money on this van. Today, the Versa lives in a rather utilitarian form, which is called the Ecco.
Zen Carbon and Steel
The Maruti Zen Carbin and Steel are the only two-door Zen models from the manufacturer ever. The Zen Carbon and Steel were as much fun as the regular variant but looked funkier. Only 600 units of the two-door Zen were launched in India and they were quickly lapped up by enthusiasts.
The Maruti A-Star was a cutesy hatchback that offered a peppy motor and well-sorted dynamics. However, the high price tag and the cramped interior kept buyers away from this rather likeable hatchback. Internationally, this car has done pretty well. In India, however, it’s among the least popular small cars the manufacturer has ever sold.
While the petrol-powered Maruti Zen was immensely successful, the Zen Diesel hardly found any takers. The Zen Diesel was launched to cash in on the rising popularity of diesel cars. It got the same Peugeot-sourced 1.5-litre TUD5 diesel motor that powered the Esteem Diesel. This oil burner offered a maximum power of 58 bhp along with a peak torque of 96 Nm. However, akin to its sedan sibling, this Zen didn’t find many buyers.
The Kizashi was probably the most ambitious project from Maruti Suzuki. It was the least priced CBU to come to us. It was also the most luxurious offering from the popular manufacturer. The Kizashi, even after years of being discontinued, is quite a looker. It’s quite fun to drive, too. However, it failed to impress car buyers.