Maruti Suzuki’s 10 FORGOTTEN cars & SUVs: Baleno Altura to Grand Vitara

Maruti Suzuki cars are the most widely known and used cars in the country. The brand has been in the country since 1983 and has captured majority market since its inception. It has sold millions of pieces and is still continuing to hold the majority of market share. They are also known to launch new and facelifted versions of their car models to keep up with the market trends and give a tough fight to their competitors. Even then Maruti Suzuki had launched a lot of iconic cars which gained a lot of popularity when they were launched, let’s relive the charm of these cars.

Maruti Suzuki 1000

Maruti Suzuki 1000 was launched back in 1990 when the modern car has just taken precedence in our country. It was the first sedan launched by Maruti Suzuki after seven years of the launch of the Maruti Suzuki 800 in the market. The Maruti Suzuki 1000 was considered as a premium sedan car. It came with a hefty price tag of INR 3.81 lakhs in the 1990’s and it was considered quite a hefty amount back then. It was powered by a 970cc and an engine with a maximum power of 46 Bhp. It was soon replaced in 1993 with the Esteem, which was definitely a class apart.

Maruti Suzuki Omni High Roof

Maruti Suzuki Omni was an extremely popular commercial car which was used to commute by a lot of people or goods at the same time. The demand for the car was so high that Maruti Suzuki Omni was in production for 35 long years. Maruti Suzuki owing to the popularity launched a facelift version of the Omni with a much higher roof to allow passengers much more headroom but this ended up looking extremely ugly on the road. Also, it didn’t offer any other additional feature and because of this reason never became as popular as the regular Omni in the Indian market.

Maruti Suzuki Zen Classic

This was a facelift version of another new car segment launched by Maruti Suzuki. Zen was launched back in 1993 and was advertised as a premium hatchback. This original Maruti Suzuki Zen created a cult of its own, uplifting the customer segment for hatchbacks. To add a bit of retro into their original car design, they launched the Zen Classic. The car features were same, however, they tried to give it an elite and differentiated look with the chrome-filled face with round headlamps, a three-piece grille and a chrome steel bumper. This didn’t do as well as expected in the market.

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara

Even though India had a lot of SUV options in the Indian market, Maruti didn’t lose out in venturing in the SUV market as well. They came out with the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara in 2009 which was a full-size SUV. It was powered by a 2.4-litre massive V6 petrol engine and the price tag of over 20 Lakhs. For a brand like Maruti, it was extremely overpriced, however, the CBU import in the car made it reach the skyrocketing sale price. Even though the car was loved and admired by a lot of people, the high price on the car, kept it out of the reach of many people and therefore leading to discontinuation in 2014.

Maruti Suzuki Kizashi

This was again a shocker by Maruti Suzuki, as this meant that the brand has entered the segment of luxury sedan cars which was the forte of most of the manufacturers at the time. It was launch in 2011 and even though it came with the most affordable CBU, the overall price of the car went higher than expected out of Maruti. It was powered with the same 2.4-litre engine and without a doubt one of the best designing by Maruti until that time.

Maruti Suzuki Zen D

Maruti Zen Diesel

Diesel cars were taking precedence in the market with the affordability and longevity of the car in the longer run. Maruti introduced the Maruti Zen Diesel which back then felt like a refreshing change for people who were already keen in the Maruti Zen petrol. However, the diesel variant couldn’t match up to the success of the petrol variant. It came with a Peugeot-sourced 1.5-litre diesel engine which was the same which came with the Esteem diesel at that time. It could produce a maximum power of 58 Bhp and peak torque of 96 Nm

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Altura

Maruti Baleno Alturas Featured

Because of Maruti being able to be a market leader since inception, they had huge cash flows compared to competitors which led them the window to experiment all kind of cars in the Indian market. While the European market was responding to the station wagons pretty well, Maruti tried its hand at experimenting the same with the Indian market. The Indian market was already introducing station wagons when Maruti launched its Baleno Altura. It came with a 1.6-litre petrol engine but the market didn’t respond that well to station wagons overall.

Maruti Suzuki Versa

Maruti Versa

The logical upgrade from a Maruti Omni was the aim of Maruti when the launched the Versa. They were hoping to totally change the face of the MPV segment with the introduction of one of the best looking MPVs back then. However, over the course of time, the Maruti Suzuki Versa, couldn’t suffice in the market and started phasing out. Maruti replaced the Versa with an even more affordable version of MPV, the Eeco.

Maruti Suzuki Zen Carbon and Steel

They played another twist on the design of the classic Maruti Zen with a limited edition version of a three-door Zen Carbon and Steel. It was decided that Maruti will only produce 300 units of the car and it was an excellent strategy to engage the customer to buy sooner than expected, ignoring the features or the price. Few years down the line, not a lot of people even remembered this car existed and those who own it have been known to modify this three-door Zen, extremely well.

Maruti Suzuki A-Star

Maruti Suzuki A Star E1510141052572

Maruti’s stronghold in the Indian market comes with the affordability factor present in most of the cars launched by them. They used that to their advantaged and confidently launched the A-Star to go neck to with the Hyundai i10 back in its time. However, the marketing and target consumer was not exactly clear on which segment this car falls in as they saw it as something between a WagonR and the Swift. Since its poor performance in the market, it was discontinued after two years of its launch in 2012.