Maruti Suzuki Swift Review & First drive

Maruti Suzuki Swift Overview

We motoring journalists are used to waking up bleary-eyed on many an early morning. And yet a drive that remains etched in my memory is that of the first generation Maruti Suzuki Swift. To be jolted out of bed in the wee hours of the morning (03:45 hours to be precise) and be told that we had to drive and experience this as yet covered up special new model within the next two hours before the people living in the remote corner of Manesar woke up, needed special motivation. That was nearly 13 years ago and the first generation Swift we were driving in the dark was certainly motivation enough. Maruti Suzuki Swift  price range in India is between 5,09,806/- to 8,29,000/, check for detail pricing of Maruti Suzuki Swift in Carzprice

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The Swift was the first world strategic model for Suzuki and Maruti. Though some of the other models in the strategy line-up may not have been successful, the Swift was an instant success. Clad in red and oozing youthful charm, the Swift became an icon overnight. The hot hatch is now set to be relaunched in its third generation form.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Design

Starting with aesthetics, Suzuki designers have tried hard to differentiate the Swift from the Dzire. Upfront the single piece matte black plastic grille looks sporty and also more purposeful thanks to the omission of the chrome surround from the Dzire. The new front bumper with a sharply cut chin further adds to its appeal. In profile it looks exactly the same as the Dzire till the B pillar, post which the rear door and tail section is all-new. The unusual placement of the rear door handle, while not the most convenient when your hands are full, makes it look like a sporty three door. The top ZDi plus variant gets diamond cut 15 inch alloys, while the lower ZDi variant gets smaller 14 inch simple wheels. At the back, the Swift looks a bit too simple, especially the large boot section, where Maruti could have added a crease or two to jazz it up a bit. In fact it reminds us of the Nissan Micra, which isn’t exactly a compliment.

Based on the new Heartec platform that also underpins the Baleno and the Dzire, the Swift has shed around 85 kg as compared to the old car despite it being a larger car. Maruti also claims the new Swift to be crash compliant to the upcoming safety norms. With Maruti being the only manufacturer to have their own crash test facility in India, it is hard to argue with that assertion.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Cabin

Step into the cabin and the Suzuki trademark features and design cues are everywhere. Subtle differentiators in the design and layout of the cabin attempt to make the Swift’s cabin unique compared to the Dzire. So, the aircon vents, the curved panels on the dashboard and the flat-bottomed steering wheel are clearly unique to the Swift. There are more sporty touches in the cabin, starting with the 5-degree tilt to the centre of the dashboard, to make it driver-oriented. The auto aircon controls in the top-end Zdi+ diesel variant that I was driving featured three dials with inbuilt digital displays. The touchscreen Smartplay infotainment system is there, too, and offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Maruti designers have chosen an all-black theme for the Swift to distinguish it from the dual tone theme that is offered in the Dzire. There is a certain charm to black interiors but, with black plastic and fabric panels on the door trim, it does seem a bit monotonous after sometime. The quality of materials used in the Swift has certainly improved and it does feel like the same trim materials that is used internationally in the model. There are bits of trim finished in urbane satin chrome that offer a break from the black theme, but there should have been more is my opinion. The centre console has a number of storage options for cups and bottles, as do the door panels. The gearshift knob and the framed panel housing it have been neatly executed, including the one in the AGS variants. The seats are the same as in the Dzire, though they are offered with different, firmer upholstery. The front seats offer thick side bolsters and are perfect for long drives. The instrument cluster features the same twin-pod configuration like in the Dzire, but has sporty aluminium and red rings to make it sportier in the Swift. we would have liked to see a few more options in the cabin, including rear aircon vents and a sunroof.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Performance

The outgoing Swift was available with two gasoline engines in most European markets and this didn’t change with the new-generation hatchback. The compact now uses a revised version of the 1.2-liter Dualjet four-cylinder engine, which cranks out 89 horsepower and 120 Nm (89 pound-feet) of torque, just like in the Baleno. That’s slightly less than the previous engine, but performance should remain similar given the lighter, sportier platform. The mild hybrid SHVS system based on the same powerplant is offered too.

If you’re not familiar with the system, it incorporates an Integrated Starter Generator (known as ISG) which acts as both a generator and starter motor. The ISG is belt driven and assists the engine during vehicle take off and acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking. The energy assistance provided during acceleration enables the SHVS to work as a mild hybrid system.

The second engine choice is the recently launched 1.0-liter Boosterjet. The turbocharged three-cylinder unit is rated at 109 horsepower and 170 Nm (125 pound-feet) of twist and comes standard in the more expensive trims. For the first time, the Boosterjet can be had with the SHVS hybrid system.-wise, look for a standard five-speed for the 1.2-liter, an optional CVT, and a new six-speed automatic for the 1.0-liter turbo.

The new Swift also adopts Suzuki’s ALLGRIP AUTO four-wheel drive system, which is available as an option on the SZ5 model with the 1.2-litre engine. First introduced in the previous generation Swift in 2014, the permanent four-wheel drive layout transfers additional torque to the rear wheels when required via a viscous coupling.Suzuki is also offering a Sport version with enhanced, more aggressive looks and a more powerful engine. This hatchback gets its juice from a 1.4-liter Boosterjet engine rated at 138 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of twist.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Rideing

We also noticed the diesel car felt more supple than the petrol which we think is due to the heavier engine. The ride feels settled at low speeds but you do feel the suspension thump over sharp bumps if you don’t slow down enough. Though it never gets to the point of being uncomfortable and it is something you can live with. However, as you go faster, it settles down to offer a flat and consistent ride.

The Swift diesel’s handling balance is extremely sporty, as the rear breaks traction if you trail brake into a corner with no understeer whatsoever. It is easy to control it thanks to the torquey diesel engine. But for an average driver this can get a bit unnerving as there is no ESP to help out. The steering calibration felt much better on the diesel car with it having more weight and feeling more consistent as compared to the petrol. The brakes, like on the petrol, offer good bite and stopping power with good pedal feel.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Safety

Safety features for the Maruti Suzuki Swift 2018 include dual front airbags, ABS along with EBD, Isofix child seat, brake assist and others. The braking duties are handled by the disc brakes towards the front along with the drum brakes towards the rear end. View offers on Maruti Cars from Maruti dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Maruti Suzuki Swift Price

Maruti Suzuki Swift Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 5,09,806/- (Swift LXI) to 8,29,000/- (Swift ZDI Plus). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Swift from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in India

Maruti Suzuki Swift Verdict

The Suzuki Swift has always been one of the underdogs of the supermini segment and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. But, despite not being a massive success compared to the Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta, the Japanese hatch has been praised for its excellent value for the buck, sharp handling, and peppy performance of the Sport model. Ditching the hard interior plastics and enhancing cabin and trunk practicality is a good new start for the Swift in this highly competitive niche, not to mention that the exterior design looks way better and it’s sportier that the outgoing car and in some cases even the competition.

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