Maruti Swift DZire Review
Car Tested: 2015 Maruti Swift DZire Facelift
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 6.06 – 9.33 lakhs
The Maruti Swift DZire facelift now gets more ‘dezirable’ with the new features on offer
The Maruti Swift DZire is one of the largest selling cars in India and without doubt the largest selling compact sedan. The popularity of the car can be seen in both rural as well as urban markets. The DZire is based on the Swift’s platform and the first generation car was launched to replace the legendary Esteem. Having a three-box design, it shared the same styling as the Swift. With its second generation launched in 2012, the DZire got a sub-4 metre size to make the most of the tax benefits. Earlier this year, the car got some new features along with cosmetic and mild mechanical changes. We examine what’s new and how substantial are the updates.
Motor Quest: The Maruti Swift DZire’s first generation was launched in 2008 while the project started in 2005. It was specially made for the Indian market. The current, second generation DZire’s length was reduced to get tax benefits and was launched at a lower price compared to its predecessor. This is the mid-life update for the second generation model that was launched in February 2015.
Exteriors – There are no sheet metal changes on the facelifted Maruti Swift DZire but it gets a new chrome laden grille up front, smoked headlamps and a heavily revised bumper with chrome fog lamp housing. These changes make it look fresher and grown up than before. The side profile gets no changes apart from the new sleek 10-spoke alloy wheels. The boot integration continues to look absurd when viewed from the side but the new crease on the bumper helps cut the visual bulk to some extent.
The tail lamps of the updated model remains unchanged but there is a thick new slat of chrome slapped onto the boot lid to accentuate the width of the car. The rear bumper is huge but gets a wavy pattern for a better appearance. Considering the updates seen on the Swift facelift, the DZire’s changes look substantial as the updates are quite apparent. Though it’s not the best looking car in its segment but has much improved styling now.
Interiors – Compared to the Swift’s sporty all-black interiors, the dual-tone DZire’s cabin feels much more airy and pleasant to be in. Just the top of the dashboard is black while the rest of the interiors get beige treatment. The faux wood accents on the doors and dashboard are subtle and don’t look over the top. Quality, fit and finish is good and it doesn’t feel flimsy anywhere. The noticeable changes in the updated model are the electrically foldable ORVMs, smart key with push button start/stop and Bluetooth connectivity for the audio system. There are request sensors on the door handles so you just have to keep the key fob in your pocket and the car locks/unlocks with a push of that button. Being familiar with the cabin, I was unintentionally searching for the key to crank the engine but now you just have to press the clutch and push the button to start/stop. Just behind the knob that adjusts the mirrors, it gets a button for the ORVMs to fold/unfold and it is quite quick in doing the job. However, they are not foldable when the ignition is off.
The controls for Bluetooth connectivity are placed below the horn pad that are operated from behind the steering wheel. You get used to it quickly but would have been more convenient at the conventional place near your right thumb, which is left blank by the carmaker. Pairing your smartphone is easy and you can control the volume and track with the steering mounted buttons. The digital screen also feels small but gets your work done. The music system sounds good by OEM standards. All of these add-ons make the DZire’s cabin more convenient to be in. Also, there are new reading lights for the front passengers. There was only one cabin light earlier, placed in the middle. You also get a bright orange light for the compartment ahead of the gear lever, which looks good at night.
The instrument cluster remains unchanged and the MID shows immediate fuel consumption, overall mileage, range, ODO, trip A, trip B, temperature and time. There is a one-touch lane changing indicator. When you press the clutch, a new push button sign pops up in green on the instrument cluster. Earlier when you used to turn off the engine and take the key out, the doors would unlock but now when you shut off the engine with the button, the doors remain locked. For more convenience you now get parking sensors, which are quite accurate and you don’t feel the need for a reverse camera. You can also switch the parking sensors off if you don’t need them.
The seats of the Swift DZire as always are very comfortable and supportive. The driving position is commanding and you can adjust the seat height as well as steering position for the ideal posture. The footwell has good space but no dead pedal, which could have been added this time. The rear seats are comfortable too having good under-thigh support and arm rest but legroom is just average. There is limited head room and legroom for tall passengers and they would have to crouch down during ingress because the C-pillar is quite low. Storage space is good, you get bottle holders on all door pockets and there are seat back pockets as well. There is a new accessory socket for the rear passengers, which was missing earlier. The boot space is also small when compared to the rivals and underneath you would find some cost cutting. Maruti isn’t offering a spare alloy wheel but a steel wheel that gets a smaller tyre measuring 165/80/R14.
Performance – Maruti Suzuki has tweaked the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel engines to extract more fuel efficiency. The 1.2-litre K-Series petrol engine now produces a lower 84.3 PS (87 PS earlier) of power at 6000 RPM and higher 115 Nm (114 Nm earlier) of torque at 4000 RPM. It is a rev happy motor with linear power delivery. The petrol engine now returns an ARAI claimed fuel efficiency of 20.85 km/l (19.1 km/l earlier) but expect 13-15 km/l of real world mileage. The improved fuel efficiency is the result of higher compression ratio in the petrol engine. The diesel engine figures remains unchanged producing 75 PS at 4000 RPM and 190 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM but the carmaker has tweaked the motor with advanced thermal management system, low friction engine oil and updated fuel injection system that warms up the engine faster and reduces frictional losses.
The strong mid-range makes the DZire whizz past the traffic in a flash
The 1.3-litre MultiJet is one of the best oil burners in the market and is very refined offering good NVH. The diesel clatter is kept well under control and the vibrations are not felt at all inside the cabin. It continues with the same turbo lag until 2000 RPM but until you hit that sweet spot, the motor is quite progressive and manageable in city driving conditions without annoying you much. Mated to this engine is a 5-speed manual gearbox. The mid-range feels like a shove full of torque and the car just accelerates relentlessly putting a smile on your face. It is even better on the highways and at cruising speeds of 100 km/hr the tachometer hovers around 2200 RPM in top gear, where the engine is quite lively. Overtaking is hassle free at high speeds, the top-end is progressive too and the motor redlines at 5200 RPM. The diesel returns a claimed mileage of 26.59 km/l, which is 13 percent more than the previous version. You can easily get 17-18 km/l in real world conditions.
Driving Dynamics – The Dzire has the very potent chassis of the Swift, which is known for brisk handling, flat ride quality and high speed stability. This car simply has the best balance of ride quality and handling in its segment. In the DZire, the suspension setup feels a tad softer compared to its hatchback counterpart. The handling is excellent and surefooted but the MRF tyres give up grip early than you would expect when cornering hard. The steering feels light and easy to manoeuvre at slow speeds but weighs up well with increasing speeds. The suspension works really well and has a slight edge over the Swift when it comes to ride quality at low speeds. The vertical movement is minimal and the dampers keep the ugly clunks away. Undulations and broken tarmac never unsettle the car. The brakes are very effective too having reassuring pedal bite but again the MRF tyres tend to screech a bit when you brake hard and the ABS kicks in.
Safety and After Sales Service – Maruti is offering dual front airbags and ABS as standard on the Z trims, while ABS is available on the VDi and VXi (Automatic) variants. The entry-level variants and VXi manual don’t get any safety features even as an option. After sales as we all know is the main selling point of Maruti cars as they are cheap to maintain, service costs are affordable, spare parts are readily available. Maruti also has the widest network of service centres and dealerships in India so that is a big mental satisfaction for owners.
Verdict – After driving the Maruti DZire for a good while, we realised why it is India’s favourite sedan. First up is the Maruti Suzuki badge, which has garnered immense trust from Indian car buyers. Then there is the robust suspension offering great ride on the worst of roads and good stability on the highways. Also the diesel engine performance and efficiency that gives the competition a run for their money. It still looks a bit odd from certain angles and doesn’t offer much space at the rear and in the boot. That said, the facelifted Maruti DZire now looks fresh, offers great convenience with the new features and is worth every penny spent or as we would like to say “paisa vasool”.
The Maruti DZire is such a car which you can buy without thinking twice. It is an engaging car to drive for enthusiasts as well as a convenient vehicle to buy for small families. However, if you travel out frequently with luggage and have a family of five adults, the Swift DZire would disappoint you because of the limited boot space and shortage of legroom at the rear.
* Bolder styling cues and new colours makes it look upmarket
* New features makes the DZire a more convenient cabin to be in
* Refined and powerful 1.3-litre diesel is fun-to-drive and more efficient now
* The ride quality and handling won’t disappoint you ever, clever balance of both
What’s Not So Cool
* The side profile still looks incomplete
* Limited rear legroom and tight space in the boot compared to rivals
Alternatives: Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze, Tata Zest, Ford Figo Aspire
Maruti Swift DZire Specifications
* Engine: 1197cc, K-Series, VVT, 16V (P); 1248cc, DDiS, CRDI, 16V (D)
* Power: 84.3 PS @ 6000 RPM (P); 75 PS @ 4000 RPM (D)
* Torque: 115 Nm @ 4000 RPM (P); 190 NM @ 2000 RPM (D)
* Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic (P); 5-speed manual (D)
* 0-100 km/hr: 12.6 seconds (P); 14.8 seconds (D)
* Fuel Consumption: 15 km/l (P); 18 km/l (D)
* Fuel Type: Petrol, Diesel
* Suspension: McPherson Struts (Front), Torsion Beam (Rear)
* Tyres: 165/80/14 (Lower Trims) 185/65/15 (Z trims)
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Drum (Rear), ABS
* Safety: ABS, dual airbags
Maruti Swift DZire Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 3995 mm X 1695 mm X 1555 mm
* Wheelbase: 2430 mm
* Boot Volume: 315 litres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 42 litres
* Kerb Weight: 965 kgs (ZXi); 1070 (ZDi)
* Ground Clearance: 170 mm
* Turning Radius: 4.8 meters
Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta
Further Reading –
Maruti Swift DZire vs Honda Amaze vs Tata Zest vs Hyundai Xcent – Shootout
Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent vs Maruti Swift DZire – Shootout
Honda Amaze vs Maruti Swift DZire – Shootout
Tata Zest vs Maruti Swift DZire – Shootout