The premium hatchback segment has been one interesting battleground since the past couple of months. The Maruti Swift has been the segment leader since a long time now, no doubt, but things have really started heating up now. Customers understand that they want to extract the best bang for their buck and this leads to manufacturers constantly trying to outdo their rivals. First up, Volkswagen updated the Polo and now the 2014 model comes with significant upgrades over the previous version. Then Fiat came and launched the Punto Evo which too is a significant update over the outgoing Punto. Finally, Hyundai launched the Elite i20 which is again a major update over the previous i20.
So with all major manufacturers giving their products major overhauls, we expected the same from Maruti too. With great disappointment we write that the 2014 Swift has been spied at the company’s plant and the hatchback hardly gets any changes. From the pictures, we could only make out the redesigned bumper with DRLs, new wheelcap/alloy design and a larger air dam. The Swift also gets rear parking sensors now. On the inside, the Swift facelift gets a push button start and Bluetooth connectivity. What is Maruti thinking? That they can continue selling the Swift solely on the basis of the service stations that it has across the country? Or only on the basis of its proven reliability?
The Swift is fun to drive but it lacks the equipment as well as the premium appeal that other products in the same segment can boast of. While the Polo and Punto come with Volkswagen and Fiat’s average after-sales service, the Elite i20 is indeed a great buy in this segment since it is the most loaded vehicle and Hyundai’s service is very good too. It is expensive, yes, but you also get a lot more when you shell out the extra premium over the Swift. So while the Elite i20 will swiftly climb across the sales charts, Volkswagen and Fiat will continue to play a game of polo amongst themselves since there are significantly less takers for these hatchbacks.
Pictures Source – Gaadiwaadi.com