2021 Maruti Swift Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the 2021 Maruti Swift.
Car Tested: 2021 Maruti Swift; Road Test No. 1294; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs 6.70 – 9.76 lakhs
The Swift now gets an improved petrol engine while its fundamentals remain unchanged
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The Maruti Swift is one of the most favourite hatchbacks of Indian customers and rightly so. It is decently fun to drive, looks great, offers nice comfort and comes backed by Maruti’s strong service network. The third generation of the hatchback that we have on sale right now was launched in early 2018 with both petrol and diesel engine options. The diesel engine is long gone and now Maruti has updated the petrol engine as well. Along with this, the automaker has also given the Swift a very minor cosmetic update and a couple of extra features in this mid-life facelift.
Exteriors – There are barely any cosmetic changes on the 2021 Maruti Swift. The vehicle retains all its styling elements and gets the same alloy wheels, headlamps and tail lamps. The only thing new here is the grille which gets a tweaked design. Apart from that, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the new Swift from the older one. The Maruti Swift is a handsome looking car though and it doesn’t really need a major cosmetic surgery to make it look good. The 2021 Swift gets some dual-tone body colours as well such as red with black, white with black and blue with white.
Interiors – The Maruti Swift facelift now gets an updated instrument cluster with a colour display which is similar to the one on the Baleno. The older Swift had a simple digital MID while this one looks and feels way better. The previous Swift also had a digital readout for the fuel gauge while this one gets analogue dials for the fuel gauge and temperature indicator (similar to the Ertiga and XL6). The instrument cluster looks upmarket and is easy to read. The hatchback gets Maruti’s usual SmartPlay Studio infotainment system and the automaker has equipped the vehicle with cruise control too. Along with that, the AMT variants get ESP as well. The cabin is a comfortable place to be in but the quality of certain components has lots of room for improvement.
Performance – Under the hood of the 2021 Maruti Swift is a 1.2-litre DualJet petrol motor which is a 4-cylinder unit. This one delivers 88.5 HP and 113 Nm and it is also available on the Dzire and Baleno. The K12C engine uses two injectors for every cylinder which is why it is more efficient than the older K12M unit with an ARAI-tested fuel economy of 23.2 km/l which is around 2 km/l more than before. The updated petrol engine is quite responsive especially in the low-end and offers good driveability throughout the rev band. It isn’t very enthusiastic as such but is punchier than before. The petrol engine is also very refined and vibrations are almost negligible. Maruti is offering a 5-speed MT or AMT with this engine and we drove the former. The clutch is light as expected and the gear shifts are also pretty slick. For the first time, the Swift also gets an idle start/stop system now.
Driving Dynamics – The Maruti Swift retains its driving dynamics from before. The steering is effortless at city speeds and is quite precise as well. However, we would have liked it to offer some more feel at higher speeds because while the Swift is a great handler and loves to be pushed, the steering doesn’t really communicate that well with the driver. The suspension setup is the same as before which means that the ride has a firm edge at low speeds but settles nicely once you go higher up on the speedo. Overall, the Maruti Swift is a fun car to chuck around what with its compact dimensions and the smooth petrol engine that doesn’t mind being revved all the way to 6500 RPM.
Verdict – The Maruti Swift is a car with which you can’t really go wrong. Better quality in the cabin and some extra features would have been welcome but otherwise, this is a great family car that does what you expect it to and then some more. The Swift has built good brand value for itself over the years and is quite aspirational for people who’re looking to purchase their first 4-wheeler as well. The hatchback now has more grunt than before, is more fuel-efficient as well and continues to ride on its usual USPs which is why this updated model will continue the winning streak of the Swift brand.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS, Maruti Ignis, Maruti Baleno, Ford Figo
Further Reading –