Maruti Swift DZire Long Term Review
Long Term Test No. 74
Car Tested: Maruti Swift DZire DDiS
Kms Done: 3604 kms
Test Started at: 3465 kms
Test Concluded at: 7069 kms
Mileage: 17 km/l, 19.25 km/l (best), 14.94 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 200 litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 9312/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 2.58/-
The Maruti DZire is quite engaging to drive and at the same time very light on the pocket to run
The sub-four metre vehicle guideline provided by the government has changed the dynamics of the Indian car market to a big extent. There is a new trend of compact sedans and compact SUVs emerging and manufacturers are striving hard to deliver their best package in a restricted length. While hatchbacks get a lot of room to play with under four metres, making a three-box sedan is a big challenge. The Maruti Swift DZire was one of the first compact sedans in India that became a runaway success. It’s currently the largest selling car in India too, dethroning the Alto. We spend a good while with the DZire to perceive, how does it manage to spin such high volumes.
The Maruti DZire is equally popular among private car buyers as it is with commercial fleet operators. Hence you get to see at least 2-3 DZires out of 10 cars around you and this makes us all very familiar with the design. It is essentially a Swift with a boot that doesn’t look very well proportioned, especially when you view it from the side. However, Maruti has spruced up the styling with smart yet significant exterior tweaks with the facelifted model. New chrome highlights makes the car’s presence felt along with sharper bumpers, smoked headlights and tastefully done alloy wheels. Our test car came with the new Alp Blue shade that makes the DZire look pleasant and managed to get good attention on the road.
The slew of new cosmetic and equipment updates have made the DZire more ‘DZireable’ and convenient. The compact sedan gets keyless entry and go, which means you can walk up to the car keeping the key fob in your pocket, press the request sensor on the door handle to unlock/lock and get in without a fuss. You don’t have to fumble with the keys to start the car either, there is an engine start/stop button neatly placed on the driver’s side. We are quite familiar with this feature but having it in a Maruti belonging to this segment, I somehow felt good about it. Similarly, power foldable ORVM function is a boon, specially for a lazy guy like me. It feels so irritating when you are settled in the driver’s seat and good to go but the passenger side ORVM is closed.
Another noticeable feature that was earlier missing in the DZire is Bluetooth connectivity. There is an additional set of controls mounted on the steering wheel dedicated for Bluetooth. Setting up a phone is hassle-free and once connected you can make calls and stream music without touching your phone. Sometimes the system refused to play music via Bluetooth but connect the phone once again and it starts working. The audio quality is quite good as the acoustics are crisp and clear while the bass is tight. The pre-facelift car only had a single cabin light in the middle, which wasn’t enough for front passengers and now Maruti has provided a set of lights in the front, which is very convenient. Other nifty features include driver-side auto-up, one-touch indicators, auto door lock/unlock and rear parking sensors.
The updated DZire’s cabin has become more tech friendly for youngsters
The automatic climate control system works perfectly and you never feel the need to adjust the air conditioning manually. Just set the desired temperature and it cools/warms the cabin quietly. Maruti’s air conditioning is usually very strong and the rear passengers don’t really feel the need of an aircon. The quality, fit and finish is decent and consistent but somehow our test car had squeaky noises coming from the glovebox area. We also have both petrol and diesel Swifts in our long term fleet and we never came across such squeaking. However, putting a cloth in the panel gap muted the noise. We also felt the shortage of storage bins inside the cabin. There are no cupholders for the rear passengers but two seatback pockets. The driver also doesn’t get any cupholder but the front passenger gets a cool looking retractable cupholder.
The DZire has very comfortable seats that are wide and very supportive for long journeys. The driver has a good range of seat height adjust along with steering and seatblelt adjust, so short passengers can easily find the ideal driving position. The rear passengers though have limited legroom to deal with. An average height adult would be comfortable at the rear but tall people would have to fight for ingress/egress first by crouching and then the legroom. Three passengers at the rear is good for short trips but the middle passenger would feel a bit uneasy on long journeys. The boot might look small but it is very accommodating as you can see we hauled two big size cartons along with a full size suitcase and there is still some space left for small bags.
We planned a 500 kms journey with the boot loaded to the brim and 5 passengers (all overweight) in the car. In spite of so much weight, the little yet explosive 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine made the journey a breeze. It is called the national engine of India for a reason, it is almost flawless. There is some turbo lag to deal with under 2000 RPM but once you master the engine and transmission, it provides effortless acceleration with a thick surge of torque. The oil burner sounds a bit loud near the redline but the overall NVH levels are well under control and diesel clatter isn’t too intrusive like its rival, the Honda Amaze.
The oil burner provides strong acceleration and is extremely frugal
The turbolag zone isn’t very annoying but progressive enough to amble around town easily with congested traffic conditions. The clutch is light and the gearbox is mated well to the engine with well defined gates and tactile shifting. It is one of the smoothest gearbox in the segment. This engine can give you explosive performance if you keep the RPM needle between 2000-4000 RPM in each gear by shifting early. The DZire has great cruising abilities too as you can do 100 km/hr in 5th gear at a calm 2100 RPM, which is within the turbo zone. The 1.3-litre motor is also quite frugal and returned a whopping 19 km/l fuel efficiency on our highway test with full load. It can easily pass 20 km/l with a light foot and less weight.
Maruti DZire Cost Of Service
* Engine Oil Per Service – Rs. 2015/-
* Oil Filter – Rs. 450/-
* Air Filter – Rs. 350/-
* Fuel Filter – Rs. 1300/-
* Brake Fluid – Rs. 375/-
* Transmission Fluid – Rs. 998/-
* Engine Coolant – Rs. 570/-
* Front Bumper – Rs. 1678/-
* Rear Bumper – Rs. 3690/-
* Headlamp Assembly (each) – Rs. 2806/-
* Tail Lamp Assembly (each) – Rs. 928/-
* Front Windshield Glass – Rs. 2902/-
* Rear Windshield Glass – Rs. 2032/-
There are cars which are powerful but you can’t put all the power down to good use because of an imbalanced suspension setup. Such cars with soft and wobbly suspension don’t let you maintain good speeds on the highways, especially on bumpy Indian highways. The Maruti DZire though, is a master of ride and handling balance. The car offers flat ride and good stability at high speeds that lets you hold a strong momentum without tossing around the rear passengers. The compact sedan can even tackle big bumps and potholes at low speeds as it has a well damped suspension and ideal tyre size (ZDi/ZXi). The DZire masks triple digit speeds very well because of this setup as you won’t notice climbing the speedometer so quick.
The DZire has hit a sweet spot of pleasant ride and brisk handling
Compared to the Swift, the DZire’s setup is a tad on the softer side for better ride quality but handling is equally entertaining. The small steering wheel and positive feedback at high speeds makes the DZire quite chuckable. There is no numbness in the centre whatsoever and the handling is quite athletic, making it a fun car for enthusiasts too. If we talk about practicality, the DZire has a very small turning radius of 4.8 metres making it highly manoeuvrable in tight parking spots. It also has a healthy ground clearance of 170 mm so those huge humps can be taken without setting an angle. The brakes on our test car felt a bit faded but the car stops in a straight line without much drama under hard braking and the ABS kicks in at the right time.
In terms of safety, Maruti offers dual front airbags and ABS as standard on the range topping Z trims. The lower variants now get optional ABS and dual front airbags that was not available even as an option earlier. You all must be aware of the fact that Maruti Suzuki is the epitome of after sales in India and you won’t find such a huge and accessible network with any other carmaker. The service costs are very reasonable and the cars are extremely light on the pocket to maintain. Resale value of the DZire is excellent as well, specially for the diesel variant. People blindly buy the DZire in the second hand car market at a good price. Click a picture, put it on classifieds and boom! It’s sold.
Now these aforementioned traits of the Maruti DZire offer something or the other to a wide range of people and hence it sells like hot cakes. There are many takers for the DZire including people who love to drive, people with tight budgets, those with high daily running and those in tier-II and tier-III areas where after sales of Maruti is hassle-free. Yes it’s neither the best looking compact sedan and nor loaded with advance features as some of its rivals. However, the latest update makes it a very appealing package with refurbished styling and additional features on offer. The Maruti Swift DZire has been one of the most undemanding cars in the MotorBeam garage making for an adept workhorse in the fleet.
The Maruti DZire is a no nonsense car for the Indian audience and that shows in the monthly sales. Our country is so fond of the DZire that in spite of new rivals coming to this segment, Maruti is witnessing steady growth every month. This is a car which came at the right time and caters to a wide range of buyers.
* The chrome highlights and sharp cosmetic updates make the DZire appear fresh
* Much needed convenience features now make driving quite effortless
* The DDiS engine is a gem to drive and returns impressive fuel efficiency
* Superb match of handling and ride quality make it a versatile car for both highway and city usage
* Maruti’s after sales service and strong reliability
What’s Not So Cool
* Limited rear seat space and some missing cubby holes
* Looks a tad basic compared to the new and upcoming compact sedans
Further Reading –
2015 Maruti Swift DZire Facelift Test Drive Review
Ford Figo Aspire vs Maruti DZire – Shootout
Maruti DZire vs Honda Amaze vs Tata Zest vs Hyundai Xcent – Shootout
Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent vs Maruti DZire – Exclusive Shootout
Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta