In a sub-4 meter notch-back or Sedan as you like to call it, its practicality that one looks for and on that quotient, after taking Swift Dzire test drive we found that it does stands little above than what you would expect from a Maruti. With induction of a new AMT gearshift and pretty more features like Remote Boot-Lid access, Smart Key Access and bluetooth connectivity with steering mounted controls (behind the steering wheel for bluetooth), it now gives tough battle to its competitors.
Outlook & Exterior
As said, there is nothing to shout about the design language of this car. The Face now gets a prominent bold chrome slat grille and the headlamps now gets a black enclosure, which from a distance may look smoked. Bend your head and you will notice that the fog-lamp enclosure is wider now and even is chrome fringed which looks niche. But then these horn like designed bumper cladding looks little odd, while some of you may even like that. Move to the side and the design profile is just same to the out rolling 2nd generation Dzire. The wheel arches in front are stretched out and you will just encounter a single profile line running from fender to the haunches and then merging to the taillamps. Following it you will come to the rear profile which as before looks compressed. But if you have followed the pre facelift model, it will be easy for you to notice that the rear foglamp unit has been removed and now it looks better as that foglamp looked deliberately intuited. Further, the chrome bar adjoining both the taillamp cluster does add some drama.
The Dzire is 3995 mm long and is 1695 mm wide. It stands 1555 mm tall while it has wheelbase of 2430 mm.
Interior, Features & Ambiance
Hop inside the car and the layout of the dash really looks uncluttered and aesthetic. The interior design is almost the same but now the material quality and overall fit & finish feels even plusher. The Matte black finish atop dash and door panels is well complemented with beige color theme all over. Together this dual tone black and beige color theme with sleek wood inlays on the door panels and dash really looks elegant. The three spoke steering wheel on top variant comes mounted with Audio and blutooth controls and is now rake adjustable. Throwing glimpse of premium appeal you have chrome door handles and a start-stop push buttom.
Moreover, the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire details are impressive in terms of equipment. It now comes with power adjustable and foldable ORVMs with turn indicators, all-door power windows with driver side auto down, height adjustable driver seat, centre armrest at rear, 2-Din Nippon sound system with Aux, USB and bluetooth connectivity, Auto HVAC, shoulder adjustable seat-belt, speed sensitive auto-lock, reverse parking sensor, ABS+EBD and most importantly driver and passenger side airbags. I think we have covered all major ones and for rest, consider it to be loaded with all segment standard features.
The front seats of the Dzire are well bolstered and even the cushioning is good to snug well. The rear seats though, lacks on under-thigh support as it has been designed so to get a better legroom. Here I have to say that the 2430 mm of wheelbase has been optimally utilised to get a generous legroom. Even the headroom inside is decent and while two at rear will be in reasonable comfort, for three it feels little cramped. But what may actually bother you is the 316 litres of boot space which looks not enough to pack-in for four. Compensating these little flaws the cabin scores on utility fronts as it has sufficient utility spaces. There are little cubby-holes on the central console and the dash. You get bottle holders on all four doors and even the door pockets are considerably deep. Precisely, you get glass holders in the rear armrest and on the left side of the dash; there is a popping out glass stand. Practical, isn’t it!
Engine and Performance
The face-lifted Maruti Suzuki Dzire specifications remains unchanged in both petrol and diesel and that is a good thing as both the engines have put the car on the pace that today has made them so popular.
First lets talk about the petrol, the one we are very familiar with. The 1.2L 4-Cylinder K-Series VVT petrol engine churns out a decent power output of 84.3 PS @ 6000 rpm and a peak torque of 115 Nm @ 4000 rpm. This engine is mated to a 5-Speed manual transmission and also comes with an option of 4-Speed automatic. The lure of this engine is that it is very quiet and the power delivery is linear which makes it easy to cruise and navigate in city traffic conditions. Even while dropping speeds you don't need to work much with gear-shifts as it can keep the wheels rolling in 4th gear at a speed as low as 35-40 km/h and that too without much wobbles. But fast on the open highway, the car has a happy rev-range between 3300-4200 rpm but as you touch 145 km/h, you will feel this engine running out of breath. But that said, you can stretch it to 165 km/h, its just that it will take its own sweet time to do so.
Next is the engine that performs duty in good chunk of cars in India, seven from Maruti itself. Swift, Ertiga, Ritz, Punto, Indica Vista are some of the other cars that share this engine. Its a 1.3L Turbocharged multijet Diesel mill from Fiat that propels 75 PS @ 4000 rpm and a peak torque of 190 Nm @ 2000 rpm. This engine is mated to a 5-Speed manual transmission and a 5-Speed AGS is also on offer. This engine is best tuned in Swift and the Dzire and feels really punchy as the torque is accessible at an early rev range and tall rev range of 4000 rpm of power output does allow to rev this engine to an extent. But having said that, in city traffic conditions you do have to change gears quickly. While be out on open roads, and you will find that the 3rd and 4th gear are tall and in the fifth gear, it can clock a speed of 162 km/h quite happily. But compared to the petrol unit, it does feels little lethargic going over 120 km/h and takes more time to be pushed to its limits.
Now I never got much time to spend with this automated transmission or AGS as Maruti likes to call it and was able to drive it for mere 7 kms. What I learned meanwhile that in D-Mode the shifts are reasonably quick at about 2800 rpm and in Sports mode where you control the shifts, the electronics does not interfere till 4300-4500 rpm, i.e. you can rev it to a limit.
The claimed mileage figure for the Petrol Dzire is 18.5 km/l for Automatic transmission and for manual variant, it is 20.85 km/l. whereas for diesel, the claimed figures for both manual and AGS is 26.59 km/l and that is not only frugal, but quite impressive.
Ride and Handling
Finally, we took the test drive of the Dzire and to be honest, you won't feel severe improvisations in the way it handles other than that the suspensions now feels little stiffer. Well Maruti seems to have mastered in suspension tuning for Indian roads. The Mac Pherson struts up-front and the Torsion Beam at rear feels stiff enough to eliminate those body-rolls that are only felt when you are throwing the car around corners at considerable speeds. Moreover, the Electric power steering of the Dzire has always been a sweet spot. It feels precise and is direct enabling you to navigate its nose in your commanding direction. Even the feedback from the steering is good but having said that, may be due to a tight wheelbase, hints of understeer are there especially while changing lanes very quickly.
After taking Maruti Suzuki Dzire test drive, we realized the ride quality of the Dzire is a boon. It feels composed and the 15-inch wheels do keeps the ride pliant. The beauty about the Dzire is that while you are ambling around in city, it feels very quiet and even the road grapples least hinders. Adding to it the suspensions though stiff for confident handling also soaks potholes and rough surfaces without a fuss at low speeds. Even at speeds of 80 km/h, the suspension hovers over all those potholes with just a little thud.
Its only when you push it hard, at about 3000 rpm the engine growls are intrusive to the cabin and when you go over 135 km/h, body wobbles will be evident. Further when clocked 150 km/h, you may feel the need to slow down.
The Dzire in LXI/ LDI and VXI/ VDI variants comes standard with 14” tires with steel rims and 165 / 80R14 specification. In top trims i.e. ZXI and ZDI it comes with 15” alloy wheels with 185 / 65R15 specification.
Brakes and Safety
On tarmac 100-0 fall is more crucial than 0-100 drake. To charge speed the Dzire is equipped with Disc brakes up front and drum brakes at rear. The brakes are further equipped with ABS+EBD on top variant and on VDI trim. Moreover, the ZXI and ZDI has front driver and passenger airbags as standard while in lower trims they are optional.
Very practical indeed, the Swift Dzire over half a decade has been selling like hot cakes and with this new facelift, the ride has some more to promise. Well that said, the new Dzire with all those subtle tweaks in its face, still does not looks one standing out of the competition and in-fact the design language still does not looks something that I would call captivating.