Over the time Swift has accomplished a benchmark in its segment and the legacy seems to continue further. Recently in 2015 Maruti has given a minor facelift to its prominent hatchback. Though most of the changes were mere cosmetic, the most eminent was the intuition of the keyless engine start-stop button.
Outlook and Exteriors
As we took the 1st test drive we realized that the changes are barely noticeable with addition of a few ‘blink and miss’ updates. The car has an athletic and outdoorsy feel to it. What will make heads turn is the elegancy of the front facade of the car. The large front grille and air dam are quite illustrious. The electronically retractable ORVMs with turn indicators and the new fog lamp bezelshelp in add a premium touch to this mid-segment car.
Swift gloats at a height of 1530mm. It has an overall length of 3850mm out of which 2430mm is the wheelbase. It also gives a pretty decent ground clearance of 170mm. A profile line running the length of the car from the wheel arches to the tail lights; give the automobile a very dramatic dimension. The sharp strokes of the all new alloy wheels further enrich its outlook.
Coming to the back of the car, the tail lamps are angular and the rear bumper is visibly quite large. However, the tailgate is compact which reduces the overall boot space offered by the Swift.
Interior, Ambience and Features
Stepping into the car, the in-house feels fresh and plush. The all black interior with silver garnish complement the overall contemporary layout. The offered seat fabric is new but felt of an inferior quality. There is sufficient leg and headroom in the front seat chambers. The height adjustability feature provided for the driver’s seat is a boon for short heighted people.
Sitting as a passenger on the back seat, the space is definitely downsized and feels unfit for long expeditions. The window is small and a little disappointing as it gives the same cooped up feeling as before. Maruti Suzuki Swift details too look modest and contemporary. It has ample features uplifting the ambience of the car. The steering wheel is chunkier and more fun to grab. The center console offers ample features that are noteworthy including the all new audio system with integrated CD/MP3/FM player besides Bluetooth, USB, AUX-in and steering integrated controls.
Engine and Performance
Swift specification offers decent options. First is the multi-jet 1.2lt (1248cc) 4 cylinder, DDis diesel engine available in three trims called- LDi, VDi and ZDi. This engine is coupled with a 5-speed manual gearbox that has a power output of 74bhp @ 4000rpm and 190Nm @ 2000rpm with a claimed mileage of around 25.2 kmpl which is 5% better than before. The diesel engine is same and exhibits a similar power output. But, in the mid-range specially, it lacks a certain punch that was eminent in the previous generation.
Second is the chunky 1.2-liter (1197cc) 4 cylinder, K-Series petrol engine with VVT that is available in three trims namely- LXi(optional), VXi and ZXi. This engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission that churns out 83bhp @ 6000rpm and 115Nm@4000rpm and has a claimed mileage of around 20.4kmpl. Both engines have a top speed of 187kmph.
Similar to the diesel engine, the petrol variant is also equally refined. Being behind the wheel, you will notice an initial pep in the engine. However as you gain speed, the engine lags a bit and requires your right leg to work hard to achieve your desired feedback. Even after saying that, this particular engine will definitely excite car enthusiasts as though it demands a little hard work from the driver, it doesn’t shy away from delivering.
Drivability and Handling
After taking the test drive both the variants, we can say that the petrol variant is a close winner as the loss of 30kg in its overall weight, makes it a very peppy variant to drive. It has a very tall third gear that allows you to ride up to 100kms on it very easily. It felt enjoyable and snug both on highways and in cities.
In the diesel model, there is a bit of a lag below the 2000 rpm mark, overtaking is not as smooth as before and you really need to work around the gears to achieve the desired power and feedback. However, what the car has lost in power, it has gained in refinement. It now has better filtration and improved NVH levels in both the models. The wind noise, suspension noise etc have been prominently reduced making the cabin fairly quiet.
The new swift successfully tackles corners and winding roads with minimum body rolls even at high speeds. It is commendable how the vehicle felt very calm and planted while maneuvering.
The petrol engine cancelled all the speed bumps and potholes more softly than the diesel engine, especially at low speeds.
Braking and Safety
To charge speed, Maruti Suzuki is equipped with disc brakes upfront and drum brakes in the rear tires. Additionally, it comes with an option of ABS and two front passenger airbags for safety.
As the time has passed, the world has evolved and so has the new Swift. It now looks grown up and fulfills all your demands in a prudent manner. Though the skin is same, the Swift is different from inside. It has got better interiors, peppy performance, better mileage and a smooth ride. The old Swift was already a winner in its league and Maruti has taken the level only higher and this gives enough reason to book test drive for it.