Maruti Suzuki Swift First Drive & Performance

Maruti Suzuki Swift Overview

The third generation Maruti Suzuki Swift has been launched in the country with prices starting at Rs 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The newest iteration of the hatchback is priced up to Rs 8.29 lakh for the range-topping variant. The new generation Maruti Suzuki Swift is available in both petrol and diesel engine options, and for the first time get the option of a diesel automatic as well. We drove the India spec model last month and came back very impressed with how much the car has evolved in its latest avatar. Deliveries for the new Swift will commence later this month, with the car already commanding a waiting period of six to eight weeks. View offers on Maruti Cars from Maruti dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Maruti Suzuki Swift Style

The new Swift looks smarter and retains the shape and proportions of the original that made it such a loved hatchback. The biggest difference is the large hexagonal grille that one has already seen on the new Swift Dzire. This grille along with the longer and more sharply shaped headlights dominates the entire design. The projector headlamps on the top end versions also come with eye-catching LED daytime running lights (DRL’s).The designers have kept the earlier Swift’s blacked-out pillars that gave it a floating roof look. The difference now is that there is a black plastic trim panel placed on the rear door that extends across the C-pillar and all the way to the rear windscreen. This panel also houses the rear door handle which is positioned vertically and in such a manner that it is not so visible. While this is an appreciable styling touch, on our drive I noticed dust collecting inside the handle.

At the rear, the new Swift’s LED taillights are different and somewhat similiar-looking to what you find on its sibling, the Baleno. The tailgate is also wider and unlike in the earlier bumper where the license plate was on top, it’s now placed on the bottom of the new bumper.The length of the new Maruti Suzuki Swift is 3840mm, width 1735mm, height 1530mm and wheelbase 2450. This makes it 10mm shorter but 40mm wider than its predecessor. The height of both is the same, but the wheelbase of the new Swift is 20mm more and this results in additional cabin space and the capacity of the boot has also increased by 58 litres. The new Swift is also significantly lighter with the petrol version being 85kgs and the diesel 75 kgs less.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Space

The design philosophy of inoffensiveness makes a clear appearance in the interiors as well. No two-tone business here… it’s an all-business, all-black look. And we kinda like it. There are nice silver accents across the cabin, such as around the air-con vents and controls, around the instrument pods, on the steering and a bit along the dashboard. Speaking of the steering, this Swift gets a flat-bottomed unit, and that really adds a wonderful sporty touch. Adding to the sportiness is the centre console that’s tilted towards the driver by 5 degrees. You really do get the feeling that this is a driver-focused car.The new air-conditioning controls have been revised too, and now feature a three-pod layout which looks pretty neat, but it’s just the Z and Z+ variants that get automatic climate control. And, it’s only the Z+ variant that gets the touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. All other variants have to make do with a fairly basic audio system with Bluetooth, aux and USB connectivity.

No matter what angle you look at it from, this new Swift looks larger than its predecessor. Honestly, that’s because it is… for the most part. At 1735mm, it’s now 40mm wider than before, and even the wheelbase is now 2450mm – a whole 20mm longer. Surprisingly though, the overall length has gone down by 10mm. That doesn’t mean it has affected interior space in a negative manner though. A larger cabin and redesigned seats have not only allowed for more spacious seating in the front but one of the earlier Swift’s biggest woes – back seat knee room – has been thoroughly addressed as well. And while space at the back doesn’t feel at par with the likes of the Hyundai i20 or the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, both of which are billed as large hatchbacks, this new Swift can seat two adults at the back in absolute comfort. It is possible to get three people on the rear bench, thanks to an 8mm increase in rear shoulder room, but that will still have to be limited to shorter stints.

It’s not just that the cabin is more spacious, it even feels so. A larger window area at both the front and back really works wonders for the feeling of airiness in the car. At the front, the more vertically raked windscreen and the lower set dashboard provide great visibility. And that vertical A-pillar also makes for a much larger front door aperture, so getting in and out of the front seats is a much easier task than before (not that it was a problem on the outgoing Swift).The other upshot of the redesigned cabin is improved boot space. At 268 litres, it’s nowhere close to that of the larger hatchbacks, but it’s still more than its direct segment rival, the Hyundai Grand i10, and represents a 64-litre improvement over its predecessor. That said, the loading lip is still high, requiring you to lift your luggage up a bit before placing it in the boot. And speaking of the boot, the spare wheel located under the floor is a 14-inch steel rim with 165/80 rubber, even on the top two trims which are equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels.

While occupants and their luggage will have a fine time in the car, their knick-knacks might not. Under the centre dash, there’s a cubby for mobile phones and other things, with two average-sized cup holders following it. But the cubby under the handbrake lever might prove to be a bit too small for larger mobile phones or phablets. Even the front door pockets can just about handle a 1-litre water bottle along with a few other narrow items. And on the rear doors, while we’re glad that there at least are bottle holders (the previous Swifts didn’t have any storage), they can only hold a half-litre bottle at best.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Engine

Maruti Suzuki has gone with its tried and tested duo of engines, the 1.2 K12 petrol and the 1.3 DDiS or Fiat-derived diesel multijet. Many of us motoring hacks are going to get hassled about this – and ask why we aren’t getting new engines. This is the 3rd Swift with the same engines! But think about it from the market and the buyers’ point of view and Maruti doesn’t need to bother! Nothing wrong with these engines. They are nice and efficient; peppy and exciting to drive. But it would still have been nice to have new engines! The petrol engine comes across as refined and well tuned, but its character is rather predictable given how well we know it from the old Swift and the Baleno, and the Ignis. I have driven the new Swift in Europe with the 1-litre boosterjet engine and I have to say that the car is an admirable performer. The engine is raring to go and I really wish that we had that as the standard engine here. Having said that the 1.2 certainly delivers the goods. It’s pretty quick, it’s nice and responsive with the manual gearbox, it gives you pretty satisfying performance and is really the pick of the pack for me when it comes to the four drivetrain iterations that we are getting.

Remember that you also get the AGS or the AMT version with the petrol and diesel engines On the petrol you get 82 bhp and 113 Nm of torque. We live in hope as there is an indication from Suzuki Japan that India will get the Swift Sport and also likely the petrol-electric hybrid model. So I do think that between now and 2020 Maruti will keep exciting us with much fun on the petrol Swift. Of course there could be some customisation fun too with the contrast roof and other goodies being considered in the future as well. After all the Swift has been a model that’s traditionally been the most heavily customised by Maruti buyers.

The diesel engine itself is an absolute gem. It certainly does the job, and has ample torque on it – 190 Nm and the power output is 74 bhp. All numbers are completely unchanged from the outgoing model. The diesel manual should have got the 90 bhp tune on the engine in my opinion. It would have created a superb separation between the AMT and manual too. That would also have created some fun and added to the car’s sporty appeal. That said the 74 bhp version is certainly not dull, though the AMT can be. The AMT takes some getting used to and is very convenient to have in city traffic of course. What I would have liked to see of course is Maruti offering the top end also as an option with the AMT. Another miss. The AMT is definitely a lot smoother and changes are quicker than what we have seen on Maruti’s first AGS. The drivetrain feels almost exactly like it does on the new Dzire though and again I feel Maruti should have done more to give the Swift its own character.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Driving

The original Swift quickly became a hit amongst enthusiasts thanks to its brilliant handling abilities. Its chuckable nature made it a lot of fun to throw around corners, and it was reasonably planted through the turns as well. Sadly, these nippy handling characteristics of the car were watered down in the second generation model, in a bid to make it more “family friendly”. But we’re really glad to say that this new Swift brings back the original’s handling prowess, and then some.

The new Heartec chassis and revised suspension all around have made the Swift a much more able handler than it ever was. You can just throw it into a corner and the car responds with gusto. Turn the steering and the nose rapidly points exactly where you wanted it to. But the bigger surprise here is that no matter how fast you enter a corner, there is absolutely no sign of understeer – the Swift just holds its line. There is no sign of wallowing through the bends either, thanks to the new suspension setup. And even the Bridgestone Ecopia tyres (185/65 R15 on the Z and Z+ variants) do a great job of providing plenty of grip. They do tend to make a bit of squealing noise when you go really hard on the brakes though, but that’s the only real drama they throw your way.

Even on the brakes, the chassis maintains its composure really well, giving you the confidence to drive harder and faster. In our short drive up and down the winding roads at Aamby Valley, the only limiting factor of how fast this Swift could corner was our own ability… and courage.The only slight concern here was the lack of feedback from the steering. It’s a real struggle to figure out what the front wheels are doing – something that has been the scene with the second generation Swift as well. This vague front feel was alleviated a little on the diesel variant, thanks to a bit more weight on the front end. With this Swift, you have to learn to trust the chassis too, but when you do, it really pays off.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Safety

Safety features for the Maruti Suzuki Swift 2018 include dual front airbags, ABS along with EBD, Isofix child seat, brake assist and others. The braking duties are handled by the disc brakes towards the front along with the drum brakes towards the rear end.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Cost in Hyderabad

Maruti Suzuki Swift Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 5,00,853/- (Swift LXI) to 8,28,947/- (Swift ZDI Plus). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Swift from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Swift price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Maruti Suzuki Swift Conclusion

The Swift has grown up in many ways, making it a more practical car than before, thanks to improved equipment, space and features. Of course, we expect it to demand a slight premium over the current car thanks to all of this.However, it’s clear that the intention here has been to take the car back to its sportier roots. The stiff ride quality itself would be enough to put off those looking for a sedate family hatchback. However, its appeal to enthusiasts is undeniable. It’s one of the most fun to drive hatches you can get today, just like how the original one was. In that sense, the Swift is back baby!

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