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Maruti Suzuki Swift in India review







Which is the driver’s car in  the small car category. I was confused about this question as almost all of the small cars in the market claim to be one. Starting with their looks, nowadays, most of the cars try to look as sporty as they can but few can come as close as the Chevrolet Beat and the Maruti Suzuki Swift. It is the latter that I am going to be concentrating on today. It has been a long time that I have been in a Maruti Swift let alone drive it. When Maruti Suzuki India Limited launched the Maruti Suzuki Swift in India, I got a first hand experience of this car since yours truly was just a salesman at the Maruti dealership. Now, after driving the Swift Dzire for the last issue, I was tempted to drive its platform lending car, the Maruti Suzuki Swift in India. Since the 1.3 liter diesel has been driven to death and in various other cars, I wasn’t keen to sample it and so finally got hold of one of my friend’s car, the 1.2 petrol. Check on Road Price

Looks

This was the car that revolutionized the small car market way back in 2005 and this still stands good. Though many would say that a new 2011 Swift is on the way, there isn’t much difference between both. The peeled back head lamps, the small grille at the front wherein which the Suzuki logo is nestled along with the small air dam still give it s distinct personality. I have the top of the line Zxi variant with me and hence it has got all the bells and whistles that one can expect from a small car. The fog lamps were a segment first for a small car. From the side profile, the wheel arches though not exactly flared, lend a sporty profile. The 185/70 R 14 alloy wheels actually look very boring now. The door handles are also body colored.

The rear shows a vertically stacked, all in one glass tail lamps. There is a stop lamp which is mounted on the spoiler and other one in the bumper. The rear glass area is small and makes do without a wiper.

Interiors

Typically Maruti but with an added sense of slightly better build quality. The Maruti Suzuki Swift in India was the first car which brought along with it something unexpected from a small car in India, automatic climate control. Actually in 2005, not even cars worth thrice the price had this even as an option. Revolution then it was. Unfortunately it didn’t offer much in ways of storage partly due to the contoured central console. The plastic quality used is better than smaller Maruti cars that we have seen earlier.Soft quality materials used however compensate the lack of quality feel though. There were many squeaks and rattles coming from various parts and this was one of the prime complaints that I faced from customers who brought the car early on. My friend brought his car in 2009 and seems that Maruti still haven’t been able to address those gremlins.

The front seats are very comfortable and supportive for my 6 foot plus frame. I had to however wriggle myself in, small thanks to the tilt adjust steering wheel which helped matters. The dials are clear to read and give you outside temperature, time, speed, revs, engine temperature, fuel gauge and also all the tell tale lights. It has got an inner boot  and fuel slat release system. The outside mirrors are manually adjustable. Moving on to the rear seat, there is a dearth of space and coupled with the small glass area, makes it look claustrophobic. The dark interiors only heighten the sense of gloom inside the cabin.

The seats are wide though but lack in leg room. I wasn’t comfortable, to say the least, in them. However the new 2011 Swift promises to have a better leg room courtesy the elongated chassis. The boot space is also small at only 232 liters. The seats however split 60:40 and this adds to the convenience.

Handling and ride quality

This I am very sure hasn’t changed in the Maruti Suzuki Swift in India. The handling of this car has now become legendary. This was actually the reason for starting the test drive of a 5 year old car. I have driven many small cars lately but then coming back to the Swift, it feels like an old shoe that still fits your foot to the T. The electronic power steering is one of the best units that Maruti could have ever produced. It is ultra light at city speeds but weighs up nicely once the car is on the boil. The chassis controls yaw and body roll very well. Infact if you own a Swift, you would be looking for heading to all the hilly areas around your state. If its anything that is a let down, it is the weedy tyres that the car has been provided with. Maruti could have done well to shod the car with beefier tyres than the current JK Vectras.

As regards the ride quality it is strictly firm, a small trade off for all the pleasure that you received during those twisting and turning. It isn’t exactly back breaking and once on the move, it does handle pot holes and cracks on the road with a muted thud sound.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

The Maruti Suzuki Swift in India is offered with two engine variants. One of them is the widely acclaimed 1.3 liter multi jet engine producing 75 Bhp of peak power and 190 Nm of torque. The one in question that I am driving now is the 1.2 liter K series engine which makes 85 Bhp of power and 113 Nm of torque. The earlier petrol engine was from the M series family and it was an all aluminium construction one. It was derived from the Esteem. This was the engine that I had sampled previously. Now, the new K series engine seems a very different flavor. It has all the driveability that the Esteem’s engine is known for however at the same time doesn’t miss out on the fun to drive factor. It reaches 0-100 kmph in only 13.2 seconds and is the fastest hatchback in its segment.

Its top speed that I could drive it upto was a good 156 kmph before running out of road. The engine is well muted and doesn’t feel stressed out at all. It is an eager beaver and does make for some of the good high revving, keep the accelerator pedal pinned nostalgia back. Such a high performance car does need good brakes and the Maruti Suzuki Swift Zxi doesn’t disappoint. It has ventilated disc brakes in the front while self adjusting drums do duty at the rear. It is aided by 4 channel ABS and ESP. Speaking of the ABS, it seems to be somewhat poorly calibrated with it cutting in too early. Nevertheless, it doesn’t present a point of concern for the average driver as he wouldn’t even notice it. It was actually the first vehicle in its class to offer ABS as well.

The Maruti Suzuki Swift in India has 3 point seat belts, collapsible steering column, 2 air bags{a segment first} and side intrusion beams. With the safety feature well cared for, I think, one shouldn’t be too worried about taking this car as a top pick against the slew of hatch backs in the market now.

I remember that when the Maruti Suzuki Swift was launched, there were many people who used to ask about its fuel efficiency however we were strictly instructed not to disclose it. A vague answer would be to hint that it has the Esteem’s engine and hence expect similar mileage. Not any more. According to ARAI, every small car has to display its mileage achieved during ARAI testing on its windscreen. The claims for the fuel efficiency of the Maruti Suzuki Swift in India is approximately 17 kmpl. The actual fuel efficiency that I derived on road from it was 13.3 kmpl in the city, which shooted upto 16.5 kmpl on the highway. So, in a way, the fuel efficiency was quite true to what was promised. This fuel efficiency was achieved with the automatic climate control in full swing.

Verdict

Well, my notions about the Maruti Suzuki Swift in India still hasn’t changed. It is still one of the best fun to drive hatch backs that can be found. The competition are only better than it in offering rear seat comfort and may be quality of materials found inside. Feature wise, spec wise, it is still upto the mark inspite of been a 5 year old car. It is amazingly fuel efficient and at the same time doesn’t let you miss out on the fun factor. Infact, none of the cars have that feel good factor every time you drive the car. It is also priced extremely well and the price of the Maruti Suzuki Swift Zxi that I was driving is Rs 5,43,241 on road Mumbai. This means it is extremely value for money proposition. There are three variants, actually four for the Maruti Suzuki Swift. Those are the Maruti Suzuki Swift Lxi, the Maruti Suzuki Swift Vxi, Maruti Suzuki Swift Vxi with ABS and the Maruti Suzuki Swift Zxi. The diesel is offered in only two trims, the Maruti Suzuki Swift Ldi and the Maruti Suzuki Swift Vdi. The 2011 model would one of the most widely awaited model from the Maruti stables. Me, I am not looking forward to it but for the Maruti Kizashi. Time to turn over the car to my dear friend and keep dreaming about the Kizashi.

Technical Specifications Of the Maruti Swift Zxi

Engine details: 1197cc In-Line Engine KB Series
No. of Cylinders: 4
Maximum Torque: 113 Nm @ 4,500 rpm
Maximum Power: 85 Bhp @ 6,000 rpm
Valve Configuration: DOHC
Valves Per Cylinder: 4
Fuel Supply System: MPFI
Bore x Stroke: 74.2 x 75.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 9.0:5
Transmission Details: 5 Speed Manual
Front Suspension: McPherson strut & coil spring
Rear Suspension: Torsion beam & coil spring
Steering Details: Speed sensitive electronic Power assisted with Rack & Pinion
Turning Radius (wheel base): 4.6 m
Front Brake Type: Ventilated Discs
Rear Brake Type: Self adjusting Drums
Top Speed: 156 kmph
Acceleration (0-100 kmph): 13.2 seconds
Mileage-City (kmpl): 13.3
Mileage-Highway (kmpl): 16.5
Fuel Type: Petrol
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres): 45
Emission Norm Compliance: Bharat Stage 4
Tyre Type: Tubeless Radial Tyre
Tyre Size: 165/80 R 14
Alloy Wheel Size: 14 inches
Seating Capacity: 5
No of Doors: 5
Cargo Volume: 232 litres

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One Response

  1. dear friends please tell me about , swift car engine.is the swift zxi engine suzuki engine or local engine?.
    because maruti others cars like ALTO ,ZEN ASTAR HAS SUZUKI ENGINE. THERE IS IN PRINT SUZUKI ON THE ENGINE. BUT THERE IS NO IN PRINT SUZUKI ON THE SWIFT ENGINE.IAM WORRY ABOUT THIS MATTER . MY FRIENDS ALSO TELL ME SWIFT ZXI CAR ENGINE IS FAKE ENGINE .PLEASE TELL ME WHICH IS TRUE?

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