Maruti SX4 diesel – Preview

Maruti started their diesel car operations by shoehorning a diesel power-plant into their small Zen car and then later the Esteem sedan. This diesel was sourced from Peugeot but had limited appeal due it not meeting emission norms and not having a good name for reliability as well. Since then Maruti has refrained from using a diesel engine. This was until the Fiat-Suzuki alliance happened and Maruti got the much acclaimed 1.3 liter multi jet from the Fiat stables. They fitted it into the best selling Swift some years back. And the rest as they say is history. The Swift petrol which already had a long waiting period had company in the Swift diesel. Then came the Swift Dzire model. The same diesel engine was put into the Dzire as well and now, it faces the same fate of having long waiting periods.

Seeing this popularity, Maruti has decided to give its now flagship, the SX4 with a diesel engine. This seems logical following on the footsteps of launch of the CNG model SX4. The SX4 petrol was losing out on an average fuel economy as compared to other models in its class. A Diesel should offset that. However Maruti have plans to introduce its own version of the Multijet. It wouldn’t be the 1.3 liter fitted with a turbo charger{one doing duties in the Tata Indigo Manza and the Fiat Linea but a new 1.6 liter DDIS pumping out 120 bhp with an incredible 220Nm of torque. The fuel efficiency would approximately 13 kmpl in city and a high 20 kmpl on the highway, with the diesel engine at the helm.

A few visual changes are guaranteed for the diesel sedan. This is going to be similar to the changes which were made in the Corolla diesel sedan. It is to distinguish the petrol and the diesel sedans. The New Maruti SX4 diesel will sport a DDIS tag at the rear for sure but minor changes would be there on the grill as well. The diesel would also have uprated suspension components upfront to negate the weight of the diesel engine. The transmission would the same 5 speed manual as found on the petrol version however its gear ratios would be altered to accommodate the additional torque. An automatic would also be offered much later, but it would still be within the price range of the base Honda City.

The same gum ball size tyres would be present on the diesel version as well but with a different alloy design. The New Maruti SX4 diesel would give the best performance in its class alongwith sufficient NVH. It is touted to be the next diesel rocket in its segment, the other one been the Hyundai Verna CRDI.

Maruti SX4 diesel in India would be launched in the first quarter of 2011. As with all Maruti’s the pricing would be spot on and expect the base diesel to go for Rs.8,90000 to Rs.9,70000 for the top end Zdi. The automatic would push up the price by another 50k. It would then be bang in the Chevy Cruze and Toyota Corolla segment.

Technical specifications of the SX4 diesel
  • Engine: 1597 cc (Diesel)
  • Power: 120 bhp
  • Ground Clearance (mm): 190
  • Length (mm): 4490
  • Width (mm): 1735
  • Height (mm): 1570
  • Torque: 220Nm
  • Wheel Base (mm): 2560
  • Boot space (litres): 485

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