Maruti Suzuki, India's largest carmaker introduced the Swift hatchback in the Indian car market in 2005. Since launching in the market, the small car has been the top selling hatchback in its league. Despite increasing competition, the Swift managed to outsell most of its competitors and rules the Indian roads to date. Initially, it was made available in the petrol version only; however, the company felt a need of diesel powered hatch and later introduced it with diesel engine in 2007. This has been the game changing move for the company as it helped generate more sales since. In 2011, the premium hatchback received major modifications and since then it never looked back. The vehicle itself recorded a good sales numbers of over 12,000 every month. Now, the company aims to launch a revamped version of the hot hatch in 2014 to cater to the demands of new car buyers in India.
The Maruti Suzuki Swift is a perfect blend of performance, fuel economy and contemporary looks. The new model is based on an all-new platform and is now 90mm longer. The wheelbase of the model is increased by 40mm to offer more interior space for occupants and more masculine stance. Maruti Suzuki Swift is being offered in both petrol and diesel versions. While the petrol hatch is available in three versions- LXi, VXi and ZXi, the diesel model is also offered in 3 variants- LDi, VDi and ZDi. The petrol Swift is priced at Rs. 4.58 lakh, while the oil burner Swift is tagged at Rs. 5.66 lakh for entry level model.
Under the hood of the Swift hatchback petrol is a 1.2-litre K-Series petrol engine that churns out a maximum power output of 85.8bhp, while the diesel model gets the Fiat's 1.3-litre 'multi-jet' engine producing 74bhp. The petrol model of the car is good to deliver 15.2kmpl of mileage in city and 18.6kmpl on highways. On the other hand, the diesel model offers an impressive fuel economy of 18.1kmpl and 22.9kmpl in city and on highways, respectively.
Inside the cabin, the Swift's styling resembles the company's flagship sedan Kizashi. Compared to its older version, the new model gets a new instrument cluster and steering-mounted controls. The plastic quality could be improved, however it still looks good. The boot space is still an issue with the vehicle, as its competitors offer more luggage carrying capacity.
The Swift hatchback is fully loaded with various features that reduces human efforts and further improves the driving experience. The hatchback now features front and rear power windows, automatic climate control, air quality control, rear seat headrest, glove box and others. On safety front, the hatchback has several advanced features including Anti-lock braking system, Brake assist, child safety locks, passenger airbags and few more.
When it comes to the ride quality and handling, the Swift hatchback is the best vehicle in its league. The suspensions are fitted so well that they absorb bumps and patches pretty well. The braking system too is very responsive, adding more to its practicality. The new Swift hatchback directly competes against the likes of Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai i20, Hyundai Grand i10, Toyota Etios Liva, Nissan Micra, Renault Pulse and few others. Exterior
The new Maruti Swift looks quite similar to that of its predecessor, but with added features and modifications the vehicle offers a sportier stance. With an elegant and sporty design, the Swift has been one of the best looking premium hatchbacks in the country. Based on an all-new platform, the length of the new Swift has increased by 90mm, while the wheelbase also sees an increment of 40mm. With this the car offers more interior space and looks more aggressive than before.
The front facade of the hatchback sports a stylish grille incorporated with large headlamps, chrome finished logo fitted to the centre of grille, newly designed fog lamps and new aggressive bumper. To make it look more aggressive, the vehicle features body colored door handles, mirror cowls, alloy wheels, ORVMs with integrated blinkers and others. The rear too comes equipped with body-coloured bumper, LED tail lamps and others, which make it look more refreshing than ever.
The entry level and mid variants of the new Swift gets the 14-inch steel wheels, while the top of the line models ride on 15-inch alloys, which further enhances the overall beauty of the hatchback. The hatchback features tubeless tyres of 165/80 R14 size for 14-inch wheels and 185/65 R15 for 15-inch wheels.
The new Maruti Suzuki Swift is a premium hatchback, which offers an impressive interior space and features to enjoy the ride. Inside the cabin, the vehicle features an all-back interiors and upmarket upholstery. With extended wheelbase, the cabin offers an impressive legroom and knee room space for rear as well as front passengers. The car offers a comfortable seating for 5 adults. The car offers a decent 1000mm and 910mm of front and rear headroom, respectively. The Maruti Swift has a boot space of 204 litres, which is relatively lesser in comparison to its rivals.
The vehicle comes equipped with various styling elements such as silver painter door garnish, chrome door handles, door trim fabric and others. Other important comfort and convenience features of the car include attractive dashboard with cup holder and waterfall console, digital display trip metre, LCD display, leather seats, automatic climate control, adjustable steering column, tachometer. For music lovers, the new Swift comes loaded with six-speaker audio system, which also supports USB and Aux-in. The steering mounted audio controls and three level volume controls further improves the driving pleasure during long drives. Engine & Transmission
Available in both petrol and diesel engine guise, the new Swift is being offered in three trim levels- L, V and Z. While the petrol version of the hatchback is powered by a 1.2-litre KB12 engine that displaces 1197cc, the diesel model derives its power from the tried and tested 1.3-litre 'multi-jet' powertrain, which has a 5-step multi injection CRDi system.
The petrol mill is one of the most powerful engines in its segment. The 16-valve DOHC, 4-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol engine churns out a maximum power output of 85.8bhp at 6000rpm and 114Nm at 4000rpm of peak torque. Power is transmitted to front wheels via a five speed manual transmission. The vehicle misses out on automatic transmission, while most of its competitors also have an automatic variant.
The diesel version of the Maruti Suzuki Swift gets the famous 1.3-litre DDiS engine (multijet). This engine features the 5-step Multi Injection CRDi system with turbocharger and intercooler combination that offers higher torque value. The engine is capable of developing 74bhp of top power at 4000rpm and 190Nm of peak torque at 2000rpm. This engine is also mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, which transmits power to front wheels of the hatch.
Performance & Handling
The new Swift features the 1.2 K-series petrol engine that with variable valve timing mechanism becomes an even more fun to drive vehicle. The VVT has helped the car maker to increase the engine's power to 86bhp. The refinement level in the new engine is far better than the previous mill. The power output has got more linear and torque curve is flatter now. According to the company, the 1.2 K-series engine is around 4 per cent more fuel efficient as it now offers an ARAI certified mileage of 18.6kmpl.
The 1.3-litre multi-jet is a gem of an engine and is stated to be the most refined oil burner in the segment. With the new Swift, the mill remains the same, but it now feels more refined than before. It delivers an impressive power output of 74bhp. Initially, the vehicle offers a tiny lag, which can be avoided, but it shortly removes and the ride becomes hassle free.
When it comes to handling and drivability, the carmaker has improved both. The car turns sharply and has better grip on road with progressive body roll. The new vehicle is now easier to drive on bumpy Indian roads, as it handle the patchy and uneven roads better than its predecessor, making it an overall better performer both on busy streets and highways.
New Maruti Suzuki Swift offers sharp handling and excellent performance in both petrol and diesel models. The oil burner remains stable and offers superb road grip, and attains a top speed of 130kmph. It takes around 15 seconds to reach 100kmph from standstill. On the other hand, the gasoline mill accelerates to 100kmph from zero in just 12.29 seconds and has a top speed of 160kmph.
The new Swift comes equipped with a decent braking system that promises a safe drive. The advanced Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Brake Assist ensures safer drives by avoiding the wheels from locking-up and skidding during sudden and panic braking situations. The front and rear brakes offered in the hatchback are ventilated disc and drum type, respectively, which are efficient enough to offer safe drive. The front is mated to a Mc Pherson strut with coil spring suspension, while the rear suspension has torsion beams with coil spring. This suspension mechanism absorbs bumps pretty well and provides soothing ride. Mileage
Like most Maruti Suzuki Cars, the Swift hatchback too impresses with its fuel economy figures. Both the petrol and diesel engines are frugal and offer great city and highway mileage. The petrol powered Swift delivers a mileage of around 15kmpl in city, it goes over 18kmpl on highways. The Swift diesel on the other hand returns around 18kmpl in city and over 22kmpl on highways. As per the ARAI figures, petrol and diesel models of the Swift offer 18.6kmpl and 22.9kmpl of mileage, respectively.
The Maruti Suzuki Swift comes equipped with various safety components, however, competitors like Hyundai i20 and others offer more safety components. The safety features offered with the car are anti-lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist, central locking power door locks, child safety locks, anti theft alarm, driver and passenger airbags, day & night rear view mirror, halogen headlamps, rear seat belts, door ajar warning, side impact beams and engine immobilizer. However, most of the aforementioned features are only available on top-of the line models. Verdict
The all new Maruti Suzuki Swift is an excellent product to drive home, as it is longer, more responsive and more capacious than before. The vehicle now offers an excellent fuel economy, and when it comes to drivability and stability, it outsmarts most of its competitors. However, the company still needs to work a bit on interior quality, which now a days is an important aspect that the people consider before buying premium hatchbacks. Competition
The closest competitors of the new Swift are Hyundai i20 and Volkswagen Polo. The new version of Swift looks stylish and offers an excellent driving experience. On the other hand, the Hyundai i20, which is based on the company's immensely popular fluidic sculpture, offers a sportier appearance and smart comfort and convenience features. With improved wheelbase and dimensions, the Swift offers more interior space, however like we mentioned above, the interior quality could have been still better.The Hyundai i20 gets a more premium and feature rich cabin than its competitor. Both models are being offered in diesel as well as in petrol versions.
Hyundai i20 gets a more powerful 1.4-litre CRDi diesel engine, however, in terms of ride quality, stability and handling, the Swift scores more. Moreover, the Swift's engine is little more fuel efficient than the i20, as it offers 22.9kmpl against i20's 21.9kmpl.
Volkswagen Polo is the best looking vehicle in its league, however it lacks behind in terms of fuel economy and features. Interior quality of the car is top-notch and gives a real luxury feel inside the cabin. Excellent ride quality both in city and on highways is the other advantage of the Polo. Though on papers, it featuers the least-powerful engines. Pros
Excellent fuel economy and drivability Cons
Interiors could be better