If it’s a diesel automatic one wants for under Rs 10 lakh ex-showroom, the choice is limited to just three – the Tata Zest, the Mahindra TUV300 and the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. But, if one must have a truly efficient diesel automatic at this price, then it’s a toss up between the Tata and the Maruti. And though a Zest vs Dzire is a story for another day, it’s probably important to first get to know the latest entrant a bit better. So, here’s what the New Swift DZire AMT is all about.
Nothing has really changed on the outside in the AMT or AGS avatar of the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. Its proportions are still off; it still has lots of chrome on its face; and it still looks like a Swift with a boot fused on, albeit in a tearing hurry. The Dzire AMT doesn’t get any particular visual differentiation either from the regular manual versions barring the Auto Gear Shift badge on its boot. It’s clearly not a car you’d buy for its looks; but given the relentless growth in its sales numbers, we – as in the Indian compact sedan buyer – clearly isn’t judging the book by its cover.
And that’s a good thing because inside the Dzire is actually quite likable. It isn’t the most spacious of compact sedans – the Amaze, the Aspire, and even the Zest offer more space – but Maruti has done well on both quality and equipment. The look and feel of plastic, the fit and finish, the textures and the operability of the buttons and knobs all around the cabin are all class leading.
There’s good thought gone behind designing the cabin as well. The Dzire AMT gets a couple of cup holders for the front passengers, a central armrest for the rear passengers, and bottle holders on all four doors. There are door pockets all round as well, and useable ones at that.
In terms of features, the Dzire gets keyless entry and push-button start, height adjustable driver’s seat, rake adjust for the multifunctional steering wheel, and a music system that can play of USB and AUX and Bluetooth as well. There’s climate control, rear parking sensors and a trip computer too. And on the safety front, there’s ABS and driver and passenger airbags. This is, of course, the top of the line ZXI trim; the only trim level the Dzire AMT is currently available in.
The Swift Dzire AMT is powered by the 1248cc, four-cylinder, diesel engine that does duty on the regular Dzire and Swift models. It comes with the same output figures too – 74bhp of max power and 190Nm of peak torque. In fact, the automated manual transmission or AMT is based on the same 5-speed gearbox as on the regular Dzire diesel. But, the car itself now handles the job of engaging and disengaging the clutch as well as shifting up and down the gearbox. And it does it with the help of a computer program and hydraulic actuators.
The shift isn’t as seamless as in proper automatics or dual clutch ‘boxes, and every upshift besides being slow is also accompanied by a bit of bogging. Now, it isn’t worse than other AMTs in the market – in fact, it works better than most – but it just doesn’t feel natural. At least initially, it doesn’t. But, give it some time and at slower city speeds, the shift shock doesn’t seem bothersome after a while. There’s still a bit of bogging, but it doesn’t hinder progress. Also, the drive-by-wire throttle on the Dzire diesel is configured beautifully. With the turbo spooled up the throttle response is alert, linear and predictable. So, as far as city use goes, the AMT on this Maruti does work.
However, if you want to drive in a hurry, then the AMT does feel like its getting in the way. The bogging is more severe, the shifts aren’t fast enough and it doesn’t always translate your right foot’s inputs to how you’d like the gearbox to react. Thankfully, the Dzire AMT does come with a manual override function. In manual mode, the driver has better control over revs and the engine doesn’t mind revving close to its 5,000rpm redline either.
As far as ride and handling goes, nothing has changed. The Dzire still rides well over poor roads and through potholes transmitting very little to the passengers inside; it still has good visibility making it fairly easy to live with in the city; and it still steers, brakes and goes around corners with appreciable dynamic prowess.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||74 @ 4000|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||190 @ 2000|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||42|
|Tyre size||185/ 65 R15|
|Five-speed Automated manual transmission||Yes|
|2-DIN music system||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||ZDI AMT||ZDI AMT|
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||89 @ 4000||74 @ 4000|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||200 @ 1750||190 @ 2000|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||44||42|
|Tyre size||185/ 65 R15||185/ 65 R15|
The Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire AMT costs a little over Rs 10 lakh on the road in Mumbai, which makes it cheaper than the top of the line Mahindra TUV300 AMT and similarly priced as the Tata Zest AMT, again in top line guise. But, the Maruti is better equipped than the Tata and it out accelerates and out handles the Mahindra; it also outruns the latter in terms of fuel efficiency. If one is looking for a high mileage car (mileage both in terms of running and fuel economy) for city use – given space isn’t really a priority – the Dzire AMT makes for a great purchase. Given that it’s a Maruti, it should also hold its value well when its time to sell it. A worthy purchase option he Dzire AMT most certainly is.
Photo Courtesy By : Kapil Angane