It is India’s most awaited car for a very long time. And now the third generation of the ever popular Maruti Swift is finally here. The car will be launched at the upcoming Auto Expo next month but the Sunday Guardian has already driven the car to get you this exhaustive review. The car is built on the innovative 5th generation HEARTECT platform from Suzuki. The platform gets more strength and rigidity and helps to improve the power to weight ratio, leading to better acceleration performance for a peppy and fun to drive experience. We put that to test in the lovely hills of Lonavala near Pune to see if the Swift magic continues 13 years after the car first made its India debut.
The designers have done a great job with the new Swift. The new single aperture front grille design complements with the floating roof and wrap around windows. But the grille could do with some better plastic. The car gets sleek LED projector headlamps with a signature LED DRL design, though only the top Z+ variants will get the LEDs. What also look nice are two-tone alloy wheels that provide a distinct road presence to the hatchback. The rear door opener is also new, similar to the one seen on the Chevrolet Beat. The rear with the LED lamps and the sporty spoiler looks appealing as well. In terms of dimensions the all-new Swift is 40 mm wider, which infuses a stronger, muscular and well-grounded look to it. Even the wheel base has gone up by 20mm guaranteeing more cabin space.
The cockpit design of the interiors is enhanced by driver-side tilted HMI (human-machine interface) controls. It’s an all-black cabin that helps continue the sporty DNA that swift is known for. The flat bottom steering wheel, a new addition on the hatchback, also augments the sporty appeal of the interiors. The urbane satin chrome finish on the instrument panel, steering, doors and speedometer rings is a nice touch. Like the Baleno the Swift also now gets a touch screen Infotainment System, which is compatible with Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link. The in-built voice recognition comes with Indian accent English, which adds to an impressive infotainment experience for car buyers. Reverse parking camera display is also integrated with the infotainment screen. The second row is good on leg space but it misses out on AC vents. The luggage space increases by 58 litres, around 28% more than the second generation Swift.
The new Swift continues with the same engines seen on the earlier car. The ever popular 1.2 liter K12 petrol engine and the best seller 1.3 liter DDiS 190 diesel do the duty here as well. The former churns out 82 bhp and 113 Nm of peak torque while the diesel gives a maximum power of 74 bhp along with an even better torque figure of 190 Nm. The car gets manual and, for the first time, auto gearshift variants for both petrol and diesel models. The manual gearshifts are peppy and responsive and because the Swift is now a lighter car than before the engines that in any case have been re-calibrated provide a fun drive. Maruti has come a long way with the AGS technology and its getting better with every new car. The downshifts are precise to the point and there’s a slight delay in up shifts only while accelerating on inclines. Mileage figures have still not been revealed but expect Maruti to deliver well on that front.
Ride and Handling
The hot hatch tag surely continues on this new Swift. In fact it takes things to a whole new level. The lighter lower car the Swift has now become ensures that it handles really well. Throw it around corners and it will hold on to its own or take it to high speeds and it will provide all the stability. The ride quality is a bit on the stiffer side but in no ways can it be termed as uncomfortable. This is perhaps to retain the sporty DNA lineage the Swift has been always known for.
The Swift has always been called an all-rounder and many have continuously termed it as India’s best car. Words like fun, sporty, stylish that we’ve always associated with the Swift hold true on this new generation as well. It’s a much safer car as well as all the 12 variants come with two airbags and ABS as standard. If you liked the earlier Swift there’s no reason you won’t like this one even more. By paying an amount of Rs. 11,000 you can already book the new Swift. Looks like Maruti has another winner waiting to hit the roads soon. The company’s dominance in the Indian car market is here to stay as long as it delivers excellent products like the new Swift.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars