MARUTI SUZUKI SWIFT DZIRE LXI (2009) – Ownership Review
When Maruti Suzuki first introduced the Maruti Swift in May 2005 it brought along a new refreshing look to the Indian hatchback market. As the Swift saw more and more success, Maruti Suzuki decided to take things one step further. This brought about the introduction of the Swift Dzire. The Swift Dzire is a sedan version of the popular Swift hatchback and was brought about to replace the ageing Maruti Esteem, a car which had an amazing track record to its name. The question lingering at the time of launch was, how far better would the new car be? Whatever questions that where present about the car where eventually answered with the cars launch on the March of 2008. The introduction of the car brought something new to the Indian market.
A car which had decent levels of comfort along with good fuel efficient engines was a recipe bound to succeed and yes it did. So now let’s take a look at how the car serves the owner . With 47000 km travelled and about 5 years of ownership, the car is still a very capable machine and still very much has a lot of life in it (most cars would be in the same shape provided routine maintenance and service is carried out on it).
Exterior Design and looks:
The cars design is very much based on its smaller sibling the Swift hatchback. It has the same shaped headlights and tail-lights which flow with the body’s lines and seem like they seamlessly fit into the body curves. The added boot at the back does seem flow with the rest of the body but with the added boot the car’s stance does seem to have changed a bit when compared to the swift. From the back this car isn’t the best to look at ( although from the front the looks are much better ). The wheels are tiny 14-inch rims with 165/80 section tires. Both the rim and tire size where aptly selected to go well with the exterior of the car as well provide good comfort inside.
Now when it comes to quality of the exterior of the MARUTI SWIFT Dzire, this is where it has a few shortcomings. Overall the bodywork doesn’t feel all that solidly put together. The metalwork feels like it can be dented very easily which it has done a couple of times (a small nudge from an auto caused the door outer panel to get dented inwards). Replacing the door panel wasn’t all that hard or expensive (hats off to Maruti Suzuki for providing such good service quality) but I think that goes to show what quality materials are used in the car. Otherwise the exterior of the car has held up very well over the years and the paint hasn’t faded much over time and still shines very well in the sunlight (For your Info the car is washed and cleaned at least twice a week & this helps in keeping the paint in good condition).
Interior Design and Quality:
The interior of the MARUTI SWIFT Dzire LXI is very basic. All you get in terms of features is air conditioning and power steering along with a very basic instrument cluster as well. There is NO Tachometer/RPM gauge, so information provided by the car to the driver is very limited. There is also no power windows and music system so be prepared to use your arm for the windows and have some very quite drives if you are alone (you can obviously get these installed separately on request by Maruti Suzuki or elsewhere!).
The interior itself is a simple grey plastic interior which is a little dull to look at. In all fairness this is a very cheap car to buy (around Rs 5 lakh on road), so not a lot can be expected from it to begin with. The plastic itself is very is not very nice to touch on the dash and on the doors. However the plastic used on the dash feels much more solid than the one used on the doors (give a little push and the door panel will bend inwards which gives a very unnerving feeling again about the quality of materials used). Even the plastic used for the air conditioning vents feels very flimsy. The stalks for the wind-shield wiper and headlights feel a little flimsy but are simple to use and don’t give any trouble.
The seats of the MARUTI SWIFT Dzire are made with fabric. Both the front and rear seats provide good levels of comfort. The overall driving position is a bit high, giving a good outside view for the driver ( for tall people it is a bit too high ). The MARUTI SWIFT desire can accommodate 5 people although the person sitting in the middle at the back row may feel a bit cramped. Legroom is decent at the back but that also depends on how tall the people sitting at the front are. A relatively tall person sitting in front would defiantly reduce the space behind.
Technical Specs & Driving Dynamics:
Maruti Suzuki Dzire LXi comes with a 1.2 liter, 4 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine. This engine is a part of Maruti Suzuki K series engines. The engine puts out 85 ps (about 83 bhp) of power at 6000RPM and 113Nm of torque at 4500RPM. The engine is mated to a five speed manual gearbox. Through the years the engine has been quite reliable as are most Maruti Suzuki engines. The engines state of tune is best suited for city use. The throttle response is good and there is a decent amount of low end torque which allows easy overtaking in city traffic conditions. The gearbox itself is fun to use. It has a nice mechanical feel which gives the driver an idea of what’s going on and is very smooth & easy to slot into any gear. The engine itself is very silent and there isn’t much vibration which gets through to the cabin.
The ride of the Dzire is defiantly made to make sure its passengers feel comfortable. The suspension at both the front and rear is quite soft which contributes to quite a bit of body roll in the cornering. This along with the skinny tires doesn’t reassure the driver a lot especially at high speeds. For this reason I up sized to 185/70 section R14 tires for better stability although fuel efficiency did take a bit of a hit (with the 165/80 tires city mileage was about 12-13kmpl). The steering to is made for city use. Its lightly weighted which makes life easy when taking u turns and the turning radius is small too.
Fuel efficiency is something Maruti Suzuki takes into account very seriously and this car performs quite well in the city. I get about 11-12kmpl with smooth driving and on the highways about 15 km/pl.
Service and after sales:
Service of the Dzire by Maruti Suzuki is of a good standard. Most of the spare parts are readily available at the service center and come at cheap rates compared to other companies. The car service doesn’t take too long and I’ve always informed of any repairs that have to be done or being carried out.
Shortcomings of the Swift Dzire LXI
– The quality of the body work and the interior plastics is a bit low compared to others cars available at the price. Also the interior look is dull and doesn’t look very elegant.
– The car is made for Indian cities so if your daily life takes you along highways and covers long distances look at another car.
– The driving controls such as the steering and the brakes lack feel and don’t give much feedback.
– The engine although brilliant in the city, lacks punch in the top end and combined with tall gearing makes life difficult on highways.
Maruti Swift Dzire without doubt is a car made for Indian cities. Everything about it makes sure it’s occupants feel comfortable when battling the heavy traffic of modern Indian cities and there aren’t many other cars which give you the same value for money as this one!