Maruti Suzuki Swift – Ownership Review

"Swift Facelift"

Maruti Suzuki has been quite a successful company that left a huge impression in the hearts of millions upon millions of Indians. Their cars have been used by generations and the credibility of the company remains unchanged. With the dawn of the new era comes the need for change. Maruti in collaboration with Suzuki motors have brought new innovations and newer cars to the Indian market. The Swift from Maruti Suzuki has been the leading hatchback for well over a decade and has easily taken over plenty of challengers. The sales figure of the Swift remains on top of the chart every time. There is definitely something about the Maruti Swift that makes it so popular.

The all-new Swift received a few upgrades and came out with the name Face-lift. Albeit several options to choose from, Swift always remained my favorite option. In terms of practicality, the brand and the vehicle has a very different respect. It is desired by plenty of buyers and its service works out to be more economical over the other brands. These reasons were enough to please the impulsiveness within J. Here is my take on the Maruti Suzuki Swift Face lift version that I bought recently. I chose the Fire Red color that seemed quite catchy, peppy and youthful. Maruti has also added a Mysterious Violet Color but that looks pretty much like a black swift.

"2015 Maruti Swift Facelift"
Maruti Swift Facelift 2015

Engine:

Maruti Suzuki cars offer classy mileage and with the launch of every new car, the mileage manages to put a smile on the buyers face. I chose the Petrol consuming Vxi model that enjoys a few top end features. Maruti Suzuki had tweaked the engine on the new facelift version to add to the efficiency.

 

"Maruti Swift Facelift Engine"
Maruti Swift Facelift Engine

The 1.2-litre K-Series mill (1148 cc engine) now produces 2.7 PS less power, thus is outputs 84.3 PS at 6000 RPM while the torque has increased by 1 Nm to 115 Nm at 4000 RPM. The compression ratio has been modified from 10.0:1 to 11.0:1 and this helps churn out a mileage of 20.4 kmpl. The car is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox that is quite comfortable to use.

"Swift Facelift"
Swift Facelift

 

Exteriors:

In terms of styling, nothing much has changed since the last Swift that rolled out before the Facelift version. That’s a little sad because competitors like Hyundai constantly keep updating the design languages of their hatchbacks. Sadly, Swift has been the same since the beginning.

"Maruti Swift Facelift Exteriors"
“Maruti Exteriors”

The New Facelift version has a new grille and bumper are new but again, it’s very similar to the old car while the fog light has silver accent next to them. The accents are available only with the vxi, zxi, vdi and zdi models. Apart from this, the exteriors remain fairly unchanged.

"Swift Facelift"
Swift Facelift Rear Side

 

"Swift Facelift"
Swift Facelift Side profile

 

Interiors:

The Swift definitely greets the driver since the driving pleasure of this car cannot be substituted. The seat fabric has been changed since the last model. (P.S. The seat covers cost me extra and do not come as a standard addition with the car) The Dashboard on this car has silver accents, including on the door and steering wheel while the equipment list has been lengthened to get on par with the competition.

"Swift Facelift"
Swift Facelift Interiors

The car comes with a new and interesting 60:40 split seat system that comes in handy when the luggage is a tad extra. The vehicle has new and adjustable headrests as well as rear-view mirrors. The Face-lift version also has electronic view mirror system or OVRM that is surely a great feature to have.

"Swift Facelift"
Swift Facelift Interiors

These electrically retracting rear-view mirrors on my V trim make it easy for me to adjust and fidget with the joystick. Getting on with the rear space, this car is a little disappointing because Maruti has not been very generous with the rear seating space on this car. It does feel a little claustrophobic especially for those who are a little tall. The Boot space is pretty much the same and lacks space. Carrying a lot of luggage is surely a challenge with this car.

"Swift Speakers"
Swift Facelift Door Speakers

The Audio system is by far the best I’ve ever seen in any other hatchback. The audio system on this car is married to 4 speakers placed on every door in the car. The Bass and overall acoustics are a mood changer. The vehicle has an Aux in and a USB port that play soothing music. There is also a CD player/changer. The new model has a removable Antenna and the Radio support on this vehicle is quite good. The V trims and the Z trims have Audio systems.

"Swift Facelift"
Swift Facelift OVRM

 

 

 

"Swift Facelift Bootspace"
Swift Facelift Bootspace

 

"Suzuki Swift Seat"
“Suzuki Swift Drivers seat”

 

Price: The Vxi model is available for Rs. 6.30 lakhs (On-road Price) which is quite aggressive a price I should say.

Service:

I am a big fan of Maruti’s service network. Although i stay in a hill station, there are 2 Maruti service stations in the vicinity. Maruti offers 3 free services after purchasing the car. The First service is due after a month or 1000 kms. The second service is due after 5k kilometers or 6 months. And the Third Service is post 10k kms. The average price of servicing my car comes to around Rs. 2000/-. Compared to others, this is quite a decent amount and it’s quite justified.

Bottom Line: Of course the new Facelift has a few flaws (which car doesn’t?). The rear seating space and the boot space is definitely a turn off. However, I was amused by the split seats, driving is always fun and I cannot miss out on the mileage part too. That said, the music makes my day too 🙂

Hope you find this article interesting? Please feel free to drop in your feedbacks and suggestions.

Face Off : Hyundai i20 vs Maruti Suzuki Swift

The Hatchback segment is a heavily contended area of the Indian market. Although a multitude of cars from various manufacturers have entered the fray over the past five years, two names have managed to always stay on top:  Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. The Swift and i20 have been clashing against each other for years now and with both offering a host of features and space at a reasonable price point, the battle in this segment eventually became a two horse race between the Suzuki Swift and Hyundai i20.

Lets take a look at what makes both these hatchbacks so successful and what may be the better choice for you as a buyer.

Exterior:

Swift:

The current gen Swift is more of an evolution from the previous generation than a full blown facelift. As a result merely the dimensions of the headlights and taillights have been changed. While many consider the new look to be more contemporary, the Swift falls a little behind the competition in this department. However, the finish and choice of colours have greatly improved over the first model and the car makes for a far more premium offering.

Verdict: 7/10

i20:

Hyundai’s latest fluidic design philosophy greatly aided the ailing company’s fortunes around the world. With the launch of the Fluidic Verna, the company revived its sales figures to even displace Indian heavyweight Maruti from the top spot in multiple segments. Following the phenomenal success of the Verna, Hyundai applied the very same design methodology to the i20. While the previous generation i20 was criticized for its plane Jane looks, the new i20 is far more edgy in terms of design. Free flowing lines emanating from the hexagonal grille run across the body of the hatchback add to the hatchback’s “fluidic” nature.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Interior:

Swift:

Maruti has made tremendous strides with the interior of the Swift. Replacing the conventional beige and grey colours with an all-black cabin vastly improved the car’s upmarket feel. The dashboard has been thoroughly redone with high grade plastics and quality buttons. However, we do find some evidence of cost cutting with some areas where fit and finish isn’t entirely perfect.

The integrated music system is far more appealing and features steering mounted controls. Although the peak volume is quite impressive, cabin acoustics could have been fairly better. Though this can be fixed with after-market speakers.

Cabin space is good but not exceptional with even tall passengers sitting at the back in adequate comfort.

Verdict: 7/10

i20:

The i20’s interiors are one of the best around. The premium plastics and chrome touches across the dash improve on the premium feel of the car. The blue ambient lighting is quite pretty when compared to the rather low key white light of the Swift. The music system features the conventional USB, iPod, AUX In inputs, however, the car’s acoustics are excellent and give the passengers an immersive experience.

One major flaw of the i20’s infotainment system is the positioning of the rather small monochrome screen. The size, position and control units for the display is simply not ergonomically sound.

Verdict: 7/10

Under The Hood:

The Swift and i20 are powered by both petrol and diesel units. For the purposes of the comparo, we will be considering the petrol variants of both cars.

Swift:

The Swift is powered by an updated 1.2 L engine that features variable valve timing that improves performance and fuel efficiency. The new chassis has improved weight reduction, which means the power to weight ratio of the current gen Swift is one of the best in its class. The petrol mill churns out 85 HP @ 6000 RPM with a peak torque of 114 Nm hitting at 4000 RPM. Although the claimed mileage is 18.6 km/L, the Swift gives about 14 – 16 km/L in the real world. Still a commendable job from the little hatch.

Verdict: 8/10

i20:

The i20 is powered by a similar specked engine and also offers the latest in tech wizardry to ensure maximum fuel efficiency and performance. The 1.2 L four cylinder engine puts out 82.8 HP @ 6000 RPM and 113 Nm of torque @ 4000 RPM. However, the Hyundai hatch is much larger and heavier and as a result performance takes a big hit. Although claimed mileage is 18 km/L, the i20 gives about 12/13 km/L in city traffic conditions. Despite the lack of power, the engine is extremely refined and quiet even beyond 4000 revs. Hyundai has done an impressive job with cabin noise insulation as well.

Verdict: 7/10

Performance:

Swift:

One can argue that the Swift does not posses the refinement of the i20 or the features, however despite its shortcomings in build quality and the like, the Swift runs circles ’round the i20 when it comes to the drive. The Swift has always been a tuner’s favorite and for a good reason, with a superb rev happy engine and good power to weight ratio, the Swift is an absolute blast to drive. Brakes are strong and responsive and react well when put under test. Gear shifts are smooth and the gearbox works with minimal fuss. The turning radius is better than the i20 and the car also offers good rear visibility. Given that it is a Maruti, spare parts are also easily accessible and cheap.

Verdict: 8.5/10

i20:

The i20 is a bit of a disappointment here. With a hatchback this large, you would think that Hyundai would put a more powerful engine under the bonnet. Sadly however, the 1.2 L petrol mill provides poor low end torque and as a result the car fails to pull away when you need it the most. Although noise insulation is impressive, Hyundai has skimped on the engine to provide more features. While many may consider a feature loaded car as a value for money product, the i20 fails to impress as a driver’s car. The brakes, despite providing adequate braking capability, feel spongy and lack the bite that the Swift offers.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Verdict:

While both cars are placed in the same segment and cost about the same, the Swift and i20 belong to totally different worlds. While one tugs and pulls at your heart, the other makes a whole lot more sense. One is meant to be driven while the other is meant to be driven in.

maruti suzuki swift
The Maruti Suzuki Swift

So for the better driver’s car, it has and will always be the Maruti Suzuki Swift. However, for the more feature loaded and spacious of the two, our pick would definitely be the Hyundai i20.

2012 hyundai i20
The Hyundai i20

Image Sources: Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai

Visit Maruti Suzuki India Website: http://www.marutisuzuki.com

Visit Hyundai India Website: www.hyundai.com/in