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From being just a Swift with a boot, the Dzire has established itself as a competent sedan in its own right. Maruti has dropped the ‘Swift’ moniker from the Dzire altogether with this new car.
This is the all new Dzire. Maruti wanted this car to qualify for the tax benefits that sub-four-metre cars enjoy, so the carmaker ensured that this car’s length has ducked under four metres.
This car definitely looks a lot more proportionate than before. The rear windscreen is raked a whole lot steeper and, more importantly, the boot doesn’t look like someone merely strapped it onto the hatch. The new body shell gets soft curves and flowing lines all over. The new face looks a whole lot more mature - with almond-shaped headlamps, chunky chrome surrounding the grille with a Suzuki logo that appears to float, and L-shaped chrome inserts giving some definition to the bumper. The skinny, 165mm tyres and 14-inch wheels on the V and L variants look a tad tiny for this car, however. The new LED tail-lamps look smart when lit up and there’s even a chrome strip connecting them.
Step inside this car and you’ll notice it’s as striking as the exterior. It retains its two-tone beige and black theme but the design is all new. Quality of plastics isn’t too different from the outgoing car though, some feel like they’ve been directly lifted from the earlier Dzire. The flat-bottom steering wheel looks and feels great - even the buttons on it are of high quality. The instrument console is sharp looking and feels sporty.
Hop into the front and you’ll notice that the seats are supportive and comfy, and the cushioning feels a bit softer than before. There’s height adjust for the driver’s seat, and the steering gets tilt adjustment too. There’s a good amount of storage areas around the cabin as well. The audio system looks a little out of place in the overall design though. The wood insert on the dashboard might look chic at first glance, but look closely and it feels low rent though.
This New Dzire’s wheelbase of 2,450mm is longer so there’s more room at the back - two tall people can sit one behind another in reasonable comfort. Headroom for taller occupants at the back is tight though. This car is wider than before but even then, a third occupant at the back will be a tight squeeze. There are air-con vents and a 12V power socket at the back now. The Dzire's boot is larger too at 378 litres, and it is practically shaped too. The loading lip is still a bit high though.
Under the hood, there’s an 83hp, 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol and a 75hp, 1.3-litre, four-cylinder diesel. Both these come with a five-speed manual and an automated manual transmission option. The engines are a lot more efficient than before – the company claims 22.0kpl for the petrol and 28.4kpl for the diesel, thanks to the car’s light weight.
The petrol engine is really silent and refined - it’s barely audible at idle. From as low as 1,200rpm, power delivery is nice and smooth, and the revs build in a linear manner. It makes a sporty sound once it crosses 3,500 revs and the engine is eager for most of the way - it’ll cleanly pull until 6,300rpm. Max torque of 113Nm is developed at 4,200revs. The five-speed manual transmission is easy to shift and quite fun to use. The clutch, though, feels a bit springy.
The petrol AMT shifts up eagerly and the transition between gears is noticeable. It isn’t seamless as torque converters or continuously variable transmissions. There’s also the option to manually shift gears using the Tiptronic mode. There’s little that’s different in the diesel though. Immediately off the line, there’s a noticeable delay before the power delivery kicks in. Once the turbo kicks in, it pulls well and the engine spins quite freely. However, at high revs, the engine feels loud and clattery, and sounds crude.
Ride quality is softer than the outgoing car - there are fewer body movements over bad sections of road and aren’t as jarring any more. It soaks up road imperfections well and feels nice and absorbent. The petrol’s steering is light and feels effortless to twirl, however it doesn’t feel as well connected to the road as before. However, the diesel feels a bit heavier and more connected in comparison.
This new Dzire is tailor-made to cater to the demands and needs of customers. It’s got all the right ingredients – space, practicality, comfort, good equipment on top variants, fuel-efficient engines and, above everything, the backing of Maruti’s extensive sales and support network. There’s ABS with EBD, and dual airbags as standard across the range too. Prices range from ₹5.45 lakh to ₹9.41 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
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