2018 Maruti Suzuki Swift Review
- Published On: 23 January 2018
- 5 min read
In its third generation, Maruti’s stylish and popular hatchback is better equipped, more spacious and more grown up.
The Swift is easily one of the most popular cars in India, so naturally, there’s a lot riding on the all-new Swift, which will be shown to the public at the Auto Expo in February. So, has the new Swift retained the values that made it the brand that it is?
The company has maintained the trademark appearance of the car and, at the same time, has made huge changes to the overall design. Anyone familiar with the old Swifts could easily identify this one at a glance. The swept-back headlights are now more pod-like and feature a distinct LED running lamp signature and LED projector lamps, but on the top trim. The tail-lamps are more three-dimensional. The floating roof is more prominent thanks to the black bifurcation in the thick C-pillar. The door handles are now in the C-pillar, so the Swift almost looks like a three-door hatchback.
The big difference from the Dzire, which it shares its cabin with, is that this car has an all black, rather than beige-and-black, interior and faux wood has been replaced with more convincing grey plastic. The circular central AC vents and the big rotary controls for the climate control are new. There’s also a new instrument cluster with twin hooded binnacles for the speedo and tacho and red-ringed highlights. The rather basic-looking central multi-info display from the Dzire makes its way to this car as well, we were hoping for the Baleno’s high-res screen.
As far as equipment is concerned, this car offers tech along the lines of the Dzire variants. The top Z+ cars get a 7.0-inch SmartPlay touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and its own integrated navigation system too. It even comes fitted with auto climate control, auto headlamps, a rear-view camera, voice commands, keyless entry and go, LED projector headlamps and daytime running lamps. The automatic versions aren’t available this top trim though. All Swifts get dual airbags, ABS, seatbelt pretensioners and ISOFIX child seat mounts as standard to comply with Indian crash test standards.
As far as space and comfort is concerned, this car, again, mirrors the Dzire. The seats are large and well contoured but are a bit too soft. The driver’s seat is height adjustable and you also get a sporty, flat-bottomed steering wheel that is tilt-adjustable too. The back, where the previous car really lacked in space, sees a big improvement. Legroom and headroom, while not class leading, is much more but shoulder room is still a little tight.
The new Swift uses Maruti’s 1.2-litre K12 petrol engine and the Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre Multijet diesel, just like the Dzire and previous Swift. You can now get both engines with either a manual or an AMT automatic gearbox. The engines feel punchier in this car, and that’s also thanks to this car being much lighter. The 1.2 petrol is responsive off the line, which makes it great for scooting around town, but to have a real blast, you need to properly rev it. The five-speed manual, accompanied by a light clutch, makes driving this car a breeze. The five-speed AMT with the petrol would work well as a city runabout but the five-speed AMT on the diesel is a bit jerky.
The new, stiffer, lighter chassis hasn’t taken anything away from the car’s dynamics, in fact it holds itself in corners really well. The suspension is well judged and body movements are kept in check. The steering feels a little lifeless though, but it’s something you won’t mind in the city. Ride is a little firm at slow speeds, but it gets better as you pick up the pace - it smoothens out beautifully. Overall, the new Swift has a nice, big-car feel.
The new Swift will, in all probability, be a success. This new one has all the inherent Swift traits, and while it doesn’t handle as sharply as its predecessor, this car offers a certain big-car maturity that’s new to the brand. It’s also fairly well equipped and more spacious than before, which will certainly entice buyers.