Right, say hello to the new Swift Dzire! It is based on, obviously, the new Swift. It is only predictable that you would think it is a Swift with a boot on it, which it is, but there’s a catch. Maruti Suzuki, this time round has positioned the Dzire in the sub-4 metre segment. Big words, ironically, in the Indian scheme of things. Why is it so brilliant? We’ll tell you just that in the rest of this story.
Let’s start with the looks. Yes, there isn’t a dead giveaway of the difference between the Dzire and the Swift if you look at it head on, but step aside a little and you’ll notice the difference. It does look a bit odd, with that brutally hacked rear-end, but then no self-respecting automobile enthusiast was a fan of the older Dzire’s styling either. However, the rear definitely looks very contemporary and distinguishable, although there’s nothing that’s going to set your pulse racing.
The insides are now a two-tone affair, a welcome change from the Swift’s traditionally all-black interior. The top half of the dash remains black (thankfully!) while the lower half is a light beige and it undoubtedly adds a touch of class to the Swift, er, Dzire’s interiors. Most importantly, rear legroom has gone up by 20 mm over the previous car and this has been achieved by creating a scoop in the backrests of the front seats and by also fitting seats that are different than those in the hatch. Also, the Dzire is 25 mm taller, 5 mm wider and has a 40 mm longer wheelbase than the current Dzire, so the boost in interior space is a given. Another important development is that the rear door is now larger, thus making stepping in and out much more comfortable.
But what’s the catch then? Well, yes, the addition of the boot has given birth to a compromise in the, well, boot area. You see, in order to squeeze the package into its 3,995 mm length, boot space is restricted to 316 litres. Maruti Suzuki justifies this through its market survey, stating the average buyer hardly ever needs the boot while commuting and that 316 litres means you could just about squeeze in enough luggage for a four-member family on holiday. Disappointed? Well, don’t be. The current Dzire will continue to be sold alongside the new car, since that big boot is still very much the darling of the inter-city taxi folk and also, everyone who is keen on that much boot space.
On the engines front, the Dzire is running identical gear to the Swift — the K12 M VVT petrol motor that produces 85.8 bhp@6000 rpm and 11.6 kgm@4000 rpm and, wait for this, is now also available with an automatic gearbox. That’s a Dzire first, then, and we’re sure it’s going to make many Maruti Suzuki loyalists a happier bunch. In addition to that is the ever-so-popular 1.3 litre DDiS diesel motor that produces 73.9 bhp@4000 rpm and 19.37 kgm@2000 rpm.
At the end of the day, what Maruti Suzuki has done is taken a car that is already a benchmark (the Swift) and added a boot to it. Sounds like the original Swift-Dzire story right? Yes, but we only hope that the automaker manages to transfer the now available excise duty benefit on the Dzire, to the customer when it announces prices.