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Maruti Suzuki Swift Petrol Vs Diesel
Petrol or diesel? We solve the dilemma.
By : Bijoy Kumar Y | Published : March 15, 2007 | Photos : Bijoy Kumar Y
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Maruti Suzuki Swift Petrol Vs Diesel : Compare Prices, Reviews & Features
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The standing rule in BSM is that those who file the initial driving impression never write the road test report. That meant the Swift diesel road test (combined with a comparison with the petrol model since readers demanded it) was to be done by Srini since I had done the driving impression in the last issue. We were fast approaching the deadline, and SRK, as I call him for no particular reason, was yet to type ‘matter begins’ on his comp. I tried all modes of editorial harassment. Waking him up at unearthly hours and demanding the story never worked because Srini can hold a proper telephonic conversation even while he is fast asleep. He even interviewed the designer of the Rolls-Royce Phantom like that once. I even tried embarrassing him in front of colleagues half his age, but to no avail. The sympathy card that painted the painful picture of poor me waking up at four in the morning for four consecutive days to file copy, and thereby endangering my blissful married life, fell on deaf ears as well. At the end of all these attempts, he would utter something absolutely prophetic, like, ‘I can still do it’.

 Since I wanted the March issue of the magazine to come out in the 2007 calendar year and the fact that he was putting together the almost biblical Commercial Vehicle Guide meant only one thing – I was going to write this story. ‘Honey, set the alarm clock for four again, please’.

Not really a worry, since I have put in considerable mileage in both the petrol and diesel Swifts by now. But imagine writing about three diesel cars in one issue and you will realise that even the most prolific writer will run out of vocabulary related to common-rail oil burners. There is only so much of ‘torque steer’ that readers can take in one single issue, right?

We have been getting enough queries on this subject to start a new magazine called Which Swift? for public consumption. The enticing looks of the Swift combined with the fuel consumption figure of the Fiat-derived diesel engine that is fast reaching mythical efficiency status compounds the problem. Add to that the price tag of the Swift, and the issue can be narrowed down to this – Swift VXi Petrol at Rs 4.6 lakh on road (Mumbai prices) or a Swift diesel at close to Rs 5 lakh on road. I am tempted to finish the story at this moment by saying that you should buy the Swift ZXi the way I did only because a. you get all the safety features, fat rubber and automatic aircon and b. because Maruti-Suzuki is tired of playing Santa and may stop building the ZXi with all the bells and whistles sooner than you think. Alright, you don’t want to spend so much money on a hatchback and want to choose between the petrol and diesel, so now I can tell you how these cars fare.

The Swift diesel is a very sorted out car. Sure, it does not get proper foot gear, but lot of work has gone into ensuring that the joie de vivre factor of the Swift is intact. The four-cylinder 1248cc oil burner develops 75 bhp at 4000 rpm and a stupendous 19 kgm of turning force at 2000 rpm. Compare that with the petrol’s Esteem-derived 1298cc inline-four, that produces 87 bhp at 6000 rpm and 11.3 kgm at 4500 rpm. So both engines have their strong points, the petrol develops more horsepower outright, while the diesel wins the torque sweepstakes. Still, the same ingredients that make up for an extraordinary small diesel when seen alone fail to impress when driven back to back with a petrol. Crank the motor and the diesel makes enough noise for everyone around you to know that you have got a diesel under the hood.

At idle, the noise is only marginally high though. While you just cannot hear the 16-valve petrol idling inside the cabin, the diesel rumble is audible and a very tolerable amount of vibration tells you that you have ticked on economy instead of refinement. Not a promising start then for the Swift diesel.
On the move, the humongous torque of the multi-jet diesel motor together with a turbocharger that wakes up early ensures a 0-60 kph run under six seconds. Petrol is quicker, but only marginally so. While the second gear in the petrol model can take you close to an indicated 100 kph, the diesel begs for a shift around 81 kph. And by the time the diesel hits 100 kph, the petrol is away and gunning for another galaxy. Excellent mid-range grunt of the diesel is its saving grace though. Enter fourth gear at around the 121 kph mark, and you will have the petrol car very much in sight again. Both cars are capable of doing 160 kph top speeds, with (obviously) the petrol reaching there first. So if you want maximum performance and thought the diesel could deliver it, sorry folks, the petrol is still where the action is. The commendable part is that the diesel does not disgrace itself.

If you have a 70 km per day commute like mine, you will end up saving enough money to justify another child with the diesel. Before you get all excited and get to work, let us check the maths here. Let us fix the price of fuel at Rs 50 for a litre of petrol and Rs 40 per litre of diesel (I know, it is cheaper after the price cut, still). Assuming that I commute 25 days to work, I will be covering 1,750 km a month. I will then need close to 145 litres of fuel with my petrol Swift, which returns 12 kpl in severe traffic conditions with the aircon always switched on (can’t take pollution, noise and toxic fumes). That costs me a whopping Rs 7,250 a month. The same distance covered by diesel meant that I used just 120 litres of fuel, which amounts to Rs 4,800 only. The saving is Rs 2,450, and let me tell you that a good CBSE school would charge you only Rs 1,000 per month for a child. The rest you can use to buy cheap video games (trust me, modern children don’t need food once you put them on a video game diet). That was super metro economics we were talking about, and if you are lucky to live in more peaceful places, you can extract maybe 14 kpl from the petrol. In such a scenario, the diesel will put a thumb on its pretty nose and return 21 kpl easily. There!

more living
The ride quality offered by the Swift diesel is decidedly better in most driving conditions than that of the petrol. This is thanks to new springs and dampers that have gone into the diesel to compensate for the heavier powerplant. Still, the ride height remains the same for both cars. While the petrol model feels fragile and makes heart-breaking ‘thunks’ every time it hits a pothole, the diesel version tends to behave like a mature adult who has seen many ups and downs in its life.

Sure, the petrol car is easier to drive and park, but the diesel (as Srini helpfully pointed out as I was nearing the end of my article) is more suited for driving in traffic. He is correct for a change. The petrol model likes to rev and when you don’t get a chance to do that, you end up riding the clutch. The diesel can chug along in third or even fourth at 20 kph without any engine knocking. I tried this out and realised it was true till the engine died on me in the middle of traffic once. The point is, the diesel is more driveable in traffic thanks to the gearing, but what needs to be added here is the fact that the controls are a tad heavier (especially the clutch) and your calf muscles will start an argument with your brain as you get stuck in traffic-crawl mode to reach home.
which one then?

If you don’t do serious commuting and will be using your Swift for occasional and pleasurable activities like family picnics and wedding runs, then the petrol car is what you need. And yes, if you are a petrolhead, I don’t need to stress on the fuel option in any case. If inter-city driving, long commutes and dropping relatives in another part of the subcontinent (one bad habit we Indians are pretty proud of) are things you do with your car, then the diesel makes more than perfect sense. In such a scenario, the additional money you may end up paying for the diesel model is more than justified. And yes, if the roads in your area are not up to scratch, the diesel with its ride quality is a better idea too. Being a thoroughly modern engine means this Swift diesel will need only as much maintenance as the petrol even in the long run. Simple, isn’t it?

As for Srini, trust me to dump the Hyundai Getz petrol vs upcoming diesel story on him. 

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  Posted by Web Hosting India at 20th July,2011
Awesome article about Maruti Suzuki Swift Petrol Vs Diesel.Particularly buying and more living content was much more useful.Thank you dude....
  Posted by pradyumn mishra at 12th June,2011
my next car must be SWIFT petrol........ I like swift.........
  Posted by PRINSAL at 1st May,2011
  Posted by Jestin M V at 9th January,2011
I am a third year mech student.i like swift diesel car.
  Posted by prashant at 15th November,2010
why diesel engine gives more average as compare to same cc petrol engine
  Posted by harshakumar.v at 9th November,2010
marati swift car
  Posted by shekher at 7th October,2010
me shekher ,want to buy a car ....and my choice is swift...but confusion is that i m not deciding which one is better,swift petrol or swift diesel.
  Posted by ankush gagneja at 26th June,2010
according to me no need to buy....because these are the main accessories that are causing pollution to great extent....example of this that we are in touch with too hotty climate crossing the temperature 50 degree for continuous 25 days in punjab...that is in my city i m telling my personal should maintain a balance on our needs our planet buddy's.....stop the globel warming ...a great coming threat to our environment.....please....please...
  Posted by Rajesh at 26th May,2010
I am thinking of going for diesel.. Assuming my travel is around 840 Kms a month.. Swift Petrol with mileage of around 10 with the heavy traffic in blore will need 84L of petrol @ 55 = 4620 Swift Diesel with mileage of around 15 will need 56L @ 37 = 2072 The diff is 2548, in about 2yrs should be able to recover the diff in the cost. Extra maintenance could be covered by the freedom not to worry if we do a couple of trips in the 2 yrs.. Pls share your thoughts
  Posted by Pravs at 19th May,2010
Great article!! but the G13B is history now :( could you guys please please do a comparo of the BS4 swift diesel and swift K series? thnx!
  Posted by rana at 4th April,2010
good article
  Posted by Sahil Goel at 7th March,2010
Nice artice to clear the clogs of people whether to go for diesel version or the petrol one. Thanks
  Posted by varma at 20th February,2010
want to buy a car , usage is lessbut having long drive can you sujjest which one is best (petrol / diesel)
  Posted by ganesh prasad at 7th February,2010
  Posted by Pratik Mehta at 2nd February,2010
20th August,2009 Reply superb awesome..... i havent read anything like this b4.... thnx verry muchhhhhhhhhhhh..........
  Posted by mehulkumar at 2nd February,2010
how oil lubricate in swift diesel,and it work from from its gallery
  Posted by neil kadu at 4th January,2010
this article is well written but for indian roads diesel/petrol still remains a question.... rev or torque ??? iam confused :-(
  Posted by abhijeet panigrahi at 23rd December,2009
what is d difference between a petrol run car n that of a diesel car as far maintainance n safety is concerned?i hav 2 buy a car.m confusing between swift n i-10.heip me
  Posted by Ravi at 21st December,2009
Its a great article. though a question still remains if i want to keep the car for long and i do not do very long kms per day, what shud i go for?
  Posted by mohit at 8th December,2009
please people on behalf of prime minister visit in copenhagen prefer petrol car,as ecofriendly,if all of us start prefering diesel than what havoc it might play on enviornment.stop this carnage of pollution as it will havoc in comming future
  Posted by Mohit saxena at 8th December,2009
i fail to understand why cannot fiat macho engineers buit 1200 cc,16 valve petrol engine for there palio or punto,fiat give tough body sheetbut than engines of 1200 cc is so underpowered in comparsion with the weight ,OK fiat diesel is best but men we are llooking forward to decent power to weight ratio ,which doesnt give load for engine for heavy sheet,In Nutsheel suzuki for petrol as they are providing 16 valve engines and for diesel well fait/tata/suzuki can serve purpose. Definitel will buy my first car
  Posted by Rajavardhan Reddy at 13th November,2009
It was very usefull Article.Thanks for this
  Posted by V.R.REDDY at 7th November,2009
very nice article.thank u very much...)
  Posted by Freon at 29th October,2009
Very nice article, thank u very much :)
  Posted by NABEEL at 20th October,2009
Will u please inform me that,is SUZUKI on prepaation of new SWIFT petrol,(with the engine of petrol-RITZ) & new WAGON-R(with engine of A-STAR)
  Posted by Anil at 20th October,2009
Very Gud aricles.....gud info...
  Posted by jitendra at 15th October,2009
i was confused , whether to buy a petrol or diesel car, now its clear..
  Posted by Parivesh Trivedi at 5th October,2009
Very Very Useful Article Bijoy, Thx for this...
  Posted by pankaj at 20th August,2009
superb awesome..... i havent read anything like this b4.... thnx dude
  Posted by rama krishna at 15th July,2009
good and useful for people who are breaking their heads whether to for petrol or diesel thanks
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