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Maruti Suzuki Swift vs Nissan Micra
Which Japanese B-segmenter rules the roost?
By : BSM desk | Published : July 19, 2010 | Photos : BSM
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Micra vs Swift
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The newest kid in town is the Nissan Micra and it is ready to take on the established king of the ring, the Suzuki Swift. But can beat the benchmark? Let's find out.

With the new Micra, the little Nissan has now entered its fourth generation and takes a lot of design cues from its predecessor. The exteriors are interesting to say the least with its huge bug headlamps, the Mini-like grille and a lot of curves all round. In profile the curving roof and the greenhouse make it stand out. The Swift on the other hand uses a combination of sharp bulges and features to also lend it a unique look, alas lost out in a sea of Swifts we guess.

On the inside, the Micra uses excellent space management to liberate acres of leg, head and shoulder room, both for passengers at the front and rear. It comes quite loaded too, with keyless start-stop (a first in the segment) as well as electrically folding mirrors (all on the top-end XV), a nice stereo system and good use of materials. The problem with the Micra is there are too many surfaces and colours and that makes the dashboard appear cluttered. Some of the plastics used aren't the best quality, but the switchgear is pretty good. The Swift is just a hue of black on the inside and nothing else. Plastic quality is commendable, but not the best, though it all fits into place very well. The Swift may not have a Start-Stop button nor electrically folding ORVMs, but it does have stereo controls on the steering and nice front seats. Space, however is at a premium here and passegngers at the rear will complain about the lack of overall perceived space. Strangely enough, it's the Swift that has the bigger boot of the two, but the difference is marginal.

But once you are behind the wheel, the equation changes. The Micra's 1200cc, three-cylinder petrol engine is torquey and the ratios are nicely spread out for both city and highway use. Acceleration is brisk with 100 kph coming up in just under 15 seconds. Top speed is a shade under 160 kph which is par for the course. Overall driveability is decent, though there are some issues. Since it is a three-cylinder unit, the engine sounds coarse past 5000 rpm and the gear shifts aren't as slick as you would expect. Moreover, a lot of tyre and wind noise seeps into the cabin once you've crossed 80 kph. The Swift on the other hand has a four-cylinder 1.2-litre K Series unit that is refined, torquey and more powerful than the Micra (84 bhp vs 76 bhp). Acceleration is even more brisk and it can cross the 100 kph mark in just 13.5 seconds. Top speed is marginally better too at 165 kph. Overall refinement and driveability is good, and the gear shifts are slicker, although it's the Micra that makes for the better city car.

Dynamics have been the Swift's forte and the Swift with its numerous revisions over five years has now built up to be a car with good ride and handling balance. The ride quality has particularly improved, especially low and high-speed ride, although it is the Micra that outsmarts it in this aspect. Handling is beautiful, especially on-the-edge where the Micra's soft-suspension setup makes it a bit wooly and brings in a fair amount of body roll. Braking on both cars is good, but it's the Swift that tends to brake with more confidence.

In the end, there can be only one winner. The Swift is more adept dynamically, has a better engine and is more refined. It's also backed by Maruti's unfalliable service network, which the Micra can't boast of. But it's the Micra that seems to find the sweet-spot. It rides brilliantly, is well loaded, has more space and seems better put together. It also is more practical on a day-to-day basis and is more efficient too (14.05 kpl for the Micra vs 13.5 kpl for the Swift, overall). And it is the better car of the two.

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  Posted by sagar at 17th March,2012
very nice car
  Posted by namal at 28th February,2012
swift torque diesel
  Posted by venkatesh at 13th February,2012
this is a old report my micra gives me 19 kmpl overall micra has a fuel indicator where it will calculate the amount of distance can be travelled with the current fuel it haven't mentioned But only problem in nissan is it gives lot of noise when travelling :( but i love to use my XV diesel to fly at 160
  Posted by jahangir kaduji at 12th January,2012
nissan is good .....
  Posted by B.N.Patra at 3rd January,2012
I personally drives both of diesel model,but every point of view micra is better than swift
  Posted by k at 18th November,2011
Nissan Micra A good featured car, milage is great as compared to other cars in this segment
  Posted by Dr Anil Bilimale at 3rd September,2011
I had done a thorough research among all the Mid segment hatchbacks [Diesel] and had arrived at 3 best CHOICES - i20, Maruti Swift & Nissan Micra.[Though Nissan Micra Petrol 1.2L with 3 valve engine doesnt rise upto expectations] I already own a Swift and was bored of seeing it everywhere like TATA Indica. Though it scores well after the launch of New Swift, there is no much change in exterior looks. i20 diesel is costliest among this segment and only boosts its power when turbo charges up which is not recommended for city driving. Also, i20 has become old. Nissan Micra though has some odds related to the service centres, its the least advertised CAR though has sold 100000 cars in a year. It has few luxury features which none of the mid segment cars provide [button start, keyless entry, automatic folding of mirrors, automatic climate control]. Though it has the pride of owning 1498cc powerful 4 valve engine, they have tuned it for better mileage coz cars bought at this price are by pe
  Posted by Sarath at 25th August,2011
For those who wanted a good comparison for tne perfect hatchback in India scene of traffic & parking THE MICRA from NISSAN is the best. it has the best powerful 1.5l engine with the sharp radius while driving. I have two diesel powerful top end hatchbacks which is a GOOD and the perfect option when compared to the other hatchback in the cities.
  Posted by fayaz at 3rd July,2011
Recently booked a Micra XE.And from reviews and comments seems I made a good choice.
  Posted by Dhanya Menon at 2nd May,2011
Nice good comparison between the two cars and help one to make a choice..i was actually confused between Micra and i10..
  Posted by jagdeep at 23rd April,2011
i live in canada. and i own nissan sentra and toyota corolla. if i have to decide . i will go with micra. Nissan makes good cars
  Posted by RAJIV MUKHERJEE at 23rd March,2011
  Posted by tousif at 22nd March,2011
i would like to know micra diesel is better option or swift diesel
  Posted by jaskaran singh at 15th March,2011
dono cars achi hai
  Posted by kalyan at 24th February,2011
need detail comparison between swift vxi and skoda fabia ambiente petrol.
  Posted by seetharaman at 21st February,2011
When will launch swift 2011 model, and what upgrading is there in new model swift.
  Posted by m.naresh babu at 10th February,2011
pl give detailed comparison of maruthi suzuki swift & nissan micra both in diesel
  Posted by sameer maheshwari at 31st January,2011
I am confuse between micra & etios liva which car is better ?
  Posted by rajesh at 29th January,2011
it is better to go for Micra after the performance on the road,it is giving good milage for me. i found good in micra it's fuel effiociency is good,it is giving 23.02 in the highway road. if u r in the hyd just visit show room at Banjarahills rd no 12,,and ask for details about Micra features,i contacted rajinikanth sales consultant at there,he will gives you the details,i am happy to sharing my views with all of you.NISSAN MICRA giving ROAD Side Assistance first time in the small car segment...
  Posted by Naveen at 20th January,2011
Swift Dielsel is the best car on the indian roads. i am using SWIFT since 2 years and travelled around 22000 kms and i am so excited. SWIFT gives me an mileage of around 17 kms per litre diesel on a crowded roads like hyderabad. Economically and style wise SWIFT is the best
  Posted by Amit Mishra at 18th January,2011
Can you please comment on "On road performance" of Micra Diesel car.
  Posted by gavaskar at 13th January,2011
I want to buy a new car, Can any one suggest which is the best car New Swift Diesel or Micra diesel Thanks for your time
  Posted by vicky at 23rd December,2010
go to micra
  Posted by abhijeet sarkar at 19th December,2010
sir ,micra is best modification engineering in applying three cylinder and gives a perfect power and that power which can be used in rather in four cylinder in swift and well evenly every design just obey roads indian .
  Posted by abey at 2nd December,2010
i plan with micra that makes the better city drive and lot of features
  Posted by ashok.s at 25th November,2010
i plan with swift but at present wait for think micra diseal how tocampare with milage & maintance seat face pls to reply
  Posted by PalaniappanM at 21st November,2010
Sir,Thanks for this article.I may go for Micra.
  Posted by sanjay at 7th November,2010
please tell me what car i will take swift or micra
  Posted by hnf.pnmla at 31st October,2010
swift is best!!!!
  Posted by amar at 14th October,2010
i like swift.. This is very sexy car yaar..
  Posted by smit holkar at 9th October,2010
yes i am agreed with the swifts best in class engine and it is hoot to drive. the looks are very sexy and smart.
  Posted by KARAN BIMRAH at 9th September,2010
  Posted by akasj at 15th September,2010
  Dont bye any car...???????
  Posted by Gopakumar Mallelil at 31st August,2010
The swift will be the better option soon on launch of the 2011 version with more space comfort and posh interiors. The micra will be only a shadow of the new one if innovations were made soon
  Posted by zak at 28th August,2010
Micra seems like the new 'swift' in town, if only it was 'maruti-suzuki Micra',,, she looks small,but packs more space and brand image than swift does,, people looking for change will definately go for this one,, cheers
  Posted by ZEESHAN AHMAD at 25th August,2010
i drove the micra it is good to drive but its quite small.Get the new swift...otherwise u may loose the advantage..
  Posted by Pratik Punjabi at 24th August,2010
May be MICRA is better car of the two - as you said it. However, lets see how the game changes with the new SWIFT which is likely to be launched in Oct-10.
  Posted by prasanna mahadik at 21st August,2010
nissan is nissan i love micra. Sexy n beautiful girlfriend.
  Posted by Hirrus Shroff at 18th August,2010
Micra looks chalenging for All the small cars in India but Micra will have to deal with lots of competitors including the Volkswagen Polo -- I wish Nissan All the best
  Posted by Dipta Maitra at 6th August,2010
I drove the Micra, yes it is fun to drive but the rear is quite cramped-3 adults cannot sit at the back comfortably.And I did not like the interiors as they were quite dull.
  Posted by BSM admin at 28th July,2010
Shiladitya, this is a Quick Comparo and not a full-fledged one for people to make more instant choices and get all the inputs in a nugget rather than go through pages and pages of text. Also note that references to the cabin insulation were made for speeds post 80 kph where it is poor.
  Posted by gaurav sharma at 28th July,2010
Get the new swift...otherwise u may loose the advantage..
  Posted by Rajesh Kumar at 28th July,2010
Media's bias and wrong teaching to potential Indian buyers is the reason of success of Suzuki in India. Suzuki is a failure all over the world. Suzuki's old design cars need more maintenance, hence larger service network. Modern cars don't need service network like Suzuki. Regular oil change every 12,000Km is enough for 5 years. I think in 10 years, Suzuzki share in India will be similar to Suzuki share in the world.
  Posted by shiladitya at 27th July,2010
One correction - Micra boot space is 251 litres and Swift is 232, so please correct it! The older spec of the Micra had a typo which said the boot space as 226 litres. Check out the new spec from the website. Nice review but could have been more detailed. Swift is a better handler but Micra handles decently well and also the cabin insulation is good.
  Posted by Doc at 20th July,2010
Haven't driven the Micra but it just feels good that the Swift can no longer continue its quite undeserved popularity - it has questionable looks,lousy build quality, a claustrophobic cabin and the cheek to offer no left ORVM and no day-night rear view mirror on the base version. Doc
  Posted by Rajk at 20th July,2010
Maruti Suzuki,Get the new Swift to India immediately.Many more options are arising and customers will no longer be satisfied just by the Maruti name or service or wait ages for new models/upgrades.
  Posted by srikar at 20th July,2010
who will win
  Posted by Rahul at 2nd September,2010
  The Old Swift still rocks guys , K series is just abt okay . The OLD engine was better at revving
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