The 1248cc, in-line four-cylinder Multijet engine is Fiat’s brainchild. Ironically, it was first introduced in India in the Maruti Suzuki Swift back in 2007, and the Multijet’s balanced combination of power and efficiency was an instant hit, a fact endorsed by the number of vehicles that employ this engine — nearly a dozen! Fiat uses this engine in the Punto and the Linea. The Multijet engine is available in two power ratings on the Punto and the Linea – 75 and 91.7 bhp (the latter is called the ‘Advanced Multijet’). It’s the latter powerplant that’s livelier to drive, although Fiat’s popular engine somehow performs better in cars outside of the brand.
There is so much to say about what is, undoubtedly, the biggest success story of the Indian automotive industry in recent times — the Swift. While the waiting period for the Swift diesel runs into months, it’s hardly proven to be a hindrance for what is one of the most fun-to-drive hatchbacks in the country today. The 1248cc engine, tagged ‘DDiS’ by Maruti Suzuki, is also used in the Ritz, Dzire, SX4 and, most recently, the Ertiga. Of the list, only the SX4 and Ertiga get the 88.7 bhp variants of the Multijet, whereas the others get the 74 bhp version. In either format, the engine is an absolute breeze to drive in the city and elsewhere, and what it lacks in terms of pure petrol performance, it makes up for by way of excellent fuel efficiency.
The Vista and Manza, two of Tata’s most contemporary cars on sale today, are both powered by the Multijet engine. The Vista is a good all-round hatchback, popular for its space and rugged underpinnings, adding to which is, of course, the Multijet engine that produces the same numbers as it does on the Swift. The Manza gets the 88.7 bhp version of the engine, given that it is one of the larger cars in its segment and it’s an able performer, if not a scorcher. With a rather large boot, really good interior space and the economy that comes with the Multijet, few other cars present as much of a value-for-money case as the Manza.
General Motors already uses the Multijet engine, albeit in the three-cylinder format, in its Beat hatchback. The Beat diesel is, today, the cheapest diesel hatchback on sale in the country, a tag that it will lose only when Tata launches its much-awaited Nano diesel. The Beat’s 936cc diesel motor produces 58.5 bhp and 15.2 kgm of torque, which is adequate for urban use, although it definitely feels short on grunt on the highway. That said, GM is all-set to launch the upcoming Enjoy MPV (which will compete with the likes of the Toyota Innova — at least on the price point) with the Multijet engine and also their soon-to-be-launched Sail hatchback and sedan, which will compete with the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Dzire.