Maruti-Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) knows that route to enduring leadership mandates constant engagement with prospective buyers. One of the best ways for this consistent interaction is through regular launch of new products though this strategy is not all that feasible owing to its costly nature. A cheaper alternative to this is facelift tactic that is although economical yet very effective in reversing dwindling fortunes of troubled brand. Maruti-Suzuki has been using facelift technique quite effectively for some time now and now latest addition to list of its facelift models, is the Dzire. Dubbed as all-new 2015 Dzire, this facelifted version of India’s best-selling sedancomes with subtle cosmetic tweaks on outside; making it more upmarket than before. Inside the cabin, new Dzire has now got added dose of equipment including start-stop button, rear parking sensors, multi-functional steering wheel etc. That said the talking point of new 2015 Dzire is its fuel-efficiency that has set new benchmarks, not only for rivals but also for entire industry. Diesel version of Dzire, with ARAI certified figure of 26.59 km/l, is the most fuel-efficient car in country while petrol version with its 20.85 km/l, is not far behind from benchmark either. Maruti is all set to exploit this mileage tag to the hilt though there is other critical area too that requires a thorough investigation. So this leads us to obvious issue of probe i.e. how new 2015 Dzire fares holistically? Does it come across as more accomplished proposition than its outgoing model? We unravel these strangled threads through our comprehensive road test review of new 2015 Dzire.
Facial & Cabin Makeover
Changes on new Dzire are very subtle as Maruti has focused on retaining brand identity of Dzire. This makes quite a sense as Dzire commands strong brand loyalty and any major shift from current posture, could easily erode its ongoing dream rum in market. On front, there is new single-slat, thick chrome grille with Suzuki moniker housing in the centre. Flanking this, are the new set of smoked headlamps though design theme of falling shower has been retained by company. Front bumper is slightly redesigned and so are the housings for fog lamps.
A new set of alloy wheels has made their way into top-end variants while blinkers integrated wing mirrors are standard in middle trim too. There is nothing much to distinguish between old and new Dzire when seen in profile and from rear. At back, new Dzire got the rear parking sensors that help the driver during tight parking manoeuvres.
Inside the cabin, there is all new upholstery that Maruti proudly mentions in its specification sheet. Practicality has got renewed push with new Dzire featuring accessory socket at both front and rear. Among other additions in top-end trim, prominent are push button stop-start, reverse parking sensors, multi-function steering wheel, and remotely located boot-lid opener.
Space continues to be on tight side as there is no change in the overall length and wheelbase of Dzire. We wish Maruti had stretched the distance between centres of wheels as in its present form, Dzire feels a bit claustrophobic vis-à-vis its rivals like Etios, Zest and Amaze.
Boot space too, is average even when described in most favourable way. That said, its layout is quite practical though loading lip feels a tad high. Hyundai Xcentcontinues to be segment benchmark in boot space with its enormous and capacious 407 litres of trunk while Honda is not far behind with capacity of 400 litres. In contrast to these larger numbers, Dzire has got skimpy 320 litres of luggage carrying capacity.
Engine, Transmission & Dynamics
Mechanically Dzire has got similar engine, transmission and suspension setting as its outgoing model. That said, Maruti has worked extensively to up efficiency ante of car and it does succeeded in its efforts. Both Dzire diesel and petrol has got strong backing of wonderful mileage figures with diesel version staking its claim as most fuel-efficient car in the country.
Striking dissimilarity of new Dzire from older one is its smoother and refined nature that ever before. Inside the cabin, there is no hint of diesel clatter and as revs approach higher, engine becomes even more silent. Frictional losses have been reduced by engineers that ultimately manifested in form of enhanced mileage figures. That said, the drivability of engine is not class-leading as there is still some lag that haunt Dzire. City driving requires frequent up and down shifts though on highways, DDiSis an absolute fun to drive as it delivers solid punch owing to its solid mid-range.
5-speed manual gearshift is slick, straight and positive in its operation though there is optional choice of automatic also that features in Dzire package. Clutch is quite light and has very progressive feel attached to it. Brake operation is very reassuring and coupled with ABS, Dzire feel absolutely safe in any outing irrespective of constrains posed by weather.
Ride-handling combination of Dzire is tilted in favour of handling though ride has also got its share of attention. Dzire is fun to drive and its tight body controls feels in line with the overall schema that company has weaved while conceiving this sedan. Lane changes and sudden manoeuvres won’t deter Dzire from its coherence though slow speed ride feels a bit jittery. Suspensions favouring firmer setting falter while cushioning passengers at slow speeds though once whack rises, this tendency starts weathering out.
New 2015 edition of Dzire is priced in range between Rs 5.07 lakh and Rs 7.81 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). On value for money front, Dzire continues to perform ably as its prices undercuts what many of its rival propositions ask for their ownerships. Dzire’s overall value constellation is hard to beat and backed by India’s largest dealership network, it’s virtually impossible to beat this Maruti. Through this update, Maruti has further strengthened some of souring points of Dzire and now equipped with extra boost of equipment and features, Dzire has become nearly invincible. As a family sedan, Dzire combines all the necessary virtues and except the lack of space, there is nothing that could possibly backfire to hurt market prospects of Dzire. Armed with tag of India’s most fuel-efficient car, 2015 Dzire is now all set to take sales number by storm and we won’t be surprised to witness Dzire’s topping the sales chart in coming months and even overtaking its younger Alto 800 to become India’s best-selling car.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 3/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3/5 Safety & Equipment 4/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 4/5
Value for Money 4/5