New Swift 2011 from Maruti Suzuki. One of India’s most popular cars underwent a redesigning exercise and seems to have, at-least visibly, come out with flying colours. Whilst, at a first cursory (and mind you cursory) glance, one would mistake it for the old Swift, but spend a second more and one starts noticing big changes. As, usual, we at ecardlr took it out for a drive, to check, as to by how much the bar has been raised by Maruti Suzuki with the New 2011 Swift for competition to play catch-up.
STYLE & SUBSTANCE
New Swift 2011 is definitely an evolution of the Old Swift. Reasons are quite obvious, who would want to spoil a good thing, and that’s, precisely what Maruti Suzuki has done with external skinning of the New 2011 Swift.
As stated earlier, this grouse soon changes to admiration the moment one notices the added length of the car. The 90 mm additional length on the New Swift is quite visible. The Bumpers front and rear are even more pronounced as compared to the Old Swift. Multi focal almost vertical headlamps on the New Swift extends all the way and into the more flared arches/fenders.
The side perspective (profile)though hasn’t change much, strong shoulder liners with black cladding on B & C pillar gives the New Swift the same distinct look, one is accustomed too with theold Swift. Rear profile adopts a more round and curvy theme. Waterfall-type rear lamps look classy. The roof of the New Swift straightens out by the time it reaches the C pillar just like the Old Swift.
INTERIORS, SPACE & ERGONOMICS
The engineers seem to have spent maximum time re-designing the interiors and it’s quite obvious. Whilst, brand identity and sales number might have restricted external changes, no such constraint seems to be visible internally. We at ecardlr.com believe that this is possibly the most sensible thing to do, more so in a segment where customers seek top-end features and plush tactile feel for which they are ready to a price.
The cabin feels more up-market, thanks to the use of high quality grains as well as inserts of chrome. Center-console of New Swift draws inspiration from Kizashi & features the same water-fall type layout. Wrap-round chrome inserts along with push-open cup holders are subtle but nice touches. Instrument panel features Multi Information Display providing instantaneous fuel average and overall mileage information. Tilt adjustable steering column along with height adjustable driver seat adds to the drivers conveniences.
Front seats are large, nicely contoured & well bolstered. They are capable of holding you in almost any position, living-up the legacy of the benchmark set by the old Swift. The addition of 40 mm to the wheelbase realises oodles of legspace & knee room. The New Swift thus adds to the comfort in case of long drives, which till date has belonged to the Indica Vista or Etios. Low-window lines along with small size window still make you feel like you are trapped somewhere. One only wishes that this was not the case.
POWERWER-PLANT & TRANSMISSION
New Swift just like the old Swift is available with two power plants; petrol and diesel, just its predecessor the old Swift. Petrol mill however has seen a technologival upgrade with VVT (Variable Valve Timing), diesel however, still ruins on the old capable engine. We drove the diesel engine once again came back quite impressed.
The New Swift engine is as punchier like the old Swift, though little bit lag is still present at the the bottom end. Pass the 2000 rpm band and get ready to feel the rush of the torque, which is quite gratifying. Don’t know why, but did not feel as eager as the older model, could be the engine tuning or is it the additional dimensions adding to the cars weight or maybe its simply to improve efficiency with a slight compromise to the drivability. The New Swift lovers the highway, engine revs freely all the way to 5000 rpm & New Swift cruises effortlessly.
Mated with 5-Speed manual transmission, gear shifting is smooth & very positive; thanks to latest Detent-Pin technology.
New Swift claims the 18.6 km/l for petrol & an amazing 22.9 Km/l for the diesel model.
New Swift retains the underpinnings of the older model. McPherson front suspension while rear uses torsion beam to suspend the wheels. The whole designed is based on RBSS: Rally based suspension system in Maruti Suzuki’s official release. This translates to extremely entertaining handling with decent ride quality.
Top end model now comes with bigger 15” alloy wheels which are extremely useful in improving the ride quality. Though the New Swift offers above average ride experience vis-a-vis the older Swift the ride still feels choppy at the slower speeds. As the speed increases, it absorbs adulations much better.
Swift is star entertainer when it comes to handling. Push it hard through the corners & it retains its line with extreme precision. Competitors are still trying to match this benchmark handling set up of the Swift.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Whilst booking numbers and extended delivery period is all quite encouraging thanks in all probability to the brand pull of the Swift plus the car not being available for almost 45 days before its launch. We at ecardlr are slightly disappointed with the pricing, whilst the absolute numbers are just about Rs.20K higher over the older Swift, the feature less lower variants would force one to go for top-end variant and that definitely is not competitively priced. It’s in this context, we believe, that the New Swift might have some concerns, once the novelty value wears off and supplies are not a constraint. Till then both Maruti Suzuki and Customer have a good thing going for themselves.
Style & Substance : 4/5 Ride & Handling : 3.5/5
Interiors & Ergonomics : 4/5 Safety & Equipment : 3.5/ 5
Power Plant & Transmission : 4/5 Fuel Efficiency : 4/5
Value for Money : 3.5/5