Sub 4 meter cars have to pay only 10% as excise duty as against 22% excise duty on cars beyond 4 meters in length. No wonder Indian car manufacturers try their level best to keep their car length under this magic figure. The reduction in excise burden helps them attain a price edge over its competitors in the market. Tata Motors chopped Indigo to less than 4 meters in length, rebadged it as Indigo CS, got a blockbuster on their hands. Maruti-Suzuki with New Dzire 2012 has used the scalpel to achieve the magical length of less than 4 meters and hopefully another blockbuster. The customer hopefully will fall in love in hordes once again desire the New Dzire with same love and passion as they had done for its earlier avatar. Will the New Dzire 2012 deliver? We test it to find some answers for you.
STYLE & SUBSTANCE
Front face of New Maruti Suzuki Dzire 2012 is dominated with blacked out grill, sculpted bonnet. large angular and are now even more stretched over the fenders headlamps. Newly designed Dzire 2012 bumper contains large air dam with fog lights as a standard car manufacturer fitment in its middle and top end variants.
Side profile of Dzire 2012 is characterized by the sleek shoulder and window line extending from the front to rear tail lamps. A, B and C Pillars of Dzire 2012 are blackned out which adds sportiness to the car. Dzire’s window line is still high so from the outside we are still unsure whether the cooped up feeling of old Dzire is gone or not.
2012 Dzire’s rear is where the scalpel’s use is most obvious. Boot is almost nonexistent from side view, though it can still swallow decent luggage once you open it. Honda city inspired asymmetric rear tail lamps along with heavily splashed chrome bar adds a certain the zing to the 2012 Dzire, which otherwise would have looked very absurd with its non-existent looking rear.
Head-on the 2012 Dzire looks good but the side view is certainly a nightmare to digest, all thanks to the heavily cut back. Indigo e-CS on the other hand still feels and looks complete. 2012 Dzire has all the edges & dynamism at the back to enhance the appeal, but still there is no getting away from the fact, that it doesn’t look like a proper sedan. We are sure Maruti was aware of this abruptly ending back and would ahve gone ahead with this new design simply because 2012 Dzire’s predecessor also did not have a seamlessly integrating rear and yet it had caught fancy of Indian car buyers.
INTERIORS, ROOM & ERGONOMICS
The love and affection that the car designers could not lavish upon 2012 Dzire’s rear has been put to goog use in it’s interior’s and the New 2012 Dzire’s cabin certainly shows the efforts thecar designers have put in to improve the overall internal tactile feel and ambience. Dzire’s cabin now feels more plush and luxurious. Two tone colour scheme; black & beige look’s appealing especially due to dark & light shade combination. Centre console featuring waterfall look is inspired from the ultra-modern offering of Maruti Suzuki’s Kizashi & features factory fitted music system along with automatic climate control as standard OEM fitment in 2012 Dzire’s top end variant. Storage space in the console is good to hold number of CDs.
Instrument cluster contains speedometer, rpm meter & MID. New steering wheel is meatier & chunkier than before and now comes with the convenience of mounted controls in top end variant. Wrap around deep brown wooden inserts just look fabulous and gives one a feeling being inside full fledged high end segment car. Pop up cup holders just below the side vents are another useful proposition just like the on the well laid out 2012 Dzire cabin.
New 2012 Dzire comes with increased wheelbase which it seems have been totally allocated to teh cabin thus making it more spacious. This is a definite improvement over the earlier Dzire. Front seats are wide and have good side contouring. Base is also well supported and seat squab is quite wide. Foot well is ergonomically located and seat travels over a good range. Rear bench is set at reasonable height offering good thigh support. Legroom and knee room are good thanks to increased wheel base but shoulder room still is at premium especially when seating three abreast. Like all Maruti’s 2012 Dzire also is designed for four adults.
Boot space stands at 316 litres which is very mediocre by the sedan standards but still manages to swallow decent volume of luggage thanks to its well designed shape and minimal intrusion from the suspension. Boot lid however feels flimsy.
POWER-PLANT & TRANSMISSION
New Dzire comes with two heart options; 1.2 L petrol and 1.3 L diesel engine. We drove the former. New K-series engine displaces 1.2 L of capacity, featuring 4-cylinders in inline geometry breathing with the help of 16 valves mounted on double overhead cam shaft. Power is rated at 87 PS @ 6000 rpm while torque stands at 114 @4000 rpm. VVT mechanism is also integrated to get superior performance along with high mileage figures.
Like all other K-series derivatives, this engine also loves to rev. Engine idle is near silent and very refined. Clutch is ultra light but eagerness in not in the leagues of benchmark cars, especially off the line start. Drivability is also hit by the provisions that are done in the interest of getting the maximum mileage figures. This means there are more down shifts in the city though it is not very annoying because of the superb gear box.
From the mid range things start to become sweeter in terms of driving experience. Rev the engine and it inspires you to floor the paddle further. There is no hesitation, no hiccups and no let up in power especially as you approach the top end. Certainly 2012 Dzire is better to drive on highways than in the city.
Engine is mated with 5-speed manual transmission and there is also an option to go for automatic. Transmission uses the detent pin technology and shifts are light. Throws are short and gears slot in an inspiring manner.
Up front Dzire uses McPherson set up while torsion beam doing duty at the rear end to suspend the 14” wheels shrouded with 165 mm wide rubber. Top end variant, on the other hand, comes with 185 mm width and 15” Alloys wheels.
Suspension, as opposed to outgoing model, is softly sprung and has good ability to soak up the roads undulations. Low speed ride is almost unfazed and Dzire now is competent to be called a good riding car especially in the city at slow speeds. Suspension takes on everything without any sort of crashing and even potholes are taken with aplomb. This low speed cushioning however has taken a toll on the high speed stability. Ride at high speed is far from flatter and Dzire doesn’t ride comfortably at high speeds.
Handling also has got affected by the soft suspension setting. There is moderate amount of body roll and clueless lane change is not very desirable. Still Dzire with its small dimensions manages to be called a safe handler especially when compared to its competitors.
Dzire starts at 4.8 lakh for base model and extends up to 6.19 lakh for top end petrol model (Ex-showroom, Delhi). The magic of sub 4 meters length It looks smart head on, has luxurious cabin without any hint of cost cutting, more cabin room than the outgoing model (except boot) and excellent rev-happy petrol power plant which is bound to excite the new car buyers in India.The boot however could spoil the party for Dzire 2012 and for Maruti Suzuki.
Style & Substance : 3/5 Ride & Handling : 3/5
Interiors & Space : 3/5 Safety & Equipments : 3/5
Power & Transmission : 4/5 Fuel Efficiency : 4/5
Value For Money : 4/5