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Elite i20 vs Maruti Swift Road Test Comparison Review

We pit new Elite i20 against Maruti Swift in this road test comparison review and here’s our verdict.

 


Elite i20 vs Maruti Swift Road Test Comparison Rev

Hyundai’s latest offering in premium hatchback segment, the Elite i20, has taken the whole Indian automobile industry by storm. Over 12000 bookings numbers just a fortnight within its launch testifies the fury this latest generation i20 has created among the masses. Buoyed by such a resounding success Hyundai has now staked its claim on premium hatchback throne that is still been chaired by Maruti Swift for eons. Right from its inception in Indian market way back in 2005, Maruti Swift has been ruling the hatchback segment roost. The initial success of petrol Swift got the decisive shove in early 2007 when Maruti plonked the Fiat owned DDiS oil-burner under the hood of this 5-door hatchback. Since then there is no holding back for Swift and it went on and on, crushing old sales records and replacing them with new ones having its own name Swift. And even today sales of Swift are showing no signs of abatement despite of availability of abundance of new propositions. Swift could have even neglected the threat of new Elite i20 had this not been for such an unprecedented support. The bookings numbers garnered by new i20 has sent the shivers down the spine of Swift and this exactly made the bedrock of this comparison review. We are pretty much sure that there will be lot of fireworks when these two titans clash on the turf of road test laid out by experts’ team at ECARDLR. 
 
LOOKS MATTER
 
Both the cars in this comparison are nothing but beautiful and contemporary in their looks and design. Both have sophistication in their styling though Maruti Swift, despite of being an older proposition feels a bit sportier here. Elite i20, on the other hand, draws on its non-offensive and handsome styling that is definitely a plus point over sporty quotient from the target customers’ point of view.
 
            
                                                                   Maruti Swift: Sporty Stance 
 
Long stretched-back shower headlamps, subtle V-themed nose and raked windscreen make every bit of Swift as sporty as race car. In profile Swift character is defined by blacked out and steeply raked C-pillar along with tapering roof lines. High shoulder line that although is a visual delight eats into the glass area; thereby compelling the glass area to drop considerably. Rear portion of the Swift is characterized by the plump bumper and almost vertical long tail lamps. Loading lip has been positioned a bit high and combined with limited width this makes loading-unloading a laborious task.
 
             
                                                                                Elite i20: Handsome design
 
Blessed by Fluidic Design philosophy 2.0, this Hyundai wraps an understated air of sleekness that covers this car from head to toe. Low slung nose dominated by large grille, swept back headlamps and excellently designed rear makes this Hyundai every bit of a looker.  Latest kid on block i.e. Hyundai i20 is one of the handsomest cars on sale in India now. Modern, elegant and sophisticated in its pretensions, Elite i20 is sure to turn the heads with its majestic presence.
 
Both cars scores good grades on designing aspect but then Elite i20n surges ahead of Swift owing to its mature and non-offensive styling; a crucial fact of consideration for premium hatchback buyers. Further the newness of Elite i20 tilts the scale in its favour and Swift, despite of being a sportier here, suffers from the burden of overfamiliarity. 
 
Maruti Swift: *****        Elite i20: *****
 
PRACTICALITY GAUGE
 
Elite i20 comes with class leading features and equipment list that gives it edge over the rivals even before this bout starts. True to Hyundai philosophy, the top variants of Elite i20 come loaded with all bells and whistles and on any other day can give even segment higher cars a run for their money. Further adding to cabin appeal is the quality interiors and soothing choice of colours that Korean manufacturer has made. Top class fit and finish further whips up the luring factor of Elite i20 that is already been at an advantage vis-à-vis competition.
 
          
                                                                Elite i20: Feature-packed cabin
 
Maruti Swift, just like its sporty exterior, has used a lot of flair to design its interiors. All black colour theme, water-fall centre console and superbly supported front seats aid the sporty quotient of this Maruti. Quality is of top-notch and stitching of components too has been done with precision.  Completely black shade is a welcome deviation from the excessive use of beige this segment has fallen love with and Swift owners need not to worry about staining of the interiors. Twin pod instrument cluster is very intuitive and multi-information display has upped the practicality-ante of the car.
 
           
                                                                   Maruti Swift: Interiors with flair 
 
Swift could have stood its ground against Elite i20 had it been able to perform better on space aspect. Unfortunately even after the facelift that saw Swift coming with a bit stretched wheelbase, space inside this Maruti is only about average. Rising shoulder line and tapered roof further knock down the roominess feel; making Swift performance on this critical virtue just about average. And this is exactly where Elite i20 comes into picture and leverage on weakness of Swift by offering excessive room and space even for three fully-grown adults. With best-in-class wheelbase, Elite i20 is leagues ahead of Swift in terms of all-sort of rooms; be it headroom, shoulder room or knee room. This Korean is roomiest of the two and even ahead of all the other propositions present in this premium hatchback segment. With abundance of space and comfortable seats, Elite i20 is sure to strike chord with buyers looking for comfortable hatch.  Even on the trunk room comparison, Elite i20 wins hand down owing to its bigger and well laid-out boot space.  
 
Maruti Swift: *****                                        Elite i20: *****
 
PULL OF THE HORSES
 
The displaced capacity difference between engines of Maruti Swift and Elite i20 is of 100 cc with latter featuring bigger heart of 1.4-litre than 1.3-litre possessed by former. In terms of power generation Hyundai has got a fully-fledged 15 PS advantage over Swift while of torque grounds this number doubles up to favour Hyundai by 30 Nm. So on papers Elite i20 seems mightier with 90 PS and 220 Nm compared to 75 PS and 190 Nm of Swift though in real-world the difference is not all that perceptible. In fact on the opposite it is Maruti Swift that feels more lively and peppier out on highway though city driving is more comfortable in Elite i20. 
         
                                                          Elite i20: Refined and city-friendly 
 
In terms of refinement, Elite i20 has impressed us a lot as the engine inherits amazing level of quietness. So much so that one will be hard-pressed to ascertain that oil-burner is running under the hood while sitting inside the cabin though same is not as hard to tell in case of Swift that lacks such high level of engine smoothness. City drivability is forte of Elite i20 and with almost zero turbo lag, this Hyundai crawls in comfortably in and around city. Gear shifts requirement are far less what one experiences in Swift and this makes city ambling a breeze in Elite i20. However once out in open it is Swift DDiS that is more capable to gratify the driver senses.
 
           
                                                                    Maruti Swift: Gratifying mid-range 
 
The progressive shove that one experience after Swift rpm needle crosses 2000 mark is absolutely addictive in nature. Even though the intensity of this torque outburst has been of torque has been abased in facelift Swift still it is large enough to plaster a big smile to your face. Elite i20 too has a good mid-range and in isolation we would have termed it adventurous too though in direct comparison to Swift, this Hyundai feels a bit tamed. 
 
Hyundai has mated Elite i20 engine with 6-speed transmission while Swift comes with 5-speed gearbox. Both cars are front-wheel driven as engines channelize the power to front tyres while braking responsibility in both vehicles are shared by disc up front and drum at rear. Elite i20 gearshift feels a bit more precise and direct while clogging operation of Swift is a tad notchy. The overall feel of clutch is more progressive in Hyundai and even feels lighter than the one featuring in Swift. Additional 6th gear in Hyundai is sure to aid the highway cruising in addition to delivering extra km to a litre. 
 
Maruti Swift: *****                                        Elite i20: *****
 
ROAD MANNERS
 
Both cars come with standard suspension hardware that employs McPherson strut upfront and torsion beam at rear to suspend the wheels.Elite i20 has got soft suspension setting that prioritizes ride quality over handling aspect. For most of the part, new i20 feels cushiony, pliant and absorbent; separating the occupants effectively from fluctuations of roads. The suspension works silently and its long travel ensures no crashing or clumsiness in working operation.
 
        
                                                                                Elite i20: Cushiony ride
 
Swift may not be as accomplished its ride as Elite i20 is but then on handling department this Maruti represents a benchmark. With its uncanny ability to tackle corners, Swift loves to be thrown around and it hugs the corner like anything. Even with lengthened wheelbase in facelift version, this Maruti remain under strict control of the driver all the time and precisely indicates what each and every wheel is up to. Superior aerodynamic,tight skinning and stiff chassis help Swift to retain its handling crown with aplomb.
 
Maruti Swift: *****                                       Elite i20: *****
 
OVERALL VERDICT
 
Swift is retailed in India priced between Rs 4.5 lakh and Rs 6.74 lakh while Elite i20 costs between Rs 4.9 lakh and Rs 7.67 lakh. On value-for-money, Swift does marginally better at starting price though on top-of-the-line variants, Maruti has advantage of being Rs 1 lakh cheaper than Elite i20. Further the brand equity of Swift coupled with feisty diesel engine and exceptionally competent handling make this 5-door hatchback a formidable competitor even after around a decade of its launch. However when it comes to holistic package, we can’t help but notice the enormous value Elite i20 comes equipped with. Not only it looks more modern and contemporary, this Hyundai comes loaded with all the bells and whistles that usually belong to higher segment vehicles. Interiors are crafted tastefully and space inside the i20 is large enough to rival even fully-fledged saloons boasting about their space in market. Further the refined, city-friendly choice of engines and absorbent ride make i20 a package that is far ahead of its rivals in terms of its totality. Even the present king of this segment; Maruti Swift can’t hold a candle with the holistic package offered by this new Hyundai. 
 
Maruti Swift: *****                                        Elite i20: *****
 

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