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Maruti Suzuki Swift
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 9/10
Warranty
: 2 Yrs / 40,000 Kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
6.19 Lakhs-8.84 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Stylish Demeanour
  • Enhanced Equipment 
  • Smart Interiors 
  • Improved Ride Quality 
     

Weak Areas

  • Average Space
  • Toned-Down Handling 
  • Average Boot Space
  • Jerky Diesel AMT
     
Maruti Suzuki Swift
 
 

Maruti Swift Expert Review 2018, Driving the Third Generation Model

Maruti Suzuki Swift 2018 comes with new looks and updated cabin features. The 1.2 litre petrol and 1.3 litre diesel engine now come with AMT options apart from the good old 5 speed manual slick gearbox.


Author

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ecardlr.com National

Even though many people are now going for compact SUVs and sedans, the hatchbacks in the A2 segment still get the largest share in the Indian car market. One of the top selling products of this segment, the Swift was a game-changer for Maruti Suzuki ever since it was launched in the market. Its monthly sales have almost always crossed the 15000 mark. However, like every other car, the Swift also needed its periodic nips and tucks to stay in line with the evolving competition. Of late it was also getting cannibalised by its own sibling Baleno.
Maruti New Swift Expert Review 2018
The third generation model that we saw at the Auto Expo is finally out for sales now. And it is very different from the last iteration – mechanically and cosmetically. It comes with more of safety features as standard. Another feature is the AMT for both the petrol and diesel engines. This automatic variant however is only available with the V and Z. The top end Z+ comes only with the manual transmission. This implies that on buying an AMT version, you will miss out on add-ons like touchscreen in-car entertainment (ICE) and reversing camera.

Because the AMT is cheaper than a conventional AT, we expected the company to price the new Swift lower than its rivals but that did not happen. It is priced at par with them and there are options with better AT ‘boxes at similar or moderately higher prices. However, the trust in brand Maruti and the high riding popularity of Swift as a hatchback have already garnered more than 1 lakh bookings for it. The waiting periods have set in.

The engine options for the Swift 2018 model are:

  • 1.2 litre petrol that churns 82 bhp at 6000 rpm and 113 Nm torque at 4200 rpm
  • 1.3 litre diesel that churns 74 bhp at 4000 rpm and 190 Nm torque at 2000 rpm

    A report on its new looks, features and performance:

The External Impression

With a length of 3840 mm, the 3rd generation Swift is 10 mm shorter than the previous model.  It is however wider by 40 mm than the outgoing version. If we compare it with other cars in the segment, it is second only to Baleno in width. The height is same as its older form and the wheelbase has been increased by 20 mm to 2450 mm. What we didn’t like is that the ground clearance got lowered by 7mm – not good in a country with gigantic speed breakers.

How are the looks? We know that the previous two generations of this hatchback were not very different from each other. The model that comes in 2018 changes things remarkably.

The new car is radically different from its predecessors at both front and rear. Opinions will be divided because having seen the Swift for so long on the roads, some of us will miss the known character of the old car.

There is a big, hexagonal grille at the front with horizontal black slats and a chrome Suzuki – S- badge in its centre. The slightly curvy swept back headlamps on the last two versions have made way for more angular units. There are U shaped LED daytime running lights (DRLS) in the headlamp clusters and LED headlights are housed in projectors. These feature only for the top end Z+ trim though and the lower variants get ordinary halogen bulbs with simple reflectors. There are no LED DRLs here. The round fog lamps are again placed in black housings.

3rd generation Swift has a clamshell hood and overall the front now looks more mature than in the earlier model. The only use of chrome is for the Suzuki badge

When viewed in its profile form, the hatchback appears quite proportionate. Maruti has played safe with the design keeping the door panels clean and there is just one character line at the bottom. The 15 inch alloy wheels look for the Z+ trims look nice. These are shod with 185/65 Bridgestone tyres. The lower variants have 14 inch wheels with 165/80 tyre size.

A major change is the placing of rear door handles. For the first time in a Maruti car the handles have been put on the window – like Mahindra KUV 100 and Chevrolet Beat. There is also a black plastic panel on the C pillar to make a floating roof effect. It is slim and merges with the rear windshield. A short, stubby radio antenna can be seen on the rear end of the roof.

Moving on the rear of the car, you will find LED tail lamp clusters although the indicator and reversing lights are regular halogens. The chrome badge for SWIFT is on the left hand side and the Suzuki ‘S’ logo is in between. There is no Maruti Suzuki insignia anywhere on the boot! That’s the company’s confidence in the branding of this hatch – and they are not wrong. The variant and transmission also find no mention on the tailgate. Therefore, we do get a clean rear.

There are 4 parking sensors on the broad rear bumper and the number plate size is also prominent. The Z+ variants have reversing camera sitting atop number plate housing. Rear wiper is offered only with Z and Z+ variants.

On the whole, the fit & finish of new Swift are nice and panel gaps are uniform all over. Like the Baleno and Dzire, the Swift is underpinned by the HEARTECT platform. This controls its weight which is between 855 - 985 kg for different variants. The older car’s weight was in the range of 965 - 1060 kg. That is quite a reduction!

The makers claim that they have used 40% high tensile steel to enhance this car’s strength and rigidity. The 3rd generation Swift comes in 6 body colours and the quality of paint job is good.

Inside the Cabin

The front doors open and shut in a 3-stage action and open adequately wide. You don’t need to climb on to the seats but the roof is on the lower side, so some bending in will be required.

Inside the cabin the ergonomics are good with all the controls in easy reach. The legroom and headroom are also fine. And because the new model is wider than its older counterpart, there is more shoulder room.

As in other Maruti cars, the dashboard is simple in design and will be liked by everyone. It is all black with silver inserts. The centre fascia is in piano black and the AC vents at the top of centre console are round. Maruti has differentiated the cabin from the Dzire and has tried to give it a sportier feel.

On the dashboard the plastics feel hard but the fit is reasonable and there are no sharp edges. The quality of materials is certainly a step-up from the previous model.  Many of the buttons are shared with other cars of the Maruti family and they do feel durable.

The flat bottomed steering wheel with thumb contours is easy to clutch. Buttons to control the audio system are located at the left side. There is silver insert - as against the faux wood treatment - on the lower part of the steering.

Instrument cluster with twin pod dials looks good and has easy to read fonts – speedometer is on the right and the rev counter is on left.

The seat upholstery, door pads and floor mats are in black. With this colour theme, it will be easier to keep the cabin clean. The beige in Dzire is more difficult to maintain in top condition.

Rear Cabin Side

As for the front, the rear doors of the Swift also open in triple stage action. The ingress and egress do not take much effort normally for adults but taller people may find it little inconvenient due to the low roof of the car.

The door panels are in black and their pockets are smaller than the ones on front doors. These can only hold 500 ml size bottles.

Legroom is better than in the older Swift but the rear seat is still good only for 2 adults and a child on long drives. Three adults can sit together only for small distance commuting. The Baleno is more spacious in this regard. The headroom is adequate for most people and the seat cushioning is on soft side. The headrests can be adjusted in two ways.

On the rear windows, some part of the view will be restricted due to blackened area where the door handles are fixed. The C pillar is thick and not very long – this is why the roof slopes sharply towards the rear.

The end of the centre console towards rear is plain – it does not have AC vents or charging points. The floor hump is approx 3 inches high and not very broad. The passenger in the middle of the seat will be more comfortable in putting feet on either side of the hump.

The new Maruti Suzuki Swift has boot space of 268 litres which is 64 litres more than the outgoing model’s boot volume. The loading lip is high but the mouth is wide so keeping suitcases or bags into it will not be problematic.

In a small car, the Japanese car maker has done a good job by increasing both the boot space and the legroom.

Engine, Transmission and Performance

Petrol - MT

As the kerb weight of the new Swift has decreased the performance of 1.2 Litre K series petrol engine feel better in the car. Throttle response has also improved. The car moves from standstill and it is good to commute in the city. You can amble around in 4th gear at 40 km/hour and the tachometer reads at approx 1250 rpm. There is enough power on the tap and you will not have to downshift often.

When you take the petrol Swift to the open roads, you will like the performance and the linear power delivery. The engine is rev happy but it feel more responsive over 2500 rpm and accelerates readily to deliver the peak power at the redline.

The clutch is light to operate and its travel range is neither very long nor too short. The 5-speed manual ‘box is also easy to use and it is sure slotting. This gearshift quality with the rev happy petrol engine makes the hatch a good choice to drive on the highways.

The fuel economy is now rated at 22 km/litre making it 8% more economical than the old model’s 20.4 km/litre.

The NVH levels are fine at low speed but on revving up you will feel that the insulation could have been better. At higher rpms, the petrol engine noise can be heard in the cabin. It is not excessive but is audible.

Petrol AMT

AMTs are cheaper to build than conventional torque converters and dual clutches. While Maruti priced the Swift petrol AMT variants lower than Baleno CVT, it is costlier than equivalent trims of Ignis with same engine and transmission combination.

Swift AMT moves ahead from standstill smoothly and responds well to throttle inputs. Because the driver does not need to press clutch or shift gears, the drive is stress-free quite like an automatic. In stop and go traffic, the car can be driven with just the brake pedal. Without any throttle inputs, it can crawl at about 6 km / hour.

Keeping up with city traffic is easy but the transmission has slower gearshifts and there is a lag of a second when one gear is disengaged and the next one is slotted. Due to this there is some jerk and that we have felt on other AMT cars too.

On the highways, it is better to keep a relaxed driving style with the AMT instead of an aggressive one. The gearbox works more smoothly with a light foot and the car can go at 100 km / hour in 5th gear at about 2700 rpm.

The manual mode is helpful for quick overtaking and for engine braking during downhill drives.

The fuel economy for AMT is similar to manual at 22 km / litre.

Diesel MT

The new Swift again comes with the same 1248 cc, 4-cylinder Fiat sourced diesel engine and Maruti terms it DDiS 190. It develops 74 bhp at 4000 rpm and 190 Nm torque at 2000 rpm.

There is some shake on starting up the engine and while the clatter of diesel can be heard inside the cabin, it is quieter than the previous model. The car moves ahead smoothly and you can even get it moving in the 2nd gear without stalling.

The engine is well tuned for the city and there is adequate torque available so you don’t need to downshift often. It is when you need to close the gaps quickly that the lag is felt. A downshift is then required. The engine comes into its stride from 1500 rpm and the turbo kicks in after 2000 rpm.

Performance on the highways meets expectations but is not as exciting as was in the older diesel Swift. You can cruise a 100 km/hour in 5th gear with engine spinning at about 2300 rpm. Maruti has been making the power delivery increasingly linear with every new model of this car.

The clutch is light to use and has average travel range and isn't likely to tire anyone. The 5 speed manual gearbox is also nice to operate, has short throws and well-defined gates.

The NVH levels are slightly better than the old Swift but when the engine is at high rpms, some vibrations are felt on the steering wheel and pedals. Wind and road noise creep into the cabin after 80 km/hour.

With lesser kerb weight, the Swift diesel now gives a fuel economy of 28.4 km / litre, making it the most efficient car in India. On the other hand, the fuel tank capacity has come down to 37 litre fuel tank and that’s 5 litres less than the old car.

Diesel AMT

Although it is not as instant as the petrol, starting off with the AMT is a smooth affair. In bumper to bumper traffic, you can use the brake pedal to control the movement without any throttle input. The car can creep at about 8 km / hour easily.

Keeping up with the city traffic is not problematic. On another note, even if you keep a light foot on the pedal, the AMT does not shift from 1st to 2nd gear until the revs cross 2000 rpm. The engine has little turbo lag and as there is no torque converter AT to conceal it, the power delivery feels lumpy.

The diesel AMT Swift is meant to be driven in a sedate manner because aggressive driving results in jerks by the AMT and this behaviour of the transmission is worse than the petrol AMT. While driving on the open roads, build up speed in a moderate way – it will help to keep the car cruising comfortably and the ride experience will be better.

Manual mode is helpful in quick overtaking and can also be used during downhill driving to utilise engine braking as in the petrol.

NVH levels and fuel economy are similar to the MT variant.

Ride and Handling

Swift gets McPherson strut suspension for the front and torsion beam setup for rear. Ride quality is firm due to 15 inch wheels. (It feels slightly better in the lower variants that have 14 inch wheels). At times you can even feel the smaller bumps in city and will want to slow down the speed for them. Riding over the bumps however is not uncomfortable for the occupants. At highway speed, most undulations go unfelt. The impact of larger and sharper bumps gets filtered into the cabin.

Despite its lighter kerb weight, the high speed stability for this car is nice. It can cruise between 100 -120 km/ hour steadily. It is also well planted on not so good roads.

When it comes to handling, the grip levels are admirable and the car readily changes direction. The Swift is still more fun to drive than its competitors. The body roll is under control and overall the car’s road manners are pleasing.

The power steering is light at city speed and that makes the car easy to drive in city. At high speed too, the EPS is not quite heavy but the diesel version’s steering feels firmer than the petrol one. Turning radius is 4.8 meter making U-turns simple to execute but the return to centre action is weak and requires turning back effort from the driver. 

Swift has a ground clearance of 163 mm and it does not normally scrape its underbelly on bumps.

This car has disc brakes for front and drums for the rear like its older version. The braking performance has considerably improved. Brake pedal has short travel range and bite comes early. ABS and EBD are now standard on all versions of Maruti Swift.

Verdict

To round up the review, it may be mentioned that Maruti Suzuki uses the same tried and tested formula for their hatchback albeit with a new design and some additional features. More importantly, they also bring in the convenience of AMT for a large section of buyers who are steadily migrating towards automatics in India. Safety elements like dual airbags and ABS+EBD have been made standard across the range.

Priced between Rs 4.99 lakh and 8.29 lakh (ex showroom, Delhi), the Swift is still a value for money proposition. With the reliability of Maruti's widespread service network, admirable post-sales support & fuss-free ownership experiences, the newly launched 2018 version of Swift has already been accepted in the market and waiting periods started soon after it reached showrooms.

Comfort: 3.5/5

Refinement: 3.5/5

Safety: 3.5/5

Ride: 4/5

Handling: 4/5

Value for Money: 4/5

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