2018 Maruti Suzuki Swift - Expert Review
Snapshot: All new Swift promises to take game further away from rivals with effortless performance, features and comfortable interiors.
The Swift needs no introduction. It’s a car that has built a reputation for being sporty, reliable, fuel efficient and affordable amongst other things. No wonder that the two generations of the car that have been around since May 2005, have found over 1.7 million homes — sales figures that most rivals would simply die for. Maruti Suzuki clearly is aiming for the kill with the new car, which comes completely loaded(even the base version gets ABS and twin airbags as standard).
The car shares its exterior styling with the Dzire sedan, yet manages to look completely different. Maruti has used a more prominent grille and done well to avoid any chrome around it. The front with its shapely lamps and wide hexagonal grille looks like the Jaguar F-Type from a distance — a good thing. The side profile with the new set of alloy wheels and blackened out A-pillar looks the part too. There is a slight slope towards the rear of the roof to give it a sporty feel as well. One area that will divide opinion though is the door handle on the rear. It’s no longer in its traditional position but moves up to where the quarter glass window would have been.
The rear end with its C-shaped brake light profile gives it a muscular look. From the silhouette it’s still recognisable as a Swift but looks a lot different to the outgoing car. It’s sporty, urbane and very desirable in the looks department.
Jump into the cabin and you will immediately realise why we love the Swifts front seats. They have perfect cushioning all across. The tallest of tall passengers won’t have any reason to complain about under -thigh support. You will also like the new side bolsters which make for a snug fit.
The cabin has a sporty edge to it and the Centre console has been tilted towards the driver with a five degree angle. The circular dials look sporty and overall cabin quality is par for course in this segment.
Buyers who avoided the Swift because it lacked rear legroom won’t have any reasons to complain. With its longer wheelbase and extra width the new car delivers on generous legroom as well. You can easily have three abreast at the back too, but ideally for short city trips. The features list is impressive too. You get auto headlamps among other things in the top version while ABS and two airbags are standard across the range. The Swift now gets a 268-litre boot—another area of improvement.
What hasn’t changed are the engines. You get the same 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel. Maruti has worked on improving fuel economy and now the diesel delivers a phenomenal figure of 28.4kmpl. The company claims that if it adds the SHVS tech, the Swift could hit 30kmpl too. The petrol delivers 22kmpl.
Noise isolation has been taken care of by use of new sound deadening materials under the hood. It’s only when you rev the Diesel engine hard will you notice the diesel buzz entering the cabin but it’s never overt.
The petrol is the pick of the range and delivers good refinement along with generous low end torque making it a cinch to drive in the city. For the first time the Swift gets AMT (automated manual transmission) gearboxes.
With each new AMT car, the company seems to be improving its tech. The new AMT doesn’t feel like one, it feels like a regular automatic. The upshifts seem seamless and it’s only when you need quick acceleration that you notice a bit of jerkiness in downshifts. The manual gearboxes are a joy to use as ever.
In a bid to deliver sporty handling Maruti engineers have stiffened up the suspension up compared to the Dzire. That said, this car is a hoot to drive. Yes the steering is overtly light but it never becomes nervous on the highway and you always get decent feedback. Body roll is minimal when pushing into corners and the agile chassis makes you smile every time you take this car for a spin. It’s a keen driver’s car for sure. Highway stability is good too.
The new Swift starts from where the old one left. Right on top of its segment. This is a great package that you can buy with your heart and head in unison. We recommend a strong buy.
Photography: Mohd. Nasir
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