It has been an incredible journey for Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, from being an upgraded sedan version of another top selling hatchback -Swift, to now been recognized as a competent sedan. Undisputedly, the most successful sedan, Maruti Suzuki
Swift Dzire made it to almost 1.3 million customer homes last year, making it a household name. Now with the third-generation Dzire, Maruti Suzuki engineers have put in a lot of thought process to give the new one a better look, a new boot
that doesn't look like an afterthought process like the earlier iterations, making the sedan a lot more proportionate than before, and increasing the length of the car, even ensuring the car remains within the sub-four-metre category.
The latest third-generation model has let off the Swift badging. 'Maruti Suzuki Dzire' as it is called now, is based on a new HEARTECT platform, a new reworked model of the Baleno's platform and offered in 14 variants with the price range not
that drastically different from the outgoing model.
The new 'Dzire' has got all the looks and comes across as a refreshing, pleasing and elegant sedan now.
Most of the changes have taken place on the outside and mainly on the front profile of the car. The new sedan is more curvaceous with a new clamshell bonnet and fancy looking DRL's, a first in its segment, that adds to the premiumness of the car. The thick chrome garnishing around fancy big grille and fog lamp housing makes the sedan look like a vintage design. We can say that the new 'Dzire' looks more classier with a very robust aesthetic.
The top-end variants ZXi+/ZDi+ comes with diamond-cut alloy wheels, which is the most striking part when viewing the car from the side, while the lower variants LDi/LXi comes with smaller 14-inch steel wheels wrapped in narrower 165 section rubber.
Overall, the face has been given a smarter and more grown up look with the embedding of almond-shaped headlamps, chunky chrome surrounding the grille with a neat and nicely placed Suzuki logo that appears to float, and L-shaped chrome inserts giving some character and definition to the bumper.
Now there is a tall front with a line that drops as it touches the door handles and rises again towards the rear. This completely unique sense of design gives the side profile a sense of elegance that reduces and almost negates some of the unavoidable lack of grace that normally happens with squeezing a sedan within the 4m mark.
Going to the rear end, the boot is well integrated with the rest of the design and doesn’t look merely glued onto the sedan as in the outgoing model. The rear also is equipped with all new with LED tail lamps flanking a thick stripe of chrome. But there is one concern: the bumper, the tail-lamp and the rear boot hood are all hedged on one line and no major separation is made for all the three parts. This creates a huge probability of a low collision impact that may damage all those three parts.
The rear windscreen is sharper raked now and the new body shell gets soft curves and flowing lines all over.
We can say that it may be the best looking sedan in the sub-four-metre segment and doesn't look like a compromise.
Comparison with the outgoing Dzire: The new Dzire sedan is wider by 20 mm, with an increased wheelbase of 20 mm. One of the cons is that the ground clearance has reduced by 7 mm lower than the outgoing Dzire to 163 mm and the height reduced by 40 mm.
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The interior of the car takes a leap forward when compared to the exterior of the sedan and looks refreshing. The dashboard gets a very premium feel with a dual beige and black theme and looks more mature theme than the one used in Ignis. The faux wood trim that runs across the dash, steering bottom and door panels may look classy at first sight but after a closer look,feels a bit low grade. The instrument cluster looks sharp crisp; features black and white multi-info display, and needles at the zero-degree position, like the Ignis, feel sporty. However, the display offers trip and efficiency data but lacks gear position indicator.
The hard plastics used are of good quality and is the same as the outgoing model.
The steering is flat-bottomed and makes it just the second compact sedan to have embedded such steering after Ameo. The look and feel of the steering, that also gets the tilt adjustment is incredible, and the buttons on the steering are of high quality.
The top end variants ZXi+ and ZDi+ gets a touchscreen display similar to the one seen in Baleno and Breeza, with GPS navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The variants above the base models also get connectivity options including Bluetooth, USB, and Aux-In.
The seats are comfortable and offer a lot of thigh support but the major improvement has come in the form of cushioning, which is a bit on the softer side than the outgoing ones. Another thing that may delight the new third generation customers is the ample knee room in the rear, even if a 6-foot tall person sits on the driver's seat. This was possible with the 20mm hike in the wheelbase with the longer wheelbase of 2,450mm and the packaging by the new Heartect platform.
But the headroom, which is a bit lower than the older ones, seem to be lacking for taller occupants at the rear. Also, the rear seats may almost fit in three people and it may be a tight squeeze for the third occupant at the back. Overall, the rear passengers will not find the rear space a bone of contention.
There is a good amount of storage space with two cupholders in the front, a space under the handbrake to keep your wallets or keys plus water-bottle holders in the doors. Also, there is a pleasant surprise for the rear passengers with air-con vents and a 12V power socket at the back. All models upwards the base one also gets a central armrest with two cup holders. There is also height adjustment for the driver's seat included from the base model.
Finally, Maruti has heard the customers voice by increasing the boot space from 316 litres to a far more respectable 378 litres.
In a nutshell, the well-thought interior of the new Dzire takes forward the league and the upmarket positioning of the vehicle. We can say that it may be the best cabin in the compact sedan segment in India from all aspects.
Comparison with the outgoing Dzire: The flat-bottomed steering is the new addition to the new Dzire compared to the outgoing tilt version. The new third generation Dzire has also added up 50 mm more knee room and expanded the boot capacity by a healthy 60 litres compared to the outgoing model. There is also now Android Auto and Apple CarPlay added to the Touch Screen Infotainment system.
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Engine & Performance
The engines are powered by an 83hp, 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol and a 75hp, 1.3-litre, four-cylinder diesel ones. Both the petrol and diesel comes with a five-speed manual and an AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) option.
The Dzire now hoods a new HEARTECT platform and the petrol version is lighter by 85 kg than its predecessor while the diesel version is 105 kg lighter. This does a lot of good to the performance and efficiency of the sedan with increased fuel efficiency of 28.4 kmpl, up by 6.8%, in the diesel variant and 22 kmpl, up by 5.5 percent, in the petrol version. The engine feels powerful and refined one, and the lighter weight makes the Dzire a bit more zippier to drive.
The petrol engine throws a power output of 81 hp with 113 Nm of torque while the diesel variant produces 73 hp and 190 Nm of torque.
The petrol engine is refined and the engine sound is hardly heard while reeving. The power delivery is smooth and the revs build up in a linear fashion. But once, the speedometer crosses 3,500 revs the engine starts making a sporty sound until 6,300 revs. The clutch is not that responsive but feels handy in the long drive. There is also the option to manually shift gears with the Tiptronic mode.
The diesel engine lags more than petrol one and there is a remarkable delay before the actual power kicks in. One needs to really try hard to get the engine pep up the power. But once the power is attained, the ride is on the smoother side. The engine also becomes loud and clattery at high revs.
The AMT versions are the quickest ones with the ease of taking control of the gears in case of overtaking on highways.
Overall, the new generation Dzire offers greater performance, nice drivability and above all, fuel efficiency in both the variants apart from the choice of an automatic version that takes it ahead of the competition.
Comparison with the outgoing Dzire: The engine remains the same but has better performance and become more fuel efficient with a new HEARTECT platform. The five-speed automatic engine replaces the four-speed one in the outgoing model.
Standard ABS and dual front airbags is a feature available across all the variants while ABS with EBD, becomes available upwards the base model variant.
Apart from the available colours in the older version: Silky Silver, Peral Arctic White, Magma Grey, three new colour options have been added to the new Dzire: Sherwood Brown, Oxford Blue and Gallant Red.
Ride & Handling
The new Dzire definitely shines in its handling and the drivability factor. It may not be wrong to say that the suspension and ride comfort of this gem is way ahead and superior to its other launched products like Baleno and Ciaz. The new improvised suspension has a new level of suppleness and bump absorbing capability that even shines better when taking corners or at high speeds.
Brakes are spot on and the feedback from the pedals is also quick and precise.
Overall, the new Dzire will be loved as a family sedan and with much-needed firepower on its side, the Dzire is definitely going to pose a threat to the recent competition.