History of news flow
Autocar India, the country’s premier automotive magazine reported late April, 2011 that the new Maruti Swift Dzire would get shorter and cheaper.
It also made an audacious attempt in getting an actual picture of the compact sedan and succeeded very well. The image which it claims was taken by one of its readers (not me!) is the one you see below.
Since this article many websites such as motoroids.com, bharatautos.com and indianautosblog.com have been citing the original article from autocar india, and bharatautos even went one step further in morphing the new swift with the old dzire to produce its own rendering of what the car would be like.
I even saw another launch photo of the dezire with a boot like the old premier padmini 118 NE, sort of ridiculous looking, the source of which I dont have (with due respects to the owner)
Well now its time to reveal some rather accurate information about the new swift dzire.
Interiors and Design
The swift dzire due to its sub 4-metre length is expected to cost lesser. For the sake of simplicity we will talk only about the high end variant the ZDi. Currently with the recent increase of prices from maruti, the on road price in Bangalore is about 8.7 lakhs. The interiors of the new compact dZire is going to be exactly similar to the existing new swift.
The fabric quality is obviously better, and you can notice the marginal increase in space at the backseat. The gearshift remains same from the original swift and swift dZire. There are chrome bits near the a/c vents, and the dashboard itself and so also on the doors and window linings. As in the case of the swift, there is no 60:40 seat folding option here, but then when you have a boot already, you can just fold the seat completely and it will become better and bigger. Since the dZire will be a passenger car, Maruti might decide to make the interior seating Beige in colour which is yet to be seen. Even the beige interior looks pretty good in the swift as was in the case of the earlier dZire and finally its upto owners to have seats of their choice. Karlsson and Autoform are two good companies to opt for with respect to seating as their jobs are perfect and the styling is top notch.
Note that the new dZire will also sport the same stereo system as in the new swift. Its a waterfall model stereo system. I have tested this system out and it is not as good as it is in the FIGO. But that is because Ford has intelligently packaged the stereo and speakers. The speakers on the front doors have a hollow region to create an impeccable undistorted bass. In the swift though that will be sorely missed. The new dZire will not have bluetooth functionality, though it will have stereo controls on the steering and Mp3, USB ports. Which brings me to the steering itself.
The steering is an excellent creation and its electrically assisted, making it butter smooth. The churn is simply awesome when you want to use that 4.6m turning radius to turn the car into cramped places. The steering is a joy to use and is precise and accurate and smoother compared to the old swift. Do not forget to wrap it with some genuine leather and it will be the best beyond that for a car of this price range. The horn is not worth it on the stock setup and its worthwhile to install the windtone horn (skoda or polo type horn) as an after market accessory.
After having had some success with Sx4′s practical design, the new dZire will carry over the same legacy with bottle holders on all doors, and a nice retractable cup holder right next to the co-passenger A/c Vent
(source: Swift brochure)
Exteriors, and rear assembly
The only question that everyone has about the dZire is – why should a car that has been designed that everyone should hate it named as – the dZire!? It sold in thousands, but yet everyone hated it. It had a waiting period of 4-5 months, yet everyone hated it, but yet Maruti made huge sales. So will the new dZire be again the same story with respect to styling of the rear? The big-ass boot if I may call it so? The good news is NO. Observe the first picture provided by autocar and in the rear you will observe that the new car has an sX4 style tailllamp. So now the differences between the old and new dZire models will be evident if you look below.
So if I were to hammer the boot of the existing dZire a bit from the top to flatten it, and remove its taillamps to give it the sX4 style taillamps, the dZire would then be looking much more nicer and similar to the first photograph above. You get an idea dont you? The car becomes much more buyable by nature. Given that statement, the new dZire is likely to top charts in bookings by customers when it launches.
So when then will it really launch is the next question. From sources it is likely to be launched by Christmas, and also demoed at the Auto Show coming up in January next year. The training for Maruti salesmen for the new dZire is already over and the car might be expected to hit the stockyards for display and test drives by as soon as December second week.
Performance and some other differences compared to older versions
Everyone knows the power of swift family of vehicles. No one can talk a word against the world famous FIAT multijet engines which are part of many diesel cars including the current swift and the older dZire models. I have personally driven all the vehicles which have this engine and those that have other diesel engines just to find out the difference in tuning. The new Swift and dZire have some changes in tuning. In the older cars, the torque of 190Nm started appearing around 1700 rpm onwards, but in the new cars the torque now appears only at 2000rpm. In layman’s terms this means that one has to reach 2000 rpm quickly and be at that level to experience the fun side of this car. Having said that, I have driven the new swift at 10kmph speed in second gear, 20kmph at third gear, and about 30-35kmph in fourth and fifth and one of the strongest points of this engine is that it does not switch off at these speeds which gives excellent driveability. For those who have driven the old swift they will know how silent the engine was on the inside. If I were to amplify that silence and make it 10 times better by padding the right bits in and around the car interior, thats called the new swift ! The silence is overwhelmingly impressive inside the car.
The top end drive remains as good as the older versions and there is no change here barring the extra welcome silence which is appreciated. For cruising between 90 and 110 this car will be very peaceful on the inside. The new dZire also had an added armrest for the driver which was not present in the older one.
Costing and conclusions
The dZire due to its sub-4m length is bound to attract only 10-12% duty instead of the usual 22%. For an on road price of 8.7 roughly this translates to about 87,000. But due to input costs being higher, one can expect less than half that as a discount to the end buyer which means the new dZire ZDi is bound to cost about 8.3 lacs for a sub 4m sedan. For another lakh more there are bigger better sedans with fuller boot so its hard to say whether this car will find a market at that price. Given the 90bhp version of the same FIAT engine plonked into its bigger cousin the SX4, and overpriced beyond 10 lakhs for no good reason, there is a fair chance people would be better off with the 75bhp compact sedan at 8.3 lakhs rather than a bigger underpowered cousin at 10.3 lakhs.
With Airbags, ABS, a butter smooth steering and a highly damped interior, the swift dZire compact sedan will have a charm of its own. The rear styling being correct is enough reason for potential buyers to now start taking this compact sedan more seriously. With a mileage of about 15 in the city and about 18-20 kmpl on the highway this is not going to be exactly a chartbuster but reasonable enough for daily runs and nice highway trips if you are that kind.
So dealers are now discreetly accepting bookings for this new version and the older one will be phased out by mid to end december 2011. Only time will tell whether this compact sedan finally quenches the buyers dZire for the HEART CAR!
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