The Swift had boosted the sales of Maruti Suzuki since its launch and the new-generation is simply a great step ahead of the outgoing version. The interiors of the new Swift aren’t just better in quality and feel, but Maruti Suzuki has also introduced various new bells and whistles in it.
The interiors of the new Swift are designed from scratch. The all new black interiors are a refreshing change. The plastic quality of the materials doesn’t just look good, but it also feels good. It has a lot more features than the previous generation Swift, and it looks more premium also.
The space in both the rows is decent and the knee room even in the second row is good, which was a problem in the outgoing version. Though to our dismay, the boot of the Swift is fairly small.
LXI/LDI:Talking about the LXI/LDI, Maruti Suzuki has not bartered with the features of the car and generously loaded the new Swift LXI with body color bumpers and tubeless tyres. The outside rear view mirrors (ORVMs) are adjusted manually in LXI model. Other exterior features are 2 intermittent wipers in front, steel wheels with centre cap, remote fuel lid and back-door opener. The kerb weight of this variant is 960 kg and thus is the lightest among all. Even the tyre size is small being 165/80R14.
VXI/VDI: Unlike the LXI/LDI model, VXI/VDI has body color door handles in addition to body color bumpers, electrically powered ORVMs with turn indicators, front and rear fog lamps for enhanced visibility during unfavorable weather conditions, black out film on A and B pillars and 165/80 R14 steel wheel cap. Swift VXI looks like a high-end hatchback with plush and chic interiors. The sporty wrap around the door trims with silver accents on them renders a menacing look to the car. The day and night IRVM and passenger side sun visor protects from the radiations in this variant of Maruti Suzuki Swift. The silver accents on 3-spoke steering wheel have been added in this variant. The inside door handles have chrome polishing on them which render posh appearance to the inmates. The instrument cluster includes Tachometer along with standard equipments like seat belt, key-off, and door close and light-off reminder for driver, low fuel warning, multi information display etc.
ZXI/ZDI: ZXI/ZDI is the top-end variant with same engine specs as the other Swift petrol and diesel engines. So it will not account for any deficiency in Swift, rather will take complete care of the driver’s and passenger’s needs. The variant is loaded with comfort factors like power and tilt steering, power windows with auto down function on driver side window, driver seat adjuster, automatic climate control, lane change indicator, high-end stereo with radio and CD Player, intelligent speed based auto volume, Aux-in and USB socket, 2 front and 2 rear speakers, 2 integrated front tweeters, steering wheel mounted audio controls with illumination. Not the luxury, but practical options are available in the model like accessory socket, retractable cup holder for passengers and in centre console, rear seat back folding centre locking, keyless entry, front seat back pocket, remote fuel lid opener, electromagnetic back door opener, rear window defogger, rear wiper and washer.
The petrol and the diesel versions of the Swift are both reliable and highly frugal. With highly refined mills, Maruti Suzuki has played well with its cards on the new Swift. The new petrol engine now gets an addition of variable valve timing.
1.2-litre Petrol: The new Swift’s petrol engine received the variable valve treatment. This augments performance and fuel efficiency, though on paper, power ratings for this engine are 86bhp – a mere increase by a couple of horses. Like any modern petrol, the engine is quiet and low on NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).
When off the gas, the low engine whining sound— as experienced on the old 800s— is audible. Mid- range is good, but it does make you work-hard a bit to extort performance. If your shifts are good, then the Swift is the fastest amongst competition. Overtaking in city might require a downshift, despite the engine’s gradual power deliverance. The gear shifts on the Swift are short and effortless. The previous-generation Swift had good shifts; these are a further improvement over those.
1.3-litre Diesel: Previous generation Swift had earned notoriety with its diesel engine. The engine was highly refined with low NVH levels and sufficient torque. The engine however had a noticeable amount of turbo lag. The R&D team of Maruti Suzuki has rectified now this issue in the current-generation Swift. The low-end pull is cleaner making the engine more drivable than the outgoing version. The NVH levels and refinement is far more superior as well. Crank the engine and it springs to live without the slightest of hesitation or melodrama. Driving in bumper-to-bumper city traffic and overtaking isn’t a tough ask in the Swift. The gear shifts are also positive and the engagement process is smooth.
The ride and handling of the Swift was always good, but now Maruti Suzuki has made it even better. The ride compliance is sorted and with a longer wheelbase and broader tyres, the handling has also been enhanced.
Ride quality of the Swift is sorted. It has to be. This hatch is built for this purpose. Potholes, bumps and the unevenness of the road surfaces are taken care of; without any grating. The suspension set-up on the rest is fairly akin.
Handling is one department where the Swift outshine most of its competition. The front tyres grip and the Swift clings to the line as per your decree. Minor corrections can be made through the steering that weighs well, giving an accurate feedback. The flexibility of the chassis adds to the enjoyment. Being engineered for city and highway, the steering wheel is light for easy manoeuvrability. It also weighs up with speed with a good feedback.
Ed’s Take: The interiors of the Polo are well designed and even the bells and whistles now on offer are good in the segment. It is only the rear seat space that is a bit of an issue.
The Polo might be the smallest of all Volkswagens, but the German manufacturer has ensured their current smallest hatch also has high quality interiors. The fit and finish of the plastic is amazing and even the look and feel of the materials of the good too. The Polo now even offers most of the features that other B+ segment hatchbacks offer. It has a new music system with SD card reader, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux connection too. The Polo also has steering-mounted audio controls too. The front row seats are large and feel comfortable just like any other big German car. These seats are good enough for a long drives and one won’t feel tired either. The second row of interiors isn’t that spacious as the first row as the knee room is a bit too tight for tall occupants. The boot isn’t that large also.
Ed’s Take: The power produced by the Polo engines is good, but the petrol and diesel have some drivability issues, especially when you consider the gearing that seem to be designed for European market.
The Polo at the moment is offered with only one diesel engine, which is the 1.2-litre three-pot diesel engine that has a displacement of 1.2-litre and produces a power of 75bhp. This is the same oil burner that also powers the Cross Polo and used to propel the Fabia as well. The 1.2-litre engine produces 75bhp and 180Nm@2000rpm. This mill has a strong mid-range and high end. There is a lot of turbo lag and the engine needs to be revved above 2000rpm to reach the power band. The power produced by most of the competition including the Swift is a lot more linear than the Polo. The five-speed manual transmission has short throws and the box is slick. It doesn’t feel even a bit rubbery. The ratios are good for highway driving, while in the city one has to work out his way to extract some good performance. The fuel efficiency of this mill is good as the 1.2-litre mill from Volkswagen is extremely frugal.
1.2-litre turbo petrol:
This is the new 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine and it is different from the regular 1.2-litre petrol as that is a three-pot mill. This engine produces 104bhp of power, which is equivalent to the 1.6-litre petrol engine that once powered the Polo. The NVH levels are fairly low, except for cold starts when the engine is noisy. The engine screams as it revs above 4000rpm. Blip the throttle, and the transmission responds immediately, and at the time it shifts smoothly while cruising. This is an all-aluminium engine and it has been turbocharged as well. Even though the power produced by this engine as same as the 1.6-litre, it is the torque spread that is much better on this new engine. As even the engine is lighter and has a lower displacement, it is more fuel-efficient. With this engine, Volkswagen gets the duty-cut as the displacement is under 1.2-litre. Another segment first is that it is a seven-speed direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG). The gear ratios on this box are tailored as per the Indian driving cycle for maximum utilisation of power. There is also tiptronic transmission, if you like to make those manual shifts. We sorely missed the paddles shifts. From what we learn, Volkswagen could introduce the paddle shifts at a later stage.
1.2-litre petrol engine:
The 1.2-litre petrol engine on the Polo has the same displacement like the diesel engine. This is also a three-pot mill that produces about 75bhp of power. This engine has good power and even the low-end torque is good. The mid range is strong and the power increases with the rise in engine speed. We aren’t impressed with the NVH levels as the engine is louder than one would have liked. The five-speed manual transmission has short throws and the box is slick. It doesn’t feel even a bit rubbery. The ratios are good for highway driving, while in the city one has to work out his way to extract some good performance. But it is the fuel efficiency that hasn’t impressed us, as it returns about 9-10km/l in normal city driving.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine of the Polo is the same that powers the Rapid and the Vento. This oil burner churns out a power of 103bhp at 4400rpm and a maximum torque of 250Nm at 1500-3000rpm. The NVH levels aren’t low, and there is a lot of diesel clatter on this engine. This is oil burner is a stonker of a performer and it has deep reserves of torque at low rpm. Plant your right foot and the engine surges you forward. The diesel version of the Polo GT TDI outperforms the other variants not just in fuel economy but also in performance. The 5-speed manual transmission on the 1.6-litre diesel is a delight and the shifts are also positive. This is one of the slickest shifting gearbox in its segment.
Ed’s Take: The ride and handling of the Polo has been tweaked for a perfect combination of both.
The Polo chassis has been designed for Polo Cup Racing and hence this design can take a lot more engine power and torque than what it is currently being sold with. The Polo chassis is extremely agile and the hatchback does handle well. The Polo is as good as any other Volkswagen vehicle when it comes to handling. The ride of the Volkswagen Polo is also well sorted. The McPherson struts on the Polo are well sorted and ride is supple. The springs absorb most of the jolts and undulations the ride a lot more comfortable for occupants. The light steering wheel ensures convenient driving in the city and also tire-free long trips.
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