Maruti Suzuki has cut the length of the new DZire and also introduced new features in it like the new Swift. To differentiate it form the Swift, it has black and beige interiors instead of the black that come with the hatchback. The Swift Dzire is the sedan to buy, if you want it just for the heck of a three-box, else the Swift does the job.
Just like the new Swift, the interiors of the new DZire have also been redone. The DZire’s interiors are based on that of the new Swift. Swift gets all black interiors, while the DZire has black and beige colour combination. 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 DZire, 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 DZire is small for a sedan. The cut length of the DZire doesn’t have a large boot.
LXI/LDI:Talking about the LXI/LDI, Maruti Suzuki hasn’t scaled down the base versionas it has loaded the new Swift DZire LXI with body color bumpers and tubeless tyres. Other exterior features are 2 intermittent wipers in front, steel wheels with centre cap, remote fuel lid and back-door opener.
VXI/VDI/VXI automatic: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. 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 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 and remote fuel lid opener.
Ed's take: Build quality, touch and feel of the plastics on the Rapid are good and live upto Skoda’s brand expectations. The space is also sufficient in both the rows and even the boot is large. The only thing, we wish was added are the extra bells and whistles.
The interior is the place where you shall spend most of your time and hence the ergonomics and build-quality are important, not to forget the interior space. The instrument panel of the Rapid is ergonomically designed, backed with some good quality plastic. The cabin insulation is also good.
There are acres of space for the front row passengers in all the sedans, with large and comfortable seats that offer enough thigh and back support. Crawl into the rear seats and you realize that the Rapid has sufficient room there as well, though the seats aren’t very supportive. They feel a bit flat with not much thigh support. The Rapid even gets the convenience of adjusting the co-driver seat from the rear. The boot space is also good enough.
Active: This is the base variant of the Rapid that is available only with the manual versions of the petrol and diesel. It has manual central door locking, manual AC with adjustable rear AC vents, anti glare rear view mirrors, rear defogger, rough road package, engine immobilizer, front center armrest, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, and anti pinch system.
Ambition: The Ambition comes in petrol, diesel and also the automatic petrol version. It gets central door locking, ABS, front rear fog lamps and driver airbag are added in the model. Other add-ons include body colored ORVMs and door handles, remote control with foldable key, driver seat height adjuster and rear center armrest.
Elegance: This is the top of the line version of the Rapid and is also available with all the engine options. It comes loaded with all the brownies that the Rapid will possess. Front passenger airbags are also added. A security code for audio player, AUX ports for media player and memory card, automatic climate control, electrically adjustable mirrors, MID (Mobile Internet Device). Now, it even gets projector lamps, Bluetooth and USB connectivity too.
The petrol and the diesel versions of the Swift DZire are both reliable and highly frugal. With highly refined mills, Maruti Suzuki has played well with its cards on the new Swift DZire. The new petrol engine now gets an addition of variable valve timing and also the DZire is the only sedan in the C segment to get an automatic transmission.
1.2-litre PetrolThe new Swift DZire’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. Overtaking in city might require a downshift, despite the engine’s gradual power deliverance.
The DZire comes with a 5-speed manual and it is also available with a 4-speed automatic transmission also. The gear shifts on the Swift are short and effortless. The previous-generation Swift DZire had good shifts; these are a further improvement over those.
Talking of the 4-speed automatic, the shifts are slow and there is some latency in it. But it is good enough for city driving. We wish, it had a 5-speed box atleast.
1.3-litre Diesel:Previous generation Swift DZire 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 and the DZire.
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 DZire. The gear shifts are also positive and the engagement process is smooth.
Ed's take: The 1.6-litre diesel engine of the Rapid is far superior to its petrol brethren in performance and fuel efficiency. The power delivery is linear and it is fun to drive in the city or the highway. We recommend the diesel version of the Rapid for its sheer pleasure and economy.
With the increasing cost of petrol and higher efficiency of oil burners, manufacturers are tuning petrol cars for better mileage over performance. Similar is the case with the Rapid. The 1.6-litre engine produces 103bhp at 5250rom and a peak torque of 153Nm at 3800rpm. This 1.6-litre petrol engine has a decent turn of pace; however do not expect them to be strenuous. The NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels are fairly low on the petrol version.
One needs to downshift them for quick overtaking manoeuvres, as most of the power is delivered at higher revs and you feel the lack at lower speeds.
5-speed manual: 3.5/5
The 5-speed manual transmission on the 1.6-litre is smooth and the shifts are also positive. This is one of the slickest shifting gearbox in its segment and it is joy to use as well. The Skoda Rapid returns a fuel economy of 15.42kmpl in its manual avatar as per the ARAI cycle.
6-speed automatic: 3/5
The Rapid also gets the option of a six-speed tiptronic self-shifting transmission. The shifts on the Rapid are lethargic and one can rightly say “the box does blunt the engine’s performance”. We wish the Rapid came with the DSGs, but that would have increased the cost of the car. As per the ARAI test, the Rapid returns a fuel economy of 14.4kmpl.
1.6-litre diesel: 4/5
The 1.6-litre diesel engine of the Rapid 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 Rapid outperforms the petrol Rapid 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. The oil burner powered Skoda Rapid returns a fuel economy of 20.54kmpl in its manual avatar as per the ARAI cycle.
The ride of the Swift DZire is well composed as the rear springs are softened, as compared to the Swift hatch. The handling is decent, but the soft rear doesn’t mean a lot of fun driving can happen.
The ride on the DZire is softer at the rear when compared to the Swift. This gives it better riding characteristics than the Swift. The bumps are soaked in much better and even the ride is more plush than the Swift, atleast for the back row occupants.
The handling isn’t that bad alright. Apart from the rear being soft, there isn’t so much to worry. 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.
Ed's take: The ride on the Rapid is a tad stiff, but most of the road shocks are filtered out. The Rapid lives up to the Skoda badge in the handling department. The well-balanced chassis of the Rapid makes it joy to drive around bends, and even the response from the steering wheel is good as it weighs up well.
These sedans are built for better comfort and hence ride quality on the sedans is pretty much sorted. These cars can go through the potholes with a muted thud and the suspension absorbs most of the jounces and rebounds, keeping the occupants intact. Skoda Rapid has a tad stiffer when compared to competition.
The chassis of the Skoda Rapid is well balanced and this sedan is capable of handling turns at a higher speed. You can push it around bends without a second-thought. The tyres on the Rapid squeal when pushed to their limit— despite the there being sufficient grip. The steering wheel of the Rapid is fantastic. It is exactly how a driving enthusiast would want.