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.
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.
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.
The facelift version of the Etios gets improvement in quality. The sedan has always been practical, with loads of space to seat five and a massive boot of 595 litres. The brownies on the Etios are decent. The only thing we are against is the plastic quality.
Major changes have been made on the interiors of the Etios and the results are positive. The dashboard now has beige and grey trim and even the quality has been improved by a couple of notches. The interior trim has been changed from grey to beige fabric and even the headrests are no longer integrated and can be adjusted. This alone changes a lot in the interior, and it does feel premium than before.
The music system on the Etios has been changed and even the new 2 DIN music system does look a lot more stylish and better in design. Toyota built a sedan for a family that can only afford a single car, so the Etios had to be spacious. The Etios can comfortably seat five adults and to make things easier the central tunnel has almost been flattened. Even the boot space is large, as it can swallow 595 litres of luggage, making one the best in its class. The driving position is great and the light steering makes maneuvering in city convenient.
J: This is the base variant of the Etios and now comes in diesel variant also. This version comes with body coloured bumpers, tubeless tyres, air conditioner with heater, cooled glovebox and digital tripmeter. It even misses out on power steering.
G: This is a variant higher than J and is available in petrol and diesel engine options. It also includes body coloured door handles, body coloured ORVMs, B-Pillar Black-Out, intermittent wiper, chrome garnish on boot, power windows, electric power steering and central locking.
G Safety: Similar to the above variant, it comes with some additional safety features that include SRS Airbags, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and Driver Seatbelt Warning. Hence, the name is G Safety. It comes in petrol and diesel variants.
V: This variant encompasses front fog lamps, 12 spoke alloy wheels, and roof-mounted antenna, and rear defogger, tachometer and in-dash music system with USB & Aux-in.
V (with safety pack) A top end variant in Toyota Etios includes side skirt, steering mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and chrome-accented shift knob. Similar to the above variant, it comes with some additional safety features that include SRS Airbags, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and Driver Seatbelt Warning. Hence, the name is G Safety. It comes in petrol and diesel variants.
The petrol engine of the Etios is amazing, thanks to the power to weight ratio. It is one of the quickest sedans in the C segment and even efficient. There is always enough power to drive through city lanes, and downshifting might not be required.
1.5-litre petrol: The petrol engine of the Etios is a 1496cc mill that churns out 89bhp@5600rpm and a maximum torque of 132Nm@3000rpm. The engine isn’t a stonker of a performer, but there the power to weight ratio of 90bhp/tonne changes the entire game. The Etios weighs 930kg, which is hatchback territory. The engine is perky and power is always available at the tap of your right foot. One usually doesn’t require a downshift to overtake.
This motor happily revs upto 6000rpm, but it tends to get a bit noisy when it crosses the 3500rpm mark. The torque spread is good and the power delivery is linear like any other efficient petrol engine. The 5-speed manual transmission comes mated to the petrol engine. The gear lever is small and the shifts are precise.
1.4-litre diesel: The 1.4-litre engine that powers the Etios is the same that also does duty on the Corolla Altis. In the Etios, this engine has been detuned to generate maximum power of 68bhp and 170Nm of maximum torque. The Corolla Altis it gets a variable geometric turbocharger in the Etios it gets a conventional fixed geometric turbo. With the same engine block, there is bit of diesel clatter during cold starts but this is muted once the engine warms up. The throttle is fairly responsive and the engine has good mid-range and is drivable around the city. The engine is drivable as the power delivery is linear. It is on the open road you feel that the engine lacks that extra punch.
The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Gearshifts are positive and slick. As per ARAI test cycle, Toyota claims the Etios diesel to have a fuel economy of 23.59kmpl.
The ride of the Etios is fairly composed and most of the road shocks are absorbed by the suspension. The handling on the Etios is good enough even driven within city speed limits.
The suspension set-up is soft and it ensures better ride and fairly decent handling characteristics. The Etios smoothly glides over potholes with a muted thud and most of the road shocks are ironed-out by the transmission. The ride is smooth, but some road noise does intrude the cabin.
The Etios’s handling is decent, when within city speed limits. The sedan can zip through busy streets but things get difficult as you make it to twisty roads. The steering wheel of the Toyota Etios is light and feels slack around the corner as the car gathers speed.
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