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: The interiors of the Vento resemble that of the Polo, and at truly German. The rear seat knee room has been increased for the passengers, as the Vento will be more of a chauffeur driven vehicle.
Volkswagen have always been recognised for the extraordinary finesse that reflects from their work on the interiors of their creations, and that exceptional refinement is precisely what defines every minute detail of the cabin of Volkswagen Vento also. Be it the looks, the feel, the material quality or the fit and finish, everything about the seating area echoes the German expertise and contributes massively to making the ride pleasant and joyous for the occupants of Vento. Carved in a simple yet smart design, the interiors of this German sedan has been furnished with large, comfortable and ergonomically-contoured seats, both at the front as well as the rear end. While the seats provide excellent support for the thighs of the passengers, the larger wheelbase of the car facilitates more room for them to stretch their legs. Although the knee-room and head-room in the second row, just like the leg-room in the front row, is more than sufficient for an easy and fatigue-free ride, Vento comes with the option of adjusting the front seats from the second row itself to further enhance the knee-space.
Adding on to all these comfort features is the superb insulation that Volkswagen designers have effected in this car, imparting it with the feel of a bigger and more expensive ride. This, in combination with the telescopic steering column, which makes rake and reach adjustments possible, and the ergonomic positioning of the instrument console and control panel, makes Vento a fabulous car to travel in.
Trendline: Volkswagen Vento Trendline is the base-end variant of the sedan and carries the smallest, but in no ways unimpressive, pack of add-ons in the entire line-up. Starting from the driver's zone, here we can find power steering, low fuel warning light, adjustable steering column, tachometer and electronic multi-tripmeter besides a set of controls for remote trunk opener, rear parking sensors, rear fog lights and rear window defogger. On the convenience ground, Trendline packs up an AC/heater unit coupled to independent rear AC vents, front and rear power windows, rear seat headrest, front and rear cup holders, classy fabric upholstery, front- and rear-mounted speakers and power antenna. For safety purposes, meanwhile, this particular variant of Vento comes bearing central locking, halogen headlamps, rear seat belts, adjustable seats, engine immobilizer and centrally-mounted fuel tank.
Comfortline: One level above the Trendline stands the Comfortline version of Volkswagen Vento. Except for dropping the option of adjustable seats and substituting manually adjustable ORVMs with power-adjustable counterparts, Comfortline carries forward every trait of Trendline besides adding some of its own like rear seat centre armrest, outside temperature display, digital odometer, front fog lights and a CD player/radio unit.
Highline: Next in line is the Highline variant, which replaces wheel covers with alloys and the fabric upholstery with leather for seats as well as steering. Plus, it also adds some extra perks in the form of automatic climate control, air quality control, multi-function steering wheel, ABS and driver and passenger airbags.
New Diesel Highline: The newer version of Diesel Highline brings with it some very interesting features and fitments including the likes of remote fuel lid opener, rear reading lamp, height adjustable front seat belts, seat lumbar support, cigarette lighter, electric-folding RVM, rain sensing wiper and tinted glass apart from some additional safety mechanisms like Brake Assist, power door locks, child safety locks, anti-theft alarm, seat belt warning, door ajar warning, side and front impact beams, adjustable seats and key-less entry. But, at the same time, it also drops parking sensors and offers fabric instead of leather for the seats.
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 diesel is certainly the pick of the duo, not just for its efficiency, but even for its outright performance and drivability. Though the power ratings are similar, but the diesel engine’s performance more superior.
Volkswagen Vento, the beautiful sedan from the German auto-marque, comes in two engine options – a 1.6-litre petrol-mill and a 1.6-litre diesel engine. Out of the two, the oil-burner comes mated to a sole manual transmission system while the petrol variant gets to choose between manual and automatic transmissions.
Diesel 1.6-litre: To propel its diesel line-up, Volkswagen Vento employs a 1598cc 16V Common Rail diesel engine, which has evolved into its 4-cylinder self from the 3-cylinder make that drives the Polo group. Capable of cranking out a peak 104bhp at 4400rpm for a top torque of 250Nm generated over a range of 1500-2500rpm, this power-mill comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox. Maintaining a linear power-delivery throughout the range, the engine ensures that overtaking remains easy in the city as well as on the highways and does not demand a downshift each time. The gearbox, on the other hand, makes sure that the gear-shifts continue to be smooth, slick and easy.
Although the oil-burner that works for Vento is excellent at its work, however, its NVH levels that range in the 'high' category come as a glitch in its otherwise spotless performance report. While the very start-up clatter is quite characteristic of a noisy diesel engine, even after warming up the noise, although gets reduced considerably, can still make its presence felt. As far as mileage is concerned, Volkswagen Vento Diesel returns a 17.25kmpl figure for the city roads and a 20.54kmpl for the highways.
Petrol 1.6-litre: The 1598cc 16-valve In-line petrol-feeder that works for Volkswagen Vento comes with two transmission options – manual and automatic. Engineered to churn out a maximum of 104bhp at 5250rpm for a peak torque of 153Nm pumped out at 3800rpm, this power-house, in its manual version, gets mated to a 5-speed gearbox while in the automatic version, a 6-speed transmission accompanies it in its workings. The manual transmission system that this mill shares with its diesel sibling performs equally well here, delivering smooth and slick shifts every time.
Petrol 1.2-litre automatic: The Vento also has a new engine, which is a 1.2-litre turbo petrol that produces 102bhp of power and it comes mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. This is the new automatic transmission offering on the Vento and has been picked up from the Polo TSI. The power delivery is good and even the performance is better than the previous 1.6-litre automatic and it is more fuel-efficient too. This is also the first sedan to have a seven-speed automatic transmission and it will be double clutch. It returns about 11-12 km/l even when driving in city conditions.
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 of the Vento is a tad stiffer. This is done to improve the handling characteristics of the vehicle. The handling of the Vento is good and it carries the VW DNA.
Handling and drivability have never been a problem when it comes to Volkswagen cars and the same goes for Vento as well. Based on the Polo platform, this German sedan makes use of a McPherson Strut with Stabilizer bar for the front-end suspension whereas for the rear end, it employs a semi-independent trailing arm. Although, this suspension system does a good job of absorbing the potholes in the road, it still remains unable of keeping the occupants completely unaware of the bumps and slight jerks penetrate the cabin.
The ride gets better for the occupants of the second row, all thanks to the softer springs, thereby making Vento ideal for chauffeur-driven passengers. However, the overall ride experience continues to be on the stiff side, the benefit of which comes in handling, which gets much better than before. To assist in handling, Vento gets fitted with Apollo Aceleres, which supply a much superior grip on dry as well as wet roads. As for the electronic steering wheel, it is light and easy to use on a day-to-day basis. Driving-enthusiasts, however, would need some time to get used to it, but it's not difficult.