A decade has passed since Maruti Suzuki first brought the Swift to Indian shores. A city-slicker in the truest sense, the hatchback has found countless homes across the country and is among the best-selling Marutis of all time.Naturally, updating a blockbuster like the Swift is no easy task. Get the recipe wrong, and you risk ruining an icon. What’s the second avatar of the hatchback like? Let’s take a look!
Refined petrol and punchy diesel engine makes it quite fun to drive!
Light on the wallet! Claimed efficiency = 20.4kmpl (petrol) / 25.2kmpl (diesel)
All-new interiors are better on quality, fit and finish compared to the outgoing version.
Rear seat space is severely limited. Headroom at the rear isn’t great either due to the sloping roof.
Boot space is a meagre 204-litres. Can accommodate a couple of backpacks at the most.
Stand Out Features
Among the best handling hatches in its class. Steering feels direct, suspension is a nice blend of comfort and dynamics.
Great and affordable modification potential.
The Swift name has gained its popularity for all the right reasons. It’s a stylish, easy and fun to drive hatchback and feels quite well made too. The 1.2-litre petrol engine is peppy and responsive, while both engine options offer great fuel economy figures as well. Backed by Maruti Suzuki’s after-sales network and support, the Swift is, indeed, a can't-go-wrong-option if you’re a first time car buyer, or someone upgrading from a budget hatchback. It’s also a fantastic buy if you’re a driving enthusiast.
"The only drawback is it’s average cabin space and boot volume, which mean it isn’t the most practical car in the segment."
The only drawback is it’s average cabin space and boot volume, which mean it isn’t the most practical car in the segment. It is best suited to individual buyers or small families with young children.
The Swift’s party trick has always been its chic looks. With the new generation, Maruti Suzuki hasn’t fiddled around with the recipe a lot. That explains why it looks more evolutionary, than revolutionary. If one zips past you, there’s no mistaking it for anything else. Even though the Swift is practically everywhere, it still possesses the ability to turn heads. The design is simple, but most importantly - well executed.
The second avatar of the hatch follows the same recipe. It has a longish nose, and a stubby posterior. The face now has a more mature air to it. The headlamps have grown bigger in size, and so has the trademark Suzuki grille. The air-dam too, is a tad more prominent flanked by foglamps on either side. And, while international variants of the Swift get daytime running lamps integrated into the housing, the Indian version makes do with a matte-silver accent piece instead. An opportunity missed? We think so!
Over to the side, the quintessential Swift design trait - the blacked-out A-pillar - instantly grabs attention. It gives the hatch its trademark ‘floating roof’ effect, which does give it a sporty character. The profile is where you realize that the designers have played it safe with the update. There isn’t anything radically different from the older generation. It features a strong shoulder line, and the wheels are pushed out all the way to the edges to give it extremely short overhangs. We also like how the window line swoops upwards towards the C-pillar. The pronounced wheel arches are filled up by a set of lovely 15-inch alloy wheels that give the Swift a nice, sporty stance.
The rear features the same ‘waterfall’ theme taillamps, that flow over onto the side. The design, much like the headlamps has been sharpened, and the lamps have been pushed towards the fringes, that makes the Swift look wider than it actually is. This has also resulted in the mouth of the boot being larger, making it easier to load in the luggage. The large bumper takes up most of the real estate at the rear, and the exhaust tip is neatly hidden away from view. Atop the sharply raked rear windscreen, sits a well-integrated lip spoiler that houses the high-mount stop lamp. The rear foglamp is tucked away near the base of the bumper.
In spite of Maruti Suzuki choosing the middle path with the looks, it is among the few cars that most agree looks good. The new generation keeps the essence of the Swift intact, which appeals to old and young alike.
Step inside the Swift, and you’d notice the interiors have received a major overhaul. There’s practically nothing that looks similar to the older generation, which we think is a big plus right off the bat. Most importantly, levels of quality have also gone up a notch. Yes, it isn’t in the league of the Hyundai Grand i10, but it does get pretty close.
To aid the ‘sporty’ positioning, there’s no trace of a light colour in the cabin. Everything from the dashboard to the upholstery is engulfed in black. To break the monotony, Maruti has cleverly used matte silver accents around the centre-console, the door pads, and the steering. While the all-black theme does look good, it robs the cabin of its sense of space. The dull grey headliner and the black upholstery makes the cabin feel claustrophobic. This is especially prominent in the rear, where the small window amplify the feeling.
The front seats are among the best in the business, and can be adjusted for height, reach and tilt. They have the right amount of cushioning on the side, and there’s ample lower back and underthigh support as well. The steering, sadly, only adjusts for tilt - there’s no reach adjust on offer. That said, the steering is placed at a neutral distance from the dash and you’d rarely have a problem. It is just the right size, and feels nice to hold. In the top-spec variants, it also gets controls for the audio and the calls. Behind the steering lies the updated instrument cluster. It does look nice, and we especially like the silver outline it gets for the speedometer and the tachometer pods. There’s a monochrome MID sandwiched between the two, that reads out information such as the trip efficiency, time and distance to empty over and above the standard trip and odometer.
It scores very high in terms of ergonomics. The positioning of switches, the air-conditioning controls and even the cubby holes is right where you’d want them. The centre-console gets the waterfall theme kickstarted yet again, and houses a 2DIN audio system (with Bluetooth, USB and AUX inputs) and the automatic climate control interface. Air-conditioning works pretty efficiently, and cools the cabin down quickly. One will feel the lack of rear AC vents, though, especially since the all-black cabin doesn’t do much to keep in-cabin heat low.
The Swift is a driver-oriented car, and there’s no denying the fact the driver’s seat is the seat to be in. This is made evident the moment you hop onto the rear bench. While Maruti claim an increase of 22mm in legroom, it still isn’t a comfortable place to be in - especially over long distances. The headroom isn’t all that great thanks to the sloping roofline, and the width barely manages to accommodate three abreast.
Summing up, the Swift’s cabin is definitely a good place to be in. There’s a good blend of practicality and feel-good creature comforts to make it a rounded hatch for the city.