What you do when you have the country’s highest selling compact sedan and, for that matter, the highest selling sedan too, in your portfolio and it requires a mid-life update? To keep it refreshing in the hottest segment of the Indian auto market. Though it didn’t get any significant visual tweaks to make it look apart from the previous one but Maruti strike the chord with the fuel efficiency, with this mid-life facelift DZire delivers best in class fuel efficiency both in petrol and diesel. Continuing the pedigree, what Maruti is known for. Indeed, the diesel is currently the most fuel efficient vehicle you can buy in this country. Let us see, what Maruti has done with the 2015 Swift DZire facelift.
As I have mentioned above, there are no major stylistic updates rather than it gets chrome adds, which indeed Indians are fond of, subtle changes to the bumpers and a new set of alloys. At the outset, DZire gets new grille with a larger chrome embellishment flanked around the same headlamps which are now smoked. Strange! Maruti is offering smoked headlamps on a sedan rather than the Swift hatchback. The front bumper is new and the fog lamp housing gets chrome surrounds.
Furthermore, the side profile is kept same, save for the new set of 10-spoke alloys on the same 185/65 cross-section R15 tyres. 2015 Swift DZire also get four new colors - Cave Black, Magma Grey, Sangria Red and the one that we had - Alp Blue.
At the rear, except the bumper there’s no noticeable change, speaking of the bumper, it’s more sculpted than before. However, it misses the rear fog lamps that the pre-facelifted model offered. Thing-to-note-here, DZire is not the best looking sub-4m sedan in the country and Maruti didn’t do anything with this facelift too, it’s still an odd looking boot!
There are no changes to the design of the cabin, DZire continues to offers dual black and beige interiors with faux wood inserts. Undoubtedly, it continues to be one of the best looking cabin in the segment and the seats are still cushiony and soft similar to that of the previous car, but the new seat upholstery has somehow spoiled the overall appearance of the cabin.
Since it's a facelift, so dimensionally DZire remained unaltered and offers similar leg and shoulder space, which is not the best in the segment when compared to cars like Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze and Tata Zest or even the upcoming Ford Figo Aspire.
Now, let’s talk about the things which are new to the 2015 DZire, Maruti has added a hand full of features to the vehicle. To start with, the same double-din audio system now features a Bluetooth connectivity with steering mounted calling buttons (I think Maruti should have offered it on the first place, when they introduced the second generation Swift DZire in 2012, isn't?), then there’s a new engine push-button start-stop feature and rear parking sensors. All of this standard in the top Z trims.
We drove the diesel, it carries the same Fiat sourced 1.3-liter Multi-Jet dubbed as DDiS. The figures are - 75 PS of max power at 4,000 rpm and 190 Nm of peak torque extracted at 2000 rpm. The engine feeds power to a five-speed manual transmission and it drives the front wheels. The fuel efficiency of this engine has been increased, Maruti has played with the ECU and worked on the frictional losses to achieve this.
Now, speaking of the drivability of this engine, there's no doubt that this is one of the best diesel in the country, pulling almost every entry level diesel vehicle. But the usual traits of this engine is still present in the 2015 DZire facelift. The turbo lag is evident below the 2000 rpm mark, you need to work with gears to keep it in the rev-range in heavy traffic, however, the clutch is lighter as always.
This said, as soon as it passes the 2000 rpm mark the engine pours the entire 190 Nm of torque and then it becomes spirited to drive. Although, the turbo kick is pretty aggressive but is still toned down when compared to the first generation DZire. The engine cruises well in three-digit speeds and seems relaxed.
Apart from this diesel, the 2015 DZire petrol also offers the same K12B K-Series 1,197 cc petrol motor, churning out 84.3PS of max power at 6,000 rpm and 115 Nm of peak torque at 4000 rpm. It comes with an option of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.
Maruti Suzuki has not altered new DZire mechanically, it continues to offer the same ride and handling traits, and that’s not bad at all! Like before, there is a decent balance between ride quality and handling of this vehicle. It still soaks the pot holes pretty well and suspensions do not filter much noise into the cabin. Though DZire is not an enthusiastic vehicle when it comes to handling but it does that part efficiently when compared to few of its peers in the segment.
It offers disc at the front and drums at the rear and the brakes have good stopping power and stopping distance is not very long under heavy braking. ABS with EBD is optional from the second variant trim (for petrol, it's only in the automatic trim) while it is standard in the Z trims. Moreover, Maruti has made the steering in the facelifted DZire little heavy, which in turn has improved the highway drivability but is slightly on the heavier side in the city.
At the end of the compact sedans story in India, Maruti manages to outpass DZire’s competitors month-on-month in sales ever since its inception. DZire sells double the second highest selling compact sedan in the country, which usually is the Honda Amaze while Hyundai Xcent rests at third and the Zest at last. All this because, DZire overall is a better package at reasonable prices plus years of trust, goodwill and extensive dealer and service network of Maruti plays their part!
However, things are riling in this compact sedan La-La land, rivals have started to woo customer with more features and powerful engines. And then there are newcomers in-line, like feature-loaded Ford Figo Aspire. This said, Maruti knows the need of the customers and thus, they have made DZire the most fuel efficient car in the segment and with all the added features, it is still pretty competitive buy in the segment.