Is is good? Yes, yes, yes!!!!!
Recently, my mates and I were out on a tiny road trip. Tiny, because it didn't even cover 200 kilometers to and fro. And it even felt smaller because of the typically bad Indian road conditions and the usual dab of chaotic traffic. Now, not to be a pedantic pessimist, but the roads were appallingly disturbing and we all agreed on the fact that we would've had much more fun if the roads were a bit more gallant. But as village elders would say, always look for the silver lining, hence I shall move on to the car we were using. No, it's not a Land Rover nor a Range Rover and definitely not a cathedral-ish Mahindra four by four. Rather it was a Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. What I do know that it's the 2nd generation Dzire which is a bit shorter than the old one which immediately meant, better handling and that meant that I could play around with it and not get into trouble with those eco-mentalists by taking out a tree or a sacred cow around the corner but more about that later. There are quite a few significant changes made to the insides of the car. Previously, Maruti would give you a fully black gothic interior and would tell you to be content with it, but this time, the boffin who designed the car might have found a life partner for himself and decided to go all jolly with the paint brush or whatever it is he uses to make the interior. This time, you'll find a lot of beige on the dashboard and in a whole lot of places but they also rounded up the dash which makes it absolutely impractical to keep things even when you?re off dropping the kids to school. You also get an in-dash music player which plays music and also supports USB device compatibility and an auxiliary port along with the almost extinct CD support. The electric windows work and you won?t be electrocuted if you touch the buttons. The knobs and vents don?t feel cheap to be touched although it's still plastic and there are no controls on the steering wheel meaning you won?t be touching the music inappropriately while making a sudden move. And I like this although most people would find the car(most Swifts) a bit cave man-ish. Now moving on to the part that matters. The engine. Now, most people who take their driving seriously would be turned off on hearing the word diesel but the motor on this car exacts the opposite. What I feel and I must write that the 1.2 litre 4-cylinder DDIS engine on the Swift Dzire is an absolute gem of engineering prowess. You may go and ask any keen driver who has or is driving a Dzire or the smaller hatch and he/she will tell you that it?s absolutely magnificent to behold. I mean of course it takes a few RPM?s to get to that powerhouse but once you?re there, boy, you will have a gaping mouth just like I had. It?s like at one moment there is an absolute nothingness and the very next moment there is an excess surcharge of power. Although this 1.2 16-valve motor produces less power at 74 BHP than its petrol guzzling twin, it does makes almost 80 more torques than the petrol. 80 more! At one point of time while I was driving the diesel, I had so much torque that I could?ve torn a hole into time and space. But, there is a problem. The comfort. Mind you the suspension on this thing is excellent. I own a Swift (2004 version, the original Swift) too and I thought the suspension on my car was damn near perfect, but this car has surpassed that notion. It does get a bit wobbly when I show it a tight corner or a hairpin bend, Something my hatchback version creams without a bloody complaint. But overall, the suspension is a joy. Potholes can be easily crossed without having the car to fall into a million different pieces. But it's the seats (the driver seat mainly), that?s all I have to complain about. It's like sitting on a rock hard race car seat and is from Maruti's special agony range. It was so bad that I have a sore back till date. My co-driver and long-time friend, Tulip Das also agrees that the seats are quite hard but it suits his cool and calm and sudden speed trap kind of drive style. And that?s the special thing about driving a Swift. It's not very practical, fuel economy is average and the seats are appallingly bad. But what it can?t make up for comfort, it makes up with power and a sack full of torques. I think that India has made only one car that we can be proud of and I own one and although the diesel version tries to live up to its ancestor's reputation, it has missed a few corners while doing so. But I'd still buy a Dzire diesel at the drop of a hat.
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