Maruti launched the 2nd generation of its iconic Swift 6 years after the Swift was first released into the Indian market in 2005. It was quite a revolution and gave all other hatchbacks a run for their money. Even this is quite an understatement for a car which set the sales chart on fire with a whopping 6 lakh sales over 6 years. It was a all-rounder and a game changer in the Indian Automobile Market. It appealed to everyone from the youth to the elderly for its sporty looks, aggressive performance and not to mention the terrific fuel efficiency of the diesel. So, here comes its successor, the 2nd generation Swift. Can it fit into the big boots of its old mate? Lets, have a look.
It is very clear from the looks that Maruti decided to play it safe by not making much visual changes. The new swift looks identical to the previous one apart from a few changes listed below. Most of the common people may not even be able to differentiate between the two unless put side by side but yes, it does look good and carries with it all the charisma of the old one. The new front grille and the extended headlights are the noticeable changes from the front view. Switch to the side and you will notice that the swift has indeed more wheelbase than the previous one. The wheel base is 40mm longer and the overall length is 90mm longer. The width also increased by 5mm. Also, the New Swift is based on an all new platform. Come to the rear and you will find that something’s wrong, the bumper is unusually big and the hatch lid a tad too small. It does not disappoint anyone neither impresses them. The loading into the boot should be troublesome with that large bumper. Also the boot space is limited.The overall build quality is acceptable as per the Indian standards but not comparable to the Europeans.
Open the door and step inside, you will feel that the interiors are all new and are more premium although not comparable to that of, say an i20 or a Fabia. But they do look good compared to the old Swift. Although the quality of the plastics isn’t up to the mark, it is the fit and finish that give it a fresh look and everything looks in place. The steering wheel and instrument cluster look awesome and seem to be inspired from the Kizashi. The steering wheel is chunky and good to hold too. The front seats are comfortable and have enough legroom. Under-thigh support is average. Although the New Swift is loner there isn’t a considerable increase in the interior space and neither the boot. Step into the rear seat and you will notice a couple of inches of excess legroom. It may be rude too call it cramped but it is no where near comfortable. The rear window also somehow manages to get even smaller surprisingly. Over all, the interiors do look fresh but are no where near the i20, fabia or perhaps even an i10. Mind you that the New Swift is competing with the luxury hatchbacks considering its price, more on that later.
The New Swift although comes with the same engine under the hood, delivers better performance and fuel efficiency, thanks to the decreased weight due to the plastic fuel tank. The Fiat 1.3 MJD, India’s National Engine, powers the diesel variant and is fun to drive as always. It looks even more refined. The power delivery is more linear and the noise levels are so low that you will wonder whether it’s a diesel or a petrol engine under the hood even at speeds of 100kmph. In short, the New Swift has all the characteristics of the old one added to the decrease in weight.
Yes, coming to the most important point which decides the fate of any car is the pricing. The swift is no longer a car built to cost. It is competed against the premium hatch’s viz. i20, polo, fabia, etc. The Swift is priced from 4.22 lakhs for the Petrol Lxi to 6.38 laks for the diesel Zdi (ex-showrom price Delhi). a person spending 4.22 lakhs will be pleased by the New Swift but the person buying the Zdi which is close to 7.5 lakhs on road, it definitely isn’t value for money. At this price range the customer expects something more premium. Also Maruti have discontinued the Vxi/Vdi with ABS option which means that you need to buy the top Zxi/Zdi for safety features. Also, the brakes on the other two models are mediocore and aren’t adequate for immediate braking. Maruti sure must have thought that it could capitalize on the sheer success of the old swift and it did succeed. The New Swift has got 1,00,000 bookings in two months and the waiting period is as long as 8 months in some cities. Also it has got a very good resale value. Although, it is a runaway success, I feel that one doesn’t get enough car when he is spending 7.5 lakhs on it., given the waiting period, not so premium interiors compared to other competitors and mild visual changes. Again, this is my personal opinion and may vary from person to person. I personally would never recommend this car to anyone looking for a hatchback within 8 lakhs. You are open to comment on this below, if you think otherwise.
Alternatives to the New Swift:
1. Hyundai i20 if you are looking for a premium hatch.
2. Ford Figo, incredibly Value for Money car.
3.VW Polo/ Skoda Fabia, value engineering by the Europeans