The Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire is a quintessential car that defines the sub 4 metre sedan segment.
It found its way to over a million and a half homes across the country. The previous generation was so successful in fact, during certain months, sales surpassed the Alto, making it the largest selling car in the country. However, it had one big flaw. It was never meant to look good. The first generation had a bulbous boot and the second gen felt like it was chopped off before it was even finished. Every time, the proportions were a bit odd and it looked too much like a Swift with a boot added on as an afterthought. Which it was?
Enter the new Dzire. For the first time, they have differentiated it from the Swift which spawns it. The A pillar dismisses the wraparound look and is more curved where it meets the roof. The glass area is more sedan than a hatchback. The rear windscreen is no longer sharply raked and it flows gently into the boot lid, which now looks larger thanks to its top edges extending all the way into the C-pillar. The proportions are one of the best in the sub 4-metre sedan category. It looks like it was designed to be a sub 4-metre sedan from day one. They have even dropped the Swift budging and it is simply called the Dzire now. Most important of all, they launched it before the Swift so no comparisons are drawn between the two.
Styling is on the safe side, yet the front end is bound to polarize opinions. The wide open grille with its thick chrome surround is straddled by nicely shaped headlamps with DRLs inside. The side profile is curved and smooth with no pronounced shoulder line or sharp creases, while the rear will not be mistaken for anything but a Maruti. Like the headlamps, the tail lamps have LEDs too. The polished face alloy wheels have a busy design but will appeal to the masses.
Inside, things get even better with the modern looking dashboard, well-designed controls and layout. The interplay of black and beige is only broken by the small wood finish trim that runs across the middle. The steering feels remarkably similar to the one in a Jaguar. It is flat bottomed and good to hold, but has too much wood finish on it, to my liking. While the dashboard quality is not far improved from the old Dzire, the switches and knobs with their weighting and chrome surround feel premium enough. Maruti’s now familiar infotainment system finds its way to the Dzire too and is easy to operate. The instrument gauges look great, the ergonomics are good and there are many practical spaces inside the cabin. The front seats are much softer and wider than the outgoing model. The increase in wheelbase to 2450mm has liberated even more legroom at the back, which is very impressive for the segment. The seating position is good, though we wish it had more headroom at the rear. Boot space has gone up to 378 litres and it is better shaped than before.