New Maruti Suzuki Dzire review: A successful family car gets even better
Maruti Suzuki’s hot-selling compact sedan returns in an all-new avatar. Here’s an exclusive rundown on it.autos Updated: May 27, 2017 11:06 IST
The Maruti Dzire has been the undisputed champion in the sub-four-metre, compact sedan segment since the time it went on sale in 2008. Through its various iterations, it’s gone from being a Swift hatchback with a boot strapped on, to being a competent sedan in its own right. So much so that for its latest avatar, Maruti has dropped ‘Swift’ badge from the Dzire’s moniker altogether. But there’s a lot more to the new Dzire than a name change.
The car you see here is all new and looks the part too. It’s better proportioned than any Dzire before, and that too while remaining under four metres in length. The improved shape is thanks to the rear windscreen that is steeper raked now, and also because the boot is better integrated into the body. It’s got a smart new face, replete with new headlamps (with projector beams on fully-loaded variants), and chunky chrome surrounding the grille. Even the rear end, with the LED tail-lamps, and chrome accents looks neat, but when viewed from the back, the car’s stance appears unusually raised. Also, the 165-section tyres and 14-inch wheels offered on the lower variants look a touch weedy.
Like the last Dzire, the interior has a beige and black theme, but the design is all-new. Plastics are hard and quality isn’t too different from the outgoing car; several parts and switchgear are common even. However, some bits feel really nice. For example, the multifunction, flat-bottom steering wheel, looks sporty, is nice to hold, and gets buttons that are of high quality. The front seats are supportive and comfy, plus, there’s ample height adjustment for the driver’s seat; as before, the steering is only adjustable for tilt and not for reach. Ergonomics on the whole are agreeable though, and there’s a good amount of storage space as well. While the wood insert on the dashboard might look classy at first glance, look closely and it feels a bit low grade. Then, there’s the inside mirror which is small and the large front head-rests hinder visibility.
Sporting a longer wheelbase than its predecessor, the new Dzire has more legroom at the back. Two tall people can sit one behind another in reasonable comfort. However, headroom for taller occupants at the back is very tight. Despite being much wider than before – and also wider than competition – a third occupant at the back will be a tight squeeze. What’s nice is that there are air-con vents and a 12V power socket for the rear passengers. The Dzire’s boot has grown in size too, measuring a far more respectable 378 litres, and it is practically shaped too. The loading lip, though, is still a bit high.
The engines are the same as before. There’s an 83hp, 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol and a 75hp, 1.3-litre, four-cylinder diesel. Both come with a five-speed manual and an automated manual transmission (AMT) option. Maruti engineers have managed to make the engines a lot more efficient than before, claiming 22.0kpl for the petrol and 28.4kpl for the diesel, thanks in a big way to a much lighter weight.
Like before, the petrol engine is really silent and barely audible at idling revs. It feels responsive straight off the line, and delivers power in a nice and smooth manner. It makes a sporty sound once past 3,500 revs freely, all the way to 6,300rpm. The five-speed manual transmission is a joy to use and the throws are short and very smooth. The clutch, though, feels a bit springy and tends to fight back with your left foot.
The petrol AMT is eager to shift up and the transition between gears is noticeable and a bit jerky at times. It isn’t seamless like conventional automatics or a CVT gearbox. However, it does give you the option to shift gears manually.
About the diesel, it isn’t responsive from the word go, and there’s a noticeable delay before the power kicks in. Once the revs build, boost is quite strong and the engine spins quite freely. However, the motor is loud and clattery, and sounds crude at high revs.
What’s nice is that ride quality is noticeably better than the outgoing car. It feels more settled over bad sections of road and the bumps aren’t as jarring any more. It soaks up road imperfections in a very mature manner and feels nice and absorbent.
With a tight 4.8m turning radius, this sedan is effortless to manoeuvre in the city. The steering is quite light and easy to twirl too, but it feels a bit vague and lacks feel. However, the diesel feels a bit heavier and more connected in comparison.
In its latest avatar, the Dzire looks is tailor-made to cater to the demands of customers. It’s got all the right ingredients – space, practicality, comfort, good equipment on top variants, frugal engines and, above everything, the backing of Maruti’s extensive sales and support network. Also, the inclusion of ABS with EBD, and dual airbags as standard across the range is an excellent move that’s sure to go down well with increasingly safety-conscious Indians. With a wide introductory price range of Rs 5.45-9.41 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), there should be a Dzire variant for everyone. Maruti seems to have another blockbuster on its hands.