Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire was a run away success when launched. Is it a sensible used buy? We find out
Maruti started work on the booted variant of the Swift as soon as the hatchback was launched. The sedan would be the replacement for the venerable Esteem which had carved a niche for itself over the years as a fuel efficient and reliable car. The company launched the Dzire in the first quarter of 2008 and it hasn’t looked back since.
The Dzire looks exactly like the Swift from the front up to the B-pillar beyond which all the changes occur. It gets different rear doors and a boot. The boot lid is high and in profile the car looks ungainly at best.
Maruti cars are usually trouble free and maintenance costs pretty low. Though an owner may not have been as loving and that means the car has not been looked after. Pay attention to high mileage cars, mainly diesels, which may have a suspension issue which the tyres will reveal.
The car was launched in both petrol and diesel engine options, not common for a Maruti. The petrol engine was the same 1.3-litre G-series power plant from the Esteem and produced 85bhp. The diesel engine was the 1.3-litre Fiat engine badged the DDIS which produced 75bhp. Both engines are fuel efficient with the petrol enginereturning 12kmpl in city and 17kmpl on the highway. The diesel iseven more efficient and travels almost 15kmpl in city and will stretch it to 22kmpl on the highway. The car was recently upgraded with a new petrol Kseries engine.
The Dzire is based on the Swift and shares its mechanicals with it. Even the wheelbase is the same as the hatch. The ride quality is good at low speeds especially at the back. At high speeds though, it isn’t as composed. It handles decently well too, but again not as well as the Swift. The steering is precise but feels mute and artificial.
Inside the car is decently spacious and the rear seat back is more reclined and there is ood headroom at the back. Front seats are big and comfortable and come with height adjust in higher trim level. There isn’t much shoulder room and seating three abreast is a bit of a squeeze. The boot, at 440 litres, is quite big and useful, but since its a little high, it hampers visibility from the inside. The car is well equipped too, but again in the higher trims.
Ford Fiesta diesel is a good alternative to the Dzire. It is slightly roomier and as fuel efficient and is a better driver’s car. It is available at a slightly lesser price point too and Ford has been regularly bringing the servicing and spares prices down the ladder over the past couple of years. Otherwise the Hyundai Accent can be looked at, though it is a generation older than the Dzire, Hyundai servicing is pretty competitive.
If you have had enough of small cars and want to upgrade to a sedan but still want the fuel efficiency and cheap maintenance of a small car, the Dzire has all the bases covered. It is fairly practical, has a big boot, is efficient and maintenance costs won’t burn a hole in the pocket. Its size isn’t imposing and is easy to pilot in the city. The diesel is our recommendation for its torquey nature and fuel efficiency.