CarWale Comparison: Tata Zest vs Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire
The compact sedans of today are right on the tail of the entry-level family sedan in sales, and for good reasons. They are lighter, more agile and more efficient. And with most of the lot ducking under the 4-metre length to enjoy the excise duty benefits of a small car, they are more affordable too.
It was the Tata Indigo CS which started off the compact sedan revolution here in the Indian market. Designed to offer similar levels of space and comfort of a regular Indigo sedan but with a shortened footprint to take advantage of the excise duty benefits valid for cars less than 4-metre long; the Indigo CS ruled the roost until Maruti Suzuki arrived with the second-generation Swift Dzire in early 2012.
Now, Tata seems all set to fight back as it prepares to launch the all-new Zest in the Indian market. Armed with a striking new design, better put together cabin and a modern new set of firepower, the Zest is more than likely to give the Swift Dzire a hard time in the compact sedan segment.
As is the case with most compact sedans, the design of the Tata Zest is based on its hatchback sibling. The front-end, in fact, is much like the Bolt with its large chrome-infested grille, swept back headlights, triangular fog lamps and double-slat air intake. The Swift Dzire, on the other hand, also borrows design cues from the Swift hatchback, with both models sharing the headlamps and the bonnet although Maruti has taken the liberty to make some key cosmetic differences. For instance, the Dzire sports a grille that is different from the Swift. Additionally, the compact sedan also features a lower air dam and restyled fog lamp recesses.
When viewed in profile, both the Zest and the Swift Dzire divide opinions in the way they look. While it’s the Tata which is the sportier looking of the two, the Swift Dzire manages to look modern and decently stylish, even after two years of existence.
Both the Zest and the Swift Dzire share quite a few design elements at the rear end. This includes the wrap-around taillights, thick chrome strip above the number plate holder, rear bumper-mounted fog light and a stubby boot.
Inside, there is no doubting the fact that the Zest has a more modern looking cabin. The stylized instrument cluster and the steering wheel really do lift up the cabin ambience. The two-tone dashboard, meanwhile, is said to have been better put together than any other Tata model of the past. Expect Tata to offer a 2-din infotainment system, climate control, steering mounted audio controls, ABS, airbags, Bluetooth connectivity and lots more in the top-spec variant.
The insides of the Swift Dzire, on the other hand, have been designed in a more conventional way. While the interior was a quantum leap forward over the original model when the new first Dzire came out, it now feels a little dated, with all the steady lines and the design of the seat fabric. In terms of features, Maruti is offering dual airbags, ABS with EBD, climate control, height adjustment for driver’s seat, fog lamps and some more in the top-spec ZDI and ZXI variants.
Designed and developed using Tata’s modified X1 platform, the Zest is an important model for Tata as it marks a strategic shift for the brand towards a global portfolio of cars designed to offer high performance and connectivity.
When launched, the Zest will come with a choice of two engine options - a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 84bhp and 140Nm of torque and a 1.3-litre Multijet diesel that produces 90bhp and 200Nm of torque. The 1.2-litre unit is from a new family of engines called Revotron that will underpin a new generation of Tata cars and will be in the range of 1 to 1.5-litres. Tata claims this 1.2-litre turbocharged MPFI engine uses drive-by-wire technology and a host of new technologies for optimum performance and refinement. Besides the regular 5-speed manual gearbox, the Zest is also expected to feature an AMT automatic gearbox.
The Swift Dzire, which is already on sale, comes powered by either a 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine producing 74bhp and 190Nm or a 1.2-litre K-Series petrol engine putting out 85bhp and 115Nm of torque. Both these petrol and diesel engines are known for delivering a class leading blend of performance and economy. As for gearbox options, Maruti is offering a 4-speed automatic model besides the regular 5-speeders. The former, however, is only available in VXI trim.
Price and competition
Price and competition
The Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire comes in at Rs 4.85 lakh for the entry-level LXI petrol variant, going all the way up to Rs 7.32 lakh for the top-spec ZDI diesel variant. Meanwhile, the automatic variant which is offered only in VXI petrol trim, comes in at Rs 6.34 lakh. Knowing Tata, we expect the Zest to undercut the Swift Dzire by some margin, with prices ranging between Rs 4.7 lakh to Rs 7.30 lakh. For those looking up for other options in the compact sedan segment, there’s also the Honda Amaze and the Hyundai Xcent.
As for those looking for latest information on new cars that are expected to hit the showrooms soon, make sure you explore our Upcoming Cars section.