The Swift is powered by the tried-and-tested four-cylinder Fiat sourced 1.3-litre turbo-diesel engine. There's no change in power output, meaning it produces 74bhp and 190Nm of torque like its predecessor. We noticed that on the go, one needs to keep the revs hovering over 1900rpm for adequate response, especially while commuting in traffic. Post this, it does get more vocal with the distinct engine clatter. Thankfully, what helps is the fact that the Swift is light, but even then, one needs to constantly go up and down the five-speed gearbox to extract the most out of this engine. What works in its favour is the light clutch and the crisp gear shifts.
The Figo, on the other hand, gets a powerful 1.5-litre diesel motor that produces 99bhp of power and 215Nm of torque. This mill is comparatively less noisy and has a better throttle response. The turbo lag isn't that pronounced and post 1,750rpm one can feel a nice tug. Sure, the Swift has the advantage of being light weight, but then the Figo makes up for it with more power and torque. All the same, some people might not like the rubbery gear shifts here and a little heavier clutch with springy action, especially when driving in traffic. The highlight, however, is that unlike the Swift, you don’t need to constantly shift gears to make progress and all you need to do is ride the linear torque curve. Overall, you’ll appreciate its more responsive nature which ultimately also makes it feel more relaxed at high speeds too.
When it comes to the ride and handling bits, the loose steering on the Swift might feel easier to use than the tighter one on the Figo, especially while manoeuvring through traffic. And, even if it does weigh up at higher speeds, it isn't as precise as the Figo's, which also provides a better feedback. But while taking a corner, one will certainly realise how sharper, quicker and more planted the Figo feels than the Swift. Both the cars get McPherson struts in the front and torsion/twist beam type suspension at the rear. But of course, they are differently tuned and as a result the Figo feels more planted with its adept suspension. Though tyre noise can be heard at triple-digit speeds, its high speed stability is phenomenal. Yet, the Swift absorbs bumps better, while the sharper potholes do send a jolt in the Figo's cabin. All in all, the Swift, despite its lighter controls, isn't as exciting to drive or confidence inspiring as the Figo.