The last time these two cars came together the Hyundai Grand i10 beat the Maruti Swift fair and square. It simply was a better car be it in terms of refinement, comfort, space or ease of driving. But times change and this time around the i10 is under threat from the Brand new Swift. So who wins? A comprehensive comparison test will deliver the answers.
In terms of design both look very different. Where the Grand i10 looks balanced, pleasing to the eye, the new Swift looks has a more sporty air around it. The boomerang shaped head and tail units a swift trait remains but it is more stylish and the internal elements with LED lights just look modern. What might not be to everyone's liking is the gaping front grille which might look like a bottom feeder fish to some. But overall in my eyes it's a handsome looking car.
The Swift not only looks butch, it is also by far the widest car of the two which should aid interior space considerably. Despite the large body, the Maruti is surprisingly the lightest, at an impressive 980kg with the Xcent being 110kg heavier.
The contrast in character between the two cars is apparent on the inside too. Starting with the Swift you get a dash that looks sporty thanks to the circular aircon vents and the climate control knobs. Even the all black cabin looks purposeful than looking light and cheery.
Which what exactly the Grand i10s cabin looks. It gets lighter colours which makes the cabin look airy. Although the dash design looks a bit too simple, ergonomics are simply outstanding. All the buttons and knobs are nice and chunky and the fact that the screen is placed high up on the dash makes it easy to operate while on the move.
Fit and finish has improved dramatically in the new swift. It looks richer than before and plastic quality is more consistent. But even now the Grand i10 boasts of even better fit and finish and although it doesn’t have any soft touch plastics the graining looks premium and panel gaps are consistent. The lighter cabin colours make it look richer too. When it comes to comfort both offer good space. While there isnt much to choose between the front seats at the rear the swift offers more space while the Grand i10 has more contoured seats. The low window line and lighter colours also makes it a more pleasant place to be in.
Moving to the boot it is easier to load heavy luggage in the Grand thanks to the low loading lip. The Swift though wins brownie points thanks to it having a slightly larger bay and 60:40 split folding rear seat which gives it more flexibility.
Both these cars are almost equally equipped but the Swift just inches forward as it offers automatic led headlamps and 2 airbags and ABS is standard across the range.
The Swift diesel comes with the same 1.3 litre 74bhp Fiat-sourced Multijet engine. Although there is no jump in power figures, the new Swift being significantly lighter helps improve its overall performance. Power delivery is the not as progressive as the Grand though, but still it feels relatively strong at low revs too. Post 1800rpm is where the action is, and the strong mid-range is where you should aim to be when you are driving. The combination of light kerb weight and strong motor helps the Swift post some impressive times. The 0-100kph is reached in a quick 12.12 seconds and even the in-gear time of 11.28 seconds for 20-80kph in third gear is quite impressive despite the initial turbo-lag.
The Grand i10’s updated 1.2-litre diesel motor punches well above its weight. This three-cylinder motor feels responsive right from idle, with no turbo lag to report. Even when you give it the stick, this low capacity motor responds quite well. Although from behind the wheel, the Hyundai feels quick enough, it still falls short of the Swift when tested against the clock. It takes xx seconds to reach 100kmph and the top speed of xxx is the lowest of the group too.
In terms of engine refinement, the Swift does quite well thanks to the impressive sound insulation. The biggest surprise here is the Hyundai, despite having a three-cylinder engine. Save for vibrations at idle, the engine runs smoothly and sound insulation is even better than the Swift.
The lighter chassis has not only helped Swift’s straight-line performance but it has taken the dynamics a notch higher too. The Maruti drives over the broken roads with utter ease and nothing seems to faze this hatch. What’s also special is the flat and consistent manner in which the suspension works. At lower speeds, you do feel some firmness especially when the car isn’t loaded. But still, it never gets uncomfortable and ride comfort is one of Swift’s strengths.
The Hyundai Grand i10 has a cushy ride too but it can’t match the Swift when it comes to suspension refinement and damping consistency. Medium-sized potholes are dispatched with ease but it gets caught out by sharp-edged bumps, as the suspension tends to thud through them. Even on an undulating highway, there is more up and down motion in the Hyundai and the brakes feel a bit spongy too.
When it comes to handling, here too, the well calibrated suspension on the Swift doesn’t disappoint. Through corners, the Maruti shows good poise with well-contained body roll. It feels nimble and the well-judged controls ensures a stress-free drive in both city and on the highway. The Grand i10 gives you a disconnected driving experience as the car tends to roll more than the Swift and the light steering, although good in the city, feels a bit too inert at high speeds.
The Hyundai Grand i10 is the most fuel efficient of the two but the Maruti isn’t far behind. The Hyundai returned an impressive 14.9kmpl and 19.3kmpl in the city and highway cycles respectively. On the other hand, the Swift returned 14.6kmpl in the city and 19.1kmpl on the highway.
The Maruti Swift diesel in the top ZDi + variant is the most expensive with it costing Rs 9.72 lakhs (on-road, Mumbai). Despite having loads of equipment, the Grand i10 in the Asta trim is much more affordable which makes it a great value for money buy. It costs Rs 8.84 lakh on-road, Mumbai
Hyundai Grand i10 Asta CRDi
Price: Rs 8.84 lakhs On-road, Mumbai
The Grand i10 is likable, with a great cabin, lots of equipment, it is also easy to drive, is efficient and is good value for money too. It’s a well-rounded product but now with the arrival of the new Swift it feels a notch lower in almost every department. It comes second best to the Swift when it comes to cabin space, performance, dynamics and features.
Maruti Swift ZDi +
Price: Rs 9.72 lakhs On-road, Mumbai
As you would have figured by now, there are no major weaknesses in the new Swift. It gets a premium cabin, elegant exteriors, good interior space, loads of equipment, is very practical and the lighter new chassis has improved performance as well as dynamics too. The new Swift not only looks better than before, it has upped its game in nearly every department and is our clear winner.
Pictures by: Kapil Angane