If you have been a fan of the Maruti Suzuki Swift, you would find the new third-generation model to be rather intriguing, even if it isn’t the last word in cabin space or plush ride quality. I have been running one, in the ever-so-practical diesel AMT spec, for the last few months and have come to this conclusion that it is truly practical and one of the most relevant small cars one can buy right now.
As revealed in our previous long term report, the Swift has been an impressive daily driver, with its big car feel and great highway manners. That being said, I was keen to talk about how it fares within the city limits. Is it easy to drive? Easy to look out of and park? Read on to find out.
Besides seeing plenty of action during my commute between Kalyan and Navi Mumbai, the Swift has been a frequent visitor to our in-house studio in Pune. Its nippy diesel engine offers enough punch to zip through the choked streets, while the quick steering and the grown-up chassis form a perfect match when the road clears up and you want to have some fun. The tight proportions also mean parking the Swift into tight spaces isn’t that big a deal. That said, the thick C-pillar is worrisome when you have to park at night or in low light conditions. Also, our test car is one below the top-spec ZDi Plus AMT trim and misses out on parking assist – a rear view camera would definitely come in handy.
The five-speed AMT is among the smoothest I have experienced in budget diesel cars and it makes the Swift an incredibly relaxing car to drive, thanks in no small part to the supportive seats and the well laid-out controls that are easily accessible even on the move. I have put thousands of kilometres on the clock driving purely in the city and not once has the average fuel efficiency dipped below 15kmpl, so it’s a legit inexpensive to run hatchback, one that I have grown to like with every passing month.
Any negatives after six months? A couple, yes. Although the all-black cabin looks really neat, it’s not as robust as I would have liked – there is a hint of squeak coming from the front seat rails and a rattle from the passenger-side of the dashboard as well. Secondly, the AMT, especially because of the spiky power delivery of the diesel engine, is somewhat jerky when pressing on, however, under light throttle it’s a smooth operator and leaves little room for complaints. All in all, the Swift continues to be impressive and I remain convinced that it’s the best midsize premium hatch you can buy, and by a fair margin.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi
Click here for our previous long term reports/reviews of the Maruti Suzuki Swift