Long Term Report 2
Pros: Good ergonomics, quality
Cons: lack of touchscreen system
It’s already been two months since one of India’s most popular hatchbacks entered our long term garage. Yes, we are talking about the Swift and in our case, we have been driving the ZDi AGS powered model.
In our first report, we introduced you to the car and gave you some background with regard to what we would be working with. In this first deep dive report, we decided to provide an insight into its features and some of the cabin ergonomics as this is one of the first things that catches the attention of the buyer once they get into a rhythm with the vehicle.
Back in black
The all-black theme has been carried over from the previous generation car, but now it comes with an improvement in terms of plastic quality. The centre console gets soft touch plastics while the rest of the dash gets a harder standard material with a grainy surface which might not be very attractive to look at, but it does have a nice feel to it. There’s also a large silver insert on the dashboard as well and little chrome bezels for everything and these elements do well to contrast the black plastics. Of particular notice is also the instrument cluster. The fonts are clear and the chrome ring around the display prevents glare from blocking out the view.
Click it and go
Since getting the car and putting it to the daily grind, we have discovered that the ergonomics are quite good and one of the places this is quite visible is in the climate control dials. The whole set up comprises of three dials with the centre one being a display for the readout. The temperature and fan speed dials have a system where each increase or decrease is felt through clicks that the dial makes. It might seem like a simple thing but it will allow the user to gain muscle memory with regard to operating the system, thereby allowing them to be focussed on the road for longer.
Two other neat touches we found were with the front cup holders and the positioning of the phone function switches on the steering. The cup holders are wide and rectangular, a shape that allows them to be used to keep a wider range of stuff. Positioning the telephony switches where they are means one hand is always available to keep a firm grip on the wheel at all times.
Please do not touch the display
Moving on to the stuff that didn’t sit so well with us, it is surprising to see that Maruti Suzuki only offers the touchscreen system on the top-of-the-line ‘+’variants. This is a feature that is definitely popular with buyers and bringing in even one with a smaller display would have surely raised the stakes.
One door at a time
Another feature that we found cumbersome was that keyless entry system only opens the driver’s door when you activate it the first time and needs to be clicked again to open the other doors. That being said, I feel that finding this feature cumbersome is mostly because till date we have been used to keyless entry systems opening all the doors of the car when activated. But if one thinks about it, one can see that this method of opening just the driver’s door on first click makes the car more secure, especially in public parking spaces.
In our next report, we will be looking at how the Swift performs out on the highway. With the South West monsoon season just around the corner, it looks like a trip from Mumbai to Goa is in order and that should give me an idea of what this car is like on the blacktop and through the ghats that dot the route and region of my travel.
Photos: Kaustubh Gandhi