Would you believe that one of the highest selling cars in the history of the Indian car market has been placed in the bottom 3? Well, neither did we, until we put Maruti Suzuki’s SmartPlay Infotainment system through the rigors of our tests. It’s beaten the Honda system but just barely.
In the screen test, it scores the same as the others, thanks to its 7-inch display and in addition, the whole test team has rated its display quite highly with regard to visibility in sunlight. This, we think, is down to a well-calibrated backlighting system as well as the bright colour palette that Maruti has used in the colour schemes.
The Maruti infotainment system has performed poorly in the ergonomics test, ranking 5/6. Firstly, there are no physical buttons which enhances its appearance. But it doesn’t do much in terms of making things easy to use. There’s no haptic feedback when you use the control surfaces and in fact, the only other major saving grace for the system is that the screen has been angled and placed well.
The graphics on the Dzire’s screen are clean, crisp and work well with the colour scheme to provide an easy to use system. This makes it user friendly, but when you look at it in comparison to the top 3 systems, there’s no extra oomph that makes it stand out. Then there’s the fact that for every process, one needs to go through multiple menus to get going and this can get very distracting while driving.
One other place where the Dzire has done well is with regard to the voice command recognition system as it was able to pick a wide range of voices and performed all the commands we threw at it quite easily.
As features go, it gets AUX-IN and a single USB port in terms physical connectivity and the system does connectivity for both Android and Apple devices. In fact, Maruti Suzuki was one of the first manufacturers to jump on this bandwagon and provided this option on the pre-facelift S-Cross when it was launched in 2015. Also included in this package is an SD card slot and the option to connect an external DVD player.
Photos: Kapil Angane