Hyundai i-Gen i20 versus Maruti Suzuki Swift: Diesel comparison

Does the recently launched i-Gen i20 diesel have what it takes to out sell the hot selling Swift diesel? Let’s find out.

i20 vs swift

Hyundai launched the facelifted i20 in March 2012 with new front and rear styling, refreshed interior and a few more features. Back in August 2011, Maruti Suzuki launched the facelifted Swift with minor design changes.

Both the cars are among the top picks among premium hatchback buyers. But what makes these two cars stand apart from each other? Which performs better? Which offers more mileage and features? You will find the answers to all of them in this article. We take the Swift ZDi and pitch it against the i20 diesel Asta.

Performance and Handling

hyundai i20 igen photo

The 1.3-litre diesel engine in the Swift needs no introduction for it is one of the most widely used engine across car makers such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata and Fiat. The Swift diesel engine puts out 74 bhp of power and 190 Nm of peak torque available at 2,000 rpm. The i20 diesel is powered by a 1.4-litre U2 CRDi diesel engine that puts out 88.7 bhp of power and 219 Nm of peak torque.

The peak torque delivery of the i20, coming in at as low as 1,500 rpm is a boon in city traffic conditions especially while driving in bumper to bumper traffic. Expect the i20’s engine to demand less gear shifts unlike the Swift which has to be revved a bit more to tackle with the turbo lag below 2,000 rpm. Coming to long drivers, the sixth gear in the new i20 will help in keeping the engine rpm low and achieving slightly better fuel economy.

When it comes to handling, the Swift excels, thanks to its stiff suspension setup that controls vertical movements and a precise steering feedback that inspires confidence when driving through corners. We haven’t driven the new i20 and so we are yet to see if it can handle as good as the Swift.

Summing up, performance wise, the new i20 diesel has an edge over the Swift but we have to wait and drive it to see if it can match up with the Swift in terms of handling.

Space and Comfort

Space is one aspect where the Swift leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, the 210 litres of tiny boot space together with a high loading bay and no rear split seats make the Swift, a bit impractical on family outings. On the other hand, the new i20 offers 295 litres of luggage space and the rear seats also come with 60:40 split. The front seats in the Swift offer good overall support while at the rear, the legroom is just adequate and headroom for tall passengers is insufficient.

2011maruti swift photo40
Photo: The New Swift has improved in terms of the space carved out but the i20 is still ahead

Further, the small rear window and dark interior shades may make the rear occupants feel claustrophobic especially during long journeys. The new i20 front seats offers excellent support and has a bit more legroom than the Swift. At the rear too, the i20 is wide enough (1,170 mm) to allow three passengers sit comfortably.

The new i20 has an edge over the Swift when it comes to space and comfort.

Looks

Hyundai easily gives a dynamic road stance to its cars with their fluidic design theme. The new i20 is one such model which has been given a fluidic treatment evident from the curvy headlamps, hexagonal radiator grille and refreshed fog lamp design. The rear of the new i20 features redesigned tail lamp cluster and refreshed bumper with integrated reflectors that adds to the car’s safety. While the earlier i20 felt disconnected when compared with its i10 and Eon in terms of design, the new i20 has become a true Hyundai with attractive curves and lines.

Maruti Suzuki played safe by launching the new Swift with minimal design changes. The blacked out A-pillars, large headlamp design and sporty grille up front gives the new Swift only mildly different from the old Swift. On the side profile, there are no major changes except new alloy wheels and turn indicators on outside mirrors. The rear of the Swift features tail lamp cluster with vertical slat separating the brake lights from the turn indicators and fog lights. The boot door design looks a bit awkward forming an unnecessarily wide gap for the number plate but otherwise, the Swift looks sporty when looked from most angles. The new i20 is slightly more attractive than the Swift.

Features

Premium hatchbacks offer lots of features and that’s what makes them a class apart over the entry-level hatchbacks. Both the new i20 Asta and the Swift ZDI offer safety features such as airbags, ABS and EBD, comfort features such as automatic climate control, electrically adjustable mirrors, driver seat height adjust, tilt steering, music system and steering mounted audio controls. Read more about why the New Hyundai i-Gen i20 is a great car for its features.

 

i20 push button start
Photo: The new i20 has features like push button start which makes it more attractive than the Swift

But the new i20 offers lot more features such as Bluetooth, push button for engine start/stop, telescopic steering adjust, rain sensing wipers, auto headlights, rear camera with display on ECM (electro chromatic mirror) and rear parking sensors. Hence, when it comes to features, the new i20 has an advantage over the Swift.

Price, mileage and VFM

The Swift ZDI costs Rs. 6.76 lakh which is Rs. 68,000 cheaper than the new i20 Asta which costs Rs. 7.44 lakh. When it comes to mileage, the Swift diesel has ARAI-certified mileage of 23.4 kmpl which is slightly higher than the ARAI-certified mileage of the new i20 (21.9 kmpl). Overall, the Swift costs less but comes with slightly better fuel economy, making it a good VFM as against the pricey i20. Read our New Maruti Suzuki Swift road test here.

Pros and Cons

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Verdict

If you want a feature-rich, spacious and stylish hatchback that offers quality interiors and great performance, pick the new i20. If you want a sporty hatchback that returns great fuel economy, handles well and is also low on maintenance, go for the Swift.