What could be a better comparison among the hatchback cars in India than comparing the new kid on the block, the Volkswagen  Polo against the emperor Maruti Suzuki Swift?

Quick comparison

  • After sales service: Suzuki Swift
  • Mileage / fuel efficiency: Volkswagen Polo
  • Build quality: Volkswagen Polo
  • Power: Suzuki Swift
  • Interiors: Volkswagen Polo
  • Headroom / legroom etc: Tied
  • Boot: Tied

Maruti Suzuki Swift

Maruti Suzuki Swift comparison

Photo: Maruti Suzuki Swift

Lets get you the brief history of both these cars. The Suzuki Swift was born here in India as a replacement for the ageing Esteem at a time when Hyundai, Tata and others were reaping rich rewards with their small hatchback cars. The Swift was an instant hit: in fact, people decided to buy the car when the first photos of the Swift ever appeared on the Net!


Despite the face that it was priced higher than most other hatchback cars, the Swift become the best-seller in its class. Worldwide, the design of the Swift was loved: and automobile blog Autoblog once even called it some of the best cars in the world which they could not get in the United States.

From the flank and front, the shape of the Maruti Suzuki Swift – with blacked out pillars and dark windows, and the car painted while – looked like totally cool motorcycle helmet! From the back, though, it reminded many of a bean bag, or a frog. The shape was liked by many and criticized by some – for some reason, Kerala was one of the few states which resisted the Swift’s allure for almost five years.

That Maruti Suzuki had one of the best after sales service networks in India, which none of the other auto companies could match till date, also helped Swift reach its pinnacle. Designed and conceived by Suzuki in Japan the Swift has a very Japanese design to it.

Volkswagen Polo: Origins!

volkswagen polo comparison photo

Photo: The Volkswagen Polo abroad

Volkswagen launched the Polo in India a few months back, easily the most anticipated car in recent times. The New Volkswagen Polo got a roaring response and bookings have been big. Polo being an prime model in the small car space from Volkswagen and the company has high expectations from it. The engineers from Volkswagen haven’t tried anything too different from the European version except for a few minor changes to the headlamps and small modifications to the bumper.

Volkswagen Polo 1.2 petrol photo

Photo: The Volkswagen Polo 1.2 petrol we road tested

The Volkswagen Polo’s design is more graceful and elegent while the Suzuki Swift looks sporty and squat. The Polo is longer than the Swift in length by 210mm but in the width department the Swift beats the Polo but not by much.

On the other hand the Suzuki Swift scores over the VW Polo as it’s a proven work horse from the Maruti stable. Recently Maruti upgraded its engine to the BS IV complaint K-Series engine which is 1197 cc and rated at 85 bhp. While the Volkswagen Polo makes do with a 1198 3pot petrol engine which makes 75bhp. If you want a more powerful, super reliable car, the answer still the Maruti Suzuki Swift. Related: Volkswagen Polo 1.2 petrol road test

The Suzuki Swift is also a lighter car as compared to the Polo. Drivability of the Swift is superior as compared to the Volkswagen Polo where the drive is more tuned for within city and traffic conditions, the Swifts engine feels more at home on highways where the Polo misses the 4th cylinder during quick overtaking  attempts – otherwise no flaws with the German car.

Overall quality of the Volkswagen Polo is high – clearly better than the Suzuki Swift. The Swift’s interior isn’t in the Polo’s league. The doors of the Polo open and close with a more solid, sedan-like feel.

The Swift is a much taller car as opposed to the Polo but the Polo gets the seat height adjuster which comes to its rescue. Rear seat comfort is better in the Polo as the overall seat fabric and design comes to aid on those long journeys. Also see: Polo vs. Swift vs. i20: Which car is more value for money?

Head room on the Swift is more as it’s a much taller car. The boot of the Polo is slightly more than the Swifts.

Not many cars can beat the Volkswagen Polo for its best in class ride quality, while the Swift comes close but the Polo wins here. Ride quality, handling the Polo comes trouncing while the Swift wins in the acceleration and top speed department. Ride and interior quality, Polo wins.

Fuel efficiency of the VW Polo is better and is benefited by the 3 cylinder engine which scored 17 kmpl while the Swift does 15kmpl. If fuel efficiency is critical, the Volkswagen Polo wins the comparison.

At the end of the day, if it is the price that matters to you, then the Maruti Suzuki Swift is the car for you. It is also backed by the best after sales service (ASS) and spares are priced at much lower than any other car in its segment. But if you want something that’s built like a tank and drives like silk and are ready to pay that extra premium for for the ASS and spares then the VW Polo is the one for you. Also read: Maruti Swift diesel road test

Prices for the Petrol Polo start at 4.34lakhs while the Swift start at 4.32lakhs Ex Showroom.