The all-new 2018 Maruti Suzuki Swift will be launched at the upcoming Auto Expo that is scheduled to take place next month. We drove the car earlier this week and you can read our views as well as have a detailed look at the car via the links below
Swift variants explained
So, how ‘new’ is the all-new Swift and is there anything that you, as a prospective owner, did not know yet? Lets have a look:
Its an all-new design
The new Swift looks completely different from the outgoing version. And as expected, it has the same front end as the new Dzire but did you know there are minor differences like lack of chrome around the grille and different execution for the lower part of the bumper?We love the pull back headlamps and LED treatment for both the front and rear lamps. These along with the projectors are standard on the top end model. The side profile does remind you of the older Swift but that’s about it. Clever elements include the floating roof and pillar mounted handle for the rear door.
The rear is absolutely new with a prominent lip on the boot. The new Swift gets an all-new design for the alloy wheels too.
Dimensions however are almost identical to the older model. Its shorter by 10mm and wider by 40mm – fractional changes here.
It uses a new platform
The new Swift uses Suzuki’s 5th generation B-platform which is also seen in the Baleno and the Dzire. Called the HEARTECT, this new platform offers more cabin space and was developed keeping in mind the upcoming 2018 Indian crash test regulations. Inspite of being lighter by as much as 100kg depending on the fuel option, the new platform is stiffer and uses materials like high tensile steel.
The cabin is all-new
If you thought the current generation Swift has sporty interiors, wait till you see this one. The design is almost identical to that of the Dzire with the main differentiating factor being the all-black theme. We love that flat bottom steering and the twin pod instrumentation console behind it. The red dial theme works great and did you know the entire cockpit is driver centric with a slight tilt of 5 degrees?
The rotary vents and rotary dials for the climate control add a touch of retro-ness without disturbing the overall ‘premium’ feel. Maruti’s Smart Play infotainment system is standard in the Z+ trim and owners will never be short on storage spaces. The Z and Z+ versions also get smart keyless entry with push button start.
The seats are new and enthusiasts will simply love the extra side bolstering. They hug you well without taking out the comfort factor. Quality of materials remains high and we couldn’t find any fault with the build quality during our drive.
The new range topping Z+ version
Did you know the new Swift is now available in ZDI+ and ZXI+ versions? These are new additions and offer you even more features including the SmartPlay touch screen infotainment system with display for the reverse camera, day time running lights, projector headlamps, precision cut alloy wheels and auto headlamps. These features enable the new Swift to rub shoulders with some of the most feature loaded cars in the segment.
Automatic transmission option
For the first time, the Swift will now be offered with optional automatic transmission options with both fuel models. AMT (automated manual transmission) or AGS (auto gear shift) in Maruti’s lingo, is a welcome addition and will be offered on the V and Z trim levels. The AGS ‘box comes with a manual mode as well wherein you can take charge of the transmission and change gears as per your liking.
Its quicker, faster and more efficient
Although the new Swift continues to come with the same engine options of a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre diesel with same power and torque figures, thanks to a lighter kerb weight, the Swift gets performance gains. Maruti claims in terms of acceleration, the petrol and diesel versions see gains of 10% and 8% respectively. The company has also re-calibrated the engine tuning for a peppier edge over its sedan sibling.
The new Swift is more efficient too. ARAI (automotive research association of India) figures stand at 22 kmpl for the petrol and 28.4 kmpl for the diesel option – this makes it the most fuel efficient car in India (along with the Dzire)
The new Swift, although lighter, has a stiffer chassis. This comes handy during accidents wherein the crumple zones are able to disperse the impact energy into various directions in a better and safer manner. Maruti claims the new Swift passes the upcoming Indian crash test regulations and it meets the front offset, side impact and pedestrian safety regulations.
ABS (anti lock braking) with EBD, dual front airbags and ISOFIX mounts for child seats are standard across all variants. Other safety aids include front belts with pre-tensioners and force limiter and pinch guard for driver side front window.
At the same time, there are a few areas where the new Swift could do better. Did you know the Swift misses out on the following?
Even the range topping Z+ version does not offer a front arm rest or rear air-con vents. The speedometer too lacks a temperature gauge – we enthusiasts love seeing dials and needles in the console you see!
It sits lower
The new Swift has a lower ground clearance of just 163mm. This combined with a longer wheelbase means the hatchback will have a tendency to touch bigger speed breakers when driven with a load of passengers or when driven over bad roads. Not a deal breaker but something that we Indians are particular about!
An opportunity lost with the AGS
With growing interest in automatic cars, prospective owners will surely miss the AGS / AMT option in the top-end ZXI+ / ZDI+ versions. These versions are only offered with the 5-speed manual gearbox. This means if you opt for the automatic Swift, you will have to do without features like DRLs, projector lamps, precision cut alloy wheels and SmartPlay Infotainment system.
These little shortcomings aside, we feel the all-new 2018 Maruti Swift has improved across all other parameters. It looks fabulous, rides better, is quicker and comes with great new interiors. It might have lost a small edge in terms of the previous generation’s brilliant handling package but that’s a small compromise when you consider the overall gains which would cater to a wider audience. Prices will be revealed early month.