Snapshot – The Maruti Suzuki Swift is the best selling B+ segment hatchback in India. Over 15,000 buyers opt for this car each month, which should give you an idea about how popular this car is.Don’t let the sales figures fool you into thinking that the Swift will suit your hatchback needs perfectly. The car, its best seller credentials notwithstanding, is not for everyone.
Today, we take a look at this popular hatchback’s shortcomings and list out four types of people who should not buy the Swift. Along the way, we’ll tell you about alternatives too.
If you’re someone who values a solidly built car, the Maruti Suzuki Swift may not make the cut for you. Well put together, the Swift is, but solid? Well, you’ll have to look for other options. The Swift’s structure has been rated as unsafe by Global-NCAP, after the India-spec hatchback fared very poorly in the frontal collision test. Also, bad roads give the Swift the rattles, another aspect that’s a bummer for many car buyers who want a car that feels like it rolled out of the showroom even after a couple of years and a few ten thousand kilometers.
The Fiat Grande Punto may not have turbo kick of the Maruti Swift but is built much more solidly. It also helps that the Fiat car has a sorted ride and handling, which adds to the feel of safety. The car gobbles bad roads like it’s nobody’s business and the high ground clearance is the cherry on the cake.
If you want a spacious hatchback, look elsewhere. The Swift is not spacious for those who are well built, and the high belt line means that the car’s rear seat can get very claustrophobic. If you want to transport four well built adults in comfort, the Swift simply doesn’t make sense. The lack of space is especially pronounced at the rear, where tall passengers will struggle for leg room. The all-black innards don’t help either, adding to the passengers’ feelings of being cooped up.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Hyundai Grand i10 should do if for you as far as space is concerned. If you can stretch your budget, the Hyundai i20 Elite does come across a car spacious enough to seat four well built adults in comfort. It also helps that both the Grand i10 and i20 Elite have a rear blower, another allowance in favour of comfort.
You seek outright power and torque. The Swift, despite its light kerb weight, falls far behind competition when it comes to delivering an outright advantage in the power and torque stakes. The petrol powered Swift makes 86 Bhp-112 Nm, while the diesel powered model is rated at 74 Bhp-190 Nm. While the 1.2 liter K-Series petrol and the 1.3 liter Multijet turbo diesel motors offer decent pep that can excite most drivers, they’re simply not cut out for the enthusiast market.
The Volkswagen Polo GT twins make for a great Swift alternate for the buyer looking for thrilling performance. The Polo GT TSI features a 1.2 liter TSI turbocharged petrol motor with 103 Bhp-175 Nm on tap. The 7 speed twin clutch DSG motor makes the car a hoot to drive. On the other hand, the Polo GT TDI is a torque bomb, with 250 Nm getting churned from the 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel motor, which also delivers 103 Bhp of peak power.
If you want your ride to be unique, and to stand out, the Swift in stock form will put you at a distinct disadvantage. The hatchback has been around since 2011, but the second generation car’s shape is similar to its original form, which made its India debut in 2005. A big sales spinner for Maruti Suzuki, nearly 1.5 million Swift hatchbacks have been sold, making the car a little too common on Indian roads. Some even say that the car’s looks are now a little jaded due to the sheer number of Swifts on the streets.
The Hyundai Elite i20 is a grand looker, and one that manages to make people take a second look. That the car is less than a year old in the Indian car market only adds to its advantage. So, if it is looks that you’re after, the Hyundai car will serve your purpose very well.