Maruti Suzuki is planning to launch the compact version of its Dzire entry-level sedan during the Delhi Auto Expo in January 2012. But, the launch could be even earlier (November/December 2011), as the trial productions of this car has already begun at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar factory.
The smaller sedan will be cheaper because of lower duties that will apply to the reduced size of the car. Buyers can look forward to better value in the sedan segment with this car – a sedan which is cheaper, offers good mileage, and all the associated brand and service advantages of a Maruti Suzuki.
The car does not have a name yet. The compact Dzire is likely be fitted with 90 bhp petrol and 90 bhp diesel engines. While the 90 bhp petrol could be based on the Swift’s 1.2 K-series engine, the diesel motor (DDiS) could be sourced from Fiat. Fiat already has a 90 bhp Multijet diesel that powers the Punto. This engine may likely be used by Maruti Suzuki in the Dzire compact sedan.
The mileage of the Dzire compact will be in line with that of the Swift. The ARAI-certified mileage figure of the Swift petrol is 18.6 kmpl and that of Swift diesel is 22.9 kmpl. Also read: New Maruti Suzuki Swift petrol road test
Will the car redefine things in terms of looks and comfort?
The new Dzire will likely have the same comfort levels in the front and the rear as the new Swift on which it is based. Hence, expect good room for front passengers, while the rear will be best for two occupants and tighter for three passengers. The raised shoulder line and limited rear glass area could make the rear cramped and claustrophobic.
What are the expectations in terms of features and accessories?
The interiors of the Dzire compact will likely resemble that of the new Swift launched in August 2011. Further, the features of the new Swift will most likely be carried over to the Dzire compact sedan.
Expect features such as CD player, speed based auto volume control, Aux-in, USB sockets, four-speakers, two tweeters, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, dual airbags and ABS (Anti-braking system) with EBD (electronic brake force distribution) in the top-end version of the Dzire compact.
The Dzire compact will likely sport 15-inch wheels (with wheel caps) for lower variants, 16-inch alloy wheels for the top-end variant, rear wipe-wash and a demister.
What will be the price?
We already know that the current excise duty of cars with lengths of above 4 meters is 22% and below 4 meters is 10%. If we assume all the duty savings are passed on to the buyer, the Dzire compact version (with less than 4 meters in length) is expected to be priced at Rs. 4.49 lakh which is Rs. 45,000 lower than the present Dzire sedan, priced starting from Rs. 4.94 (base petrol variant LXI) to Rs 7.91 lakh for the top-end diesel variant (ZDI).
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*Prices are estimated by subtracting Rs. 45,000 from current Dzire prices, actual prices may vary
Will it deliver better than the competition?
At present, the only compact sedan available in the market is the Tata Indigo eCS. When compared to the Indigo eCS, the Dzire compact has a more powerful and fuel-efficient engine, and it will also have better fit and finish.
However, the real competition for the Dzire compact will be the upcoming Tata Manza compact sedan and Mahindra Verito compact sedan. Both the compact versions of the Manza and Verito are expected to be launched by the end (November – December) of this year like the Dzire compact sedan.
The entry-level sedan segment is going to see cheaper cars in the next 2-3 months. The Dzire compact will be probably be most popular choice compared to the Manza and the Verito compact sedans. So watch out for further updates if you are planning to buy a bigger than hatchback car on a tight budget.