Home / Reviews / First Drive / Maruti Suzuki Swift AGS First Drive Review – Enhanced All-rounder

 

The latest iteration of the Maruti Suzuki Swift retains the familiar bodywork but has undergone a transplant beneath the bonnet.

maruti suzuki swift

Story: Joshua Varghese
Photography: Apurva Ambep

Men go for a haircut and emerge from the barber’s looking as if a lawnmower has done a number on their scalp. Meanwhile, women look almost the same before and after their trip to the salon. The same can be said of the Maruti Suzuki Swift’s makeover. On the visual front, the changes are limited to a slightly reworked front end and, for the first time in a Swift, a dual-tone paint job. The red-and-black combination looks particularly appealing on this familiar bodywork and the car spread across these pages also features a few extra accessories such as chrome highlights, tail-lamp shrouds, and a spoiler.

maruti suzuki swift

Inside the cabin, nothing has changed. Nothing major, anyway. The Swift continues to retain its robust build quality and everything in the cabin feels like it was built to last but not quite premium. The layout is simple and easy to use with ample options for entertainment thanks to the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Personally, I feel this car would have been better off without the faux wood elements that are sprinkled about in the cabin. It creates an air of gaudiness that pollutes the Swift’s natural sporty charm.

maruti suzuki swift maruti suzuki swift maruti suzuki swift

A closer look at the flat-bottom steering wheel will reveal the first of the two new driver aids that make their début in the Swift, cruise control, the second one being a rather useful hill-hold assist with Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). This is available only in the AMT (automated manual transmission) variant.

maruti suzuki swift

So where is the big change? It lies beneath the bonnet and may elude the casual eye but not that of an enthusiast. The Swift now draws power from a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder, K-series Dualjet, dual VVT petrol engine that churns out 90 hp and 113 Nm of peak torque. This powerplant is equipped with two injectors per cylinder and this allows for efficient fuelling, better performance, and improved fuel efficiency. Maruti Suzuki claim that the new Swift has a fuel efficiency figure of 23.76 km/litre because of the micro-hybrid system that features an idle start-stop function. The car we drove was an AMT or, as Maruti Suzuki like to call it, “AGS”, or Auto Gear Shift.

maruti suzuki swift

The engine turns over at the push of a button and settles into a quiet, barely audible idle just below 1,000 rpm. The car continues to retain its admirable road manners at low speed too. The engine is responsive, the gear changes are smooth, the steering is precise, and the ride quality is comfortable even over poor surfaces. To make the most of this engine swap, we found a quiet stretch of road and gave it the stick. Past 1,200 rpm, the engine sends out a wave of torque that makes the Swift rather fun to drive. No, the tacho needle does not race for the red-line like a bat out of hell and neither is it particularly quick but, overall, it is still a good package to buy for someone who is looking at predominantly city use. Even at triple-digit speeds, the car is stable and handles well but a slightly heavier steering could have improved it further. The AMT in the Swift is well-mannered and, with a conservative right foot, you barely feel the gear-shifts. Put pedal to metal, though, and expect a bit of “exaggerated nodding” between shifts; not bad enough to ruin the overall experience, though. For a fully sporty drive, we would suggest you slot it into the manual mode.

maruti suzuki swift

To summarize, the latest iteration of the Maruti Suzuki Swift would have remained almost identical to the previous year’s car were it not for the improved performance it has gained from the new engine. Unsurprisingly, the car continues to be an appealing package that strikes the right balance among value, sportiness, and everyday usability. The top-end car that we drove is priced at Rs 8.41 lakh (ex-showroom), which is significantly more expensive than its competition. The Tata Tiago AMT dual-tone costs Rs 6.85 lakh while the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Asta AMT costs Rs 7.81 lakh (both prices ex-showroom). That said, remember that the Swift is now the most powerful of this trio. It has done enough to do one better than its rivals and, with a slightly lower price tag, it may even have been the deal of the segment.

maruti suzuki swift

Also Read: Maruti Suzuki S-Cross 1.5 Petrol AT BS6 First Drive Review

 

About the author: Joshua Varghese

 

Would gape at fast cars. Still does but now has a chance to drive some of them. Hates driving in traffic but makes up for with a spot of off-roading or the occasional track outing. Insta: @motoknight

 

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