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Old 24th November 2005, 18:09   #1
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Default Suzuki Swift – impressions from the first 1000 kms

“Ok, waited long; both me and this review for the aurora”.
Well that was a bit of exaggeration in describing my wait for the Swift which was anything but ‘swift’. To move on, this is my honest opinion/review about my Swift which has now done close to 1000 kms on the ravaged tarmacs of Bangalore. I have not tried to be prejudiced for it being ‘my car’. Here we go,

Car specs –
The hottest hatchback to hit our roads since Palio. The heap of bookings speak aloud, need I say more. Here is the general specs of this machine

Model: VXi
Color: Azure Grey

Engine: 1298 cc SOHC
Cylinders: 4
Number of Valves: 16
Maximum Power: 87bhp @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 113Nm @ 4500 rpm

Dimensions: 3695x1690x1530 mm
Tyres: 165/80R14
Boot Space: 232 ltrs (min)
368 ltrs (max)

Turning radius: 4.7 m
Ground Clearance: 170 mm
Top Speed: 160 kmph (IMO 165kmph)

Engine –
There has been a lot of talk about Maruti plonking in an outdated engine. I will get to that later. Generally speaking, an old but tried and tested performer that churns out a good amount power while adhering to its frugal drinking habit. This old warhorse has been remapped and revived for duty on the Swift. There is absolutely nothing to complain about its performance and definitely lives up to the expectation. The additional weight that Swift imposes on it is felt but only slightly. Obviously, 85+ bhp/tonne is definitely a good figure.
There has been quiet a bit of outcry about the latest engine not being offered and so on. Lets get this straight, the VVt engine that’s offered in other countries would very simply push the price range by a minimum of 1 lakh pushing it into the same fate as Ford Fusion. The pricing of Swift in those countries, consequently, doesn’t make it a cheap hatchback either. You pay for what you get and it is as simple as that. In the same vein, if the history behind The Getz engine is dug up, then it would dawn on us that its roots go back to the same engine that did work on the older Accents. Remapping and reworking is a part of any engine’s life cycle and is inevitable. So I would not typecast an engine based on its age of existence. On the contrary, I believe it should be strictly based on its performance and reliability. The Swift’s engine scores high on both these parameters and is a peppy performer.

Ride & Handling –
True to its sporty image, the car hits the road with a lot of zeal. One of my honest observations is that the car is very much under powered in the 3rd gear and is left gasping. But beyond 40 kmph mark on your speedometer it is different ball game. It just gallops ahead of competition with amazing ease. It could rival even the sedans on this frontier. But if you are trying to accelerate in city traffic it could leave you a trifle disappointed.
The suspensions have been engineered based on the feedback from the rally exploits of the Suzuki team and it is very much there to be seen. It has got a sporty feel to it and may not be as soft as you would expect it to be. But if it bad roads, this suspension is more than willing to handle it with élan. So it basically boils down to what you expect out of it.
The car has been solidly engineered unlike most of the other cars from the Maruti stable. The build is solid and the monster displays it on the road. The car is absolutely steady even at speeds exceeding 140. Having driven most of the other cars from the Maruti, let me assure you, this car is simply in a different zone and boy, do you feel safe in it – absolutely. The bigger wheel frame (14”) supports it well and the 185/70R14 on the ZXi is a real killer, terrific. But I have to content myself with its smaller sibling (165/80) for now. 

Looks –
Ok, this is a highly subjective domain. But in my opinion, “Simply out of the world. A revelation on Indian roads”. The car’s looks definitely has a lot of character.

Interiors –
I have read a lot of comments about the ‘cheap’ interiors of the Swift. But I beg to differ. It is a very neat and uncluttered console on the dashboard. The ergonomics in the design also scores high. The only shortcoming, IMO, is that the sideboards on the doors are highly bland. Ideally, would have preferred the fabric accented styling like in Esteem. But I guess everything can’t be perfect. Well, I have plans of painting certain parts of the sideboards with “Sparkling Silver”; that should enliven things to a good extent.
The Aircon is simply brilliant and works up real quick time. The power steering is also a joy in the city. But the EPS needs a bit ‘getting used to’ and sometimes may feel disconnected.

Serious Shortcomings –
 The “wrap around” design gives the interiors a dark effect.
 The rear visibility is seriously hampered by the smallish window on the back. This would very much hurt the drivers in India who rarely use the mirrors while reversing unlike the counterparts in the foreign countries. The ‘Europe’ centric design shows here.
 The boot space is nothing to write home about. But the consolation is that, it has got a deep boot and if it only bags, they can be stacked up in quiet large numbers.
 If the driver is 6”+ in height then there are some serious problems for the rear seat passengers.
 Waiting period definitely is a huge dampener. But there are assurances of increasing the production.

How does it stack up against competition?
Getz:
The Getz definitely offers better room in the rear and boot. But in every other department, Swift easily outsmarts it. Be it zippiness or road handling, Swift is definitely ahead. But if the car is for a family of 5 who require generous room and luggage space, then Getz scores. I think Getz is a very fine car but for its pricing.

Palio:
Truly a worthy competitor to the Swift. Though launched a good 4 years back, this car can truly match up on every frontier. But with the legendary Fiat ASS (After Sales Service), it is definitely a huge factor going against it.

Corsa Sail:
With a new pricing, Sail looks like a good alternative. But except for the boot space falls flat in every other department in comparison. Especially the aircon and front seating are absolutely mediocre.

Overall Summary –
In simple words, the car is “Value For Money”. And coming with the ASS (After Sales Service) of Maruti, clearly makes it a winner. Have driven it for about 1000 kms and is now due for the first service. The FE (Fuel Economy) figures are very impressive. I got an overall average of around 15 kmpl for the first 900 k (55% on highway, 35% in the city, 10% in the ghat section). So basically it averages 13 kmpl in the city and 18 kmpl on the highway, both without AC. With the aircon ON, FE should drop by 1.0 or 1.5 kmpl. The dealer Bimal, Indiranagar also did a great job in the delivery though they made me wait for a good 3 months.
All in all, a nice product own and drive. Happy driving….
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Old 24th November 2005, 18:14   #2
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I am not sure if this is the right place or it should ideally been in "Long term report" thread. If it is in the wrong thread, my apologies, I request the admin to shift it to the right place.
Thanks.
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Old 24th November 2005, 18:20   #3
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Nice review anthiltg. And good choice of colours for the car as well. The Azure grey (is that what its called?) is one of my favorites.

Are you planning a wheel/tyre upsize in the near future?
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Old 24th November 2005, 18:28   #4
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Default yes...but

Would ideally like 185/70R14 on it, but will have to wait because this machine has already burnt a hole in my wallet.
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Old 24th November 2005, 18:30   #5
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Hey Anthil ,

Nice report there !

Just a point -
Quote:
Originally Posted by anthiltg
Palio:
Truly a worthy competitor to the Swift.Though launched a good 4 years back, this car can truly match up on every frontier.
I think should be the other way round. Swift a worthy contender to the palio.

Quote:
But with the legendary Fiat ASS (After Sales Service), it is definitely a huge factor going against it.
This FIAT A.S.S thingie is being blown outta proportion ! It is not that bad.

Last edited by normally_crazy : 24th November 2005 at 18:31.
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Old 24th November 2005, 18:32   #6
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Aren't you the anthil from swift_india yahoo group? Its a very small world afterall...
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Old 24th November 2005, 18:38   #7
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Default Fiat A.S.S

Hi normally crazy,
I made that statement about Fiat very confidentally because I have had first hand experience of it with my Uno. It really hurt when I sold it for a fraction of the price I purchased it for, without including the maintenace cost I incurred on it for a year. And the irony would be that my uncle is an authorized dealer and service center owner for FIAT of good repute in Blore.
Fiat truly makes great machines but I just hope they are more considerate with their clients...
Cheers...

Last edited by anthiltg : 24th November 2005 at 18:39.
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Old 24th November 2005, 18:41   #8
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Default yep...it's me

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogdiga
Aren't you the anthil from swift_india yahoo group? Its a very small world afterall...
yep.. not too big a world to avoid bumping.
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Old 24th November 2005, 20:42   #9
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but i think it is the coolest looking car this side of optra,and it can be easily equipped with 16" alloys
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Old 24th November 2005, 22:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normally_crazy



I think should be the other way round. Swift a worthy contender to the palio.


deffinately......maruti made a nice attempt....
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Old 25th November 2005, 00:03   #11
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Very well written review for a good car. Thanks for the details.

Quote:
The car is absolutely steady even at speeds exceeding 140. Having driven most of the other cars from the Maruti, let me assure you, this car is simply in a different zone and boy, do you feel safe in it – absolutely.
Very true. In fact it's more steady than many other cars in B+ segmant and one segmant higher.

Quote:
One of my honest observations is that the car is very much under powered in the 3rd gear and is left gasping. But beyond 40 kmph mark on your speedometer it is different ball game
Not so much i think. The Swift probably has one of the best chassis around , so you don't feel the acceleration at all. At 60 the car seems like it's crawling. Makes for tireless driving. Try to rev the car up and you'll see what she's got! There's just a small lag below the 1000 RPM mark coz of the inertia.

BTW the 3rd gear is a problem with all Maruti cars. Even in the Baleno you sometimes feel it.

Quote:
The FE (Fuel Economy) figures are very impressive. So basically it averages 13 kmpl in the city and 18 kmpl on the highway, both without AC
Not so lucky here. In fact in city the Baleno is sometimes getting better figures. Took the Swift to the highway only once, got 16 with 100% AC. But maybe it's coz i rev her too much.

Quote:
The rear visibility is seriously hampered by the smallish window on the back
That and the feeling of claustrophobia at the back are my most serious gripes with this car.
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Old 25th November 2005, 03:54   #12
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I was seriously considering booking the swift but was put off by some rumours that it returns an average of only 9 - 10 kmpl.
In fact, that is what even the Maruti sales rep told me !!
Now that you've got much more than that, maybe I should re-consider it.
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Old 25th November 2005, 09:15   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthiltg
Hi normally crazy,
I made that statement about Fiat very confidentally because I have had first hand experience of it with my Uno. It really hurt when I sold it for a fraction of the price I purchased it for, without including the maintenace cost I incurred on it for a year.
I made my statements confidently too as i own a S10. Well if people listen to rubbish rumours and cant understand and appreciate good cars its not our fault right ?


Quote:
And the irony would be that my uncle is an authorized dealer and service center owner for FIAT of good repute in Blore.
Fiat truly makes great machines but I just hope they are more considerate with their clients...
Cheers...
Well here in Bbay - FIAT have very good A.S.S. ,so i'm not complaining. And besides i dont know why people are obsessed with Fiat A.S.S.

infact forget Fiat , be it any car -take care of it , get it serviced regularly and it will serve you like a dream. Case in point - when i booked my Ikon people went haywire telling me horror stories about FORD A.S.S but its been 3.5 years now and the ikon hasnt given me any trouble save for a wheel bearing !
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Old 25th November 2005, 10:51   #14
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Hi normally crazy,

I too have an S10...whom do you take it to for servicing/repairs? I was contemplating a change..tried the fusion, baleno..just no comparison so dropped the idea
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Old 25th November 2005, 11:01   #15
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Default not any more

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikefreak
I was seriously considering booking the swift but was put off by some rumours that it returns an average of only 9 - 10 kmpl.
In fact, that is what even the Maruti sales rep told me !!
Now that you've got much more than that, maybe I should re-consider it.
That was true sometime ago, the salesman who initally went ga..ga.. over Swift in the month of June chose to flip over and crib abt the car in the month of Sept when I was pressing him for the delivery. They resorted to such gimmicks only to sell the other Maruti cars which showed markable cut in their sales and they could not anyway handle the demand for Swift.
The driving conditions should also be accounted in the cases where such low FE is reported. In Blore traffic, sometimes you end up driving for 8-10 kms only in the first and second gear which is not going to be helpful especially with the AC on. But now the delivery is almost immediate. People are getting their deliveries just after 2 weeks of booking.
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