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Old 11th June 2015, 06:51   #1
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Default Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Good evening all fellow BHPians. I am so excited as this is my first post ever and could not have been in a more fantastic week. Last Wednesday as I received my confirmation email from BHP administrators as a new member I was taking delivery (yes, at the same moment) of our brand new Maruti Swift! If this is not good karma I don’t know what is. I, however, have been lurking the forum since weeks ago doing research on our choice of car and actually all the information here was a key factor on our decision. I am extremely grateful to you all! Now that we have the new member of my family in our possession and also have initial posting rights I want to share my experience with this little devil.

But let me backtrack and introduce myself. If I don’t explain myself my posts might seem a little odd. I am not indian and do not live in India. I live in Costa Rica, on the other side of the world. I hope you accept me as a honorary citizen of this community and forgive my english. I have seen some of the best english writing in all the internet in these forums so I need to be extra careful of expressing myself correctly.

In my country, the Maruti Swift has been introduced as part of the Suzuki offerings and it is sold as a Suzuki Swift, along with the Japanese variants and other models like Vitara, Celerio , Dzire, Swift, Ciaz, Ertiga and others.

Currently we own 2 cars : Kia Sorento 2015 and a Nissan Sunny Almera 2001 (before then we owned a Hyundai Excel, Toyota Yaris, Toyota Tercel, Toyota Previa ). We decided to sell the Nissan as we are pushing 300,000 km on it and we decided it was time for a change. It has served us in an excellent way!

Our trusty Nissan Almera taking her last bath before going to a new family. Built like a tank, only one minor rattle in 14 years of service!

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150606_2151051.jpg

Choice of cars

Our other car –the Kia - is the “family car”, but I also use it for my work commute as I stay put in the office all day long. My wife, however, moves around the city all day so we wanted a car with great FE and flexible for parking . As I read in the forum, our roads in Costa Rica resemble the indian roads for the most part: crowded city streets where you need to avoid other cars and pedestrians, stretches of good highways and also rocky and potholed side roads.

We knew a compact or hatch is what we needed. Available choices under our budget (around 17,000 USD) were: Kia Rio hatch, Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10 or entry level i20, Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Celerio, Suzuki Swift. The choice was easy. My wife has always drooled for a supermini and her top choices were the Mini Cooper and the Swift. Since Mini Cooper is out of budget reach, the choice was easy, so easy that the only dispute was over color and transmission.

This got ugly quickly as she immediately chose the torque blue one but I was not convinced. I had not seen one blue torque Swift on our roads so I wanted a grey or white one. But wifey was insistant so she won. Now on the transmission, I wanted a manual . I tried to explain to her that this was the best choice to get the most out of the engine but she counter attacked by saying that she would be driving the car most of the time and she gets tired on stop and go traffic and doesn’t like getting the car moving on hilly stops with a MT. So she won also round 2. Wife 2-0 Hubby. When it comes to decisions, she is like Germany in soccer.

In the Showroom
Swift variants are available in my country in this way

Swift GA: Maruti – equivalent to LXi (but includes ABS and 2 airbags) 1.2L
Swift GL: Maruti - equivalent to VXi (includes ABS, airbags and alloys) 1.2L
Swift GLS : Japan import 1.4L (7 airbags)
Swift GLX : Japan import (ACC, 7 airbags) 1.4L
Swift Sport: Japan import 1.6L

ABS and airbags are mandatory by law on new cars. We don’t have any diesel variants, only petrol. I don’t know why, diesels would sell like hotcakes here! All cars available for inmediate delivery in white, black, silver, grey and blue. Inmediate delivery in my country means if you have the money, you can pick up your car in 2 days after submitting payment. If you need financing the whole process lasts 5-10 days in total depending on how much back and forth you need to do with the bank.

We reserved the car with 300USD and expected to take delivery 10 days later as we needed to sell the Almera and get financing for 50% of the new car. We went for the Maruti Swift GL as it was 4000 USD cheaper than the next variant, the Japanese GLS. To me, 200 CC and 16 alloys did not warrant spending 4K USD more. All the other equipment (except 60/40 split) was the same as the GL.

The wait and delivery

10 days seemed way too much time! I can't imagine a wait of over one month. I took the time to re read all reviews, watch all you tube videos and go through the 100+ pages of the Team BHP Swift thread. I was feeling excited! I also took opportunity to spot some Swifts on the road.

This Maruti Swift GL in my work parking garage got me thinking of changing the color to grey.

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_1030590.jpg

I tried convincing my wife to switch to grey (and also to manual). I got a brick wall. Called the dealer and he told me "there are no more cars available anymore, your torque blue is the last one until a new shipment and you got it reserved". Mmmmm I smell a conspiracy here....

At this point I was worried that the choice of color was not good as all the grey and white ones in the street looked great but I could not find a blue torque one to be convinced.

Fortunately, I spotted one! I had to turn back and drive like a crazy police car to get hold of it and take a closer look. I was relieved to find it looked amazing in blue! So I could go back to sleep and wait for delivery.

D day

We got the call. Our car was going to be available one day before expected. Unfortunately, I could not go pick it up except the previously agreed date. So the last day was the longest in memory. I just could not wait one day longer.

On delivery day I met my wife at the dealership. Final paperwork took 30 min, not bad, and included signing boring insurance forms, choice of personalized license plate (will be ready in one month) and PDI. We went to inspect the car to make sure the VIN indicated the car was built in 2015 (checked, I had my doubts as this international version doesn't have 60/40 split seats, facelifted fascia details like fake DRL adornments or pop out cupholders, which is odd but on the plus side it comes with alloys, ABS, airbags and hands free calling).

Actual delivery and driving out was very quick, no additional gifts except floor mats and sunfilm. No waving goodbyes from the dealership, just turn it on and drive off. So off we went! Well, my wife actually, my turn had to wait.

My wife running away with our new Swift and me trying to catch up. At this moment I was wondering if I would ever get to try it.

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150610_113733.jpg

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150610_113840.jpg

First impresions and driving experience

Since we took delivery on Wednesday and my wife left early for work on Thursday, I could drive and have more time with our new gem until yesterday (12/06). Here are my impressions plus a honest comparative with the Japanese version.

Prelude worries - Maruti vs Japanese version

We got such a positive financing deal that it struck us that we could go for the Japanese 1.4 GLX with mostly the same monthly amount as we initially planned paying. We figured these considerations:

- Japanese "make" reputation on the costarrican market. Cars actually made in Japan are still highly regarded here. I am not convinced since my 1991 Hyundai Excel was an amazing car for 13 years and our Japan made 2008 Toyota Yaris was a disaster in build quality.
- 7 airbags vs 2
- Fabrics seemed of a little higher quality than in the Maruti
- 60/40 split seats
- 10 hp of additional power
- 5 star safety rating vs 0 in the Maruti. Later after research I saw that our Maruti as equipped was awarded 3 starts in India and 4 stars in Thailand.
- 16 inch alloys vs 14" in the Maruti

After thinking it over we concluded that the above did not warrant 4,000 USD more except maybe the safety aspect. We also liked the monthly payment amount which was 25% less than initially planned. Still, the Maruti offered some advantages over the Japanese one:

- Suspension and height more in tune with costarrican roads
- Excellent value for the money
- Cheaper spare parts
- Outgoing Japanese model will be replaced by 1.2 variant
- Abundance of Japanese models in the used car market will keep overall Swift resale value high for all variants.


My first impression on our new Swift was Wooow! This looks better inside and out than I thought!

The torque blue looks amazing in my opinion. It might be a little difficult to maintain but it definitely is a head turner. The included alloys complements it very well and the courtesy sun film provided by the dealership free of charge makes it look quite sporty.

I arrived early at work to get some pictures.

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_075848.jpg

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Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_075958.jpg

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The interior is better than I expected. I love the black and silver accents and plastics do not seem of bad grade. I was worried because I have heard comments regarding the quality of plastics used but I am satisfied. Inner door handles feel cold and durable, the ORVM switch is flimsy as commented to death here but we will see how it holds up.

Front seats are extremely comfortable. Overall the cabin in the front is very roomy and with good visibility.

What I don't like? Some omissions: front pop out cup holders, Bluetooth, cruise control, vanity mirror on the driver side, armrest storage. Quality of floor carpet is not high.

Back seat space is cramped. I am 1.83 m tall. However, it is very much usable . Boot is small but I expected worse. What I don't understand is why in 2015 we don't get 60/40 splits in all models.

I love the wrapping on the AT box and chrome accent on the manual brake.

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_102435.jpg

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_102730.jpg

Interior lights look stunning at dusk!

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_180555.jpg

Pure genius by Maruti

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150610_220903.jpg

Driving experience

I have to say I didn't know exactly what kind of experience to expect. we didn't have a TD and based our expectations on all the reviews read.

I am happy to report to be satisfied on almost all aspects. Here is my rundown:

Engine: upon turning the car on what you hear is a very satisfying roar, it is like the engine saying "take me for a ride lets have fun"! This is very different than the boring sound the Nissan makes.

Power distribution is as I expected, low torque before the 2000 rpm mark and then you are happy at home revving this little baby up. Of course since we have the AT you need to learn how to play it in order to get out the most of the engine. Which takes us to the next point.

Transmission: the 4 speed AT seems a little dated but still holds its own. Changes are smooth, overdrive button is very useful on long climbs.

The AT. I apologize for the blown up photo. Options are P R N D 2 L and includes an Overdrive button.

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_142250.jpg

I am satisfied with the AT handling, it is very useful in town and I am happy that it still lets me get the sportiness of the engine and have fun at driving.


Potholes are absorbed diligently. Some road noise due to small 165/80/14 Goodyear tires. Plan to change them for wider / skinnier ones.

Noise and vibration is well contained, sometimes I can't hear the engine and outside noise is blocked effectively. I do feel some vibration and feedback on the accelerator pedal, I am going to ask for it to be reviewed in my first service. Does anyone know if this is normal behaviour? Window glass thickness seems normal to me , I don't find it razor thin as other have reported.

Have not tested it well enough, I am averaging 15 KM/L so far in the city for the last 100 KM (3 days of driving). I will report later on this.

To my dismay there have been 3 detected so far. I am happy to report those 3 were false alarms: one loose spare wheel tool nut, one loose coin on the passenger side botle holder and one headphone adapter. There is one "click" noise sometimes when making sharp turns coming from the back passenger side window but I am keeping an eye (or an ear) on it.

Very light and provides good feedback. Very satisfied so far.

ABS comes standard. Braking feels secure and responsive so far.

Our model comes with analog switches. They look good when illuminated. A/C cools the cabin quickly and noise levels are acceptable as any other car in this segment.

I will report more on my driving experience when I get more km behind the wheel (if my wife lets me!).

For the time being I leave you some pictures. Remember, I only have been with my little baby a.k.a Blu Garuti one full day (since my wife hijacked it since day one). I was desperate to leave work and was able to do so at sunset. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

It rained during the afternoon. I went to check on Garuti and it looked stunning even with rainy weather. I am in love!!!

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_142624.jpg

6pm . Time to go home

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_174418.jpg

But before leaving, some parting shots.

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_180200.jpg

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_180340.jpg

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_180221.jpg

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_180611.jpg

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150612_180210.jpg

Last edited by GarotoCR : 16th June 2015 at 00:43. Reason: Spacing, formatting
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Old 12th June 2015, 01:04   #2
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Some random thoughts on the AT box on our trim (GL=VXi?) :

The transmission is happy from 80-100 kph in 4th gear. Doing 100 kph feels natural and not the engine does not sound pushed. I have not passed 100km yet as the car is brand new. Maruti/Suzuki engineering shows on the automat. Call it old but the transmission is smooth as butter on city driving which makes it a pleasure on stop and go traffic. Also, make a stop on a hill and the car wont go backwards, just push the pedal and you are on your way, no scary rolling back into the vehicle behind you. My wife loves this!

Get to an incline or long hill and the limitations of the 4 speed AT become evident. The box is suddenly fighting between 4th and 3rd gear. Step on the accelerator and you will find a small lag before the transmission reacts. Still, I thought It was going to be worse. Comparing it to our Kia 6 speed shiftronic I can say they handle similar in 90 % of the situations. Fortunately for long climbs the Swift AT includes an Overdrive button. Push the button and the info panel suddenly shows tha O/D Off light. With overdrive off the AT does it work between 2nd and 3rd gears on long climbs so you can rev it higher on each gear.

For steep climbs or descents you can switch to 2 or L for even greater compression. I wish the next generation comes with 6 gears and a shiftronic mode. I guess the dont do it in the current iteration in order not to cannibalize the Swift Sport Sales.

The "how could you do this to us Maruti moment" and how I solved it:

its Bluetooth , or the lack of it, the greatest fault with our new member of the family. Plus no AUX port! Maruti at least gave us an USB port which is ok for iphones but I was dismayed to know that it doesn't work with Android phones arrggg! It is not Maruti's fault though. It is Android's fault. Since a couple of Android versions ago, it is not possible to directly connect an android phone to a car USB as the software is not designed to be read by audio devices, not even in developer (USB debugging) mode.

This got me frustrated so I had to order a FM Transmitter from Amazon. I chose the MPOW FM Transmitter (30 USD) because its good reviews. It arrived fairly quickly (3 days) and it works perfectly. It also looks good. I post some pictures below, you can see the blue light indicating blue tooth connectivity and also the FM frequency I chose. It sounds great, I am now complete - for now.

Next project. Rear window sun film, probably next week (not legal ahem cough cough but it won't be a problem until the car first government inspection which will be in 2 years, traffic police barely make tickets for it. Side windows film is legal).

As a bonus I also leave you a close up of the included alloys.
Attached Thumbnails
Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150616_222314.jpg  

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150616_222346.jpg  

Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!-20150614_113441.jpg  

Last edited by GTO : 18th June 2015 at 17:43. Reason: Adding your latest updates to the opening page :)
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Old 16th June 2015, 15:19   #3
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th June 2015, 15:54   #4
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Welcome to the community and love your Swift. Nice to see that even base variants are well equipped with safety features!

Costa Rica sounds very exotic - with me sitting here in my office, so would love to hear form you about some travelogues in your Blu Garuti - btw why Garuti?
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Old 16th June 2015, 16:02   #5
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!


So, the Little swift is building bridges, who'd have thunk it?
Thats a neat little package, the Swift in the suzuki guise. Much better equipped than ours,more power too, but then the outlay is more too, yeah?
Anyway, its a perky little tank, going by the ones I have had the experience of , and keeps going on and on.
So, happy mile crunching!
And Welcome !
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Old 16th June 2015, 16:24   #6
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Thanks for sharing. Blue is my fav colour so I will always be inclined to say Blue looks amazing in your pics
Sadly, AT is not an option on Swift in India.
Costa Rica looks beautiful. Will be looking forward to your driving experience in an Indian car and your travelogues with tons of pictures.
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Old 16th June 2015, 17:54   #7
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

@GarotoCR, Congratulations !! And some nice pics there.

I think you would have read about it, but the Swift is amongst our more popular cars, having been around for 10 years now. Like JD1 said, no AT option here. I wish Suzuki does release it for us here too.

Wishing you a long happy ownership.
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Old 16th June 2015, 18:23   #8
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Thanks for this nice review!

I have a question. How is the indicator stalk placed in LHD Swift? Is it similar to the one that we see in India, like, on the right hand you'd have indicator switches and on the left you'd have wiper switches?
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Old 16th June 2015, 18:35   #9
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Another Torque Blue swift here on the forum. Looks beautiful as ever and I know how beautiful the car looks when it has water droplets in it.

All the best and have a great ownership with the Swift.
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Old 16th June 2015, 19:16   #10
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

As a Swift owner, I felt immensely proud to read about the initial ownership experience of the car from a far away foreign country.Seen umpteen number of pictures of the Swift but your set do stand out.

Wishing you and your wife many miles of happiness in your new car.

Hope the Indian government reads your post and makes ABS and airbags mandatory for new cars in India too.
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Old 16th June 2015, 19:27   #11
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Hey welcome to the forum! All the way from Costa Rica I see. Yes, I was also curious - blu Garuti?
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Old 16th June 2015, 20:57   #12
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Welcome sir, to Team-Bhp and may I add that you are a gifted photographer along with being an excellent writer!!

One question: How did you find out about this site?
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Old 16th June 2015, 21:09   #13
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Welcome to the forum sir, happy to see that T-Bhp has far reaching effects, all the way to Costa Rica. Your Car is an absolute stunner and it would be a delight to see some more pics of your baby gleaming in the Costa Rican Sunshine.
Btw Congrats on the wonderful purchase
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Old 16th June 2015, 22:13   #14
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Congratulations on your new Swift AT ! This car holds true to the idiom "as solid as a rock" !

The Swift sells here in jaw-dropping numbers every month. Glad to know that it has a good fan following in other countries as well.

Happy Motoring !
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Old 17th June 2015, 07:11   #15
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Default Re: Bought a LHD Maruti Swift AT in Costa Rica!

Hi GarotoCR, Congratulations for your blue baby. Nice to see a Swift fan all the way from Costa Rica. A nice write up and awesome pictures, believe me I scrolled 3 times to appreciate the pictures and go ga ga over the color. This model from Suzuki stable is a heartthrob in India, may I ask if it is equally popular at CR also? Wishing many more miles of fun ahead and do keep sharing pictures !
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