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Old 9th August 2009, 02:05   #1
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Default economy diesel duel: Maruti Ritz DDiS vs Suzuki Swift DDis vs Vista quadrajet aura.

This is my first reveiw on team BHP . hope my first impressions posted is within the regulations of team BHP. Thanks for this excellent site to exhange veiws with like minded individuals.

We wanted to pick a petrol car and shortlisted i10, ritz, swift and vista saffire, however on requesting a testdrive was offered the diesels of both the ritz and vista aura as they dint have petrols test cars at their disposal then and hence we tried the diesel for feel. And then we decided just for the heck to check which is better. we must have got in and out of atleast 10 cars . including the sx4 .

The TATA sales guy did try hard to sell us the diesel though. the sales people offered us extensive road tests thinking we were certain to book. Having multiple dealers for the same cars helped, so you got double drives. except that for a few days we kept juggling a lot of calls. we finally booked ritz vxi, and no the diesel is expensive and we wont be logging in as much miles to break even. I think this are revolutionary diesels that will change the face of motoring in india and many may be seeking an answer to which is the better one of this trio.

I accidentally happened to test 3 supremely talented and competing B+ cars and well my initial happiness quickly turned to excitement and finally I came back thrilled. herez what i feel, there are no figures to support and all my veiws are based on absolute feel of the drive, My opinions may not necessarily endorse that of the motoring public or support statistical data and may be proved incorrect.

I came back impressed and kindda happy with all 3 cars, for the first time i felt the competition has upped their benchmarks, that picking any of the 3 would not be a compromise of any sort. their charecteristics and features are comparable and provide simillar experience and my impressions below are when pitted against each other. Of course there may be other superior cars in this segment but for an economical and practical buy one may consider these 3 diesels. My opinions are purely judgemental and against each other only and not based on other cars. common or uncommon . the funny thing is there cant be more apt a test trio.

The lines are drawn for battle and the buggle sounds , I pit each against the other only to come out more confused than ever , I dint expect what i experienced . economy B+ diesel duel Maruti Ritz DDiS zdi vs Suzuki Swift DDis zdi vs TATA Vista quadrajet aura. - they all are arround the 5.5 lac range.

firstly, all three are diesels, it breaks all earlier notions by not acting like one . secondly, are more refined, powerfull, practical and efficient than their petrol counterparts. thirdly they share the same outsourced engine - common rail diesel 1.3 litre FIAT engine, with turbocharger and intercooler, producing low inertia, torque lower down and high efficiency . uncanny semblance under the trio's hoods . only different suffix's. Maruti has changed some mehanicals attached by incorporating a chain drive which is reliable, instead of the belt drive and tinkered a little with the mapping for sportiness , while TATA has cleverly used the gear ratios and the ECU module to produce torque at lower rpms to
ensure a flater curve, thereby reducing the initial lag, lesser gearshifts, making it more drivable.

NVH levels seem to be better damped and controlled in vista compared to maruti's . the swift sounds sportier and the Ritz, faintly harsh towards d top revs, though not significant at all. all cars drown the engine noise with the drone of the a/c . though with windows completely wound there isnt any more than a faint clatter. tyre noise to is inaudible . the a/c fan of the Ritz does make its presence felt . the swift excels in shift quality with the gear throw being short and precise . the vista is smooth though not as much .

the seats of the vista felt most supportive with more under thigh and lateral support. also being the widest and longest of the 3, seats are wider and therz more leg space . can accomodate three abreast on the rear bench . surprisingly boot space is at a premium here and i guess the least . the most practical boot i feel is offered by the Ritz with its vertical silhouette . whereas with its interiors mirroring the outside contours, the swiftz bay though larger by perception seems tad less usable than Ritz . overall the ritz feels more spacious and offers more legroom and headroom than swift . height liberating space as seats are higher and straighter ..

The swifts driving position is ultimate with controls falling easily at hand . In the ritz you look down at the road as you sit taller. the vista comes with multiple height adjustments . all can be driven continously and are comfortable mile munchers with controls within reach .

these cars cast nearly simillar noon day shadows and occupy same amounts of road space, though the Ritz dimensions are smallest among the trio, and hence easier to snake through narrow city confines . The swifts ORVM's jut out and need to be thought of when in rush hour
traffic . the cockpit in the Vista aura is welcoming, with visually appealing layout and liberal dual tone shades of beige, that brightens and makes it feel spacious and airy . this along with the comfortable seats makes living in the vista relaxing . there is an air of calmness to it while the ritz reflects youthfull aggression . the Ritz with its new age contemprory and arresting dash board layout is designed to liberate space and increase practicality . you are greeted with a drab gray interiors but the painted strip arround the center console livens things up a little . the gear stick is part of the lower center console, liberating space not efficiently utilised . the swift beckons you with a sense of established purpose . the swifts dash layout is in keeping with the overall sportiness of the car . its designed to be of least distraction and to keep the drivers eyes glued to the road . the dials come immediately to veiw to the roving eye and is surrounded by vast expanses of black plastic .

I guess it succeeds well coz u tend to like every thing arround because of the way she drives . she feels sophiscated and fast paced . the plastics reek quality, the best of the trio, and buttons are easy to find and operate . the dials are clear n visible . In the Vista and Ritz you almost immediately notice the center console but not so on the swift . you only try to feel it . because you are required to drive . the greater purpose of having a car. the instrumentation on the ritz is kinda cranky but kool . there is a sporty pop up tacho to the left of the dial that stands out and the dial canopy shrouds a large speedo surrounded by small tell-tale lights . you have to strain to take a peek at some of these
gauges and lights . design texture and finish is superior in ritz . In the vista, the dials though clearly visible are placed at the center on the dash and look most attractive when lit coz of the white backlit digits . the Vista seems least impressive on quality and fit and finish with the knobs and buttons feeling flimsy and built to cost . not that it will break off, but that maruti seems a better quality finished product . also traces of paint fadding was observed on the power window switches of the test vista .

externally, the Ritz is a stand out design and will get either a controversial or appreciative second glance . the vista in red, coz of the beauty in design, ensures a second glance to . the swift is a little common being the exact replica of its extremely succesfull petrol sibling and needs to be decked up but that takes nothing away from what inherrently is a beautifull design . the swift also attracts a lot of after market kits as options to spice up the beautifull and sporty design .

The attractive but simplistic design of the vista makes you appreciate even a small car for its beauty . it shares few common design traits with its sister Indica . but is more rounded, taunt and tight . prominent design elements, both bonnet lines and swoopy eye shaped headlights effortlesly blend with the curvacous smooth sculpted body . and veiwed from any quater looks amazing . The swift initially was a love it-hate it affair, however now is widely appreciated. with the squatting on rear haunches ready to leap visual design, it has lots of curves and bulges and is proportionately moulded to sporty wheel arches, shoulders and chin . the overall effect being desirable . the ritz is totally new age in external design, going taller like most city bred cars to liberate space inside, and almost looks like a mini SUV . the designers seem to carefully blend in the large head lights, grille, pronounced wheel arches, rear boomrang lights, accentuated window lines and bumpers to make a strong visual . successfull in the attempt for a futuristic design . veiwed from the rear three quaters it has an imposing presence and looks pretty, having lots of takers . the headlights make it look like the old Honda CRV, you may hear voices resisting the design but take an independant look at it without rejudice and you notice attractiveness spelt all over it.

All feel safe during retardation, while the ritz has a strong bite and chops of speed almost instantanously, the Vista feels mildly rubbery, though there'd never be any heart stopping moments .the swift is impressive too. and feels most stable while braking at high speeds, while the ritz rocks faintly .

If you enter a corner too fast, you can back off the gas in the swift and sail through the corner, In the ritz you may have to dab the brakes just to gain the feel of composure . all tackle high speed sweeping corners without a shudder unless you try to do something stupid . body roll is pronounced in the ritz due to height and noticable in the vista due to softer springs but acceptable in the swift . You are however more cautious of carring extra speed in to the corner in the Vista, may be because of the brakes or steering or body roll. The vista is soft on your back and absorbs road undulations softly with nothing more than a faint thud, it however trades handling for ride and rolls perceptibily . the vista does
conceal speed in an unhurriedly manner . swift on tighter sprung suspension corners hard but transfers the road surface over to your back.. not harshly but a sensitive back may find it discomforting . The ritz does a much better job over rough surface than the swift and rides as if on a cushion, though it rolls in a controlled predictable manner . all insulate the cabin well from harsh thuds and creaks . all ride on 14 inch wheels which is a leap from the last generation cars . the steering on the ritz and the swift is much better, in fact they share the same wheel . its electronic against the hydraulic steering of the vista, and offers better feel and response .

All cars feel well built and safe at speeds above a ton with nary a jarr . the vista feels planted at steady three digit speeds on paved surfaces . the swift too feels the same way . ritz too wafts cooly, but you can feel the speed above 130kmph, slicing the air . you may want to think having the same power plant does little to judge and distinguish the power delivery . contrary enough, all have different responses to your right foot . if the vista is a strong ten hands push to your face, and the swift a tight slap, then the ritz is a punch . the vista is the most linear in power delivery and springs up no sudden surprises . it is damn powerfull in its own right with the car gaining speeds quickly, right from takeoff rpms, and practically the most drivable . but if you are a motorhead then thats not enough . the swift ace is the power drive and boy does she revel . extremely quick and sporty, begs you to drive hard . there is not more you'd desire as she quenches your thirst for speed and power . the surge is smooth when the turbo spools out power . and whatever the requirement be, therez more power to tap and race away . the ritz troubles you with the sudden surge of power when the turbo kicks in . the transition not being smooth enough .. power suddenly leaps and gushes forth that if unchecked can throw tauntrums . she breaks free in turbo phase and runs wild till the redline . and churs out her power between 2200 to 3600 rpm and feels meaty in the powerband . ritz feels more powerfull than she is . the lightweight and low end torque combine helps for a successfull, desperate getaway . and the feels among the best . though not a road rocket . the top honours here go to the sparsely
sold but scintillating crdi getz and may be the new i20 crdi . scorching performers, staggeringly fast, undisputed king of B+ segment . the good thing is technology is made availiable to commoners and these engines defy the history of diesels and race and rev generating tremendous power till their redlines . never feeling out of breath.

so , for power and agility the swift and cranky ritz edges out the Vista in this trio .though, not a big margin, as power plants finally are the same . also, in gear acceleration of the vista is comparable to both . but by feel the maruti's are agile . and quick to change direction, also makes you realise the speeds you carry . being efficient diesels they display frugal drinking habits . and aids long distance cruising .

the vista aura comes with small touches for convienience like twin power points and a nice deep tray under seat . the ritz too has simillar india centric touches . also all cars have folding rear benches to carry your in laws bags to the railway station . they all come with standard features like HAVC, all four power windows, central locking, foglamps etc . the vista come fitted with mp3 with usb port and headphone jacks . AC's were exceedingly cool and should be comfortable in any temp. . the vista is also a kool 40k off from the top of the line maruti duo . but Vista does not offer ABS as option .

the hidden advantage for both ritz and swift is Maruti may be more reliable in the long run . couple that to availiability of spares and service centers , its brings immediate peace . however the Vista spares are a touch cheaper with the bumper and headlights cheaper by about two thousand each , through durability may be of want .TATA too has an impressive dealer network . An important point is the Vista is and feels like no other TATA . not crude nor rudimentary with suspect reliability, and is completely different from Indica V2, vastly improved and refined in all areas . being patriotic, I must commend TATA for manufacturing an extremely surefooted and competent car completely from scratch . do not carry earlier TATA baggage and notions while checking Vista out , the Vista surprises everyone by being the most unlike TATA , TATA car . extremely composed and competent , she is VFM every damn way . and sure enough, lots may find it the best bet for money , she is closer in
competition than you think and if any, the difference is a whisker , she definitely carries Indias flag high , the vista can easily pass for another car under a different company badge.

all cars have well spaced out service intervals , though Maruti will have you visiting the service station fewer times.All cars go well with black paint and are appealing in white too , the Vista looks great in red, while the ritz in bakers chocolate , swifts can be seen on roads looking pretty and decked up in many colours , but the sporty shades suit better.

so which car is the most appealing , the ritz and swift pass vista with cheekiness and aggression , in contrast, the vista is lesuirely and capable of surpassing your needs in style , for a motorhead, its the sporty swift against the family mans Vista , between both is the Ritz , The ritz is not brilliant in any one aspect but it blends all factors uniquely to create a wonderfull package , it salvages its pride by mixing up all feelings . while the swift is energetic with sporty attitude , the Vista with strong passionate feelings, is calm, composed yet powerfull, comfortable and joyfull, almost zen like , the ritz arrouses youthfull exuberence and makes you feel flexible , so its up to your want , but if you can live with the cranky, unique but talented ritz, go for it , coz it can delight you everyway, and seems the perfect package, ok, yeah, so the ritz throws its charm, hey, and if you happen to sneeze while driving one. mahn, it may just have cast its spell on you, well then, dude welcome the Ritz.

now, cant wait for the car with most promises, the hyundai i10 crdi 1.1 diesel, going by the hyundai diesels, should be real competitive, this is gonna be one helluva rock show, another car just off the block is the i20 crdi 1.4 90bhp diesel, high power stakes. waiting to test it some day. I feel though it maybe the best and far superior by what Ive heard.

Im impressed with the new diesels. as such currently we have the following diesels: punto, palio, Vista, fiesta, 120, Getz, Ritz and Swift. hope to test them all and broaden my feedback.

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Old 9th August 2009, 16:14   #2
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oh i forgot to mention the robust skoda fabia too is in the B+ segment, and can also consider indica diesel, the prices vary from 3.5 lacs to 7.5 lacs for B+ diesels, wanting to test all together. guess hyundai may defeat maruti here with performance, hassle free ownership, feel and durability. but hyundai is expensive to service, maintain and buy, waiting for i10 diesel though. Maruti & TATA is more viable for masses. others like ford or skoda do not rake in numbers though may be better in some way but pulled down by other ownership issues.
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Old 9th August 2009, 16:22   #3
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Fiat is a great car, both palio and punto, Infact i owe my life to the palio coz it is not just such a strong and tough car but a surefooted handler, I cornered hard late evening on a sweeping right turn at close to 100k's + only to find a state bus on our side of the road overtaking a truck, apparently he dint see us and was hurtling straight at us, with hardly enough time i swung to my left and the car shot past just inches from the bus with two wheels off the road, thankfully there was no ditch on the left, but if i was in any other car, like maybe the old zen, i would have swung 360deg or lost control, the palio remained unfazzed and composed. when we turned to look back the bus was not in sight. my life was in palio's hands and it saved me.

the car palio, has amazing feel on the road and sudden direction changes do not unsettle it just like the ford ikon. it hugs the road.

i hope my comparo helps people decide between the diesels of maruti and tata. most of the diesel sales will be between these three cars in the B+ segment. the others are options to be considered.

Last edited by ajmat : 9th August 2009 at 20:41.
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Old 9th August 2009, 19:18   #4
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Oh! my God!. Thats a real long good review. !!!
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Old 9th August 2009, 19:39   #5
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and dont forget the vista TDI!

if you had to pick a diesel, which one of these would it have been ?
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Old 9th August 2009, 20:31   #6
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Fiat also is great, both punto and palio, rock solid and good handling, but ownership experience is dismal

well i still will go with the ritz ddis , good pickup , but i feel i am falling in love with i20 crdi . look to me like a great car though expensive. great quality and plastics, and hyundai diesels are like a stone flying off a sling/ catapult.

Last edited by ajmat : 9th August 2009 at 20:43.
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Old 9th August 2009, 20:53   #7
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i once had a remarkable experience in the Fiat palio 1.2, it displayed the quality of the chasis, I entered a long sweeping blind right hander at about 100 kmph and 2/3rd's of the turn i noticed a state bus hurtling at me on the wrong side on the road, the part of the road i should be few seconds away, it was overtaking a and i still was turning right at carrying the same speed as the palio is real good and is stable on fast curves, with little time to react and brake I turned the steering suddenly left, swevered left, cut and missed the bus by inches and turned back to see but the bus had dissapeared into the turn. luckily there was no ditch to the left. that incident left a strong impression about the chasis engineering of Fiat, I guess i would have wrecked were i to be in any other light hatchback, such quick and sudden change in direction would have me spinning 360 degrees. though I remember stepping on the palio's brake and getting little retardation. but I love both the Fiat and Ford cars and its unfortunate that they dont get their due here due to service and expensive spares. they are ultimate in fast turns and are extremely composed. I wish fiat could produce better quality cars, I havent seen the punto or tested it nor checked the quality but i think palio had sad interiors. It was a great car with a sad history and early demise. I dont see any new palios on road and neither would I think of buyying one. Interiors arent great. atleast should have full door moulding. another great car is the 1.6 ikon ford, I love my 1.3 but not as maintainence free as i would like.

thanks gemi thomas, yeah my first reveiw and sorry i turned out to be long. thought many had the same question in their minds and hence I posted it. I vote for the ritz diesel as all round car. and think many will be confused between the three. these three cars will be big sellers though. and yes i agree with greenhorn we have the vista with the tdi engine too. but dont think it can hold candle to these other diesels. I never liked the diesel indica and its based on the same engine base.

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th August 2009 at 19:07. Reason: Posts within 20mins merged.
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Old 10th August 2009, 12:47   #8
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by fiesta above, i actually meant the fusion which is also a hatchback in B+ segment and comes with the efficient and frugal ford diesel. never driven the new one though, expect it to carry same traits as ikon and fiesta's TDCi's, of being frugal and drivable.
mainly, I wish to express thanks to all at team BHP for designing this portal with one purpose - uniting all car lovers. its a great meeting point, provides excellent insights and provides a common page for all to word their passions, feelings and thoughts on cars which rarely can be expressed in so much words. apologise since new i am still trying to get a grip and improvise on writting. This is the best place i'd love to be talking on cars because there is such a lot of motorheads here.
Also another car i love but hesistate to recommend someone sadly for a seconds buy is Baleno. A good seconds baleno can be found for arround 1.5 to 2 lacs. though few are arround for sale. great VFM car, power (it will easily wheel spin in 2nd gear too), comfort, mileage, low stance, and looks great with low pro's and alloys. problem is, people say that the cars spares arent easily availiable and some cosmetic spares will never be. Unfortunate that Maruti gave a step motherly treatment to what was an all round excellent car. couple of friends had them but traded it for city's and swift DDiS.
can some one tell me whether baleno spares are in short supply or not.
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Old 11th August 2009, 08:59   #9
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How we finally settled for the ritz: my take.
ritz vs i10 vs saffire; petrol b+ economy hatchbacks -
this was a biased comparison, right from begining we were keen on the ritz and used it as benchmark, we liked its impossing street presence and was more inclined to it due to the impressive FE figures it quoted. The swift despite its handling and power was ruled out because was the most expensive, and add another half lakh and we could buy the ikon petrol which has better handling. so we were clear about it. the swift also dint have great FE to support its cause let aside the rear legroom. Also all other cars have an oddly or interestingly shaped dash except the staright forward (i like the swift's dash) and the first car we checked among these was the saffire aura with its beige interiors, in contrast swift dint match that rich feel for a family car. moreover swift is a little common and we heard that ritz engine will be planted in swift next year.
the A star is too cramped and wagon R, well ritz is its replacement, right.
so what remained was i10 vs ritz vs saffire.
saffire was the next to be ruled out. it looks good, has great space, acres of headroom and legroom, seats 5 comfortably and seems most relaxing to sink in. the car has soft suspensions and damps the potholes and rough surfaces very well. It rides on 14 inch wheels. however it returns lower mileage than Ritz and though more than adequate for everyday use is not as powerfull as ritz. It however is better equiped with a small touches and a music player which maruti has disappointed in. however fit and finish left doubts and overall product was not up to the expected quality mark despite the price advantage it offered. what is the extra price we have to pay TATA to get good QC. i would'nt mind payying 20K extra if TATA gave better plastics and finish. it has to be a concious commitment. people arent just looking at buying a cheap car else the jazz will never have launched. the vista is a great car but small issue negate the overall feel.
that left the i10 which has an impressive list of equipments in the fully loaded car with nothing more to add save after market save mags. the i10 has a responsive engine however returns lower FE. It surprisingly is much better finished than ritz, and every thing has quality feel. It rides on 13 inch wheels sadly and the whole car moves up and down potholes and craters hence, though you dont feel a thing, impressive for a small car. i10 has better handling and steering feel of all and comes out trumps in handling and snaking though traffic. somebody told us that spares in case of an accident is expensive and takes time to be sourced.
Ritz had us locked in its clasp due to the FE figures which are much higher than others here. also comes with 14inch tyres and hence the car feels as if riding on a cushion, a big car feel. it handles pretty well and brakes are impressive, is agile and steering is responsive and light. It is roomier due to the tall boy design, liberating legroom and headroom, and externally is nicely moulded with all the different design elements blending into each other. maruti charges a premium on its cars and yet is poorly equiped. the music system is a glaring ommision, so is keyless entry. we dint need the top of the line coz it has that vague blue tone dash, whoever came with that idea. so that left Vxi with just basic features at a steep price 4.66lacs. However it offers peace of mind and suposedly better ownership experience. so finally went ahead and booked, now testing our patience with waiting period.
Amen.
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Old 11th August 2009, 15:13   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_pphilip View Post
This is my first reveiw on team BHP . hope my first impressions posted is within the regulations of team BHP. Thanks for this excellent site to exhange veiws with like minded individuals.
If there was to be a manual on how to write a car-review, this one could very well be a case-study to be included in it. Of course, the statistics and technicals do form an essential part of a review, but the sheer pleasure, comfort, usefulness, the car is meant for, are not derived from the figures, but from the feel of the car, and that you have rightly and very successfully poured in.
Thanks.
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Old 11th August 2009, 19:58   #11
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How is the AC in Vista, I keep hearing that it is not up to the mark! Did you feel the same?
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Old 11th August 2009, 23:44   #12
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Sir I think most are reffering to service related issues that i cant throw light on, during test drive the AC was real cool and effective, Ritz has better positioned blowers coz you feel the breeze better. also blower sound is prominent on the ritz.
and thanks adilip, i am flattered. I thought these three cars prove to be a dilemma to choose from and i could help answer few qns since i tested all three.
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Old 12th August 2009, 05:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_pphilip View Post
Sir I think most are reffering to service related issues that i cant throw light on, during test drive the AC was real cool and effective, Ritz has better positioned blowers coz you feel the breeze better. also blower sound is prominent on the ritz.
and thanks adilip, i am flattered. I thought these three cars prove to be a dilemma to choose from and i could help answer few qns since i tested all three.
Thanks s_pphilip for clarifying on the AC. Yes, I totaly agree with you; I too have the dilemma to choose one of these hatchback's. I am trying to choose between Swift VDI & Vista Aura.
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Old 12th August 2009, 13:48   #14
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Sir if yours is a large family of grown ups, then comfort is of prime importance, and its Vista that'll siut you better. If your everyday driving does not involve bursts of speed, its perfect. The Vista is vastly capable of surpassing your needs and is very reliable. Tata's are confident of the reliability hence the extended service spans. If Vista buy the quadrajet only. Its cheaper than the swift by about 40+ K and thats about the same amount you'll loose when you trade it. so resale shouldnt be a problem. However quality of plastics is suspect. it is a good looking car and pleasing to eye from every angle. truth is, you'll prefer calling it a Vista and others acknowledging it likewise, since the name Indica defeats the pride of buyying the Vista as Indica represents ordinary, common, and low refinement. service issue happen to other brands too but nobody can replace the peace of mind notion that comes with the maruti. Swift is more reliable and rumour is maruti tested the swift diesel for 8lac kms. it has a reliable chain drive instead of belt drive. and the swift is the car to go if you often hit speeds of 120+ and carry speeds of 60+ into turns.
and if yours is a nuclear family with kids, and all have healthy bones, swift is just fine.
However sir, I see you make no mention of the ritz, Is it because of the looks, coz the ritz is pretty accomplished by itself and i guess the best package. Its more spacious and comfortable than swift, has smartly designed interiors. and is a stand out design to make heads turn. car designs are something that grow on people. remember the reluctance people showed when first they saw the wagon R and santro. It offers same mechanicals and reliability as Swift. Maruti charges a premium for its name.
Importantly the diesel will be VFM only if you clock miles to break even.
Finally see which dealership you are comfortable with, and which is closer, and if they are open on sundays.
Best suggestion is test drive till you are convinced. Its their job to sell, but you've to live with the car not the sales guys, and its your money.
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Old 12th August 2009, 13:52   #15
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s_pphilip,

Could you please post in a more readable format. Paragraphs et al you see
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