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Old 27th April 2020, 01:12   #1
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Default A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

How it all started

I have always been a Swift fan boy ever since the launch in 2005. The sporty proportions, the stonker of a 1.3 GBB petrol engine and everything about it made me drool over it for years together. This hatchback was where it all started, especially the fact that I learnt driving in a G13BB! My only dream ever since, was to get my hands on that bad boy.
I became a proud owner of a 2012 Swift Vxi 1.2VVT, in its pearl white avatar, lovingly cared for over a period of 7 years, driven around 79,000kms. The increasing traffic woes however, in Namma Bengaluru over the years were beginning to get to my head and an automatic was in the need of the hour.
This write up solely focuses on the acquisition of my 2019 Swift ZXI+ AMT. I am working on a separate dedicated detailed ownership report on the little old boy, who left us in October 2019 to find his next caring owner.
So now grab some grub, sit down and relax as this is a long story!

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-1.jpg

Goodbye, Ol' Faithful. Hope we meet again.


The search begins:
Its 2019. Traffic seems to get worse by the passing day and you really begin to wish that you could give your left leg some rest. Spending hours together working it out has pumped out the left leg muscles and kept your right wanting! The lack of basic creature comforts such as a Bluetooth connection, steering mounted controls, foldable ORVMs and the Vxi’s terrible brakes made things worse in tight traffic situations. The need to stay away from Maruti for better built cars also cropped in. This decision would end up being extremely controversial though! The cars in contention were:

1. Ford Ecosport Trend + Automatic :
Ford had positioned its Trend+ 6AT Torque Converter Auto slushbox at close to INR 11L OTR Bengaluru. I had read a wonderful write-up of the Trend+ Auto by TBhpian FrodoOfTheShire and had my eyes set on it!
Now Ford being Ford, decides to rejig their variants every minute that the poor chaps working at their dealerships are bamboozled with the product variant line-up.
At this point, I got to know that the Trend+ Auto was discontinued. The Titanium+ Auto was 14.30L and the updated variants did not come with the flawless Sync3! Lack of Android Auto and Apple Carplay at this price point was unacceptable. The Ecosport, albeit a brilliant and fool proof product was chucked right into the bin as it was way out of my budget.


2.Hyundai Venue S DCT AT :


The Venue looked silly in its styling, yet blew me away with its butter smooth 7DCT though not unlike VWs 7DSG in the Polo. The S variant itself was hovering around 12L OTR, lacked the basics like a touchscreen system, foldable ORVMs, auto dimming IRVM and came with old school weak stock halogen headlamps. Though I prefer halogens to LED’s as they scatter light less during rains, a weak headlamp set up was simply not acceptable at this price. The wheel caps and piddly 15” tyres looked terrible as well.
The SX+ DCT was 14.5L OTR and came with just 2 airbags. Now this can really frustrate an Indian customer. Why Hyundai? Why? I decided to toss this one away as well.


3.Volkswagen Polo 1.2TSI DSG :

Drove it, loved it! Wanted it so bad that I had dreams of it. However, the lack of rear space and the height being too low for my parents coupled with the pricing at 12L did not help. The 10 year old car with just updates over the years was beginning to show its age. BS 6 variants of other petrol cars were out by then and got to know that this beauty would be soon discontinued. Did not want to have that mind block of buying an almost discontinued model. I still regret having missed out on you, dear Polo!

4. Tata Nexon :

Another stonker! Build quality can give the Creta and Seltos a run for its money! The 1.2 L Revotron can outpace the anemic 1.5L Creta/Seltos NA petrol. The diesel was even better!
However, Tata really messed up on the ergonomics bit. First, the A – Pillar was sharply raked that my dad hit his head not once, but twice while getting in and out of the car. The solid gauge gave him a swelling! Second, I wasn’t able to find a comfortable driving position at all. Maybe this pertains only to me but I know many of those who swear by their Nexons and its driveability. I loved the car in that respect but not being comfortable meant that I wouldn’t throw 12.5 big ones on this product. You are still a great product, even better with the facelift Nexon!


5.Honda Amaze and Jazz CVT :


CVTs are butter smooth. But this petrol CVT combination wasn’t giving my lead footedness any satisfaction. The rubber band effect was too pronounced and I did not enjoy it one bit. No offense to any owners here, you have a great and reliable product, but I’m not the one for CVT’s.


6.Baleno Delta CVT :


Good all round package. Trumps on space. But something felt missing, yes NO Manual mode! I felt so lost driving this. No, I did not like the rubber band effect on the CVT either. The top end variant at 11.5 Lakhs was not VFM in my opinion.
Thought of the Glanza, but essentially is the same re badged Baleno without any change apart from the logo. Also, Toyota needs to name their cars better! Glanza, seriously?!

7.Ford Figo and Aspire :

Brilliant safety and build quality. Was slightly let down by the 1.2 dragon, but nevertheless was very drivable. Dealers did not have automatic variants and the infotainment systems without the Ford Sync3 wasn’t appealing. The lack of enthusiasm from two prominent dealers put me off. The same guys were enthusiastic on the Ecosport, but a change in attitude towards the Figo was evident that this deal wasn’t going to happen.

8.Grand i10 Nios :

Good packaging. Weird and bulbous styling was a put off. All beige/grey interiors would be a nightmare to maintain. The seats were light grey as well. The 1.2 Kappa petrol wasn’t sharp or responsive to my expectation and not like the K Series though the AMT was a smooth shifting one. This was a contender though.

So now, the hunt goes on…….Wildcard Drum-roll entry…….Wait for it!!!!

It’s the MARUTI SWIFT AMT!!!!

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-2.jpg

Welcoming ‘The Blue Knight’ home. Dad inspecting the finishing details prior to delivery.

“Dude, are you crazy?”
“This guy has gone bonkers!”
“Yet another Swift? Why God, Why?!!”
“Were you missing in person while the purchase was made?”
“Bro, 2 Star safety rating bro!”
“This is an AMT. A wannabe automatic!”
“You’re spending a bomb on the ZXI+. I got the Vxi, much more VFM man!”

These were the responses from my friends!

Anyways, I will list out my reasons on yet another Swift and then move further on the details:
  1. The only car that fitted in my budget within 10L. Yes, I did not want to stretch beyond 8L, but the ZXi+ had all the creature comforts and was priced around INR 89,000/- more than the Zxi. Felt the premium worth the money. The overall price for an AMT though is definitely expensive and I wasn’t left for much. I wasn’t too keen on accessorising a mid-variant later on as I wanted to stick to liquid cash. Financing the whole deal made sense to me as the exchange price helped in bringing down the loan amount. Took a loan against an FD overdraft.
  2. The final on – road price was INR 10,06,000/-. More details on this following suit. The EMI difference on the Zxi and Zxi+ was additionally a little over INR 3,000/- only. Made sense to opt for the higher variant. If I were a cash buyer, I would think over this decision.
  3. BS6. The petrols in the Maruti Stable were transitioning to the BS6 norms and the Swift had a BS6 engine ready.
  4. Good headlamps. I was fed up with the pathetic stock 55/60W on my previous car. Upgraded to 90/110W with a relay but the headlamp plastics started fading and peeling on the long run.
  5. Service. Mandovi JP Nagar is literally a Km walk away from home. They have always provided a good service experience and most of the Service and Sales advisors are have gotten friendly over good coffee and conversations. I like the vibe around the place and can literally walk in there anytime. Building confidence in the dealership guys works wonders.
  6. Mileage and other running costs. I’m just 28 and a first generation Architect with a young Architectural practice. I couldn’t afford to chew more than I could and maintenance is the biggest concern. Maruti service isn’t cheap anymore and has gotten expensive over time. It is still cheaper than the Hyundais though. I see most value in Ford service costs at present.
  7. I’m not too concerned about mileage but it sure does pinch one’s pocket if the car isn’t really efficient. The good part though is mileage is good with the fun factor. The Torque converters and DSGs in comparison were nowhere efficient despite being superior gearboxes. My friends with the GT TSIs and CVTs (Micra and Jazz) crib about their running costs. I guess there is always a trade-off for everything. At present, I have made my peace with the AMT and I’m a reasonably satisfied customer.
  8. Insurance at INR 30,000/- seemed reasonable.
  9. Fun to drive. AMT was a surprise package considering my reserved judgement.
  10. Space and practicality. Much improved and parents were comfortable when they checked it out. After all, a car has to be comfortable for the family too. I do put this on my priority list. My brother, a 6 footer can comfortably sit behind my driving position. I am 5’9” for reference.
  11. It was raining discounts at Maruti Suzuki Arena dealerships. There was a discount of INR 50,000/- on BS6 petrols especially on the Swift.
  12. Free accessories!

Discussion and Test drive experience:

It was a coincidence that my Sales Advisor at Mandovi, Mr.Loganathan works out at the same Cult Fit center at Jaynagar Bangalore. Post a workout session, I had a conversation with him on the Swift AMT and that I was looking to change my existing Swift at that point in time. He also happens to be the same guy who sold me my previous car 7 years back, and had built a great reputation to his name and career. He suggested that I take a test drive and decide for myself. No pressure, absolutely none from him.
He got me an orange BS6 Swift AMT TD vehicle with just 120Kms on the odo. I had driven a Celerio AMT once and sorry, no offense to anyone, I did not like it one bit! It was jerky to the core and could not respond to heavy throttle inputs (The initial 1.0L batches).
I went in for a test drive with all my judgements towards the AMT. However, as we all know, never judge a book by its cover. I swear that I stand by this now, but I daresay mention that this was one of the nicest Automatics (or Automated Manuals) that I drove at the 10L price point.
Took a 40 minute long drive with dad and got sold on the refinement and smoothness of the BS6 petrol. That was my ‘it’ moment. I just had to have it. The long term plan was to consider an economical and maintenance friendly vehicle for the next 5 years and move to something bigger gradually. Keep the balance cash invested and for a rainy day.
Post the TD, I wrote a cheque for a token booking amount of INR 11,000/-. We got to explore all the color options at the service center. The Swifts were aplenty in red and white. Magma grey followed suit. Previously owning a white, I was looking for a darker shade this time. The red was garishly loud, the white was elegant, but boring especially in the lower trims. I have never liked Silver in general and did not bother to consider it. The Magma grey and orange, surprisingly was interesting. The thought of picturing myself in an orange car was a definite no and that just left me with Grey and Blue to consider. The brilliant Granite grey was discontinued with the older car and now replaced with Magma grey that just looked okay. The Blue was a color that I hadn’t seen much nor paid attention to on road.
Confused with the choices of color (or rather the lack of), a Blue Vxi variant came into the service bay and I was sold on it! That’s almost like the BMW blue! If I can’t have a BMW, I can at least have its blue right?

PDI experience, True Value Evaluation, Finance and Pricing:

Loganathan, my SA along with his team offered a seamless PDI experience. The car was brought by truck from the Dabaspete yard to the Shivaji Nagar central yard. They had cleaned the car and polished the body for inspection. Talk about customer impression! Customer is king, literally! The vehicle yard in general was very clean and well kept. It was a busy day as quite a few customers had come for a PDI. The team-bhp PDI checklist was shared with everyone making for a wonderful experience!

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-3.jpg

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-4.jpg

‘The Blue Knight’ the at the yard for a PDI inspection. VIN number revealed an August make for Delivery in October.

The dealership experience with Loganathan, my SA was smooth and efficient. He accompanied the True Value guys to my office for a 45 minute thorough evaluation of my old car. They were impressed with the way it had been kept. The final offered price was INR 3,55,000/- along with INR 20,000/- exchange bonus, a total of INR 3,75,000/- for a 7 year, 79,000 km driven car on its first clutch. I’d got the car back in 2012 for a total of INR 6,00,000/- (Vxi variant). That’s 62.5% in 7 years! That’s an impressive resale value for a Swift. Talk about its popularity!
The car has now found a happy owner and has moved to the hilly regions of Madikeri. I hope to pay him a visit when I drive up there sometime.

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-5.jpg

One last Ayudha Puja on 5th October before the Ol’ Faithful left for his new family

Final Pricing and Break up (ZXi+AMT/AGS Pearl Metallic Midnight Blue) :
  • Ex Showroom price – INR 7,97,000/-
  • Road Tax – INR 1,24,855/-
  • Registration Fee – INR 811/-
  • Insurance Zero Dep + RTI + Engine Protect + 3 yr Third Party – INR 63,378/- (Three years)
  • Royal Platinum extended warranty – INR 13,546/- ( 5 years )
  • Basic Accessories kit – INR 5180/-
  • Auto Card – INR 472/-
OTR PRICE BANGALORE – INR 10,05,242 /- (Including 5 year extended warranty with 1,00,000 Kms)


a) True Value Evaluations (Used as my Down payment):

TRUE VALUE EVALUATION (SWIFT Vxi 2012) – INR 3,55,000/-
EXCHANGE BONUS – INR 20,000/-
Total True Value Evaluation: INR 3,75,000/-


b) Discounts:

Total Price Bonanza Discount – INR 45,000/-
Corporate Discount / Teacher’s Discount – INR 5,000/- (I am a visiting faculty of Architecture at a well reputed institute in Bangalore)
Total Discounts: INR 50,000/-

c) Final Total paid from my end via financing (Total on road price – (a + b))
Total loan amount : INR 5,81,000/-

The HDFC guys were sent to my office. Since I bought the car at a time when interest rates were at 9.25%, I negotiated with my RM at HDFC to get down the rate to 9.0% for a period of 5 years. 2 years minimum period for pre closure. This was absolutely paperless and carried out with utmost efficiency.
I plan to close my loan post the pre-closure lock in period of years. This period will allow me to develop some more liquidity.

Accessories were rained upon us. Loganathan got me a free “Teflon” under chassis coating done. I’m not too convinced with the Teflon humbug, but since they’d offered, I accepted the same. Door mouldings and window rain visors were provided. Did not fit the window visors for now as they look weird and tacky. May probably do it later. They happily offered free Art Leather seat covers as well, but did not go for it as I don’t find them comfortable especially during summers. Fabric seats feel best suited to comfortable in our tropical conditions.

Delivery was done on 11th October at 5.30pm, on the hours of Pradosham. Pradosha or Pradosham is a bimonthly occasion on the thirteenth day of every fortnight in the Hindu calendar. It is closely connected with the worship of Hindu god Shiva. The auspicious 3 hour period, 1.5 hours before and after the sunset is one of the optimum time for worship of Lord Shiva. It was a simple affair with the Staff of Mandovi providing us a gracious delivery experience. They had provided a box of assorted chocolates, which were great by the way. A lovely ceramic Ganesha idol was provided along with some key chains and phone anti slip dashboard mats.
I presented Loganathan with a Titan leather wallet and some sweets. We’d also gotten sweets for the staff who provided a great delivery experience. They do take their customers pretty seriously and I’m happy to be their repeat customer. Upon recommendation, my cousin picked up a Celerio the following week and another friend picked up a Dzire a month later. They too were provided a great delivery experience.
My ‘Blue Knight’ was delivered with 25 kms on the Odometer.
This was my second innings with the Swift!

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-6.jpg

Yours truly with ‘The Blue Knight’ and the enthusiastic SA, who worked round the clock to ensure a hassle free delivery experience

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-7.jpg

‘The Blue Knight’ joining his family. My younger brother was missed at the time of delivery. He was away on his project work.

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-8.jpg

‘The Blue Knight’ and his companion, yours truly!

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-9.jpg

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-10.jpg

Gotta love 'em LED's

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-11.jpg

Customary Puja done at Sai Baba temple at JP Nagar

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-12.jpg

First night at his new home!

So you see, the ‘Blue Knight’ was a crazy wild card entry!

Some hits and misses based on my observations, expectations and ownership (This is a fairly long one)

Positives/ Hits / The Good Bits :
  1. - Retains the beautiful free-revving K-12 Petrol engine. Despite its age, it still feels fresh.
  2. - Refinement! The biggest positive attributed to this engine. Even better with the BS6 tune and I swear by it! This is a super silent engine.
  3. - Extremely agile. Great low end pickup. Has improved over the old generation’s weak bottom end. This is attributed to better engine tuning and better power to weight ratio (96 bhp/tonne).
  4. - Handles like a go-kart. Loves to dive into corners and you can confidently corner at decent speeds.
  5. - Improved brakes. Brilliant braking with the much needed Brake assist. The previous gen Zxi variants too had this. The ABS is intuitive and cuts in upon stressful braking. I come from a Vxi with no ABS or Brake assist where I’ve had to pump the brakes at times. Scary!
  6. - The car is confident especially at triple digit speeds. Its good at 100-120kms/hr. Beyond 120kph, though the car is confident, cross winds are felt. I did a quick one time push up to 140kph to get a feeler and then decided not to touch this figure again. I prefer not to drive beyond 110kph on any car on Indian roads irrespective of its safety features. They simply aren’t meant for it. This is a light car.
  7. - Handling. Absolutely brilliant with a taut chassis and next to no body roll.
  8. - Good seating position and lumbar support with height adjustment. Definitely sporty.
  9. - LED Headlamps are very effective at night. Good throw on regular nights. DRLs are bright and prominent, lend great presence to the car.
  10. - Mandatory seat belt warning for passengers too. The car continues to irritatingly beep until the passenger straps on the belt. Good move for all BS6 cars. Much needed in India where safety is taken for granted.
  11. - Speed warning at 80kph. Helps you know that you’ve touched this speed. Would have preferred a light indication instead of the beep. The continuous beep at 120kph is extremely annoying though.
  12. - Much improved AMT. Smoother than the BS4 variants that I’d test driven with Kalyani (That car had 11000 clicks on the Odo)
  13. - AMT is surprisingly fun on its manual mode. Downshifts are immediate and overtaking is a breeze on highways. You’ll like it so much that you end up using the M mode at all times on highway drives.
  14. - City friendly and wallet friendly too. Achieving economy figures of 13.5-14kpl in city traffic and 19-20kpl on the highways. The car has just touched 7000kms in around 6 months.
  15. - Decent 15” (185/65/R15) tyres from Apollo. Decent grip levels. Although I’m more inclined towards Conti MC5 of Michellin XM2+. My previous car had 185 section 14” Conti’s (185/70/R14) and those were a league better in terms of grip and silence.
  16. - Improved interior space and boot from the previous generation. The boot was a joke in the older car. Practicality wise, this generation has improved in leaps.
  17. - Well loaded with kit in the ZXI+ trim. Good to see other models of Marutis following suit especially in the lower segments.


Negatives/ The Misses :
  1. - Build quality is a downer. My rear doors have taken couple of small minor dings during highway runs with stone chips flying over from moving lorrys. That said, the bonnet and boot lid feel heavier than the old car and have lesser metal flex.
  2. - The 2 Star NCAP rating is a real disappointment. The Euro Spec too scored just a 3 Star NCAP safety rating.
  3. - 15” tyres have a relatively harsh ride. Bumps and undulations are easily felt. You need to slow down upon undulations. Compound is hard in the Alnac tyres and results in horrible road noise over higher speeds.
  4. - Brakes are oversensitive. Better to go easy with the foot. Lead footing the brake will get the car to nose dive forward more than you’d like it to.
  5. - AMTs still have minor jerks. Lead footing the throttle on Auto mode will confuse the gearbox to bits. It begins to act very stupid in such scenarios. Upshifts happen very quickly and the tacho needle redlines unnecessarily, leaving you with jerks and no grunt to move ahead. To extract the best of the D mode, go smooth on the throttle and take your foot off the throttle on upshifts, just the way you would on a manual car.
  6. - AMTs are still shy of the refinement and smoothness of Torque converters, CVTs and DSGs in today’s market.
  7. - No hill hold. Slopes are dicey and you better make use of the handbrake. Managing slopes by manipulating accelerator outputs will result in overheating the transaxle.
  8. - Conservative revs. Cuts of fuel supply beyond 6300 rpm. As you enjoy the power at its peak, it is suddenly snatched away from you.
  9. - Steering is over assisted. Loved the steering heft of the earlier car. That had road feedback. This one is direct but is devoid of road feel/feedback. Weighs up at higher speeds, but not adequately.
  10. - Under thigh support and rear seat back support could have been better.
  11. - Interior quality is ordinary though better than before. Not in the leagues of Hyundai or Volkswagen. Have had some rattling on the driver side door pad which I will get addressed. There seems to be a squeaky sound from the rubber beadings.
  12. - Same old flimsy window operator switches from the previous car. Come on Maruti!
  13. - Laggy interface of the Smartplay system. Could have been better for this price point. Hopeful for a better software update. The newer Smart Play studio should be much better in the updated cars.
  14. - LED’s are inadequate during rains. Heavy scattering of light beams takes place. Rubbish OEM H4 fog lamps. Will have to do an upgrade soon.
  15. - Missing armrest front and rear and Auto dimming IRVM for a price point of 10 Lakhs!

Putting all negatives aside, I really like the practicality of the car. It is the best of two personalities; Dr Jekyll, (when light footed on the throttle) mild mannered on D mode and Mr. Hyde (lead footed on the throttle) on M mode. I enjoy lead footing on the highways but do not touch break neck speeds on such a light build car.

Living and Driving with the 1.2L K Series Petrol AMT:

The ‘D’ mode:

This is the primary mode of operation. City drives and short drives are generally done on this mode.
Throttle responses are sharp, no initial lag unlike the turbo power rich friends as this still houses the naturally aspirated 1.2L K Series petrol engine. The engine makes around 83 BHP at 6000rpm and 115Nm of torque.

Refinement levels are way better than its 3 cylinder friends. This is still a 4 cylinder and I like it this way. The gear shifts are well paired to the rpms and the car picks up without any fuss, making gaps easy to close in traffic. Jerks are also barely felt if you drive with smooth throttle inputs. The Auto D mode is pretty fuss free and the car behaves like a good child if you stick to mild throttle parenting.
Upshifting from 1 to 2 occurs slightly over 2000rpm and gear shifts are easily felt. Successive gear shifts from 2-3 are at 1800rpm, 3-4 and 4-5 at 1500 rpm. Shifts do have a pronounced lag and you can feel the same as a driver. Passengers though haven’t really felt the same.
The car does build up speed well and is easy to drive. You can press the throttle gently to allow the rpm to increase and build speed provided you don’t mash it to the floor. This allows the gearbox to upshift smoothly, allowing the rev counter to easily go over 4000rpm followed by an upshift.

The trick is to lift off the gas when you sense an upshift, just the way you’d remove your foot while up shifting a manual. This prevents unnecessary jerks while it takes a little getting used to. On heavy throttling is when the AMT on D mode struggles to find the right gear. No, this is not a DSG. You got to baby it to get a rewarding experience.

In terms of refinement, the CVT wins over any day. Torque converters and DSGs are far superior to this gearbox. If refinement is a priority, you would prefer the others. The AMT on the Swift though isn’t all that bad. This is a frugal gearbox set up, to say the least.

The ‘M’ mode:

The Manual mode is simply superb. If you can pair it rightly with the rpms and upshifts, you will appreciate the way it picks up pace. You have complete control of the upshifts and this is where you can floor the throttle. The engine will swiftly rev away to glory with that wild scream, building up instantaneous speed and you will enjoy every bit of it.
I maintained the rpms below 2500 until the initial run in period of 3000kms. Post the same, I’ve varied the upshifts between 2000 – 4000rpm. Post 5000kms on certain limited highway occasions, I have pushed this to 6000rpm for efficient multiple overtakes and this puts a big smile on my face! Simultaneously, downshifts are immediate, allowing you to drop down a couple of gears, getting the engine screaming at higher rpms and resulting in the car enthusiastically darting ahead. The best combination is to upshift between 3500-4000rpm and downshift at 2000rpm on M mode to extract the optimum power from the engine.
I’m going to be honest here, the Swift is easily able to outrun or chase some of the bigger cars on the highway due to its brilliant power to weight ratio. You will need to work the gearbox for the right ratios, but this is fun. In one such scenario, a Creta petrol was gasping to keep up with me!

The same guys who’d written me off for getting yet another Swift are the ones who drool when they see him. They are more than convinced of Blue Knight’s capabilities and find him to be a well sorted pocket rocket package.

The downside of this engine is that I haven’t been able to come across any remaps for significant improvement in performance. In that sense, I’ve seen Swift diesels with insane remaps and explosive power gains that the chassis isn’t adequate enough to handle it! The 1.3 MJD in that sense is super versatile! The best that I could do with my older Vxi was to add a high performance K&N free flow air filter but the gains were extremely marginal, to me was next to nothing. I have my doubts if this AMT will be able to handle a remap, if ever available.

Ergonomics:

The area where I’ve always appreciated the Swift is its ergonomics, which are great. The seating is right, sports car like. Having owned one prior, the seating position felt nostalgic. The Swift DNA was still there. The front seats in general, provide adequate bolstering and comfort with decent lumbar support. Definitely better than the previous generation. Cushioning is on the softer side, wished for more firmness though. Lumbar adjustable support would have been appreciated. The same cannot be said about the rear seats. They are a tad upright and could have been incline adjustable. Getting in and out for older folks isn’t its best but definitely better than the older car.
Leg room is decent and good for a family of average height. Headroom is okay as well.


Body Care and Maintenance

Rang up Kumar of Shiv Sai Tyres and Car Spa, HSR Layout, Bangalore upon The Blue Knight’s arrival. Kumar was excited upon seeing this new guy. He absolutely adored the color and requested me to get rid of the Apollos for the Conti MC5 at a reasonable exchange. At this point, I was a bit hesitant for the tyre change as I wanted to stock up on Vitamin M after all the damage! Definite upgrade on the cards upon 30,000kms.
I chose his car care package with a 3 stage wax + polish + sealer treatment with AutoKromm products, which I plan to elaborate in a separate post.
The package was provided at very good deal and I went ahead with the same. I found ceramic coating rates to be ridiculous and every Tom, Dick and Harry was quoting around 18k for a hatchback! Ceramic Pro, FeynLab and Dabbler pricing were insane, around 35K! I’d rather get my car repainted, thank you!

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-13.jpg

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-14.jpg

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-15.jpg

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-16.jpg

AutoKromm 3 stage wax and sealer application (I will detail this out in a separate post)

Voila! He’s waxed and ready to ride the roads!


Apart from this, I regularly hand polish my car every 2 months by myself using Meguiar’s paste wax or 3M/Wavex liquid wax which I think is decent enough for our dusty and pathetic traffic conditions. The satisfaction of a self-waxed/polished car is inexplicable and ever so satisfying! Ah, that water beading effect!
This goes a long way to help you at the time of resale. My old vehicle had its paintwork reasonable well kept at the time of sale, which did play a role in fetching its value.



Service and Maintenance:

First Service at 1 month / 1k Kms:

First Service was done at 872 Kms. A general check-up to check all essentials in place. Nothing big about this. No rattles or any such issues at the time of service. Everything seemed fine mechanically. The right headlamp did seem to have a couple of droplets of condensation but was barely visible. They advised me to wait and observe. Any further development and they could look at replacing the set. Cleaned the car and handed over.
Wiper fluid topped up. Costed INR 34/-.


Second Service at 6 months or 5000kms:

I finished the 5k mark in 4.5 months and sent the car for service. Regular check-up and coolant top up was done. Wiper fluid topped up. Costed INR 34/-. A minor door pad rattle squeak coming from an improperly fit rubber beading was adjusted. All fine now.
This time, the condensation seemed more evident and the SA was convinced. I did write in a mail to Mandovi and Maruti in loop. I prefer all my communication in writing. They have sent a report for headlamp replacement. The make is of Lumax India.

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-17.jpg

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-18.jpg

I hope this image is clear enough. Pardon the quality. You can observe the condensation on the chrome lip of the internal of the headlamp cover. Do not attempt to open the headlamp and clean. A broken seal can lead to warranty voiding. A pair costs a cool Rs 24,000/-!

The replacement will have to wait until the current lockdown is lifted. Will give an update on the same.

I have the 3rd service interval at 10,000kms or 1 year.

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-19.jpg

We wished a happy 2020 to the world on 01.01.2020 with the hopes of a flying start. Although 2020 is currently under a tough phase of the deadly Corona virus and lockdown, we are optimistic to bounce back stronger.

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-20.jpg

6000 kms just breached around a month back. We are now hovering at just about 7000kms over the last 6 months. The last 3 months from the beginning of the year involved a lot of driving as compared to the first 3 months.

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-21.jpg

Some irritating scratches after parking beside a bush. Every time I wax the body, the scratches dull out, but re-appear after a few washes. Have learnt to live with it. What’s life without a few blemishes anyways?

It’s all about fun and games!

The car has done some highway runs to Hosur, Denkanikotai, Vellore, Chennai, Sakleshpur and some outskirts of Bangalore on a regular basis.
I do enjoy a drive at any given point and drive down for site visits at times on outstation site visits. My speeds are generally contained in the 100-110 kph range.
The ‘Blue Knight’ keeps me happy, puts a grin to my face at all times, something that the other cars in the family haven’t been able to. Yes, there is no denial that my older car was dynamically better with its lovely steering and slick shifting gearbox, but you do need certain creature comforts, the biggest being an automatic for our traffic battles. This is the only reason for switching to an Auto box. I will at some point in time scout for a fun to drive manual in the form of a pre-owned Abarth or a GT TDI with a sure remap or a sparingly used JTP to share a space with the Swift and satisfy my manual gearbox cravings. Will stock up on some Vit – M for a couple of years for the same.

There is just something about the Swift that makes an enthusiast bring out his boy racer instincts. I don’t look at power figures or engine capacity being the only factor while buying a car. Engine refinement, to me is the most important aspect. Driveability and ergonomics are equally important. Since the car is primarily driven by me, I need to have that perfect seating position. I am very particular about this and is also a reason why I never hand over the keys to a valet!
I still do long for a better refined gearbox, but this according to me seems the most enjoyable option and value for money in the 10L hatchback price point. I will definitely vouch for the Aspire 1.5 DCT in that sense, but that wasn’t available in stock. The CVTs did not cut it out for me, especially with no Manual override mode in the Baleno and the paddle shifters in the Jazz or the Amaze not being able to do much. For now, I can live with the AMT when I look past its flaws. I just hope that it runs fuss free and light on the pocket for as long as it stays with me. As I sign off, I’d like to leave you all with some pictures that could probably speak better than what I’ve dabbled with words! I will post constant updates on the service and running aspect over a period of time. Service intervals are at every 10,000kms. As of now, I’m a happy owner with 7k clicks on the odo. Thank you for patiently hearing me out!

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-22.jpg

A drive to Kalyapura forest, 40 kms beyond Bangalore Airport

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-23.jpg

Off to sleep post a day trip to Vellore and back in March. He was too tired to drive into the porch (his driver actually) and decided to enjoy a 2 am drizzle.

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-24.jpg

Enjoying a cool down shower post an enthusiastic mid night run from Krishnagiri.

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-25.jpg

DRL on ‘stealth mode’

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-26.jpg

Ready to be tucked into bed.

A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT-27.jpg

Soaking up some rain during the lockdown, post a wax polish session with Wavex liquid wax. Pretty decent result with an easy to apply product. I love the water beading effect.
Cannot wait to be back on the road post the lockdown!

Be Safe! Cheers!
Aditya

Last edited by Aditya : 29th April 2020 at 07:03. Reason: Spacing, formatting
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Old 28th April 2020, 07:01   #2
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Default Re: A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

Your car is going to our homepage today
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Old 28th April 2020, 12:35   #3
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Default Re: A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

I can never buy a car with a poor built quality but the swift in this blue shade is a looker and very tempting, nice pictures and a good review by the way, happy miles ahead
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Old 28th April 2020, 13:24   #4
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Default Re: A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

Awesome Awesome. Firstly, let me congratulate you on your new set of wheels. The car looks cool in this shade and the design is sporty. I would this design language over the overly done Hyundais. I'm confident that you've put in your hard earned money in a right product.

Also glad to know that you have a deep sense of appreciation for the SA who helped you in your purchase decision. I would PM you to know more about the dealership and the SA himself. Would like to talk to him.

My best wishes for you and the your lovely family! Lastly, I must appreciate your crisp writing skills as well. Cheers!
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Old 28th April 2020, 15:28   #5
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Default Re: A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

A very good review mate. And what a gorgeous looking car there! Lovely deep blue shade this. MSIL has nailed this colour. Swift looks really stealthy in this shade.
Loved your detailed step by step experience of shortlisting, buying the car. One of the very objective, practical and unbiased overall recording of the journey. Wish you and your family unlimited safe & happy miles with the Swift!

This I guess is one of the few positives during lock-down. Its raining fantastic quality ownership threads here on TBHP and its just such a joy to read through them peacefully!
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Old 28th April 2020, 17:40   #6
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Default Re: A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

Congratulations on your new ride mate. Absolutely loved the dark blue shade on the current Swift.
I can understand how you might be feeling from going through all generations of the Swift. Maruti is progressively going down on built quality.
I have one apprehension mind, are there any noticeable changes from going BS4 to BS6 in that 1.2 K series?

Even i recently upgraded to a Honda City CVT for similar reasons and being a stick shift lover, I really feel bad about Delhi traffic that made me go for an autobox. But trust me, no matter how jerky an AMT is, it is the closest thing to a manual out there. You can still have fun with it by shifting down as you slow down and have some fun with the engine braking. You can easily harness it in an automated manual like yours.

As far as tyres are concerned, upgrade to Michelins or this new brand, Comforser, which even I’m considering for my City for around half the price of a Michelin with nearly the same quality.
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Old 28th April 2020, 19:06   #7
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Default Re: A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

Congratulations on your new ride. There is definitely a lot of improvement over its predecessor. I really like the new steering, the dials, the LED headlamps and a couple of the new colours that they've added. Although I always felt that they sell their cars with really skinny tires (apart from the Brezza).

Any particular reason that you didn't consider the i20?

Oh and by the way, I too stay about 500 meters away from the Mandovi service centre.
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Old 28th April 2020, 23:33   #8
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Default Re: A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
Loved your detailed step by step experience of shortlisting, buying the car. One of the very objective, practical and unbiased overall recording of the journey. Wish you and your family unlimited safe & happy miles with the Swift!!
Thank you for your kind words Reinhard sir. This is my first post on team bhp despite lurking around for over a year.
The lockdown has given me some time to reflect my thoughts on the car post the purchase and miles munched over the months. Finally took myself to penning this down and completing this two nights in a row.

The detailed step by step description was only possible after reading through the great content and quality of writing on this forum. Also, your review on the Tata Nexon was great. Strikingly beautiful your car is!



Quote:
Originally Posted by drive1987 View Post
Also glad to know that you have a deep sense of appreciation for the SA who helped you in your purchase decision. I would PM you to know more about the dealership and the SA himself. Would like to talk to him.

My best wishes for you and the your lovely family! Lastly, I must appreciate your crisp writing skills as well. Cheers!
Hey thanks a lot for your kind wishes! Yes, the Swift is a stunner in this Blue. Thanks to BMW for introducing me to this shade!
The SA is a gem of a guy. Super helpful and supportive in the entire process. The only thing that was left was to be on time for delivery!
Please do feel free to PM for any details that you'd like. I'm always game to have another fellow bhpian check out my car in person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yesyeswe View Post
I can never buy a car with a poor built quality but the swift in this blue shade is a looker and very tempting, nice pictures and a good review by the way, happy miles ahead
I totally agree with you on the build. Initially wanted a segment higher, but the Ecosport and Venue in the Auto trims didn't seem value for money. The objective soon changed to being patient for the next five years with a reliable and frugal, yet fun to drive car. One thing though is that Maruti has never let me down in terms of reliability. I will look out for a safe built pre-owned vehicle post 3-4 years to share a space with this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.aviansh View Post
Congratulations on your new ride mate. Absolutely loved the dark blue shade on the current Swift.
I can understand how you might be feeling from going through all generations of the Swift. Maruti is progressively going down on built quality.
I have one apprehension mind, are there any noticeable changes from going BS4 to BS6 in that 1.2 K series?
Thank you so much. Yes, quality levels in terms of metal gauge has gone down. It's rather inconsistent I'd say. The bonnet and boot lid are definitely better than the prev gen with barely any flex, but the same cannot be said about the doors. They feel way too light. Have taken minor stone chip dings over highway drives, but they're visible only to my eye and I've learnt to live with it. The interior quality is a step up, but not the best.

BS6 is definitely a thumbs up in terms of refinement. There is a tad bit of power sap in the low end, just as you pick up. But that said, no drastic change is evident. The gear shifts feel less jerky and better transitioned. Good thing though is that it hasn't lost it grunt, unlike the Gi10 NIOS, which I felt a real downer in the BS6 form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMvW.Rajat View Post
I really like the new steering, the dials, the LED headlamps and a couple of the new colours that they've added. Although I always felt that they sell their cars with really skinny tires (apart from the Brezza).

Any particular reason that you didn't consider the i20?

Oh and by the way, I too stay about 500 meters away from the Mandovi service centre.
Yes, creature comforts are greatly improved and appreciated. I do plan an upgrade to 195 or 205mm section tyres post usage of the OEM Apollo Alnacs.

The i20 CVT wasn't impressive to drive and felt underpowered. Since I was on the lookout for an automatic petrol, I had to drop it. The diesel i20 is brilliant though!

We should meet sometime, probably the next time I'm at Mandovi, I shall give you a buzz. Do PM your details. Thank you for your words of appreciation.
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Old 29th April 2020, 02:58   #9
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Default Re: A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

It's really surprising how we have a lot of things in common! To start off, we bought essentially the same cars and that too in the same variant+engine+gearbox combo (the only difference being that mine has a boot), we both had the previous gens of our current cars in the same V trim (mine was a diesel though) and pearl white shade for seven years, we dealt with the same SA who sold us our previous cars, bought the new ones for the same reasons and our ownership reports came on the homepage on the same day too!
The review was very crisp and I could relate with absolutely everything!
Me and my Dizzy wishing you lacs of trouble free miles with the 'BLUE KNIGHT'

Last edited by Nazaar25 : 29th April 2020 at 03:04.
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Old 29th April 2020, 09:38   #10
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Default Re: A journey with yet another Swift, the ‘Blue Knight’ - My Maruti Swift ZXi AMT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazaar25 View Post
It's really surprising how we have a lot of things in common! To start off, we bought essentially the same cars and that too in the same variant+engine+gearbox combo (the only difference being that mine has a boot), we both had the previous gens of our current cars in the same V trim (mine was a diesel though) and pearl white shade for seven years, we dealt with the same SA who sold us our previous cars, bought the new ones for the same reasons and our ownership reports came on the homepage on the same day too!


Me and my Dizzy wishing you lacs of trouble free miles with the 'BLUE KNIGHT'
Isn't that some brilliant coincidence! After having read your review last night, a brilliantly written one by the way, almost everything is in common! We only ended up having a gap of 1.5 years in between! We both sound extremely happy with our decisions.
Also, your Dizzy looks timeless and classic, especially in that silver shade. It looks so elegant on a Dzire, a color that the Swift couldn't just carry.

Thank you for your kind words. My Blue Knight and I too wish you and the family a very happy, safe and enjoyable ownership. For a 17 year old, you have a very matured sense of writing and understanding a car, that too at an age prior to taking your driving licence. That's a lot to learn from you man! Keep it going and I'm definitely looking forward to many more reviews from you!
Cheers buddy!
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