A car is an object of affection. While function, practicality and logic do play their part, the drool factor has always played a major role in the decision making process of purchase for potential car buyers are looking for a vehicle that will make them look good, stand out and simply gel with their persona. Having said that, there are a handful of cars that have been a market success based on their merit of being extremely practical purchases. Their looks are not something to write home about, but the vehicle itself has proved its mettle and gone on to become a success story. Such is the nature of the Swift Dzire. When it made its debut around four years ago, one couldn’t phantom how MSIL would fit a boot onto a car that was designed to be round. That being said, I am yet to come across someone who doesn’t like the car! In terms of numbers the Swift Dzire clocked over 10,000 units a month and MSIL has sold over 3.3 lakh units till date in the domestic market.
With the advent of the new Swift, it was a wait and watch game to see how MSIL would treat the boot on the new Dzire this time around. Fingers were crossed that the designers would pay more attention to detail and design, however they seemed to have walked down a new path and enter the realm that has so far only seen the Tata Indigo CS occupy. That’s right, instead of working on a gorgeous rear, the new Dzire has been designed to fit the 4000mm length requirement that the Indian Government has stipulated as the definition in size for small cars and therefore benefit from the additional excise cut.
Fitting a boot onto a hatchback that measures 3850mm in length while keeping the overall length of the car under the 4000mm mark obviously isn’t any easy feat to accomplish and the designers literally had even less room to play around with. The result of all this tinkering and scalpel treatment is a notch. No, the new car isn’t a notchback, but a proper three box sedan, albeit with a very tiny looking boot.
The size is most apparent when the car is viewed from the side and there is no doubt that this is going to take some effort for those looking for a three box car to digest. The design is boxy compared to the rest of the car and the boot sticks out distinctively from the otherwise round sporty lines of the Swift. The factor that does light up the rear are the large tail lamps which now form a trapezoidal appearance and frankly look quite nice, but that is just a consolation prize to an otherwise mediocre design.
Measuring 3995mm in length, the new Dzire still manages to offer more than its hatchback sibling in terms of space. Despite the truncated boot, it offers 316 litres of trunk space, which is over 100 litres less than the outgoing model. While this does take away slightly on the whole practicality aspect, the new Dzire is still a decent purchase for those looking for a no nonsense entry level sedan.
The Dzire is based on the new Swift so it gains from the fact that interior space has been optimized for passenger comfort. Moreover Maruti Suzuki has packed the Dzire to the hilt with goodies which includes a dual tone dash, integrated stereo on higher models, climate control air conditioning as well as a host of safety features such as front dual SRS airbags, ELR seatbelts, ABS, Brake Assist, EBD and an Engine Drag Control system.
The Swift Dzire will be available in both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol variant boasts of the K12M VVT petrol engine which delivers 87PS of power @ 6000rpm and a decent 114Nm of torque @ 4000 rpm. Tuned to offer a spirited drive yet retain a decent mileage figure, the petrol Dzire is capable of going from 0-100kmh in just 12.6 seconds and offer a company claimed fuel efficiency of 19.1 kmpl. The diesel variant retains the tried and tested 1.3litre DDiS engine that generates 75PS of power @ 4000rpm and a solid 190Nm of torque @ 2000rpm. Being a class leading engine in terms of fuel efficiency, the diesel Dzire offers a company claimed efficiency figure of 23.4kmpl and still manages to go from 0-100kmh in just 14.8 seconds. Now all these figures might seem rather high for an entry level sedan, especially when compared to its hatchback sibling, but here is the key to all this wizardry. The Dzire weighs in exactly the same as the hatchback, despite the slight extension in size!
Now MSIL hasn’t just stopped here, but have taken the Dzire a notch further (pun intended) by also offering an automatic transmission variant. The four speed automatic transmission will debut with the petrol engine initially however we are praying that this extends to the diesel in the future. The box is a smooth unit that is extremely well suited for city driving and will be a boon any city dweller. It is worth mentioning however, that the automatic variant doesn’t come with climate control air conditioning and features the regular switch and blower unit that we are accustomed to on smaller cars.
So, after having spent a day out with the Dzire, I have returned with a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, the car just doesn’t offer any visual delight, but there is brilliance in what MSIL has achieved. By making it less than 4000mm in length, it benefits from the excise cut and therefore lets the company pass on that benefit to the customer in the form of lower pricing. At the same time, MSIL has packed the car with ample goodies and safety features that are comparable to sedans from a segment higher. Where this leaves the equation is just about exactly where the original Dzire started its journey-practicality. The new Dzire is once again going to have to make its way into the market by trumpeting the practical vehicle badge. It might have lost out on a little trunk space but there is still no arguing the fact that it still remains a very practical offering that is hard to ignore and customers should be urged to look past the sheet metal and recognize the genius that lies underneath.
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