This month I took the ownership of our long-term Dzire from Jared. In fact, I was quite delighted to have the Dzire for a few very simple reasons. Its infotainment system is probably the best in the segment and the interior layout and overall quality of the cabin is really, really impressive. And the ride and handling balance is on point. The most important thing is that it’s a petrol AMT. And no matter how badly you or I love manual gearboxes, clutchless motoring is the way to go, if you drive in the choked confines of our cities.
All said though, after driving the Dzire for a couple of days, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a fan of its AMT gearbox. Don’t get me wrong – it gets the job done, but in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the gearbox tends to be a little too jerky for my liking. For instance, it sticks to first gear for much longer than needed. And in manual mode, it won’t upshift to second no matter what. You can work around this by putting it in neutral, and coast till you come to halt again. But then, it kind of defeats the purpose of an ‘automatic’ car – at least for me.
On open roads, the gearbox works absolutely fine though. And I really love the auto-blip function that matches revs while downshifting manually. As for the faults, the brakes have started squeaking and they need to be fixed soon. The plastic panel surrounding the gear lever has also come off on its own, which is a bit surprising. A quick visit to the service centre should solve these niggles.