The third generation Maruti Suzuki DZire looks posh and is fully loaded with features. Does this make the new sub-4 metre sedan the invincible one in its segment? We find out.
Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire has come a long way since its inception in 2008. Pardon me, this third-generation sedan is simply called DZire as Maruti Suzuki decided to drop the Swift name. Many may not even notice this change, but for the curious lot, Maruti did this because the all-new DZire is no more based on the Swift, rather it uses the Baleno platform. We promise you we will get to the advantages of this new chassis in awhile, but right now, how about we spend a couple seconds admiring this brand new sub-4 metre sedan. We also agree that words like stunning road presence and an air of premium-ness are something one doesn’t associate with the DZire, unless you’re trying to pull off a fast one. As we mentioned earlier, the DZire has a come a long way from what it stood for — a practical and a value-for-money family sedan. No puns intended, but Maruti has put some serious thought into making this car a desirable proposition. The DZire has never been a ‘Yes Sir’ or a follower rather, it has been a segment leader by a comfortable margin with a 50% segment share and now with the new avatar, things will only get better for Maruti.
We are really happy to say that the new DZire looks more like a sedan than a worked upon hatchback, thanks to the roof, which smoothly merges into the body. And we really hope the competition is taking some notes so that the sub-4 metre sedan segment transforms like the 'Ugly Duckling'. Coming back to the 2017 DZire, it has a road presence like no other car in its segment with its projector headlamps, a string of diamonds like LED daytime running lamps and the bright LED tail lamps. Calling the new DZire sporty would be incorrect rather it brings in a lot of pomp and opulence, which this segment seriously lacks. The new front fascia with a four-slat chrome grille, replacing the single slat grille, redesigned bumpers, and a new set of 15-inch alloy wheels have managed to change its image. It’s no secret that we, Indians, love chrome, but kudos to Maruti for judiciously using it in a classy way.
Step inside and you're welcomed by an airy dual-tone black and beige cabin. We initially thought Maruti could have done without the wooden inserts on the dashboard, door panels and the steering wheel, but it honestly didn't look too tacky. We loved the new flat-bottom steering wheel. It doesn't just look good, it also feels well balanced and isn't too light like most cars these days. The DZire now sports an upgraded infotainment system with a touchscreen display, which has an inbuilt navigation system and is equipped with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as connectivity options apart from Bluetooth, of course.
Thanks to the Heartect platform, the new DZire’s wheelbase has been increased by 20mm and the width gone up by 40mm. This basically translates into a lot more spacious knee and legroom for the rear passengers. For enhanced comfort, it also comes with a rear AC vent. The good news is that new DZire has shed some weight. The petrol is lighter by 85kg and the diesel by 105kg. Its boot space has now been increased from 320 litres to 376 litres.The new seats are big and supportive, though slightly soft. It's very similar to the Baleno's. Therefore, there's ample under thigh support. On the hindsight, though, the ground clearance has dropped by 7mm to 163mm, but it's still very decent for our road conditions.
As expected, the DZire retains the 82bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine and the ever so reliable 74bhp 1.3-litre multijet diesel engine. But the USP of the new DZire is that now both the powertrains are available with a 5-speed AMT transmission. This makes the DZire the only car in the segment to offer AMT in both the petrol and diesel trims.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine is very silent and refined as it never sounds out of tune. Even though being an AMT, its first nature is to upshift as soon as possible to return high fuel economy, the petrol still lets you stretch the RPM needles a fraction more than the diesel. At low speeds, a shade over 1,000rpm, the engine is responsive and when slotted in manual mode, it sprints like a hare.
In the case of the diesel, the 1.3-litre builds up momentum in a calculated manner, therefore, a turbo lag can be felt. Once it hits the mid-range power, you can feel the much-needed power kicking in. As said earlier, the main aim of the AMT gearbox is to ensure high mileage and according to Maruti, the petrol returns 20.85kmpl and 26.85kmpl by the diesel, making it the most fuel-efficient car in its segment.
Priced at Rs 8.41 lakh and Rs 9.41 lakh, both the petrol and diesel AMT versions are real value for money even though it takes time getting used to the transmissions' upshifting habit. The DZire looks very posh and the cabin is spacious and is equipped with comfort features. Coming to the safety aspect, Maruti has left no stone unturned as the DZire is equipped with ABS, dual airbags and ISOFIX seats as a standard feature. The ride quality is ideal for Indian roads as it easily cushions the potholes and ditches without any jarring experiences. The suspension set-up has now become slightly softer. The DZire hits new highs and continues to dominate this segment. The king is still very much alive and is all set to slay its competitors.
- Maruti Suzuki DZire ZDi+ AGS
- Maruti Suzuki DZire ZXi+ AGS
Engine: 1,248cc / 4-cylinders / 16 valves / DOHC
Transmission: 5-Speed AMT
Power: 74bhp @ 4,000rpm
Torque: 190Nm @ 2,000rpm
Price: Rs. 9.41 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
Engine: 1,197cc / 4-cylinders / 16 valves / DOHC
Transmission: 5-Speed AMT
Power: 82bhp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 113Nm @ 4,200rpm
Price: Rs. 8.41 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi)