2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift First Drive Review: The Family Hatchback You Need?

We drive the new Maruti Suzuki Swift with a brand-new engine, interiors and design cues. Here is what we made of the latest in the budget car segment!

By Aakash S Paul | Photography Sunil Chauhan | on May 16, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

The world today is dominated by electric vehicles, pseudo-SUVs, and Gen Z – a world that's quite different from the one 19 years ago when the Maruti Suzuki’s Swift first came to Indian shores. It soon became widely successful, and now, it has made a roaring comeback in its fourth-gen avatar. The question, however, is if this updated small-size humble hatchback can find the same love and attention in the present day. Are the updates and pricing good enough for Maruti to turn this iteration of the Swift into a success story once again? With these questions in mind, I drove the car recently, and here is what I think...

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift Review: Engine & Gearbox Performance

The most significant change in the 2024 Swift is its new Z series engine. It has been the topic of much discussion because, unlike the previous four-cylinder K series engine, the new Z series engine is a three-cylinder unit. Yes, the capacity remains the same at 1.2 litres, but the power and torque figures have been dropped to 80.4bhp and 111.7Nm. Now, the difference in torque is marginal, but sadly, you can't say the same about the power. The moment you start driving the new Swift, the reduced power becomes quite evident in its underwhelming response below 3,000rpm. The car builds speed in a very linear and slow manner.

Driving 2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift for Review

That said, it does have a redeeming characteristic, which is that the engine's response improves significantly at higher revs. In fact, if you mostly hover around 5,000rpm, the Swift lives up to its name and feels quite swift to drive. The new engine also offers an improved fuel economy, which is a welcome improvement. While I did not have enough time to do an efficiency test myself, the company claims 24.8km/l and 25.75km/l for the manual and AMT versions, respectively, which are rather impressive figures and quite appealing in a segment where buyers prioritise maximising distance per litre fuel.

Now, initially, I had some concerns regarding the NVH levels of the new Swift, given that three-cylinder motors are notorious for their vibrations. However, thankfully, Maruti has managed to keep vibrations under check, making it one of the smoothest three-pot motors out there. While it still lags behind its predecessor in this aspect, the difference isn't substantial. However, I did notice that the engine sound is not as pleasant when the revs build. On a positive note, I have no complaints about the 5-speed manual gearbox. It's easy to shift, and the clutch is light and progressive. There is also an AMT option available, but testing it is a task for another day.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift Review: Ride & Handling

Another aspect of the new Swift that surprised me was its handling. The steering wheel is decently light and weighs up well as you pick up speed, providing a reassuring feeling. The feedback from the steering is very accurate and precise, and your steering inputs are effectively translated onto the tarmac. Combine this with a firm suspension and decent road tyres, and you have a dynamic package that can be thrown around for loads of fun. Now, when I say firm suspension, I do not mean that its ride quality and comfort are compromised. While it may not be the most absorbent suspension, it handles potholes effectively, maintaining decent levels of comfort. 

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift Review: Interior Updates

The interior updates are arguably my favourite aspect of the new Swift. The redesigned dashboard looks sharp and modern, featuring a larger 9-inch floating touchscreen unit that supports wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – a feature typically found in vehicles a class above. The screen itself has a good touch response and does not lag.

I also appreciate the cabin's overall quality. It is well-made, with hardly any signs of shoddy workmanship. Additionally, there is a new wireless charger, making the task of charging your smartphone easier. As a 6-foot-tall person, I found that the cabin had enough headroom. Even the seats felt nice and comfortable for a car of this segment. 

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift Interior Dashboard Review

The second-row bench also has comfortable cushioning, but the backrest angle here is a bit upright. Also, just like the front, there is no armrest in the second row either. Thankfully, the occupants at the back get AC vents of their own, with two USB ports – one  Type A and one Type C – positioned just above them. While I like that Maruti has offered both options, the placement of the ports feels somewhat distant.

In terms of space, after adjusting the driver's seat to my preference, I found that the knee room and legroom were modest at best. While the headroom was plenty, the under-thigh support could have been better. Honestly, this bench is not wide enough for three average-size people to sit comfortably, and the raised tunnel in the centre only exacerbates the issue.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift Review: Design & Styling

The design of the new Swift has changed, but you can still identify it as the Swift even from a mile away. Maruti has opted for a gentle evolution approach to its design, giving the new Swift a revised headlamp and taillamp design. I particularly like the latter, especially the black inserts and the stepped design inside the unit, all of which make it look modern and sporty at the same time. Another highlight of the car is that it comes with LED lighting all around. There is also a new glossy black grille, sans the chrome strip of the previous model. The lower part of the bumper is finished in black, and the fog lamp housing is more square-like, giving it a sporty touch.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift Rear Design Review

At the sides, the new 15-inch dual-tone alloy wheels steal the limelight. They look pristine, especially when the light hits them at just the right angle. The door handle on the second-row doors has been moved down to the conventional position, which, I think, takes away from the overall character of the Swift. There is also a prominent character line that almost encircles the car, providing a sense of continuity and adding to the visual appeal of the overall design. While I appreciate the detail, it results in a noticeable gap between the bonnet and the body at the front, giving the impression that the bonnet is not fully closed. Except for this minor flaw, there is no denying that the new Swift has a sleek appearance and an overall appealing design.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift Review: Final Thoughts

While the new Z series engine might not be the most peppy unit in the segment, it does deliver a smooth driving experience and enhanced fuel economy. To give credit where it's due, despite generating less power, the engine offers decent excitement and thrills at higher revs. Not to mention that the new Swift comes with a competent chassis, a nice suspension, and a responsive steering wheel, making it a balanced package, capable of offering a nice and enjoyable driving experience. A lot of people I know like the design of the car and have only good things to say about it, so it seems that the new Swift is making quite an impression.

The update has also improved the cabin's overall look and feel and has added some useful features to the mix. The best part is that the Swift now gets six airbags as standard. With an introductory starting price of Rs 6.49 lakh (ex-showroom), the 2024 Swift makes a good case for itself as an effective, efficient, and value-for-money offering. However, if you are willing to spend just a little more, two more options within the Maruti family may pique your interest – the Baleno and Fronx. Plus, there is a slew of competitively-priced compact SUVs that might make more sense to those who don't mind paying more for a bigger vehicle. But for those who simply want a feature-packed small hatch, the Swift is still a great pick.

  • 2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift

Engine: 1,197cc / 3-cylinder / Naturally-Aspirated

Fuel: Petrol

Transmission: 5-Speed MT / Front Wheel Drive

Power: 80.4bhp @ 5,700rpm

Torque: 111.7Nm @ 4,300rpm

Price: ₹6.49 lakh (ex-showroom)

X-Factor: A smart and sensible hatchback.

•  Smart looks

•  6 airbags as standard

•  Smooth manual gearbox

• Weak low-end performance

•  No armrests

Tags: Maruti Suzuki Swift Maruti Suzuki Swift

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