The Swift has been a household car brand since a long time, and the market leader since its launch in 2005. Infact, it has been among the top five selling cars for more than a decade now, having sold more than 1.5 million units since introduction. This is the very car that has single-handedly carved out a niche in its class. It has dominated, as well as sold extremely well, through all its generations till date. Now, entering its latest and smartest avatar, its third generation, the 2018 Swift is all set to launch in India at the 2018 Auto Expo next month. We drive the bestseller from Maruti Suzuki that made its global debut just last month to get you this extensive and exclusive road test review of one of India’s most loved car.
The Swift carries all the underpinnings of the New Dzire as both of them are built using the 5th Gen HEARTECT platform, also shared with the Baleno. Into its latest generation, the 2018 Swift has grown in dimensions and got wider with a longer wheelbase. The All new Swift now stands wide at 1735 mm (+40 mm), wheelbase is now 2450 mm (+20 mm), overall length has been cut by 10 mm, but the cabin area has been extended with more space due to the extra wheelbase.
The first thing that you notice is the aggressive single aperture grill design that is made up of hexagonal outer lines and multiple slim horizontal slats in matt black finish. This is a very ‘into the face’ styled grill. The headlights are now sleek and flushed-back in design, and have LED projection headlamps in them, along with signature LED DRL with white glow on both the DRL and projections. The rounded low sling bumper gets unpainted black inserts that run from left to right like a wide smile on the face, with round fog lamps placed in them on either side. The bonnet extends itself to the highly placed bumper and softly flows back towards the windshield along with smooth-flowing bodylines. The windshield is placed at an angle and the sides are complimented with a floating roofline design.
This floating roofline design gets highlighted by blacked out A- pillars, B-Pillars and with a sharp black plastic fascia that’s mounted on the C-Pillar making the roof appear actually floating. The rear door handle is now placed in the door pillar (Chevrolet Beat had this).
The car also gets an all new alloy design with diamond cut styling coming on flower petal shape alloys. The New Swift drives on 186/65 R15 Bridgestone Ecopia tubeless tyres. The rear gets extended tail lights that are designed in such a way that they jet out of the body-line. These are LED stop lights with a very sporty glow in them.
The rear bumper gets restyled and is a bit flatter now as compared to the all rounded one earlier. The rear glass comes with defogger and wash/wipe, along with a integrated spoiler mounted on the tailgate. The roof gets an stalk type radio antenna. Blokes at Maruti_Suzuki have not messed with the original DNA design of the original Swift and that’s real good and will be liked by many Swift fans and lovers.Minimal or zero use of chrome on the outside with maximum use of matt black elements make the car look a lot more sporty.
Step inside and you will instantly notice the spacious cabin of the car, thanks mainly due to the extended wheelbase. The cabin comes in an all black interior theme with silver insert bands running on the dash, doors and the center panel. The dash gets an all new design and the middle two AC vents now come in rounded design. The dash is flat with curves and bends, highlighting its trendiness. The instrument cluster comes with neat silver and red lined round dials with both needles pointing dead downwards when the car is turned off. There is also a tiny MFD placed between the dials reading out the trip, DTE, odometer etc. The steering is a flat-bottom, 3 spoked, leather wrapped one with manual adjust for height.
The steering also gets the sporty silver inserts, along with the control buttons for the infotainment system and mobile connectivity. The center dash comes with an innovative looking 3-dial climate control unit that has a neat looking digital display for the modes and temperature. The infotainment system is taken care of by the now well received, 7 inch touchscreen unit, one of the best units currently in the market. This SmartPlay system comes with radio, Bluetooth, Navigation, Mobile connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus MirrorLink, reverse park camera in it. The seats get a black and grey printed fabric finish and with lots of bolstering, making these one of the most supportive and sporty seats in its class. The rear seats get 40-60 split folding feature. Legroom and headroom is excellent while there is good shoulder room too in the front and back. The boot area is also expanded by 268 litres, which is 50 litres more than the outgoing model. Entry and egress to the car feels easy due to its tall stance. Lots of storage bins, cup/bottle holders are on offer in the cabin of this car.
The 2018 Swift is available in one petrol and one Diesel engine along with manual and AMT automatic option available on both the engine options.
The K12 VVT engine does duty on the Petrol version, while the DDiS 190 does duty on the Diesel versions. There is an increase in fuel efficiency and power on both the models due to retune and aerodynamics.
The 1248cc 4-cylinder Diesel engine makes 74bhp of power and hits out 190Nm of torque. This is the tried and trusted engine that is most loved and sold around the country. The manual diesel feels extremely torquey to drive with power available at all speeds. The steering feels extremely well weighted and the drive quality is amazingly smooth as compared to the older Swift. The car feels very nicely planted at all speeds. Gear shifts are smooth and the clutch feedback is light. The DDiS engine has a strong low-end torque and the weight reduction has helped in getting it the better of the power to weight ratio working for it. We had loads of fun putting the diesel in sharp corners up and down the empty hill roads of Lonavala.
The Swift diesel AGS auto is fun to drive too a very first time that the Swift gets an Diesel Auto. The pleasure and convenience of driving an AMT auto gives a very good feel in traffic and also on highways, as the car is effortless to drive. This will be the best selling automatic when launched as per our assumption.
The Petrol engined Swift gets power from the 1197cc 4 cylinder engine with 82bhp of power and 113Nm of torque. This version feels very silent and highly refined. Infact both the petrol and diesel Swifts now have a super silent and well insulated cabin.
The petrol car feel very nimble and can be put in corners with ease. The car cruises at high speeds with ease and high stability. Ride quality is very different to the older one and very comforting. The drive feels confidence-boosting and so does the braking, that is progressive with just the right amount of bite to it.
The Diesel Swift Manual is our pick from the lot, it performs extremely well with sharp driving capabilities and an ever responsive diesel motor. But yes if you want convenience and peace of mind in traffic etc then you can opt for the AMT Automatic options.
On the safety front, kudos to Maruti-Suzuki to have decided to give ABS with EBD, Front Dual Airbags, ISOFIX as standard across all trims and variants.
The Maruti Suzuki Swift has come a long long way, with the car evolving the segment around it. The All New Swift takes this legacy ahead. It is very difficult to replace something that’s very good, but the 2018 Swift replaces the outgoing one rather swiftly and handsomely. The car looks sporty and very trendy, comes loaded with features and safety equipment, build quality is good and feels more premium, comes powered by the tried and trusted petrol and Diesel engines not forgetting the best in class after sales, service and resale and a very strong brand loyalty that Maruti Suzuki easily gets – all this making for that perfect foolproof formula to repeat the super duper success story of the legend- the SWIFT.
Bookings for the All New Swift have already opened across Maruti Suzuki dealerships and you can book yours by paying Rs. 11,000.