2017 Maruti Suzuki DZire MT/AT Road Test Review

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Maruti Suzuki, India’s most trusted car manufacturer launched the DZire sedan on the 16th of May, 2017. This is the third generation of the super successful carline, and is based on an all-new platform too. The second generation Swift DZire sold like hot cakes till the very end and also beat its own mate, the Alto, in terms of sales a couple of times, which definitely says something for this particular model. Also, this is the first time that Maruti Suzuki has launched the sedan version before the hatchback that it is based upon, the Swift. We were in sunny, yet humid Goa, to find out what all has changed on the new DZire.

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Did you notice us calling the car “DZire” and not “Swift DZire”? That’s because the company has dropped the Swift tag from its name in a bid to give it a unique identity. The third generation DZire still measures under 4 metres in length and is based on the HEARTECT platform, that also underpins the Baleno hatchback, and of course the next generation Swift. It has been launched with a petrol and diesel motor with the option of a manual or an AMT automatic gearbox. Also, there is an additional Z+ trim level that has been added to the existing L, V and Z trims. We drove the petrol automatic and diesel manual variants on the scenic roads of Goa. Here’s what we feel about the new DZire.

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The basic exterior design of the new DZire upfront is based on the next generation Swift. The car looks visually broader, which is accentuated by the outward flowing design of the bonnet, low placed chrome grille and the massive front fenders. There are HID projector headlamps with LED DRLs that make the front look very attractive. View it from the sides and its origins can be spotted; in this case – the Baleno. There are no cuts and creases here, just smooth sheet metal that flows right towards the back of the car. The silhouette too, is much easier on the eyes than the outgoing car. The rear again, has been disguised to look wider with a chrome strip that runs across the width of the vehicle and the flat-ish bumper that is almost flush with the boot opening. This is the least attractive angle to view this car, thanks to the sub 4-metre dimensions. Overall, the new car looks much more pleasing to the eye and is aggressive and sporty in the right places. It isn’t the best in class though, or isn’t even as radical as a Tata Tigor for that matter!

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The interiors have taken a huge step up over the previous generation Swift DZire. The dual theme black and beige tone has been carried forward, but quality feels leagues ahead, while all panels are extremely well put together. There is a sporty flat bottom steering wheel, a new racy instrument cluster and an all-new centre console too. There is a strip of fake wood that runs across the dashboard, door panels and the steering wheel too, and feels premium to the touch. There is a new touchscreen infotainment system and a new layout for the climate control system. The infotainment system is the same that is found in other Maruti cars and supports Android Auto, Apple Carplay and MirrorLink too. The system also supports Satelite Navigation. The display itself has a good resolution and touch responses are fluid.

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There are few things that we expected in the new DZire though. Firstly, the cupholder ahead of the side AC vent was missed in the sweltering Goa heat, which helped keep your drink cool on the earlier car. Also, an auto dimming interior rear view mirror and a front centre armrest would have made this an even plusher cabin. Seat comfort upfront is as good as ever, thanks to the large seats. Getting into a good driving position is fairly simple and you get a good outside view thanks to the shorter dashboard. Jump in the back seat and you are pleasantly surprised by the amount of space there is on offer here. Legroom is way better than the car it replaces and the back rest is at a perfect recline angle. There are new rear AC vents and also a 12V power socket with a neat space to tuck in your mobile phone while charging. Overall, the interior is one of the USPs of the new DZire with impressive fit, finish and quality.

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The new DZire is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol motor and a 1.3-litre diesel engine that develop 83 HP and 74 HP respectively. Both come mated to a 5-speed manual and an AMT automatic box. We drove the diesel manual first and felt power and torque to be quite adequate. The car never felt out of breadth on the highway or on the narrow Goan streets, but we did come in expecting it to have a bit more power, simply because rivals offer much more powerful engines now, which are pretty fuel efficient too. The petrol motor on the other hand, feels peppy as before and thanks to the new light weight platform, feels even more eager to rev. It also makes a sporty snarl while doing so! The petrol engine is rated to deliver 22 kmpl while the diesel delivers 28.4 kmpl as per tests by ARAI.

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The 5-speed manual gearbox on the new DZire felt a bit notchy to use, especially when compared to the older (unrevised) unit. The gearbox gets noticeably taller gear ratios and cruising at a 100 kmph on the diesel sees the tacho needle ticking at around just 2,100 RPM. The AMT automatic gearbox on the other hand feels very smooth while shifting gears and this technology itself has come a long way since it was introduced on the Celerio in 2014. There is a pause that can be noticed when the gears change, but the jerkiness that is associated with an AMT has been completely eliminated. There is a manual mode too, in which you can use the gear lever to change gears manually. This feels much better, as the pause between gear changes we mentioned earlier is almost negligible here.

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The new DZire rides and handles as well as it did before and even better. The steering wheel for that matter feels light and easy at parking speeds, but offers adequate feel at high speeds. Brakes offer good bite while high speed stability feels impeccable. Ride quality is good for most part, but hit a sharp pothole and you will be disturbed in the rear seat. The ride experienced from the rear seat can get a bit bouncy at times but again, is better tuned than the previous generation car. Safety features like 2 airbags and ABS are offered as standard across the range, but we did miss the Hill Hold function on the AMT equipped car. If you come to a stop on a slope and try to get moving, the car rolls backwards which feels a bit disconcerting. This can also get scary during traffic situations that we find in cities like Mumbai or Delhi.

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The 2017 Maruti DZire is a complete makeover over the previous gen car. The last car was already a bestseller, and a nip and a tuck there would have ensured the third generation car would continue to sell like hot cakes. But instead of that, the company has gone all out and completely revised the DZire. This car is anyways going to sell like crazy, but now will also give sleepless nights to rivals who now have newer targets and benchmarks to beat. It has now gained that unique sedan identity and is no more just a Swift with a boot, at the same time feeling much more premium. The new DZire has just gotten more DZirable!

2017 Maruti Suzuki DZire Price List (ex-showroom, Delhi)

LXi: Rs. 5.45 lakhs
VXi: Rs. 6.29 lakhs
ZXi: Rs. 7.05 lakhs
ZXi+: Rs. 7.94 lakhs
VXi AGS: Rs. 6.76 lakhs
ZXi AGS: Rs. 7.52 lakhs
ZXi+ AGS: Rs. 8.41 lakhs

LDi: Rs. 6.45 lakhs
VDi: Rs. 7.29 lakhs
ZDi: Rs. 8.05 lakhs
ZDi+: Rs. 8.94 lakhs
VDi AGS: Rs. 7.76 lakhs
ZDi AGS: Rs. 8.52 lakhs
ZDi+ AGS: Rs. 9.41 lakhs

2017 Maruti Suzuki DZire Photo Gallery

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Pics by Ritesh Madhok