Who does not know the Maruti Swift? Even those who do not know much about cars, know about it. It is also the car India loves the most and cannot buy enough of. Swift is the best-selling car in India and sells in truckloads month-on-month. It even outsells the Alto and Wagon R plus everything else.
So what is this Swift madness? Its brand image plus reliability, name, and efficiency has made it a household name. Swift is also less utilitarian than some of the other Maruti models and its sporty image has also helped. Maruti wants to keep the party going and hence the new Swift is here with minor changes on the styling front but having a heart transplant. We drove the car to tell you why it is India’s favorite car.
Maruti Swift 2021 Facelift Review
What has changed design-wise in the new Swift?
The Swift has an iconic design and its new generation has aged very well. It still looks good despite a million of them on our roads and it is due to its stance. Swift looks low and wide plus the door handles being put on the rear door also give it a clean look. It is a proper head turner-even in red, despite it being so common.
New for the 2021 Swift model is a new grille which has a chrome bar in the middle while it also gets a dual-tone paint job for the proper Mini Cooper-like look. It surely makes it appeal more to younger people. Our test car was red with a black roof, and you can also get a white with a black roof and a blue with a white roof.
What about the interiors?
The interior is a sporty all-black affair and that is nice since it complements the design. The build quality is decent and some of the bits like the round knobs for the air-con controls are also a nice touch plus the flat bottomed steering wheel is also of good quality. It is the best-built Maruti but some bits like the door pads are a bit compromised in terms of quality.
New to this version is silver accents all over the cabin, which add a sporty vibe. There is less space than an i20 or Nios but the rear seat offers decent space for two and storage is also well looked at.
What about the features?
Swift gets some technological upgrades with a revised instrument cluster which is not digital but has a new 10.67cm multi-information colored TFT display. It gets you all of the basic information about the car via the steering controls. It also has a 17.78 cm Smartplay Studio infotainment system while now it has smartphone, vehicle, and cloud-based services.
It also gets cruise control, a nice rear camera display with sensors, auto foldable ORVMs, dual airbags, ABS with EBD, Pre-tensioner and force limiter seat belts, driver and co-driver seat belt reminder. That said, it misses out on rear AC vents, wireless charging, sunroof, etc – things the new i20 has although it is more expensive.
What about the driving performance?
The new Swift does not get a diesel engine but what Maruti has done is given it a new petrol motor in form of a K-Series 1.2L Dual Jet Dual VVT Engine. It is also found in the Baleno and is a modern engine which gets two injectors per cylinder. As a result it is smoother and more efficient.
The bhp figure has also increased at 90hp while the torque remains same at 113Nm. Compared to the previous Swift the engine runs smoother and more refined. It is now amongst the most silent engines and certainly in the naturally aspirated category, one of the best. It retains the rev happy nature of the Swift and you like pushing this engine.
We had the AMT version and in the city, you really cannot complain the way the gearbox operates and also the creep mode. It is as smooth as it gets and the AMT is now massively improved. The only pause you get is when you are putting your foot down. There is also a manual mode which cures that and is helpful in the highway.
What remains unchanged is the brilliant use-ability as it feels light and agile on its feet. The compact size and the light steering makes it very easy to navigate this on our roads while it is also by far the most fun Maruti. Do note that the Swift AMT gets Electronic stability program with hill hold assist.
What is the mileage?
One of the biggest reasons for its popularity has to be its mileage as it is amongst the most fuel-efficient hatchbacks in its class and also in India. With the new engine, the efficiency has also improved as the manual now delivers 23.20 km/l while the AMT interestingly delivers more at 23.76 km/l. A reason for the increase is the addition of an idle start-stop system. If kept on, it works smoothly and comes back on very quickly. That helps in efficiency. In the real world, we got 17/18kmpl with the air conditioning on and driving briskly along with usual traffic conditions. You will not find another hatchback with a petrol engine giving this much mileage.
Should you buy one?
With all these changes, prices have crept up to Rs 5.7 lakh for the base manual to Rs 8.4 lakh for the dual-tone AMT. While Swift is not as feature-packed as rivals and maybe some other hatchbacks offer more space, for its combination of performance and economy, there is nothing else out there that can match it. It is also the best-looking Maruti hatchback and its stellar brand value along with strong resale/ large Maruti network is icing on the cake. Overall, Swift looks all set to continue its reign.