Maruti Suzuki Dzire Review & First Drive

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Overview

The Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire has been the best-selling car in its segment ever since it was launched in 2008. Its previous generations were never attractive but they did a lot of things right, and that’s the reason behind the model’s strong sales numbers. If there was one chink it was that the first generation was an overzealous attempt at gifting the Swift a sedan-like boot, and the second one was a pointed attempt at making it a sub-four-metre car. But there was one thing common between both – the Swift Dzire was never pretty or desirable.

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The new generation Dzire looks like it is making amends. It’s also the first Dzire that wants to break free from the Swift tag. By offering six automatic variants the Dzire makes itself a lot more desirable now. Safety features like ABS & dual front airbags too are now standard across the range. So, does the new Dzire have it in it to better its predecessors on practicality and score high on both form and function? Let’s find out

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Look

Let’s start with the fact that the new Dzire looks more like a sedan than ever before. Despite still squeezing under the 4m mark, it looks more grown-up over the last model. The design is more curvaceous with a new clamshell bonnet and thick chrome garnishing around the grille and fog lamp housing. The tall front haunches spawn a line that drops as it intersects the door handles and rises once more towards the rear. This gives the side profile a sense of fluidity that reduces some of the unavoidable lack of grace that comes with squeezing a sedan within the 4m mark.

At the rear, a pair of handsome wrap-around tail lamps are connected by a fat lick of chrome. Look closely and you’ll see smart circular LED detailing within the brake lights – a nice touch. The top ZXi+/ZDi+ models here comes with tasty 16-spoke, 15″ ‘precision cut alloys’ that look the part. The lower ZDi/ZXi come with normal alloys with similar 185-section tyres while the VDi/VXi and LDi/LXi make do with smaller 14-inch steel wheels wrapped in narrower 165 section rubber. In all, the new Dzire uses a unique, curvaceous design theme with hints of similarity to the Baleno. I won’t go so far to say it’s the most handsome car in the segment, but it’s a big step ahead.

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Comfort

As with the outside, the cabin takes a leap forward. The immediate impression is that of much improved design and quality. The beige and black dashboard gets a more premium and grown up theme to siblings like the Ignis. The faux wood trim across the dash, steering bottom and door panels has a nice satin like sheen. You won’t be fooled into thinking it’s real wood, but it doesn’t come across as tacky either. The ZXi+ and ZDi+ models get a large touch screen display with GPS navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This crisp display uses a similar system to the Baleno and Ignis and is friendly to operate. The instrument cluster features simple, but smart, grey on black dials that flank a black-and white multi-info display. The display offers the typical trip and efficiency data but has some unused space, especially in the manuals where there is no gear position indicator. Makes you miss the lovely colour display from the Baleno. For Maruti Suzuki Dzire check cssn

Towards the rear, Maruti has addressed our two primary complaints with the previous Dzire – rear kneeroom and boot space. Thanks partly to a 20mm hike in wheelbase and different packaging offered by the Heartect platform, the Dzire now offers plenty of knee-room, even with the front seat adjusted for a 6 foot tall driver. Headroom is a little lower than before, but our in-house, 6’1″ tall driver found his head free of contact with the roof, but only just. We can’t confirm if it is the segment best just yet, but rear space is certainly no longer a bone of contention.

All models upwards of the base spec get a split rear ac vent, a 12v power socket as well as a central armrest with two cup holders. Stowage space is generous with two cupholders upfront, a space for your wallet or keys under the handbrake and full-size water bottle holders in the doors. In typical Maruti fashion, ergonomics are spot on, but we do miss reach adjust in the steering wheel, something the cheaper Baleno gets. The cupholder ahead of the front left aircon vent from the old car is gone too, pity that. Finally, the boot is up from a paltry 316-litres to 378-litres. It’s not the segment best, but it’s finally at a realistic level of usability. Overall fit and finish is at the pleasing levels we’ve come to expect from the the premium new Marutis.

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Gearbox

Maruti Suzuki offers a large variety of AMT powered cars in its portfolio. These include the entry level Alto K10 and Wagon R to the Celerio and the Ignis hatchbacks. In fact, about 40 per cent of all Celerio buyers and about 20 per cent of Ignis buyers opt for the AMT gearbox. The last generation Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire had the AMT gearbox but only with the diesel engine option. The new Maruti Suzuki Dzire gets the AMT gearbox with both the petrol and diesel engines. So lets tell you how it drives and if it is worth the average Rs 50 thousand premium over the manual versions.

Lets start with the diesel AMT. The new Maruti Suzuki Dzire gets the same 1.3-litre diesel engine that the last generation Swift Dzire got combined with the AMT 5-speed gearbox. The engine, a 4-cylinder turbo diesel makes 74 bhp of peak power and 190 Nm of peak torque. The 5-speed AMT unit is essentially an electronic controller on the 5-speed manual gearbox which means you still get the 28.4 kmpl fuel efficiency figure. Incidentally, that makes it the most fuel-efficient car in the country! The combination of the diesel engine and the AMT gearbox makes a great pair and if you drive normally or sedately, there is barely any lag between shifts. The typical automatic ‘shift nod’ that you experience when an auto box shifts its gears is also absent at lower revs.

In case you were wondering though, a ‘shift nod’ is the back and forth nodding movement that your head experiences when the car shifts gears in an automatic gearbox due to the sudden drop in power delivery and thus a change in the vehicle’s overall velocity.Coming back to the car though, the Dzire AMT offers great drivability and feels smooth in start and stop traffic too. Floor the throttle pedal a little more though and you do get a bit of lag in the shifts. Maruti does not equip the AMT units with a sport mode like most other manufacturers. We think an addition of that sport mode would make the shifts a lot faster making the Dzire diesel AMT as much fun to drive hard as the manual is.

The petrol Maruti Suzuki Dzire engine remains the same 1.2-litre motor that makes 82 bhp and 113 Nm of torque. The big mechanical change in the new generation Maruti Suzuki Dzire though is the addition of the petrol engine with the AMT gearbox in addition to the normal 5-speed manual. Comparatively, the older Swift Dzire had a 4-speed conventional automatic and not the new AMT unit as the diesel had. The AMT unit in the Dzire petrol is the same one that the Ignis petrol AMT gets but with a retune towards a more comfortable and smoother shift pattern. Unlike the diesel, there is a bit more of the shift nod phenomenon between gears at lower revs.

But the gearbox does seem to have no shift shock or sudden shifting between gears though and the petrol revs as freely with the AMT as with the manual gearbox. Just like with the diesel though, the addition of a sports mode would have made the Dzire petrol automatic a much nicer car to drive as compared to how it currently is. That said, we did test both the AMTs on a hilly road with quite a steep incline and although there is no official hill hold or hill start assist, the gearbox does stop the car from rolling backwards after abou a foot or so and holds the car in place till you use the throttle to move forward again. The fuel economy figure on the petrol automatic is 22.0 kmpl which again, is identical to the one you can get on the manual gearbox option.

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Rideing

If there’s one thing about the Dzire that’s completely bowled us over, it’s the ride quality. The suspension is so silent, the ride so plush, and it may sound like a big statement but there’s possibly nothing that unsettles this sedan. We went over some really rough and broken roads but the Dzire’s suspension absorbed them all without any thuds or rattles, especially the AMT variants. There’s none of the bounciness in the rear that used to be felt in the older Dzire. Despite the ground clearance having gone down by 7mm, the Dzire went over speed bumps without grazing its underbody. If comfort is high on your priority, then the Dzire’s got your back. Check for car loans in Fincarz.

On straight roads, and at speeds up to 100kmph, the Dzire feels stable, it’s 186/65 tyres offering a rock solid grip. But it doesn’t offer the same level of confidence in corners. The steering wheel weighs up adequately when driving at lower speeds. As you gather pace, though, it tends to lighten up a bit making you unsure about what the front wheels are doing. The brakes are responsive and get the job done but panic braking situations are best avoided.

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Safety

One of the Dzire’s biggest plus points is that it’s now equipped with dual airbags and ABS right from the base L variant while managing to price it cheaper than the older corresponding L (Optional) variant with safety features by Rs 7,000. That’s a massive statement from Maruti with regard to its focus on safety. What’s important to note is that the Dzire is built on Maruti’s Heartect platform that makes it ready for future safety norms.

Other standard elements of the safety kit include ISOFIX child seat anchorages to secure your young ones and front seatbelts with pretensioner and force limiter. However, reverse parking sensor is offered only in the Z variant and if you want a reverse parking camera as well, you need to buy the Z+ variant. We wish Maruti had provided parking sensors at least in the V variant considering how important they have become for our road conditions these days. Features such as central locking, speed-sensing door locks and anti-theft system were standard earlier but are now offered only from V variant onwards.

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Price in Chennai

Maruti Suzuki Dzire On Road Price is 6,63,374/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,69,310/- in Chennai. Maruti Suzuki Dzire comes in 6 colours, namely Oxford Blue,Magna Gray,Gallant Red,Sherwood Brown,Silky Silver,Pearl Arctic White.Check for Dzire price in Chennai at Tryaldrive.

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Bottomline

To sum up, Maruti have taken what was a tremendously successful car and turned into a machine that now fully deserves it. The new one is an improvement in nearly every area. It now commands a more premium feeling with vastly improved levels of comfort and features. Starting at Rs 6.5 lakh (all prices on-road Mumbai) for the LXi, the base variants are priced well and are on-par or slightly cheaper than most rivals. However, some may find the Rs 11.3 lakh top end ZDi+ AMT with its auto projector LED headlamps (standard halogens on the rest), reverse camera and clever touchscreen a little too expensive.

Positioning wise, the Dzire is roughly Rs 20-60 thousand more expensive than the equivalent Baleno variant. This means, the Baleno, Ignis, Dzire and even Ciaz are all priced fairly close to each other, with the new Swift due to enter the fray as well. I like the fact that Maruti has not purposefully downgraded one over the other simply to have a staggered price range. This is the era of choice and Maruti/Nexa is ensuring you have plenty of it within their own showroom walls.

Back to the Dzire, careful studying of the features list would suggest that ZXi/ZDi (Rs 8.34 lakh and 9.68 lakh respectively) models seem like the smart choice. They’re well positioned against their rivals while costing a significant Rs 1.1 lakh less than the corresponding + models. In the past, the Dzire may have been the sales leader but it wasn’t our pick of the segment. That may be about to change. Stay tuned for the full comparison!

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