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The first Dzire I ever had for any length of time was at a different time, in a different place. The year was 2009 and I was living in Delhi. That black car was brand new and in an era before sub-4m became an automotive phrase, the Dzire brought most of the goodness of the Swift but with more practicality and more space. From an Indian perspective it also brought a softer ride but being an enthusiast, I didn’t find that aspect particularly charming. Things like quick turnaround at the workshop during regular servicing, reliability and fuel efficiency were surprisingly consistent aspects of owning the Dzire and quickly became an expectation rather than a talking point. Yes, Maruti service did spoil us.
Nearly a decade later, I was once again given the keys to a Dzire. This car was maroon, looked much better and was shorter than four metres. Yet it turned out to be surprisingly spacious. And, unlike the old one of my memories, very well stocked when it came to features while quality was up there with the best in its class. Perhaps even a smidge better. No, this was no update. This was a brand new car. The only thing that was shared with the old car was the name and the 1.3 DDiS engine.
Over the next 11 months of ownership, I have used the car in a variety of situations. The 40km home-office-home commute through peak traffic, frequent runs to Mumbai and the occasional trip here and there, including one run to Goa and back. Hell, my colleague Aniruddha even took it to Chikmagalur to chase down rally cars and came back with a bootful of superlatives. During its time with me, the Dzire never once let me down. Not one hiccup. Not even a punctured tyre! In fact, the spare wheel has never been taken out of the boot.
“What hasn’t changed however is its 1248 cc turbo-diesel that continues to offer a balance of performance and economy”
Unlike the old car that I remember, excellent quality plastic has been used on the inside. Which not only feels great, but also lasts and lasts. The dashboard of the Dzire, despite having been left out in the sun on numerous occasions, sunshine or rain, looks as fresh as it did the day it arrived. None of the fading grey of below par plastic of yore. There are no rattles or squeaks either. Given that I have driven the car in all kinds of environments (including some very rough ones) at all kinds of speeds, this is a huge plus in my books and shows just how much the car’s build quality has improved.
What hasn’t changed however is its 1248 cc turbo-diesel that continues to offer a balance of performance and economy. Barring one occasion, I never saw the figure on the trip computer dip below 20 kmpl. I’m talking about an 11-month period and a cumulative distance of nearly 10,000 km. The other thing that hasn’t changed is the servicing experience. Send the Dzire to the workshop in the morning and you won’t be wrong if you get upset if the car isn’t back by afternoon. You see Maruti’s quick turnaround does spoil you.
The only thing that has been troubling us over the past week or so is the infotainment system. Occasionally, the Bluetooth refuses to play media and sometimes the phone doesn’t connect properly. But frankly, I would think it’s a software issue that can be fixed easily. Besides, if after 11 months, that’s the only sigh of wear on a vehicle, I would definitely like to own one.
Date acquired: June 2017
Duration of test: 11 months
Total mileage: 15,757 km
Mileage this month: 1378 km
Overall kmpl: 22.1 kmpl
Costs this month: Nil