Not surpirising that the Swift has been the most awaited car of 2018 and it has been a little over four months since the latest version of arguably India’s favourite hatchback entered our long term fleet. We’re driving the diesel, but this time its an automatic version (AMT). This is the first time that the Swift is being offered with the added convenience of an automatic. I like that the transmission matches with urban practicality while not losing its fun element.
The auto gearbox has been absolutely stress free on my daily commutes within Pune and more importantly Mumbai traffic. I also like how ready and responsive it feels, despite being an automatic. It feels more alive than the old Swift, and the difference may be purely down to the lower weight. It’s the dynamics that make the Swift a fun car. The eager handling traits, good grip, sharp brakes and just the right amount of sporty ride that will always make you smile. It makes throwing this little thing around a corner fun. You can even get a bit of lift-off oversteer around a sharp corner, thanks to the efficiency biased tyres.
This, without much compromise on the ride, which retains a firm edge, without ever feeling uncomfortable. The pothole infested roads thanks to the torrential rain over the past month have done little to affect the Swift, as it makes short work of bad and broken roads. It’s proving to be a good highway mile-muncher as well, with the option of switching to the manual mode, when the need arises. It’s been great on fuel too, running around 800 kilometres on a tankful and consistently returning over 20kmpl.
In general we are happy with its features and general ergonomics as was the case with previous Swifts. But there are small features that we find cumbersome. The keyless entry system only opens the driver’s door when you unlock the car and needs to be activated a second time to open the other doors. Although, this is probably to make the car secure in public or open parking lots. A feature we miss from the Dzire we ran previously is the touchscreen infotainment system, which is offered only on the ‘+’ variants. Another miss are the excellent LED headlamps. Maybe Maruti should consider giving this as an optional extra with the automatic variants. The rest of the all-black interior theme goes well with its sporty nature and is a boon in the monsoons, as the car looks relatively clean on the inside.