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Disclaimer: I’ve always been a fan of the Swift. I owned the very first gen of the Maruti Suzuki Swift, ran every successive generation and variant as long termers and have always considered this car to be the most fun to drive in its segment. Then last month we did a comparison test and the Swift was edged out by the Figo S. So what am I doing living with the Maruti Suzuki Swift and not the Figo S?
“When asked to do everything I don’t think any small car today comes close to the Swift”
You see a daily-driver is always presented with an onerous task list. It has to look good, be comfortable, handle well, be quick, also be efficient, commute well, gobble up expressways, do everything basically. And when asked to do everything I don’t think any small car today comes close to the Swift. The city first, because that is the primary environment in which you (and I) will use a car like this. The big improvement, actually the two biggest improvements, are to the ride quality that is now excellent and the refinement that is unlike any other Swift or even Maruti Suzuki for that matter.
“Ours is the diesel and you can barely hear the diesel – so much so that everybody thought it is the petrol”
There’s significantly more space in the cabin, excellent ergonomics, great front seats and a rather pleasant driving environment. We’ve got the AGS – the automated manual transmission – and the great thing about it is convenience with efficiency. Our motorsport editor had the Swift for a month and reported 19-20kmpl in the city and 21-22kmpl on the highway. No wonder I’ve yet to tank her up.
However you cannot get the top-spec variant with the AGS and I’m having to make do without the touchscreen audio. Fortunately the VDi gets the same tyre size as the VDi+ so dynamically it isn’t compromised. The Maruti Suzuki Swift doesn’t have the outright grip of the Polo or the outright enthusiasm of the Figo S but the balance it strikes on ride and handling is near the class benchmarks. A grippier set of tyres (these buckle too easily) will really take things up a notch. The only real fly in the dynamic ointment is the steering that is lifeless, doesn’t have much self-centring and just doesn’t do the chassis justice.
“The Swift doesn’t have the outright grip of the Polo or the outright enthusiasm of the Figo S but the balance it strikes on ride and handling is near the class benchmarks”
Okay, I’m not glossing over the AGS’ limitations. There is head toss, there is a significant gap in power delivery with every shift and it can get frustrating if you don’t learn and adapt your driving to the gearbox. That said this is actually the best AMT I’ve experienced and a timely lift off the throttle on upshifts does cure the head toss to a great extent. I also have to tell you that we specifically asked for this spec to see if the diesel-AGS combo works for our mix of city-highway commuting. Over the two months we’ve had it, I can tell you it does.
Date acquired: April 2018
Duration of test: 2 months
Total mileage: 6887km
Mileage this month: 95km
Overall kmpl: 20kmpl
Costs this month: Nil