New Maruti Suzuki Dzire – Road Test Review

The Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire has been leading the compact sedan segment ever since the first generation model’s introduction in 2008. The second-gen model, which was launched in 2012, managed to further expand the reach of the car, thanks to its under 4 metre length that helped Maruti to price it a lot more competitively. The success of the Dzire brand is so huge that Maruti Suzuki claims that it has sold over 13.8 lakh units of the Swift Dzire, taking into account the first and second gen models.

After five years of the second-generation’s launch, Maruti Suzuki has now brought in the third-generation version. But this time, the car ditches the ‘Swift’ name from its badge and is thus only called the Dzire. Reason? Well, Maruti claims to have made some significant changes to the Dzire, which is no longer a Swift + a boot. Moreover, over the past 9 years, the Dzire has managed to become a brand name in itself and thus doesn’t require the support of the ‘Swift’ badge to bring in sales numbers.

This is also the first time in the history when a new Dzire has been launched before the Swift. The third-gen Dzire is based on the new-gen Swift that is already on sale in Europe and Japan. However, the new Swift’s India launch is scheduled for sometime next year. As a result, the Dzire has huge responsibilities on its shoulders. It not only has to strengthen its own identity in the Indian market, but is also supposed to lay down the formation stones for the launch of the new-gen Swift later next year.

New Maruti Dzire review

Maruti Suzuki has thus tried to leave no stone unturned to package the 2017 Dzire in a way that it appeals to a wide audience. While the previous Dzires were primarily focused as a family car, the new model comes with technologically advanced and premium features like projector headlamps, DRLs, and a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Through these features, Maruti is aiming to bring down the average age of owners for the 2017 Dzire compact sedan.

Each and every word mentioned above showcases the importance of the 2017 Maruti Dzire, for the company as well as for the customer. As a result, we at Autosite India have penned down a comprehensive official review of the new Maruti Dzire 2017. Let’s see whether the new model is able to live up to the Dzire brand name and the hype around it!

MUST READ: Maruti Dzire – Everything you need to know!

Exteriors – Design and road presence

The 2017 Maruti Dzire ditches the boring and quirky proportions of the earlier model and instead adopts a more contemporary and attractive appeal. We had the car for around 8 hours and drove around Gurgaon and Faridabad in this period. Wherever we went, people appeared to be interested in the new model and there were quite a few who turned their head around to have another look at the car. We can thus infer that the Dzire has finally become desirable, something that the earlier models failed to achieve.

The car is 3,995 mm long, similar to its predecessor. This length has been kept constant in order to maintain the sub 4-metre tax benefits of the Dzire. Though the length hasn’t been altered, wheelbase of the new Dzire has been stretched by 20 mm to 2,450 mm, thus liberating more cabin space inside the car. Meanwhile, the width has been increased by 40 mm to 1,735 mm and the height has been lowered by 40 mm to 1,515 mm. However, the ground clearance has been reduced to 163 mm, which marks a decrement of 7 mm over the earlier model.

Till the second-generation, the Maruti Swift Dzire was always considered to be a quirky and disproportionate design. However, the third-gen model has kept these tags aside with its rather contemporary and balanced design.
At the front, the new Dzire gets a large grille with a prominent chrome border and black horizontal slats. This grille might look similar to what is seen on the Ford Aspire. On either sides of the grille is a pair of new headlight assemblies that comes with LED projectors and DRLs on the top-end ZXi+/ZDi+ models.

The side profile is where things start to fall in place. Unlike the previous models, the new Dzire looks a lot more proportionate as the boot area has been neatly integrated with the rest of the car. In order to do so, Maruti has thoroughly redesigned the car from the A-pillar itself. Hence, the A-pillar and roofline get a slightly curvy structure, as compared to the inclined design found on the new-gen Swift. The top-end variants also get new 15-inch dual-tone precision cut alloys, which are undoubtedly the best-looking set of wheels supplied by Maruti.

The rear-end of the new Maruti Dzire gets a familiar arrangement – taillights pushed to the extreme corners, a thick chrome strip in between, and the number plate housing in the centre of the boot lid. However, each of these elements is new. The taillights get LED inserts, the chrome strip is now slightly leaner, while the boot lid gets a sharper extension on the top. All this helps in making the new Dzire more pleasing to the eye, especially in comparison to its old model.

One thing worth noticing here is that the third-gen Maruti Dzire also suffers from the same issue that is largely being reported by customers of the Baleno hatchback – low built quality. In order to save weight, Maruti has used thin sheet metal, which makes the car feel light and slightly tinny. While Maruti claims that the new Dzire is compliant with all crash test norms, we would reserve our statement regarding this until an independent agency, like NCAP, tests the compact sedan. However, Maruti’s decision to offer ABS and dual airbags as standard across the range surely deserves applause!

MUST READ: New Maruti Dzire horrific accident images

Interiors – Comfort & Features

Enter the Dzire’s cabin and you won’t be surprised by the overall layout of the dashboard. The car follows a dual-tone black and beige theme with faux wood inserts, similar to what was seen on the previous-gen model. The biggest highlight of the interiors is a new flat-bottom steering wheel with a circular horn pad and integrated control buttons. It feels nice to hold and also gets some wooden inserts in the lower half.

The instrument cluster is all-new and features two dials on each side and a Multi-Information Display (MID) in the centre. The overall font size used throughout the cluster is fairly easy to read, even under broad daylight. The MID offers information like fuel level, digital read-out for odometers, trip meters, time, outside temperature, a distance to empty counter and average + instantaneous fuel economy. The automatic variants also get a large gear indicator in the centre of the MID.

The centre console is dominated by the familiar SmartPlay infotainment system that we have seen in the S-Cross, Ciaz, Ignis, Baleno and Vitara Brezza. It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, and also offers rear view camera support. Below this infotainment system is the automatic climate control unit that features a crisp monotone display.

The Dzire is undoubtedly a practical car. There’s ample room for the driver as well as front passenger. Headroom, shoulder room and leg room are enough to comfortably carry a 6-footer. Moreover, with the longer wheelbase, Maruti has managed to improve rear legroom as well. There are multiple storage areas for keeping small items. Each door gets a bottle holder as well as a map pocket. Meanwhile, the boot space has also increased to 378-litres, though the Dzire still misses foldable rear seats for added flexibility – an issue with most compact sedans in the market.

Seats offer appropriate support, though we would have like the rear seats to be slightly less inclined. The front headrests are large and thus block the view from the rear seats. However, they offer superb support to the driver and co-passenger. A front centre armrest is sorely missed, though the rear occupants do get a foldable armrest with cup holder. Another addition at the rear is the new AC vents in the centre, along with a 12V power socket.

Engine, drivability and performance

The new-gen Maruti Dzire is available with two engine options – a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol and a 1.3-litre, four-cylinder diesel. These are the same powerplants that were on offer with the previous model. Despite being slightly old, these two engines are still one of the best units in the segment.

Let’s first talk about the petrol. The 1.2-litre, four-cylinder VVT unit delivers 82 bhp @ 6,000 rpm and 113 Nm of torque @ 4,200 rpm. This marks a decrement of 2 bhp and 2 Nm of torque, as compared to the earlier model. This has been done to optimize the engine for the new-gen car. Moreover, since the new Dzire weight just 860 – 895 kilos, the drop in power isn’t that apparent.

MUST READ: 2017 Maruti Dzire ownership review

The petrol engine in question can be opted with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 5-speed AMT unit. The manual unit gets a light clutch and easy-to-slot gears, making it easy to drive in the city as well as on the highways. The AMT unit has also been improved, as compared to what was first introduced under the Celerio. However, it still racks the refinement and responsiveness of its more premium counterparts.

The petrol engine is fairly responsive, even when hard accelerating the car from a standstill. The power delivery is extremely linear in nature. If you know how to work your gears, the Dzire can be a real fun to drive. Just find the right rpm band and gear ratio combination, floor the throttle, and bam! the Dzire petrol accelerates like nobody else’s business. The engine offers a brilliant combination of power, efficiency and refinement, over a wide range of rpm bands.

The new Maruti Dzire Petrol has a company claimed fuel economy figure of 22 km/l. This makes it the most efficient petrol car to be on offer in the Indian market. You can expect to easily get a mileage of around 16 km/l in day-to-day use.

While the petrol engine is still pretty impressive, the diesel powerplant has started to feel slightly old and outdated. The new Maruti Dzire diesel is powered by the same 1.3-litre, four-cylinder DDiS unit that was found on the earlier model. It develops 74 bhp @ 4,000 rpm and 190 Nm @ 2,000 rpm. To put it straight out, this diesel engine is now match against its more superior rivals like the Ford Aspire, VW Ameo and Honda Amaze, which get larger 1.5-litre engines.

From a standstill, the Dzire diesel pulls off in a very linear manner. There’s an apparent turbo lag on lower rpm, though it isn’t a deal breaker. As you drive the diesel models more and more, it becomes clear that Maruti engineers have tuned it for city drivability. The car can move off the line even in second gears. However, if you don’t switch up, the power dies down pretty soon. Hence, overtaking on highways or attacking that traffic gap in cities requires a gear shift or two.

The NVH levels aren’t anything to talk about either. There is significant engine clatter from the word go. However, the sound isn’t annoying to say the least. Vibrations have been minimized and you won’t feel a thing at the steering on pedals on average speeds. However, as the speedometer needle climbs, the diesel clatter becomes more apparent and anything above 100 km/h sounds like the engine is being stressed, which it really isn’t.

New Maruti Dzire – Review Image Gallery

Having seen all sides of the new Maruti Dzire, here’s our verdict:

  • Exterior Design
  • Interior Design & Comfort
  • Features
  • Engine
4.1

Review Verdict - Maruti Dzire

The new Maruti Dzire has everything that can make it a success. It is the best looking Dzire ever made, comes with modern features like LED projector headlamps and touchscreen infotainment system, and has standard safety features across the variant lineup. The petrol models are still fun to drive, while the diesel too gets the job done satisfactorily, though it feels a bit outdated. Presence of manual as well as automatic transmission options on both engines further expands the car’s target customer reach. Hence, the Maruti Dzire is surely on the path of breaking all sales records that were set by its predecessor.

Bhavik Sharma

Born with a love for automobiles, Bhavik has been in the field of motoring journalism for over 4 years. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and is currently supplying his valuable inputs to the budding platform of Autosite India.

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