You can argue that the Maruti Swift is modern India's favourite car. Yes the Alto and the 800 put India on wheels but the Swift signaled the change to modern India. The Maruti Swift completes 15 years and without doubt it has been a game-changing car. Here is our tribute.
First Generation Swift
2005 was a landmark year because Maruti brought in the Swift. It has changed Maruti Suzuki as a car-maker and the Indian hatchback market. The Swift we think gave Maruti the edge and actually changed its fortunes to be the No.1 car-maker in India.
What was so special about the Swift? It looks young, fresh and unlike anything else we have seen. The stunning design still looks good today while the interior in terms of design or quality was a new league. The Swift had the Esteem engine and that made it a brilliant driver's car. However it was also a Maruti and it also had good efficiency but it was the first premium hatchback from Maruti so with the design, interior and features it was a game-changer. Later the 1.3 diesel further made the Swift even more popular as it had brilliant efficiency which resulted in it becoming a household name.
Driving the New Swift
The biggest change came with the third-generation model launched two years back. The second generation Swift was more like a facelift while the new Swift seen here pushed it further into the sporty premium hatchback territory.
The new Swift is still one of the most fun hatchbacks and that is because the platform makes it much lighter thus the 1.2 petrol gives it enough performance. The diesel Swift is no longer on sale which is a shame and yes legroom is not as good as the Baleno but we think the Swift looks better and is sportier.
The new Swift is wider and longer while there are so many details like the hidden door-handles, the floating C-pillar and the new headlamps/tail-lamps. However it still has the 'Swift' look which we love.
However as said earlier the new Swift is not as practical/spacious as the Wagon R or the Baleno. But it is still pretty good while the cabin design has been a big jump in terms of quality. Unlike the Dzire you get black interiors while the round controls are cool along with the instrument cluster. For those who want an automatic, this generation Swift gives you an AMT version too.
Swift Sport India Launch?
The Swift Sport was something which Maruti was planning to bring however somewhere along with time it never came. The Swift Sport worldwide is a proper hot-hatchback and is something that can expand the appeal of the Swift brand into a premium direction. It has a powerful turbo petrol engine and even sold in small numbers it could be an amazing brand enhancer for Maruti. We hope it comes one day!
Today the Swift is not the best selling Maruti like the Alto nor is it the most premium hatchback but it is the best looking and most fun car that Maruti makes while the brand image is still very strong. The new Swift has carried on the values that made it so popular in the first place and we think the Swift brand will continue for many more years!
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