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Ownership review of 2013 Swift ZXI!

Discussion in 'Non FIAT Cars and two wheelers' started by Avinash, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. Avinash

    Avinash Amatore

    United Kingdom
    Linea 1.3
    The Background:

    My dad’s 6 year old M800 served him very well, until 6 months ago it started showing signs of ageing. So, it was about time to replace it. He drives around 30-40kms a day depending on his tight business schedule. He often takes Linea for his official business meetings, & for most of the time he commutes within the city in his M800 or by Punto 1.2 (which my uncle owns). After a long discussion (though we had options of considering Abarth Punto), we decided to TD most of the current hatchbacks, rather than booking a car just by the reviews. And this time, we wanted a car that could be used occasionally for few highway trips too.

    The TD scenario:

    The first priority was indeed 90hp Punto, had test-drove it quite extensively & was/still thoroughly impressed! I still wonder how a 90hp Punto performs a tad below my 87hp Linea MJD!?

    Honda Brio
    – This was the very first car that that we decided to do the TD. The obvious reasons were Honda’s well-acclaimed i-vtec unit, and of course Honda’s brand value. As expected the 1.2 unit was indeed a gem of an engine. Typical Honda nature, free-revving motor, & highly refined too! It’s not a DOHC unit. Then took the TD of AT version too; but wait, I was like, what’s the ECU doing? At a particular moment of time, I was wondering was it the same 1.2 i-vtec under the hood!? Though AT cars behave differently, the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] & 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] shifts were smooth, & from 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] to 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] & 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] to 4[SUP]th[/SUP], o’boy, the ECU feels completely confused! And for within city drive, it’s the most essential! But, again the ‘feather’ light steering was a huge let down. I didn’t like it’s characteristics at all! Further, the interiors were void of features. Just had the basic features, & nothing more. So the high end model that was considered was definitely not a VFM. So, the Brio was out!​

    Honda Amaze
    – TD the much hyped i-Dtec. Trust me, it’s definitely not what the specs suggest. Okay, it might be peppier to drive at low speeds; top end performance was not satisfactory. And the refinement? It’s definitely bad! Nowhere near the MJD’s! Again, the dull interiors, were nothing great to talk of. The VFM factor was also missing. One thing, I must stress on, is that the sales executive & sales reps, were excellent! Experience at Honda was bliss!

    Ford Figo – The ride & handling department of Ford has always been a plus for them. The Figo checked in those conditions. But, the engine, was no where as impressive, as that of Honda’s. The diesel was not that great too. Look wise, my mom was against it. Did check the Ecosport too, but the on-road price of titanium+ was exceeding that of our Linea MJD EPK. & that really didn’t make any sense. The TD car was not available.

    VW Polo – The looks, build quality, interiors, everything was top notch! But both the 1.2 tdi as well as the 1.2 petrol were nowhere impressive. Did check the GT. But no TD car was available. The tech specs, the interiors, everything was perfect. The two things that hesitated me to book the GT was the turbo charged engine, ‘without an intercooler’ & the questionable 7 speed DSG. I came to know that without intercoolers, on a daily usage basis that too in a very humid place like Pondy, the reliability of the engine was doubtful, though I can’t prove this technically.

    Hyundai i10 – Never expected that I would ever go to check this one! But one of my dad’s friend insisted on checking out the i10. Feature wise, it was a welcome change from the Honda’s. The sales rep was so enlivened on highlighting the features, & was saying it was a better VFM product on comparison with the competition. Then was the TD. I was so surprised to see, Hyundai has done a really good job in rectifying the lifeless steering of i10. I felt it better than that of Brio’s. The ride quality was ‘okay-ish’’. The gear-shifts were smooth. Though the new 1.2 Kappa engine is better than the standard 1.1l, I felt the 1.2 kappa to be ‘unimpressive’ as it was lacking the refinement. This could very well be cause of the back to back TD from Honda to a Hyundai’s.

    Hyundai i20 – After i10, dad asked, why not try the i20. First, the 1.2 kappa, the same unit that’s doing duty on i10. The very first impression, it was sluggish & definitely not FTD! Okay, interiors were good, the feature list goes on & on, but the engine was a huge let down. Again, the steering of i20 was indeed ‘lifeless’. I felt the steering feedback of i10 to be better than that of i20. The 1.4 crdi, was out of question, as I would anytime pick up 90hp Punto over it! So didn’t bother to TD the 1.4 crdi.

    Fiat Punto – As I said already my uncle owns a 2009 Punto 1.2. Myself, and my dad, always found it to be a little underpowered. Though I know Fiat has reduced the kerb weight of new Puntos, the 1.2 unit is just not as impressive as the i-Vtecs nor the 1.2 K-series.

    Suzuki Swift – After all the above TD’s, had a long discussion with mom & dad while returning from Hyundai showroom. Trust me friends, Swift was never considered from the beginning! I occasionally use my dad’s friend’s 2012 Swift VDI. Okay, Swift diesel is quick, but the refinement is absolutely nowhere to that of our Puntos, be that either 75hp or 90hp! The engine noise is intrusive too. The brakes of VDI, are definitely not comparable with Punto. But, something stuck my mind, why not try the Petrol, the new 1.2 K-series with VVT; may be at least a TD.

    So, it all started there, went to the showroom, asked for a TD of 1.2. Surprisingly, they didn’t have ddis for TD, but did have the top end variant of the new 1.2 with vvt. Got into the TD car, & the very first impression was great! The interiors were a welcome change from almost all the hatchbacks, as this had an all black interior & the water-fall center console, a design theme inspired from Kizashi’s interiors. The snug fit seats, and perfect driving position was spot on! With the driver’s side height adjustment, I was able to find the perfect driving position.

    The drive: Cranked up the engine; the engine settled to a complete silence; though not as silent as the brio until it reached the optimum temperature. Slotted the first gear; the shifts were seamless and just perfect. It was better than that of Honda’s! That was the first surprise I had! With the sedate driving style, it was bliss to drive within the city.

    Surprisingly, the ride quality was far better than the rest; leave out Ford & Fiat. There was no bounciness as how I felt it in the Brio. Again excluding Ford & Fiat, the steering feedback was just perfect. It’s light, at speeds less than 30kph, & it weighs up ‘sufficiently’ as speed progresses; I did find it to be sportier than the ddis, may be due to the lesser load at the front nose.

    Then it was time to check for the engine refinement at higher rpms; full throttle, & the engine pulls cleanly all the way to 6000rpm. Thoroughly impressed, with the engine characteristics. Then tried for hitting triple digit speeds; the ride was really good, no bumpiness whatsoever. Then tried some quick manoeuvres, then I understood why they have named it ‘’Swift’’. Took a lightning fast U-turn, the same place where I test-drove a 2013- 90hp Punto, & was thoroughly impressed with the driving dynamics too!​

    The booking process:

    The next day, went to the showroom, paid an advance of 10K. Decided to go for ‘glistening grey’, as mom said the torque blue would be too youthful for my dad to take that for business meetings. White was ruled out, as it would be difficult to maintain as the car would be running almost everyday!

    The on-road price at Pondy came to exactly 6.55 Lakhs. Got 60k for my old M800 & 15K as exchange bonus from True Value for M800. The waiting period was 20 days. Got the delivery on 5[SUP]th[/SUP] September. No freebies and discounts were offered for the petrol; not even floor mats!

    The experience so far:

    Not even a month has passed since I got the new Swift, and already 1200kms on the odometer!


    • First and foremost, the engine; peppy engine, indeed a gem! Free revving, and highly refined.
    • The gear-shift is top class; I would personally rate it better than that of Honda’s! Clutch is light & butter smooth.
    • A driver’s car, completely FTD!
    • Quite stable at high speeds; though it’s in run-in period, have done upto 120kph. Haven’t revved beyond 3500rpm.
    • Really good steering feedback.
    • The all black interiors and the center console look great! Quality of plastics used in dashboard is good.
    • Stock audio is great! The bass effect is superb for stock audio! For comparison, say it’s better than that of Skoda Yeti!
    • ACC is excellent; cools up the cabin really fast!
    • The ORVMs are sturdy.
    • Proper bottle holders at all four doors.
    • Spare wheel is an alloy. No cost cutting there!
    • Can’t really comment on fuel efficiency. My dad constantly gets 14-15km/l within city. Last week when I went to Chennai, got around 17.5km/l. Though am satisfied with FE, will comment more once I properly test it.


    • No Bluetooth option.
    • Noise level of stock MRF ZVTV is worst! Even the GT3 in my Linea at 50,000kms had lesser noise level, on comparison with this.
    • Tiny boot-space at just 204 liters. Though it’s only my dad who’s going to use it all the day, that doesn’t bother us much.
    • Wafer thin glass windows, responsible for outer noise to penetrate much into the cabin.
    • Passengers at rear would always be complaining of smaller rear windows. You feel like you’re trapped inside a cocoon.

    To sum up, the new 1.2 VVT K-series Swift, is indeed, 'Swift, Agile & Sporty'!

    A few pics:



    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
    5 people like this.
  2. Avinash

    Avinash Amatore

    United Kingdom
    Linea 1.3
    These days, it's hard to find ownership reviews of petrol hatchbacks. And above all, it's really difficult to find a review of this rare breed 1.2VVT, as majority of our mass market opt for the most popular selling hatchback, the ddis. I hope this thread contributes much to the one's who are in the market for a petrol hatchback; and also, I hope this thread lays the platform to compare Swift 1.2 vvt with our Punto's and other hatchbacks. This is my very first ownership review in this forum, so please rectify me if there are any inaccuracies.

    Will soon post a pictorial review of other features in depth.
  3. sdp1975

    sdp1975 Amatore

    Very nice review. I've heard a lot of the free-revving 1.2 engine in Swift, possibly the best in it's class. The sharp handling and cornering capabilities of Swift are also well known.

    I believe the engine is slightly detuned for FE reasons ; some additional power would've been an enthusiasts delight.

    Enjoy your car !
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  4. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Congrats :)

    A friend of mine has nothing but the best of things to say about the 1.2 petrol engine of the Swift.

    Enjoy it.
  5. Avinash

    Avinash Amatore

    United Kingdom
    Linea 1.3
    The all black interior:


    The dials look great at night!


    The centre console:


    Remote control for ICE:


    The Auto AC is a super chiller!


    The spare key:


    Spare wheel is an alloy:

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. Avinash

    Avinash Amatore

    United Kingdom
    Linea 1.3
    Thanks! True that; Swapping to 195/60 R15 could possibly improve the cornering dynamics much more. And yes, most reviews have mentioned that the 1.2 VVT has been slightly detuned for FE. But, in real-time, it isn't that evident. & regarding the outright performance, I'll soon post my review once the car crosses 1500kms. Only once I took it to around 4000rpm in 2nd gear; it was bliss to hear the engine note!

    Thank you! It actually meets the best of both worlds: FE & Performance, within city drives!

    Maruti should have probably enabled this option ''CRUISE CONTROL'' atleast for ZXI model! Wonder why most manufactures bring models to India that are heavily stripped from features that are available in other international markets! :confused:

    Has anyone noticed this in any of the other Swift models? I don't remember seeing this in the TD vehicle!

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  7. Avinash, why dont you attempt to enable cruise :)
    1 person likes this.

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