Good Motoring

The new Swift has raised the bar
H. Kishie Singh

H. Kishie SinghThe all-new Swift is here, and there is every chance that it could set the sales graph on fire. It certainly is going to be the car difficult to beat in this segment, which can be summed up as the small car-big volume market.

Initially, the looks remain the same but then the eye cannot be expected to see changes that are measured in millimeters. The new Swift is 90 mm longer, thanks to an increased wheelbase of 40 mm. It is 5 mm wider. The height remains the same. The forward sloping C pillar has been rounded, giving the Swift a sportive look. It is also 30 kg lighter than the outgoing model. A small change but it offers better fuel efficiency.

Now to answer that most asked question at the beginning the petrol engine Swift is expected to give 18.6 kmpl, and 22.9 kmpl for the diesel version. That is about as good as it gets in these days of fuel prices that have gone through the roof.

The noise and vibration levels of the car have been reduced
The noise and vibration levels of the car have been reduced

The new Swift comes in three models. The body type is the same, hatchback, with five doors and five seats. The car comes with the K-series petrol engine with VVT and the DDiS diesel engine. More on them later.

The base models, the LXI and LDI, have A/C and heater fitments as standard that a decade ago were considered luxuries. It has an electronic power steering (EPS) plus tilt steering. If you exit the car and leave your car keys in the ignition or the lights on, a buzzer sounds to remind you to do something about it.

The middle-rung VX i and VD i, in addition to the above, have power windows on all four doors. A tachometer is added to the instrument panel. Fog lamps are standard, front and rear. The ORVMs (outside rear view mirrors) you should be familiar with this term by now are electronically adjustable and house the turn indicators.

The interior is tastefully finished. The highlight being a silver accent wrap around the cockpit and doors. It stands out against the black dashboard. The seats are fabric.

The top models ZX i (petrol) and ZD i (diesel) are fully loaded. They have two airbags in front, ABS, EBD with brake assist, besides automatic climate control facility.

The music system also leaves nothing to be desired. A total of six speakers 4 speakers plus 2 tweeters. It has an auxiliary input plus USB. The audio controls are on the steering wheel and are illuminated. The volume control is automatic speed based, which means that as speed increases and road noise increases, the volume is maintained at the set decibel level.

The driver's seat is height adjustable in addition to the fore and aft movement. And, yes, the seat belt also is adjustable. A very comfort inspiring safety feature. There is a rear window de-fogger plus wiper wash. The seats are larger and body contoured.

The noise, vibration, harshness levels are reduced, making for a smoother and gentle drive.

`A0The instrument panel could be from a high-end luxury sedan. It is a multi-information LCD display. In addition to the speedometer, odometer, trip meter, it computes the fuel average, low-fuel warning light, seat belt-not-fastened light, outside temperature and, of course, clock.

The engines. The petrol engine is the 'K' series engine, which can be found under the bonnet of the Alto, the Wagon R, the Estillo and the 'A' Star. It is lightweight, aluminium and rust proof. With the variable value timing (VVT), it increases power output, improves fuel efficiency and is low on maintenance. The oil change intervals are 10,000 km, and the spark plug life is enhanced. It is a 1200 cc engine.

The diesel engine is the DDiS technology. It is the 1300 cc multi-jet common rail system, which means better fuel consumption and optimised NVH. The green oil filter ensures an environment-friendly BS IV engine, that is easy to maintain.

The new Swift has raised the bar on all levels and is set to do battle with the likes of the GM Beat, Ford Figo, Honda Jazz and the Toyota Liva. It is going to be an interesting 2012!

Happy motoring.