Maruti Suzuki Swift (2011) ZDi BS-IV - Design Review
Expert Reviews : DesignUser Experience Performance Safety
Design Review of Maruti Suzuki Swift (2011) ZDi BS-IV
Last Updated at 11:32 am, May 20, 2013Rating :
It may look like the older Swift in the first glance, but a lot has changed – for the better
Photography: Eshan Shetty
The good ol' 800, the Zen, the Alto, the A-star – they are all popular hatchbacks that you know of or have already owned at some point of time. All these models have been sold over the years as different iterations of the 'Alto' in the global market. While each of these models replaced their respective predecessors, in India, they all coexisted. All these models have been highly successful in their own right - making Maruti Suzuki the number one carmaker in India today. However, there is one model from Maruti Suzuki called the Swift, that has tasted a success so immense, that it is has become a yardstick against which other hatchbacks are measured in India - irrespective of the brand name they flaunt.
Generally, seven to eight years is the time frame in which a car-model's lifecycle comes to an end. So it isn't a surprise that Maruti Suzuki has now rolled out the all new Swift after the original model debuted back in 2004. What is surprising though, is the fact that even at the end of it's lifecycle, the old Swift was selling more than 10,000 units a month - which is a dream feat for any carmaker. So when the time comes to replace such a market leading product, its creator needs to get the calculations spot on. It is these calculations that have led to the all new Swift looking so much similar to the old model that we loved. The design of the Swift has been so successful that Suzuki decided to evolve it further than going back to the drawing board – and therefore the new Swift looks so similar to the current model, that Maruti cannot let them co-exist in India.
Though it is based on an all-new platform the 2011 Swift carries forward the silhouette of the older Swift. Only when both these models stand together, are the differences evident to the casual onlooker. To begin with, the new Swift is longer and wider. The swept back headlights are a lengthier and shaper evolution of the outgoing model’s design (see detail). The A and B pillars continue to don a black finish to give the Swift’s glass-house a ‘wrap-around’ look. The front grille too has undergone a design change with a chunky honeycomb pattern (not the honeycomb mesh design seen on other Marutis) to add sportiness to the front fascia (see detail).
The side profile of the new Swift looks sportier too, not only because of the new rotary-blade design of the alloy wheels and the short radio antenna on the roof, but also because of the curvaceous tail, longer frontal overhang and the wheel arches that are more pronounced as compared to the older model. However, even the 15” alloy wheels on the top end model (14” steel rims on the base and mid models) tend to look slightly smaller as compared to the large wheel wells of the new Swift (see detail). While the engine / tech badges (‘DDiS’ for diesel and ‘VVT’ for the new petrol engine) retain their position above the front wheel arches, the side mounted turn blinkers have now been shifted to the outside rear view mirrors (ORVM) (see detail) for the VXi/VDi/ZXi/ZDi models. This not only ensures better visibility of the blinkers to the traffic around you, it also gives the new Swift a more premium appeal as compared to its competition.
The tailgate of the new Swift has been heavily redesigned as compared to the older model. The boot-lid is smaller and sits higher like the one seen on the A-star. It has a slight overhang to it that conceals the boot handle and the illuminating lights for the registration plate (see detail). Along with the boot lid, the registration plate moves up too, giving the rear bumper a more distinctive look. The rear fog light still sits in the lower centre of the rear bumper in signature Swift style. The taillights too are a lengthier and shaper evolution of old Swift’s lights and the clear-lens turn blinker and reverse lamps add to the sportiness of the new Swift with their ‘protruding’ design (see detail).
Overall, the new Swift looks a lot like the older model that India loved – but at the same time evolves it further with a more premium and sporty stance.
First Published on 11:06 pm, August 13, 2011