3rd Time Lucky – Maruti Dzire ZXi+ Automatic Review
What follows is a brief review of the latest 3rd generation Maruti Suzuki “Dzire” ZXi+ (top variant) in “Oxford Blue” colour (Six colors to choose from) with a 1.2 litre petrol engine and 5-speed automatic gearbox (AGS).
Interiors and Space
The beige and dark plastic cabin, dashboard, instrumentation and infotainment unit look upmarket and aesthetically pleasing. The seats are comfortable, the driver’s seat adjustable for height as well and with comfortable room for 3 average sized adults in the rear, direct result of increase in overall width and wheelbase over the outgoing model. The switchgears are tactile, work with precision and feel built to last. The cabin in general is airy, has good all-round visibility, an effective and silent air-conditioner with dedicated vents for rear-passengers as well and a rear-parking camera with 4 sensors for park assistance. What is notably missing in all variants is a central arm-rest. Boot space is on the up from the previous generation to 378 litres with a wide opening, though with a lip to the load area.
In this ZXi top model, many additional features are available such as faux wood panels, multi-function touch-screen infotainment system (with navigation, media, phone connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, SD card input etc.), leather wrapped steering wheel with phone and media functions, push-button start with smart key, keyless entry, automatic climate controls and a host of other features (see full list of features in Dzire Brochure and available accessories for Dzire).
Engine and Performance
The Dzire range comes with two engine options, a 1.2 (1197 cc) litre 4-cylinder petrol on review here and a 1.3 (1248 cc) litre 4-cylinder diesel. Peak power and torque for the petrol unit is approximately 82hp @ 6000rpm and 113 Nm @4200 rpm, with 73.5hp @ 4000rpm and 190 Nm @ 200rpm for the diesel unit. Both the engines are carryovers from the previous model but with less weight to carry around this time, as the new Dzire is significantly lighter (860-895 kgs for petrol variants and 955-990 kgs for diesel variants) and class leading for the same reason.
The petrol unit with the 5-speed automatic gearbox (AGS or ‘automatic gear shift’) has been packaged for effortless cruising through use of judicious throttle inputs, it does not however like to be revved much or hustled around. The AGS gear-shifter itself is slicker than most manuals and a joy to operate with manual override in ‘tiptronic mode’. What the AGS misses is a ‘P’ or ‘park’ option and requires the use of the handbrake at stoplights with ‘N’ engaged to destress the transmission. Whilst the AGS shifts into the rights gears to match speed and/or throttle inputs, the shifts themselves are not seamless and with a momentary mechanical ‘push-back’, especially with aggressive throttle application.
Ride and Handling
The Dzire is suspended by ‘MacPherson Struts’ in the front with a ‘Torsion Beam’ in the rear, ground clearance is a low 163mm. The Dzire in ZXi variant comes with smart 185/65 R15 tyre-alloy wheel combination, whilst in other variants the 165/80 R14 with steel wheels is offered as standard. The sum total is a relatively comfortable ride with some road/tyre noise filtering through. Poor or broken surfaces when traversed at appropriate speeds are also efficiently dispatched. The electric power steering is well weighted, fluent and positive in feedback. At moderate and legal speeds, the Dzire is sure-footed and nothing excites nor causes alarm in quick direction change.
Braking and Safety
The Dzire model range comes with all the modern safety features with most available across all variants such as twin airbags, ABS with EBD, front discs and rear drums brakes etc. The brakes are extremely sharp and effective with good pedal feel. For additional safety, central locking, door ajar warning, ISOFix Child Seat anchors, Engine immobilizers etc. are also standard across the variants. The ZXi variants also get ‘day-time running lights’ for added attention from potential hazards.
Maruti Suzuki claims a fuel return of approximately 22 kms/litre of petrol and 28 kms/litre of diesel. The review here was unable to test these claims, however anything near about would also be mighty impressive. The AGS feels adequately calibrated for fuel efficiency as well, as it is eager to move down gears and not hold on them for too long if throttle inputs are measured. However a tank capacity of just 37 litres may be short of optimum for long highway runs in the petrol variant.
The 3rd generation “Dzire” is by far the best and expected to continue its domination of the sales chart in its segment i.e. sub-4 metre compact sedan. The external sheet metal design was arguably the previous model’s sole weakness, the boot an afterthought to its donor, the “Swift” hatchback model. Suzuki to its credit has converted this weakness into a major strength, such is the success of the latest external sheet metal design. This design is now easily class leading, sound in proportion, scale and appearance within its 3995mm length constraint. Only the front facia is near identical to its soon-to-be launched Swift hatchback. However, the major changes and improvements are not mere skin deep but comprehensive enough to distinguish the Dzire as an independent model range altogether, signified by the absence of any reference to the “Swift” in its badging.
Maruti Dzire Price
The all new Maruti Dzire price range starts from Rs.6.43 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi) and peaks at approximately Rs.8.36 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi).
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