This is the all new third generation Dzire and needless to say it is probably the most important car for Maruti. The Dzire is pretty much the superstar of the Maruti line-up with over 13.8 lakh units sold and has been the only sedan in the top 5 selling cars. Thus Maruti could have basically just done a facelift but instead they went all out and brought in a new gen. thus they have not just tweaked the recipe but changed it completely with an emphasis on making the Dzire premium and not just being considered as a compact sedan but something that will eat into segments also. So how good is the new Dzire? We drive both the petrol and diesel in Goa to find out.
I am was not a fan of the earlier Dzire as it suffered from the common issues with compact sedans. However the new one as you can see looks more proportionate with a smoother shape that does not end abruptly. The new look being based on the new gen Swift (coming next year) is bolder and more aggressive. It is wider now with enhanced width of 40mm now with a better stance plus the bigger new grille, bumper and the LED projector headlamps all gel well. Unlike the current Dzire, from the side it is a more flowing shape and it does not look like the boot has been chopped off.
The new design 15 inch alloys look nice as well. The rear if not anything else reminds of the current Dzire but with new bigger tail-lamps it is more distinctive. The new Dzire is based on the 5th gen Heartect platform and has 6 colour options.
More than the exteriors the interiors represent a bigger change in terms of design, features and quality. The flat bottom steering wheel, the centre console, dials- everything looks good and brings in a premium touch. This is a proper jump from the earlier car.
For the Dzire you have dual-tone interiors and they bring in an airy feeling too. Speaking of which a larger wheelbase affords more room and it does feel more spacious inside compared to the current one. The seats offer better comfort and are less hard than before. The rear seat experience is improved leaps and bounds plus rear ac vents are welcome also. Even the boot space is increased now to 376l. The loaidng lip though seemed high.
As expected like any other new Maruti car, the feature list include a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay (easily class best, smooth and intuitive), navigation, rear camera display, Android Auto and Mirror Link. Of course features like steering control, climate control, push button start/stop, auto headlamps are there along with others. Like all recently launched Maruti cars, the Dzire has dual airbags with ABS with EBD.
The new Dzire continues with the current 1.2 petrol and 1.3 diesel. A 5-speed manual is standard while an AMT is there on both petrol and diesel. We drove the diesel manual and AMT along with the petrol AMT. Before we start off, the now lighter Dzire gives 22 kmpl for the petrol and 28.4 kmpl for the diesel which makes it the most fuel efficient car in India. Mind you this is without SHVS tech.
The diesel first and it is the familiar 1.3 72 bhp/ 190Nm diesel. The characteristics are the same but the Dzire diesel is relatively quiet and NVH levels have been improved. Which is a welcome step in the right direction. What surprised me was the AMT gearbox. The last Dzire diesel AMT has the traditional AMT weaknesses but now they have been watered down to a great extend. In the city at low speeds, progress is good and you have no complaints at all all as it is realatively smooth with very less lag. The AMT pause and the rock concert like head nod is very much reduced.
An AMT is not to be driven with a heavy foot and that is where you notice the pause, but steady throttle inputs eradicate that and above all in the city the AMT does the job and till now is the best AMT car you can buy in India. The diesel manual on the other hand requires more work with the gearshifts and the slight lag but what a joy it is to use. The gearshift is slick and light plus the clutch is seemingly lighter to use from the earlier one.
The petrol as an engine though is our pick of the range. It makes 82 bhp and 113Nm. The AMT feels smoother and copes better with the petrol than the diesel. Refinement is terrific too thus combined with the AMT, you do get a much more relaxed driving experience. In the chaotic traffic that Goa has, the petrol AMT was calming and coupled with the light steering, the whole ease of driving is taken to a new level. You can manually shift gears too and that helps when you want to get a move on. Another huge improvement is the ride. Not as bouncy or jarring, the new Dzire is much more competent at handling broken road surfaces with potholes/etc not being filtered inside.
When driven hard the petrol steering felt a bit light while the diesel felt slightly better. High speed stability is good and it feels sure footed. Grip and composure overall is good with the lightness of the car giving it agility and generally it offers up a more than decent drive.
Today it seems Maruti Suzuki is acting as the NO.1 with an aggressive product launch plan and a slew of improved/ desirable new cars. The new Dzire is massively improved in every area and when you factor in that currently it has 50 percent market share, this new car will only grow the segment. It looks premium now and interiors get a major reboot. While being a Maruti, efficiency is there as well. We recommend the petrol over the diesel with the petrol AMT being the pick of the range. We expect sales to increase than the current one and no doubt be the crown jewel in the Maruti range.
Photography- Rajeev Bhendwal