DRIVEN: 2011 SUZUKI SWIFT

At first glance, the Suzuki Swift reminds you of those little radio controlled cars you parents got you when you were a kid. You’d be surprised at how spacious this little ride is once you get inside. With its growing popularity the Swift is the 2nd best selling hatchback in India behind the Maruti WagonR. Not bad for a newcomer. So what makes this hot hatchback so special? We found out when we headed on our little road trip.
Plus: It looks good. It is priced well. It is offered in two variants (petrol and diesel). The 1.3L petrol engine puts out a little under 90HP and just like the Fiat Punto, you would be hard pressed to feel the lack of power. Delivery is quite linear and it has enough zip to get you up to speed on those city roads. Also quite handy when trying to perform overtaking maneuvers.We were also surprised by the interior space and how comfortably we were able to fit 5 adults. This reminded us of the Volkswagen Beetle and the way the interior is laid out. A definite plus. Gas mileage is also on par with most other options in the segment with the petrol version putting out between 16 and 18 kilometers per liter and the diesel at 18 to 23 kilometers per liter. Since it is on the cheaper side, aftermarket tuner support is also available and you can actually see quite a few modified version rolling around.
Minus: The interior finish has left a lot to be desired. One assumes due to the price they had to cheapen materials somewhere, and it definitely shows on the inside. Lots of cheap plastic along with minimal sound deadening makes the interior rattle quite a lot while driving around. Then again with the traffic and honking that goes along with it, this is something we are sure will be overlooked by most buyers. You also can’t expect much from the trunk (boot) in a car of this size, but it is enough to fit a couple of normal sized carry-ons.
Overall: We are not surprised the Suzuki Swift is such a hot seller. It has the right combination of looks, performance, price and utilitarian features coupled with the backing of a long selling brand name in India, Maruti (which happens to be synonymous with economical and people friendly). The sales figures for this bad boy in India have no where else to go up even though many other brands are being introduced into the market owing to its price and brand recognition.
The Suzuki Swift is available for sale in India for Rs. 4,60,000 (~$9,200) for the petrol version to Rs. 7,00,000 (~$14,000) for the fully loaded diesel version.
 
For more information on the specifications and pricing in your town, visit the Suzuki Swift website.

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