Maruti Suzuki Swift: new vs old

    New Swift's design is only evolutionary over its predecessor, but there are major updates under the skin.

    Published On Nov 08, 2023 02:17:00 PM


    Maruti Suzuki Swift new vs old

    Among several concepts showcased at the recently concluded Tokyo Motor Show, the most relevant for India was the all-new Suzuki Swift Concept. However, don't let that suffix mislead you as what was shown at the Motor Show was indeed very close to the production-spec model.

    The Swift has always been a hot seller in India, favoured by enthusiasts and regular car buyers alike as it’s been an affordable, fun-to-drive hatchback that’s also frugal and easy to live with. Suzuki has labelled the new Swift a fourth-generation model, but it is essentially a heavily updated version of the third-gen platform packing in an all-new engine, evolutionary styling and an interior borrowed from existing Maruti models. Here, we are taking a close look at how the all-new Swift has evolved over its predecessor in terms of styling, features and powertrain options.

    Maruti Suzuki Swift design: new vs old

    First up, is the shape that makes the new hatchback immediately recognisable as the Swift. Yes, it has retained its bulbous nose with a narrow top and a widened bottom stance, but an eye-catching new detail is a sharp shoulder line that runs from the bonnet all the way to the rear fender. The headlamps and grille are shaped similarly to the outgoing model, but the L-shaped LED daytime running lamps are sharper and the grille has new gloss black surrounds.

    What’s noticeably new is that the clamshell bonnet is a lot shallower, the front bumper is a lot cleaner and smoother with gloss black and brushed silver contrasting trims. Over to the sides, the door handles for the rear doors are back to their conventional location, instead of on the C-pillar. The glasshouse now also gets a wraparound effect, thanks to a blacked-out C-pillar.

    At the rear, the tail gate continues to dip in between the tail-lamps, which are now squarish in shape and get C-shaped LED elements. The rear bumper, however, appears quite busy with a dual-tone finish and hexagonal indents for the number plate and reflectors.

    As for dimensions, the new Swift concept measures 3,860mm in length, 1,695mm in width, 1,500mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,450mm – that’s 15mm longer, 40mm narrower and 30mm taller although the wheelbase has remained unchanged. Do note that some of these figures may differ on the India-spec model.

    Maruti Suzuki Swift interior: new vs old

    While the exterior design is only an evolution, the interior of the Swift is all-new but familiar as it shares parts with the models such as the Baleno and Fronx. Some of the dashboard panels and the housing for the 9.0-inch touchscreen are slightly different, but the infotainment unit, the HVAC controls with toggle switches, the steering wheel and the switchgear on the doors are all too familiar.

    While some trims and features from more premium models have trickled down to the Swift, a little more differentiation perhaps would have been nicer. The older Swift with its hooded binnacles for the instrument cluster and rotary knobs with built-in displays for the climate controls brought about some differentiation from the range, and perhaps more character too. However, what’s a welcome change is that the drab, all-black interior theme has made way for a dual-tone black and white theme that certainly looks a lot livelier. An electronic parking brake is also a first for the Swift, although it remains to be seen if it makes its way to the India-spec model.

    Given that the new Swift hasn’t grown too much in size, interior space has remained largely the same. Sitting three abreast at the rear will still be a squeeze, but legroom and headroom appeared decent. The front seats will still be the place to be in the new Swift. The model showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show also featured ventilated front seats and an ADAS suite, although these are unlikely to make it to India.

    Maruti Suzuki Swift engine: new vs old

    The biggest surprise on the new Swift is on the powertrain front. Suzuki debuted an all-new 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine that’ll replace the existing K12 four-cylinder engine. Detailed specifications haven’t been revealed yet, but sources tell us that the company has set high fuel efficiency targets, and, while power output is likely to remain similar to the K12 unit, torque would be higher – the existing K12 engine produces 90hp and 113Nm.

    Sources also tell us that the Z12 loses the K12’s free-revving nature in favour of the stronger pulling power it develops at the bottom end. This motor came paired with hybrid tech and a CVT gearbox on the Swift at the Tokyo Motor Show, although both are unlikely to be offered here in India. It remains to be seen if Maruti continues to offer an AMT or upgrades to the 6-speed torque converter found on other Maruti models here.

    Following its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, Maruti Suzuki has already commenced testing the new-gen Swift on our roads. The launch is expected sometime in the second half of 2024, and given all the updates it packs in, expect a fair premium over the existing Swift that’s currently priced between Rs 5.99 lakh-9.03 lakh.

    Also See:

    19 new EVs launching in 2024

    18 new SUVs launching in 2024

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