Maruti has unveiled the third-gen Dzire which will be launched in India on May 16. It is no secret that Maruti had already finished working on the third-gen Dzire compact sedan for India a while back. This is despite the fact that volumes in the compact sedan segment aren’t really growing. And then, there’s the small matter of the compact sub-four-metre segment and the resulting tax break being scrapped altogether. Nevertheless, Maruti is still going hammer and tongs at the sub-four Dzire as it is among its bestsellers and, importantly, one of its biggest grossers.
What sets the new Dzire apart from the earlier car is the fact that it isn’t half as compromised a design. Targeted more at the owner drivers rather than fleet operators, it is a car that is much nicer to look at. The profile, to begin with, is several times more attractive and well balanced. There’s a nice flow to the bonnet and fenders, the windscreens and the roof blend into a uniform arch and the strong shoulder line and the compact boot give it plenty of definition.
Up front, the new Dzire borrows its headlights and grille enclosures from the all-new Swift hatchback, and the bonnet, front fenders and headlamps appear to be shared as well. It will get LED projector headlamps and daytime running lamps on the higher spec variants. The chin, however, is completely different. It looks much more upmarket. Maruti designers have added tonnes and tonnes of chrome (around the grille, inside the headlights and it even gets chromed whiskers) and on the Dzire the sporty floating grille has been converted into a more traditional air dam. Even the rear is better integrated and looks less chopped. The sedan gets a 376-litre boot which is slightly larger than the outgoing model.
The new Dzire, which is built on the same platform as the Baleno and the new Swift, also features an all-new dashboard that has plenty of elements from the all-new Swift. Chief among these are the steering wheel and the dials. The basic structure of the dash is similar to the Swift. Stuff like the floating centre console, the glovebox and the side vents are carried over. Maruti, however, has steered the Dzire away from the circular theme used on the centre console of the all-new yet-to-come-to-India Swift.
So, the instrument panel is rectangular, the vents on the central console are wedge-shaped and the air con system doesn’t have rotary knobs either. Also different from the Swift’s black-on-black theme is the colour palette used on this car. Dual-tone black and beige plastics have been used and a generous dose of faux wood can be seen, especially on the steering wheel. Not too much is clear about the rear bench. Still, with slimmer and more space-efficient seats, similar to those of the new Swift, and the slightly longer wheelbase of 2,450mm, there’s likely to be much more space in the rear. Rear passengers also get a second set of AC vents, a first for Dzire.
Under the hood, the new Dzire carries forward the current crop of engines, the punchy 85hp, 1.2-litre K12 petrol and the popular Fiat-based 75hp, 1.3-litre Multijet diesel. Both engines get AMT single-clutch automatics as well as manual gearboxes. And these engines should be sufficient as the new Dzire is expected to be substantially lighter by 85kg (petrol) and 105kg (diesel) than the outgoing car. Unlike the Ciaz, there won’t be a SHVS system on the Dzire just yet, but insiders say a more powerful electric assist system is being worked on. Maruti is keen to hold onto the lead as far as fuel efficiency is concerned.
Here's the variant break-up for the new Dzire:
Maruti Dzire petrol
Lxi (MT only)
Vxi (MT and AMT)
Zxi (MT and AMT)
Zxi+ (MT and AMT)
Maruti Dzire diesel
Ldi (MT only)
Vdi (MT and AMT)
Zdi (MT and AMT)
Zdi+ (MT and AMT)
The new Dzire is expected to be launched on May 16 and will take on the Honda Amaze, the Figo Aspire, the Tata Zest and the Volkswagen Ameo. Expect keen pricing from Maruti for its big-selling compact sedan, with prices starting not too far from the current car, somewhere in the range of Rs 5.5-10.8 lakh. The step up in ability, however, will be huge.
Check out the new Maruti Dzire from all angles in this image gallery