Maruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki Swift (2024)

No taylor-made jokes here

₹ 9,49,000

(as tested)

If you asked a millennial to draw a hatchback, chances are a silhouette of the Maruti Swift would appear on the sketch. It’s ubiquitous and did for the millennials what the Maruti 800 did for the boomers; it provided equal parts fun and frugal. Since Maruti is holding out on the hybrid drivetrain for the Swift, this 4th generation car had to choose between the blue and red pill, focusing more on fuel economy and safety. So does it still feel like a Swift?

Maruti Suzuki Swift 2024: Design

Although evolutionary, enough visual markers instantly tell the new Swift apart from the outgoing model. The clamshell bonnet and gloss black grille are the first elements to catch your eye and while it does look sportier, the panel gap in the clamshell bonnet’s shut line does take a while to get used to, without wanting to shut it proper. Along the sides, the curvy haunches have been replaced by a sharp character line that adds a bit of modernism but the most significant change has been the reintroduction of the regular door grab handles for the rear doors, instead of the C-pillar mounted ones. Tail lights get a C-shaped LED motif along with a new rear-view cam that does look a bit odd with its placement and housing.

15in wheels and dual-tone colour options continue in a bid to keep things familiar and in the affordable Mini Cooper space. While sharper, the exterior isn’t particularly daring or different and with its almost guaranteed ubiquity, it will just become a part of our infra tapestry soon.

Maruti Suzuki Swift 2024: Tech

The cabin is where big changes have been made, including big bezels! The freestanding 9in infotainment screen is great in its responses and icon layout, but the bezels are straight from the late 90s plasma TV era. Why Maruti?

An angled dashboard design, tilted ever-so-slightly towards the driver makes for a striking change and the layers of different trims does make it look more premium. However, the plastics are still hard as nails in most places like the door panels, top of the dash and centre console. The 6-speaker stock audio system is actually pretty decent sounding at low volumes. Calrity is exceptional and even the three Surround Sense modes are audibly differentiated to offer listeners a wider choice. What spoils the party is the lack of any damping material or heft in the doors, causing rattles and buzzes the moment you play Arizona or Drake at club levels.

But pair your phone and you’re instantly ushered into the world of wireless Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto) and everything is forgiven. Presented with large, chunky app icons, it is a better implementation than most cars far more expensive too! Easy to see, touch and use while on the move, it is complemented by a wireless charging pad as well. For the obsessively wired ones, there’s a USB-A slot for the front row and a USB-A and C ports for the second row. Second-row passengers even get an AC vent for the first time now.

Thankfully, Maruti has resisted the lure of doing a cheap, digital instrument cluster and retained the analog dials flanking a MID screen and it works just fine. The needles on both, the tacho and speedo have a sporty, red detail that looks fetching and the overall readability is as crisp and clear as they come. Partner that with a great driving position, ample visibility, a new rear-view cam with a wider view (but poor resolution) and the best seats in the segment and you have a nifty little hatchback that’s willing to drive you around the whole day.

Maruti Suzuki Swift 2024: Performance

Driving around the whole day does warrant a great fuel economy number and that’s an area the new Z-series 3-cylinder engine excels at. Claimed mileage figures exceed 25km/per litre, give or take a few sips between the manual and the AGS (AMT), but during our few hours of driving, it was impossible to ascertain a sustained average. Maruti claims the FE numbers are up, but at the same time, outright power numbers are down at 82bhp/111Nm from the new 3-cylinder unit. Out and about on the stretch from Bangalore airport to Nandi Hills, the well surfaced roads were perfect to judge the dynamics, acceleration and top-end grunt from this motor. It has a rasp to it alright and the manual has a pep in its step from the get-go. There’s no real perceivable feeling of being down on power from the previous gen car, not until you get to 3rd gear and 4000rpm, where you realise it runs out of steam quicker at the top end of the powerband.

But this is a car clearly tuned for city driving and the AMT is much improved over the previous gen, with none of the head nod or hesitation now. In fact, it almost feels like a proper automatic transmission in this guise and Maruti has done a brilliant job at getting the suspension set up right too. There is pliancy in the ride, soaking up bumps and imperfections without letting in any thuds or crashing noises into the cabin, while retaining that darty feeling we’re used to with the Swift. The steering does feel a tad bit too light, but it’s a boon in city traffic. Regular highway stars would’ve appreciated a bit more weight and feel, along with 16in wheels, but it is what it is and the Swift aces it as the quintessential urban runabout.

Revving up to almost 6000rpm, the three-pot motor doesn’t feel like a step down from the previous 4-cylinder engine and it’s been tuned well to keep NVH at bay. Engineered to deliver a healthy dose of torque right at the lower end of the rev range to boost acceleration and pep, it meets that brief adequately. It does sound thrummy when pushed, but it’s not a sound you’d be embarrassed of. The brakes are superbly judged too, with enough bite without the overly-servoed feel of many other cars in the segment. In essence, it’s lost none of its playfulness and only gets the added advantage of new connected car features via the Suzuki Connect, more safety with extensive use of UHS steel and six airbags as standard. Throw in Cruise Control, Hill-hold assist, traction control and ABS with EBD and you have a safety net far wider than the older car. 

It retains the same great bolstered seats, but also the same cramped rear seating. Thigh support for the rear seat is lacking and we were hoping for a recline option this time around to counter the upright seating position. But these are minor quibbles for someone who has their hearts set on the Swift.

Maruti Suzuki Swift 2024: Conclusion

The manual is clearly the more fun variant with nice, short throws and a light clutch pedal, but the AMT will be the choice for city commuters and it’s the variant which also sees the biggest improvement. It feels like a more mature transmission and if Maruti is to be believed, it’s even more frugal than the manual. Swifters may not even be bothered by the lack of a cylinder, the odd-looking bonnet design or the omission of quirks like the C-pillar mounted door handle. It’s a brand with a loyal fan following and Maruti has given them another scoop of their favourite flavour - Cheap fun!

Stuff Says

Don’t go by numbers, this Swift is still peppy, fun to drive and above all, still ticks all the right boxes. Just bring in the Swift Sport already!
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Suspension and seats made for each other

  1. Manual gearbox+Z series engine a fun combo

  1. Wireless phone mirroring and charging

  1. Better at safety

  1. Plastic quality not improved

  1. Lacks top-end grunt

  1. Fish-eye distortion in rear-view cam

Engine: 3 cylinder NA
petrol Power: 80hp, 112Nm
Wheels: 185/65 R15