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25000 km review of Swift Diesel Vdi

Sunday, June 14, 2009

/ by Srikanth Eswaran

I clocked a new record, in my ownership of cars. A coveted 25000 kilometres of driving within Bengaluru city. Its been a dream of owning a good vehicle and its exactly two years ago when I took different test drives, and zeroed in on the Swift Vdi. You can read more about it here.

While I wont go into details of the earlier ownership, as you can find it on the link specified, I would speak rather about the car as it stands now or as it drives now compared to two years ago, so that readers can get an idea how good the Swift would be after two years and 25k of run! :)

So without beating around the bush here are the salient points:

First the good ones!

  • Good power and torque, and if used in the right RPM ranges, gives that ultra cool kick which shoots this car out of the traffic in a jiffy. But a word of caution is to use this feature with full knowledge of what you are doing – it may have disastrous consequences if used the wrong way!
  • Easy driving in city – this car stands for this good point. Its very maneuverable, always all the time. With its ultra short turning radius, you can take this car everywhere anytime!
  • The ability to cross places you deem it not doable – This car has not had a single scratch even on rough terrain for quite sometime now. You know when you think this car cant make it, through a ditch or rugged road, it surprises you with its no-nonsense driveability
  • The engine – this is the real gem in this car, and I believe I have completed only about 10% of its real usability. This engine can go on and on for another 2-3 lac kilometers without the slightest sign of weariness! Next to Honda and Toyota, I love FIAT for their engines. Though maruti called it the DDIS, full credit goes to Fiat for its engine technology. They are truly pioneers in this field!
  • Roominess of the front cabin – The cabin is grey/black with orange lighting theme which makes it soothing at any time of the day. The front cabin is also roomy and for a two people kind of usage this car fits the bill perfectly with respect to front cabin space
  • Suspension thrills – I have taken this car through some really glidable humps at 80kmph and taken turns at 65kmph on flyovers and highways and the suspension just keeps up all the time. Kudos to that aspect.
  • Stability – none need to question the stability of this vehicle. In its category its stable even at 150kmph provided one has atleast 195 tread tyres, the more the merrier.
  • Fuel efficiency and cost of services – To put it point blank, I have never got below 16kmph at any time, and the service costs have never been above about Rs.1200 bucks at any time. So that speaks a lot about the car.

And now the bad points: (Surely every car will have its cons too otherwise we are in an ideal world!)

  • Rattles – A product costing a bit over six lakh rupees, cannot have consistent window pane rattles from day one of the purhcase.  I mean its absurd. If you pay about the same amount of money and buy a FIAT Linea or a Honda Jazz, you wont expect window panes to rattle your brains out would you? Even after writing to Maruti on these issues, I have not got any call from them on this either for rectification or for some in depth study of the problem. Shame on a big automotive giant for once again showing their high handedness w.r.t to such customer issues. I am bored/tired of the rattles this car generates and this could be one reason for me to sell this car a bit later, since I cannot live with rattles for 2 lac kms of mileage! Sorry maruti, but you will lose a customer soon.
  • Visibility – time and again I have commented on this aspect and yes this is one of the downsides of this car. Without side view mirrors, you cant but help scraping the car during its lifetime once or twice even if you are an expert driver. You can hardly notice what is standing next to you and this in my opinion is a recipe for some really silly accidents or dents. Well since the car is designed that way, nothing much can be done about it.
  • No safety/luxury options – no airbags, mine doesnt even have ABS, no climate control (only ac), no stereo controls on steering, no tiltable steering, nothing. This is surely a shame in modern times when every other car at this price range comes with all these as default stuff or atleast an option if I am willing to pay more money for it. Negative points to maruti on this count unless they respect safety. Full marks to Honda for thinking in this direction. Even if the Jazz is costiler.

Well, what did you think? The bad points list would continue for ever and ever? You know the best part of this car is its minimal negative points. A hot hatch and a super performer on the roads, with all but praises for its durability and stability will go a long way in winning Maruti another laurel for a close to outstanding product.

For now I leave you with other images of this cool car!

 

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