Earlier this year I attended the launch of the new Suzuki Swift hatch and Dzire sedan in Durban, after spending a brief few hours with the cars at the launch, it was apparent what Suzuki have done and done so well with their 3rd generation Swift, which is why it has sold over 6 million units world wide. The cars which are assembled at their brand new facility in Gujarat, India have come into the market well priced, similar if not cheaper that it's predecessor! While that short time with the cars did feel good, the real test comes when you're spending an entire week driving one, going through the everyday things you're doing and seeing how it performs then. I had the sedan version of the Swift, now known as the Dzire to cruise around with for seven days and while it maybe budget, this little car worked its charm on me.
Normally with budget cars, you're not going to expect a runway model to look at, but I got to give it to the Suzuki design team, this car looks great. While the car may look dinky from the side profile, every other element in the design gives the car a bold perspective. Being the sedan version of the Swift, Suzuki opted to make it more elegant with touches of silver in the front and back, this really brings out the design. The front of the car is very pleasing on the eye, nothing too bold and brash, the grille is prominent with Suzuki badge in the center and overall a very pleasing package on the eye. The rear is much of the same, normally when companies turn hatch backs into sedans, the rear normally looks like an after thought but I cannot say that with the Dzire. Its well rounded off and the rear tail lights don't look out of place. On the inside, the design is carbon copy to that of the Swift with a bit more space, everything is laid out well and while the materials might not be the best in terms of aesthetics, you can see it is quite robust and durable.
You don't expect me to start singing praises when it comes to the engine of a budget hatch, especially one that isn't fitted with a turbo but bly me, this 1.2 litre naturally aspirated motor in the Dzire is a dream! It's the same engine that has been retained from the previous generation and I can see why, it is a perky little bugger with it going from 0-100 in just 11.7 seconds. The engine produces 61kW of power and 113Nm of torque which is not bad stats if you take into consideration some turbo power engines deliver almost similar figures. Here on the coast, the engine is in its prime element, and I honestly had a lot of fun driving it around. The 5 speed manual transmission did help, as I could down shift when extra oomph was needed. The best thing about this engine is how light it is on fuel, with a claimed average of 4.9L per 100km, it's quite low considering its a bold move by Suzuki for not opting for a turbo powered unit but its one that seems to have paid of for me.
Ride quality on the Dzire isn't the best, then again you can't expect much from a car that is price below R162,000 but with that said it isn't terrible. Yes there is a lot of cabin noise and its pretty evident when the road surfaces change but my answer to that is just turn up the volume on the radio. Which has bluetooth connectivity and easy to use steering wheel controls. Space in the rear isn't too shabby either with good head room for the passengers as well. The extra boot space is quite significant with the boot height being quite high so you can manage to fit in some rather large items, including my golf clubs, which I need not have to find an awkward angle to get them in or out.
Overall, the Suzuki Dzire is a brilliant little compact sedan and honestly say its one of the better one son the market. Unfortunately for the brand, its one of the underrated ones when it comes to consumer interest, while they have won many awards over the years for products and service, the consumer mindset to the brand needs to the change and from the looks of what is coming next from the brand, they're slowly starting to turn the tide with some interesting models which are catching the attention of many.
1.2L VVT Petrol Engine
5 Speed Manual
R 161 900