How do you ensure those flowing design lines typical of modern full-size sedans in a car under 4 metres in length? It’s tough, indeed. That’s the reason why most sub-4-metre sedans look like an after-thought—take a hatchback and add a boot. It appears the laws of automotive design go against a sub-4-metre sedan? However, innovation can help overcome any challenge. That’s what Maruti Suzuki has achieved with the new Dzire.
The hexagonal grille—apparently inspired from Aston Martin—and sweptback headlamps give it upmarket stance. Chrome has been used, but in a subtle way. Its low and wide stance, rich side-body sculpting and wraparound design—the curves where the side-body meets the front and the rear—make it look like an authentic sedan, not sub-4-metre. The car has an excellent body-to-glass ratio and top-end variants get auto LED projector headlamps with DRL (daytime-running lights) and two-tone alloy wheels. Unlike the outgoing model, in the new Dzire the boot doesn’t look like an after-thought, but is neatly integrated with the body.
The interior gets wood finish, but not in the entry-level variant. The new flat-bottom steering wheel is the most noticeable change inside the cabin, and the centre console gets a touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink connectivity. Maruti has increased its width and wheelbase by 40mm, leading to 55mm more knee-room at the rear. This is welcome, because in India people also use the Dzire as a chauffeur-driven car. Rear AC vents add to the comfort. The boot space has been increased by 62 litres, making it 378 litres.
The central instrument console is tilted towards the driver for better ergonomics—this means all controls are within easy reach. In top-end variants, there is satin-chrome accentuation on gear knob, steering and speedometer rings, upping the car’s luxury quotient.
While the engines—petrol and diesel—remain the same, Maruti has tweaked them for better performance and fuel-efficiency. In fact, at the claimed 28.4kpl, the new Dzire diesel is India’s most fuel-efficient car. The petrol has a fuel-efficiency of 22kpl. The car is 105kg lighter than the outgoing version. The automated manual transmission—Maruti calls it Auto Gear Shift (AGS)—is now available on more variants of the Dzire, starting from the V trim up to Z and Z+. In all, six variants (in diesel and petrol) now offer AGS.
The company says the Dzire has been built on Suzuki’s rigid Heartect platform—using ultra high tensile steel—complying to front offset, side impact and pedestrian regulations ahead of time. Dual front airbags, pre-tensioner force limiter seatbelts and Isofix child seat anchor points are standard across variants, as is anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution; the latter ensures there is minimal skid during harsh braking or while driving on wet roads.
Ex-showroom Delhi prices for petrol start at Rs 5.45 lakh (LXi), going up to Rs 8.41 lakh for the top-end ZXi+ AGS. The diesel LDi retails at Rs 6.45 lakh, touching Rs 9.41 lakh for the top-end ZDi+ AGS. For this exceptionally good compact sedan, be ready to pay a little premium, considering that most features mentioned here are only available in the top-end variants, which will cost upwards of Rs 8 lakh on-road (at this price, the Dzire gets close to the bigger Ciaz).