Suzuki’s morning greetings to Indians came in the form of the next generation of one of the most selling hatchbacks in the country – the Swift – as it made its global debut in Japan on Tuesday.
Suzuki has taken the wraps off the third-generation Swift in the company’s home country, while its European debut is expected at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March.
India has always been a vital market for this nameplate ever since its inception in 2004-05.
Maruti Suzuki highlighted in an official release that it has sold more than 5.3 million units of the car worldwide till now. And the Indian market unequivocally holds the maximum share in its global sales. The new Swift is likely to be launched in India in the second half of 2017. Here’s what we’ve been able to piece together about the 2017 Swift from its Japanese debut.
The third-gen Swift has inherited the styling – which has charmed many – of its predecessors, but comes along with a hint of an evolution. At the outset, it features a prominent hexagonal grille (replacing the sleeker ones in the previous models) that also protrudes out of the body, featuring a honeycomb mesh. The swept-back headlamps come with LED projectors (for both high and low beams) along with daytime running LEDs (similar to the Ignis). Like the headlamps, the new LED tail lamps in the 2017 Swift are reminiscent of its past generations, but the new units look more squarish now.
Besides this, both the fenders in the new hatch are relatively more pronounced, featuring fluidic character lines (inspired by the Baleno). The floating roof of the 2017 Swift has been accentuated with a redesigned C-pillar and the placement of the rear door handles alongside the window. The latter also gives it a two-door look. It now rides on 16-inch machined alloys, but the Indian version is likely to continue with the current 15-inchers.
Suzuki has completely reimaged the interior of the Swift. According to the automaker, the central console is driver-centric, with a five-degree tilt towards the driver. It features a new flat-bottom (D-type) steering wheel and the twin-pod instrument cluster features a Baleno-borrowed 4.2-inch colour multi-information display.
The new Swift comes with redesigned seats and it appears that the side bolstering has been increased significantly. Suzuki highlighted that the new seats offer improved vibration absorbing ability, holdability and overall comfort. Speaking of the boot space, it offers a boot capacity of 265 litres, which can be extended up to 579 litres. To put things into perspective, the current hatch offers 204 litres of boot space.
The Japanese press release revealed that the 2017 Swift features Suzuki’s brand-new platform – HEARTECT. The automaker said that the new platform makes the car more rigid than the outgoing model and gives it a relatively low centre of gravity. Though we will get to know more about the new platform post its European reveal, we believe that it is derived from the Baleno’s platform, which was developed under the ‘Suzuki Next 100’ plan announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015, and is also used by the Ignis. Like the Baleno, the kerb weight of the new Swift ranges between 800-1000kg.
The Japanese version, which will go on sale in the first week of January, comes with two petrol engine options – a 1.2-litre Dualjet (naturally aspirated) and a 1.0-litre Boosterjet (turbocharged). The former also features Suzuki’s mild-hybrid tech – SHVS – which is currently offered in India with the Ciaz and the Ertiga's diesel variants. There are three transmission options available for the Japanese market – five-speed MT, CVT and six-speed AT. The CVT and the five-speed MT are only offered with the 1.2-litre motor, while the six-speed AT is exclusively mated with the turbocharged 1.0-litre engine.
Speaking of the Indian version, the 2017 Swift is likely to carry forward the same set of powertrains in the country, but there is a possibility that it might get an RS version, powered by the 1.0-litre Boosterjet coupled to a five-speed manual. Maruti Suzuki might also offer AMT (automated manual transmission) option with the new Swift, like in the case of the Ignis.
Like the Baleno and the Ignis, the new Swift is loaded to the gills with the latest tech. Starting with the infotainment system, it comes with support for both Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. The rest of the connectivity options include DVD/CD, USB, Bluetooth phone integration and Aux-in.
With cameras mounted at the front, rear and on the ORVMs, the infotainment unit comes with several camera views, including a top view (this multi-camera feature is unlikely to make to India). Navigation is supported via stored maps on the SD card. Apart from this, features from the current model, such as electronically adjustable/foldable ORVMs, engine push-button start-stop, auto climate control, and others, will be carried forward.
In terms of safety, the Indian version will get dual-front airbags along with ABS and EBD as standard. It will also get ISOFIX and rear parking sensors as standard, in accordance with the new norms.