Maruti has launched the all-new 2017 Dzire compact sedan in India. The new Dzire sees a significant styling change, both inside and out, and also offers more equipment than before. Priced starting at Rs.5.45 lakh for the base LXi petrol variant and going up to Rs.9.41 lakh for the top-spec ZDi+ diesel AMT trim, the new Dzire gets eight variants and two powertrain options. While initial reports claimed that the compact sedan could be based on the old platform, the third-gen Dzire shares its underpinnings with the new (yet to launch in India) Swift and, thus, the Baleno. Called the ‘Heartect’ platform by Maruti, the new architecture features the use of high tensile steel to help conserve weight and thus improve performance.
Just like its predecessors, the 2017 Maruti Dzire shares common styling elements with the all-new Swift hatchback, though there are notable tweaks to help give the sedan its own identity. Common elements appear to be the bonnet, headlamps and front fenders. The bumper, however, is noticeably different from the new Swift revealed internationally. The grille is huge and gets a lot of chrome bits on the higher trims. As with the exterior, the cabin too shares common elements such as the dashboard and seats, though there are notable changes across the center console and instrument cluster, along with a bigger focus on delivering a premium feel. As before, the car gets a dual-tone interior, along with faux-wood inserts on the steering wheel and across the cabin for a more premium feel. In terms of equipment, the new Dzire gets dual airbags, ABS and Isofix child seat anchor points as standard across the range. Top variants additionally get kit such as Maruti’s SmartPlay infotainment system with navigation and Android Auto and Apple Car Play connectivity, auto climate control and LED projector headlamps to name a few.
The 2017 Dzire carries forward the existing set of engines from its predecessor. This includes the 83hp, 1.2-litre K-series petrol motor and the tried and tested 75hp, 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine. Both units are paired with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the option of an AMT gearbox. Eight variants, including a new top-spec Z+ variant, are on offer. All but the base L trim come with the choice of a manual or AMT gearbox. Key rivals to the Dzire include the recently face lifted Hyundai Xcent, the Honda Amaze, the Ford Aspire, the Volkswagen Ameo and the Tata Zest. Unlike the previous generations, where the Dzire compact sedan’s launch followed that of the hatchback, this time round, it’s the compact sedan that’s been brought in first. The new-generation Swift hatchback has been on sale in international markets for a while now, but the company chose to introduce the Dzire first more for marketing reasons than production or engineering. Maruti wants to present it as a ‘true’ and independent compact sedan in its own right. To further drive home this message, the third-generation car carries no ‘Swift’ branding as the company feels that the ‘Dzire’ brand has its own brand value now and does not need to rely on the Swift badge.