2012 Maruti Dzire ZXi petrol and ZDi diesel road test review!


Team ICB put both the petrol and diesel variants of the 2012 Dzire compact sedan through the paces and here is our experience of Maruti Suzuki”s latest product, and one which will be launched a few hours from now. The Maruti Dzire sedan was first launched in 2008, and ever since has managed to clock more than 330,000 units nationally. How do you improve upon a product that has been running rings around the competition despite a love-it-hate-it design? That was one question we were wondering about even before getting behind the wheels of the new Dzire variants. Talking of which, we’ll begin with just that, the design, shall we?

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

The Maruti Suzuki Dzire is now well within into the realm of compact sedans with the overall length measuring a touch under 4 meters. What it means is, the new Dzire’s boot is a compact unit, a far cry from the bulbous rear the older Dzire came with. This compactness of the boot actually means that the Dzire is quite a looker from many angles, especially the front and the rear three quarters. Coming to the front end, the 2012 Dzire is very similar to the all new Swift, a car with which it shares its platform with, just like the older Swift and Dzire of yore.

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

While the headlamps show the typical flair like the new Swift, the Dzire differentiates itself from its hatchback sibling with an all new grille and bumper design. These standout design elements will ensure that the Dzire will not be mistaken for either the new Swift or even say, the older Dzire. From the sides though, the taller stance of the new Dzire makes the design lose some sense of proportion. Buckling up into the new Dzire, the first thing that will strike you is the vast improvement in quality of the interiors. We could go out on a wing and even say that the new Dzire’s interiors is next only to the Kizashi and the Grand Vitara and that is quite a statement to make.

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan Dashboard

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan Dashboard

Although the new Dzire shares the dashboard with the new Swift, the colors that Maruti has chosen for the Dzire’s dashboard makes the car feel a lot more premium than the Swift.  The interplay between beige and black along with a sparing use of faux wood inserts mean that living with the 2012 Dzire will be a lot more appealing. The powder coated door latches are especially a nice touch. The dashboard now ensconces the neatly integrated stereo and the automatic climate control unit, features that existing Dzire owners sorely missed.

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan Instrumentation Console

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan Instrumentation Console

Also, the instrumentation console now brings a multi information display function to the table, which is quite a handy feature.   While the 2012 Dzire’s driver seat was a perfect fit ergonomically for taller drivers, the vertically challenged folks amongst us will need some adjusting to arrive at the perfect driving position. One reason for this is a plastic panel just over the clutch pedal which keeps hitting the left foot, and this can get annoying over a period of time. The only way around this ergonomic issue is finding a driving position that eliminates contact between the leg and the panel.

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan Steering Tilted Down

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan Steering Tilted Down

This apart, the driving position of the Dzire is bog similar to that of the Swift with decent visibility all around. The high boot though could make reversing a spot of a bother for shorter folks although the shorter length of the 2012 Dzire will more than compensate for this. Coming to the space inside the car, the new Dzire is 5mm wider than the outgoing model, and the increase in width wouldn’t have been perceptible if not for the interiors. The beige upholstery for the seat and the dual tone dashboard, along with the 25mm increase in height over the older Dzire means that the new model feels quite airy.

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

While three well built adults on the rear seat will be bit of a squeeze, the scooped out rear ends of the front seats means that additional legroom of 20 mm is liberated. Then, there’s the 40mm increase in wheelbase(Remember, the 2012 Dzire uses a modified platform from the new Swift) will make for a very comfortable rear seat, especially when sitting two abreast. Bluetooth is a feature you’ll sorely miss although the Dzire does get stereo controls on the steering. Safety wise, the top end model gets ABS, EBD and twin airbags. So,that’s pretty much what the competition offers.

We drove both the petrol and diesel variants of the new Dzire, with both variants using the all new Swift’s petrol and diesel engines. The 1.2 liter K-series unit with dual variable valve timing produces a peak power of 86 Bhp and a peak torque of 114 Nm. The engine revs eagerly right from word go and the power delivery is quite creamy although the motor begs to be revved to get the best out of it. Hustle ‘er and she’ll respond right back. Just like the new Swift, the 1.2 Liter K-series engine on the Dzire loves to be given the stick and mated to the slick shfting five speed gearbox, the 2012 Dzire is quite a drivers package.

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

Handling is top notch, and is very similar to the Swift. In fact, you’d to be hard pressed to find any difference in the handling between the Swift and the new 2012 Dzire, expect perhaps when pushed hard, where the Swift will get its nose ahead in the twisties, thanks to its excellent and neutral balance. The tyres though will give up soon before the Dzire’s limits can be put to test. Coming to the diesel engined 2012 Dzire, the car features the same fixed geometry turbo based 1.3 Fiat Multijet diesel, which has come to become our national engine for the sheer numbers and models it powers.

This 75 Bhp-190 Nm diesel motor feels quite responsive but the edge that the previous generation unit found on the older Dzire and Swift is missing. While the older engine felt punchier, the new engine feels more linear. While this is a good thing for the majority of the 2012 Dzire diesel buyers, folks wanting that punch the Multijet diesel motor delivers in good measure might be a trifle disappointed. A sweetener though is the higher fuel economy. Maruti claims that the new diesel motor is more fuel efficient than ever before.

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

While we couldn’t check mileage on both the petrol and the diesel variant,we expect a step up from the previous model for all the wight lost and tuning in favor fuel economy.Win some, lose some, then? On the whole, both the petrol and diesel Dzire handle very similar to the Swift, read good. Both the petrol and diesel engines too perform quite like the new Swift, considering that the 2012 Dzire weighs exactly the same as the hatchback, another proof that hatchbacks require additional strengthening and as a consequence are heavier.

Whilst the petrol 2012 Dzire ZXi weighed 990 kilos, the diesel ZDi variant came in at 1080 kilograms. The gear ratios though, might be different although we’ll need Maruti’s confirmation on that. Both the petrol and diesel 2012 Dzires tugged hard in the first three gears, while fourth and fifth felt taller in the interests of higher fuel economy we presume.   The ride, while being pliant can get a little unsettling on broken stretches at higher speeds and this is the hangover from the older Swift days. That said, the ride quality has improved by miles compared to the older Swift and Dzire.

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

Coming to the boot, which is the biggest change on the 2012 Dzire, the car loses out a full 86 liters of boot space to the older model with well, the larger boot-y. While you could get by comfortably with shopping and other sundries, airport transfers and the big bags they tag along with would mean that you’d be better off taking a cab, or if you feel like making your car look like a gargoyle, getting a roof carrier fixed. The 2012 Dzire for the record, comes with a 316 liter boot. Coming to the most crucial aspect of all, pricing, we hear that the new Dzire will be priced slightly higher than the older model justifying the higher level of fit, finish and for that matter, even finesse.

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

All New 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Sedan

The 2012 Dzire will be available in three variants each, the LXi, VXi and ZXi on petrol and LDi, VDi and ZDi on diesel.  Maruti also offers an automatic variant of the Dzire, which is essentially a three speed automatic gearbox with the fourth gear being an overdrive function. The automatic variant will be available only in petrol guise, in the VXi trim. The older version of the Dzire though will continue to do duty as a cut price cabbie special LDi model. If you can live without the bigger boot, we simply suggest that you go for the new 2012 Dzire. It is a humongous improvement over the older model. Oh, judging by the way the older Dzire has sold, the newer one has all the trappings of becoming yet another best seller for Maruti Suzuki.

Images and Impressions: Amber Goyal and Mohammed Imran

Text: Jay Prashanth M

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  1. nathan

    January 31, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    the new dzire looks ugly.especially in the rear 3/4 view.looks disproportionate.

  2. Sridhar

    January 31, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Nice review, thank you Jay! Now, keeping the fingers crossed and waiting for the price disclosure tomorrow.

  3. Jerrin

    January 31, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    The question is, will the Indian buyer prefer quality over quantity. The sale of new Dzire Compact Sedan will be an indicator of the maturity of average Indian car buyer

  4. alex antony

    February 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Sideways looks is not impressive otherwise everything is excellent including the price tag, Definitely value for money.

  5. Praveen

    February 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Its good value for money. All safety features – ABS with EBD, Air Bags are offered at less than 8lakhs on road. 15″ alloy wheels make the vehicle more stable and 68 PS of power is quiet decent. One has to compromise a little on looks as the front doesn’t give a Sedan class feeling. Interiors also are well taken care of.

  6. vinod gupta

    March 7, 2012 at 1:20 am

    just i need petrol n dissel price

  7. S.Abilash

    March 25, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    it,s awesome car as compared to price and features also we are going to buy new swift dzire zxi.

  8. anand

    April 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I would like to know about the difference between new swift and new dezire. I want to know on the following points:-

    1. Riding comfort
    2. engine, suspension, seat and AC
    3. not bothered about boot space.

  9. shaikh diyab

    September 17, 2012 at 8:10 am

    there is no good boot space at back
    in the old modle the space was good

  10. Abilash

    September 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    the new dzire is a desirable car and best in it,s class . the interior look very premium and expensive
    it as multi display,digital A.C with AUTO climate,the interior is made of high qulity material with wood turn of look very funky and stylish and the alloy wheels are very stylish it has motion alloys.I also own a swift dzire zxi

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