Just a quick stroll through the monthly sales figures and you know how popular the Swift nametag is in India. Month on month, year on year it has topped the charts consistently. It’s got that commendable balance of proportions that make it desirable to possibly one of the widest spectrum of audience. The segment has got so fervid, rivals had to turbocharge their smaller-capacity engines to make things exciting and challenging. And boy did it work in their favour. Time for the 2021 Swift to be back in the headlines? I think it is.
However, hiking the starting price of the 2021 Swift by Rs 24,000 might not be the headlines you would like. It’s all the more worrying when you’ll be forced to pull out a microscope to spot the changes. Most of them would be glorified in the brochure – new grille with a dash of chrome, dual-tone colours, a new MID interface, engine start/stop function and added convenience features like cruise control, hill-hold assist and auto-folding OVRMs. But in that table documented at the very end, you’ll see the power being upped by 7bhp. Now that’s a good headline. The gain is a result of proficient engineering. Instead of going the turbo-charging way, Maruti has positioned two injectors per combustion chamber to deliver more fuel and ultimately, better response. You’d imagine the technicians to also adjust the AFM (air-fuel mixture) ratio to keep any judders out. In essence, what you have is an idea that stubbornly avoids putting on a turbo on the 2021 Swift.
The gain in performance as compared to the outgoing Swift remains marginal, and there is no sudden spurt when the pedal is shoved to the metal. Power delivery, although strong throughout the rev-range, remains linear and progressive. But there’s more. The engine is now refined, it’s quieter and more settled and those are traits seldom associated with three-cylinder engines of the same calibre. And thankfully, true to its character, it’s untiringly revv happy and capable of singing throughout the day at 6,000 rpm. And if you plan on striking those high notes often, the manual transmission should be your pick for the 2021 Swift. Not only is it smooth and accurate, but the light clutch also lets you play around with the engine in a more spirited manner. On the contrary, the AGS is tuned to rob away the charisma of the engine by constantly upshifting cogs to extract better fuel efficiency. It’s a big no-no for enthusiasts, but I’m sure city-dwellers looking for point A to point B commute would cherish the added convenience.
All these are relevant additions that make the updated 2021 Swift even more appealing to the consumers and something that definitely justifies the price hike. With its winning formula left untouched, you can expect the Swift to reign our roads even longer. If you’re expecting more punch from it, do write to Maruti to introduce the Swift Sport in India. I’m going to do just that.