The Dzire is the Swift with a boot. So it was only a matter of time that the Dzire moved to being the new Swift with a boot rather than the old Swift with a boot. We had all been expecting that would happen and we were also expecting Maruti-Suzuki to chop off a bit of that spacious boot, like Tata Motors did with the Indigo to make the Indigo eCS. What we weren’t expecting though was for Maruti to discontinue the Dzire with a full boot and launch it just as a compact sedan in its second generation. gud things: Luxurious, efficiency, premium badthings: Small boot, rear seat comfort No doubt the move has been prompted by the lure of availing the excise benefits available to cars under 4m in length and with powerplants under 1.2 litres for petrol and 1.4 litres for diesel ones. And also to create space in the Maruti product portfolio for the new MPV that it will be launching soon. Consequently, the biggest change is in boot space which goes from a healthy and spacious 440 litres on the old Dzire to a paltry 316 litres. I am still trying to figure out how many suitcases will fit now that they cannot be stacked standing lengthwise as it seems that atleast the 165mm of reduction in the overall length has all been at the expense of the boot. But like the new Swift, the Dzire has a 40mm longer wheelbase, which should translate into more in-cabin space, and is 5mm wider. That apart, the Dzire is now identical to the new Swift on the inside – which means a general move to a more luxurious car. In fact, on many fronts the Dzire goes one step ahead of the new Swift. Wood-grain inserts on a two-tone dash definitely make the cabin more impressive as does the use of better materials all around, including the seat fabric. From the old Dzire, this is a quantum leap forward as the new in-dash audio system and the climate control panel both look from a car at least a segment higher. Looks on the front and side are again mostly like the new Swift. The front has some key cosmetic differences though. The Dzire sports a grille that is different from the Swift now and that means the lower air dam, bumper and the fog lamp recesses are different as well. The cut-off boot does look odd but there are angles from which the car still looks decent. The car will come with both diesel and petrol powerplants, again identical to the ones on the new Swift. Which means that the 1.2-litre petrol engine features variable valve timing and is slightly more powerful than before and offers both better driveability and efficiency. The diesel engine too is also identical to the one on the new Swift. Both are mated to a 5-speed gearbox but on the mid-level petrol there is also the option of a traditional 4-speed auto gearbox. Maruti will be launching the new Dzire with an automatic transmission, which will come with the petrol engine and in the VXI trim. Maruti has finally woken up to the demand of automatics in this segment as well after watching the success Honda has had with the City automatic. But Maruti has opted for a 3-speed automatic with an overdrive (four gears effectively) which one can choose not to use. Driveability is good and though Maruti claims fuel efficiency will not be too badly affected, only real world tests will reveal the true picture. The reason for using this old gearbox is cost and we hope the Dzire automatic won’t be much more expensive. The car is more like the Swift to drive than the previous Dzire and offers a good mix of ride and handling. The best part of the Swift Dzire as compared to the Swift was the 208 litres of additional boot space and the upgradation to a sedan. However, now there is just 112 litres of additional boot space on the Dzire even though the boot on the Swift has also become smaller. So while the Dzire has made a quantum jump just like the Swift, its differentiation with the hatch has become more diluted. If Maruti can price the Dzire attractively then the Dzire will continue to thrive.