Maruti’s Swift has sold in incredibly large numbers, with over two million units sold over nearly the last twenty years. This has made the Swift a very important model for the brand, and the same can be said about the i20 for Hyundai. We’ve compared both these important models to see which is best.
Maruti Suzuki Swift
In its third generation, the Maruti Suzuki cars retains its traditional silhouette, because of which it continues to be so successful in our country. The Swift changed the perception of customers in India, making cars appear far more attractive from thereafter. The new model looks stylish with its open-mouth grille that gives the car good presence. Along the sides, you will find a bold shoulder line. There’s also the floating roof, the blacked-out pillars and rather nice looking LED tail lights. But the door handles mounted in the C-pillars look great, giving it the look of a three-door hatchback.
The cabin of the Swift is new, and there are details that we liked. We like the design of the AC controls and the sporty flat-bottom steering. It gets a whole lot of features like a large touchscreen multimedia system, dual airbags, ABS and LED headlamps. The quality of plastics still needs work and there are lots of hard plastics around. Rear seat space, however, has improved to an extent. There’s also better headroom and legroom and a larger boot.
Hyundai Elite i20
The Hyundai i20 facelift gets a revised front and rear with new alloy wheels too. The headlight clusters are new; so are the cornering fog lights with aerodynamic slats in the front bumper that enhances airflow. Even the bumper it sports is new. At the rear, you will find a new tail gate design with the number plate holder on it. The rear bumper is new as well. Some may like it; some may not. We think the pre-facelift model looked better.
Inside the Hyundai cars, you get a bigger touchscreen infotainment system which is easy to use, thanks to the interface. It features dual airbags and ABS. The i20’s interior quality and finish are far better than what you’ll find on the Swift. The plastic surfaces in the i20 feel great and the sound insulation is impressive too. The steering feels nice to hold, the doors shut with a nice thunk and the overall build quality is bound to impress you.
The Swift has been known to be a great driver’s car, thanks to its fun-to-drive, responsive nature. And this made it very popular among youngsters. Even the new car retains those characteristics with its communicative and direct steering. The Swift loves being push hard around corners, and while the suspension do a good job in soaking in the bumps, the ride is a bit on the stiff side. But that also makes it a fun car to drive. Its 1.3-litre diesel motor makes 74bhp, and chassis feels very capable. The 5-speed AMT gearbox could’ve offered more in terms of response.
The i20, on the other hand, feels different on the road. The driving experience is more relaxed and refinement levels are brilliant. Power delivery from its 1.4-litre diesel engine is linear, and there is no turbo lag evident. The steering feel seems to have improved and feels more direct. And the suspension is setup on the soft side, so the ride is perfectly supple.
The final call
This is a pretty tough battle, but after having driven both cars, we’ve understood that these are two different cars for two different customers. The Swift is the younger looking of the two and gets more looks, but it is a hoot to drive as well. However, we still think its diesel motor could do with a little more power. The i20 will appeal to those looking for refinement and ride comfort. And the i20 doesn’t look all that bad either. Both these cars are different in character, and both make for good vale-for-money buys. We’ll let you pick the winner.