From the time I attended the first drive of the car in Goa, the Maruti Suzuki Dzire has proven to be an impressive city car. It has been returning excellent fuel economy of around 20kmpl and has been taking me everywhere. Its compact dimensions mean it’s easy to manoeuvre through peak traffic and parking isn’t too much of a problem either. Especially with that rather handy rear view camera with lane guidance and proximity sensors. At times I have even cursed myself for falling hook line and sinker for features that essentially make driving easy even for the dumbest of people. What I had not had the chance to try out at all was how good, or bad, such a thorough city car would prove to be out on highways.
So when the opportunity arrived with a strategically placed Independence Day that offered the chance of a long weekend, I grabbed it with open arms, loaded the Dzire and headed for the family’s favoured short haul destination – Goa. The distance from home to our hotel in South Goa was 472km, which would see me through open highways, narrow B roads and the twists and turns of the Chorla ghat immediately after Belgaum.
Out on the open highway, cruising at around 100kmph, which I think is a comfortable pace to maintain, the car feels in its comfort zone with some margin to spare. The smooth running 1.3 DDiS engine has enough torque to let me overtake slower vehicles by simply dabbing on the throttle a little harder. At that speed the car also feels remarkably stable in spite of being much lighter than the previous generation of the Dzire. Beyond that however the steering tends to feel overly light and if there are undulations then the car feels floaty, which isn’t really pleasant. What is really pleasant though is the fuel efficiency on offer when you keep cruising at a comfortable pace. To give you a general idea of just how economical the car turned out to be, I started from Pune with a full tank of diesel. I did the entire journey from home to the hotel, roamed around in Goa for two days and then had to fill fuel only on the third day on the way back! When I checked the trip readings I realised I had driven just over 700km on a tankful.
On the twists and turns of Chorla too the Dzire acquitted itself respectably enough. Admittedly it isn’t as much a driver’s car as some other vehicles might be but there wasn’t much to complain about. The other thing that stands the Dzire in good stead is the fact that in spite of being a sub-4m compact sedan, space isn’t at a premium in the car. At just a shade over six feet tall, I need my legroom. And right behind me my younger daughter was strapped into her child safety seat (I never travel without it). There was sufficient space for me to be able to incline her seat when she dozed off at one point, without her tiny feet touching the back of my seat.
But after four months of use the Dzire’s infotainment system has begun to show early signs of strain. There have been a couple of times when the system has malfunctioned and I have been unable to receive or make calls via the Bluetooth system. Something that I intend to get checked at the car’s next service. Other than that there has been no trouble. Stay tuned for updates on life with the Dzire.
Date acquired: June 2017
Duration of test: 3 months
Total mileage: 5,089km
Mileage this month: 1,185km
Overall kmpl: 19kmpl
Costs this month: Nil