On the hot summer afternoon of May 25 th 2005, Maruti launched its most exciting car in its then two-decade history — the Swift. That the car was being brought in mere months after it went on sale in Suzuki’s homeland of Japan promised much. The Maruti Swift was not going to be another last-gen hand-me-down product from abroad but a thoroughly modern one built to the latest international standards. It certainly looked like nothing else on Indian roads and, as an increasing number of buyers found out, drove like little else either.
Equipped with the 87bhp, 1.3 petrol engine from the Esteem, the original Swift quickly made a reputation for being somewhat of a hot hatch. Enthusiasts simply couldn’t get enough of it. In addition, the chic design, good ride and Maruti Suzuki-typical excellent fuel economy won it ever more admirers across the cross section of the car buying public. Soon enough, the Maruti Swift made its entry into the list of best sellers in India, a position it hasn’t let go of in a decade.
2010 also saw the introduction of the updated model.
While the move was in order to meet more stringent BS IV emission norms, there were no half measures here either. Maruti went ahead to change the petrol car’s engine with Suzuki’s modern K12M 1.2-litre unit. The gearing was revised as well and the suspension was also reworked for better ride quality. In many ways, the new car marked a return to form for Maruti and the Swift, what with its exciting handling and genuinely smile-inducing demeanour. Even increased competition couldn’t hamper the Swift’s unwavering popularity. Sales showed no signs of slowing down with the one millionth Swift in India being delivered in September 2013.
To keep up the momentum, the Swift was updated in 2014 with more features such as Bluetooth telephone function and keyless go. The updates have certainly done their job because as of April 2015, the Swift’s India sales tally has crossed a staggering 1.3 million units. And it’s still going strong! Also, the recent milestone of 5 million cumulative global sales includes 54% contribution from India.