The Maruti Dzire has been the undisputed king of the compact sedan segment for quite some time now and even though its been around a while, it shows no signs of slowing down. Even new competition, in the form of the Tata Zest, has had little impact on the sales of the Dzire which continue to soar. Following the facelift given to the Swift, Maruti has decided to update the Dzire sedan as well. In true Maruti Suzuki fashion, the changes made to the exterior are minimal with a healthy dose of chrome and a few more paint shades. They have, however, added more equipment which has also resulted in a minor price hike. It is the most popular sedan no doubt, but is it the best one out there? The rivals make a very good case for themselves and even though it doesn’t seem to matter much to the average Indian car buyer, we will still pit the facelifted Dzire against its chief rivals, the Honda Amaze, Tata Zest and the Hyundai Xcent to see how it stacks up against these three. Read on our 2015 Maruti Dzire vs Honda Amaze vs Tata Zest vs Hyundai Xcent spec-sheet comparo to find out which one of these competent compact sedans is the best in its segment.
Having been derived from small/medium sized hatchbacks, most compact sedans don’t score very high in the looks department. So, it really is about which one of these is the least ugly. Starting with the new 2015 Maruti Dzire, the minor exterior modifications viz. black headlamp inserts, new chrome grille, chrome foglamp surrounds and new front bumper have enhanced the looks, but not by much. And the front end was never the problem. The boot doesn’t gel well with the overall design and the Swift Dzire still looks awkward and not that great from the side or the rear. The Zest has a similar stubby boot design, but it still manages to pull of the compact sedan look very well. It also the only car in the segment to get projector headlamps, LED daytime running lights and LED tail lamps which go a long way in enhancing its appeal. Chrome usage has been kept to a minimum and even though it doesn’t have many standout design elements, the overall look works really well.
The Hyundai Xcent gets a proper size boot which makes it look like more of a proper sedan than the other two. Hyundai hasn’t done anything to the front to differentiate it from the Grand i10 on which it based. The tail lamps could have been designed better and the rear looks a bit too narrow. The Amaze is best to look at among these four. The wider profile, proper three box shape, strong character lines, all come together to ensure the design works well and is easy on the eyes. The tail lamps might be a tad to big, but they make the car appear wider which is a good thing.
The Swift derived dash does not see much change, apart from a new infotainment system. The interiors are a total contrast to the exteriors at least in terms of looks. The dash is smartly laid out and the quality levels are pretty good. The black and beige combo works very well and the faux wood trims has been kept under control making sure the cabin feels premium enough. The big front seats and the sofa like rear bench are very comfortable, but the rear bench lacks legroom and does not feel like a sedan in the back. When you step inside the Zest you will be instantly impressed by the design and quality of the dash. The black and beige has been tastefully done with dark grey and piano black inserts and quality levels are pretty high, not just by Tata’s standards. The steering wheel and the touchscreen infotainment system are few of the standout features. The rear bench is better suited for three people as compared to the Dzire and is more comfortable too. Both cars, however, have the smallest boots among the four.
The Hyundai Xcent’s interior is the best one here. The quality, design, fit and finish are all top-notch and making the insides of the Hyundai a class above the rest. The black and beige colour scheme adds to the premium feel. Comfortable front seats and a decent rear bench with good leg room, made better by the provision of rear AC vents. The Honda Amaze’s interior is quite the opposite as it feels a bit spartan and a class below the rest, marked down by the odd layout and the average levels of quality. However, the Amaze is the most spacious on the inside and offers the most amount of legroom and headroom and comfortable seats. It also has the largest boot.
[box type=”success” ]The Xcent has the best interior and the Amaze pulls off the compact sedan look better than the others, but its the Zest that strikes the right balance between the two and is the pick of the lot in terms of design.[/box]
The facelifted Dzire is expected to get additional kit as part of the update, engine start/stop, keyless entry, electrically folding mirrors, to name a few. The Amaze loses out big time as it misses out on features like, automatic climate control, CD player, parking snesors and bluetooth, features which every other car gets. The Zest comes loaded with features and the touchscreen stands out. The Harman sourced unit features full colour support for your music, parking sensor display, climate control, voice command, etc. Other unique features include projector headlamps and LED daytime running lamps and LED tail lamps. The Xcent is also pretty well equipped with unique features like a rear parking camera, cooled glove box, 1GB on board storage and rear AC vents.
[box type=”success” ]Its very hard to choose between the Xcent and Zest as both come loaded with equipment, but we feel the the Zest edges ahead slightly thanks to fancier kit. The Swift isn’t too far behind either. The Amaze doesn’t even come close.[/box]
Ride & Handling
The Swift Dzire has always been a good car to drive and that tradition will continue with the facelift since Maruti has made any mechanical changes. It offers a comfortable ride and a satisfying driving experience. As does the Honda Amaze with offers great stability and body control. However, it lacks refinement and poor insulation means a lot of noise and vibration filters in. The Xcent offers the most dull driving experience of the lot as the steering fails to provide much feel and the suspension does not do a very good job of handling bumps and potholes. Ride and handling is one area where the Zest shines as it offers an involving driving experience and does a good job at handling corners without taking the fun out of driving.
[box type=”success” ]The Tata Zest is the best of the lot in terms of ride and handling narrowly edging out the Dzire. The Amaze loses out due to a lack of refinement and the Xcent is the least involving to drive.[/box]
Engine & Transmission
|Maruti Swift Dzire||Honda Amaze||Tata Zest||Hyundai Xcent|
|Displacement||1.2 litre||1.2 litre||1.2 litre||1.2 litre|
|Efficiency*||19.1kmpl(manual)/17.4kmpl(automatic)||18kmpl (manual)/15.5kmpl (automatic)||17.6kmpl (manual)||19.2kmpl (manual)/16.1kmpl (automatic)|
|Transmission||5-speed manual/4-speed automatic||5-speed manual/5-speed auto||5-speed manual||5-speed manual/4-speed automatic|
Al four cars get 1.2 litre petrol motors with identical power outputs. The Zest, however, delivers a significantly higher torque figure of 140Nm because of turbocharging. It is also the only one here without an automatic transmission option and offers the least mileage as well. Overall, the Dzire’s K12 unit is the best one out here.
|Maruti Swift Dzire||Honda Amaze||Tata Zest||Hyundai Xcent|
|Displacement||1.3 litre||1.5 litre||1.3 litre||1.1 litre|
|Transmission||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||5-speed manual/5-speed automatic(AMT)||5-speed manual|
The Amaze has the biggest engine of the lot and also the most powerful. The Dzire and the Zest, both use a 1.3 litre Fiat sourced Multijet, but the Zest gets two states of tune putting out more power than the Dzire. The Amaze also edges ahead in terms of fuel efficiency. The 1.3 litre unit powering the Dzire and the Zest suffers from turbolag below 2,000 rpm, but it gets better as the revs build up and does a decent job in the city as well as out on the highway. An optional automatic trasnsmission is unique to the Zest giving it a slight edge over the competition.The Xcent has the smallest engine and even though, it does not suffer from major turbolag, it runs out of breath at higher revs around 3,800rpm which doesn’t suit highway driving. The Amaze has the best engine of the lot and delivers a steady surge of torque. However, it lacks refinement and poor sound insulation plays spoilsport.
[box type=”success” ]The Dzire and Zest share the same engine, but the latter’s state of tune offers more power and there’s also an optional AMT which sweetens the deal. The Amaze has a better engine but a lack of refinement marks it down. While, the Xcent is best suited to city conditions.[/box]
|Maruti Swift Dzire||Petrol||Diesel|
|LXi/LDi||INR 5.07 lakhs||INR 5.99 lakhs|
|LXi(O)||INR 5.20 lakhs||–|
|VXi/VDi||INR 5.85 lakhs||INR 6.85 lakhs|
|ZXi/ZDi||INR 6.80 lakhs||INR 7.81 lakhs|
|E||INR 5.19 lakhs||INR 6.21 lakhs|
|EX||INR 5.55 lakhs||INR 6.53 lakhs|
|S||INR 5.94 lakhs||INR 6.97 lakhs|
|SX||INR 6.48 lakhs||INR 7.39 lakhs|
|S AT||INR 6.95 lakhs||–|
|VX||INR 6.87 lakhs||INR 7.76 lakhs|
|VX(O)||INR 7.32 lakhs||INR 8.20 lakhs|
|VX AT||INR 7.78 lakhs||–|
|XE||INR 4.85 lakhs||INR 5.87 lakhs|
|XM||INR 5.48 lakhs||INR 6.54 lakhs|
|XMS||INR 5.69 lakhs||INR 6.75 lakhs|
|XMA (Auto)||–||INR 7.25 lakhs|
|XT||INR 6.27 lakhs||INR 7.31 lakhs|
|Base||INR 4.96 lakhs||INR 5.85 lakhs|
|S||INR 5.64 lakhs||INR 6.54 lakhs|
|S(O)||INR 5.90 lakhs||INR 6.80 lakhs|
|SX||INR 6.58 lakhs||INR 7.48 lakhs|
|SX(O)||INR 6.84 lakhs||INR 7.51 lakhs|
|SX AT||INR 7.58 lakhs||–|
*all prices ex-showroom, Delhi
[box type=”success” ]Spec for spec the Dzire, Zest and Xcent are evenly matched and its hard to differentiate based on price. The Amaze has the highest starting price and the top level trims are also more expensive than the rest and they do not offer as much equipment making Honda least value for money.[/box]
The facelifted Maruti Swift Dzire is a better car than before, but it still lags behind in terms of looks and interior space, rear legroom and boot space. However, it is unlikely to deter car buyers from putting their money on the Maruti. The Honda Amaze feels like a proper sedan and gets a good diesel motor, but it loses out because of a lack of equipment, dull interiors and lack of refinement. The Xcent makes for a decent buy thanks to the classy interiors and decent equipment level. It is, however, marked down by a dull driving experience and weak engines. The Tata Zest is a well engineered package and comes out on top in almost every aspect, looks, equipment, ride and handling et al.
[box type=”success” ]The Tata Zest is our pick among the four and is the best compact sedan on sale in India right now.[/box]
So what do you think about our 2015 Maruti Dzire vs Honda Amaze vs Tata Zest vs Hyundai Xcent spec-sheet comparo? Do let us know by commenting below.