Maruti Suzuki Swift in the age of SUVs: Can the updated hatchback make a mark?

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  • Maruti Suzuki Swift is one of the hottest-selling car models in India but SUVs have taken a toll on its popularity.
The 2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift is all set for its India launch in May.

Maruti Suzuki Swift has been on Indian roads for over 19 years. Well over 25 lakh units of the model has been sold to Indian customers in these nearly two decades. A familiar sight in both urban, semi-urban as well as rural reaches of the country, the Swift has been acclaimed for its sporty looks and sportier drive abilities. But as the updated Maruti Suzuki Swift gets ready for a May 9 launch, it faces what may be its biggest challenge yet.

Gone are the days when the biggest competition for Maruti Suzuki Swift came from its direct rivals. The likes of Volkswagen Polo and Ford Figo are off the shelves while those that remain – Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS and Tata Altroz, to name a few – are not exactly volume drivers. No, the biggest competition that the 2024 Maruti Swift possibly faces is not from its direct rivals but small SUVs that are around the same price range.

The incoming Maruti Suzuki Swift will lock horns against very popular entry-level SUVs like Nissan Magnite, Hyundai Exter and even Maruti’s own Fronx. Even the base variants of models like Mahindra XUV 3XO, Tata Nexon and Hyundai Venue could pose a challenge.

Also Read : Engine, mileage and features of 2024 Swift leaked before launch

Maruti Suzuki Swift: Hot Hatch vs Strong SUV

The over-arching preference for the SUV body type has been well-established and much talked about. Whether one considers or slams sub-compact SUVs as true SUVs, what cannot be denied though is that these models have eaten into the share of hatchbacks. Even Maruti Suzuki has been focusing on the SUV body type to ride the wave and admits that the compact and hatchback segments will take time to recover.

Maruti Suzuki Swift: Price Wars

The current-generation of Maruti Swift is priced between 6.25 lakh and 9.25 lakh (ex-showroom). Let’s look at some of the newer sub-compact SUVs from the perspective of pricing.

At the entry level to the segment, the likes of Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger are priced between 6 lakh and 11 lakh (approximately, ex-showroom). The Hyundai Exter launched in July of 2023 is priced between 6.15 lakh and 10.30 lakh (ex-showroom). Then there is Maruti’s very own Fronx that is priced between 7.50 lakh and 13 lakh (ex-showroom).

Even if comparisons between the top variants would be rather unfair considering a sizeable price difference, it is still clear that base and mid variants of the Swift could be impacted by base and mid variants of models like Exter and Fronx in particular.

Maruti Suzuki Swift: Fame from Name?

What is very likely to work in favour of Swift in a market filled to the brim with rivals is its brand value. The ‘Swift’ has managed to bat itself into a position from where it can score more freely than many other models – past or present.

Maruti has also updated its exterior styling and cabin layout and feature list to help it make a solid case for itself yet again. There is also a new 1.2-litre petrol motor that can be expected. While the exact nature of these would only be revealed on launch, it is very likely that the Swift manages to increase its strike rate. But will it be able to touch highs of years gone by?

First Published Date: 06 May 2024, 09:25 AM IST

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