India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has launched the third generation of its highly successful compact sedan Dzire. The new version comes with plush styling and roomy interiors, with the price starting from Rs 5.45 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
While the petrol variant starts at Rs 5.45 lakh and goes up to Rs 8.41 lakh, the pricier diesel begins at Rs 6.45 lakh and goes up to Rs 9.41 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi.
Maruti spent Rs 1,000 crore to develop the new Dzire, which is much lighter and more fuel efficient. The diesel Dzire runs 28.4 km/litre (6.8 per cent improvement compared to its predecessor) while the petrol version can cover 22 km per litre and has seen a 5.5 per cent improvement, largely due to 105 kg weight reduction.
Maruti has come up with a new, crisp design, a wider stance (40 mm) and the leg room has been enhanced by 55 mm. The new touchscreen infotainment system runs on both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The new Dzire also gets air conditioning vents at the rear.
First launched in 2008, Dzire happens to be Maruti's second most sold car, after the bestseller Alto, and generated as much as 14 per cent of domestic sales.
It is the largest-selling compact sedan in the country, accounting for half the segment volumes, and Maruti has sold 1.38 lakh units so far. According to Maruti executives, there were 33,000 pre-launch bookings, which started earlier this month.
Commenting on the launch, Maruti Suzuki's Managing Director and CEO K. Anykawa said, "The new Dzire gets a complete design and package to meet the expectations of Indian customers. We have added more features and safety to the car to make it more appealing, with the added advantage of having an automatic across all variants."
Dzire is one of the most critical models for the market leader as it eyes an annual volume of two million cars by 2020, after it sold 1.56 million vehicles during the financial year ended in March 2017.
Maruti has taken off its famed 'Swift' brand from the new sedan and it will remain distinct from the Swift hatchback. The earlier versions of Dzire were based on Swift and were launched much after the hatchback had hit the market. Since its 2008 launch, the design cues were based on Swift only and the first two generations were largely seen as a Swift with an additional boot space. But this time, Dzire comes before the new Swift and the latter may be launched during the 14th auto expo next year.
Dzire will compete with the likes of Hyundai's Xcent, Honda's Amaze, Volkswagen Ameo and Tata Tigor. Its closest competitor is Xcent, which recorded an annual volume of about 47,000 units in the last fiscal. The Korean carmaker launched a new version of Xcent last month.