Took it out on a 70 km drive on all kinds of roads I could find in the city. I had quite a bit of fun driving this little thing around!
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Someone left a red bug in my parking.
Decided to take it for a drive.
Some kind of magic, it unlocked when I pressed a black nipple on the handle. Turned out to be a fob fallen nearby.
Took it out on a 70 km drive on all kinds of roads I could find in the city. Apparently, it’s some racecar technology called AMT that old Mercedes racecars and some F1 cars use even today. Excited to take my first step into racing cars for a living I set off and developed neck pain even before I could exit my basement.
I immediately knew what the outrage about AMTs was all about. I’ve been shotgun in this car for a bit and never felt it was so bad. What was different now?
I tried giving throttle inputs as gradually as possible, as gently as I could, but nothing helped. You just can’t cope.
I was quick to judge and decided to agree with the huge majority that thinks it sucks. But for some stupid reason, decided to try Tiptronic. Slid the lever left into manual mode. Same behaviour. A few minutes later, Some idiot cuts me off just before upshifting and I let off the throttle while it shifts, I didn’t feel A THING! What just happened? I spent the next few minutes in traffic experimenting. The AMT cuts throttle aggressively in Auto during shifting which makes you bob to and fro. This got me thinking, this is still an MT at heart.
Let’s shift the way we shift a MT:
- Right foot off the throttle,
- Left foot in
- Shift and back on the throttle.
No clutch here, so cut your leg off.
It was flawless! No more jerks.
I kept shifting after letting go of the throttle for the next half hour, the car shifted as well as my Torque Converter Grand i10, which is undoubtedly the benchmark for shift quality in its segment.
Toyed around with the stuff inside this car, good AC, a decent sound system, the tweeters actually make a difference, light steering, Comfy seats, solid brakes and an engine that pulls hard way after the speed limit too!
I had quite a bit of fun driving this little thing around!
The elephant in the room – It’s safety rating.
I was toying with this car and seeing how good its engine was, the super light build and the peppy engine just didn’t let me be a responsible citizen.
But the moment the thoughts about its safety rating and the images from various crashes of MSIL cars completely crumbling between Tatas (it’s always a Tata LOL) flashed in my head, I drove like I was an old man trying to irritate the traffic behind me.
This is such a sorted car for being a city runabout!
And being an entry-level automatic, considering its price I am totally fine shifting with Tiptronic to save my neck. But I’ll never get those images out of my head. We all started with an MSIL car in the family, so I know there will always be a buyer who will be over the moon with this first car. Like a friend once said, “why deny the bike guy mobility by making cars more expensive”.
I sympathise and think it’s not that bad a car after all.
I just didn’t feel like giving the bug back to my friend! loved driving it.
Here’s what BHPian PrideRed had to say on the matter:
Swift as you mentioned is quite a good city car and in B2B traffic, is fun and easy to drive. The AMT takes some time to get used to. Initially, I drove like other ATs but over time driving it like an MT, there is a reduction in head banging. But shifting can be slow and the AMT unit sometimes misses selecting the right gear. The Nios AMT is smoother but the K12 is such a joy. The Swift is surprisingly more efficient than my earlier MT Kwid 800cc and also does not bottom out as much. That said GC is just adequate for the city.
Pity that MSIL doesn’t bother to update the safety on this car which otherwise is well sorted for the city. That said Swift had scored 2 stars (Some may argue it even 3) in the previous version of GNCAP and in comparison, Tiago scored 4 stars. With updated GNCAP norms, I am assuming Tiago would score 3 or 2 stars! Maruti also has added ESP, Hill Hold and ZXI/ZXI+ to get adjustable headrests for 4 passengers and rear wash/wipe whereas these are limited only to top spec variants in competition.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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