New Dzire of­fers value to the bud­get buyer

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO MOTORING - Val van der Walt

Shop­ping for a new car un­der 200K in this day and age is not easy. Firstly, there’s not a lot avail­able in the 150 to 200 price bracket, and what does fall in that cat­e­gory is most of the time bare bones of­fer­ings with sus­pect built qual­ity.

Even when such cars are fit­ted with fancy gad­gets - such as touch screens and Sat­nav

- the ex­pe­ri­enced driver will im­me­di­ately feel that not much money was spent on the driv­e­train, mean­ing the sus­pen­sion, en­gine and trans­mis­sion set-up.

Suzuki does it the other way around.

Here we have its new Dzire sedan.

The Dzire used to be the booted ver­sion of the Swift, and ba­si­cally still is, but the Swift name is no longer cou­pled to the sedan ver­sion. It now be­ing its own car.

As with the re­cently launched new Swift, Suzuki has con­cen­trated on the Dzire’s un­der­pin­nings to make it a solid, driv­able car, in­stead of spend­ing money on gad­gets.

The car still has all that’s needed for a com­fort­able com­mute in ba­sic form, but also fea­tures a de­cent en­gine, trans­mis­sion and sus­pen­sion set-up for a com­fort­able and steady drive.

Inside

In this price range (R150 000 - R170 000) there’s not much in terms of soft ma­te­ri­als inside the cabin and the Dzire has lit­tle in the form of fancy trim.

A sole chrome-look in­sert in the dash is as far as it goes, how­ever fit and fin­ish through­out the cabin are good and the ma­te­ri­als used have a durable feel.

The seats are sturdy and com­fort­able.

There’s no big touch screen, Suzuki hav­ing opted to go for a older type push-but­ton MP3/CD player.

The sys­tem of­fers Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity and there’s au­dio and cell­phone con­trols on the steer­ing wheel.

A USB port is found in the lower part of the dash, as well as a 12V socket.

In the back there’s an­other

12V socket as well as sep­a­rate air-con vents which is handy for those sit­ting be­hind the driver, but cool air can only re­ally be felt if the fan is turned past the first set­ting.

Elec­tric win­dows through­out and some nifty stor­age op­tions add fur­ther to the Dzire’s com­fort fea­tures.

Power

Driv­ing the new-look Dzire is a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 1.2-litre with out­puts of 61kW and 113Nm. Those num­bers don’t sound like much, but with a curb weight be­low 900kg there’s no need for more power and the drive in town as well as on the open road is quite sat­is­fac­tory.

The five-speed trans­mis­sion is smooth with good gear ra­tios and the higher pro­file tires smooth out a lot of the bumps on un­even sur­faces.

Suzuki claims a fuel econ­omy fig­ure of 4 litres per 100km, and keep­ing a close eye on the guage while driv­ing the sedan, con­firmed that they are not much off with that num­ber as the nee­dle was very steady.

Hav­ing left ex­pen­sive gad­gets out of it, Suzuki was able to spend more on safety and fit­ted the car with ABS, EBD and dual front airbags.

Ver­dict

While the Dzire is not set­ting new bench­marks, it’s a solid of­fer­ing with good un­der­pin­nings.

In my opin­ion a good en­gine and sus­pen­sion counts for more than gad­gets, be­cause it’s point­less hav­ing fancy fea­tures in a car which is a pain to drive.

The Dzire is com­fort­able in town where it has no prob­lem keep­ing up with traf­fic and it is steady on the open road.

Suzuki Zu­l­u­land is of­fer­ing the man­ual Dzire in GL trim at

R165 990, and that’s a good buy in these ex­pen­sive times we live in.

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