About 15-20 years ago, hatchbacks only existed in our country as affordable and lesser-equipped alternatives to the more expensive sedans. Nowadays, hatchbacks exist through different classes, packing different levels of equipment and targeting different categories of users. The premium hatchback segment (B2-segment) in India was kicked off by the Hyundai Getz in 2002. Back then, the concept of expensive hatchbacks wasn’t widely accepted and the Getz didn’t really pick up in our market. In 2005, Maruti-Suzuki launched the Swift and with its well-recognized presence in the country, propagated the premium hatchback concept into immediate success. Hyundai, in turn, countered this move in 2008 with the i20 and commenced another major brand war that’s still on-going. With a fully updated Swift and a face-lifted i20 Elite for 2018, we will compare the intricate attributes of both cars and conclude who is the definitive victor in our Maruti Swift vs Hyundai Elite i20 comparison.
|Measurements||Maruti Suzuki Swift||Hyundai i20 Elite|
|Length||3840 mm||3985 mm|
|Width||1735 mm||1734 mm|
|Height||1530 mm||1505 mm|
|Wheelbase||2450 mm||2570 mm|
|Tyre Size||165/80 R14, 185/65 R15||185/70 R14, 195/55 R16|
|Ground Clearance||170 mm||170 mm|
|Boot Space||265 Litres||285 Litres|
|Weight||855-990 Kg||1066-1213 Kg|
To commence this face-off, we start with the Dimensions round as usual. And from the looks of things, this Swift vs i20 comparison is going to be extravagantly neck and neck. Unlike our usual face-offs where one car has the clear dimensional advantage, here the results are different with every successive aspect! The i20 has the upper hand in terms of length. The Swift is ahead by exactly one millimetre in width. The Swift also has more height indicating better headroom. Wheelbase is higher on the i20 but here it translates to higher turning radius and lesser manoeuvrability, which is a negative point here. The i20 gets fatter rubber as stock and more boot space. Ground Clearance is same on both cars but the Swift again gets an edge with lighter kerb weight. So, all in all, it’s kind of difficult to determine a clear winner in this round of our Maruti Swift vs Hyundai Elite i20 comparison.
|Parameters||Maruti Suzuki Swift||Hyundai i20 Elite|
|Transmission||5-Speed Manual/5-Speed Auto||5-Speed Manual/ CVT|
|Fuel Tank||42 Litres||45 Litre|
|Fuel Efficiency||18-25 Km/l||17-22 Km/l|
|Parameters||Maruti Suzuki Swift||Hyundai i20 Elite|
|Transmission||5-Speed Manual/5-Speed Auto||6-Speed Manual|
Moving on, let’s talk some performance numbers. For 2018, Hyundai discontinued the 1.4-litre petrol on the i20 and replaced it with a CVT equipped 1.2-litre petrol. In the petrol variants, both cars displace the exact same 1197cc. Performance figures are also similar with the i20 putting out just an extra 2 horses and 1 Nm of torque. The catch here is the extra weight on the i20. Because of that, it isn’t able to keep up with the Swift in terms of outright performance. The Swift with its sub-1 tonne weight feels lives up to its name when its on the move. Its fast, agile and loves the upper range of the RPM band. The i20 also packs similar performance when revved but feels more comfortable in the mid-range.
On the diesel variants, the Swift comes with a 1.3-litre diesel while the i20 gets a 1.4. Displacement has no replacement and the case is no different here. The i20 puts out 16 bhp and 30 Nm more than the Swift. This extra output is more than enough for the Korean Supermini to outrun its Indo-Jap rival despite the excess weight. The i20 also feels sublimely smooth and refined for a diesel powerplant. Another important point to notice is how well Hyundai has been able to tame all the turbo-lag. The i20 simply chugs all the way from 1500 RPM to redline with a confident urge.
As for automatic versions, both cars do come with automatic gearbox options. Maruti-Suzuki has stuck to their increasingly popularity garnering AMT transmission while Hyundai went our of their comfort zone and uses a CVT in place of their good ol’ torque converter transmissions. The catch here is that Maruti as given the AMT option for both their variants while the CVT only comes on the i20’s petrol option. This may seem like a negative point but Hyundai has given the i20 a 6-speed manual. Not only does it have an extra gear, the mechanism is smoother and crisper compared to Swift’s manual. Even the CVT functions much better than the AMT overall but is devoid of a manual shift option which is present on the AMT Swift.
In its top trim, the new 2018 Swift comes with body coloured bumpers, LED projector headlamps, LED DRL strips, LED tail lamps, precision cut alloy wheels, ORVM integrated side indicators, silver accents on door trims, passenger side vanity mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated phone and audio controls, push-button starter, auto headlamps, keyless entry, electrically adjustable ORVM’s, touchscreen SmartPlay infotainment system with navigation and voice commands, reverse parking sensors with camera and a safety net comprising of dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, speed-sensitive door locks.
From the looks standpoint, the 2018 Swift is absolutely gorgeous. Maruti-Suzuki has retained the original silhouette of the car but it looks nothing like the previous generation. They have very cleverly integrated fresh styling elements through-out the car while retaining the core design. The front quarter on the Swift is perhaps the best angle to view it from. The stand-out headlamp cluster and the precision cut alloy wheels give it a front profile that is in line with the sportier hot hatches of Europe. The interiors are also neatly executed and make you feel very welcome to sit inside.
The i20 Elite in its top trim comes with body coloured mirrors, LED DRL and positioning lamps with projectors, a dual tone rear bumper, ORVM integrated turn signals, chrome accents on door handles, gunmetal/ diamond-cut finish alloy wheels, dual tone interior finish with neon upholstery accents, leather wrapped gear knob, leather-wrapped steering wheel, sunglass holder, blue ambient lights, cooled glovebox, passenger side vanity mirror, dead pedal, centre lamp with dimming effect, electrically adjustable mirrors, a 17 cm touchscreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, Arkamys Audio, steering-wheel integrated audio and Bluetooth controls, reverse parking sensors with camera and a safety net comprising of 6 airbags, ABS and EBD, impact and speed sensing door locks, clutch lock and ISOFIX seats.
Just like the Swift, the i20 Elite is equally drop-dead gorgeous. It is indeed grin-inducing to see how both these hatchbacks have risen from humble beginnings and reached where they have today. The i20 exudes a lot of style from the outside. Its current design was originated before the Swift came into existence. Now with the redesigned bumpers and LED strips, the car looks even better than before. What’s really impressive with the i20 is the amount of equipment it packs. It seems like Hyundai is adopting the same strategy for all their cars and it’s working amazingly. The i20 packs a tonne of features and all just succeed in making the car more and more desirable.
Pricing for the new Maruti-Suzuki Swift starts at Rs.4.99 lakhs and goes up to Rs.8.76 lakhs for the top ZDi+ AMT variant. Pricing for the Hyundai i20 Elite starts at Rs.5.40 lakhs and goes all the way up to Rs.9.21 lakhs for the top model Asta CRDi Optional Pack.
So the winner of this Maruti Swift vs Hyundai Elite i20 Comparison is the longtime segment favourite, the 2018 Maruti-Suzuki Swift.