Honda Jazz Vs Maruti Suzuki Swift
When the Honda Jazz was launched in India it had a lot going for it. It had a gem of an engine, lot space and above all, the Honda badge. But what proved to a deterrent for the small Honda to make it to the top of the sales chart was the stratospheric price tag of Rs 7 lakh.
In India, a car without a boot selling for such a price will remain in the showrooms. Honda had to do something to keep the Jazz from sinking and it slashed the Jazz’s price by a whopping Rs 1.5 lakh some time back.
By doing this, Honda has thrown the challenge to the segment leader Maruti Suzuki Swift. Is the Jazz a better car than the newly-launched Swift? We answer this all-important question in this comparison.
Features Comparison Between Honda Jazz and Maruti Suzuki Swift
Both the cars have radical designs, with the Jazz looking a bit more futuristic. It is a large mono-volume design which has the looks of a mini-MPV rather than a proper hatchback.
It has some standout features like the triangular headlights and a nicely-shaped tailgate. The upgraded Jazz, which was launched not that far back, has restyled bumpers and a bigger grille with the Select model having a liberal dose of chrome on the grille. The Jazz will appeal to a mature set of buyers, who prefer practicality over youthful looks.
The Swift on the other hand will certainly appeal more to the new generation. It looks youthful and sporty. What will mar its prospects is the same design language which the outgoing model had. Though the new Swift is totally a different car, the design isn’t that different from its predecessor.
The Jazz may be categorized as small car but it is anything but small on the inside. The interiors are as spacious as a mid-size car and this due to a cab-forward design and the way everything has been packaged so meticulously.
The large windows let in more sunlight and make the cabin airy and appear even larger than it actually is. The dashboard extends further than in any other car. The seating position is spot on and the driver gets a great view of all the controls and the pedals are at the right distance. The top end Jazz X gets a seat height adjustment feature. The dashboard like the exterior is radical and controls are large and easy to use. The space at the rear is a revelation and the only thing which mars the experience a bit is poor under-thigh support.
Getting into the Swift immediately after the Jazz and you will feel that its a size smaller, though the interior set up is sportier than that of the Jazz.
The new Swift borrows lot of design cues from the Suzuki Kizashi. The central console is similar to the flagship Kizashi and there is a neatness to the overall layout. Climate control is standard on the top of the range Zxi, which is not available on any variant in the Jazz lineup. The front seats on the Swift are immensely comfortable.
At the back there is slightly more space in the new Swift than the outgoing model but it still falls short compared to the competition. The legroom is decent but the same can’t be said about the headroom and tall passengers may feel a bit cramped.
The area in which the Jazz is streets ahead of the Swift is in the storage space. The Jazz has no less than 10 cup holders, two large gloveboxes and a boot space of 366 liters compared to Swift’s 204 liter. Another trick up the Jazz’s sleeve is the positioning of the fuel tank, which is placed in the center of the car and this frees up space at the rear and allows for the whole rear seat to be folded and turn the car into a station wagon.
Powerplant & Performance
Both the cars have a 1200cc engine and the Jazz (89bhp) produces slightly more power than the Swift (86bhp) but the latter is lighter and has a better power to weight ratio of 86.8bhp/tonne compared to the former’s 84.4bhp. So, how do they match in actual driving conditions?
Both the cars have smooth, rev-hungry powerplants but the Honda holds the edge. Driving in the city the Swift needs less gear changing and that is a boon and this is due to the fact that Swift delivers maximum torque at 4000rpm compared to 4800rpm in the Jazz.
In acceleration, both cars take almost identical time (Jazz 14.18 seconds; Swift 14.24 seconds) to go from 0-100kph. The Swift gives a mileage of 12.6kpl in the city while on the highway the figure is 17kpl, while the mileage of the Jazz is 12.3kpl/16.9kpl.
Ride & Handling
In the handling department, the Swift manages to pip the Jazz. It carries forward the tradition of the older Swift, which was a great handler, and is further improved.
The steering is light at low speeds and as the speed increases, it weighs up nicely. The sharp handling and the stiffer chassis makes the Swift more fun to drive. The Jazz’s steering feels good at lower speeds but is slightly vague as the speed increases.
Swift also rides better than the Jazz. Large bumps on the road surface rattle the Jazz but the Swift remains composed and unruffled. Passengers are better insulated from outside noises in the Swift than in the Jazz.
Sum up & Price
The Honda Jazz wins the contest because it has more room, a slightly more flexible engine and the overall quality levels are better. The price of the Honda Jazz Select is Rs 5.75 lakh, while the Suzuki Swift Zxi costs 5.53 lakh.