As I stepped out of the car at the shopping centre she launched herself in my direction from across the road, a battleship at full speed; her Walmart meme pink and yellow garb topped by curlers barely contained by a hair net.
She ground to a halt in front of me, breathless and ample bosom heaving. Drawing a large breath she demanded: “Is this the Suzuki Desiree?”
There simply is no answer to that.
While not exactly what Suzuki had in mind when it relaunched the updated Dzire as a brand identity separate to the Swift, it can take comfort in the fact there is interest in the ‘not a Swift with a boot’ small sedan.
The Dzire was originally developed alongside the Suzuki Swift to offer a more family-orientated sedan body shape of the popular hatchback. It has since evolved to serve a large and distinctive market for young families and has become the most popular B-segment sedan in the world.
For the new Suzuki Dzire, chief engineer Masao Kobori has accentuated the Dzire’s most popular features, including its interior space and driving dynamics. At the same time, Suzuki’s designers have created a style that is unique to the Dzire and focused on its sedan target market.
Several exterior design features make the all-new Suzuki Dzire stand out. Viewed from the front, the model has a smooth polygonal grille, large headlamps and chrome detailing on the grille and below the integrated fog lamp area.
The Dzire also features a unique bonnet design, sharply raked A-pillars and a smooth shoulder line that flows straight back from the middle of the front doors to the rear LED combination tail lights.
The design not only creates a distinctive character for the new Dzire but has been aerodynamically optimised for an improvement of 18% in drag coefficient over its predecessor. This helps to lower cabin noise at high speeds and improves overall fuel consumption.
As part of its new status as a separate model range in the Suzuki stable, the new Dzire has a unique dashboard design that emphasises style and usability. It is fitted with silver accents throughout the dashboard and air vents that mimic the design of the front grille.
In front of the driver there is a new instrument cluster, with clearly readable instrumentation and a multi-information display. The GL-specification level adds a tachometer, additional silver accents and premium white illumination.
All Dzire models are equipped with air-conditioning, front and rear power windows, air bags for the driver and front passenger, a tilt-adjustable steering column, a security alarm and immobiliser and ISOFIX anchor points for rear-fitted child seats.
The GL-specification level adds rear air vents and an additional 12V socket, a Suzuki audio system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, front fog lamps, colour-coded, electrically adjustable side mirrors and steering-mounted audio controls. This specification level is also fitted with Suzuki’s high-grade upholstery with rear foldable armrest with integrated cup holders.
My test unit came in GL specification and proved an amiable companion for our time together – comfortable, perky enough for most requirements and really easy to drive. If anything, the only complaint is the steering is, perhaps, too light.
While great for shopping mall parking gyrations, in a strong crosswind the movement of the car can be easily accentuated by over-correction on the steering.
The Dzire is powered by the K12M four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 61 kW at 6 000 r/min and 113 Nm at 4 200 r/min and is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox in the GA-model, while buyers of the GL-model can choose between the same five-speed manual gearbox or an Automated Manual Gearbox (AMT) with the same number of gears – the former for our test car.
The Dzire is built on Suzuki’s new HEARTECT platform. This platform not only increases passive and dynamic safety and lowers weight, but it increases interior cabin space thanks to a longer wheelbase and wider cabin.
In the Dzire, the increase in space is focused on the rear passengers. Suzuki has increased the space between the front and rear seats by a massive 55 mm and increased shoulder width for rear passengers by 15 mm. In the front, the occupants now have 10 mm of additional shoulder width.
The new Dzire also offers significantly more boot space than its predecessor. The sedan has 378 litres of boot space, which is 78 litres or 26% more than before.
The Dzire, thanks to the new HEARTECT platform, weighs 75 kg less than its predecessor at 890 kg. The lower weight benefits overall fuel consumption, which tested at 4,9 l/100 km in a combined driving cycle.
As an urban runabout, the Dzire is pretty much an ideal package and, while it will try really hard to punch above its fighting weight, should be left alone to do what it does best.
I put it under some pressure on the twisty section of my test route and handling in general was comfortably neutral – just that light steering that never quite gave the feedback that allows confident press-on motoring in the bends.
All models are sold with Suzuki’s 5-year / 200 000 km mechanical warranty and a 2-year/30 000 km service plan.