Exteriors – Hyundai Elite i20 has the advantage of having a fresh face in the market, well not just face, new i20 is designed with European influence all around. Hyundai’s upgraded design language Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 has transformed i20’s image, giving it a combative look. Shape of headlamps, fog lamps, doors, pillars, tail lamps and alloys all together make the car look somewhat small and compact as opposed to what its dimensions on paper would prove. Every physical feature of Elite i20 would not only say its a premium car, but a cocktail of vogue and valour as well.
Maruti Swift was launched in India in 2005 and is now in its third generation since 2011. Exterior changes compared to 2005 model are prominent but when you see both cars side by side there are not much of difference in basic figure of the car or its elements, just stretch and pull here and there got the job done in 2011 Maruti Swift. Speaking of stretch and pull, despite new Swift retained original form by sight, chassis, suspension and equipment underwent significant changes. For starters, length and width were increased to offer extra cabin room and comfort.
On comparing Hyundai Elite i20 with Maruti Swift, the South Korean manufacturer does not easily win over the Japanese, as although we have seen the Swift for so long, its design and appeal has not faded out as old yet. The sense of friendliness of Maruti Swift is simply undeniable and it is not easy to ignore and turn to the more aggressive and fresh Elite i20.
Both cars have got character that you can talk about a lot. Maruti Swift can be easily suggested as sporty, with well defined and simple shaped headlamps, fog lamps, front grille, bonnet curve, athletic side body lines, A & B pillar black-out job, fashionable tail lamps and tall rear bumper. Every aforementioned components make the Swift look big, including the expansive front and rear windshield and steeping Day Light Opening (DLO). Maruti Suzuki Swift is not going to go out of style so easily and the sheer sales figure of over 15,000 units every month backs the theory.
Hyundai i20 used to be a charmer with a lot of curve and convexity right from front bumper to rear. Parts embedded onto exterior of earlier i20 were flamboyant, making the car look a little anime and amicable. Now, Hyundai is heading down a fierce path trying to materialise confidence, and it seems to be working in their favour in Indian market.
Functional features on exterior of Hyundai Elite i20 also include integrated turn indicators on Outside Rear View Mirrors (ORVM), button on driver side door handle for smart key unlock and entry, rear wiper with washer, Ultrasonic parking sensors embedded onto rear bumper and reverse camera protruding from centre of boot lid.
Maruti Swift gets remote keyless entry, blinkers on ORVM, rear wiper & washer, and no aid for parking or reverse.
Interiors – This is where Hyundai Elite i20 makes a difference against Maruti Suzuki Swift. For starters, Elite i20 comes with dual tone black and beige interiors, and is loaded with a lot of features, some of which are new to the segment / cars in its price range.
Hyundai Elite i20 has got features like automatic headlamps, electrically adjustable, foldable and auto closing ORVM, smart key, push button for start/stop, clutch lock, auto door unlock function, tilt & telescopic leather wrapped steering wheel, height adjustable driver seat, advanced supervision cluster with steering position reminder, parking sensor display, service reminder, Instrument Console Backlight Adjustment (Rheostat), automatic air conditioning with cluster ioniser, rear AC vents, adjustable rear seat headrest, 60:40 rear split seat, two 12 Volt power outlets CD, Aux-in, USB & Bluetooth connectivity in music player with 4 speakers & 4 tweeters, seatbelt pretensioners for driver & passenger, and dual front airbags (driver & passenger).
Second generation i20 has got ample of utility features like bottle holders in door panels, map pockets on all four doors, two cup / bottle holders near hand brake lever, general purpose pocket / cubby hole ahead of gear shifter, ticket pocket beneath AC controls, sizeable storage area under driver arm rest, glove box compartment with cooling facility and a sunglass holder on top near to cabin light.
To learn features offered in each variant of Hyundai Elite i20, head here.
Maruti Swift has limited features compared to Hyundai Elite i20. Swift does not come with Bluetooth support in its integrated audio player, which means no handsfree chit chat on the phone or no listening to songs on your smartphone wire free. Hence, there is only limited controls on steering wheel, on one side (left spoke).
Swift does not have telescopic steering adjust, no reverse assist, no centre arm rest for driver, no rear AC vent and rear seat folds as single unit. Cup, cubby and bottle holes are limited, but the retractable cup holder beneath side AC vent is a smart touch. Notable features offered in Maruti Swift are commonly available ones across all models in segment; nothing stands out.
Here is the list of features in Maruti Suzuki Swift:
Engine – Both cars come with one petrol and one diesel engine, at least yet. Maruti Suzuki is given 1.2 litre K series petrol engine that produces 87 PS @ 6200 rpm and 114 Nm @ 4000 rpm. Hyundai Elite i20 also gets a 1.2 litre engine, that is VTVT Kappa, capable of producing 83 PS @ 6000 rpm and 115 Nm @ 4000 rpm. Both engines are mated to 5 speed manual transmission.
Diesel variant of Hyundai Elite i20 gets 1.4 litre U2 CRDi engine generating 90 PS @ 4000 rpm and 220 Nm @ 1500 – 2750 rpm, mated to 6 speed manual transmission. Swift diesel houses 1.3 litre DDIS diesel mill that churns out 75 PS @ 4000 rpm and 190 Nm @ 2000 rpm, coupled with 5 speed manual gearbox. There is no automatic variant in Swift, Hyundai Elite i20 gets one 4 speed auto transmitting power produced by 1.4 litre VTVT Gamma engine, rated at 100 PS @ 5500 rpm and 136 Nm @ 4200 rpm. Elite i20 Auto is pending launch.
Performance – Petrol version of both cars have similar power output and similar behaviour / throttle response. Both have good response in low engine speed range, which progresses rapidly as rev needle turns clockwise. Best grunt is seen in mid range, and the engines do not loose their breath much even as pointer moves closer to redline. Hyundai Elite i20 and Maruti Swift are somewhat equal performers in city as well as on highway.
Diesel version of Elite i20 is superior in terms of maximum power and peak torque, 15 PS and 30 Nm higher than Maruti Swift is not to be taken lightly. However, Swift is not a dull performer. Both engines are lively and high spirited. Key factor that differentiates the 1.3 DDIS and 1.4 U2 CRDi is the transition into turbo region. Maruti Swift has a bit more turbo lag since peak torque is achieved at a single point, 2,000 rpm, while Elite i20 diesel has more flatness in torque curve, between 1,500 and 2,750 rpm. This makes Elite i20 more drivable and enjoyable in city. Nevertheless, the heavy punch Swift throws after about 2,000 rpm and the way it keeps acceleration alive is exhilarating. Elite i20 having more power and better torque delivery characteristics demands less gear work, while Swift needs if not much, some amount of attention to gears to keep the fun flowing.
Steering & Handling – Having immense power under the hood is one thing, being able to translate to thrill comes from good handling ability, and the Elite i20 is certainly not the best. Electronic Power Steering (EPS) is given tilt and telescopic adjust capability and very comfortable seat for the driver that includes height adjust. This allows for almost perfect driving position. But all this preparedness goes less useful for enthusiasts when the steering is not so friendly. Induced heaviness only gives impression that steering is able and command ready but as the Elite i20 starts moving, there is no improvement. Maruti Swift also sports EPS setup but it tries to pass some feedback to the driver and manages to keep the fire alive. In standstill / low speed conditions, Swift’s steering is much lighter than Elite i20’s making city drive more convenient. As speed builds up, steering communicates better with driver and we have nothing to complain about.
Turning radius of Maruti Swift is 4.8 metres while that of Hyundai Elite i20 would be 5.2 metres or above. It does make considerable difference while making U-turns in crowded city conditions and while trying to park in a tight gap. Elite i20 escapes this issue with parking sensors and reverse camera with electrochromic display on Inside Rear View Mirror (IRVM).
Hyundai Elite i20 has noticeable body roll while manoeuvring and steering path is not so precise. Together makes tactical moves on road risky. Maruti Swift maintains good stability while driving in say, unorthodox manner. Confidence level is not hindered in Swift.
Ride Quality & Comfort – Not that Maruti Swift is any bad in this matter, but Hyundai Elite i20 has an edge over the Swift when talking about ride experience. Insulation from irregularities on road in Elite i20 is slightly better than Swift. Cabin noise, NVH levels are somewhat same in both, but Hyundai Elite i20 offers better feel while travelling in. Rear legroom is also a bit better in Elite i20, thigh support is similar in both. Given that Hyundai offers arm rest for driver and rear AC vent (both are not available in Maruti Swift), the company could have also given rear seat arm rest with cup holders, emphasising on comfort. Elite i20 has a tad bigger parcel tray on the back. Rear seat backrest of Hyundai Elite i20 fold in two parts in 60:40 ratio, enabling three or even four people to sit with extra luggage. Boot volume is among highest in segment at 285 litres. Maruti Swift has only 210 litres of boot volume and seat folds completely.
Braking – Hyundai Elite i20 and Maruti Swift have front disc brake and rear drum brake. Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) is common. Braking quality is similar and not bad in both, better bite was expected. Having better handling, Maruti Swift scores marginally higher in this department.
Verdict – Hyundai Elite i20 is sporty, trendy and comfy. Elite i20 has all features to make a weekend trip with friends or family very convenient while Maruti Swift is focussed on partnering with an enthusiast to quench his thirst for thrill of driving. So when your list is short to one of these two cars, you will have a tough time deciding. Following details should help.
Price – Price of Maruti Swift petrol ranges between Rs. 4.42 and 5.66 lakhs while Elite i20 petrol is priced between Rs. 4.90 and 6.47 lakhs. Diesel version of Maruti Swift costs between Rs. 5.46 and 6.71 lakhs while Elite i20 diesel demands in the range of Rs. 6.10 to Rs. 7.67 lakhs; all prices are ex-showroom Delhi. Hyundai Elite i20 is almost the most expensive in segment, while Maruti Swift is easier in terms of affordability.
Mileage – Maruti Swift petrol trumps Hyundai Elite i20 by a margin, as ARAI claimed mileage of former is 18.6 kmpl and latter is 18.5 kmpl. Diesel variant makes more difference; Maruti Swift returns 23.4 kmpl and Hyundai Elite i20 delivers only 21.9 kmpl as per claim.
Here is technical specification comparison of Hyundai Elite i20 and Maruti Swift:
Why would you buy Hyundai Elite i20:
Why would you buy Maruti Swift:
Maruti Swift facelift launch after Diwali in November 2014.