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New Maruti Swift vs Hyundai Elite i20

Motor Trend India logo Motor Trend India 14-02-2018 Motor Trend Staff
I20 Swift © Motor Trend Staff I20 Swift

This year’s Auto Expo witnessed the launch of two major and popular premium hatchbacks in their new avatars from the top two car manufacturers in India. We are, of course, talking about the all new Swift and Elite i20.Both these cars attracted the majority of the crowds being the next possible purchase of many buyers and cars you can actually buy right now instead of some dreamy concept. Since the price difference and their technical aspects are quite similar, many people would need advice for their next purchase and this is why we have come up with this article as an answer to many. We compare both Swift and Elite i20 to know which one would attract the most number of buyers and give more value to your money.

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a red car parked on the side of a road: SAVE 20180118 192132 © Motor Trend Staff SAVE 20180118 192132


Before the Baleno came, it was the Swift from Maruti which was the prime rival of Elite i20 and with the refreshed looks and dimensions, it has become more promising than ever before. In terms of dimensions, of-course the Elite i20 is longer of the two and has a longer wheelbase which means more leg room and larger boot capacity. The Swift is around 145mm shorter in length than Elite i20 which stands at 3985mm.

The Elite i20 also exceeds with its wheelbase of 2570 which is 120mm longer than the wheelbase of Swift. Since, the Swift is built on a new platform so it’s even wider than the Elite i20 with a width of 1735 while the Elite i20 has a width of 1734mm. Compared to the Swift, Elite i20 has a higher ground clearance of 170mm while Swift has a ground clearance of 163 and rides on smaller 15-inch wheels in its top variant while Elite i20 rides on 16-inch wheels.Both are great looking cars and both will appeal to different audiences while the Swift is sportier, lower, the Elite i20 with its bigger size is for a more family oriented buyer.

a close up of a car: SAVE 20180118 192352 © Motor Trend Staff SAVE 20180118 192352

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Engine and Gearbox

Both cars come with one engine each of petrol and diesel. The Swift and Elite i20 gets 1.2L petrol engine each producing almost similar power output of 82bhp@6000rpm while the Elite i20 has 115Nm of torque produced at 4000rpm which is slightly more than the 113Nm torque of Swift. Both engines come standard with 5-speed manual gearbox. The Swift has been launched with 5-speed AMT gearbox as well while the Elite i20 will receive a CVT gearbox later.As far as the diesel engine is concerned, the Swift gets the tried and tested 1.3L Multijet diesel engine from Fiat churning out a peak power and torque output of 74bhp and 190Nm respectively. The Elite i20 also retains its 1.4L, 89bhp diesel engine with a peak torque output of 220Nm. The Swift gets a 5-speed manual gearbox as well AMT while the Elite i20 only gets 6-speed gearbox.

a black and orange car: In Gal Ext Ib Feb 03 © Motor Trend Staff In Gal Ext Ib Feb 03

In pics- Mercedes at the Auto Expo


Both cars get almost similar features in their top variants ranging from automatic projector headlamps with LED DRLs, alloy wheels, multifunction instrument display, push button start, electric foldable ORVMs, adjustable driver seat, touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and steering mounted controls to standard dual front airbags and ABS. Other features include automatic climate control, rear wiper, de-fogger, fog lamps, leather wrapped steering wheel etc. Few of the feature advantages of Elite i20 over Swift includes additional 4 airbags and dual tone color options in its top variants.

a close up of a car: In Gal Int Ib Feb 02 © Motor Trend Staff In Gal Int Ib Feb 02


The base variants of both cars have a difference of only INR 35K as Swift is launched at INR 4.99 lakhs while the Elite i20 starts from INR 5.34 lakhs (Ex-showroom price-Delhi). The price difference though increases variants wise and it only becomes a close call if you have to choose between the low end variants of Elite i20 and mid and top variants of Swift. Since, the petrol Swift is lighter and has almost similar power output as the Elite i20 so we would suggest you can go ahead with the Swift since with its lighter weight, it’s more fun to drive and is reasonably spacious and stylish. However in diesel the equation changes and we prefer the 1.4l unit in the Elite i20 which is quieter and punchier.

The other big advantage of Elite i20 seems the extra cabin space it offers, apart from this, there is nothing much technically which distinguishes both cars. Moreover currently, with the AMT variants, you can choose the Swift instead of manual Elite i20. So, overall, the price and positioning of Swift is very tempting and we feel this will prove to be a complete value for money package as always like all Maruti cars! The Swift we feel also will eat up a bit of the Baleno sales. The new Elite i20 holds its own with Hyundai strengths like features, ride and space plus new looks. We suggest if you want a sporty, fun to drive hatch the Swift it is while the Elite i20 is for those who want a grown-up, more comfort oriented hatchback.

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