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Suzuki brings new Dzire small sedan to 2018 MIAS

To be available in the Philippine market very soon

The all-new Dzire small sedan could be released in our market as early as next month. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

We have to admit that we were a little disappointed when we went to Suzuki Philippines’ booth at the 2018 Manila International Auto Show, but that was largely our fault. You see, we had been wishing that the Japanese automaker would use the annual event to finally introduce the all-new (and much-awaited) Swift subcompact hatchback, which had been officially launched in India and Thailand back in February.

We didn’t get our wish. Instead, Suzuki proudly unveiled the Swift’s sedan counterpart, the Dzire. Globally released last year, the Dzire (which has dropped the “Swift” from its name) will be made available to our market within the second quarter of the year, according to Suzuki Philippines assistant general manager Cecil Capacete. Another source told us the launch could take place as soon as next month.

The Dzire's face is more put-together now compared to that of the previous model. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

The new Dzire measures 3,995mm long, 1,735mm wide and 1,515mm tall, making it shorter but wider than the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 (and exactly as tall). Come to think of it, the Dzire and the Mirage G4 kind of resemble each other.

No engine specifications were provided on the opening day of MIAS, but Capacete told us that the Philippine-market Dzire will have a 1.2-liter gasoline engine. In India, the Dzire’s 1,197cc petrol powerplant produces 82hp and 113Nm.

So, if you want a small car with a trunk, check out the new Dzire. Or wait for the Swift. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

The significant news we got is that the Dzire will be sold here with Suzuki’s much-vaunted Auto Gear Shift transmission. In essence, AGS is an automated manual transmission that makes use of an electro-hydraulic actuator to automatically operate the clutch and the gearshift, obviously eliminating the need for a clutch pedal. Put it in automatic mode and it functions pretty much like a regular AT; put it in manual mode and it lets you personally execute the upshifts and the downshifts without having to bother with the clutch.

Maruti Suzuki’s website claims a fuel-mileage figure of 22km/L for the Indian-market Dzire’s combo of the 1.2-liter gasoline engine and the AGS transmission.

The Dzire is equipped with Auto Gear Shift. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

If you want to inspect this car more thoroughly, visit the Suzuki booth at MIAS, which runs until Sunday (April 8). Entrance fee is P100 per adult.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.