“It’s out with the old and with the new.” As cliché and overused that quote is, it’s something that could very much be used to define the experience of driving the all-new Suzuki Dzire and its latest technology offering that is the Auto Gear Shift (AGS).
“It is with pride that we share with Filipinos the latest technology of the Suzuki brand through the all-new Dzire with Auto Gear Shift. After seeing how enthusiastic the local market is about our product and service offerings, particularly this first quarter of 2018, we at Suzuki Philippines became even more inspired to pursue even more strongly our goal of sharing the Suzuki Way of Life with more Filipinos,” said SPH Vice President and General Manager for Automobile Shuzo Hoshikura.
Despite the name similarity, this Dzire is not the Swift Dzire we’ve all come to know—some would even say this is the improved version. Meanwhile, its Auto Gear Shift transmission is a new technology that marries the convenience of automatic transmission and the fuel efficiency of manual transmission—which I believe is relevant and would absolutely be useful to us Filipino drivers, being perpetually stuck in traffic and all that. According to Suzuki, the Dzire is equipped with a new-generation platform called HEARTECT, which delivers enhanced fundamental vehicle performance due to being light and highly rigid. Moreover, the smooth, curving form of the new frame disperses impact energy in the case of a collision. These factors contribute to lower fuel consumption, as well as improvements to the vehicle’s performance in terms of running, turning, and stopping.
I was fortunate enough to become part of a group of motoring editors and writers to drive the new Dzire on a 3.7km drive along the Batangas Race Circuit, and experience first-hand the latest technology offering of SPH: the Auto Gear Shift.
In terms of its exterior, the Dzire is truly a beautiful sight. With its sleek and elegant lines, its design truly captures an authentic sedan style. We were lent the Oxford Blue variant of the car for the test drive, which I believe was the perfect choice because the color truly leaves quite an impression. And despite its size, it definitely did not turn out to look humble in the race track setting.
However, what I pondered about was its performance, specifically, how it would hold up in the venue of the day, where drivers would not be able to resist pushing the car to its limits and going all the way. Spoiler alert: it delivered. Throughout the abrupt twist and turns, and high speed that the race track demanded, driving the Dzire turned out to be a smooth and seamless ride. According to Suzuki Philippines, the AGS technology also offers the “fun to drive” factor drivers usually enjoy from the manual transmission, due to their more apparent control of the vehicle. And fun it truly was. Despite the engine being more automatic than manual, I still felt in control of the vehicle like how I do with a manual transmission. Nevertheless, shifting gears has become more convenient with the gear box’s manual mode only containing the plus and minus signs, while the screen at the meter cluster displays what gear you’re currently on. The screen also displays whether you’re in M (manual) or D (drive/automatic) mode.
The Dzire was able to keep up with the consistently increasing speed required of the track, regardless of the modes it was set on. Although, to fully test this vehicle’s capability, convenience, and fuel efficiency in different conditions, I would like to see or even experience how it would hold up in a heavy, rush hour kind of traffic along EDSA.
Its interiors also have the convenience factor its transmission offers. While driving the Dzire, I heard the passengers at the backseat comment about the ample legroom the car has, and when it was my turn to become a passenger, they were right. Aside from this, I noticed the rear console tray and accessory socket, as well as the rear AC ventilation that indeed add up to the car’s comfort factor.
Suzuki’s Dzire is already thing of beauty in itself and with the AGS technology, it just keeps on getting better.