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Swift, i20 or Punto: Which one is better?

Last updated on: February 10, 2010 17:05 IST

Swift, i20 or Punto: Which one is better?



The Indian automotive market is overflowing with hatchbacks. Almost every car maker is coming up with a hatchback model to make the most of the massive demand for hatchbacks in the country.

But so much choice leads to confusion. To help you get over the confusion here is a comparison of three hatchback models: Maruti Swift, Hyundai i20 and Fiat Punto.


The Hyundai i20 feels like a very comfortable hatch from the inside. The first impression of the car is good and so are its technical specifications. It comes with a 1.2 liter 1197cc Kappa petrol engine or a CRDi (diesel) variant or a 1.4 liter petrol engine.

The 1197cc Kappa petrol generates 80PS of maximum power and 110Nm of torque, while the 1.4 liter petrol generates 100PS maximum power at 5500rpm with a maximum torque of 139 Nm at 4200 rpm. As for the diesel CRDi engine, it produces 90PS maximum power at 4000rpm with maximum torque of 224Nm at 1750rpm.

The engines perform well on Indian roads and the overall drive and handling of the car is good. But the drawback here is the mere 11-15kmpl mileage from the petrol version while the diesel version offers 13 to 16.5kmpl.

Hyundai i20 is not for those with mileage as a priority.

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Image: Hyundai i20.


Swift, i20 or Punto: Which one is better?

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The closest competition to Hyundai i20 is Maruti Swift with its 'common rail direct injection technology'.

The car's DDiS engine is delivers power, refinement, response and fuel efficiency. Maruti Swift comes in two engine variants: the 85PS, 1.2-liter four-cylinder, K-series petrol engine, the 75PS and the 1.3-liter DDiS diesel engine.

Both engines are available with five speed manual transmission gearbox. Both petrol and diesel engines got huge popularity in the Indian auto market because of its excellent fuel efficiency.

The diesel version of Maruti Swift offers mileage around 15 to 19kmpl mileage while the petrol version offers mileage 12.5 to 17kmpl mileage.

The overall performance of Swift has impressed the customers especially its eager and responsive engine.

Image: Maruti Swift.

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Swift, i20 or Punto: Which one is better?

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But something matching the performance of i20 and Swift is now here. The comparatively recent entrant in the category, the all new Fiat Punto comes in both petrol and diesel engine options.

The base variants of Punto come with a 1.2-liter, 1172cc, FIRE petrol engine that produce a maximum power of 68PS at 6000rpm and 96Nm maximum torque at 2500rpm.

The remain variants comes with a powerful 1.4-liter, 1368cc petrol engine that generates 90PS of maximum power of power at 6000rpm and 115Nm torque at 4500rpm.

The diesel variant of Fiat Punto has a 1.3L, 1248cc, Multijet Turbo engine with new VGT (Variable Geometry Turbocharger) technology and generates a maximum power of 76PS power at 4000rpm and 197Nm torque at 1750rpm.

Fiat Punto is amazing to drive and it just glides on the road provided the roads are not too bumpy.

Image: Fiat Punto.

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Swift, i20 or Punto: Which one is better?

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Each car has its own distinct features to help it perform better. As for the spacious Hyundai i20, it has been inspired by Hyundai's premium hatch i30, which is already available in Europe and Korea.

The low slung grille, large headlamps and sporty round fog lamps dominate the front of the car. Hyundai i20's tailgate is upright leaving more room for luggage. The interiors are also pretty good and the car is more spacious than Hyundai's other model Getz.

The interiors have front and rear door full size arm rest, rear parcel tray and seat back pocket in magna and magna option pack. The front power windows and air conditioner with heater is available in all variants. While the rear wiper, rear power windows and defoggers are present only in the magna variant.

Features like Anti-lock Braking system (ABS), seat belts with pre-tensioner, dual air-bags for the driver and the front passenger, auto-unlocking doors that automatically unlock on sensing an impact and a high-mounted rear stop lamp add to the safety quotient of the car.

As for Maruti Swift, the styling and excellent build have wooed the customers no end. The car has rounded looks but space is a problem. The best part on the car is however its compact dimensions due to which the car can be maneuvered into congested parking spaces. The headlamps are peeled back and the tight front grille combined with stylized tail lamps makes the car very attractive.

Image: Interior of Hyundai i20.

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Swift, i20 or Punto: Which one is better?

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Fiat Punto has a slightly Italian edge to its design. The exteriors come with an aggressive looking front grille.

The compact body flaunting a muscular frame accompanied with perfect arches gives Punto an overall solid and masculine look.

The interiors are attractive with the dual tone dashboard as the highlight. The leather finished steering wheel and gear knob, height adjustable driver's seat, comfortable position of pedals, power windows and steering wheel with Blue and Me audio controls make up for the interiors of the car.


Pricing is a key area especially for the Indian market.

Hyundai i20 lags behind in this area because the price of the basic variant of i20 is almost Rs 530,000 plus on road, which is very high for this segment.

Hyundai i20 comes at Rs 480,000 - Rs 775,000 (ex-showroom New Delhi).

While the models of Maruti Swift can be yours for Rs 400,000 - Rs 500,000 and Fiat Punto come for Rs 420,000 - Rs 630,000 approximately (ex-showroom, New Delhi).

Image: Interior of Fiat Punto.

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Swift, i20 or Punto: Which one is better?

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Models available:

Hyundai i20

  • i20 Magna 1.2
  • i20 Asta 1.2
  • i20 Asta (O) 1.2
  • i20 1.4 Asta (AT)
  • i20 Asta (O) 1.4 CRDi (Diesel)
  • i20 1.4 Asta AT (O) with Sunroof
  • i20 Asta 1.4 CRDi (Diesel)
  • i20 Magna 1.4 CRDi (Diesel)

Maruti Swift

  • Maruti Swift Lxi
  • Maruti Swift Vxi
  • Maruti Swift Vxi with ABS
  • Maruti Swift Zxi
  • Maruti Swift Diesel Ldi
  • Maruti Swift Diesel Vdi
  • Maruti Swift Diesel Vdi with ABS

Fiat Punto

  • Fiat Punto Active
  • Fiat Punto 1.4 Dynamic
  • Fiat Punto 1.4 Emotion
  • Fiat Punto 1.4 Emotion Pack
  • Fiat Punto 1.3 Active (Diesel)
  • Fiat Punto 1.3 Dynamic (Diesel)
  • Fiat Punto 1.3 Emotion (Diesel)
  • Fiat Punto 1.3 Emotion Pack (Diesel)

Concluding note

While i20 and Punto are premium hatchbacks Swift falls in a slightly lower segment. The consumer sentiment is that Hyundai i20 has space and power but the Swift and Punto's price and mileage are better.

With Punto the space and power are not the issues and the after sales services are becoming better by the day. As for Swift, brand Maruti suits the consumers very well only the space and handling of Punto and i20 are little better.

Image: Interior of Maruti Swift.

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