Sunday, May 09, 2010

Why I bought Swift petrol, and not diesel

When I bought Swift in Oct'08, I had a choice between buying the petrol and diesel variants. The diesel variant was priced ~1 lakh INR above the petrol variant. Following factors made me go for petrol:
  • 1 lakh rupees translate into ~2,000 liters of petrol, which translate into ~24,000 km worth of driving (a reasonable estimate). I estimated that I'm going to drive ~20 km per weekday, and I shall need a total of ~600 km per month. Which means that by going for the petrol variant, I shall be driving for "free" for the first three years, by not paying 1 lakh rupees for the diesel variant. Notably, this calculation includes only the premium needed for purchasing the diesel variant, and excludes the additional cost of buying fuel.
  • Lower maintenance.
  • Lower NVH.
  • Low external noise (but not too low to not alert others).
  • Lower pollution.
  • Higher acceleration/pickup.
(My Swift looks almost like this; Image source)

My Swift's odometer currently reads ~9,000 km. Excluding my 6-month stay in South Africa, I've used the car for ~1 year now, and 24,000 km is still far away - which means that my car is still running for "free". And I'm a happy owner of this beautiful, modern automobile.


  1. Hey!!
    what about the fact that if you would have gone with DIESEL variant you would have been pumping diesel in your machine instead of petrol which is any day around 15/- cheaper than petrol?
    i.e. The number of kilometers that you have calculated won't be the same.
    Its just my take.
    Rest performance and everything you have mentioned is perfectly alright.
    waiting for your inputs.

  2. Nopes! Let me explain...

    Since Swift petrol costs X lakhs, and Swift diesel costs X+1 lakhs, the following holds true:

    Swift petrol variant + 2,000 liters of petrol = X+1 lakh rupees

    Swift diesel variant + 1,600 liters of diesel = X+1 lakhs (for the car alone), plus an additional 56,000 rupees for the 1,600 liters of diesel (am assuming that the diesel variant will need 20% less amount of fuel to go the same distance, and am taking your diesel rate of 50 minus 15).

    I hope it makes things clear. Lemme know if you - whoever you are - need further clarification...

  3. okk.Got your point bro. but what i wanted to say was that diesel variant will not cost 1 lakh more but 56000 Rs/- more as stated by you. And it all depends on the perspective(time duration) which one considers before buying. At some point you would break even and eventually run into profit.Hope i am right this time.

  4. Nopes, again :)

    In my post I never said that the diesel variant will cost 1 lakh more (eventually, that is). I said that that diesel variant is priced 1 lakh higher, and by not paying this 1 lakh, I can get some petrol which can be considered "free", compared to buying the diesel variant (car alone).

    True that it depends on time duration. In my case I had looked at ~5-6 years of usage.

    Think of it this way: You pay the same amount to get either a Swift petrol + enough petrol for 3 years of driving, OR a Swift diesel without any fuel.

  5. i take it dude.
    i misread it slightly.

  6. Update (5-Oct-10): Okay, Swift is still great. But the honeymoon is over and I'm beginning to see some cracks :P

    Specifically, Swift can be made even better by making the following improvements:

    1) Smoother shifting of gears
    2) Lower fuel consumption
    3) Lighter steering
    4) Higher acceleration
    5) Wheel covers that are "locked"
    6) More accurate indicator auto-off mechanism
    7) Brighter headlamps

  7. Update 2 (10-Oct-10): I want to get my Swift painted in the livery of an Indian airline - GoAir OR IndiGo OR Jet Airways OR Kingfisher OR Paramount Airways OR SpiceJet. Will an airline be willing to paint my Swift in its colors and to give me a few complimentary tickets in return?

  8. Update 3 (10-Oct-10): Why restrict myself to an Indian airline only? I'll be happy to have my Swift painted in the livery of a foreign airline - Emirates, Etihad, Finnair, Gulf Air, Lufthansa, Qatar, etc.

  9. Update 4 (16-Dec-10): Just got to know (and I'm surprised) that Swift DZire has a smaller, 1.2 liter engine. Considering Swift's not-too-impressive fuel consumption, I would've preferred buying Swift with the 1.2 liter engine, even if this would've led to a reduction in acceleration.

  10. Update 5 (6-Feb-11): One flaw in my original estimation related to fuel prices was that I had assumed that the price of petrol wouldn't change and would remain close to INR 50 per liter. In retrospect, this implicit assumption was obviously incorrect.

    The current price of petrol hurts!