Suzuki Has A Good 'First' Car, and It's Less Than P650,000

The Suzuki Dzire is a no-nonsense subcompact sedan.

There perhaps has never been a more advantageous time to own a car that right now during the pandemic. Traveling anywhere may not exactly be encouraged, but for those essential supermarket or drugstore runs, or (knock on wood), in case you need to go to the hospital, it’s undeniably safer to be in your own little bubble than risking catching the virus while being exposed to other people on public transportation.

So if you can afford it, getting your first car now might not be such a bad idea. And for that, Suzuki thinks it has just the car for this purpose.

Photo by PJ Cana.

The Dzire was first launched over a decade ago and has gone through at least three major iterations. The latest model comes in two variants: the GL and the GL+. As a subcompact sedan its features are limited and extremely utilitarian: its main purpose is to carry you and your passengers wherever you need to go.  


Based on Suzuki’s product notes, the 2021 Dzire sports a new chrome grille, front fog lamps and 15-inch alloy wheels. Other than that, there are hardly any bells and whistles on this model.

Photo by PJ Cana.

Under the hood is a small but dependable 1.2-liter VVT engine. More experienced drivers may long for more power and finesse, but remember that the Dzire is targeted toward first-time car owners who may just be looking for the basics. So in that regard, the Dzire delivers on exactly what it promises.   

Inside is where it gets interesting. For most subcompact sedans, space is a luxury, so there’s always a sense of being cramped, even if there’re only two or three people in the cabin. Somehow, that’s not an issue with the Dzire. There’s plenty of legroom in the front and back, even when adjusting the seats. The upholstery is classy (it doesn’t feel haphazard or low quality compared to other vehicles in this segment) and there are lots of little conveniences that enhances the riding experience: rear aircon vents (so rear passengers don’t have to beg those in front for AC), a rear armrest with cupholders, and USB and accessories sockets.

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Photo by PJ Cana.

There’s a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment display, which is neat, although it took a few tries before I could connect my phone to the system via Bluetooth. I have no complaints about the sound system though.

Driving the Dzire in the city is easy and uncomplicated. There was a slight but fairly noticeable lag when accelerating, but, again, this is a gripe from someone who’s been driving for years and may not be an issue for those just looking to get to the office in one piece, away from other commuters. The car is also packed with safety features, including dual front airbags, Hill Hold Control (very useful to maintain control and stability when negotiating steep inclines), and reverse parking sensors, which is always neat and handy.

Photo by PJ Cana.

There’s even a feature called Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), which Suzuki says detects wheel slippage when the driver turns the steering wheel sharply and/or the road is slippery, helping the driver stay in directional control. 

All of these features are designed to help the newbie driver acclimate faster to getting behind the wheel and going places in a car versus riding a jeep, bus or train. And in these uncertain times, anything that simplifies something as driving a car, and helping people adjust quickly and safely to a new way of doing things is always appreciated.

Photo by PJ Cana.

And the best part of the Dzire is the price: the GL is yours for just P648,000, while the GL+ is at P708,000.


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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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