Suzuki Swift SHVS
The Suzuki Swift hatchback has been a strong global seller for some years though in the UK has often been an under-rated gem in the supermini sector, yet a delight to those who discovered it.
With its agile performance, outstanding handling, reliability and ultra-keen pricing, all the Swift lacked was some visual charisma to boost sales – and the new version just in UK showrooms certainly addresses this issue in impressive manner!
New Swift is an eye-catcher with its cutaway headlights, enlarged front grille and sporty-looking body styling. It is also 10 per cent lighter, 19 per cent more powerful and eight per cent more economical than the outgoing version.
Available only as a five-door – but cleverly designed with hidden rear door handles to look like a sporty coupé – the new Swift is priced from £10,999.
It comes with a choice of 1.0 litre 3-cylinder Boosterjet turbo petrol engine or 1.2 litre 4-cylinder Dualjet engine and standard kit on all models includes DAB radio, Bluetooth. LED running lights and privacy glass.
Up the range, features such as alloy wheels, smartphone links, auto air-con, auto transmission and even all-wheel-drive are added.
Our test model was a top-trim SZ5 with a 1.0 litre 110 hp Boosterjet engine and 5-speed manual gearbox, priced at £14,499. Top speed is 118 mph, the 0-60 mph time a nippy 10 seconds. Fuel economy is 56.5 mpg combined.
SZ5 kit includes sat-nav, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, rear parking camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and push-button start. This model also featured Suzuki’s SVHS ‘mild hybrid’ system which gives sub-100 g/km emissions. The system utilises a belt-driven combined generator and starter motor which assists acceleration and stores energy. I found it a smooth, seamless system – passengers were totally unaware of it!
New Swift has a more spacious interior thanks to slightly lowered seats boosting headroom and a longer wheelbase creating improved rear passenger space. Seating is comfortable and supportive, there is a good driving position and the dashboard is well designed for easy use. Boot space is 265 litres (up 54 litres on the previous model) and expandable to 579 litres by dropping the rear seats.
The Swift is brilliant to drive, nimble, effortless, reassuringly Mini-esque in its outstanding grip and handling and with a comfortable supple ride. Its lower, wider road stance and styling revisions help provide much-needed youthful appeal and its kit levels and ultra-competitive pricing should quickly widen the market for this charismatic hatchback.
FOR: Keen pricing, robust build-quality, excellent driving feel.
AGAINST: Very little – perhaps just the awkward deep boot lip.No related links found