A Week Of Moving Swiftly – Suzuki’s Pocket Rocket On Test!
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
The Suzuki Swift is one of my favourite small cars and I have already tested the latest generation model in various guises.
Saving the best until last, Suzuki unveiled the Sport model at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September and I was there when the covers came off.
The new Swift Sport sits on a lighter, yet more rigid platform and has plenty of sporting embellishments that set the car apart from its stable-mates; smart 17-inch alloy wheels, blackened out A-pillars, black under spoilers and a rear colour-coded roof spoiler.
Weighing 70kg less than its predecessor equates to better performance and increased economy.
A busy week with the Swift Sport included two trips to Leeds and a weekend excursion to deepest Northumberland – ample chance to try the car out on some of my favourite roads.
Performance from the turbocharged 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine is excellent, with maximum 230Nm of torque available from just 2,500rpm. Keep the revs above that figure and brisk cross-country progress is easy to make.
Find a race track, which I did on the UK launch event earlier this year, and it should be possible to emulate the 0-62mph time of 8.1 seconds. I cannot vouch for the 130mph top speed.
Aiding swift progress is a six-speed manual gearbox. A tad notchy in my opinion, but the clutch has been beefed up to cope with the Sport’s increased performance and is light in action.
It came as a pleasant surprise to find the Swift Sport was a remarkably able motorway cruiser. Wind and road noise were both reasonably hushed and the standard-fit adaptive cruise control was welcome on the more congested sections.
However it’s away from the main roads that the Sport shines. There’s plenty of fun to be had, with body roll well contained by the bespoke suspension set-up.
The car’s narrow width is a boon too, allowing the car to be hustled along even on some of the narrower country lanes that I seem to frequently inhabit.
Many sections of the cross-country route contained the usual areas of broken tarmac and I can report that ride comfort has not been compromised in the quest of fine handling.
Brakes have not escaped the attention of Suzuki’s engineers and remained fade free even when subjected to some harsh use.
The old Swift Sport played the value-for-money card very well. This time round pricing is a little more bullish. However, the £17,999 asking price looks a little more competitive when you consider the high level of standard equipment.
Highlights include satellite navigation, LED headlamps, automatic air conditioning, adaptive cruise control, rear view camera, keyless entry and much more. No extra charge for metallic paint either, so choose freely from the six available options! Speedy Blue as per the test car gets my vote.
A quick look on my local Suzuki dealer’s website included a deal with £1000 off and a £259 per month PCP deal with no deposit. Shop around I would suggest.
Safety has not been forgotten in the quest for performance with multiple airbags and a collapsible energy-absorbing structure. However, the Dual Sensor Brake Support and Advanced Forward Detection Systems would clearly do their best to prevent a prang in the first place. The latter proved to be a little over keen on the road in warning of potential hazards.
I heartily recommend the new Swift Sport. It is fast enough for our speed-camera infested roads and engaging when the roads turn twisty. The cabin boasts enough space for four reasonable sized adults to travel in comfort (so family duties are not out of the question) and the level of standard equipment top drawer.
Running costs will be low - I averaged over 40mpg for the week, with a best of 60.2mpg on a gentle run back home from Leeds one evening.
Motoring fun comes in all shapes and sizes and this third generation Swift Sport should continue to entertain and thrill all who drive her. 11,535 new Swift Sport models have been sold in the UK since 2006, a number which looks likely to rapidly increase. So why not swell that number and take the plunge?
Suzuki Swift Sport
Price - £17,999
1.4-litre turbocharged Boosterjet engine (140PS)
0-62mph in 8.1 seconds
Combined economy 50.4mpg
Emissions 125g/km CO2
Low kerb weight of just 975kg
6 colours available
A Week Of Moving Swiftly – Suzuki’s Pocket Rocket On Test!, 17th September 2018, 15:08 PM