Suzuki Swift - The Automatic Small Car Choice
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
2016 was a record year for Suzuki. UK sales topped 38,000 for the first time and this year the aim is to do better still. Vitara competes effectively in the growing SUV market and the Celerio is finding favour with those looking for an affordable city car.
Leading the charge for those extra sales is the all-new Swift supermini, which arrived in showrooms a few months ago.
Competition in the sector is fierce with Fiesta, Corsa and Polo leading the charge. The outgoing Swift was among my class favourites, thanks to its sporty handling, high level of equipment and affordable pricing.
Suzuki has restyled the Swift to give it a new look. Still recognisable and distinctive but perhaps not as sporty-looking as before.
A new platform provides a sturdy base, allowing for a strong but light body shell atop. Overall weight has dropped by over 100kg to the benefit of performance and economy.
The new Swift is 10mm shorter than the outgoing model, while the wheelbase is up by 20mm. Clever packaging has resulted in more interior space, especially in the boot which has grown by around 25% to 265 litres.
There is now head and legroom aplenty, enough for four six foot adults to travel in comfort, not something the Swift's predecessor could manage. The driving position has been improved especially in top SZ5 models which boast rake and reach adjustment to the steering.
There will be no three-door version of the Swift, but by choosing to pillar mount the rear door handles, the new Swift boasts an almost coupe-like look. I doubt would-be buyers will mourn the loss.
Entry level model is the SZ3 which weighs in at a very competitive £10,999. Equipped with the now familiar 1.2-litre 90PS Dualjet engine, there is no shortage of standard equipment. Air conditioning, privacy glass, DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity, daytime running lights and six airbags are the highlights.
With an engine that promises up to 65.7mpg on the combined cycle and peppy performance, I would suggest many will find no need to spend more.
However on test here is a top spec SZ5 model, fitted with Suzuki's feisty 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.
Not so long ago, a small car and automatic transmission made for a dull drive, suiting city-based drivers or those who found 3 pedals too much to cope with.
Not any more, for the self-shifting Suzuki is the swiftest of all, racing to 62mph in just ten seconds.
Steering wheel paddles are fitted if you feel inclined to change gear manually, but left to its own devices the transmission shifts smoothly for a relaxing drive both around town and out on the open road.
There's very little penalty with regards to fuel economy, with Suzuki claiming 56.5mpg for the combined cycle. Such figures are usually somewhat optimistic so I am delighted to report that I achieved 51.3mpg over 350 miles, half of which was on the motorway.
Low CO2 emissions (114g/km) will keep environmentalists happy too.
Top spec SZ5 model are extremely well equipped so expect to find automatic air conditioning, satellite navigation, rear electric windows, polished alloy wheels and adaptive cruise control.
The previous generation Swift was a great driver's car and for the most part the all-new model continues the good work. Handling is fun, with the 1.0-litre turbocharged Boosterjet engine providing enough power to exploit it to the full.
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Safety sells and the new Swift boasts some technology not normally associated with this class of car. An Advanced Forward Detection System uses camera and laser technology to provide autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and high beam assist. It all works well in practice, though the system does occasionally send out erroneous warnings.
So the new Swift is still a car I can heartily recommend. It drives well with either manual or automatic gears, boasts a generous level of standard equipment and is affordably priced with 0% finance available as I write.
More details from your friendly local Suzuki dealer!
Fast Facts (as tested)
Suzuki Swift SZ5
1.0-litre Boosterjet engine
6-speed automatic gearbox
Price - £15,849 on the road
0-62mph in 10 seconds
Top speed 118mph
Combined economy 56.5mpg (51.3mpg on test)
Emissions - 114g/km CO2
Strong CAP residual value - 41% over 3year/60,000 miles
Metallic paint add £485, dual tone £650
Cash Price £15,849
3 Year PCP Deal
- 0% Finance
- No deposit
- 36 monthly payments of £257.14
- Optional Final Payment £6,592
Suzuki Swift - The Automatic Small Car Choice, 19th August 2017, 18:33 PM