Sam says it’s All Gold
Since the Suzuki Swift made its debut a few years ago, it was a car that looked completely different to what was available in the market at that time and since then, it has become a car that you either love or hate. The new Suzuki Swift, however, gives you a lot of reasons to love it (disclaimer: I’m on the love side).
As soon as my boyfriend saw me in the Swift, he was absolutely convinced that this was the car for me; that it was made for me and I was made for it. If he was talking about the Sport derivative then I fully agree. With this version I felt that it could have done with a little bit more power.
It is a zippy, run-around car that serves drivers well in most instances. On the highway it felt capable and confident and was very enjoyable to drive. If, however, there was a hill, of any size, or you needed to suddenly overtake a car (especially on a hill) this is not something you will be able to do very easily without planning it well in advance.
Swift has Suzuki K12M-engine with variable valve technology to deliver 61 kW of power and 112 Nm of torque. Even though I thought it could have done with more power, I don’t believe it is something that its intended target audience will necessarily be deterred by.
The fuel efficiency was something that I was very very impressed with. I normally make quite an effort to see how well a car does. As we reach the 20 per litre mark, I think this is an important buying consideration. For no reason in particular, I didn’t put that much effort into trying to see how low I could get it and yet I still got 5.2/100km (the claimed figure is 4.9L/100km) with a mixture of suburban and highway driving. To say I did not expect those figures is an understatement
This in particular is where people base their hate or love of the Suzuki Swift. As it is so defined by its looks, it has not changed that much since its first released, just enough to ensure it stays trendy and on-point. Suzuki says they decided to retain the overall visual signature with only minor refreshments to the Swift’s familiar face.
An addition that I really liked in the range-topping GLX, is the dual-tone colour schemes in the roof and body. This is not something that this category often offers and when they do, it’s not very good. This made the design forward-thinking and trendy. Some manufacturers also tend to just not get the two tones right but Suzuki definitely got it right and it adds that extra style to the Swift.
Some of the other differences you can look for include a distinctive chrome line that divides the grille into sections. The grille also has a more distinctive mesh pattern that emphasises the sporty nature. The entry-level GA model now has new, full wheel covers as standard.
It is also a very sturdy car to drive and pleasantly doesn’t have that vibration or tinny echo when you close the door. It is a strong and well-built car that I would definitely consider for safety reasons if I were looking for a car, particularly a new driver.
The inside – the draw-card
It is the interior of the car that makes me believe the intended target audience wouldn’t let the lack of power bother them because it is not a priority. It has all the extras and all the necessary tech that would draw a trendy city-driver to the car. There are USB points, a reverse camera (standard from the entry-level model), a start button and an infotainment screen that you can connect your phone to with Android Auto or Apple Carplay. All the necessities that the target audience would want.
Something that I didn’t like, and admittedly it is a personal preference, is that other than the volume controls on the steering wheel, the one located close to the radio is a plus and minus button that you have to push quite a few times to quickly change the volume. There’s something to be said for a volume knob that you can quickly twist and get a very quick and effective change of volume.
The car also has ISOFIX child anchors. Now, some drivers might be thinking that is unnecessary in this car but for a new or one child parent it could be an essential. I know, from experience with a friend, that a pram fits in the boot and that it is more than suitable for small families.
The Swift is not Suzuki’s entry-level car and there have always been cheaper options. There is no denying, however, that economic factors play a role in decisions to buy this car. It is also not the cheapest car in this category, particularly if you want the higher derivatives, which is where I feel the biggest difference is.
The best way to understand why it will be worth spending more on this car, is to think of it like a bottle of tomato sauce. Most people know the saying about buying cheaper tomato sauce. The same can be applied with the Suzuki Swift. Yes, you could get cheaper tomato sauce (and a cheaper car in this category) but it will be missing the tomatoes. It is also worth noting, the price difference is not large at all.
The Suzuki Swift is an ideal car for a new driver, someone who wants to upgrade but doesn’t want to quite go a more expensive route. Its trendy design is what really attracts me with their upgrade and maybe even removes some of the reservations other people did not like about the design. Yes, more power wouldn’t go amiss but I doubt that this would be the deciding factor in the potential target audience.
Good to know
Engine: 1.2 litre K12M-engine with variable valve technology, 4-cylinder
Transmission: 5-speed manual or automatic
Power: 61 kW
Torque: 112 Nm
Fuel consumption: 4.9 litres/100km
Price: from R180 900
Warranty: 2-year / 30 000 km service plan and a 5-year / 200 000 km promotional warranty.
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