Sam says it’s a thrill a minute
The latest Suzuki Swift Sport has more torque and is an impressive 90kg lighter than its predecessor. It is without a doubt, an energetic, fun and attention-grabbing car to drive. In fact, whenever I drove past groups of people conversation stopped and heads swivelled round. This was likely as a result of the two chromed exhaust pipes that have been acoustically engineered for a deeper sound at low engine speeds.
I’ve driven various cars in this segment but none of them attracted quite as much attention as the Suzuki Swift Sport did. I received an inordinate number of revs and competitive glances at traffic lights or people trying their best to catch up and overtake on highways. As MasterTorque prioritises safety over everything else, I didn’t reciprocate but I did notice in the instances where I had a safe opportunity to accelerate on the highway, few of the mentioned drivers nearby could keep up.
The weight of the car is another aspect that received attention in the design of the new Suzuki Swift Sport. They shed 10% of the vehicles body weight, which is an impressive 90kg. The intention behind this, and a number of other aspects, is to make the car a firm competitor on tight and twisty roads.
Above all, the smooth and confident drive of the Suzuki Swift Sport appealed to me. It always seemed like it had more to give no matter what speed you were going. This may be attributed to the fact that much of the updates to the latest model focus on improving power and torque. The Suzuki Sport now has forced induction and direct injection to create more immediate power.
The 1.4 boosterjet, turbocharged engine gives drivers 103 kW of power and 230 Nm of torque. This is 70 Nm more torque than the previous model. The engine was awarded the IATIA Engine of the Year Award in 2018. The tested vehicle had a six-speed manual gearbox but a newly added automatic option has been added to the offering.
Like the Suzuki Swift, the Sport is not radically different from the previous generation in terms of design. The lines have been softened and made smoother but the car is still distinctly Swift in its looks. The Sport has also modernised its looks by making the new vehicle lower, wider and longer than its predecessor. Unique to the Swift Sport is the redesigned front. It also has 16’’ diamond-cut alloy wheels.
The interior of the Sport, however, has much more to offer than the entry-level Suzuki Swift. The designers made use of red stitching in the seats, gear lever and various other places, which goes a long way in contributing to the sporty look. It has semi-bucket seats and stainless-steel pedals. Suzuki’s new 7” touch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is included as well as a reverse camera, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, steering mounted controls and cruise control.
What could be improved is the auto headlights. They are slow to respond, which was especially noticeable when going through a tunnel or dark area during the day or when it was raining. The lights also took their time adjusting back once light conditions changed again. Granted, you can control the lights yourself so it is not a major problem, just the first time I experienced this so noticeably with auto lights.
Suzuki says that ‘while no Swift Sport was ever designed to be the most powerful vehicle in its segment, it certainly offered some of the best visceral driving pleasure.’ Without a doubt they have achieved this with the Swift Sport. It is definitely a feisty and fun car to drive and even made me reconsider the type of car I should buy when the time arises.
Good to know
The specs of the Suzuki Swift Sport
Engine: 1.4 litre boosterjet, turbocharged engine
Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission (auto available)
Power: 103 kW
Torque: 230 Nm
Claimed fuel efficiency: 6.1L/100km
Price: from R317 900
Warranties and service plans: 4-year / 60 000 km service plan and a 5-year / 200 000 km vehicle warranty
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