Swift and sure

Suzuki ups its city run­about

Albany Extra - - Motoring Liftout Rev - Derek Og­den

Swift by name; swift by na­ture.

In au­to­mo­tive terms, it has taken just 12 years and five mil­lion sales world­wide for the Suzuki Swift to be­come some­thing of an icon in the light-car seg­ment.

From the road up, the devel­op­ment team went to work, in­tro­duc­ing a new-gen­er­a­tion plat­form and en­gi­neer­ing a com­pletely new chas­sis, body struc­ture and pow­er­train.

The new Swift comes to Aus­tralia in four vari­ants, with the en­try-level Swift GL 1.2 man­ual sell­ing for $16,990 drive-away, adding a CVT for $1000, a Safety Pack for a fur­ther $1200, and top­ping off the range with the Swift GLX 1.0 Turbo au­to­matic at $22,990.

I spent time with the Swift 1.0 GLX Turbo auto in Min­eral Grey with Su­per Black roof.

Suzuki de­sign­ers and engi­neers were told to go to work on the Swift from the road up, mak­ing use of the lat­est struc­tural tech­niques, au­to­mo­tive tech­nol­ogy and modern looks with­out stray­ing from tra­di­tional Swift char­ac­ter­is­tics.

In keep­ing with the modern small pas­sen­ger car, the Swift has taken on a more as­sertive look, es­pe­cially up front with a wide open ra­di­a­tor and lower bumper grille mak­ing a more ag­gres­sive state­ment.

Fend­ers add more mus­cle to a lower and wider stance, while blacked out pil­lars give the im­pres­sion of a float­ing roof and lower cen­tre of grav­ity.

Rear door han­dles “hid­den” in the C-pil­lar again fol­low the modern de­sign trend with­out tak­ing too much away for the Swift char­ac­ter.

Our GLX Turbo rides on 16-inch pol­ished al­loy wheels with low rolling re­sis­tance in keep­ing with its sporty na­ture.

One way the Swift goes against the seg­ment trend is the fact it is shorter than the pre­vi­ous model, while at the same time adding 20mm to the wheel­base, open­ing up the cabin space.

In keep­ing with a lower over­all ve­hi­cle height, low­er­ing the seat­ing main­tains ad­e­quate head room and added lat­eral space for the rear seats.

The front seats have been sep­a­rated by a fur­ther 10mm, creat­ing more room be­tween driver and pas­sen­ger.

At 50mm longer, the new Swift has a rea­son­able 242 litres of lug­gage space, 32 litres more than the pre­vi­ous model.

A seven-inch four-zone touch screen, sit­u­ated at driver’s eye level on the cen­tral dash­board, en­ables easy ac­cess to au­dio and video play­back and hands-free phone and nav­i­ga­tion.

Thanks to Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto, the driver can also con­nect a smart­phone. The 1.0 Boost­er­jet en­gine makes use of di­rect in­jec­tion and tur­bocharg­ing to give it per­for­mance and fuel con­sump­tion bet­ter than you would ex­pect of its 998 cc ca­pac­ity.

The GLX Turbo has the en­gine mated with a six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion in­cor­po­rat­ing an in­te­grated cooler to im­prove fluid cool­ing.

As well as six airbags, LED head­lamps and day­time run­ning lights, the Swift 1.0 GLX Turbo boasts a suite of safety mea­sures rare in a ve­hi­cle in the light pas­sen­ger seg­ment.

This in­cludes Suzuki’s first ap­pli­ca­tion of a for­ward de­tec­tion sys­tem which uses a cam­era and laser at­tached to the wind­screen to look out for and warn, through the multi-in­for­ma­tion dis­play on the dash of po­ten­tial trou­ble ahead.

Col­li­sion mit­i­ga­tion is in the hands of anti-skid brak­ing with brake as­sist and emer­gency brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion. Warn­ing sys­tems such as lane de­par­ture warn­ing, weav­ing alert, adap­tive cruise con­trol and high beam as­sist keep inat­ten­tive drivers alive.

On our time to­gether, the Swift 1.0 Turbo recorded fuel con­sump­tion of up to 5.8 litres/100km on a mix of city and coun­try driv­ing.

Your lo­cal Suzuki dealer is Amity Mo­tors, 9841 2900.

Pic­ture: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

Suzuki Swift’s rear-door han­dles are “hid­den” in the C-pil­lar.

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