Swift’s small en­gine a win­ner

Geraldton Guardian - - Rev Motoring Guide -

The lat­est Suzuki Swift dis­plays the Ja­panese com­pany’s his­tory of en­gi­neer­ing ex­cel­lence with a par­tic­u­larly well-sorted driv­e­train.

Its 1.2-litre four-cylin­der en­gine, mated to an ex­cel­lent CVT, is a de­light to sit be­hind.

Our test car, the Suzuki Swift GL Nav­i­ga­tor with safety pack, pro­vided seam­less and seem­ingly ef­fort­less op­er­a­tion in al­most all cir­cum­stances.

The new Swift has taken on a more as­sertive look, es­pe­cially up front, with a wide open ra­di­a­tor and lower bumper grille mak­ing a pos­i­tive state­ment.

Fen­ders add more mus­cle to a lower and wider stance, while blacked-out pil­lars give the im­pres­sion of a float­ing roof. Rear door han­dles “hid­den” in the C-pil­lar again fol­low the mod­ern de­sign trend with­out tak­ing any­thing away from the Swift char­ac­ter.

Swift GL Nav­i­ga­tor grades fea­ture multi-re­flec­tor halo­gen head­lamps, with LED day­time run­ning lamps in the front bumper.

The 16-inch al­loy wheels come with low-rolling re­sis­tance tyres de­signed to min­imise fuel use, but still de­liver high com­fort.

A seven-inch four-quad­rant touch screen po­si­tioned 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 1.2 Dual­jet en­gine’s main aim is to in­crease fuel ef­fi­ciency.

An ul­tra-mod­ern unit, it has two in­jec­tors per cylin­der sup­ply­ing atom­ised fuel, which is eas­ier to burn, al­lows very sta­ble com­bus­tion and higher ther­mal ef­fi­ciency.

Six airbags are stan­dard across the new Swift range.

Ac­tive safety takes in elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, ABS anti-skid brak­ing with elec­tronic brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion and brake as­sist.

How­ever, the Swift GL Nav­i­ga­tor 1.2 is avail­able with a safety pack, Suzuki’s first ap­pli­ca­tion of a for­ward crash de­tec­tion sys­tem us­ing the com­bi­na­tion of a cam­era and laser sen­sor at­tached to the wind­shield.

The cam­era can de­tect ob­jects such as pedes­tri­ans and lane mark­ers mid to long dis­tances ahead, while the laser picks up ob­sta­cles closer in or at night.

If there is a risk of col­li­sion, an au­dio warn­ing sounds and vis­ual warn­ing comes up on the mul­ti­in­for­ma­tion dis­play di­rectly in front of the driver. Fur­ther en­hanc­ing ac­tive safety are lane de­par­ture warn­ing, weav­ing alert and, an­other Suzuki first, high­beam as­sist.

Clev­erly, the new Swift’s 242 litres of lug­gage space is 32L more than the old.

The area has been up­graded to carry a wider range of cargo, which is made easy to load and un­load thanks to a high-lift tail­gate.

There’s a space-saver spare to max­imise boot space.

The tiny-tot 1.2-litre en­gine, dish­ing up a mere 66kW and 110Nm, took full ad­van­tage of the CVT ef­fi­ciency and coped splen­didly with a range of loads and var­ied driv­ing styles. With claimed fuel con­sump­tion of 4.8L per 100km on the com­bined ur­ban/high­way cy­cle, on test the Swift GL 1.2 recorded 5.4L/100km around town down to a mi­nus­cule 3.7L on the mo­tor­way.

A new un­der­body, 30kg lighter than the one it re­places, con­trib­utes to lower fuel con­sump­tion and bet­ter per­for­mance in terms of ac­cel­er­a­tion, turn­ing and stop­ping.

The Swift GL Nav­i­ga­tor 1.2 went far to restor­ing faith in small-car CVT with its smooth op­er­a­tion across the rev range and vary­ing loads. Ig­nor­ing the jar­ring of the sus­pen­sion on un­even sur­faces, cabin com­fort is up to stan­dard.

Pic­ture: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

The wide open ra­di­a­tor and lower grille make a pos­i­tive state­ment. Derek Og­den

Pic­ture: Vit­to­rio

The Swift GL has a more as­sertive stance.

The Suzuki’s in­te­rior.

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