Swift’s small engine a winner
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.
The wide open radiator and lower grille make a positive statement. Derek Ogden
The Swift GL has a more assertive stance.
The Suzuki’s interior.