Just the (Italian) job
New Swift is the old classic with a Euro makeover, writes Craig Duff
IT’S a case of back to the future for the newest incarnation of the Suzuki Swift. The current car has been a mainstay for Suzuki, with two million sales since its launch in 2005, so a major overhaul of the light car is reserved for the mechanicals and chassis.
The visual style is a modern interpretation of the previous model.
The base price is also based on the previous model: at $15,990 it is the same as the 2005 model cost.
THE new Suzuki Swift is a mainstay of Suzuki Australia’s operations.
The company has sold 65,000 of the existing model cars.
Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers says the new model — with the catchline ‘‘More Swift’’ — will account for a 10 per cent sales boost.
The base-model GA (there’s no model-specific badging on any Swift model, so pick them by look) comes with steel 15-inch rims, plain door handles and side mirrors, power windows and mirrors, a four-speaker sound system with USB and iPod connectivity, a five-speed manual transmission and drum rear brakes.
It also packs seven airbags and electronic stability control into the mix.
Step up $700 to the mid-spec GL, there’s 15-inch alloys, a body-coloured door handles and mirrors, mirrormounted side indicators, a leather steering wheel with audio controls, and a six-speaker sound system.
There’s also a tacho, which will be more important for manual owners than those who spend the extra $ 1700 for the optional four-speed automatic.
The top-spec GLX costs $18,990 and adds all-round disc brakes, 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth connectivity, a steering wheel that adjusts for reach and height, keyless entry and start/ stop button and front fog lamps.
THE ‘‘New Swift’’ is more — and in some cases less — of the same. And that’s good for buyers.
The engine has been downsized from 1.5 to 1.4 litres, but the new powerplant is lighter, helping to offset the drop to 70kW and 130Nm, from the 1.5’s 74kW/133Nm.
The flip is petrol use is down from 6.3 litres/100km to 5.5, which puts the Swift at the top of the class on fuel use. CO emissions are 132g/km.
All cars now have the electronic throttle control previously reserved for the sporty Swift S model.
The chassis is lighter and stronger and the MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear have been overhauled.
Cruise control isn’t a option — yet. Devers says he’s aware how important it is in Australia ‘‘ and the company is working with us’’, suggesting it will be an option sooner rather than later.
All cars come with iPod/USB connectivity
AN ITALIAN interpretation on the original design led to the latest look for the Swift.
Suzuki sent two teams to Europe— one to France and one to Italy — to conceive a new style for the Swift and it was the Italian-based team’s modern approach to evolving the design that won.
The result is a glass profile that progressively narrows from the front windows to the rear, a bigger front grille, front and rear lights that now sweep around the top side edges of the car and a much smarter interior.
Silver highlights help break up the black dash and, while the plastics aren’t at Euro-touch softness, they
City slicker: The new model is top of the class for fuel economy.