Shake up, little Suzi
Carsguide’s long-term tester is a very liveable vehicle
OUR Suzuki Swift Sport longterm drive is a real standout. Friends wave as I drive by because they know the car’s retina-roasting hue. More than once I’ve been nearly blinded by my own vehicle’s reflection.
The Sport’s colour may give you nowhere to hide but it is quite the pick-me-up on drab winter days. The Swift has been used almost every day for short trips in and around town, amounting to 900km. It has been filled three times and is averaging 6.1L/100km.
The engine has loosened up nicely, though the gearbox still hesitates on the odd occasion to let the cog slide into first gear from a standstill. But its tractability impresses; it pulls with no hesitation at 30km/h even in fourth and can drop as low as 10km/h in second without a downchange.
Its handling is impressive – who’d think a car with only 100kW/160Nm could feel so fleet of foot and such darn fun?
The seats are proving comfortable, though the fabric likes to catch the dirt, and the seating position and steering wheel is ergonomic for both myself at 165cm and my 180cm-plus partner.
However, some niggling issues come to light with more time spent with the Swift.
The turning circle for such a compact car is surprisingly large, and three-point turns are more the norm: a downside of the 17-inch alloys. The 195/45 tyres are also quite loud above 60km/h, and we have learned not to make speakerphone calls above suburban speeds.
The cargo area won’t take a big shop. Sure, the seats splitfold but then you end up with half the shopping under the front seats. This is common in this segment and not unique to the Swift but we do use the second row as the boot.
And there are pros and cons to the remote start and entry. The buttons for the front doors can open either the door in question with one press, or all four with two. Same for the boot— there is a button for the auto unlock next to the boot release. This is a great feature but the rear doors have no button, and it has caught us out when trying to get said shopping straight into the back seat with key still in handbag.
More frustrating are the windows, with no residual power once the start button has been switched off. Sounds pedantic, doesn’t it? But if this is the most frustrating aspect of owning the Swift Sport, then it’s a very liveable car indeed. And with its zippy drivetrain, grippy handling and happy hue, it’s been a real joy to drive.
Good, clean fun: We’ve enjoyed our 900km
with the Swift, even with its limited boot