Shake up, lit­tle Suzi

Cars­guide’s long-term tester is a very live­able ve­hi­cle

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test - SA­MAN­THA STEVENS sa­man­tha.stevens@cars­

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

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