SWIFT UP­PER­CUT

Suzuki’s well-built and durable lit­tle goer is a neat fit for gen Y buy­ers CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­guide.com.au

Herald Sun - Motoring - - On the Web -

Lit­tle Suzuki puts en­gi­neer­ing over aes­thet­ics. The Thaibuilt goer punches above its weight

THAI­LAND ranks be­hind only Ja­pan as the source for cars sold in Aus­tralia. Last year 171,878 Thai-built cars were sold here, so a Thai ver­sion of the Suzuki Swift is a good thing done cheaper.

The Swift con­tin­ues to punch well above its weight thanks to its rep­u­ta­tion for sim­ple, re­li­able mo­tor­ing. So far this year it has out­sold the Ford Fi­esta, Kia Rio and Holden Ba­rina. The Swift’s mid-life up­date can only help, with the pop­u­lar mid-range GL model adding cruise con­trol and Blue­tooth to com­pete bet­ter on the fea­tures front.

VALUE

Swift buy­ers ap­pre­ci­ate the model’s so­lid­ity, in per­cep­tion and in build. The 1.4-litre engine is far from the most pow­er­ful in the class but, mated to the fivespeed man­ual, it is an en­thu­si­as­tic and proven per­former.

Blue­tooth is a long over­due ad­di­tion, par­tic­u­larly given the young de­mo­graphic that buys this car. Like­wise the steer­ing­wheel mounted cruise con­trol sys­tem is a li­cence-saver in Aus­tralia. Suzuki says the up­grades to the GL are worth $850 and the up­dated model’s price rises by only $300.

The four-speed auto is a $2000 op­tion and metal­lic paint adds $475.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The up­date is cos­metic but, old­school four-speed auto apart, that isn’t a bad thing. Pro­pelled by a mod­est 70kW/130Nm, but a gen­uine light­weight at 1025kg, the Swift hus­tles re­spectably to 100km/h in un­der 10 sec­onds.

Fuel con­sump­tion, or the lack of it, is an­other sell­ing point. Suzuki’s claimed 5.5L/100km trans­lates into low 7s in sub­ur­ban driv­ing, mak­ing this one of the most fru­gal petrol cars in this seg­ment. The

City slicker: The Swift does the job around town

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