SUZUKI SWIFT

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -

VALUE

The list price of $17,490 has been sweet­ened un­til the end of July with a $16,990 drive­away deal (ex­clud­ing north­ern NSW and Qld where there’s a dif­fer­ent im­porter). That’s hard to counter and gives the Suzuki a tem­po­rary edge over the newer Clio. Ser­vic­ing is ev­ery six months/10,000km at $199 a visit for the first five years.

DE­SIGN

Boot space and rear legroom is a lim­ited by the short size of the Swift. Off­set­ting the lack of space is the ease of park­ing — a 9.4m turn­ing cir­cle makes this the choice for tight in­ner-city streets. The Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity is clunky and the over­all im­pres­sion of the in­te­rior is it’s a gen­er­a­tion be­hind the lead­ers. De­spite the ba­sic plas­tics the build qual­ity looks and feels good. Sat­nav is stan­dard but, much like the Clio, there’s no re­vers­ing cam­era or park­ing sen­sors.

EN­GINE

The Swift’s 70kW/130Nm 1.4-litre four-cylin­der en­gine is a will­ing per­former that needs to be worked. Good thing, then, that the five-speed man­ual is a sweet­shift­ing unit. The low-down re­sponse is mildly asth­matic, ex­ag­ger­ated as the num­ber of oc­cu­pants rises. Of­fi­cial fuel use is a claimed 5.5L/100km.

SAFETY

Seven airbags are stan­dard on the Swift backed by a solid chas­sis to help the lit­tle hatch earn a five-star ANCAP rat­ing when it was tested in 2011. The rear brakes are drums rather than discs but the same ap­plies to the Clio.

DRIV­ING

Di­rect steer­ing, a nim­ble chas­sis and a rorty lit­tle en­gine makes the Swift a fun car to pi­lot. A firm-ish sus­pen­sion tune adds to the en­ter­tain­ment but makes the Swift feel busy on rip­pled roads.

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