Suzuki quietly slipped in the 1200cc Splash a couple of years ago. As you can see from the photos, it has a more upright stance and the same wheel at each corner design as the Alto.
It is only one kW shy of the Swift so is very quick off the mark given the smaller size. Suzuki describe it as a ‘Supermini’ What is evident is the much more upright driving position that will endear the Splash to anyone who has problems getting into vehicles.
Also immediately notable is the lack of a tacho that even the Alto has, albeit an aftermarket one. It was hard to estimate what revs the 1200cc 4 cylinder motor was doing so I guess we found the rev limit quite often before changing up. As you read this story you’ll notice that’s a recurring theme as a journo tries to find the limits of performance economy and road holding. Just don’t tell Gordon we might have used a tad more fuel than the Splash is expected to consume. Still, I was also impressed that I managed 6.2 l/100km just ½ litre more than Suzuki’s 5.7 claim.
Our grey test vehicle pictured was very new as one of Gordon’s sales people had sold their demonstrator the morning I was due to pick it up. So I was given a freshly registered Splash with just 15kms on the clock.
On the road the Splash has fabulous visibility and like the Alto, wheel at each corner stability and road holding. Throwing it into corners and backing off did not upset the composure though the ESP light did flicker reassuringly when overcooking it. Sitting with just 145mm ground clearance, care needs to be taken on unsealed roads as the undersides touched several times when I’d expected to still have adequate daylight between us and the road.
For all that, driven carefully on unpaved roads the Splash is competent. On the seal it revels in being asked to cope with undulating surfaces and even off camber corners. There is something magical about small cars fast speeds and tight corners that really puts the thrill of driving back in, that somehow is absent in the bigger modern cars.
With a similar boot space of 178 litres to the Swifts 210 litres, the Splash is a real alternative at just $18,000m and $19,990a. Standard features include front electric windows, air conditioning, Steering wheel controls for the entertainment system, leather steering wheel, rear fog lamps and ISOFIX for two in rear. The model I drove was the Ltd which adds keyless start, front fog lamps and alloy wheels and is just $21,990a.
Upright styling means easy access and huge interior space.