Colourful, funky and fun to drive
“WOW, I think my eyes are melting,” chirped a friend’s son when I parked the car for a braai to watch the Springboks take on Argentina.
And if you’re familiar with the lime green and blue livery that the Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP bike thunders around the track with, you’ ll have a good idea of why he would say that.
In fact, I pretty much felt the same way when I first saw the Suzuki Swift Sport, even sending a picture to a friend who replied that at least it wouldn’t be lost among a sea of vehicles at a mall on a Saturday morning.
However, the colours and twin tail pipes really give it a sporty feel.
The idea that rims “maketh the car” couldn’t be truer than the 16-inch alloys fitted to the little Sport.
Black with a lime green edge set against the blue works incredibly well, and rounds it of f perfectly.
Inside, it’s nicely finished of f, too, and as with all of Suzuki’s finishes, it’s solid with not so much as a rattle, which for a car in the press fleet with “go-fast” stripes says much about the build quality.
It’s remarkably comfortable, particularly for a big bugger like myself, and all the buttons and dials are well placed with enough storage space for cups, wallets and whatever else people tend to throw into them.
There’s enough space in the back to easily fit two adults, and although the boot isn’t going to hide a body, with the back seats folded down it’s almost caver nous.
I had just retur ned a Ford ST200, a lively car to be sure, so I was secretly hoping for something similar perfor mancewise.
Considering the way it’s decked out, it certainly deserves to, but it has the 1.6-litre engine that puts out 100kW and 160Nm, so you’re not going to rip the skin of f your face or be the first-placed boy-racer in a robot-to-robot sprint.
But, and I think this is where Suzuki gets it right with almost all their models, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to drive.
Put any ideas of a hot hatch out of your mind, accept that you’re going to get to 100km/h in nine or so seconds and won’t be touching 200km/h, and enjoy it for what it is.
The six-speed gearbox slots in well with the engine, and taking every gear to the limit doesn’t feel like it’s about to jump from the engine bay.
Steering is light and direct, and with the low-profile tyres, a well set-up suspension and a smile on your face, you’re always looking for an excuse to throw it into sharp twists and tur ns.
It’s fitted with a USB port, and although I struggled to get the Bluetooth to connect, I’m sure it was probably user error, and to be honest it wasn’t a priority for me during my time with the car.
There’s one thing though that I would seriously re-look at, and that would be to fit an exhaust that gives it a sound that matches the look and feel of the car.
Call me old school, but when I saw it driving on the track at the SA Festival of Motoring at Kyalami, squealing tyres without a bark and growl coming out the back was a little like a braai without boerewors.
Overall, though, it’s what you’ve come to expect from Suzuki, a quality, well-packaged product that’s a whole lot of fun to drive.
Do not adjust your set… this is the colour and style of the Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP bike. Oops! No, this is the Suzuki Swift Sport.