Agile and enjoyable
BRIAN BASSETT drives the Suzuki Swift 1.2L GL Hatchback
THE Suzuki Swift was launched on the international market in 2005 and came to South Africa in 2011.
It received its last upgrade in 2014. Over time it has built itself a solid reputation for excellent build quality and reliability and is now into its third generation, although the recent upgrade was largely cosmetic.
The front grille and bumper have been redesigned and Bluetooth added as standard. Connecting your cellphone is easy and does not require six months technical training. You also get a third brakelight above the rear tailgate.
I have wanted to drive the 1.2L Swift for some while, as an old friend in Cape Town has one in the family and has just passed it on to his youngest son to allow him to commute to Stellenbosch University each day, as commuting is much cheaper than renting in the town.
The car has done over 100 000 km and there are no rattles. Also, other than tyres and a battery, there have been no other problems.
Given the fact that the Swift is the ideal alternative to the Mini you can’t quite afford, I jumped at the opportunity to drive the car offered by Des-Marie Victor, new car sales manager at Suzuki Fury in the city. on the driver’s door. The gear lever is well-placed and pleasant to operate without having to reach forward.
The front seats are comfortable and adjustable, although the driver’s seat has no height adjustment, which may be a problem for the shorter amongst us.
The rear seat is somewhat cramped for those with long legs and are really made for short distances, although it is surprising what can be achieved by adjusting the front seats.
Luggage space is only 210 litres with all seats in place, so carrying the week’s groceries is no problem. This rises to 533 litres with the rear seats folded down in 60/40 fashion.
The Swift GL has a five-star Euro NCAP rating so you can entrust your family to its care with confidence.
There are seatbelts for all and ABS with EBD, as well as two front airbags. The car also has a factory-fitted alarm, central locking and front fog lamps, which are useful for night driving, as I found out. There are several other safety features like head restraints.
The general impression, however, is of a vehicle able to cope easily with modern, sometimes dangerous road conditions.
The Suzuki Swift is a city runabout that is nevertheless happy to obey speed limits on the highways.