Agile and en­joy­able

BRIAN BAS­SETT drives the Suzuki Swift 1.2L GL Hatch­back

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

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.

PHOTO: JAPANBULLET.COM

The Suzuki Swift is a city run­about that is nev­er­the­less happy to obey speed lim­its on the high­ways.

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