01738 493229 Swift’s lat­est launch

Perthshire Advertiser - - HOUSE HOME -

Back in March I first got my hands on the new Suzuki Swift on spec­tac­u­lar roads in the South of France.

My first im­pres­sions were ex­cel­lent and hope­fully not in­flu­enced by the lovely spring sun­shine and stun­ning scenery.

Last week I got the chance to find out more about the pop­u­lar su­per­mini when it ar­rived for a week in mis­er­able sum­mer weather.

The Swift is very easy on the eye and its hand­some new de­sign is sure to keep it as Suzuki’s best seller.

The su­per­mini is now sourced from the com­pany’s Sa­gara plant in Ja­pan and it com­petes against the likes of the SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia, Kia Rio and Hyundai i20 - with a sales target of 20,000 in its first full year.

It went on sale in June and so far the new­comer is liv­ing up to ex­pec­ta­tions.

The lat­est Swift re­tains the DNA of the pre­vi­ous model but has shed over 10 per cent of its weight and it is also more pow­er­ful and fuel ef­fi­cient.

It is marginally shorter than the out­go­ing model but im­por­tantly the wheel­base is 20mm longer in­creas­ing the cabin space and pro­vid­ing a larger 264 litre boot - a jump of 54 litres.

Two petrol en­gines are avail­able. The en­try-level unit is the 1.2 Dual­jet four-cylin­der which pro­duces 89bhp and is ca­pa­ble of 62mph in 11.9 sec­onds, while re­turn­ing an of­fi­cial com­bined fuel econ­omy fig­ure of 65.7mpg with emis­sions of 98g/km.

The other power plant is Suzuki’s splen­did 1.0-litre three-cylin­der Boost­er­jet turbo which pro­duces 110bhp and cuts the sprint speed to 62mph to 10.6 sec­onds. Fuel econ­omy on this spritely model drops to 61.4mpg with emis­sions of 104g/km.

The car I have been sam­pling was fit­ted with the Boost­er­jet en­gine and Suzuki’s SHVS mild-hy­brid sys­tem. This unit has a lithium-ion bat­tery un­der the front pas­sen­ger seat which gath­ers power from re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing and uses it to as­sist the en­gine when mov­ing off and ac­cel­er­at­ing, help­ing to save fuel and cut emis­sions. This im­proves fuel econ­omy to a claimed 65.7mpg and takes the CO2 fig­ure down to 97g/km.

Linked with a slick five-speed man­ual gear­box it was a de­light to drive on French moun­tain routes and it has just been as good in mixed town and coun­try driv­ing here at home.

The 1.0-litre Boost­er­jet hy­brid has bags of char­ac­ter and is very smooth. The turbo means that you don’t have to work it too hard and once you get it up to speed there is very lit­tle en­gine noise.

The new chas­sis means the Swift is even more ag­ile and nim­ble and the sus­pen­sion deals well with all kinds of sur­faces. The steer­ing is sharp and ac­cu­rate as well as be­ing nicely weighted.

In­side there is room for four adults to travel in com­fort with more legroom in the rear than be­fore. The in­stru­ments and con­trols are all easy to read and use.

Three trim lev­els are avail­able on UK cars with a choice of 10 colours. Even the en­trylevel SZ3 model has six airbags, air con­di­tion­ing, DAB ra­dio, pri­vacy glass, day­time run­ning lights and Blue­tooth as stan­dard. The SZ-T adds a smart­phone link dis­play, a rear view cam­era, front fog lamps and 16-inch al­loy wheels.

The top spec SZ5 I have been driv­ing adds au­to­matic air con­di­tion­ing, nav­i­ga­tion, LED head­lamps, pol­ished al­loys, rear elec­tric win­dows, fold­ing elec­tric wing mir­rors, dual sen­sor brake sup­port and adap­tive cruise con­trol.

There’s also more safety equip­ment in­clud­ing a for­ward-fac­ing cam­era and laser sen­sors that pro­duce lane de­par­ture warn­ings along with au­tonomous emer­gency brak­ing and high-beam as­sist.

The new Swift feels re­ally well put to­gether and built to last.

Now only avail­able with five doors the su­per­mini is a very prac­ti­cal choice and there are plenty ways for an owner to per­son­alise their ve­hi­cle.

In Speedy blue with a sil­ver roof, the Swift re­ally stands out from the crowd and its blend of per­for­mance, equip­ment, econ­omy and style is a match the new Suzuki Swift

On the road

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