Swift? Not quite, but it’s a big noise among fans

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST - SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT

SUZUKI’S Swift has a youth­ful im­age which ap­peals to most ages. It is now well into its third gen­er­a­tion with a de­vout fan base, made along­side the SX4 S-Cross and the Splash in Eszter­gom, north­ern Hun­gary.

It looks smart enough for gramps (me th­ese days) and with a cou­ple of stripes over the top it looks sporty enough for the youth I was once when I had a Mini Cooper. Prices open at £10,799 for a 93bhp 1,2 petrol model with three doors in SZ2 trim. Pay another £500 for the con­ve­nience of rear doors. You can have a 1.2 au­to­matic in SZ4 trim for £14,949 – get­ting near the en­try price for next year’s all­new Mini.

The only diesel model is the 74bhp 1.3 SZ4 5-door with man­ual gears at £15,139. It records an of­fi­cial 72mpg (16mpg more than the petrol model) but with 101g/km CO2 in­fu­ri­at­ingly misses out on the sub 100g ben­e­fits of free road tax and Lon­don con­ges­tion charg­ing. On such mar­gins will Lon­don­ers choose.

None of them is what you’d call a flyer. The 0-62mph times are the wrong side of 12 sec­onds but the higher torque diesel gath­ers speed more read­ily. New this year (al­ready of­fered abroad) is the 4x4 ver­sion, us­ing the 1.2 petrol en­gine, from £13,819 in SZ3 trim.

The im­porters sent me a swifter Swift, the re­cently launched five-door Sport (two ex­hausts, body kit, roof spoiler, Mon­roe dampers, grippy seats, ex­tra di­als, 17 inch wheels with 195/45 Con­tiS­port tyres plus cruise con­trol and push-but­ton starter). Cost: £13,749 with three doors, £14,249 with five. Not a bad price con­sid­er­ing lots of kit I have not men­tioned.

The en­gine is a 134bhp petrol 1.6, peak­ing at a heady 7,000rpm. Torque of 118 lb ft comes at 4,400rpm. Top speed in sixth is 121mph and the 0-62mph time is a re­spectable 8.7 sec­onds. The Sport has a thor­ough chas­sis tune, with at­ten­tion to rigid­ity in the stressed com­po­nents, up­rated springs with re­bound coils added at the front, big­ger wheel bear­ings and so forth.

User-friendly fea­tures see key-free open­ing, push­but­ton start and light touch tail­gate open­ing – al­most hands-free if you are car­ry­ing shop­ping. It does not have stop-start ig­ni­tion – which would have made dents on the of­fi­cial av­er­age of 44 miles a gal­lon and CO2 of 147g/ km. On test, driven mildly, it av­er­aged a very friendly 46 to 48 miles a gal­lon.

Driven mildly? Yep. I never felt like what they call “open­ing the en­ve­lope” too much. For one thing, the roads were win­ter-greasy. And another thing? The Swift Sport needs revving and revving to get its pace. I al­ready found it fright­fully noisy – mostly roar from the road. Cruis­ing was my gait.

Verdict: The Swift looks ro­bust and has its ad­mir­ers. Pity the Sport is noisy. I’d take a more stan­dard model. Nit-pick­ing: Front num­ber plate at­tach­ment looks flappy.

Front and rear views of the Suzuki Swift Sport. It has a smart but sporty ap­peal for older and younger gen­er­a­tions.

HELLO SPORT:

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