Evo­lu­tion not revo­lu­tion is the Swift way to boost brand

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - MOTORING NEWS - STEVE TEALE

SUZUKI IS on a roll. In fact, it has been ever since the mod­ern ver­sion of Swift was launched a decade ago. Lately, we’ve had new ver­sions of Vi­tara, Baleno, Ig­nis and Cele­rio which have given fresh yet more im­pe­tus to the brand. Vi­tara and Ig­nis are es­pe­cially good.

But here’s the car Suzuki en­thu­si­asts have been wait­ing for: new Swift. Like all cars from good com­pa­nies, it is an evo­lu­tion rather than a revo­lu­tion, with mi­nor ad­just­ments here and there rather than ma­jor changes.

But it does have some rev­o­lu­tion­ary im­prove­ments: more power, less weight and im­proved econ­omy. What’s not to like?

New Swift goes on sale in June as a five-door model only. Prices? You will have to wait til May to find out, with the model

CON­TI­NEN­TAL DRIFT: go­ing on sale in June. The price range for the cur­rent Swift spans £9,000 to £15,000.

It’s un­der the bon­net where Swift has re­ally come on apace.

A new 1.2 litre four-cylin­der en­gine of­fers 65mpg and 98g/ km of emissions.

A 1.0 litre three-cylin­der ver­sion man­ages 61mpg and 104g/km.

Quite in­ter­est­ing is a hy­brid ver­sion. The 1.0 litre unit can be matched with a hy­brid sys­tem (Smart Hy­brid Ve­hi­cle by Suzuki, or more catchily SHVS). It’s also avail­able as a 4x4 model.

The ar­rival of the 2004 Swift was a wa­ter­shed mo­ment for Suzuki, mark­ing it out as a se­ri­ous man­u­fac­turer for the first time. It has sold well for 13 years in var­i­ous guises with 5.4m mod­els cre­ated glob­ally in­clud­ing more than one mil­lion in Europe.

So, how ex­actly does Swift mea­sure up to its more es­tab­lished ri­vals? Well, it is de­signed to match Euro­pean tastes in terms of ride, han­dling and style.

New Swift is 10mm shorter than the out­go­ing model, while its wheel­base is 20mm longer, cre­at­ing more in­te­rior room in­clud­ing 25 per cent more lug­gage ca­pac­ity.

It is also 15mm lower and 40mm wider, ac­cen­tu­at­ing its low and wide stance. Ad­di­tion­ally, the Euro­pean Swift has a wider front and rear track than the Ja­panese Do­mes­tic model.

The new Swift has been de­signed to match the tastes of Suzuki’s Euro­pean cus­tomers for ride and han­dling.

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