Swift posts se­ries win

Suzuki didn’t need to rein­vent the wheel so it made its hatch just a lit­tle larger

The Advertiser - Motoring - - USED CAR - GRA­HAM SMITH

NEW

vari­able valve tim­ing. The 1.4 dis­placed less than its pre­de­ces­sor, had marginally lower out­put but used less fuel.

Trans­mis­sion op­tions were a five-speed man­ual, the more popular four-speed au­to­matic and, in the Sport, a con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion with seven pre­set ra­tios.

On the road the Swift han­dled well and obe­di­ently fol­lowed di­rec­tions from the driver.

Stan­dard safety kit in­cluded seven airbags, anti-lock brakes with elec­tronic brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion and elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol. ANCAP gave the Swift five stars.

NOW

Suzuki is a brand gen­er­ally thought of as a builder of qual­ity small cars. At the same time its cars have never quite fit­ted the main­stream.

The orig­i­nal Swift was a tiny car, but very well en­gi­neered with a jewel-like en­gine that punched above its size. The FZ con­tin­ued that theme. Few own­ers com­plain about their Swifts, most are pas­sion­ately in love with them and are happy to tell you so.

They re­port good per­for­mance for its size; even the 1.4-litre en­gine gets the job done with rel­a­tive ease. Even bet­ter, they say it is eco­nom­i­cal.

Rear seat ac­com­mo­da­tion can be a tight squeeze for adults but few own­ers ac­tu­ally com­plain about it, prob­a­bly be­cause they rarely use it to carry four adults.

With few is­sues to con­sider, look to the gen­eral con­di­tion of the car, in­side and out, look­ing for ev­i­dence of body dam­age, and in­te­rior wear and tear. Check that any ex­am­ple you’re con­sid­er­ing has been ser­viced prop­erly.

Suzuki en­gines, be­ing finely en­gi­neered, need regular oil and fil­ter changes to stay healthy. Ser­viced well, they will last and last.

OWN­ERS SAY

Doug Wil­liamson: I have owned a few dif­fer­ent hatch­backs and the Swift is by far the best. It’s sur­pris­ingly roomy, the boot is larger than you think and the fuel econ­omy is re­ally good.

Natalie Hawkins: I pre­vi­ously owned a Ford Fo­cus, which reg­u­larly broke down, but the Swift has never given me any trou­ble. It’s a 2011 GL auto and it’s eco­nom­i­cal and in­ex­pen­sive to ser­vice. I wish it had more power, cruise con­trol and Blue­tooth, but who needs bells and whis­tles? I would rec­om­mend it to any­one.

Sharelle Evans: I have owned three Swifts in the past eight years and none have given any trou­ble. The driv­ing man­ners are good, the econ­omy is great and the qual­ity seems to be good.

Ed­ward Ma­son: I ab­so­lutely love my Suzuki, it’s roomy in­side, has re­ally good vi­sion for driv­ing, is easy to park, eco­nom­i­cal, zippy and smooth to drive. It’s never missed a beat.

SMITHY SAYS

A great lit­tle car that should be high on ev­ery small-car shop­per’s list.

The FZ se­ries Swift re­leased in 2011 was an evo­lu­tion­ary model — or so Suzuki ex­ec­u­tives main­tained when try­ing to jus­tify the lit­tle ap­par­ent vis­ual change from the pre­ced­ing EZ. They also had a quite log­i­cal ex­pla­na­tion: So suc­cess­ful had the EZ...

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