New car, caviar, four star daydream !
Once upon a time, well the 1990’s to be precise, buying a new car with anything extra on it would cost the customer a small fortune. Adding ‘extras’ to your car made an awful lot of BMW salespeople very happy, as it was predominantly the perceived quality brands who offered this to their customers. Slowly but surely, as the nineties became the Noughties, the car manufacturers began to produce cars with these extras included & not just the luxury marques either. In 2017, even commercial vehicles are fitted with all the safety features one could possibly want, as well as offering cruise control, hands-free Bluetooth, MP3 connection & SatNav.
So as a car manufacturer, offering your customers all of the goodies they want, has become a prerequisite, which means that the latest car that CC&V tested, the brilliant all-new Suzuki Swift, does exactly that, coming as it does in 1.0 Boosterjet SZ5 format, with all of the equipment one would associate with a much larger far more expensive car. Safety features offered include ABS with EBD Brake Assist, ESP, six airbags, foot protecting brake & clutch pedals, hill hold control & high beam assist. Add in adaptive cruise control, electric front & rear windows, automatic air-con, a 7” colour display allowing access to DAB, SatNav, Bluetooth with steering mounted controls, headlamp levelling, rear privacy glass, 16″ alloys & you have a seriously well appointed car, which at time of writing, can be had for just £14,499, which is unbelievably good value for money.
Not only is the Swift well appointed, it’s also great fun to drive. It isn’t especially quick, reaching 62 mph in 10.6 seconds with a top speed of 121 mph. But, that’s still 2 mph faster to 62mph than the outgoing model & the top speed is 18mph better as well, all thanks to the addition on the Swift of Suzuki’s tried & tested Boosterjet petrol engine which also shines at the pumps, offering a combined fuel economy on my test model, of 65.7 mph with C02 emissions of 97g/km.
As we discovered driving the new model in the Derbyshire Peak District, being small, with the wheels on each corner, it feels faster than this. More importantly, it’s excellent on the windiest, hilliest roads & inclines. On some of the longer climbs, with two adults on board, we did need to change down from fifth to fourth & even from fourth to third, to keep that excellent engine ticking over & this really was my only criticism for the 1.0 litre engine. In reality, I’m being pedantic, because of all the super-mini’s I’ve driven lately, including the Ford Ka+, Fiat Panda, Ford Fiesta, VW Polo & the other small Suzuki the Ignis, the Swift is by far the best to drive, is also the best looking & Ignis accepted, it’s also the best priced.
From the outside, the Swift looks similar to the outgoing model. As you get a little closer though, it’s clear to see that Suzuki have significantly altered the new car. There’s a new wider & deeper front grille, blacked out A-pillar’s & front & vertically arranged front & rear lights give it a more sporty look. The rear door handles are now pillar mounted, giving an almost coupe look & being 10mm shorter, 15mm lower & with a 20mm longer wheelbase, it sits more squat on the road with the overall effect being to make the Swift appear more aggressive than it’s predecessor.
Despite the reduction in length, those clever Suzuki designers have somehow managed to increase the boot-space in the latest model by 20%, with the new volume a much-improved 265 litres, 54v more than the outgoing Swift. Both front seat passengers benefit from good head & legroom, whilst the rear passengers also have space to relax.
One of the Swift’s other surprises is inside the cabin, where Suzuki have significantly enhanced & improved the build quality of this latest version. White accents & satin chrome, coupled with a basic tone of black lift the interior closer to that found in it’s more premium rivals. It also felt more upmarket than the interiors found in sister models Ignis & Baleno.
The steering wheel contains the audio/phone option buttons on the left & the cruise control function buttons on the right. The audio system for the SZ-T & SZ5 has a Smartphone Linkage Display Audio with a large 7” touch panel display. On our test model the SZ5, the system also allows the driver to use certain smartphone applications with Mirror-Link, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay.
Entry level 1.2 litre SZ3 manual Dualjet costs £10,999 & comes with six airbags, air conditioning, leather steering wheel, privacy glass, DAB radio with Bluetooth & four speakers, LED daytime running lights, 15″ wheels, body coloured door mirrors & front electric windows.
The SZ-T manual with 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine adds rear view camera, Smartphone link display audio, 16” alloy wheels & front fog lamps, starts at £12,999, whilst the SZ5 is available in three variations which are the 1.0-litre Boosterjet SHVS with manual transmission, our test car £14,499, the 1.0-litre Boosterjet automatic,£15,849 & the 1.2-litre Dualjet with SHVS & ALLGRIP Auto. Specification for the SZ5 adds auto air conditioning, 16” polished alloy wheels, SatNav, Advanced forward detection system, keyless entry & start, rear electric windows, LED Headlamps, LED Combination rear lamps, adaptive cruise control & six speakers.
The likely best seller will be the 1.0 litre SZ-T Boosterjet with manual transmission which Suzuki believe will account for around 50% of all UK Swift sales.
From a fleet perspective, the Swift would appeal to anyone downsizing from a Focus or Golf sized car who was looking at a Fiesta, Corsa or Polo. It’s much prettier than any of these & is better value for money. It would also make an exceptionally good second car with similar space inside as the MINI & Audi A1 & it comes with similar eye catching looks. Also, Suzuki are taking UK fleet sales more seriously than ever before & have some exciting contract hire & leasing offers not just on the Swift but the entire Suzuki range as a whole, with the Vitara especially appealing. Suzukis new Corporate Sales Manager Graeme Jenkins, told CC&V, that Suzuki’s aim is to be “Fit for Fleet“ with a target of 10,000 corporate sales in 2017, representing 20% of the overall Suzuki GB sales volume. The introduction of the new Swift will undoubtedly, make this target easier to achieve.
The all-new Suzuki Swift offers a very impressive all round package & is very hard to fault, especially when it offers such great value in a highly competitive market. The fact that it’s great to look at, comes very well equipped, has more space in it than before & will in all likelihood, offer excellent reliability, all add up to a small car that’s easy to like. If you’ve never considered Suzuki before, now may be the time to take a closer look, with the Swift being to my mind, the cream of the current range.
A Pink Floyd bang on the Money 4/5