IS it just me, or is every second car on the road a Suzuki Swift?
All sorts of people fall in love with them. We know a student, two teachers, a shop-keeper, accountant, advertising rep, and builder’s wife, who have bought one in recent months.
The sporty-looking little hatches are everywhere, particularly in Queensland, where Suzuki is enjoying excellent sales.
Nationally, there are more than 1200 sold each month and this has launched the Swift into third place behind Hyundai Getz and Toyota Yaris, which are in a close battle at the top of the light car under 25K segment. It has edged ahead of Mazda2, which it has relegated to fourth in the latest sales figures (June, 2009).
The model, which has won awards throughout the world, has been out a few years now, but we accepted an offer to reacquaint ourselves with the Sport version.
It is distinguished from its siblings by a sassier body, interior, chassis, suspension, brakes, transmission and engine.
There’s a sexy set of alloys, dual exhausts and sports trim.
Swift Sport has an impressive list of safety features including Electronic Stability Program (ESP), driver and passenger airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags and ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).
Head-turning good looks and a youthful, cheeky personality are among its greatest drawcards.
Swift Sport is powered by a sports-tuned 1.6 litre VVT engine that produces a maximum output of 92kW at 6,800rpm.
The lesser Swift has a 1.5 litre job that cranks out 75kW at 6,000rpm.
Fuel economy, as tested, is good, with the Suzi sipping only 6.4 litres per 100km.
The Sport is a lively number, helped by its light weight.
It is perhaps not has hot as some of the other hot hatches on the market, but certainly loads of fun to drive.
The super slick 5-speed manual transmission features a short stroke design that give a firm, quick shift feel. The transmission has closer gear ratios selected specifically for the Sport model.
For a small car, it fells very solid on the road and inspires confidence in the driver.
In fact, handling is another of its greatest delights, with the Swift holding true through the sharpest of corners.
For all its sporty attributes, the Suzuki is fairly comfortable.
You wouldn’t want any basketballers in the back, but leg and head room is adequate for normal humans.
There’s only enough boot space for a few bags of groceries, however, and carrying anything bigger requires having less passengers and folding the seats down.
Backed by a hot body, sharp handling, quality, reliability and value for money, it’s not wonder the Suzuki Swift is such a sales winner. Few can resist its charms.
LATEST SUZUKI SWIFT PRICE LIST
Swift Manual $16,790
Swift Automatic $18,490
Swift LE Manual $17,790
Swift LE Automatic $19,490
Swift S Manual $18,790
Swift S Automatic $20,490
Swift Sport Manual $24,490