Test Drive by Graham Breeze
The most successful motor manufacturers know exactly when to relaunch their best sellers- so it’s no real surprise to find there’s a new Suzuki Swift on the way.
Swift has always been the company’s best seller, both globally and in the UK and Suzuki bosses think the latest offering which goes on sale in June will do even better.
Suzuki unveiled the new Swift for the European market at the recent Geneva Motor Show and revealed it new compact supermini to UK motoring writers in the South of France this week.
Early impressions are that that this arrival will really boost Suzuki’s bid to gain 10% of the B-segment market because it’s a compact, agile supermini, packed to the roof with the latest and best technology.
Suzuki has been careful not to take too many risks and while the new car is shorter, wider and lower and more fun to drive than the outgoing model you cannot miss the evolution of Swift DNA.
Designers were tasked with the production of new hatchback styling without damaging the successful concept of Swift. First impressions suggest they have done exactly what they were asked.
The new Swift rests on a new generation platform that Suzuki has Called “Heartect” ensuring enhanced vehicle performance by being lighter and even more rigid than the outgoing predecessor.
The model arriving in the UK will come in five-door format only and has been created specifically for the European market, recognising the different demands of drivers worldwide. It’s an all-new model from floor to roof but is still unmistakably a Swift.
The car may be lower but some clever design trickery means lower seating levels and identical headroom for front seat passengers, though in the rear there’s an extra 23mm.
Behind the wheel is a comfortable place to be with a neat and tidy facia boasting sporty white accents and satin chrome throughout the cockpit, working with a basic black theme to create a high contrast interior spec, though some rivals will claim more quality.
He instrument cluster offers either colour or monochrome LCD in the centre with a coolant temperature and fuel gauge incorporated within the two main gauges.
There will be three models to choose from , SZ3, SZ-T and SZ5 when the new Swift arrives in our showrooms.
The SZ3 comes with a 1.2 Dualjet manual unit, 15 inch steel wheels, LED daytime lighting, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, four speakers, air conditioning, a leather steering wheel, front electric windows and privacy glass.
Step up to the SZ-T and you get the amazing 1.0 litre boosterjet engine, rear view camera, smartphone link, 16 inch alloys and front foglamps.
SZ5 gets a choice of 1.0 boosterjet and 1.2 dualjet options, dual sensor brake support, Sat Nav, two tweeters, LED headlamps with high beam assist, rear ED lamps, adaptable cruise control, keyless entry, 16 inch polished alloys, electrically folding mirrors, telescopic and adjustable steering column (disappointing to find this is not standard), rear electric windows and a rear parking camera.
It’s hard to imagine but the Swift is even better on the road than before. The notorious mountainous roads of the South of France and the 1.0litre boosterjet on test didn’t once give the driver cause for concern, despite being pushed to the limit.
There was an impressive top speed of 121mph, 0-62mph in 10.6seconds and CO2 emissions of just 97g/km. And you just have to be impressed by combined fuel consumption figures of 65.7mpg.
So will the new Swift be a success? Absolutely yes.
Suzuki is a company on the up in the UK, just look at their amazing 48% month on month sales growth in February and a fleet market just emerging for this newcomer.
Swift and Vitara continue to grow as brand leaders and the very impressive Ignis will soon join them at the top of the sales charts after receiving glowing accolades across the UK.
Suzuki has sold 127,000 cars since taking on the UK market, 38,167 of them last year alone. I expect them to smash their 2017 target of an eight pet cent increase and Swift will lead the way.
Prices will be revealed by the end of April but you can expect Swift to go on the market priced somewhere between Ignis and Baleno – meaning it will remain a very competitive option.