Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 03 May 2019

Japanese automaker Suzuki has long been famous for building cute, fun and enjoyable drivers cars. With as much as 30% of South Africa’s new cars sales comprising of the Suzuki Swift, we decided to discover why this compact budget friendly hatchback is racking up so many awards.

Refreshed Focus

The Swift has always held several key characteristics dear to its design and philosophy.

  • A Fun Drive
  • Sporting Looks
  • Spacious Interior

And of course a value for money offering. With the latest-generation Suzuki Swift, I am glad to report that Suzuki has kept the fundamental Swift elements alive while adding a further element of quality and grown-up appeal without losing any of its fun nature.

The Drive

Keeping things simple, the new Swift is available with only one engine variant. A 1.2-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine as used previously and an engine which develops 61 kW and 113 Nm of torque. Owing to a lightweight body, power comes on incredibly well, with the swift feeling nippy off the mark and managing to maintain a very impressive claimed 4.9-litres/100 km fuel economy (a figure which I was never far from during my time).

1The 5-speed manual transmission makes for what is a sporty and engaging drive, it also retains the fun factor which previous generation Swift drivers would have come used to.

Space, Safety & Style

Having always managed to package big interior space into a small package, the new Swift, much like its predecessor does a great job of looking small and dainty on the outside while feeling spacious and roomy on the inside. A high roofline makes for impressive headroom, while a minimalistic clean and classy styled cabin makes for what is a comfortable cabin.

I spent time with the range-topping Swift GL model, the one which I really recommend, as it offers ABS with EBD, front fog lamps, dual front airbags, remote central locking and Isofix child seat mounting points at the rear as some of its key features. Though there is no fancy large colour media system, you’ll find that the simplistic radio with Bluetooth and MP3 ability is refreshingly easy to operate and actually a joy to use.

2The Swift features a compact yet decent luggage loading area with the boot measuring in at 268-litres with the seats folded in their upright position.

Conclusion, Competitors & SA Price

The Swift competes against the likes of the Ford Figo, Volkswagen Polo Vivo and Toyota Etios.

With modern looks and a weight saving of around 100 kg, the latest-generation Suzuki Swift manages to retain its fun way of life nature. An impressive array of safety features, an improvement in overall quality and fine Japanese minimalistic looks will certainly help ensure that the Swift remains one of the finest budget compact cars on the road.

​SWIFT 1.2I GA MT – R160 900

SWIFT 1.2I GL MT – R177 900 (As Tested)

​SWIFT 1.2I GL AMT – R191 900

All vehicles feature Suzuki SA’s 2 yr / 30 000 km service plan and warranty.

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