The Suzuku Swift first came out in 1983 and was succeeded by several variations of the original. Its former lives included the Geo Metro, Maruti 100, Suzuki Forsa, Subaru Justy, and the Pontiac Firefly. The latest Swift has gone a long way from its many origins. Although externally it looks no different from the previous generations, the advancements are found in its performance and range capabilities.
Although the latest Swift has a longer wheelbase by 50mm, its width and height have only increased slightly in size. This retains the familiar originality of the previous designs, but the latest model includes subtle additions such as lamp clusters, cleaner detailing, and a bustier dashboard. Another subtle variation is the grille found within the bonnet’s leading edge and larger sized headlights. The overall weight is lessened with the removal of a radiator. The result is a 1.5kg lighter, which is also from the vehicle’s plastic cooling fan shroud instead of the original steel material.
The Swift’s boxy yet tall shape can be attributed to the Black A-pillars. As a standard, all models come with tinted glass on the electric rear side windows. The rear lights stand out as the new design’s only distinct feature, having a clear inset panel that varies from the all-red clusters in the previous generation.
The interior treats passengers to a spacious cabin. The front room offers enough space to make the driver comfortable and the seat with ample legroom. The rear also provides enough space for both the feet and legs; plus the cushion works well to achieve thigh support.
Headroom is the downside to the Swift’s interior space. Only about four passengers can be accommodated if everyone is to have a comfortable ride. The boot also lacks some serious space: at 204-litres, there is little room even with the tailgate released and the rear seats split. Single drivers who need the boot space will have to consider if they are willing to compromise boot space for passengers’ leg room.
The cabin’s finish is just as disappointing. The use of hard-feel plastics in most parts (save for the carpet and seats) deters the interior’s overall look. There is also a serious lack of colour, with only red details on the instruments adding a slight aesthetic variation. Your only other option is a dull looking grey-black interior.
Although the 1.2-litre petrol engine delivers high power, its capability isn’t for the regular buyer. The vehicle shines when it starts at 4000rpm due to its namesake, but at 4800 rpm there’s still the need to use the gearbox after revving it. There’s slick shift that would please avid drivers but regular individuals will suffer from the inconvenience. This type of gearing is typical for small engines, and drivers should anticipate having to stir the gearbox as they drive. Its performance peaks as it reaches 60mph in just 11.6 seconds, but we can’t overlook how it goes from 30 to 50 mph in 10.5 seconds. The engine could also use more low-down tug despite its higher gears performance at low speeds.
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