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Suzuki’s Swift Sport is a car I’ve traditionally liked quite a lot. It’s always been a no nonsense, back to basics little warm hatchback that had ‘fun’ at the top of its greatest hits list. So I was rather excited to learn that I’d have plenty of time with the new Swift Sport over the December break. However, once that initial feeling had dissipated I was left with a sense of trepidation. Sequels often struggle to live up to the original and what if the Swift Sport was no longer all of that good stuff?
Well after a good month with the car I feel I’m now equipped to answer my own questions. Starting with what it’s like to live with the Swift Sport every day.
First impressions when you hop inside the little Suzuki are good and that’s a lasting impression. The cloth covered bucket seats are comfortable and supportive. Overall layout inside the cabin is simple, intuitive and looks smart. It’s not a design that’ll age badly either. There’s plenty of storage nooks dotted around so I never found a lack of places to put my things.
Perhaps, if I have one gripe it’s over the touch screen infotainment system. It looks quite neat and has every function you could wish for including Car play and Android Auto, but its standard user interface is a bit clunky. So I found using the mobile phone integration a must.
The dimensions of the new car aren’t far off the original Swift Sport. In fact, it’s a bit shorter while enjoying more width. Somehow that gives the cabin a nicely spacious feel while the car itself feels small and nimble on the road. I quite liked that. Clever packaging means there’s no loss of leg room either.
Speaking of how it feels on the road, the Swift Sport could well be described as a brilliant city car. Its punchy 1.4 litre turbo charged engine delivers oodles of torque in the first few thousand revs. Coupled with the cars light weight, under a ton, it’s very drivable in basically any gear and you’ll have a blast nipping in and out of traffic. What’s impressive is the fuel consumption despite all the blasting around town, which I found to be hovering around the 8 litres per 100km mark with almost no highway driving.
Controls are, at city speeds, fairly light making a traffic filled commute no stress at all. It’s not terribly low slung which makes bumps, ruts and other obstacles fairly simple to navigate. The suspension itself is capable of soaking up most road imperfections too. And chuck it around a corner at somewhere around local speed limits and its pointy but adjustable with some throttle modulation. A good dose of fun all round.
I really did struggle to fault the Swift Sport on a day to day basis. If you’re really being picky you could argue that the little Suzuki’s overall perceived quality isn’t quite up to something like a Polo GTI but when you consider it’s the good part of R100,000 less it can be forgiven.
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