- Gen 3 Suzuki Swifts fly to SA dealers
- Two car-of-year titles already in nest
- One engine, three gear-boxes – one an ”auto”
CAPE TOWN, Western Cape – The latest hatching of the Suzuki Swift has migrated to South Africa bearing with it the titles Car of the Year in Japan and Compact Car of the Year in Scotland on its plumage.
It’s already roosting with Suzuki dealers across South Africa.
Aviary boss André Venter (divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto SA, told The Corner from his high perch: “The new Swift’s paternity is from two generations of our most popular model which had sold more than 19 000 units to date.
”The previous Swift has proved so popular in SA that it reached its peak sales volume of 2966 in 2017, the last full-year in which it was sold, and its sales performance abroad led us to believe that should continue here.”
BORN IN PARIS
The Swift first took flight in most global markets in 2005; SA, however, had to wait for Suzuki Cars’ arrival in 2008; the second hatching arrived in 2011.
The cars were first shown at the 2004 Paris auto show, their silhouettes intended to represent a racing helmet – a design still apparent on the 2018 models – though otherwise the new cars are said to be completely new.
Suzuki says the front is ”particularly striking” with a new grille, large Suzuki badge and a wide, but shallow, secondary grille which together ”visually lift the height of the nose, while retaining aerodynamic efficiency”.
The tail has a third, diode, brake-light in a small spoiler.
Higher-spec GL units (as against the GA) have a smarter steel-wheel cover, body-colour external mirrors / turn indicators, and front foul-weather lights.
The Swift’s shell is shorter (by 10mm), but wider (by 40mm), yet the wheelbase has been marginally extended by 20mm to 2.45m.
Result? Rear passengers now have 23mm more headroom; front passenger and driver get an extra 10mm shoulder room, and each sits slightly lower.
The boot has grown to 268 litres – 58 more than its predecessor – and can be extended by dropping the 60/40 split rear bench on the GL-spec level – which also adds a cover for the boot volume.
The cabin has retained the Swift’s “driver first” design philosophy, while further improving the quality and tactile feel of the cabin materials.
The ”driver-first” philosophy is most evident in the new model’s D-shaped sporty steering-wheel and re-designed front seats that give firmer support for less fatigue on long journeys, especially for the upper body and shoulders.
The centre console has been angled towards the driver and carries speedometer and tachometer in separate housings ”to accentuate the vehicle’s nature as a driver’s car”. The GL-spec has added chromed accents and a chronograph-design to the driving cluster.
Each version has aircon, four powered windows, power-assisted steering and remote central-locking. Each also has a tilt-adjustable steering column, a detailed information display that includes fuel-consumption and range, and a security alarm / immobiliser.
The GL adds Bluetooth audio with USB socket, steering-wheel controls for the audio system and powered external mirrors.
Cabin storage is numerous, including cupholders, door pockets, console box, lidded glove box and rear-door bottle holders.
Crash avoidance / protection includes two front crash bags, anti-lock brakes, and IsoFix child-seat anchors. Suzuki describes the cars as ”the safest Suzuki Swift 1.2 to date”.
FIVE-SPEED ‘BOX – MANUAL OR AUTO
A fuel-saving benefit is that the generation three Swift is 95kg lighter than its predecessor at 875kg – ”one of the lightest vehicles in the upper-B segment”.
Which brings us, dear reader to the Swift’s K12M engine, a four-cylinder with a compression atio of 11:1 (which improves engine performance and combustion efficiency). It’s capable of 61kW at 6000rpm and 113Nm at 4200rpm.
Fuel consumption is listed as 4.9 litres/100 km in a combined cycle, giving it a claimed range of more than 750km from its 37-litre tank while it spins (GA model) a five-speed manual gearbox.
CHECK THE COLOUR PALETTE
The GL has a choice of that ‘box or an ”automated manual five-position gearbox” in the GA-model, while GA buyers can choose either the same five-speed manual or an Automated Manual Gearbox – an auto with manual override.
Six body colours – white, metallic silver, metallic grey, dark blue, red, and metallic orange. (Prices below the image.)
All models are sold with a Suzuki five-year or 200 000km mechanical warranty and a two-year or 30 000 km service plan.
Derivatives / prices
Suzuki Swift 1.2 GA – R150 900
Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL – R175 900
Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL a/t – R189 900