Ian Lamming finds Suzuki’s latest Swift to be a good Sport.
SUVs are my bread and butter. They outsell everything nowadays and have taken over as the default family car.
They are all pretty good but tend to be driven in a particular fashion because of their relatively high centre of gravity. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but it is nice to have a change once in a while.
Now, no one would expect to go to the Suzuki Swift for a bit of excitement, well no one except drivers of the previous two generations of the Sport variant.
Mark III packs the Vitara S’s 1.4 turbo engine but in a body that only weighs 975kg. Hmmm? Now that sounds an interesting prospect.
For those who don’t know Swift Sport, you are in for a treat. For those who do know Swift Sport, you are in for a treat.
New Sport is lower and wider and packed with lightweight technology. It is 70kg lighter (I must get details of that diet plan) so it’s quicker and more dynamic.
The important bits have all been refined too to make it an experience not simply a drive. So the perky turbo charged engine produces 140PS, the clutch feel, the manual transmission shift throw, the seats and steering wheel, have all been improved.
A nice touch is a unique look. So Sport features an exclusive frontal design where the grille and bumper project the nose beyond that of the standard Swift, conveying a sense of tautness and imminent action.
Muscular shoulders, blacked-out A-pillars and vertically arranged front and rear lamps bring to life visually the Swift Sport’s hot-hatch nature with black aerodynamic under spoilers spanning the front, sides and rear and a roof-end spoiler that balances aerodynamics with sports aesthetics.
Inside, the instrument panel looks good and works well. Red accent panels throughout the cockpit and swathes of black add even more dollops of sportiness, as does the tachometer’s red face and the speedometer’s silver finish.
A unique LCD display unit is used in the centre, featuring coolant temperature and fuel gauge. Exclusive alloy pedals are also used to highlight its sporting character.
Front seats are semi-buckets and very comfy and supportive helping with cornering forces, not that the car rolls much at all. Seat fabric features embossed ‘Sport’ logos in case you forget.
Steering wheel is exclusive to the Sport with a dimpled leather design for added grip and matt and satin black inlays, together with red stitching, which is also on the gear lever gaiter boot.
A unique 4.2 inch high-definition colour LCD display shows a range of information including turbo boost, engine oil temperature, engine output and torque data, fuel consumption, average speed, acceleration and brake operation, as well as driving G-force tracking.
The audio system has a Smartphone Linkage Display with a large seven-inch touch panel displaying a three dimensional navigation map, smartphone applications with MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connection.
Swift Sport can just about manage being a small car for the family, with its easy to live with manner, reasonable interior space and decent 50mpg economy. As a hot-hatch for the discerning driver it excels too, so my bread and butter motor just got a whole lot of jam on it.
Suzuki Swift Sport
Engine: 1.4 litre
Top speed: 130mph
Combined MPG: 50.4
Transmission: six-speed manual
CO2 g/km: 125