Suzuki Swift SZ2 3-door11 | 09 | 2010Scotcars rating

    Suzuki aims for world domination as new Swift is a neat little package


    If we’re talking world domination, then forget Goldfinger, Dr No, Ernst Blofeld or any of the other villains that James Bond came across in his career. What you have to do is look to Japan and the Suzuki Motor Corporation and you’ll come up with some startling facts that are certainly worth knowing for the pub quiz. It is the 10th largest car manufacturer in the world and is the leading maker of small cars with operations in no fewer than 196 countries and regions around the world where it employs more than 51,000 people generating almost 19 billion Euros in sales.

    Huge figures by any account but a good bit of it comes from a small car – the Swift – which was launched in 2005 and has sold almost 1.75million around the world. It’s appropriate then that it is the car with which Suzuki launched its world strategy and then went on to earn 63 Car of the Year Awards in 19 countries selling faster than any other car in the company’s history.

    That’s a fantastic position to be in, but that in itself created a problem for Suzuki. How do you update such a successful model? Well, they’ve done it with the all-new Swift compact supermini which combines the best of what went before with some nice new touches.  

    On the road

    Outwardly, it doesn’t look that much different from the outgoing model but under closer examination it’s longer, higher, wider, lighter, quieter and has better economy, lower emissions and improved handling and performance. A few tweaks on the styling front with more sweeping curves and larger lights front and rear give it a more streamlined look. So it’s pretty good then? Yes, it is. Very good.

    The new 1.2 litre engine is one of the most powerful in the segment and it’ll be joined in 2011 by a 1.3 diesel. The automatic gearbox is delightful and even the basic SZ2 is surprisingly agile with a silky smooth manual change. The increased track and short wheelbase, coupled with more responsive steering mean nimble handling and a firmer suspension adds to the package to create better stability. Quite simply the car feels really good, well thought-out and superb value at under £10,000.    

    Comfort & Safety

    For a small car, it feels remarkably comfortable and surprisingly spacious inside. The rear seating and legroom is perfectly good for two average adults; the bootspace is a little restricted, though adequate for a supermarket run or a weekend away. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock braking, electronic brake force distribution and seven airbags. The new light, reinforced, energy-absorbing body gives even better protection if things go wrong.    

    Should I buy one?

    With the option of interest-free finance for three years it’s a great little package. Why wouldn’t you?

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £9995 / £9995
    Engine / Power: 1242cc / 94PS
    How fast?: 0-62mph 12.3secs,  Max 103mph
    How big/heavy?: H1510mm W1695mm L3850mm / 1005kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 56.5mpg / CO2 116g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 8E / Band C, £30
    Alternatives: Toyota Yaris; Honda Jazz; Daihatsu Sirion; Hyundai i10

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