- ROAD TEST – SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT
HERE’S one you can safely bet the anoraks won’t know.
Which model has landed 63 Car of the Year awards in 19 different countries?
It’s not German, nor is it French or Korean, and it doesn’t hail from the expansive Ford or Vauxhall stables either.
The answer is actually the Suzuki Swift, a million-plus seller worldwide and one that continues to gain popularity in the UK.
Topping the range and a real ‘fun for the money’ motor is the Swift Sport, which since last summer has been available as a five-door as well as in three-door guise.
Sharp, stylish and quite chunky in appearance, the Sport has an aggressive face with double honeycomb grille while the wide, low slung rear has a tailpipe at either end.
What you get with the Sport – and the latest arrival costs only £500 more than its three-door sibling – is a car that really gives rivals like the more expensive Alfa MiTo, MINI Cooper and Skoda Fabia vRS a run for their money.
The funky theme continues inside thanks to body-hugging seats with Sport woven into the fabric in red stitching.
There’s also keyless entry with an engine start button, rear privacy glass and Bluetooth while stowage is ample with the likes of door bins, glovebox, coin pockets and three cupholders.
Best of all is the small, leather covered steering wheel that helps make for a sharp driving experience.
Beneath the Swift Sport’s bonnet is a 1.6-litre VVT – variable valve timing – petrol engine producing 136PS. The official acceleration figure is 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds, though the sensation is of something appreciably quicker.
As performance flagship of the Swift series, Suzuki has tuned the Sport’s chassis, and it reaps a reward in the form of a terrific driving experience.
The engine loves being revved, the six-speed manual gearbox is slick and the handling extremely positive though it can feel stiff at low speed.
You get plenty of kit too and safety features include electronic stability control plus seven airbags.
Result is a sporty supermini that looks the part and is worth every penny.
- SPEC CHECK
- MAKE Suzuki.
- MODEL Swift Sport 5-door.
- ENGINE 1,586cc, 4-cyl petrol.
- POWER 136PS at 6,900rpm.
- PERFORMANCE 0-62 in 8.7 secs, top speed 121mph.
- ECONOMY 33.6mpg Urban, 54.3 Extra Urban, 44.1 Combined.
- CO2 EMISSIONS 147g/km.
- BiK RATING 21%.
- INSURANCE Group 19 (1-50).
- PRICE £14,249 on the road.
- Style, handling, performance, value for money.
- Stiff ride.
- LOOKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
- EQUIPMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
- RIDE AND HANDLING . . . . . 4
- PERFORMANCE . . . . . . . . . . 4
- VALUE FOR MONEY . . . . . . . 5