Gordons Bay, Western Cape – The Suzuki Swift has been a wildly popular product for the Japanese brand since the launch of the first generation model in 2007 with a total sales figure of around 7,5 million. In SA, it’s an in-demand model as well with it being the brand’s strongest selling model on a monthly basis. With this fourth-generation model reaching the middle of its lifespan, Suzuki has implemented a number of changes both inside and out to give it a bit of a refresher for the new decade.
The model we were given to sample was the mid-level GL which, along with the rest of the range, retains the naturally aspirated 1,2-litre four-cylinder engine which delivers 61 kW and 112 N.m of torque to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. In the GL and GLX trim (as pictured here), a five-speed AMT is available for those who don’t feel like working the gear shifter.
So what changes have been made to the Swift range? From the outside it gets a new grille mesh design with a horizontal chrome line separating the badge and the license plate. The GL still ships standard with a set of alloy wheels and dding some vibrancy to the design are three new combinations of two-tone colour schemes; Fire Red with a black roof, Midnight Blue Pearl with a white roof and Arctic White Pearl with a black roof. For the GL, parking sensors, fog lamps, an audio system with USB and AUX inputs, a tachometer and electrically adjustable mirrors have been added alongside the option to spec the dual-tone roof.
As the Swift inherits all of its mechanical parts from the pre-facelifted model, it remains easy and enjoyable to drive. Considering it is available in manual guise only, the clutch remains intuitive and the throttle, responsive. From the driver’s seat, it’s not a bad place to be. All three pedals are well-placed while headroom is sufficient, further accentuated by a rake and reach adjustable steering column.
Dynamically, as expected, the Swift retains its characterful persona. Thanks to an electrically assisted steering system, inputs are minimal and feedback is responsive. The drivetrain, although noisy in the higher revs, is lively and complemented by the well-spaced out five-speed manual gearbox.
With all the basics well-thought out and refined with commendable approachability, the facelifted Suzuki Swift brings welcomed additions to the range with a minimal increase in price.
Engine:1,2-litre, four-cylinder, petrol
Power:61 kW @ 6 000 r/min
Torque:112 N.m @ 4 200 r/min
0-100 km/h:12,0 seconds
Top Speed:170 km/h
Fuel Consumption:4,9 L/100 km
Maintenance Plan:Two-year/30 000 km service