Suzuki Swift

The latest generation Swift has been released by compact car specialist Suzuki.

Officially designated the A2L series, it features a range of improvements including new powertrains, a new light-weight underbody platform with greater rigidity, enhanced safety technologies, and it’s clad in new bodywork.

The newcomer has a greater visual presence and a more stylish contemporary look, but still retains that clear visual lineage to its predecessor released in 2011 and indeed the first of the new generation Swifts from 2005.

It’s also more aerodynamic, improving by around 8 percent, according to company figures. Body rigidity and strength has been enhanced through increased use of ultra-high tensile and high tensile steels in construction.

The new Swift’s external dimensions are shorter and lower (-10mm and -15mm, respectively) the width has increased by 40mm, and the wheelbase expands by 20mm. Front and rear tracks are also wider.

Inside, the extra width and some seat relocation means headroom remains the same as before, while shoulder room, front and rear, improves. Cargo space is up by 54 litres which, according to Suzuki, roughly translates to being able to load up with five slabs of beer instead of the three the old model’s cargo area would carry. No ‘conversion factor’ for cases of wine was provided for buyers who prefer the fruit of the vine, though.

Manoeuvring in tighter spaces should now be easier courtesy of the smaller turning circle, reduced by 0.8m. Our limited drive of the new model showed handling and steering are superior to the previous Swift too.

Buyers will get a greater choice of models now, with four distinct specifications, and model dependent, a choice of two petrol engines, plus manual, CVT and automatic transmissions.

The entry level GL with five-speed manual box gets the ball rolling at a sharp drive-away price of $16,990. Ticking the CVT auto option on a GL will bump that price up by a meagre $1000.

The GL Navi with CVT auto as standard can be driven away for $18,990. Another rung higher is the better equipped GL+ with drive-away price of $19,990 and CVT also as standard.

Those with $22,990 to spend can hit the road in the premium version, the GLX, equipped with six-speed auto transmission and the 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo three-cylinder petrol engine (82kW, 160Nm).

All other variants are powered by a 1.2-litre Dualjet naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine (66kW, 120Nm), similar to that used in the recently released Ignis.
Fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions for the new Euro 5 compliant engines have dropped significantly compared to the old models now superseded Euro 4 rated, 1.4-litre powerplant. Official combined cycle consumption for the 1.2-litre manual is 4.6 litres/100km and with CVT 4.8 litres/100km. The 1.0-litre turbo engine with auto sips 5.1 litres/100km.

The 2017 Swift comes with increased levels of driver assistance safety features and it’s the first time these features have been provided on an Australian Suzuki model. However, buyers will need to look at variants higher up the food chain than the GL if they want these features.

The same goes for alloy wheels, rear-view camera and the 7” touch screen Smartphone Linkage infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Adaptive Cruise Control is fitted to GL+ and GLX models instead of the standard cruise used on GL and GL Navi grades. Adaptive cruise control uses a millimetre wave radar system and automatically slows the vehicle from the set speed or accelerates to the set speed as required to maintain the set distance to a vehicle in front. The Swift’s system only operates at speeds from 40km/h upwards.

GL+ and GLX models also feature Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS) and Lane Departure Warning with Weaving Alert (LDW) as standard. DSBS is a collision mitigation braking system that uses a monocular camera and laser sensor to detect forward obstacles. It warns the driver if a collision is possible, or if the risk of collision is very high it autonomously brakes the vehicle. Operational speeds are 15km/h to 60km/h for pedestrian detection and 15km/h to 140km/h for vehicles.

At speeds of 60km/h and above, LDW can determine if the vehicle has unintentionally departed from its lane and warn the driver via the dash display and through a light vibration of the steering wheel. Weaving Alert detects the vehicle starting to weave around due to driver drowsiness or other reasons, and sounds an alarm and displays a warning light in the instrument cluster to alert the driver.

The range-topping GLX is provided with High Beam Assist. When switched to ‘Auto’ and at speeds from 40km/h and above, the system automatically switches between high and low beam headlight operation, as appropriate for other traffic (on-coming vehicles or when there’s a vehicle immediately ahead) and ambient lighting conditions.

As expected, all Swifts have six airbags, stability control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, and on auto models, hill-hold assist.

There are six exterior paint colours in the range, including three new colours, burning red pearl metallic, speedy blue metallic, and mineral grey. The Suzuki genuine accessories range for the new model provides owners with a host of options for personalisation including decals, and coloured interior and exterior garnishes like those provided for the new Ignis.