New Suzuki Swift Sport first drive

Suzuki Swift SportThe new Suzuki Swift Sport five door supermini sized hatchback makes it sales debut in UK 157 dealerships from 1 June 2018 priced at £17,999. But for early adopters the ‘swift’ 1.4 turbocharged ‘high torque’ 140hp petrol ‘warm’ hatchback is available until the end of its launch month priced at £16,499. This launch offer of a £1,500 price reduction should pull in UK punters.

To sweeten the ownership deal further Suzuki GB is also offering a £750 deposit allowance for PCP or HP customers who can ‘speed’ away in their new Swift Sport from dealerships from just £199 a month over a 49-month payment period.

Dale Wyatt director of Suzuki GB Automobiles told West Country motoring journalists at the weekend, the Swift Sport, first launched in 2006, during its two generations has found 11,500 UK buyers. This third generation model is targeted to achieve 1,500 sales in its first full year of sales in addition to the 10,000 sales expected for the new Swift supermini range this year. Total Swift Sport UK sales since the first model was introduced in 2006 are 11,535 units.

He added that in 2017 Suzuki GB achieved 40,343 new car sales, an all-time record and the UK is now Suzuki’s largest market in Europe. Last year’s registrations showed an increase of 5.7% over the previous year whilst the overall new car market in the UK was down by 5.65%.

He said we are able to offer customers a ‘balanced’ range of well equipped, attractively priced and fuel efficient models. This spread of models ensures our dealers’ exposure to fluctuations in buying habits is minimised across the market and they have something to offer every buyer who comes into their showrooms. He also expects their sales overall to increase again this year as they are also looking to grow their profitable fleet sales business from 9,500 units last year to around 12,500 new cars this year.

Dale Wyatt also said there is a better spread of private and business buyers among the Suzuki customers so this also evens out demand at times, adding, “We believe we have the best model line up in our history.“

Suzuki is a long-term specialist in selling small cars and small to medium sized 4x4 SUVs. Their current model line up consists of the Celerio, Swift and Baleno hatchbacks and the Ignis, SX4 S-Cross and best selling Vitara SUVs. A new small Jimny SUV will be launched at the end of this year.

The 2018 new generation Suzuki Swift Sport is available with one high level of specification this time around and in five door hatchback form with a 1.4-litre, four cylinder Boosterjet turbocharged direct injection petrol engine, also used in the Vitara S. This 140hp unit replaces the previous past generation Swift Sport non-turbo 1.6-litre high revving 136hp engine.

But the biggest gain is in torque, now up by 44% to 230Nm from 2,500 to 3,500rpm. That extra ‘grunt’, coupled with its 70kg lighter kerb weight of 975kg, thanks to the new lightweight ‘HEARTECT’ platform, has given it a torque to weight ratio of 4.2kg/Nm which is a similar level to its more expensive ‘hot hatch’ competitors. These include the Peugeot 208 GTi, Renault Clio RS, Vauxhall Corsa VXR, the VW Up GTi and the new Ford Fiesta ST.

Top speed is 130mph and zero to 62mph takes 8.1-seconds. The fuel economy is also improved by 14% with an official Combined Cycle figure of 50.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 125g/km. This means the current VED First Year road tax is £165 before reverting to the Standard rate of £140. Company cars drivers will pay 26% Benefit-in-Kind tax. Insurance is tbc.

Although it has a six-speed slick gearbox the significant amount of torque means that for day-to-day driving minimal gearchanges are needed. Even driving the winding and hilly side roads around North Somerset meant there was ample acceleration in sixth gear without having to change down a cog or three. However when driving conditions, or your mood changes, the brisk acceleration response is always there and mostly you get used to driving in higher gear ratios than you expect with a ‘hot hatch’. In traffic and around town the engine remained compliant, even docile, but it readily sprang into life when needed. The real-life fuel economy during our brisk test driving was 39.8mpg, short of the official figure but hardly budget-busting.

The new Swift Sport is built in Japan, not Hungary as before where the capacity is needed to meet the demand for the high selling new Vitara SUVs. The new platform and suspension fitted with ‘signature’ Monroe shock absorbers, provide a compliant ride, well balanced, sure-footed and overall proved to be agile in its handling and fun when needed. There is some body roll during cornering but not enough to upset passengers. The worst of the shocks from potholes of course still felt but the car felt torsionally stiff and predictable even during hard braking with its 285mm front ventilated brake discs and solid rear discs with fade resistance brake pad material.

The spec is high and includes keyless entry with push button start, rear 60/40 split seats, auto air conditioning, DAB radio, privacy glass, LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth, smartphone link display, rear view camera, front fog lights, LED headlights, sat-nav, front and rear electric windows, electric and folding door mirrors, dual sensor braking support, adaptive cruise control and lane departure prevention and it looks good on its 17-inch polished alloy wheels. There is sport interior trim with semi bucket front seats and red accents to the dashboard and console areas. There are one solid and five metallic body colours at no extra cost and these include the Champion Yellow option which originates from the Suzuki Works Junior Rally Car. Exterior sports styling tweaks include a more aggressive looking sports front end, side skirts, a rear diffuser and two chrome finished exhaust tailpipes, one mounted at each end of the rear bumper sector.

Suzuki Swift Sport Suzuki Swift Sport Suzuki Swift Sport Suzuki Swift Sport

 

 

 

Overall the new Suzuki Swift Sport is a well rounded, well equipped, good looking model with lots of appeal and for the month of June with £1,500 off the recommended on the road price it’s a bargain if you are in the market for such a sporty compact sized hatchback. Its performance puts the word ‘super’ into its ‘supermini’ size class of small family five door hatchbacks.

MILESTONES: 2018 Suzuki Swift Sport 1.4 Boosterjet 5-door compact hatchback. Price: On sale 1 June 2018 at £17,999 but at £16,499 launch price until the end of the month. Engine/transmission: 1.4-litre, 4-cylinder, direct injection turbocharged petrol 140hp, 230Nm of torque from 2,500rpm, 6-speed manual. Performance: 130mph, 0-62mph 8.1-seconds, Combined Cycle 50.4mpg (39.8mpg on rigorous test drive), CO2 125g/km, VED First Year £165 then £140 Standard rate, BiK company car tax rate 26%. Insurance group: tbs. Warranty 3-years/60,000-miles. Dimensions/capacities: L 3,890mm, W 1,735mm, H 1,495mm, boot/load area 265 to 579-litres, 5-doors/5-seats. For: Swift by name swift by nature, high torque engine output, high specification, high in driving fun, good sports kerb appeal, well balanced predictable handling. Against: Non discounted full price looks high, no parking sensors, fiddly small info touchscreen, ungenerous warranty. Miles Better News Agency

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