04 Oct 2022

Dundalk motors: The 'no-nonesense' Suzuki Swift

Dundalk motors: The 'no-nonesense' Suzuki Swift

The culmination of my motoring experience in making a recommendation for a new driver buying their first car is “buy a Suzuki Swift”.

Now let me expand a bit. The only people who ever listen to my advice or take it in are female. Why? Well when I explain that if they find a good one, always with the help of a trusted mechanic who will check it out for them, the car will be utterly reliable, never let them down on a dark road or motorway and will always start in the cold, that resonates.

Males on the other hand ignore the advice because they want an “i” in the name. It’s all acceleration and noise for them. The wiser females realise that reliability, cheap running costs, lowest possible insurance cost is the correct route to follow.

But what about the look of the car? Well I’ve an “instagramaddict” of a daughter in her late teens and she is taken by the chunky, funky looks of the Swift. Can’t be red and has to be blue. Which just so happened to be the colour of the model I recently tested.

Mine was just one colour but you can have a black roof if that takes your fancy. Depending on your budget there are three trim levels and Swift motoring starts at €17,775 for the SZ-L model which was the one I tested. Top marks to Suzuki for making their base model available for test and not the bells and whistles version most other manufacturers provide.

This is more akin to the model buyers will choose. For that price you get the likes of air-conditioning, rear-view camera, radar brake support with adaptive cruise control, smartphone link for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio, leather steering wheel, privacy glass, LED Headlamps, LED rear combination lamps, polished 16-inch alloy wheels and front electric windows. One word, impressive. Another, very.

This facelifted model has the higher standard specification above, some external revisions and the addition of mild hybrid technology.

The main techy pieces are the new K12D Dualjet unit which offers greater fuel economy and even lower CO2 emissions and the mild hybrid system. The maximum power output is 83PS with a torque figure of 107Nm at just 2,800rpm. Acceleration time to 62mph from 12.2 seconds. The Hybrid system is powered by a new lithium-ion battery with capacity upgraded from 3Ah to 10Ah to improve energy recovery efficiency.

The upgraded 12V Hybrid system incorporates an Integrated Starter Generator (known as ISG) which acts as both a generator and starter motor, the ISG is belt driven and assists the engine during vehicle take off and acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking.

In situations that require higher fuel use, such as when starting from a standstill or accelerating, the hybrid system helps suppress fuel consumption by providing electric motor assist using electricity generated through regenerative braking. Basically more power from collected energy leading to less fuel used. I can report my fuel return was 5.5l/100kms

The Swift is at home on urban and rural roads where enjoyability is available in abundance. It is a simple no-nonsense car to drive. It does what you want with complete assurance. There is ample space for 4 people with a liveable with 265 litre boot. 

Five adult passengers would be too much of a squeeze but if that is your requirement then you would not be in the market for a Swift.

I have two main criticisms of the Swift. The first is that some of the internal plastics are dated and hard. That’s, I believe, a triumph of economics and practicality over style. Most of those plastics are rarely touched so why criticise them?

But when you do touch them it sends out a signal of cheapness that’s misleading in the overall context of the car. In a car market where perception triumphs functionality Suzuki could, and should, do better. But by way of compensation the functionality and method of control of the cars systems is simplicity itself and devoid of touch control and I love it.

The second is that this time I noticed a lot more road noise then I remembered from before, especially at speed on motorways. That really is a trial for me as I want any cabin to be as quiet as possible. Younger drivers may not notice, or worse care, but when the mileage adds up on these bones, the less noise the better. If I bought a Swift, I’d spend the time researching the quietest, quality tyres I could find.

The Suzuki Swift is a dawn to dusk car for drivers. It is a car to buy when starting off your driving. It is a car to have when you have a small family and it is a car to drive towards the end of your motoring career. In between when you get the need and taste for performance then there is the glorious Suzuki Swift Sport.

There is no more fun to be had in cars costing multiples the price of the Swift Sport. There are two cars I’ve said I will own one day and they are the Fiat 500 TwinAir and the Suzuki Swift. My spell with this latest model has done nothing to change that opinion or desire.

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