Colin-on-Cars: Road Review – Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX

The car you feel most comfortable in is the one to buy. That is something I tell people who call in or write to me looking for advice on what car is going to suit them and the budget the best. The simple reason for the simple answer is simply that is the car you going to spend the next couple of years driving and, if it is not comfortable for you, ending up hating with a passion.

It is not rocket science and merely a matter of logic. At the end of the day the fuel economy, acceleration, top speed and all of that pales into insignificance compared to how you feel about the car.

Obviously each of us is different. Our tastes vary and we’re all different shapes and sizes, so comfortable for me may not necessarily be comfortable for you.

I have always liked the Suzuki Swift and found it to be particularly comfortable for me. I love the short wheelbase, agility and, dare I say it, go-kart handling of the little car. In fact, if I was still involved in car club gymkhana activities, the Swift would be my weapon of choice.

On a more practical day to day level is is absolutely ideal for the shopping centre slalom and zipping through the morning traffic.

The current generation Suzuki Swift was introduced in South Africa in 2018 and now gets a minor update that includes a distinctive chrome line that divides the grille into a section with the large Suzuki emblem and a lower section that holds the front number plate.

The grille itself has a more distinctive mesh pattern and the GL and GLX models are fitted with front fog lights and the range-topping 1.2 GLX one test adds a high-resolution reverse camera that displays its image on the touch screen infotainment system and it gains new 15-inch polished alloy wheels.

The most significant addition to the Swift range is Electronic Stability Control (ESP). This safety feature is added across all Swift models and will be added to the already-standard list of safety equipment, which includes SRS front and passenger crash bags, anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assistance (BA) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).

All models are also equipped with ISOFIX anchor points for child restraint systems, central locking, safety belts fitted with pre-tensioners and force limiters, and an immobiliser and alarm system.

The Suzuki K12M engine uses variable valve technology to deliver 61 kW at 6 000 r/min and 112 Nm at 4 200 r/min for an overall average consumption of 5,1 l/100 km on my test cycle.

In terms of size and price positioning, at R218 900, the Swift comes up against the likes of the Toyota Agya, Kia Picanto Street and Peugeot 108 Active – all three of which sport 1,0-litre engines and are cheaper than the 1,2-litre Swift.

On a spec-for-spec comparison the Swift outdoes its rivals in most categories – the Peugeot has curtain crash bags, for example – but, in the main, the differences are minor.

Standard features on the Swift include power windows, climate control and central locking, an audio system with USB and AUX inputs, a tachometer, electrically adjustable mirrors, high-resolution colour touch screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a reverse camera.

The loading capacity varies from 268 litres to 953 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

As a total package, the bang for the buck ratio is pretty darn high.

However, it still comes down to the drive. Here, the Swift excels as previously mentioned with its agility and ‘drive me’ attitude. It may not be the quickest around – 0-100 km/h coming up in a shade over 12 seconds and top speed around 169 km/h – but it delivers everything it can with gusto.

Even the engine note as it climbs up the rev band is far more pleasing than some similar capacity options that sound like a cat being put through a bandsaw.

For me, this is a car to enjoy. To have fun with. To appreciate the pleasure of driving.

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