Suzuki Swift Sport long-term evaluation

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The Japanese scorching hatch is all grown up when it comes to character, know-how and worth, however is it nonetheless a fun-loving child at coronary heart? Let’s discover out

Why we’re working it: To search out out if the brand new, turbocharged Swift Sport nonetheless gives good, easy scorching hatch enjoyable that may compete with the most effective in school

Month three – Month 2 – Month 1 – Specs

Life with a Suzuki Swift Sport: Month three

Surprising trim panel removing – 15th August 2018

The positioning of the Swift Sport’s pedals signifies that I ceaselessly catch my left foot on a plastic panel on the facet of the transmission tunnel after I’m getting out of the automobile. That lastly resulted in me knocking off your complete panel. It clipped again into place simply sufficient, and maybe my unwieldy decrease limbs are partly accountable, but it surely’s not one thing you’d count on to occur in a rival.

Mileage: 4497

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It didn’t get to deal with the hill, however our Swift nonetheless impressed on its Goodwood tour – 1st August 2018

Given its predecessor’s well-earned status as a scorching supermini that flew below many patrons’ radars, there was loads of curiosity from Autocar’s staffers in a stint behind the wheel of the Swift Sport.

One way or the other, I made it to the entrance of the queue and have been answerable for a good portion of our automobile’s 4053 lined miles. A number of that distance was spent in stop-start visitors on my cross-London commute, which revealed little, apart from a gearshift that wasn’t as exact or satisfying as I’d like. Contemplating the responsive steering and an eagerness to surge ahead at each set of visitors lights with even delicate encouragement from my proper foot, the vagueness of the six-speed ’field felt a bit misplaced.

To expertise the Sport as supposed, I made positive the journey to this 12 months’s Goodwood Competition of Pace used a extra participating route – and the Swift didn’t disappoint. There’s greater than sufficient grunt from the 1.Four-litre engine to entertain with out having to eke out each final rev between shifts as you race by means of the gears.

It was how the facility is delivered that impressed me probably the most, the turbocharger offering a welcome punch of mid-range torque to propel the Sport ahead in whichever route I pointed it. The factor is, that is the sort of automobile that feels equally rewarding at a slower tempo.

Whereas a stronger scorching hatch reveals solely a portion of its potential at road-legal speeds, I didn’t should be on the restrict for the Swift to impress. Though the steering could be unnaturally heavy for one thing solely somewhat bigger than a grocery store procuring trolley, the Sport nonetheless comes alive within the bends. There’s sufficient grip to allow you to carry momentum by means of corners at a tempo that bigger, heavier scorching hatches would wrestle to match and the engine is peppy sufficient to propel you out the opposite facet.

Once I arrived on the Competition of Pace, Goodwood’s normally luscious inexperienced environment had turned an arid yellow on account of July’s heatwave, so naturally the Champion Yellow Swift appeared proper at dwelling. The automobile parks may need been crammed with costlier metallic, however the aggressive styling and impossible-to-ignore paintwork nonetheless drew loads of consideration – even as soon as it was caked with 4 days of amassed grime from the campsite-turned-dustbowl.

The Sport’s gas financial system resolutely refused to dip beneath 40mpg, irrespective of how exhausting I pushed it, which made that specific a part of the digital instrument cluster a bit redundant. Fortunately, it may be switched out for a pair of grin-inducing bar graphs exhibiting how a lot energy and torque you’re wringing out of the engine at any second, or how a lot enhance the turbocharger is producing.

That is, in fact, the primary Swift Sport to make use of pressured induction – and, dials apart, I get the impression it’s a bit embarrassed to confess as a lot, with little in the best way of aural suggestions. Part of me needs Suzuki had added some turbine whistle to actually embrace the turbo. That may have livened up an in any other case plain-sounding engine observe.

The induction whoosh and venomous rumble of our not too long ago departed long-term Hyundai i30 N left a way more constructive impression after I borrowed it for just a few days, even whether it is artificially piped into the cabin. However, a rorty blow-off valve would most likely be a step too far for the Swift, which felt equally comfy getting used as a every day driver because it did on the restrict.

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It was solely the ultimate a part of my journey dwelling after the Competition, on a really horrible piece of northbound M25, that I needed the Swift had a barely softer, extra pliant experience. The Sport’s seats could be comfy for long-distance drives, however not when the suspension is making an attempt (and failing) to absorb the Tarmac equal of a Toblerone bar.

Tom morgan

Adore it:

CRUISING ALONG There’s no scarcity of tech contained in the cabin and adaptive cruise management is a spotlight, making motorway journeys a breeze.

Detest it:

AMBIGUOUS ESTIMATES Estimated gas financial system could be optimistic, however the indicated remaining vary shortly tumbles when you drop beneath half a tank.

Mileage: 4053

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Life with a Suzuki Swift Sport: Month 2

Fixing a button thriller – 4th July 2018

The Swift Sport’s boot has two buttons on. As you’d count on, one opens the boot. The aim of the opposite was a thriller to us for a while. (Sure, we may have appeared within the guide, however the place’s the enjoyable in that?) Till, nearly accidentally, I found it locks the automobile. Genius: seize stuff from the boot, shut it and lock the automobile, without having to dig out the keys out of your pocket.

Mileage: 3567

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Now, the place did we park the automobile? If solely there have been a straightforward solution to spot it. Oh, wait… – 20th June 2018

There are many issues to speak about concerning our Suzuki Swift Sport. The way it drives, the way it rides, what the engine’s like – that form of factor. You understand, the stuff that truly issues when contemplating the expertise of driving one of many new youngsters on the new hatch block.

And but all just about everybody who has seen our Swift Sport needs to speak to me about is one thing that’s totally superficial: the color.

Now, a automobile’s paint job shouldn’t actually matter, but it’s what everybody asks about. So, by in style demand, let’s begin there. Within the brochure, it’s described as Champion Yellow. In the actual world, it has been variously described to me as ‘brilliant’, ‘vivid’, ‘distinctive’, ‘lurid’ and, erm, ‘wow’.

Somebody who works elsewhere within the media empire that publishes Autocar and who adopted me into our ultra-glamorous multistorey automobile park the opposite day mentioned she was relieved to search out out I hadn’t paid out my very own money for it, as a result of she would have fearful for anybody who had chosen that shade of yellow.

Earlier than I collected our Swift Sport, Champion Yellow wouldn’t have been my alternative, have been I shopping for one. I’m not a showy or flashy particular person by nature and I’d most likely have plumped for one of many 5 different considerably much less ‘vibrant’ choices. However the factor is… the yellow has grown on me. Rather a lot.

For a begin, I’m spending so much much less time wandering round automobile parks looking for it. This was illustrated not too long ago when, after a flight delay, I trudged into one in every of Heathrow’s huge parking tons at simply gone midnight, tiredness inflicting me to overlook precisely the place I’d parked. I quickly discovered it.

It’s additionally more durable for drivers of vehicles that lower me up at junctions to do this ‘oh, sorry, didn’t see you’ wave as they sweep throughout my forehead. Sure, you noticed me. I do know you probably did.

However, largely, the Champion Yellow paint job has grown on me as a result of it’s nicely suited to the Swift Sport’s character: brilliant, breezy, enjoyable and never too severe. The brilliant hue exhibits up the Sport’s bodywork tweaks over the common Swift, and since this color isn’t an possibility on the usual automobile, it means there’s little doubt I’m driving a scorching hatch, not a metropolis runabout.

In my brief time with the Swift Sport to this point, I’ve revelled in its relative simplicity. Many trendy scorching hatches might be rewarding and interesting to drive however, as with some trendy smartphones and the like, they are often fairly tedious to arrange. Having to wade by means of numerous drive mode choices and fiddle with settings earlier than you possibly can actually take pleasure in driving a scorching hatch can detract from the expertise.

The Swift Sport, although, doesn’t have any drive modes. It’s not that form of scorching hatch. As a substitute, it’s straight to the purpose: zippy to drive, sharp to reply. That was made clear by my first expertise of the automobile – a street journey from Dublin to Twickenham, chances are you’ll recall – however the actual advantage of that has proven itself now I’m utilizing the Swift Sport largely for my every day city commute.

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It isn’t so involved with being ‘scorching’ that it’s overly stiff and uncomfortable on such roads. It’s not as pliant in absorbing bumps as an everyday Swift, but it surely doesn’t really feel that every day utilization has been compromised to make it carry out on flowing roads. In that sense, it’s identical to the Champion Yellow paint job: it may not be a color you’d select on your on a regular basis motor, but it surely doesn’t take lengthy to regulate to it. In addition to, I’ll go away the final phrase to my five-year-old nephew.

Once I confirmed him the Swift Sport for the primary time, his eyes lit up, and he pronounced it “super-cool”. That’s ok for me.

Adore it:

TORQUE ABOUT IT The turbocharged 1.Four-litre petrol engine provides the Swift Sport loads of pep whenever you want it, with out ever being brutal.

Detest it:

SLOW SAT-NAV START-UP It takes an age to lock in its location whenever you first flip the automobile on, which is at odds with a automobile that’s in any other case so fast to get began in.

Mileage: 2483

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Not fairly vary anxiousness, however the Swift lacks gas capability – 13th June 2018

As with commonplace variations, the Swift Sport has a 37-litre gas tank – but it surely appears smaller. The common Swift’s mild-hybrid-boosted engines offer you an honest gas vary, however the greater, 1.Four-litre turbo within the Swift Sport requires frequent fill-ups. Fortunately, although, the 300 or so miles of driving you get between stops are proving very pleasurable.

Mileage: 2427

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Life with a Suzuki Swift Sport: Month 1

Welcoming the Swift Sport to the fleet – 30 Might 2018

Seems that persistence isn’t all the time a advantage. Or, to subvert one other cliché, generally good issues come to those that don’t wait. And proof of that, at the moment parked exterior Autocar Towers, is small, enjoyable and really, very yellow.

That’d be our new Suzuki Swift Sport, then. We’ve been asking (nicely, pestering) Suzuki for one for our take a look at fleet since our first, transient style of the new hatch in Japan final 12 months. Ultimately, and presumably simply to maintain us quiet, Suzuki provided to ship one to us close to the tip of Might. However in addition they casually talked about that, if we fancied getting one almost a month earlier, we may.

The catch: we’d have to select it up from an occasion they have been working – in Dublin. So we’d should fly to Dublin, acquire the Swift Sport, catch a ferry to Holyhead after which drive the 300 or so miles again to Autocar’s Twickenham base.

Catch? That’s not a catch. Extra like a child being informed they’ll have their Christmas current early after which given the prospect to play with it for hours. In any case, what higher solution to find out about a brand new automobile than with an prolonged street journey spanning city driving, motorway mileage and, through a brief however good detour, a number of the most interesting driving roads in Wales?

As an apart, our lack of persistence wasn’t even examined when it got here to speccing the Swift Sport: there aren’t any choices to contemplate. Each automobile will get a six-speed guide ’field, specifically tuned exhaust, LED headlights, 17in alloys and the distinctive Sport physique package. Inside, there’s air-conditioning, a leather-based steering wheel, a color touchscreen and driver help methods corresponding to ahead detection, lane departure correction and adaptive cruise management.

Our solely alternative involved the color. We went for Champion Yellow, largely as a result of I’ve fond recollections of equally hued Ignis and Swift Sport rally vehicles from a decade in the past.

The chance to do such diversified mileage is a key a part of the explanation we wished the Swift Sport on our fleet. Earlier variations have quietly change into cult favorite scorching hatches, as a result of they have been easy, small, fuss-free and enjoyable. Or, as we described it in our evaluation, a “pleasingly old school little bundle of pleasure”.

Success creates expectation – and so our hopes for this new Swift Sport have duly been raised. As well as, Suzuki hasn’t merely up to date its scorching hatch with a brand new look and minor tweaks: there are some substantive modifications below the bonnet.

Suzuki has changed the peppy 134bhp 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine from the previous Swift Sport with a 138bhp 1.Four-litre turbocharged motor. Which means the automobile has extra torque – 170lb ft in contrast with 110lb ft – however, based on our first drive not too long ago, maybe a bit much less character.

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That first evaluation did spotlight some trigger for concern, as mirrored by its three-star rating. Whereas our testers nonetheless judged the Swift Sport “a positive little driver’s automobile”, there have been furrowed brows over the value: it’s been hiked to £17,999 (albeit discounted to £16,499 till the tip of June 2018). Now that’s expectation elevating – it’s 4 grand greater than a Volkswagen Up GTI, for starters.

Nonetheless, like several child unwrapping a shiny new toy, I wasn’t actually excited about the value after I collected the keys at Dublin Airport. All I wished to do was strive it out. With not sufficient time earlier than the ferry to search out some enjoyable Irish roads, I settled for a visit to Phoenix Park, largely so I may drive a little bit of the traditional road circuit (albeit very slowly).

That appeared an awesome thought, till it was time to move to the ferry terminal. The 2 have been solely cut up by six or so miles – besides it was six miles proper by means of the centre of Dublin, in ridiculously heavy visitors. That wasn’t good for my nerves however was a helpful take a look at of the Swift Sport’s talents in stop-start city driving.

Not like some hardcore scorching hatches, and with out the usage of any drive modes, the Swift Sport is able to doing a greater than satisfactory impression of a non-sporting Swift, which helped ease my makes an attempt to manoeuvre my means out of near-gridlocked visitors on a succession of bumpy again streets.

 

 

Having made it to the ferry terminal within the nick of time, the jaunt throughout the Irish Sea was an opportunity to alleviate the stress of metropolis driving and mentally put together to take advantage of our new Swift in full Sport guise on my deliberate route from Anglesey to an in a single day halt in Shrewsbury.

The journey proved that though the Swift Sport may need grown up and change into somewhat extra severe, it’s nonetheless able to entertaining with a responsive, reactive and simply plain enjoyable drive. As first impressions go, it was massively constructive and it’s whetted my urge for food for extra time with the Swift Sport on a number of the UK’s finer flowing A and B-roads.

It’s price noting that it didn’t shame itself the next day, when the ultimate a part of the journey took within the motorways of Britain, after I set off from Shrewsbury to Twickenham with a gentle detour through Bristol (it made sense on the time).

 

 

I arrived again at Autocar HQ after a protracted weekend of attending to know the Swift Sport eager to spend extra time in it. One first impression: it stays good, easy enjoyable, but can be a scorching hatch that ought to settle in properly as a every day driver. In fact, it’s all the time enjoyable being allowed to open your presents early.

The query can be whether or not they’ll nonetheless really feel shiny and thrilling just a few months down the street. In some unspecified time in the future, too, the query of worth will come into play and we’ll have to contemplate that £17,999 worth – and the equally priced elephant within the room that’s the new Ford Fiesta ST.

Nonetheless, that’s for the months forward. Proper now, I’m after an excuse for one more Swift Sport street journey.

Second opinion

Previous Swift Sports activities have, in my view, provided as a lot pep and efficiency as it’s essential to drive spiritedly however safely on Britain’s roads. The stability between on a regular basis usability and sports activities tuning has all the time appeared spot on and the early indicators are this newest model will get it proper too.

Matt Burt

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Suzuki Swift Sport specification

Value new £17,999 Value as examined: £17,999 Choices: none Engine Four cyls, 1373cc, turbocharged petrol Energy 138bhp at 5500rpm; Torque 170lb ft at 2500-3500rpm Prime velocity 130mph Zero-62mph eight.1sec Claimed gas financial system 50.4mpg Take a look at gas financial system 41.9mpg CO2 125g/km Faults None Bills None

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