Swift, solid heart-stealer

2011-04-16 08:48

At the launch of the face-lifted Suzuki Swift in Durban recently, I thought I was stuck in a time warp. I could barely spot any difference between the old and new Swift models. It was only when I looked closely at pictures of the two that I noticed the subtle changes, which left me wondering why the Japanese carmaker would say there’s more to the new Swift.

Since the launch of the Swift in 2006, the brand has received 63 Car of the Year awards in 19 countries – and rightfully so. It is small and has stolen the hearts of thousands of South Africans with its compact looks and its fuel efficiency. It is so popular that it fetches 70% of its resale value.

Suzuki South Africa says the designers believe in the Swift product so much so that they hardly changed the exterior.
The new model is eco-friendlier. A stronger chassis and a little weight loss makes for sportier handling. The steering wheel responds quicker when driving and the braking capacity has also been increased.

The new 1.4 litre engine is smaller, which means less carbon dioxide emissions and better fuel consumption. The only visible difference to the car is the redesigned front and rear headlights which seem to sweep backwards.

The bonnet is smoother and the body is slightly wider. The biggest changes lie inside with its neater and sportier layout.

If you want your Swift to stand out, there are some after-market accessories available such as body kits, bigger spoilers and wheels. Personally, I would have preferred if these were standard to give the car the street cred it’s lacking.

But it doesn’t matter because the Swift has built itself a solid reputation and it ticks all the right boxes – it’s pretty, affordable and fuel-efficient.

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