The first of three generations of Suzuki Swift were launched in most global markets in 2005. It also spearheaded Suzuki’s entry to South Africa in 2008, before being replaced by the second-generation model in 2011.
In June 2018, the second-generation Swift is being replaced with an updated hatchback for 2018.
What's more, the sedan version is a now a standalone model called the Dzire (read all about the new sedan later in this article).
The Suzuki Swift is available in three derivatives; GA, GL with a GLX version planned for future introduction.
The Swift retains its K12M engine with the four-cylinder petrol delivering 61kW/113Nm. The new Swift’s fuel consumption is rated at a claimed 4.9 litres/100km in a combined cycle, giving it a range of more than 750km on its 37-litre tank.
The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox in the GA-variant, while buyers of the GL can choose between the same five-speed manual gearbox or an Automated Manual Gearbox (AMT) with the same number of gears.
What’s it like to drive?
In short, you’ll be thoroughly impressed with the fourth-generation. Its engine doesn’t have to be worked too hard to deliver good performance and in corners, it’s surprisingly agile due to its new chassis and suspension set-up.
Its grip levels are adequate, its steering response smart, body-roll minimal and overall its balance is respectable.
When not driven like a hooligan, it performs the job of a sensible hatchback/sedan perfectly, more than capable and comfortable enough to use as a daily drive.
It’s naturally athletic, agile through the tight confines of most cities and delivers a lot more involving feel compared to its predecessor.
Around town, the power steering and tight turning circle make short work of parking spots and city-driving manoeuvres.
Its Indian roots are apparent in its ground clearance and ability to handle bumps and that ever-present scourge of potholes on our roads much better than the outgoing model.
Despite having identical engines and transmissions, the Dzire is more tuned to first-time families with its larger boot (read: extra weight) while the Swift is the “sportier” model in the pack.
The GA-model offers an entry-price to the range and is equipped with a range of creature comforts, such as aircon, front and rear power windows, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat anchors and two airbags.
The GL-model adds colour-coded side-mirrors, front foglights, a Suzuki audio system with steering-mounted controls and a rear luggage cover. This specification level has full wheel covers and is available with the choice of 5-speed manual or 5-speed AMT gearbox. The all-new Suzuki Swift is available in six colours.
Factor in the competitive pricing, especially the launch price discount, the Swift has every advantage to grab loads of new owners locally.
Looking at its current range, Suzuki has become a small car specialist; funky Ignis, economical Celerio, feature-packed Baleno and the next-generation Swift gives the Japanese automaker quite a spread in the sub-R300 000 market.
What about rivals?
Although it’s a competitor for the Ford Fiesta and Polo Vivo, it will face off against the likes of the Ford Figo, Toyota Etios and Honda Brio.
The new Swift does a good job of replicating the peppy personality of the model it replaces.
All models are sold with Suzuki’s 5-year or 200 000km mechanical warranty and a 2-year or 30 000km service plan.
All new Dzire
Suzuki has introduced an all-new Dzire as a stand-alone model with new styling, a new platform and offering even "more value than before".
The Dzire was originally developed alongside the Suzuki Swift to offer a more family-orientated sedan version of the popular hatchback. It has since evolved to serve a large and distinctive market for young families and has become one of the most popular B-segment sedans in the world. The Dzire is available in three model derivatives and in seven colours.
Image: Suzuki SA
As part of its new status as a separate model range in the Suzuki stable, the new Dzire has a unique dashboard design that emphasises style and usability. It is fitted with silver accents throughout the dashboard and air vents that mimic the design of the front grille.
In front of the driver there is a new instrument cluster, with clearly readable instrumentation and a multi-information display. The GL-specification level adds a tachometer, additional silver accents and premium white illumination.
Image: Suzuki SA
All Dzire models are equipped with aircon, front and rear power windows, airbags for the driver and front passenger, a tilt-adjustable steering column, a security alarm and immobiliser and ISOFIX anchor points for rear-fitted child seats.
The GL-specification level adds rear air vents and an additional 12V socket, a Suzuki audio system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, front foglights, colour-coded, electrically adjustable side mirrors and steering-mounted audio controls. This specification level is also fitted with Suzuki’s high-grade upholstery with rear foldable armrest with integrated cup holders.
In the Dzire, the increase in space is focused on the rear passengers. Suzuki has increased the space between the front and rear seats by a massive 55mm and increased shoulder width for rear passengers by 15mm. In the front, the occupants now have 10mm of additional shoulder width.
The new Dzire also offers significantly more boot space than its predecessor. The sedan has 378 litres of boot space, an increase of 78 litres or 26% more than before.
The Dzire, thanks to the new HEARTECT platform, weighs 75kg less than its predecessor at 890 kg. The lower weight benefits overall fuel consumption, which has been tested at 4.9 litres/100km for both the manual and automated manual models in a combined driving cycle.