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Suzuki Swift Sport road test

by Stephen Walker

22nd February, 2007

Home > Road Tests > Suzuki

Related stories:
New-generation Suzuki Swift Sport released
21st February, 2012

The new Suzuki Swift promptly became a best-seller upon its Australian release in early 2005.

The model has numerous attributes, making it appeal to a wide variety of buyers. The competitive pricing structure, the pleasant driving qualities, the good equipment levels and the high build standard all contributed to making a compelling case for the little Suzuki Swift.

Just as all car makers do, when they have a 'hit' on their hands, they expand the line-up to attract even more buyers. (copyright image)

And that is exactly what Suzuki has done.

Starting at the engine bay, Suzuki added the larger capacity 1.6 litre VVT 4-cylinder engine. The Swift Sport engine has a maximum output of 92 kW at 6,800 rpm, compared with the Swift's 1.5 litre with 75 kW at 6,000 rpm. That equates to an over 20% difference between the two. Yet the Swift Sport did not feel as though there was 20% more power waiting to be used. To use the power, you need to keep the revs up. However, driving at 5,000 rpm, for example, is not always the treat it may appear to be on paper. On that basis, for everyday driving you never come close to the maximum 6,800 rpm. Naturally, there's a sports muffler on the exhaust system.

Cosmetically, the Swift Sport's body is enhanced with a new front bumper, rear bumper and splash guard. In addition, there is a wide lower grille front air dam and a rear spoiler.

Underneath, the chassis design features additional right and left hand floor members, as well as an additional rear floor cross member. The suspension has been altered by increasing the compression and rebound dampening forces by around 60 per cent. Suzuki has fitted Monroe shock absorbers to the Swift Sport. ABS is standard, as is power steering and five-speed manual transmission.

Inside, the Swift Sport features a four-speaker in-dash CD stereo system with MP3 capabilities, easy to operate audio system controls mounted on a leather-bound steering wheel, air conditioning, electric mirrors and windows, remote keyless entry with hazard lamp answer back, UV reducing glass and, importantly, 6 airbags. (copyright image)
2012 Suzuki Swift Sport
road test ..... more (copyright image)
2008 Suzuki Swift Sport
road test ..... more

Sporty aspects of the interior include the three spoke steering wheel, a silver garnished shift knob, stainless steel pedals (mandatory on today's sports cars), illuminated ring around the speedometer and two high backed sports seats up front. The front seats are imposing, to say the least. They reach almost to the roof lining! The red stitching inside is a good touch.

An additional neat touch inside the Swift Sport is a centrally located information panel. It indicates the time, fuel consumption and the outside temperature. The fuel consumption reading on the F3 freeway between Newcastle and Sydney, during our road test, was just 7.1 litres/100 kms.

The rear seat backs are of the split variety, to permit flexible arrangements with the luggage space.

There are two disappointments with the interior. The lack of a driver's footrest is immediately noticed. Perhaps it is just me, but I like comfort and to me comfort is defined, to a degree, by both feet being at the same level. The other disappointment is another personal thing. Maybe it is just me again! But I like to put things, such as the necessary tools of trade for a journalist (diary and digital camera) in the driver's door pocket. But the door pockets on the Swift Sport are narrow and not quite up to the job. But CDs are suitable for the door pockets. Both these disappointments could be rectified by Suzuki at a small cost.

Cruise control is not on the standard feature list.

Considering the effort which Suzuki has put into the Swift Sport one might expect a hefty price tag. However, in the traditional Suzuki manner, the Swift Sport comes to the market at a reasonable price. The current recommended retail price is $23,990. (copyright image)

On the road, the stylish Suzuki Swift Sport delights with its willing engine, slick gear change and nimble handling. The interior is comfortable with good room upfront for hips, legs, arms and head. The comfy seats make driving this neat little machine enjoyable. The Swift Sport doesn't have the get up and go of cars such as the turbo-charged 3-door Volkswagen Polo GTI, but the Swift Sport gets along adequately and is, no doubt, attractive to those who want a little more refinement and somewhat more style in their tiny 5-door hatchback.

On that basis, the Suzuki Swift is assessed as being one mighty fine light car. Now with more style being added to the already highly admired package, one can see that the goal of broadening the appeal of the Swift is right on target. Having said that, though, I suspect that if even more power was available then the Swift would be even more popular. Not that popularity is a problem for the Swift, because it is one of the best light cars in the country. In fact, the Swift is just one of the reasons why the Suzuki brand is booming in Australia. As it is, I rate the Swift higher than most and up there with the best (Swift, Colt and Polo). But, even with the larger 1.6 litre engine and the chassis refinements, the Swift Sport appeals to me more as a stylish Swift, rather than a sporting Swift. And there is nothing wrong with that!

More Suzuki News ..... here.

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