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Suzuki’s Swift hatchback gets a mid-life refresh – the Sport model, a real driver’s car.

David Berthon

When I first started road testing in the early 1980’s hot hatches were all the go. I remember well the first Suzuki Swift a lot of driving fun but it lacked the body rigidity, safety and integrity we expect today. Suzuki have just given their small Swift a mid-life update – the new Suzuki Swift series 11 in six models starting at $18,990 drive-away, we used to talk about Japanese quality a lot and it’s not forgotten on this superbly built small hatch. I’ve just driven the 1.4-litre turbo Swift Sport six-speed manual at $29,990 drive-away – a price lift of $2,000, to some extent brought on by exchange rate pressure but there’s a lot more tech and features too, safety also getting a boost while power and torque remains the same.

First impression is of a small five door hatch with enormous rigidity, solid, with nice materials and quality paint finish. The new Swift Sport gains a digital speed display, rear parking sensors, also new, radar cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and heated side windows. How would you describe the driving of this small hot hatch – addictive in one word and lots of fun. After being fed a continual diet of SUV’s it’s just so refreshing to get into a small driver’s car that’s so much fun to drive.  Warranty – five years /unlimited kilometre. Downsides, the need for 95RON petrol and the lack of a spare tyre.

I’m David Berthon

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David Berthon
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