Suzuki Splash

30 Oct, 2012 6:00pm Chris Ebbs

Suzuki has given the Splash a facelift, so do the updates make the city car a more appealing choice?


If you do most or all of your driving in town, the Splash makes perfect sense. By mixing low costs with light steering and a small size, it’s perfect for congested cities. Unfortunately, interior quality is patchy and the engine starts to suffer as soon as you get past 60mph. Those criticisms don’t apply to the VW up!, which costs about the same.

The Suzuki Splash has been refreshed – but you need to look closely to spot the changes. The biggest differences are on the outside, which gets revised front and rear bumpers, plus a new bonnet and grille design.

Inside, there’s a new fabric design and colour scheme, as well as updated finishes for the centre console. Yet despite these upgrades, the Splash’s cabin still feels cheap. The stereo is particularly poor – it struggled to tune in to some major stations.

The Suzuki continues to excel as a city runabout, however. The 1.2-litre engine produces only 93bhp, but the car feels nippy in the first three gears and is ideal for driving in crowded city streets.

Light steering and compact dimensions make the Splash easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces, although rear visibility is poor.

But things start to unravel once you get out of town. The engine feels underpowered above 60mph, straining noisily, while the firm ride seems to emphasise bumpy roads.

Still, the Splash is cheap to run. With this top-spec car starting at only £11,105 and yearly road tax costing just £20, the Suzuki is a very affordable city car. But the VW up! and its sister models are in a different league in terms of comfort and performance.

Key specs

  • Price: £11,105
  • Engine: 1.2-litre 4cyl, 93bhp
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-60mph/Top speed: 12.0 secs/109mph
  • Economy/CO2: 55.4mpg/118g/km
  • Equipment: Foglights, 15-inch alloys, keyless go, air-conditioning
  • On sale: Now