It's a new year, and I’m about to take charge of a new car on the Auto Express long-term fleet – which sadly means it’s the end of my 12 months with the Swift Sport. I’m really going to miss the Suzuki supermini and its many charms.
Most of the miles I’ve covered in the Swift have been in town, which suits the car perfectly. But when visiting friends and family over the Christmas holidays, I was able to find out how KY06 BHR got on as a long-distance cruiser.
First impressions? Well, it’s not the most refined vehicle I’ve ever driven on the motorway. To keep up with the flow of overtaking traffic in the outside lane of the M4, I had to push the engine to 5,000rpm. An extra gear ratio would be handy.
Of course, high revs don’t help economy. The on-board computer shows an instant read-out of fuel returns, and at times it dropped as low as 17mpg. Still, I don’t think this was particularly accurate, especially after working out the cost of my Christmas and New Year travels in the Swift. This amounted to 32.5mpg over the course of 285 miles – although admittedly that’s not much better than I achieve around town.
Otherwise, as a motorway companion the Swift was better than I’d expected. The steering wheel controls meant I didn’t have to take my eyes off the road when using the stereo, and there’s a well positioned cup-holder by the gearstick. What’s more, the cubby under the heating controls is an ideal place for storing CDs, your wallet or mobile phone.
Rearward visibility was affected by the amount of filth thrown up off the road on to the Swift’s back windscreen. You can only see through the small amount of glass the rear wiper cleans, so you have to be vigilant when changing lanes.
Overall, the little Suzuki has been largely problem-free since I got the keyless entry sorted – as I reported in Issue 986, the system wouldn’t work when trying to open the locks via the boot. But the problem I mentioned in Issue 972 – with the latch for the rear seat refusing to secure properly – has returned, so the dealer will have to take another, more thorough look.
Still, I’m pleased with the condition of the alloy wheels. The low-profile tyres don’t give much protection from the kerb, but there are no scratches on the rims.
So it’s farewell to the Swift. It has been a great car to run over the past year, and as it’s so rare, has felt quite special. If I do spot one on the road in future, it will bring back very fond memories...