Christmas comes early to Auto Express every year. Our scheduling demands require everything to be done and dusted even earlier than usual, to make sure you get the best reading material possible over the festive period.
This means we’re busier than usual in the countdown to Christmas – and I’ve barely set foot in our long-term Suzuki Swift
as a result. Instead, I asked various Auto Express staffers who have had the pleasure for their thoughts on the little runaround.
Road test editor Ross Pinnock and his young family put the Swift to the test over a weekend. “It’s almost the perfect runabout,” was his verdict.
“It’s smart without being flashy, drives brilliantly and has a classy interior. My wife loved it. And there was easily enough room in the back for my two kids.
“There’s one problem, which Lesley mentioned in her last report; while its compact proportions are great for squeezing into parking spaces, the Swift’s boot is simply too small.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself, but what about the younger generation (sorry Ross!)? I consulted our streetwise and fashion-conscious duo of road tester Paul Bond and staff writer Luke Madden to find out.
“I drove it to the launch of Suzuki’s all-new Swift Sport,” said Paul. “I was amazed at just how many similarities there are between the two cars. The Sport obviously has more visual flair, but our car shares its direct steering and snappy gearchange. And it feels nearly as quick on the road.” Luke was equally effusive in his praise. “Like Paul, I nabbed the keys to head off to a launch (for Suzuki’s upcoming Kizashi saloon).
Car group tests
The company’s engineers have clearly learned a few lessons from the Swift’s agile handling and sharp chassis, as the Kizashi handled almost as well,” he said.
“And the similarities don’t end there. Both cars could do with more sound-deadening – the Swift’s diesel engine is a bit rattly at low speeds.”
I wholeheartedly agree with both of these comments as the Swift is certainly stylish, and Luke isn’t the only person to gripe about the noisy diesel engine.
I’ll let deputy chief sub Dean Gibson take up the story: “It handles as well as the petrol version, so it’s great fun to drive, with excellent mid-range power.
“The engine is noisy, especially on the motorway, but even that can be forgiven when it returns such good economy. None of the other cars on our fleet can match it at the pumps.”
He found the rigid parcel shelf harder to forgive. If you forget to lay it flat after loading the tiny boot, it blocks the rear window completely. I know exactly what he means, as I’ve made the same mistake countless times myself.
While it does have its faults, the Swift is definitely getting the thumbs-up from the Auto Express staff. So until next time that’s me, your intrepid Suzuki Swift reporter, signing off...
“It’s smart without being flashy, drives brilliantly and has a classy interior. And there’s enough room in the back for my two kids.”
Ross Pinnock, Road test editor