Suzuki South Africa is currently experiencing tremendous growth, breaking their own sales records on a near-monthly basis. The brand which started its reincarnation in 2008 with the sporty Swift now has a few upgrades to its latest generation, launched in 2018.
At the launch of the 2018 edition, we were sent to the stretched-out roads of Kwazulu-Natal, where a combination of open and city roads tested the 1.2 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine. With no turbo (only on the Swift Sport), the K12M engine develops 61kW (at 6,000rpm) and 112Nm (at 4,200rpm), resulting in a fuel consumption below the 5 litres per 100km/h mark. As a small and light vehicle, the Swift proved to be very capable along the coast.
Although the new Swift might look somewhat sportier, it is on the safety front where Suzuki has taken the biggest step forward. This includes electronic stability control (for all derivatives) as well as hill-hold assist with all AMT (automatic) derivatives. All models are now fitted with ABS (with EBD), airbags, ISOFIX child seat-anchor points and alarm systems. The entry-level GA and GL models will also now get rear parking sensors, while the GLX model will be fitted with a reverse camera.
All updated models can be recognised by a chrome line across the front grill, while the GL and GLX models are equipped with snazzy new fog lights. In addition, the GLX sports 15-inch alloy wheels as standard.
In the interior, all models are fitted with electronic windows, air conditioning (climate control in the GLX) and central locking; while the GLX models shows off with a start/stop button, a seven-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android auto and USB and AUX connection points (the latter two can also be found in the GL models).
As mentioned before, the Swift range is sold with a 1.2 liter non-turbo engine. Power delivery therefore takes place at higher revolutions and at 120km/h, the engine tone and some wind noise can therefore be heard. Yet, even if this is just a 1.2 liter engine, the low weight helps to make this vehicle quite nimble and sporty. The steering, we felt, could be a bit more direct.
The size of the Swift might be a problem for some, yet it is also the main reason for its popularity. It’s not necessarily designed for long and open road excursions, but rather to pose as an incredibly fun and agile city runner. We can therefore state that the Swift certainly caries forward its sporty feel.
Each of the models come with a 2-year / 30 000km service plan and a 5-year / 200 000km warranty.
Considering that it has been almost three years since its initial launch, the prices of the Swift line-up have not changed much, with the GA and manual GL model still falling beneath the R200,000 price range.
The price list therefore looks as follows:
- 1.2 GA manual: R180 900
- 1.2 GL manual: R199 900
- 1.2 GL AMT (automatic): R214 900
- 1.2 GLX manual: R218 900
- 1.2 GLX AMT (automatic): R234 900