The cheeky critter
Horses for courses. Apples and oranges. It’s hard to compare or recommend something if you don’t know its intended use or purpose. That’s my default excuse when someone asks me what the best car in the world is, because I don’t know what they need it for. The best car I’ve ever driven though? Easy. A Suzuki Swift Sport.
The best car I’ve ever driven…
Why do I bestow such high praise on the wee Japanese runabout? For starters, it’s a safe and practical hatchback with very generous specifications at a reasonable price – something that should suit the lifestyle of almost any modern urbanite. Its boot and tank may be comparatively small but its heart is absolutely massive.
Where other manufacturers have down-sized their engines and added complicated turbo plumbing, the illustrious motorbike manufacturer Suzuki stuck to a high-compression motor for their sporty Swift. The 1.6 litres in this little number may only churn out 100kW but they do so with joyful gusto – at 7,000rpm.
This rev-hungry engine sits in a tight yet comfortable chassis with wonderfully direct steering, light and obedient pedals, as well as six shortly-stacked and snappy gears to choose from. 0-100km/h takes a modest 8.7 seconds but we managed a best of 8.36 (at sea level). Because of the car’s eager nature, it feels more like 4.36…
Top speed is an equally average 195km/h. Which brings me to my favourite feature about the SSS. It doesn’t have brutal power and lacks turbo torque. This means that you can (and sometimes have to) whip its backside during your everyday commute; and it will thank you for it. The sporty Suzi likes a bit of rough.
In a really powerful car, you can only unleash full power in certain conditions for a few seconds; usually accompanied by white knuckles, flashing lights and big bills. In this cheeky critter, you can keep your foot in the carpet much longer and it won’t be scary, illegal or costly. Quite the opposite, actually.
Never mind the purchase price of N$265,000 – services, spares, tyres and repairs are firmly in hatchback territory. Sounds too good to be true? It gets better. Drive the car like a responsible adult and Suzuki claims average fuel use of just 6.5L/100km. I drove it like a pubescent teenager and it still wouldn’t tilt ten.
I also looked for weak points on this car; but that didn’t go well. The current Swift radio feels a bit dated yet I have it on good authority that you can order a full touchy-feely navigation system for these cars. And, umm, that’s it. Did I mention its full climate control, six airbags, lenient ESP, keyless entry and start button?
Added to that, it’s easy to park, light on fuel, comfy to commute in but puts a huge smile on your dial when you cane it. That surely makes it the perfect car; and I even put my money where my keyboard is. Yup, I once owned one. Each Swift Sport is sold with a 3-year 100,000km warranty and 3-year 60,000km service plan.
That surely makes it the perfect car…
0-10km/h: 0,49 seconds
0-20km/h: 1,08 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,65 seconds
0-40km/h: 2,20 seconds
0-50km/h: 2,80 seconds
0-60km/h: 3,69 seconds
0-70km/h: 4,71 seconds
0-80km/h: 5,75 seconds
0-90km/h: 6,88 seconds
0-100km/h: 8,36 seconds
0-110km/h: 9,92 seconds
0-120km/h: 11,62 seconds
0-130km/h: 13,72 seconds
0-140km/h: 16,30 seconds
0-150km/h: 19,30 seconds
0-160km/h: 22,91 seconds
0-100m: 6,87 seconds @ 89,91km/h
0-200m: 10,40 seconds @ 112,95km/h
0-300m: 13,37 seconds @ 128,24km/h
0-400m: 16,06 seconds @ 139,11km/h
100-0km/h: 3,62 seconds @ 40,88 metres (once-off)
0-10mph: 0,85 seconds
0-20mph: 1,78 seconds
0-30mph: 2,68 seconds
0-40mph: 4,15 seconds
0-50mph: 5,80 seconds
0-60mph: 7,91 seconds
0-70mph: 10,35 seconds
0-80mph: 13,55 seconds
0-90mph: 17,71 seconds
0-100mph: 23,32 seconds
1/4 mile: 16,12 seconds @ 86,58 mph
Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,55G
All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box