New Swift faster and more powerful than previous model while still easy to handle

The new Suzuki Swift.
The new Suzuki Swift.

Suzuki can never be accused of substandard engineering, and the much-loved Swift, now in its fourth generation is a prime example of what the Japanese brand is all about.

In 2006, Suzuki lifted the Irish Car of the Year award for the previous model, an award that was richly deserved at the time. That was probably because it was a quantum jump from everything that they previously produced, and it was a breath of fresh air from the small-car experts.

The latest incarnation is another little jewel. Slightly bigger than that last one, they have managed to provide more boot space and additional leg room too. It is a prime example of Suzuki’s engineering ability to pack so much in to such a limited shell.

It is also up to 10% lighter, 19% more powerful and 8% more fuel efficient than outgoing model.

My test model, the 1.0 Boosterjet SZ5 automatic, is probably a model that only a select number will buy, but it still underlines the individual highlights that this car delivers.

This is the top of the specification line and the 1.0-litre engine is delightfully lively and is, in my opinion, a better option than the 1.2-litre which is available as the entry level choice.

In this car I would also prefer a manual gearbox and while the automatic works fairly well, there are times when you would wish for the manual option. But, it does have paddle shifting and that, when you get into the habit of using them, makes a positive difference.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.