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Suzuki Swift RS Review – Tailor Swift.

Aside from the obvious name connection, both Suzuki and Taylor seem to have quite a lot in common. Both are children of the 80’s, they are multi-award winning, attractive, smart and both have proven to be incredibly popular in New Zealand. But there is one other similarity that seems tailor-made for this review. You see, just as the pop star has forged her own style and appearance, you (as the owner of the all new Suzuki) can tailor the Swift Supermini to express your own individuality – I’ll tell you more in a moment.

Although the Swift has been a hit globally since its launch in 1984, (and locally since 2005), like a true superstar, this year saw the small car re-invent itself – literally from the ground up. Its foundation is stronger and lighter, while the exterior has been further sculpted to accentuate the positives of the previous generations. It’s more connected in infotainment terms, it’s safer and certainly more of a force under the bonnet.

At the NZ launch of the all new Swift a short while ago, we were given the chance to drive the full range (Gl/GLX/RS) but now, having been given the option for some additional review time, I opted for the RS – seemed rude not to.

The RS comes with the turbocharged BoosterJet engine (small on cylinders but big on power and efficiency) and all the boxes ticked in their specification list. LED bright eyes, 16” polished alloy shoes, keyless entry and start, paddle shift gears for those sportier moments, Apple/Android connection and a 6 speaker stereo to listen to the Swift’s namesake as you drive.

Having the Swift for a week meant that it joined the family and me in all our ‘glory’. Work commutes, school runs, football practice and game, chores, a restaurant visit and a weekend jaunt to the north shore coastline (the weather was kind to us) – sounds like we have a busy life. The new Swift slotted in nicely. Plenty of room in the rear (242L) to not require seat dropping and the turbo engine, 6 stage gearbox and lightness of the car combination made for a spritely drive both in and out of town – the positive feedback from the steering helped in this department too. Adaptive cruise control meant effortless motorway driving and the new radar and cameras kept a watchful eye over everything – alerting and even braking should it be required.

It may sound funny, but I particularly liked the instrumentation dials, they have a high-end chronograph watch look about them (small things huh?). The seats are as comfy as the ride (in normal) and support you well when pushing the front wheel drive briskly around corners. Another smile inducing thing for me was the acceleration, the engine sings out with a much deeper voice than the black and white figures would suggest.

The RS I had in my possession shone in ‘blank canvass’ mineral gray, however, as I said before, the individualisation options are huge (and easy to do). From the outside you can decal the wheels, front bumper, Grille, Fog lamps, door mirrors and body stripes while inside feel free to change over the panels on the doors, dashboard, console and floor mats – at this rate, you could have a new (to you) car every few months!

We can’t all be pop icons but as the number of Swift’s on the Kiwi roads would attest, you can be popular. With its perky performance and sporty handling, the all new Swift will have you singing and dancing on the road and when it comes to style, it’s a car that appears to be Tailor-made to making it your own.

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