Suzuki Swift Sport Review New Zealand
As anyone that’s played ‘Spot the Swift’ game on a road trip will attest, the Suzuki supermini is a very popular sight on New Zealand tarmac, with double-digit numbers coming in at an astonishing rate. Spotting the Sport model for extra points does take a keener eye though, especially the older models. But it looks like now, with their all-new model, Suzuki may have made this task a little easier.
Suzuki launched the Sport version of the Swift in 2005/06. Starting out as an RS it quickly became Sport as it moved into the European markets. Originally powered by a high-revving 1.6-litre, naturally aspirated DOHC VVT four-cylinder engine, it produced 92 kW and 148Nm of torque – plenty enough for its compact frame, or so you’d think.
In 2012 (as part of the 3rd Generation Swift) the Sport’s 1.6L 4 Cylinder engine received more power +8kW and more torque +12Nm, and as such, increased the driving thrills too. Exterior styling was enhanced with a large grille, HID lights and a bodykit, while the interior gained its share of attention with things like bucket seats and sports wheel.
Five years later and Suzuki were at it again, out to make their popular Swift even popularier, the tail end of 2017 brought with it Swift’s 4th generation. Cooler looks and styling, better performance and handling, more technology and more safety which all sounds (and is) well and good, but this also means new Swift Sport.
The Sport’s new look is bolder and more substantial (aka easier to spot). With a wider, more shapely road stance, rear and chin spoilers, carbon fibre look accents, dual exhaust tips and 17”diamond-cut design alloys, it looks mean and raring to go.
Inside, you see bucket style sports seats, contrast stitching, a D-shaped leather-appointed wheel, competition style gear shift (with paddle shifts for the auto), red accented dashboard, more infotainment (including Carplay and Android Auto and Sat Nav), and oodles of driver/safety aids that come with modern day radar systems – Lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist for the LED projector headlights, dual sensor brake support and so on.
However, the new Swift Sport has lost a couple of things, namely weight (It’s dropped 90kg’s compared to the previous model) and cc’s, (the engine is now a 1.4litre). But don’t be alarmed, their loss is your gain.
The new BoosterJet turbo engine seems ideally suited for life inside the Swift Sport. 103kW and 230Nm working hard in conjunction with the 6-Stage auto transmission and lighter frame makes for quick acceleration without blowing the budget on fuel (6.1L/100k) or spewing extra gases (CO2 141g/km).
On the road, its 3.89m long and 1.74m wide frame makes the Swift Sport mighty nimble, but I can also ensure you that it’s roomy enough to take 4 adults with relative ease. It’s a fun car to drive that makes you want to keep the revs up high in. The 6-speed autobox selector seems hellbent on dropping you into Manual/Sport (which to me isn’t a bad thing), after all, that’s why you want this car, isn’t it? And the reversing camera could be aimed a little higher (but again even tight spot manoeuvring in this supermini is hardly a chore).
With its bolder stance, sporty good looks and flashy wheels, gaining double points in the ‘Spot the Swift Sport’ competition may now be a little bit easier but then again, with its lighter frame and increased power and torque, this supermini may fly by too quick to see – good luck.
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