- Swift range extended with new 1.2-litre variants
- Focus on affordability, value and efficiency
- GA version links keen pricing to Suzuki quality and agility
- GL mode offered in both manual and automatic versions
Suzuki Auto South Africa has added a new, more affordable 1.2 model to its Swift compact hatchback line-up. The Swift 1.2 augments the existing Swift range, and will be offered with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, and in two specification levels.
Now in its second generation, and recently updated for the 2014 model year, the Suzuki Swift has been an unmitigated success in South Africa since the original heralded the brand’s return to the country in 2008.
Accounting for almost a third of Suzuki Auto SA’s volume, and with in excess of 8 500 sales to date, the Swift’s combination of youthful, distinctive styling, palpable quality, engaging dynamics and efficiency has been at the core of its success.
“The addition of the 1.2 variants to the Swift family not only brings that nameplate’s undisputed attributes to a wider audience, but also acknowledges the increasing demand for smaller-engined, fuel-efficient models that link affordability to quality, safety and comfort,” says Francois van Eeden, Suzuki Auto SA’s national marketing manager.
“The GA model, in particular, has been priced to allow budget-conscious buyers to experience the Swift’s frugality, interior comfort and driving fun. The GL version provides the efficiency benefit of our new K12 engine, without compromising on the comprehensive features list Swift owners have become accustomed to.”
SUZUKI SWIFT 1.2 STYLING
The Swift’s key styling attributes remain valid in the case of the 1.2 variants, including the unique wrap-around effect of the car’s glass area, the sharply raked windscreen, wide body and prominent headlight and tail light clusters.
The effect is both youthful and streamlined, accentuated by bold wheel arches and chunky proportions that place the wheels at the corners of the car to minimise overhangs while optimising the packaging and roominess of the cabin.
SUZUKI SWIFT 1.2 INTERIOR
The interior of the 1.2 models retains the fresh, spacious ambience that has become synonymous with the Swift range. The four-door layout allows convenient access to front and rear seats, while the ergonomic design favours intuitive interaction with the car’s controls and switchgear.
The smart fascia is finished in black, with clear, analogue instrumentation, while the steering wheel is tilt adjustable. The instrument binnacle is flanked by a centre stack containing the ventilation and air-conditioning controls, as well as the sound system in the case of the GL version.
The finishes and materials continue the Swift’s reputation for quality and durability, while access to the 210 litre luggage compartment is convenient, thanks to the large-opening tailgate. The rear seatback can also be folded down to expand the Swift’s cargo carrying capacity to a generous 533 litres.
Interior stowage options include a useful recess above the glove compartment and door pockets front and rear. In addition, the cabin provides five fixed beverage holders. A sixth, pop-out holder is mounted in the fascia in front of the passenger side air vent in order to keep the beverage cool.
SUZUKI SWIFT 1.2 DRIVETRAIN AND SUSPENSION
The big news is the introduction of Suzuki’s latest-generation K12-series 1,2-litre engine. The four-cylinder, 16-valve design employs electronic fuel injection and VVT variable valve timing to achieve optimum efficiency and performance.
The new engine has a rated maximum power output of 63 kW at 6 000 r/min, linked to torque peak of 113 Nm at 4 500 r/min. The variable valve timing optimises torque and power across the rev range in the interests of optimum response and efficiency.
As in all Swift models, drive is to the front wheels, with a choice of transmissions. GA models are only offered with a five-speed manual gearbox, while GL derivatives can also be ordered with an optional four-speed automatic transmission.
The five-speed manual transmission features a new assist mechanism for reduced driver effort, and an optimised shift-lever pattern in the interests of smoothness. Also new is an inhibitor mechanism that guides the gear level from fifth to fourth gear when changing down, preventing accidental shifting into reverse gear.
The shift updates to the manual gearbox are accompanied by a newly developed clutch featuring an hydraulic release system that is precise, smooth and quiet.
The automatic transmission’s shift design features a straight pattern for ease of use.
The Swift enjoys an enviable reputation for agile and responsive handling, thanks to a stiff and lightweight body structure, linked to an optimised suspension set-up. That suspension remains unchanged in the case of the new 1.2 versions.
Thus, MacPherson struts, coil springs and an anti-roll bar still do duty at the front, coupled with a torsion beam, dampers and coil springs at the rear. Also retained is the Swift’s variable ratio, electrically assisted steering, which offers quick response and easy manoeuvrability, thanks to a compact 9,6 metre turning circle.
The Swift 1.2 is fitted with large, ventilated front disc brakes and efficient rear drum brakes. Latest-generation ABS anti-lock assistance is standard on the GL model. The system features Brake Assist and Engine Drag Control (EDC) to optimise braking force and prevent wheel lock-up, even when the road surface is wet or slippery.
Of particular note is the raised ride height, and the high-profile tyres, incorporated in the interests of traversing the often poor road surfaces encountered by SA road users. This makes the new Swift 1.2 less susceptible to damage from potholes, and allows it to cope more easily with compromised road surfaces.
Both GA and GL models run on 14-inch steel wheels fitted with full wheel covers and shod with 165/80 R14 tyres.
SUZUKI SWIFT 1.2 DYNAMICS AND EFFICIENCY
With a minimum kerb weight of 960 kg, the Swift lives up to its name as far as performance and response is concerned. Its favourable power-to-weight ratio not only benefits straightline performance and tractability but also fuel economy.
Thus, the Swift 1.2 Manual achieves a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 5,7 l/100 km, with an associated CO2 emissions rating of 134 g/km.
In four-speed automatic guise, the rated fuel consumption for the combined cycle comes to 6,3 l/100 km, linked to CO2 emissions of 149 g/km.
SUZUKI SWIFT 1.2 RANGE AND EQUIPMENT
The new Swift 1.2 is offered in two specification levels. The Swift 1.2 GA is aimed at budget conscious, entry-level buyers seeking the agile dynamics, quality and efficiency the Swift nameplate is renowned for, while also benefiting from the added frugality of the K12 engine.
The 1.2 GL offers identical dynamic attributes, but links those to a more comprehensively equipped interior that adds further comfort and convenience to the 1.2 package.
SUZUKI SWIFT 1.2 GA
Offered as a manual-gearbox model only, the Swift 1.2 GA is identical to the dearer 1.2 GL in mechanical terms, ensuring peppy response, efficient fuel economy and engaging road manners.
For all its entry-level positioning, the Swift 1.2 GA still offers an attractively finished, roomy cabin equipped with ergonomically arranged switchgear, comfortable seating front and rear, and attractive cloth upholstery.
Included as standard are manual air-conditioning with pollen filter, front head restraints, a remote tailgate release, sun visors with a vanity mirror for the front passenger occupants, a parcel shelf behind the rear bench seat, and four loudspeakers that allow for easy retro-fitting of a sound system.
Safety features include dual front airbags, as well as front inertia reel seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters The heated rear screen is fitted with a rear wash/wipe system.
SUZUKI SWIFT 1.2 GL
The GL model adds a more extensive list of standard comfort and convenience features to the GA version’s specification. While the engine and mechanical underpinnings are identical, the GL also introduces a four-speed automatic transmission as an option.
Externally, the GL models are fitted with blacked-out A and B-pillars, colour-coded door handles, integrated front fog lights and electrically adjustable, colour-coded exterior mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators.
The GL interior reflects its more upmarket status with upgraded seat fabric, and an instrument binnacle that includes a rev counter. It also benefits from metallic accents on the steering wheel, the inside door handles, the gear shift lever, and the handbrake.
Included in the GL package is a CD receiver with four loudspeakers, as well as USB and auxiliary sockets for use with portable music devices. The audio system can be controlled via switches on the steering wheel, and is MP3 playback compatible.
Furthermore, the GL’s list of standard features also includes electric windows, remote central locking and keyless entry. The dual front airbags are retained, and augmented by ABS anti-lock control for the braking system.