More Swift as evolution adds style, green efficiency and sporty appeal
The second generation of Suzuki’s multiple award-winning Swift world car takes the sporty and attractive demeanour of the outgoing model to new heights, while retaining the distinctive and popular character of the original.
The new-generation Swift raises the bar even further, with more athletic and elegant styling, and a more upmarket interior. Handling has been further refined, and there’s an even closer focus on superior fuel economy and environmental performance.
The result is a sporty, contemporary compact hatchback that’s an ideal match for today’s motoring needs.
CONCEPT AND DESIGN
The development team’s motto for new Swift was simply More Swift! – a philosophy aimed at evolving the already successful Swift into a car that improved on every aspect of the original.
Thus, the new Swift has been designed to achieve greater efficiency and economy, increased dynamics in both performance and handling terms, more vibrant styling, further enhanced levels of quality excellence – and, naturally, even more fun.
While new Swift is unmistakably an evolution of the outgoing model, its revised styling unequivocally expresses a more dynamic, energetic and elegant character.
The revitalised design accentuates the unique wrap-around effect of the car’s glass area which, coupled to a more sharply raked windscreen, wider body and restyled headlight and tail light clusters, creates an even more distinctive presence.
In the new cabin, the Swift gains a markedly sportier, yet also more refined ambience, courtesy of the sophisticated black trim with contrasting silver accents. This is complemented by an entirely new array of instruments and controls, along with upmarket textures and exquisite craftsmanship.
Suzuki’s expertise in efficient compact car design is reflected in proportions that optimise roominess and comfort, with significant gains in both areas despite a minimal increase in overall length of just 95 mm to 3,85 m.
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
The Swift is renowned for its nimble handling and dynamic characteristics, and these traits are more evident than ever in the new line-up.
In its latest guise, the Swift’s body reflects an evolution of Suzuki’s proprietary Total Effective Control Technology (TECT). Extensive use of higher-strength steel makes the new car’s body stiffer and lighter, leading to greater body rigidity (up by approximately 15 percent), improved roll stiffness, a lower centre of gravity and improved impact safety.
It also allows the use of slightly softer suspension settings in the interests of comfort, but without compromising stability and control.
In essence, the proportionally wide track and short wheelbase of the original configuration has been retained, but 40 mm has been added between the axles for improved interior space. The front track is increased by up to 20 mm, and the rear by as much as 15 mm (depending on specification).
The optimised suspension configuration employs MacPherson struts in front, with an improved layout for the front stabiliser and coil springs to achieve better roll stiffness without increasing weight. The suspension frame is also more rigid.
An innovative design has been adopted for the rear suspension, with an entirely new structure for the torsion beam that incorporates the function of the stabiliser bar, which is traditionally a separate component. It achieves a
25 percent greater roll stiffness, but reduces overall weight by 2 kg.
An extensive array of additional weight-saving technologies has been employed throughout the vehicle in the interests of reduced mass and resultant greater efficiency.
This is complemented by a newly developed steering system that features a variable gear ratio design, which reduces the steering effort and improves responsiveness.
DRIVETRAIN AND PERFORMANCE
An entirely new engine powers the latest Suzuki Swift. Known internally as the K14B, this advanced 1 372 cc unit replaces the previous model’s M15A 1,5-litre version.
The new-generation engine is not only lighter, but also one of the most fuel efficient naturally-aspirated engines in its class. It achieves an exceptional
13 percent improvement in economy compared to the previous model, with a combined cycle fuel consumption of just 5,5 l/100 km and a low CO2 emissions figure of 132 g/km.
The claimed consumption figures were vindicated under real-life conditions when a Suzuki Swift achieved an average consumption figure of just 5,715 litres/100 km in this year’s Total Economy Run – proving the frugality car in no uncertain terms.
The smaller capacity results in a decrease of around five percent in power and 2 percent in torque, which is now rated at a 70 kW maximum achieved at 6 000 r/min, coupled to a torque peak of 130 Nm at 4 000 r/min.
However, this is offset by the revised variable intake valve timing and cam profiles, numerous internal refinements to reduce friction, and a new electronic throttle control.
Similarly, the five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions have been adapted to suit the new engine’s performance characteristics. The manual gearbox has a newly adopted shift-assist mechanism for reduced driver effort, while the auto boasts a more modern straight-shift pattern, as well as lock-up slip control.
The manual version of the new Swift is capable of accelerating from standstill to 100 km/h in 10,9 sec, and the auto version in 12,3 sec, with top speeds of 170 km/h and 165 km/h respectively.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Suzuki’s Swift is acknowledged as one of Europe’s safest cars. It achieved a maximum five-star rating in the newly revised, more stringent Euro NCAP safety test.
It also attained the highest overall rating of the institute’s 2010 safety performance test programme – a remarkable feat, considering its compact dimensions and market positioning.
In order to gain this high total safety performance score, the newest generation Swift has been developed with a stronger and lighter impact-absorbing body shell, designed to improve occupant protection while also minimising injuries to pedestrians.
A minimum of two front airbags is specified as standard on the entry-level Swift GL, while the higher-spec GLS gains dual side airbags incorporated into the front seats, along with curtain airbags. Dual ISOFIX child seat anchorage points are provided for the rear seats.
In line with its commitment to active safety, the Suzuki Swift boasts ABS brakes as standard, complemented by Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and an Brake Assist (BA) function to ensure optimal stopping performance in all conditions.
The braking performance has also been improved with new ventilated front discs, allowing more effective stopping power and improved pedal feel compared to the outgoing model.
Vehicle security remains a priority in SA, and accordingly, the Swift is equipped with a factory-fitted alarm and immobiliser system, along with freewheeling key cylinders.
The Suzuki Swift is available in two specification grades – both of which offer an impressive array of standard features and outstanding value for money in the highly competitive compact hatchback segment.
The Swift GL is the high-value proposition in the range, matching a very affordable price tag to well above-average levels of standard features.
It boasts power steering with height-adjustable steering wheel, electric windows front and rear, remote-controlled central locking for the doors and tailgate, and air-conditioning.
Also on the list are electrically adjustable mirrors, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, and a multi-function trip computer that displays outside temperature, fuel consumption and driving range.
This model comes pre-installed with an antenna and six-speaker system, while a CD tuner is available as an optional extra.
New Swift scores high in practicality terms, too, thanks to cup holders front and rear, bottle holders in each of the doors, a useful lidded storage binnacle on top of the dashboard, as well as a small receptacle above the glove compartment for small items.
The rear seat offers 60/40-split folding capability, with a handy convenience hook on the rear passenger seat backs for securing shopping bags.
The Swift GLS plays the premium card with an even more upmarket and sophisticated execution, and the choice of a manual or automatic gearbox.
Visually, it is distinguished from the base model by its 16-inch alloy wheels with larger 185/55 R16 tyres and front fog lights that add to its sporty persona.
The interior follows suit with a leather-trimmed steering wheel that is adjustable for reach and height, and boasts remote audio controls for the standard MP3-compatible CD receiver. A USB socket is also provided for playing music from a flash drive or portable media device.
Aiding ease of operation is the keyless operation system, which not only allows keyless starting and stopping of the engine by pushing a button on the dashboard, but also facilitates unlocking and locking of the doors simply by pushing a button on the door handle.
A high degree of cabin comfort is afforded with the effective fully automatic climate control system.
Swift GL Manual R152 900
Swift GLS Manual R169 900
Swift GLS Auto R183 900
The purchase price includes metallic paint, as well as the Suzuki Complete programme, which covers the full spectrum of after-sales support.
The new Swift is covered by a comprehensive three-year/100 000 km warranty, supported by six-year corrosion cover. Additionally, a four-year/ 60 000 km service plan is standard, too.
The price also includes an AA roadside assistance plan, which includes break-down towing, 24-hour road patrols, battery and locksmith call-out services, and emergency medical rescue.
More images of Suzuki are available in our
Photo Gallery. You can also view a
of the Suzuki Stand at the Johannesburg Motor Show.
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