After numerous second hand car buys I went through, and thousands upon thousands of repair jobs in a span of 4 years, I realize that I needed to reward myself for being so meticulously attached to my second hand balls of fury. I’m glad to say I have found my partner for the next thousand miles or decade at least.
We all know that the current Suzuki Swift is with us since 2011. With its bold curves and stance like a Japanese version of a British icon, it’s definitely one of the most interesting hot-hatches available in the country. However, with its price tag, it didn’t sold well as the Japanese car maker would like to establish. 3 years later, Suzuki reintroduced the model with a price tag that will surely make you think twice in getting your first hatch. With its refreshed version, Suzuki Swift is available with 1.2 Liter 4 cylinder Variable Valve Timing or VVT engine that brings out 87 horsepower and 114 Newton-meters of torque via 5 speed manual or 4 Speed Automatic Transmission with overdrive.
It is built from the Maruti-Suzuki factory in India to bring down the overall cost of the model as compared to the Japanese version that houses the 1.4 Liter VVT Engine. Sure it is not the legit JDM car that you would expect from Suzuki but it has the signature quality and driving dynamics of this Japanese icon we all adore. This car screams value for money as Suzuki packed it with the latest safety and convenient features that other car manufacturers gives as an option. It has ABS and EBD, Keyless Entry with Immobilizer, 2 Front passenger SRS Airbags, 5 Seat belts, Electric Power Steering , Power windows, door locks and side mirrors.
An LCD Touchscreen with offline ready GPS navigation with Bluetooth and aux input are also part of the PHP678,000 price tag for the AT and PHP638,000 for the MT unit. Appearance is definitely appealing and timeless. The facelift version has new front and back bumpers. 15” wheels are also redesigned. LED turn signals are located at both side mirrors. The car stands out with this Pear White Metallic finish. The ride height is also adjusted by a few millimeters to cope with our road conditions.
I had this car since July 2016. For sure, it does have limitations. Space is limited, but not claustrophobic for the back row seats. Luggage compartment is also an issue if you are used to carry large and bulky items. Good thing that the rear seats can be folded with 60:40 layout if you need to carry longer items. True story, I was able to fit 5 pieces of 9 feet long plastic molds and 4 feet long LED lights with 20-30kgs medium sized boxes with all the seats folded(except the driver’s seat) when I was doing a renovation project.
Ergonomics and interior lay out is very thoughtful that for a big guy like me that stands 6’1”. Its like driving a mini SUV that you can reach anywhere inside. Cubby holes are plenty to store your water bottles or your knick knacks. USB port is just beside the 12V Car Plug if you need to charge your gadgets and it syncs up with infotainment system if you are an iPhone user. Seats are well cushioned but the plastics are really hard for my liking. Who am I to complain if this car serves as an icon in the next few years? Performance is also tuned for in-city driving. But it felt like it needed a little more grunt when over taking. It’s not underpowered as you would expect. The downside maybe is the 4 Speed AT that is tuned for normal driving. I bet that it will be different if the car has the 5 speed manual as Suzuki is well known for their crisp and smooth shifting gearboxes.
For a typical highway run, the comfortable cruising speed is around 90-100kph. Passing thru the 100kph will make the 1200cc engine buzzing at 3000-4000rpm, to which is okay. With its aerodynamic design and proper weight distribution, the car feels planted on the highway. Cabin is also well insulated in city or highway driving that you would forget that it’s a sub 700k hatchback. On the other hand, the ride set up is a bit jittery since it has been acclimatized to survive our poor road works. I forgave the matter since Suzuki is true in making the balance between driving dynamics and riding comfort. The EPS is very light and fluid, especially in tight city roads where you need to turn the wheel with gusto. With that, changing lanes in the city is like driving darts. Snappy and swift as the name suggests.
Suzuki has definitely impressed me with this car. Value is really more like the icing of the cake but the overall Japanese built quality and ownership experience that really gets me to the bones. If you do some research, There are many Suzuki dealerships that really treats you well beyond expectations. Since the brand is not too mainstream as others, there is high probability that you will make friends out of everyone. If you are looking for a small hatchback that is economical, easy to park, spirited driving dynamics with a tad of exclusivity to stand out the crowd of Jazz, Wigo, Mirage and among others, Make sure to test drive and have it listed on your check-out list.