Suzuki Swift Sport 3-door 2013 Review

Suzuki Swift Sport 3-door 2013 Review

Nothing says “I love driving enthusiastically by myself” like a car that makes it difficult to get passengers in. Of course, just having one door would be the perfect statement, but the impracticality would ensure this Suzuki Swift Sport would quickly be bumped off the best-sellers list.

Suzuki-swift-sport-rqThere are cars I drive where I enjoy company – big, comfortable SUVs and plush sedans – and there are cars where I wish everyone would just sod off and let me cane it through the twisty bits. This car deserves a caning more than a

 vandal in SingaporeSuzuki-swift-sport-sHowever, while it’s excellent at that task and communicates with the apex like it’s some kind of telepathic twin brother, it’s really built for slightly spirited city driving where a tight bend is that 90-degree left at the traffic lights. And if you spend your whole life in that scenario you might wish you’d bought an automatic, not this 6-speed manual.

Suzuki-swift-sport-inside-fYou have to be somewhat of an enthusiast to get the three-door, so there is always the five-door Swift Sport if you have some toy dogs and light groceries to carry around. But the three-door in manual is the look to have with its tinted windows, longer doors and repositioned B-pillar.

At the back there are twin exhausts nestled inside a diffuser which now houses a brake light in the middle – a nice design touch. The boot line flows from the bottom of the tail lights. Opening it reveals 211 litres of space, which is fine for a couple, and you can fold the rear seats down to improve that to 512 litres. Suzuki has done away with the trick floor of previous models. At the top of the tailgate is a spoiler that beautifully extends the line of the roof.

Suzuki-swift-sport-bootI expected that the Swift would have a little bit of extra refinement and a few more toys in the cabin, but this wasn’t the case. Buyers wanting more luxury appointments should search elsewhere. For example, there are no reversing sensors or automatic wipers. However, you do get Bluetooth phone integration, a slightly tinny-sounding 6-speaker stereo that will accept auxiliary devices, heated mirrors and keyless entry and start.

Fuel economy is quoted as 6.4l/100km by Suzuki. I did a lot of around town driving and averaged 7.4l/100km, which isn’t bad. They do recommend you use 95-octane fuel, so that will see you spending a little more at the pump.

The sports seat with their red piping will hold you firm. Leather seats are optional. Three stainless steel pedals await input from your feet and a perfectly thick leather-bound steering wheel connects the wheels to your brain.

The engine is the same as the five-door we tested last year. It’s a willing 100kW, 160Nm unit and, as the Swift’s curb weight is only 1045kg, it pulls smoothly up the rev range with only satisfyingly notchy gearshifts to interrupt the flow. There is an enormous amount of grip, despite only running on 195/45R17 tyres, but when you want to pootle around the city the Swift is dignified and poised, too.

Suzuki-swift-sport-radioAt open road speeds you’ll be pleased to know that the Swift comes with seven airbags, ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist and electronic stability program.

The Suzuki Swift Sport’s dynamics take no prisoners. In this segment there isn’t a car that is more fun to drive. But it’s the same formula that has served Suzuki well for years with a constant incremental improvement, and kept it at the top of the small car ratings. It wouldn’t take much for a competing manufacturer to leapfrog the Swift, though. Suzuki has been incredibly clever in its management of the image and dynamics of the Swift, creating a car that appeals to young and old alike.

Price: $25,990

Pros

  • It loves a good punishment
  • Perfectly proportioned and looks better than the five-door version
  • A lot of fun for the money

Cons

  • If you run with the same formula forever, eventually the competitors find a better formula
  • You need to fill it with 95-octane or above

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