Suzuki Grand Vitara LTD 5-door 2012 Review

January 17th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Back in 2008, just before the Global Financial Crisis, Suzuki treated us all to an awesome trip to Ayers Rock and the surrounding outback to test the Grand Vitara range. It was a spectacular jaunt and one that highlighted the Grand Vitara’s good points – rugged versatility without compromising much on road manners being the main one.

While I didn’t go on the launch of this model (time constraints prevent those kinds of things these days), I was expecting to be impressed by how much Suzuki has Continue reading “Suzuki Grand Vitara LTD 5-door 2012 Review” »

S-Cross: Suzuki’s New C-segment Crossover Concept

September 28th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

A highlight of the 2012 Paris Motor Show is Suzuki’s unveiling of the S-Cross—a concept car which heralds the company’s next-generation C-segment crossover model. The new crossover will be the first in an ambitious programme of annual European model launches which Suzuki will be starting in 2013.

Suzuki’s future model strategy
Suzuki has established a reputation for producing cars which make everyday life more exciting. These cars reflect a brand strategy which is expressed through the company’s slogan “Way of Life!”. Suzuki has always been focusing on creating models—such as the Alto—which are characterised by small environmental footprints and low running costs thanks to exceptionally low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Now the company plans to launch models which top their segments in terms of environmental performance even more. The production model of the S-Cross concept will be one of those with the lowest CO2 emissions in the C-segment crossover cars.

The crossover pioneer
Since launching the Jimny (originally the LJ series) in 1970, Suzuki has expanded its lineup of off-road vehicles to include models such as the Vitara and Grand Vitara; the company has earned a reputation as the pioneer of compact sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Meanwhile, Suzuki has gained incomparable know-how in the development of compact passenger cars. And since the latter half of the 1980s, the company has been refining its performance technologies in the field of motor sport. In 2006, Suzuki united its advanced technologies in the form of the SX4 sport crossover—a vehicle which offers relaxing city driving and great performance on snow and rough roads. With the SX4 Suzuki created the crossover category in Europe and has driven its growth. Suzuki is the crossover pioneer.

Smart Crossover for more freedom in daily life
The new model heralded by the S-Cross will mark Suzuki’s full-scale entry into the market for C-segment crossovers. The new vehicle’s features and functions will be designed primarily for comfort. It will also offer a high degree of practicalityby providing one of the largest luggage areasfor C-segment crossover cars.

Suzuki is also ensuring that the new crossover inherits the on-road handling and performance excellence of the Swift series, the SX4 and the Kizashi. And Suzuki is adopting systems which represent an evolution in the four-wheel-drive performance that is part and parcel of its heritage.

The new model will offer drivability which encompasses gentle, fuel-saving driving, more sporty driving, and even driving on snow. It will maximize the enjoyment of day-to-day tasks
such as commuting or carrying children as well as the pleasure of longer trips at weekends; in short, it will allow people to get the most out of urban lifestyles. It will perfectly embody
Suzuki’s vision of a smart crossover for more freedom in daily life.

The new crossover will join the Alto, Splash, Swift, SX4, Kizashi, Jimny and Grand Vitara in a lineup which already includes A-, B- and C-segment passenger cars and SUVs. Suzuki will
continue to expand its range to meet a wider range of user needs.

The S-Cross design

  • Emotion is expressed by dynamic lines running from the front bumper to the rear of the body, by chrome-plated features which extend deep into the body from LED foglamps in
    the front bumper, and by LED headlamps and tail lamps with organic designs suggesting the muscles of an animal.
  • Quality is expressed by a mesh front grille consisting of dark chrome and silky chrome and by innovatively designed roof rails which are flush with the roof line when not in use.
  • Aerodynamics is expressed by a roofline which slopes downwards towards the rear and by smooth contours on the sides of the front bumper, at the bottom of the doors and on the sides of the rear bumper. The shape of the body helps the vehicle meet increasingly tough demands for fuel economy.
  • Crossover toughness is expressed by a front skid plate, by boldly flared wing arches and under mouldings, and by 20-inch chrome wheels.

Body colour
A specially created Crystal Green Metallic body colour has intensity and radiance which create a dynamic impression in the minds of onlookers. The image it evokes is one of “nature in the city and the city in nature”.

Specifications (mm)
Overall length 4,310
Overall width 1,840
Overall height 1,600
Wheelbase 2,600
Tyres 235/55R20

Suzuki Swift Diesel 2012 Review

July 30th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Suzuki’s best-selling small car, the Swift, has received a 1248cc diesel heart which shuns fuel like beauty queens shun calories. As such, the Swift can claim 4.2l/100km fuel economy which puts it near the top of the pile.

If you’re familiar with the Swift you’ll know it is New Zealand’s best-selling small car, and for good reason. Its compact, attractive design, around-town practicality, go-kart-like handling and low price has won admirers from all ages, genders and socio-economic backgrounds.

Petrol engines are never stupendously economical, though. Now we’re all aware of fuel economy it has become a driving factor in which car to buy. In the petrol vs diesel argument, diesel Continue reading “Suzuki Swift Diesel 2012 Review” »

Suzuki Swift Sport 2012 Review

June 5th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Does the sporty version of New Zealand’s best-selling small car does live up to its moniker? Even with a six-speed manual and a slightly peppier engine it’s actually a pretty sedate and boring car around town. But this is a car that gets much better when you are on the open road or driving ‘more enthusiastically’.

The problem with being at the top of the pile is that there are always young upstarts trying to knock you off. To find out whether it’s still worthy of the top spot I took it from Auckland to Continue reading “Suzuki Swift Sport 2012 Review” »

Suzuki Swift Diesel Economy Run Results

May 23rd, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

The first Swift diesel to arrive in New Zealand has proved to be a fuel economy wizard after a lengthy North Island drive.

The 1.3-litre Swift used a mere 21.25 litres of diesel to travel from Auckland to Wellington, averaging a remarkable 3.27 litres/100 km (85.5 miles per gallon).

It then turned around and headed north along the same State Highway 1 route via Taupo, completing the 1,303 kilometre journey for an overall average of 3.36 litres/100 km (83.4 miles per gallon).

The Swift was driven by Auckland motoring journalist Donn Anderson who has competed in many fuel economy events, and was a member of the team that broke Guinness fuel economy records in Britain and New Zealand.

“We always knew the new Swift DDiS would be capable of doing the Auckland-Wellington drive without the need to refuel the relatively modest sized 42-litres tank,” said Anderson.

“However, we didn’t expect the car to return as far as Mercer before the tank was dry,” he said. “The Suzuki was only 60 kilometres short of reaching Auckland, and managed 1,240 kilometres on the one tankful.”

Anderson said the result could have been even better had the car not encountered high winds and torrential rain on the Desert Road in central North Island. Where possible on the open road, the Swift cruised between 80 km/h and 100 km/h to provide a real world figure.

On the Auckland-Wellington leg, the Swift consumed just 21.25 litres of diesel for a fuel cost of $34, based on a typical pump price of $1.60 per litre.

Factor in the Government Road User charge of $28.80 for the distance, and the total fuel/tax cost for the journey was $62.80.

“The Swift diesel is an astute answer to motorists and business users wanting to lower their costs of transport, particularly for those who travel long distances annually,” said Anderson.

“With 46 per cent more torque than a 1.4-litre petrol-engined Swift, the car is responsive and well geared for local conditions,” he said.

Peak torque is achieved at a low 1,750 rpm and at 80 km/h in fifth gear, the turbocharged diesel engine is spinning at around 1,900 rpm, rising to 2,250 rpm at 100 km/h.

Anderson said the standard fitment of the trip computer, with instant and average fuel economy readings, proved invaluable in squeezing out the optimum economy for the constantly changing road conditions.

The test proved that with careful driving, it is possible to better posted economy figures from motor manufacturers.

In the official extra urban fuel cycle for highway driving, Suzuki claims a figure of 3.6 litres/100 km (78.5 mpg).

“However, the combined cycle for both urban and open road driving is a more reasonable consumption figure for everyday motoring,” said Anderson.

Suzuki claims 4.2 litres/100 km (67.3 mpg) for the combined cycle, making the diesel Swift the new economy champion in the Suzuki line-up of models.

It also arrives as arguably the most fuel efficient new car available in New Zealand and a viable alternative to petrol/electric hybrid models.

Suzuki Swift with Turbocharged Diesel Power Goes On Sale in New Zealand

May 15th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

The highly economical, low emission Suzuki Swift DDiS diesel five-door hatchback is expected to have special appeal to government, fleets and businesses and for motorists who do higher than average annual distances.

Powered by a European designed 1,248cm3 four-cylinder, common rail diesel motor built under license by Suzuki, the new DDiS is the most economical model in the Swift range and packs the most engine torque.

With four valves per cylinder and an advanced fuel injection system, the efficient D13A engine produces 55 kW of power (75 bhp) at 4,000 rpm, and 190 Nm of torque at a low 1,750 rpm. Availability of high torque at relatively low engine revolutions means the Swift diesel is responsive at mid-range and medium road speeds.

The DDiS boasts 46 per cent more torque than the 1.4-litre petrol Swift, has a maximum speed of 166 km/h and reaches New Zealand’s open road speed limit of 100 km/h in less than 13 seconds.

A five-speed manual gearbox is standard and the gear ratios and final drive gearing are unique to the Swift DDiS.

In the official Combined fuel cycle test simulating both urban and open road driving the diesel Swift averages 4.2 litres/100 km (67.3 miles per gallon).

The Suzuki delivers an outstanding 3.6 litres/100 km (78.5 mpg) in the Extra Urban highway only cycle and 5.1 litres/100 km (55.4 mpg) in the Urban city and suburban street cycle.

A recent independent fuel test from Auckland to Wellington produced even better economy than the Extra Urban fuel test cycle, with an average of 3.27 litres/100 km (85.5 mpg).

“We originally estimated the Swift DDiS would have a driving range of around 800 kilometres, but in open road running, it has since been found the 42-litre fuel tank is good for up to 1,000 kilometres,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.

The standard fit 12-spoke aluminium alloy wheels are shod with 185/55 R16 tyres and the engine complies with the latest Euro 5 emission standards.

In line with market demands, the well equipped Swift DDiS diesel is high on safety and equipment levels. It comes with ABS anti-lock and brake assist, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), foot protecting brake and clutch pedals, ISOFIX child seat anchorages and child seat tether anchorages.

There are driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags (incorporated into the front seats), curtain airbags and a driver knee bag giving the Swift Diesel the highest possible 5-Star Euro NCAP safety rating. This rating considers occupant protection in frontal, side, pole and rear impacts as well as child protection, pedestrian protection and the availability of driver aids.

Standard security features include an immobiliser, remote controlled centralised door locking and freewheeling door key cylinders.

A height adjuster for the driver’s seat and electrically operated front door windows with automatic-down function for the driver’s side window are standard.

Other features include a front accessory power socket, lights-on and key reminder, front seatbelt warning lamp and alarm, halogen multi-reflector headlamps with headlamp leveling control, three cup holders and bottle holders in all four doors.

The Swift DDiS also comes with air conditioning, green tinted window glass and a three-spoke leather-covered steering wheel.

An easily operated trip computer details instant and average fuel consumption, tank range and outside air temperature, while the audio system can be conveniently operated by controls located on the steering wheel and includes a USB input.

Especially handy for cold winter months are the heated door mirrors which are electrically operated.

First examples of the Swift DDiS diesel go on sale in New Zealand in June with a recommended retail price of $25,990 that includes on-road costs, 12 months registration, three year/100,000 km warranty and five year Suzuki roadside assistance plan. Arrival of the DDiS extends the choice of Swift hatchbacks to eight models.

Suzuki Jimny Sierra 2012 Review

April 17th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

It’s been four years since we’ve had a Jimny Sierra to drive and it may be three grand more, but it’s still the best value-for-money off-roader you can buy.

I’ve always maintained that the Jimny is the perfect car to learn to drive in. It’s manual (although, you can get an auto ‘box if you want), and it doesn’t have unnecessary fluff to distract you from the task at hand. The sat nav is made of paper (it’s called a map book), the heat in the seats comes from your own buttocks, and the cruise control is your right foot. There’s hardly any power (62.5kW – notice how they put the .5 in there because 62 sounds just so low?) Torque isn’t much better at 110Nm and if you try to drive it at more than 100kph it Continue reading “Suzuki Jimny Sierra 2012 Review” »

New Limited Edition Suzuki Swift XS With Bold Sporting Look

April 16th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

A new limited edition version of New Zealand’s favourite small car puts the accent on a sporting appearance.

With its distinctive body enhancements, the Suzuki Swift XS arrives as an additional model to the best-selling five-door Swift hatchback.

A black European inspired spoiler kit adds a real edge to the car’s handsome looks, and incorporates bold wheel arch and lower side skirts, rear upper spoiler and side protection door mouldings and a unique XS decal.

The larger diameter 17-inch HRS H-461 aluminium alloy wheels are finished in black with a liquid smoky silver background. These 12-spoke design wheels are shod with high performance Bridgestone MY02 205/45 R17 tyres.

A Bluetooth Sony audio system with external microphone is also included in the low volume model.

Available in Continue reading “New Limited Edition Suzuki Swift XS With Bold Sporting Look” »