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Suzuki Swift Fourth Generation Review: Design, Performance, and Safety Features

2024-03-30 07:55:42

The new generation of the Swift is the fourth in number since the introduction of the first generation in 2004 and the beginning of marketing in 2005. “How is 2005, if my first car was a 1988 Swift?”, someone will get up and ask. It turns out that the Swift versions that were sold decades before and some of which arrived in Israel were a “sticker name” for existing Suzuki models. our wisdom
After half a day of flying, we meet the Swift for the first time face to face at the entrance to the hotel in Bordeaux where the press launch party will take place and from where we will go for a drive. The bloggers and vloggers who are with us are already releasing their impressions across the web. After such a long drive, first we’ll sleep for a night and then we’ll hit the road.
Morning, coffee, breakfast, press conference with the Suzuki team and we are ready to go. Go up to the fifth floor in the large parking lot next to the hotel. Dozens of brightly colored Suzuki Swifts are waiting for us. The Swift in the new launch colors – pearl blue metallic and cool yellow metallic – were the first to be snapped up for a drive. The warm red and orange shades also suit the Swift well. The Suzuki Holland representative who produced the event directs me to a Pearl White Metallic Swift with a Mineral Gray Metallic roof. A solid but handsome combination.

Design: Back when the first official photos of the Swift were revealed, it was possible to understand that this was not a radical revolution but a recent evolution. It is not difficult to notice that this is a new Suzuki Swift. The gaping muzzle and the headlights stretched to the sides are somewhat reminiscent of the previous generation. Those with a sharp distinction will be able to see the resemblance to the face of the Ford Fiesta and even to that of the Focus. The profile with the roof that covers the windshield like a visor and the stern completes the familiar Swift side from the previous editions. Even from the rear, it is impossible to mistake the identification, despite Suzuki’s statements about a new trapezoidal configuration when viewed from above. The large lighting units are adequate, and their light signature is different from that of the outgoing model.
So what do we expect to see in Israel? The Swift will be marketed in Israel in one trim level (GLX) and it will be possible to choose between a manual box with 5 gears and a continuous CVT automatic box. Only cars with a manual transmission arrived at the launch event. On the one hand, it probably won’t be the best-selling version (which is a shame) but on the other hand: hey, at least we’ll have more fun driving the launch. The price for the Israeli consumer is still uncertain, since it is still under negotiation between the importer and the manufacturer. For the attention of the residents of Neve Atib and Majdal Shams, an intriguing dual-drive version with manual transmission only and higher ground clearance will also be marketed abroad -1.4 cm. There is currently no plan to import it.

Suzuki’s Swift (photo: YH’s Suzuki)

Passenger compartment: the door opens without a key by pressing the button on the opening handle. Sitting in the driver’s seat and the cluster of indicators in front of the face looks familiar and even a little outdated, the technocrats among us will argue. At the level of the design concept, the driver’s environment consists of several layers of plastic in different colors, and the main console faces the driver deliberately. The design of the dashboard, the textures of the plastic and the fabric in the seats show a nice design, the colors are pleasant, but the materials from which everything is built look cheap. The plastic on the dashboard is hard to the touch, and pieces of fabric upholstery in the doors save the situation a little. There is a feeling that everything is connected and fastened well and will surely last in the same condition for many years.

In terms of human engineering, the operation is expected to be very familiar to those who have driven a Suzuki in the past. Two round physical indicators for driving speed and rpm are in front of the driver’s eyes with a digital information screen between them. All the buttons, including the climate control system buttons and the command buttons on the steering wheel, including an accessible button to cancel the lane departure system, remain familiar and intuitive physical buttons. Everything looks conservative and familiar , without experiments at the expense of ease of operation while driving. The main console has a 9-inch touch screen with an overly thick frame in a glossy black finish. The most notable change is the touch buttons for operating the multimedia below the main screen. The system supports connectivity to smartphones, and while driving, Android Auto worked excellently Wirelessly through the built-in wifi in the car.
With a wheelbase of 2.45 meters, the Swift offers its passengers a more spacious cabin than the numbers suggest: the space for passengers in front is excellent, and the combination of light colors gives a feeling of space. The front seats are comfortable and as expected have only manual adjustment. Later we will find that the support for the lower back is good but the side support is not enough in turns. Swift does not spoil the passengers in front: a central armrest is missing, and there is not even makeup lighting in the cheap-to-touch sun visors.
Since Suzuki stated at the press conference that this is a car that is mainly suitable for two people, there was concern about the state of affairs in the back. The entrance to the rear seat is large and allows for smooth entry even for tall people. Contrary to that initial concern, the Swift offers excellent living space for two adults in the back seat. The floor is relatively flat, and the headroom is suitable for passengers with a height of 1.8 meters. The disadvantage for those staying in the back seat is mainly on the equipment side: there are no pockets behind the front seats and no ventilation openings. There is only room for a cup in the doors and further down the console between the front seats. I guess Ali Express will celebrate here with aftermarket products like an armrest that looks like something original.

Safety: The specification of the active safety systems is certainly respectable and gives it a score of 6 out of 8 in the Ministry of Transport rating. The calibration of the systems is not too annoying or disturbing, except for the efficient but annoying speed sign detection system. With the strict European speed enforcement, we managed to manage that too. Even the lane departure system, which tends to annoy, warns in a polite way.

Walking on the safe side (photo: Y.H. Suzuki)

Engine and performance: under the hood is a new 1.2-liter 3-cylinder unit that is produced in two versions: regular gasoline and mild hybrid (Mild Hybrid). The hybrid version will be imported to Israel, and it is also the one we met at the launch event. On paper, the gasoline engine develops 82 hp at 5,700 rpm and a torque of 11 kgm at 4,500 rpm. The hybrid system adds about 3 hp to the “celebration”.
With such numbers, no one expects the Swift to be an asphalt-burning car. You start with the button and for a change you hear an engine. As expected from three piston engines, when you open the hood you can see the engine shaking at idle RPM but the shaking is not transmitted to the passenger compartment.
Pressing the clutch, shifting into first gear and off we go. Already during the passage through the five floors of the parking lot one can be impressed by the ease of operation of the gear stick and clutch and the gurgling sound made by the small engine. The launch event took place in the wine region of France. The route included a leisurely drive between pastoral villages, dormant vineyards and mansions, “chateaus” for the French fans in the audience, which serve as wineries for tasting and selling wines.
On the city roads, the Swift’s modest power unit allows for reasonable accelerations with decent power availability from low rpm. After we got used to small engines and turbochargers that could feed their owners who were bitter about the reliability aspect, there is another punch here. Although it is not possible to drive on electricity alone, the engine’s boost The electric replaces the turbo for availability of power.Combined with a curb weight of less than a ton, an effective power unit and easy gear operation, Swift conveys a sense of joy as a supermini is supposed to convey.
On the way back to Bordeaux we go up the A630 road for a few kilometers, although it was not part of the planned route. Noise isolation at interstate speeds is good, and only a little road noise penetrates the passenger compartment. Despite the relatively soft calibration that worked excellently on urban roads, the damping and curbing ability is good, but we will see it as a hero on the damned 444 road in the Holy Land.

Fuel consumption: The hybrid drive unit proved itself, with an average consumption of 20 km per liter in relaxed combined driving. When we switched to a more intense driving mode, the consumption increased to 18 km per liter. With such data, even with a modest 37-liter fuel tank, Swift can easily reach a driving range of 600-700 km.

Road behavior: In the past, the capabilities of supermini models were also measured in the dynamic aspect, with that elusive concept called “driving pleasure”. Suzuki states that the Swift should offer a driving experience, something they call in Japanese Waku waku, although there is no plan for a GTI version as in the past Despite calibration aimed at comfort, the chassis itself manages to convey information to the driver and even allows some weight transfer games with the pedal. Only the steering wheel with insufficiently accurate movement and a dead space in the center spoils the good impression made by the chassis.

Comfort: in the villages, the Swift chews up the ills of the city road with ease, thanks to a successful suspension calibration, which does not sin too softly and thanks to the Yokohama Blue earth tires that are reasonably economical and not excessive: 185/55R16.

The bottom line: The fourth generation of the Swift is an improvement over the previous generation in many ways: the smooth and economical power unit, the active safety systems, the good ride quality and the interior design. On the mandatory side, you can mention the savings in accessories and the level of materials. The missing variable is the capability of the new continuously variable transmission and how it is integrated with the hybrid drive unit. For a full and comprehensive test we will have to wait for the arrival of the Swift in Israel this coming June. In the meantime, it seems that traditional Suzuki customers and maybe even new customers who are looking to go “on the safe side” have something to wait for. 

Daniel Skelly participated in the preparation of the content,
who was Suzuki’s guest in France

#Suzukis #Swift #level

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