Two gems by Suzuki
"It’s a clever little car"
Albert and Emelda have a great life. They’ve been married for ages and remember the days when you could rely on a good, honest tradesman. If something went wrong at home and you couldn’t fix it, a call to Joe Honest Trustworthy would solve the problem, and at a good price too.
By and large, the same experience didn’t always apply to buying a new car; it was often a choice between ‘Arfur Daley’ or a suited and booted smooth talker whose only care in life was to sell you that car.
Yet funnily enough, that experience is not common to Suzuki buyers; many of them have a personal relationship with their local dealer often going back many years. As their previous Suzuki did the job perfectly, a new car is simply a matter of a phone call to the local Suzuki branch manager for some quick advice and a new purchase…of another Suzuki.
We’ve sampled the brand from different areas of the Suzuki production spectrum, recently testing the new Suzuki Ignis, whilst running a long term Suzuki Swift.
The Suzuki Ignis
The new Ignis went on sale in the UK in January of this year. It’s a clever little car seeking to add a little more style and panache to this small economical compact crossover. Powered by a 90 bhp 1.2 litre four cylinder dual jet engine it achieves an impressive 97g/km of CO2 and a combined fuel consumption figure of 65.7 mpg.
Yet here’s the trick – the Ignis feels comfortable and spacious for driver and passenger alike, with relatively minimal passenger seat compromise in the rear. It is as practical as you could reasonably wish for a vehicle of this size, and like many sporting Suzukis is fun to drive. Prices start at £9,999 rising to £13,999 at the top end, so ten grand is the highly attractive starting point. A car like this is a perky fashion statement too; the Ignis comes in a range of bold reds, white, orange, blues, and black.
If you start at the ten grand mark the new Ignis is still pretty well equipped; six airbags, air conditioning, DAB radio with Bluetooth, 15 inch wheels and front electric windows. Step up the three graded spec ladder and the SZ-T adds satellite navigation, rear view camera, 16 inch alloys and roof rails. If you are seriously in love with this little Ignis then the SZ5 adds dual camera brake support, keyless entry and start, rear electric windows, LEDs and fog lamps – but at this level the price/value equation is less attractive. That said, it is your money to spend and paying top whack leaves you wanting for nothing.
This car is fun behind the wheel. A sweet gearshift and remarkable yet progressive range in the intermediate gears equates to an engaging drive, and the Ignis grips well and inspires confidence. It is not ‘fast’ of course, but on today’s road ‘fast’ is largely irrelevant for a usable all-purpose runaround. Reliability, economy, and fun is what you are buying here.
Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZ long term report
Readers who have been following our updates through the year probably won’t remember reading our last Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZ report; that’s because our Swift has run faultlessly throughout. To date there has been no fault whatsoever and the car has run trouble free despite its varied life as day to day runner, long distance companion, and even a learner driving school car.
The Swift has proved pleasurable, and quite honestly more impressive with time. There’s enough power for most road situations, other than in that critical 50-70 mph mark when you could well do with a bit more power for an overtake. Instead you’ll sacrifice the overtake for the other advantages; economy, smoothness, reasonable comfort, an excellent turning circle, good all round visibility and easy parking.
Maybe where the Swift could do with a little improvement is in cabin quality. It looks fine but does feel a bit ‘cheap’ and rather ‘plasticky’, lacking that reassuring build integrity feel you get from something German when you close the doors. But then the German products cost a whole lot more money too.
The ‘up’ sides are much more interesting – ride refinement is almost luxury saloon-like level whilst suspension is firm enough to encourage sprightly driving (hence the ‘Swift’ adage) and the car cruises quietly on long motorway hauls. The most rewarding bit is filling the tank with fuel for only about 50 quid max and watching it last forever.
So yes, the Swift gets the owner experience thumbs up from us. Trouble free, reliable, comfortable, practical and economical. A brand new Swift is imminent so we are intrigued to find out where the improvements will be made, but as long as Suzuki keep ticking the boxes, the buyers will be there.
Good Points: stylish, economical, comfortable yet fun to drive
Bad Points: cheap feel to interior
Overall: Great owner experience, trouble free, an often underrated car that is great fun to drive.
Related Articles: The new Suzuki Swift SZ-L Dualjet