Suzuki Swift Sport 1.6 VVT

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Styling
The sport comes with a bodykit, 17-inch alloy wheels and twin exhausts that distinguish it from the regular hatch.
A tinted rear window and a spoiler complete the racy look on the outside, while the inside includes stainless steel pedals and sports seats with neat red stitching. Standard equipment includes Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, as well as climate control as well as a multi-function steering wheel.

Engine
The 1.6-litre engine in the Swift Sport delivers 134bhp. With a curb weight of only 1,045kg – around 100kg less than a MINI Cooper – the straight-line performance is nippy, with the car easing from 0-100km/h in only 8.7 seconds and hitting a claimed 195km/h top speed. The suspension is stiffer than in the standard Swift, and the steering sharper. A standard six-speed manual gearbox allows the car to be pushed through corners, where body roll has been virtually eliminated. Like many Japanese manufacturers, Suzuki also has an excellent reputation for reliability.

The Suzuki Swift Sport is less than four metres long and has a wheelbase of 2,430mm, so space inside is at a premium – especially for passengers in the rear. The boot space is limited to 211-litres of capacity with the rear seats in place which can be extended to 512 litres when they are folded down.

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The Suzuki’s naturally aspirated petrol engine needs to be revved beyond 4000rpm before it comes alive – although doing so is rewarding. At the same time you shouldn’t expect sports car performance associated with larger or turbo powered engines. It revs smoothly and sounds great as you work through the gears but don’t expect to beat anything like a Fiesta ST robot to robot.

While it doesn’t have the pace of some rivals, the Swift is still a pleasure to drive. Twisty roads demonstrate the excellent body control, strong grip and lively chassis of the Swift Sport. At the same time, ride comfort isn’t compromised by too stiff a suspension, in fact it’s pretty perfect.

Textured plastics are used throughout the interior and while not too flimsy, there’s no escaping the fact that they are cost saving pieces. Still, the Swift’s cabin looks smart, with some flashes of red stitching around the wheel, on the gear knob and on the comfortable sport seats.

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The 2014 Swift Sport’s equipment list is pretty comprehensive, too. You get seven airbags, climate control, keyless entry and start, cruise control, xenon headlights and Bluetooth. Unfortunately I didn’t get to test the quality of the Bluetooth system.

The front passenger has loads of headroom, although adults won’t enjoy long trips in the back due to the limited rear legroom. The electric mirrors deserve a mention with super precise positioning via a joystick-like control.

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In conclusion the Sport is a great small car with zippy performance, great economy and nice features as standard, however the boot space is really limited if you need the back seat and the substitution of a spare wheel with a can of tyre sealant and an electric tyre inflator leaves me feeling somewhat deflated.

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Boot space

Price at time of writing: R 229 000

Competition:
Mini Cooper R 296,000
Ford Fiesta ST R 267,700

Spec List:
Engine 1586 cubic cm
Avg consumption 6.5 litrees/100km
Gears 6 Speed
Power 100 kW
Torque 160 Nm

Features include air conditioner, alloy wheels, audio CD tuner & MP3, Bluetooth, central locking, electric mirrors, cruise control and more. ABS, EBD, dual SRS airbags, multi function steering wheel, keyless entry and driving.
Service interval is 15000km with a 48 month service period, 60000 km service plan and 100000km warranty valid for 36 months.

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