New Suzuki Swift GLX combines outstanding road manners, clever technology, great value and one addictive exhaust note!
What is it?
The Suzuki Swift GLX is the flagship model of the all-new 2017 Suzuki Swift range. The 2017 Suzuki Swift range is new from the ground up, including a new platform, engines, transmissions and driver assistance technologies.
What’s it cost?
The 2017 Suzuki Swift line-up kicks off with the Suzuki Swift GL manual from $15,990 plus on road costs, and the range tops out with the Suzuki Swift GLX which is priced from $22,990 plus on roads.
Standard equipment for the Swift GLX includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, drowsiness detection, a host of airbags, a reversing camera, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and single-zone climate control.
The Swift GLX can only be had with a conventional six-speed automatic mated to a rather excellent 1.0 litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine.
What’s it go like?
The Suzuki Swift has always been known for its cheeky handling, fun loving nature and above all, being a driver’s car that is affordable to pretty much everyone. Happily, the new Suzuki Swift retains and builds upon these values.
Let’s start with the engine. The Suzuki Swift GLX is powered by a 1.0 litre turbocharged and intercooled three-cylinder engine that produces 82kW @ 5500rpm and 160Nm @ 1500-4000rpm. Those figures mightn’t seem overly impressive, until you realise that the car only weighs 915kgs.
That powerband is pretty chunky, too, meaning that the Swift GLX always feels sharp and responsive, spritely, even. The six-speed automatic keeps things moving along nicely, extracting the best from the little three pot and should the driver wish to become more involved in the process, they can use the flappy paddles mounted on the back of the flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Performance isn’t quite hot hatch – we suspect Suzuki has left some mambo in reserve for the next Swift Sport – but it’ll be more than enough people and it always made us smile. The exhaust note is awesome too, making the Swift GLX sound like a feisty little terrier.
Average fuel consumption is quoted as 5.1 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle. We averaged around 6.5 litres, which is a little thirsty for a car of this size and weight. You also have to remember that the Swift GLX’s turbo engine only has an appetite for the high-octane stuff.
Another beaming aspect – see what we did there? – of the Swift GLX is the handling. The Suzuki Swift has developed a reputation for fine road holding and the new model holds that baton even higher.
The steering is perfectly weighted and ever so communicative, allowing the driver to know what the front wheels are doing at any given time. This means the Swift is not only a great tool around town, but it’ll also encourage you to seek out a twisty driving road so it can devour some delicious corners.
While the handling is brilliant, we thought the ride was a little too firm at times, as some road imperfections were sent through to the cabin. Road noise is definitely the Swift’s Achilles heel, especially on coarse chip surfaces, where it may prompt you to turn the volume up on the sound system.
As for the driver assistance tech, the adaptive cruise was great at maintaining preset speeds, but it took a little too long to react to changing traffic conditions up ahead, and we found that the lane departure warning was a little hypersensitive at times – we kept within the lines!
What we like:
- Road manners are almost impossible to fault.
- Interior space: it’ll accommodate four adults with ease, and the seats are comfy, too
- Value for money. Try finding a new car with this much standard equipment for under $23k
- That three-cylinder engine is hilariously entertaining
- Clever design inside and out. We like the new climate control switchgear, the hidden rear door handles and although the boot is still small, it is bigger than the previous model’s.
- That exhaust note is guaranteed to make you grin like a fool.
What we don’t:
- Performance in overseas crash tests has been disappointing, although the Swift has yet to be tested by ANCAP, and we’re hoping for a five-star result
- Road noise
- Lack of interior oddment storage – the glovebox is the only covered compartment in the cabin
- Some of the interior materials look and feel cheap
- No parking sensors
- No digital speedo
Sale or no sale?
Cute to look at, fun to drive and good value for money, the Suzuki Swift GLX is a winner for us, provided that Australian safety performance is up to scratch.