Suzuki Swift: A compact car for every occasion
By: Mahomed Abramjee

Suzuki Swift: A compact car for every occasion




By Mahomed Abramjee


A Suzuki Swift “for every member of the family” – it’s an interesting payoff line and one aped by many a manufacturer for various models they feel suit a wide target audience, but Suzuki have some genuine weight behind their claim.  It’s a model family with a R106 400 span between its cheapest and most expensive variants; a substantial spread given the entry level 1.2 hatch is priced from R137 500.  But within that R100k spread there’s something for just about everyone – whether it’s a budget buy, or a weekend track car, the answer is always Swift.

Suzuki tasked me with exploring the Swift range over a period of 3-weeks, starting with my choice of either a 1.2 hatch, before swapping out for the 1.4 GLS and ultimately spending the weekend with the Swift Sport – decked out in GSX-RR racing colours for added effect.

Suzuki’s Swift model line-up isn’t just one of the most comprehensive in the subcompact segment – it also addresses the needs of a broad range of buyers. From entry-level motorists to performance fans, from young families to students and empty-nesters, there’s a Swift for every need and application.


The Suzuki Swift has been at the very core of Suzuki’s ever growing presence in South Africa. The smart and, dare we say it, swift little car’s local debut coincided with the official arrival of the brand in SA back in 2008, and it’s been a mainstay of Suzuki Auto SA’s product offering ever since.


Whilst the Toyota brand was always the mainstay in the minds of the broader Indian and Muslim community, recent developments in the industry is slowly changing that mindset. Reliability and frugal petrol consumption have resulted in buyers looking at other brands. Suzuki is a reliable Japanese brand and buyers need to consider these in the future as well.


In 2011, an all-new Swift, featuring advanced technology and an even more frugal and refined engine range, linked to fresh styling and enhanced interiors, added further impetus to the Swift success story in SA.


Another series of improvements followed as part of an across-the-range update in early 2014. At the same time, the range was further extended with the introduction of the 1.2 Hatch and the DZire sedan.


Today the Swift model line-up consists of nine models spanning a price band that starts at R134 400 and extends all the way to R239 200. The range encompasses five-door hatchback variants, as well as the four-door DZire sedan.


While all sharing the same platform, the Swift range offers a choice of three engines, ranging in capacity from 1,2 litres to 1,6 litres, while the transmission choices include both manual and automatic gearboxes. Front-wheel drive is a consistent feature throughout.


The Swift’s broad representation across a wide price band underscores the car’s unique ability to compete with A-segment rivals at the affordable end of the spectrum, despite its more generous dimensions, while at the same time meeting the needs of premium AB-segment purchasers at the other end of this segment’s price spectrum.


As a result, the Swift has chalked up more than 11 000 SA sales since its local introduction in 2008, while global sales have already surpassed four million units.


Key attributes of all Swift models include the nameplate’s fun-to-drive character, which makes spending time behind the wheel more than just a simple commute, but an entertaining motoring experience.


Exceptional value is another core attraction: all Swift models are comprehensively equipped. For instance, safety-critical ABS brakes are standard across the range, while Bluetooth connectivity, which allows convenient and safe hands-free telephony with Bluetooth-equipped cellphones, is offered on all derivatives except the entry-level GA versions.


Adding to an attractively low cost of ownership is the Swift’s reputation for exceptional fuel economy, which not only translates into low running costs, but also benefits the environment through reduced CO2 exhaust emissions.


While other brands employ two separate model ranges to contest the A and AB segments, the Swift line-up seamlessly addresses the widest possible range of requirements across both segments in a price band stretching from below

R135 000 to R240 000. The result is a Suzuki Swift for every need, and every pocket.


Suzuki’s Community Involvement

Suzuki SA have embarked on numerous social responsibility projects and last year did a school empowerment project in the Eastern Cape.


The Tshwane Muslim School was also part of this vision. Four years-ago, Suzuki partnered with the school and sponsored their driving programme with a Suzuki Alto to use for teaching learners to drive that year.


The school obtained learners’ licences for all the Grade 11 and 12s and they were taught driving as part of their Life Orientation course free-of-charge. This project yielded safe and responsible young drivers and Suzuki are commended for their involvement.

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