Suzuki Philippines has launched the all-new Swift subcompact hatchback, and it is definitely worth the wait. The previous-generation model was released in our market seven years ago, and I reckon fans of the badge will be falling in love all over again—and new admirers will find themselves reeled in by the adorable car.
I cannot deny my desire for hatchbacks, and must say the Swift has evolved with a sportier, more cutting-edge appeal that translates to modern fun and vibrant youthfulness. It’s now slightly shorter (3,840mm), lower (1,495mm) but wider (1,735mm), making it a more agile city cruiser with a pleasingly spacious cabin for a vehicle in its class.
There are three variants available to Filipino buyers—GL MT, GL CVT and GLX CVT—but the three units displayed at the launch were all top-spec GLX variants, and I’d like to share its features with you. Though still carrying the cool blacked-out A- and B-pillars, the body has contours that project a bit more aesthetic heft, complemented by a trendy honeycomb grille flanked by LED projector headlamps with daytime running lights. The bubbly sleek shape and the muscular shoulders are further enhanced by eye-popping paintwork available in six shades: Speedy Blue Metallic (featured here), Fervent Red, Pure White Pearl, Premium Silver Metallic, Mineral Gray Metallic and Super Black Pearl (for me, it’s a tough choice between the blue and the red). Sharply styled 16-inch alloy wheels add more spunk to the car’s overall appearance.
Before delving into the cabin, I couldn’t help but notice the flush vertical rear door openers, giving the rear door panels a very clean, uninterrupted flow. The front door handles, meanwhile, come with push-button lock and unlock for added convenience.
The cabin, despite being enveloped in mostly textured hard plastic, is one of the more impressive designs I’ve seen in sub-P1,000,000 offerings, providing exceptional comfort, support and legroom. It’s hard to miss the eight-inch infotainment touchscreen that doubles as the reverse camera display (reverse camera and parking sensors are exclusive to the GLX variant).
The sporty gauges and the flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel would make one imagine gunning the Swift around a proper track. Though the 1.2-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder K12M gasoline mill mated to a CVT may have modest limits—82hp and 113Nm—I’m pretty sure this car would be enjoyable to toss around turns with its updated (and lighter) rigid frame and variable-gear-ratio steering.
In the GLX variant, cruise control, keyless push start and automatic air-conditioning are standard equipment.
Suzuki’s engineering has proven to elevate safety on a number of fronts. Aside from standard amenities such as front airbags and antilock brakes, the brand’s Total Effective Control Technology concept disperses and absorbs impact energy with great efficiency through the vehicle’s structural design. Not only is it safe for the occupants, it also has pedestrians in mind: It can mitigate bodily injuries in a pedestrian-vehicular collision with front components absorbing most of the impact.
If the Swift has already stimulated your appetite, there are more improvements that make it even more enticing to the practical palate. On the matter of cargo space, the new boot holds around 54L more versus the outgoing model, bringing capacity up to 264L (or to 546L with the rear seats folded). Not bad at all. It’s also good to know that interior storage bins are aplenty, ready to serve all five passengers.
This top-of-the-line GLX CVT is priced at P899,000, while the GL MT and the GL CVT sell for P755,000 and P799,000, respectively.
Suzuki has given us—in my sincerest opinion—a decent Japanese version of the popular Mini in the form of the funky Swift. Taking its manufacturer’s solid reputation for building small yet exciting cars to a whole new level, the new Swift is ready to deliver our idea of a good time on the road, sans the prohibitive price tag. I hope Suzuki Philippines will also consider bringing in the Sport version. Let’s see.