Growing up, my first introduction to Suzuki – and the only Suzuki I knew about at that time – was the outboard engines that came with boats. Every December holiday we pitched our tents in Wilderness but there was always one day reserved for engine and boat shopping in Knysna, no purchases, just window-shopping. This was also my first introduction to the term ‘horsepower’ and my 9-year-old brain (that shopped for flea market trinkets and a yo-yo) could never make sense of this imperial unit of power; all I knew at the time was that a 25 hp engine just went vroom vroom and added a grin to my brother and father’s face, but those 225 hp ones went va-va vroom and steered my water-obsessed brother’s dreams right onto the ocean.
In a nutshell, back in the day, that was what Suzuki was to me. But a few weeks ago I drove two of Suzuki’s newly launched vehicles – and while the small, compact and capable Suzuki Jimny (insert heart emoji) fits more my travel style, it was a pleasure to sit behind the wheel of something lighter and something smaller.
Driving the Suzuki Swift and the Suzuki DZire
I had the opportunity to drive around in the newly launched Suzuki DZire and as per usual, I picked up my auto-wise father to hear his thoughts on the car.
And let’s just say, what I thought would be a 25 hp vroom vroom grin on his face, was more like a 225 hp va-va vroom impressed and approving smile; not because of the speed or looks of the DZire, but because this car was everything one needs in a car.
In a world of heated car seats, the frills of touch screens, colossal things on wheels and ouch-that-hurts prices, this car was simply enough; a well-priced sedan, fuel efficient, comfortable, modern, sturdy and with enough power, safety features and surprisingly a lot of boot and leg space for those in the back seats (the Swift was a bit of a tighter fit).
The DZire starts at R161 900 for the Suzuki DZire 1.2 GA or R177 900 for the Suzuki DZire 1.2 GL and the K12M four-cylinder engine produces 61kW and 113Nm; it has an average fuel consumption of 4.9 litres per 100 km, comes out with Air Con, Bluetooth Connectivity (for the GL model), power steering and safety features such as dual front airbags, ABS brakes and remote central locking.
It (the Suzuki DZire) was also not too bad on the eye but there was just something about driving a Sherwood Brown one that gave me the impression that I should step out of this car in camouflage and boots; the brown – upon quick glance – reminded me a lot of those brown military Toyota Corollas and I think the other colours – pearl, grey, black, blue, silver and red – do this car and its looks more justice.
While I cruised around town and on a few highways with the DZire I ventured onto the long road and into the Karoo to Steylerville with the DZire’s sibling, the Swift and was pleasantly surprised by how this daily runner handled the long road as well, the ride quality was far better – and more comfortable – than expected.
The Swift entered the South African market in 2008 and has been a firm favourite ever since. The new fourth generation Swift had a makeover and exchanged its previously sharper lines for a more modern, rounded look yet still familiar and on the conservative and thankfully, not-space-ship-style side. The upgrade makes the new Swift a bit wider with 58 litres MORE boot space and a few extra millimetres when it comes to legroom.
Driving the Swift and DZire is pretty much the same, both cars have the same familiar Suzuki 1.2 litre engine and both, with its 37 litre fuel tank, boast an average fuel consumption of 4.9 litres per 100 km, something that we all welcome in this day and age of ridiculous fuel prices. And of course, except for the smaller leg and boot space, the same applies for the Swift and the DZire, this car is everything one needs in a car: a well-priced hatchback, fuel efficient, comfortable, modern, sturdy and with enough power.
The Swift starts at R159 900 for the Suzuki Swift 1.2 GA or R174 900 for the Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL and the K12M four-cylinder engine produces 61kW and 113Nm – perfect for a swift ride around town and more than enough for the long road. It has an average fuel consumption of 4.9 litres per 100 km, comes out with Air Con, Bluetooth Connectivity (for the GL model), power steering and safety features such as dual front airbags, ABS brakes and remote central locking. Rumour also has it that a Swift Sport will make its way to South Africa in 2019 so if you’re looking for a swiftier Swift, the 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine might be your answer.
But for now, this car is just like its sibling, simply enough. Go test drive one today, click here to find out more.
The after sales plan for all Swift and DZire models includes a five-year/200 000km mechanical warranty and two-year/30 000km service plan.
The Swift is one of the five cheapest automatic cars on South Africa’s new vehicle market; if you’re looking for one, throw in another R15 000 on top of the price of the Swift/DZire 1.2 GL and Bob’s your uncle.
I handed over the keys of the Suzuki Swift and dreamt a little fuel-efficient dream as I got back behind the wheel of my own car and headed for the nearest fuel station.
4.9 litres per 100 km is but a dream.