Our cars: Suzuki Swift Sport - February
Week ending February 22
Driven this week 55 miles
Our Swift Sport had its first service this week, and it passed with flying colours – green ones, in fact. Yes, it was green all the way for the Swift under the traffic light system that Suzuki uses for its visual health checks.
It's no less than I'd expect for a car that's just nine months old with fewer than 9000 miles under its belt. Still, it's good to know that the Swift's in good shape, and that all its vital fluids are topped up.
I was impressed with the friendly and efficient customer service at Heathrow Suzuki, too. They collected the car on time, which meant I didn't have to waste time hanging around, and brought it back just four hours later, fully cleaned and with all the paperwork in order.
There was just one small glitch when it came to over-the-phone payment; the service representative told me I'd need to pay £15 for collection and delivery on top of the £195 all-in service fee. I'd been told when I called for a quote that transit was included in the price. When I pointed this out, however, there was no argument and I was charged exactly what I'd been quoted.
All in all then, another good dealer experience to add to the Swift Sport's good books.
Week ending February 15
Driven this week 37 miles
With almost 8800 miles on the clock, it’s time for the Swift’s very first service. Nope, that’s not a typo; the car may not yet be nine months old, but Suzuki’s service schedule specifies a check-in with a main dealer every 9000 miles.
This level of attention does seem a little excessive but there’s no point complaining – if I want to preserve the warranty, I need that service stamp.
Cue the ring-around for quotes. At midday on a Saturday, I was able to get through to just two service departments. Most had either shut up shop for the day, or weren’t answering.
Luckily, Suzuki operates a central online servicing system and most dealers subscribe to it, so even though I couldn’t speak directly to all of the garages on my hit list, I could find out how much they charge for basic servicing and extras.
It turns out that pricing is pretty varied even within a 10-mile radius of my house, with bald charges ranging from around £179 to £209. Some offer free valeting and others free collection and delivery, depending on distance.
Widening my search out to 15 miles, found me the most expensive service – £235, which, when you add in the £12 collection and delivery fee, soaks up the best part of £250. Ouch.
I decided closer to home was definitely the way to go, and settled on the closest, Heathrow Suzuki, which had taken my call first time, and given me a quote of £195, with a valet, collection and delivery thrown in at no extra cost.
Crucially, they were also able to book in the car quickly – using the online booking system means you’ll have to wait at least seven days for a slot – so it’s with some relief I can stop rationing miles now.
Judging from the conversations I’ve had with the guys there so far, I’ve got high hopes about Heathrow Suzuki’s service. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Week ending February 8
Driven this week 147 miles
Our Swift Sport has been out on test for a Personal Shopper for the What Car? magazine this week and was a big hit with our reader.
I won't reveal whether or not it came out on top, but it was great to see the car put a smile on the face of yet another driver.
One interesting point: until we suggested the car, he 'd had no idea it was within his price range and had reluctantly discounted it. I'm not surprised, if you want everything a small car does well, style and performance, the Swift Sport is a brilliant 'you're kidding me'-inducing value for money package.
Week ending February 1
Driven this week: 261 miles
The Swift's odo will very soon read 9000 miles, which means it's nearly time for its first service. The extra miles the car's racked up recently, most of them at steady speeds on the motorway, have brought it closer to its official fuel consumption figure. In the early days, with a lot of short hop commuting in heavy traffic, it disappointed with its low mpg, but at the last fuel log calculation it managed to hit 36.1 – its best performance yet.