Our cars: Suzuki Swift Sport - January
Week ending January 25
Driven this week: 26 miles
This week's snow proved no match for our Swift Sport, thanks to its new winter tyres, and I've felt rather smug commuting while other drivers abandoned their wheels in favour of walking.
The tyres – a set of four Hankook iCept Evos - had already shown their worth in the wet, but as I tentatively edged out onto a freshly fallen blanket of thick snow, I had no idea how they'd stand up to this new challenge. Extremely well, it turns out.
Even a couple of days later, when the white stuff had compacted and turned into a daunting brown sludgy ice-rink, those tyres didn't let me down.
The extra traction they provide is remarkable, and although I've been careful to keep speeds and revs low, I reckon I could have been a lot less delicate without any loss of control.
Week ending January 18
Driven this week: 77 miles
I've raved about our Swift's power folding mirrors already – they really are a generous standard feature on a car in this price range. At night I have to park on a busy road where the big articulated lorries that regularly trundle along aren't always quite as careful as they could be, so I'm very grateful for them.
I've got just one small niggle. The button that operates the folding mirrors – which is surrounded by several others – doesn't illuminate in the dark. This means fumbling around with blind fingers, clumsily hitting the central locking, window locking or passenger window buttons first, in various orders, or remembering to turn the cabin light on first.
I find the omission a little odd because the driver's side window button glows a helpful red in the dark, so I wouldn't have thought it a massive leap to extend that to the other buttons on the armrest. Like I say, it's a small gripe about a mostly otherwise very well thought-out car.
Suzuki Swift 1.6 Sport
Week ending January 11
Driven this week: 101 miles
With my commute regularly taking longer than an hour, I listen to a lot of breakfast and early-evening radio.
While I have my preferred station, there are moments when a song comes on that I'd rather not have stuck in my head all day long, and I choose to drive in silence for a few minutes instead.
I was delighted to discover, therefore, that the Swift Sport has a 'Mute' button on the steering wheel. Press it, and the radio stays on, but it kills the sound and displays the word 'Mute' on the screen.
Unfortunately, this word also flashes on and off constantly while the radio is silenced. It does so just in the corner of my vision and before long it becomes almost as annoying as the song I was trying to avoid listening to in the first place.
By Tom Webster
Week ending January 4
Driven this week: 743 miles
Our Suzuki Swift Sport has racked up a fair few miles over the past couple of weeks – 1120 to be precise – and its once striking white paintwork is showing the signs of its time spent on grimy, wet, congested motorways.
While it’s not a pretty look, I think the muck does show up the hatch’s sporty lines, and that, combined with its new black, steel winter wheels, makes the Swift look rather more rugged than normal, and ready for anything.
A lack of snow so far this winter might make the £676 cost of the winter wheels and tyres seem rather expensive, but although there have been no drifts to contend with, I’ve found the new tyres handle waterlogged motorways brilliantly, wiping any concerns about aquaplaning clear out of my mind.