Our cars: Suzuki Swift Sport - July
Week ending July 27
Driven this week: 59 miles
Summer finally landed in London this week, and our Swift Sport has provided the perfect antidote to the hot and bothered after a day in the office. It might not have a top to drop, but it's as chilled as its 'Cool White' paint job suggests.
The Swift's air con – standard-fit, like all its gadgets – is as powerful and responsive as the rest of this little (and not always so hot) hatch.
Crank it up to the max and it treats you to a welcome blast of iciness; once you're cool enough, it's easy to find the perfect setting to keep you fresh with a more temperate, gentle breeze. Perfect.
Suzuki Swift 1.6 Sport
Week ending July 20
Driven this week: 70 miles
Our Suzuki Swift Sport's first curious niggle comes courtesy of one of its more appealing standard-fare gadgets – the versatile audio system.
It's great that a car in this price range comes with a USB port for your iPod; well, great once you work out how to use it – it's inexplicably complicated.
Think you can beat the manual on this one? Think again – unless you're happy listening to your entire music collection in alphabetical order.
If you'd rather listen to specific albums, artists or playlists, you'll need, ideally, to be stationary – it takes a little while to get the hang of, so probably a two-handed job for beginners.
So, are you sitting comfortably? Here's how it works:
1. Press the USB button (yup, got that far)
2. Press preset button number 6 (who'd have guessed?)
3. Quickly turn the knob marked Push Sound Tune/Fld to select Playlist/ artist/ song, etc… (ah, I see)
4. Press the same knob to select your desired folder
5. And relax…
Week ending July 13
Driven this week: 225 miles
I had my first taste of our long-term Suzuki Swift Sport this week. What a hoot.
Suitably aggressive looks, a revvy engine, precise gearchange, engaging and grippy handling – it ticks all the boxes for anyone after a small hot hatch.
It offers a lot more as well. For just £12,500 after haggling, you get a car that’s fast and fun, and also loaded with kit. Many executive cars don’t get climate and cruise controls, xenon headlights, electrically folding door mirrors and keyless entry as standard, but the little Suzuki does.
It’s even acceptably comfortable and quiet for when you’re simply popping to the shops, and the running costs aren’t punitive.
For the buyers the Swift Sport is aimed at (sadly, I fear they’re now younger than I am!), it’s pretty much spot-on.
Suzuki Swift 1.6 Sport
Week ending July 6
Driven this week: 794 miles
Our new Suzuki Swift Sport had its first test of endurance this weekend, on a 680-mile round trip to the Lake District - and it handled the long slog beautifully.
I have to admit the engine was a little noisy, especially at motorway speeds, but it never felt like it was straining. Even dropping down to fifth gear to overtake, the rev counter didn’t go mad – though at 70mph maintaining that magic economic 2500rpm was a bit hit and miss.
Having said that, on the first leg, it managed to achieve around 37mpg over 284 miles of the M40 and a horribly congested, stop-start-riddled M6, which isn’t bad, all things considered.
So it’s a big thumbs up for the Swift’s nippy 1.6-litre engine, however, the firm, immovable curve of the sports seats, which are fine for zipping around town, or on moderate commutes, left my neck and upper back feeling a little worse for wear.