Our cars: Suzuki Swift Sport - November
Week ending November 30
Driven this week: 665 miles
While out in my Swift Sport last week, I couldn’t resist parking opposite a white Swift. Seeing the two versions face to face really shows up the subtle, but effective styling additions that make the Sport look so, errm, sporty.
It got me thinking: who buys each version? I haven’t seen many boy racer types zipping about in either so far. The hard facts, however, show Sport drivers aren’t as young as you might expect – most are in their early 40s, compared with an average age of 54 for the standard car.
I’m not overly surprised, given the painfully high cost of insurance for young drivers, not to mention the small matter of getting your hands on the cash to buy the car in the first place. Maybe we’ll see a shift when the Sport starts to trickle into the used market.
Week ending November 23
Driven this week 129 miles
This week I had the stomach-churning experience of watching a Suzuki Swift take a pounding in a collision test. Although I was watching footage taken a couple of years ago – part of a film to promote Thatcham's new status as a Euro NCAP approved crash test laboratory – it was no less sobering.
Watching cars you drive and see on the road every day being slammed into poles or whammed with several tonnes of concrete and steel at high speed is a stark reminder of the destruction these beautifully sculpted, but nevertheless hard lumps of cold metal can wreak in the wrong hands, or even the right hands on the wrong day.
However, seeing the horrifically mangled Swift keep its cabin – and crash test dummy passengers – intact was extremely reassuring, and evidence enough to support the car's best-in-class five-star safety rating.
With stability control and seven airbags as standard, including side body and head cushions for front and rear, the Swift proves yet again that it's not just a pretty face. While it may be small, it's right up there with the big boys when it comes to safety.
Week ending November 16
Driven this week 55 miles
A long weekend away has meant that the Swift has spent a lot of time parked outside my house. It's a big shame, because a car that's this much fun really should be driven at every opportunity.
The Swift might not have devastating pace compared with other hot hatches, but the engine always feels eager and happy to rev. What's more, the handling is impressively agile and alert, and this all makes the Swift Sport the best budget hot hatch that money can buy.
By Ivan Aistrop
Week ending November 9
Total mileage 5038
Driven this week: 274 miles
The first frost of the winter struck this week, and caught me completely unawares. I was running late and cursing the scant time I had to find my scraper. Happily, the Swift’s efficient heating system and aggressive blowers saved me the bother. It took just two minutes to completely clear the windscreen, allowing me to avoid frostbite and get to work on time.
Week ending November 2
Total mileage 4764
Driven this week: 100 miles
I borrowed the Swift Sport overnight for a video shoot. What great fun it is!
Nimble around bends and nippy in commuter traffic, it's always first away at the lights.
As it happened, it was Hallowe'en, and after the obligatory trick-or-treating, I dropped my stepdaughter's friends back to their homes. All three girls piled in the back to gossip and natter, and then I heard: 'where's the middle seatbelt?' Sorry girls - it's only a four-seater - one of you will have to jump in the front.