Our cars: Suzuki Swift Sport - September
Week ending September 28
Driven this week: 150 miles
It'll take more than a few pesky squirrels to take the shine off our Swift Sport's hardy paintwork. When I inadvertently parked up under a tree, I was blissfully unaware of the danger lurking up above, and returned to find the gleaming white zip-mobile I'd left covered in all manner of shades of brown.
Now don't get me wrong, I've nothing against squirrels when they're not loitering around my car, but goodness knows what goes on in their digestive systems – and I've seen the damage it can wreak.
So the Swift was sent off for a good scrub at the local carwash, and happily miraculously emerged with its shine restored. It seems its standard application hard-wearing pearlescent paint not only looks great, but is a tougher nut to crack than most. Another A* for the Swift.
Week ending September 21
Driven this week: 126 miles
I borrowed our long-term Suzuki Swift Sport this week and was struck by how old-school it seems. Not in a bad way. There's directness to the way it drives – especially the steering – that you don't get with many modern cars. It's a quality that's important for a hot hatch like this.
Despite keyless entry, Bluetooth and lots of other mod cons, the interior feels rather dated, too, which is less welcome. It's a good place to be, however, and I can see why the Swift won its group test against the Renaultsport Twingo.
Suzuki Swift 1.6 Sport
Week ending September 14
Driven this week: 25 miles
There's a lot to like about the Suzuki Swift Sport. Its 1045kg kerbweight means it’s extremely agile, and while 134bhp might not sound like much, 128bhp per tonne is Peugeot 205 GTI territory.
The good news continues with its fuel economy. The Swift Sport's power is at the top of its rev range, and what with it being so light and agile, you're often tempted to exploit it. Despite this, I still got 42.2mpg (according to the car's trip computer) on a combination of motorway and twisty B-roads on a blast to Bath and back.
By far the best thing about the Swift is its styling. I’m a huge fan, and in our car’s pearlescent white paint it's a Suzuki that manages to turn heads.
By Rory White
Week ending September 7
Driven this week: 25 miles
The Swift Sport's keyless entry system is a nice little touch. As long as your key fob is stashed somewhere about your person, you simply walk up to the car, release the door handle, and you're in.
You'd think this would make life easier when staggering to the car laden with shopping. Sadly not. You have to get the key fob out and press the open button – twice – before the boot hatch will yield, and remember to press the button on the passenger handle before entry to that side is granted. My memory has so far failed to grasp this.
If I was being followed on a dark night by a shadowy figure of unknown intention, I know I'd be grateful for being able to leap into the driver’s seat with a few seconds’ advantage, but in day-to-day life, it’s just plain irritating.