2012 Suzuki Splash review

* Updated Suzuki Splash driven * Tweaked styling and new entry-level trim * On sale now, priced from 9325...

29 August 2012

2012 Suzuki Splash review

The 2012 Suzuki Splash supermini has been given a mild face-lift to keep it looking fresh.

This subtle makeover includes restyled front and rear bumpers, a new bonnet and a revised front grille.

The revised Splash also gets new seat fabric, and piano black dashboard inserts in place of the outgoing cars silver trim.

As before, the Splash sits between the Alto and Swift in Suzukis range, but its now more affordable thanks to a new entry-level SZ2 trim that costs 9325.

Mechanically, the Splash is unchanged.

SZ2 trim brings a 67bhp 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine that averages 60.1mpg, while SZ3 versions are available with a 93bhp 1.2-litre, which does average economy of 55.4mpg.

The range-topping SZ4 model, which costs 11,105, is only available with the larger engine, but an automatic gearbox is an 895 option.

The 2012 Suzuki Splash gets restyled front and rear bumpers, a new bonnet and a revised front grille

Whats the 2012 Suzuki Splash like to drive?
Like most superminis, the Splash performs best around town.

As a result of the cosmetic changes its now 60mm longer, but that doesnt affect its manoeuvrability; the steering is light and the turning circle tight.

Reverse parking is easy, too, thanks to an almost-vertical tailgate. However, the steep bonnet can make it difficult to determine how close you are to objects in front.

Thick windscreen pillars hinder vision when youre approaching a roundabout or junction.

We tried the 1.2-litre engine, which revs smoothly, although you do have to be careful when nipping out of busy junctions, because performance is sluggish at low engine speeds.

The Splash also has reasonably firm suspension, which makes the ride unsettled on patchy roads especially around town. However, the tall body continues to sway around at higher speeds and theres some body roll in corners.

On the up side, theres plenty of grip and the steering is surprisingly sharp.

The large windscreen generates some wind noise, but engine noise is pretty muffled, even when youre working the engine hard.

The near-vertical tailgate makes reverse parking easy

Whats the 2012 Suzuki Splash like inside?
Suzuki calls the Splash a mini-MPV, but the car's tiny boot and limited versatility mean its nowhere near as practical as its Nissan Note rival.

What it does have is a large tailgate that provides easy access, and rear seats that fold down flat.

In addition, theres a hidden compartment beneath the boot floor with several partitioned areas, and the dashboard has plenty of handy cubbies.

The switchgear is simple to use and the drivers seat is height-adjustable, but some people will still struggle to get comfortable because the steering wheel doesnt adjust for reach.

Things are better in the rear; the Splashs tall roof and upright seating mean theres room for a couple of adults.

The cabin plastics are hard and scratchy, but the large windows let in a lot of light.

Hard, scratchy plastics don't impress, but the big windows make the Splash light and airy

Should I buy one?
Few of the Splashs rivals can match its interior practicality, and every version comes with remote central locking, electrically adjustable door mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted stereo controls and at least four airbags.

Unfortunately, the 1.0-litre model emits 109g/km of CO2, while the 1.2 emits 118g/km. With most other supermini manufacturers now offering sub-100g/km (and subsequently VED exempt) models, the Splash looks comparatively dirty and expensive to run.

True, the new SZ2 trim makes it more affordable than before, but there are still some better superminis out there for similar money.

Read the full Suzuki Splash review >>

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