ONE of the most successful and enduring cars in the supermini sector has been the award winning Suzuki Swift and the Hungarian built Swift has just been given a massive boost because it is now cleaner and cheaper to run and more competitive than ever writes Bryan Longworth.
The big selling Suzuki whose competitors include cars like the Fiesta has been around for some time but it has appealing styling with impressive handling that have helped it to sell so well worldwide over the last few years where sales have exceeded four million units.
Now the Japanese firm has made the Swift even more appealing because it has a cleaner and more frugal power unit that also means the owner does not have to pay any road tax which is an added bonus.
This follows the introduction of a new 1.2-litre petrol engine known as Dualjet with twin fuel injectors for greater economy that is now 65.7mpg combined representing an improvement of over nine miles per gallon or 16 per cent.
Another benefit is that CO2 emissions are reduced to 99g/km which means there is no road tax to pay and Suzuki estimate that the extra mpg and no tax will mean that the average mileage owner saves up to £175 per year over the normal petrol engine.
Dualjet is available as an option on the SZ4 two wheel drive five door models for an additional £500 and in addition there are alterations to gear ratios plus engine auto stop start.
My test car the Swift 1.2 SZ4 Dualjet five door costing £12,699 had a top speed of 102mph with the zero to 62mph time taking 12.3 seconds and a very impressive array of standard equipment including satellite navigation, DAB digital radio, automatic air conditioning, very cool 16 inch alloy wheels and cruise control.
The Swift has always been great fun to drive and while driving the Dualjet is just as enjoyable and very similar to other models in the range the new powertrain makes it much more competitive and less costly to run.
I like the five doors because it makes access to the roomy rear seat that much easier and it has a well equipped interior with nicely designed instruments including a digital fuel consumption and range display that is extremely useful.
There is also a digital display informing the driver when to change gear but I think the unit with its large digital numbers would have been better utilised to display the digital speed of the car because most drivers know when it is time to change gear without being told when to do so and digital speedos are so easy to see in all light conditions.
Load space at the rear is about average for a car of this size but I imagine that most owners will use the front seats most of the time and the rear seats can be easily folded to free up a large amount of extra space for baggage and shopping.
The new Dualjet engine is a very refined unit and for a small premium makes the Swift with its impressive list of standard equipment much more competitive adding greatly to its appeal as a very tempting supermini.
Verdict: Dualjet engine boosts Swift appeal.
Model: Suzuki Swift SZ4 Dualjet five door.
Engine: 1.2-litre four cylinder petrol.
Output: 90ps @ 6000rpm.
Transmission: Five speed manual.
Top speed: 102mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 12.3 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 65.7mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 99g/km.