Suzuki Swift: good things come in small

It’s the new 5th installment of the Suzuki Swift, with an all new visual makeover. Even though it is not the “Sport” variant, the base model still packs quite a punch. As they say, good things come in small packages. Swift has been the Japanese version of the hot Mini.

Swift being the longest running hatchback from the Suzuki, and it has already set a benchmark for itself. The new Swift, with all its new cosmetic upgrades, has more to offer to the eye due to the newly incorporated curves in the design language that gives it a much more muscular aura from different angles. It does have many classic Swift-like features, like the wrap around windshield, sloping roofline and the distinctive C-pillar treatment with the black trim sweeping across gives it a ‘floating roof’ effect. Even the headlights and the taillamps are not too different compared to its predecessor, although the ‘Happy Face’ lower front grille is one feature that completely stands apart from the previous generations.

The Swift now comes in a cleverer packaging, with an all new trunk design which is 54 liters bigger than the predecessor with a total capacity of 265 liters. The Swift is now smaller, with dimensions that are 10mm shorter, 15mm lower but the car is 40mm wider, which means, in theory it should be more stable compared to the outgoing model. The car sits on Suzuki’s all new “Heartect” platform which results in the car being considerably lighter than its predecessor, thus giving the Swift an upper hand in the handling department.

The exterior of the car is adorned with halogen headlamps, LED rear combination lamps, LED stop light mounted at the top of the hatch, side turn indicator on ORVMs, body color ORVMs, body colored bumpers and exterior door handles. The car comes with 15inch alloys as stock, with the tire profile 186/65/R15. (To understand more about what the tire sizes mean, take a look at our article explaining the basics of tire measurements.)

Coming to the interior, it is apparent how the Swift can be considered as an able daily driver. The leather wrapped steering wheel is firm to the touch, but is well cushioned around the 9-3 grip position which makes it comfortable ergonomically. The white illuminated gauge cluster helps to give the car a sporty feel. The door handle consists of chrome trims and the handbrake tips are finished in silver which gives a premium touch to the otherwise black and basic interior. The climate control is integrated with the outside temperature display and automatic climate control, which can set its temperature according to the ambient temperature with its own artificial intelligence. The gear knob adds its own premium touch to the whole aesthetic of the interior due to its premium piano black finish. The steering now comes with buttons to control audio and phone options, paired with the head unit which now supports MP3/CD, AUX and AM/FM. The speakers mounted individually on all 4 doors and the 2 tweeters up front is sure to cater to the taste of most audiophiles.

The other features which makes the Swift stand out from the crowd at this price point is arguably the safety features; dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake assist and reverse parking sensors. It does not come with reverse camera however, so if that is a priority, it is best to look at aftermarket options. The Security Alarm System and the Pedestrian Protection Compliance makes it easily usable and makes for a safe city commuter. Day and Night Adjustable IRVM helps you with night visibility. The Engine Immobilizer helps to secure the car from any hazard in case of a mishap.

The car comes with the K12M engine with VVT technology which has an engine capacity of 1197 cubic centimeter or in simpler terms, 1200cc. The maximum torque comes at 113lb/ft @4200 rpm with maximum power output at 61 kW(81 bhp) @6000 rpm. Although this may not seem like a lot of power, the car itself is very small and lightweight and is geared towards customers who plan on using it for city commute rather than long highway trips.  The engine is mated to the 5AGS transmission which allows for smooth and nice transitions throughout the gears. The fuel tank has a capacity of 37 liters, and Suzuki claims the car is able to get up to 20km/l. Realistically however, in the city plagued with traffic jams and where commuters spend more time stopped in the traffic rather than actually travelling, it would be more reasonable to expect somewhere around 15 -17 km/l. That however, is still better than many cars in the Swift’s segment. The front brakes come with ventilated discs and calipers while rear wheels are stopped with the help of drum brakes, which are more than enough to stop a small car during daily driving conditions.


Now comes to the test drive, where Suzuki Bangladesh generously handed us the keys to a 2019 Swift coated in an amazing shade of red dubbed “Fire Red’. We took the car slow around the first lap of Hatirjheel, but after getting comfortable with the car and a green light from the Suzuki team representative meant that we could push the car a bit further. The car, even under full acceleration has no cabin noise or any sort of creaking whatsoever, which is surprising from a car priced so low in the spectrum. The well-engineered suspension geometry meant the overall drive was super smooth, regardless of the uneven road textures that characterizes the streets of Dhaka. The MacPherson strut front suspension gives the driver a boost of confidence, by providing the driver with the ability to take a sharper corner at a higher speed, without unsettling the car too much. The 5AGS transmission performs well; the transitions are smooth and it does a very good job of putting the power down an making the car feel peppy, even though the engine power output is only 81hp. But we at Turbine didn’t stop there. We were keen to use the manumatic transmission, as Suzuki claimed it changed the dynamics of the car’s performance with the engagement of the driver’s shifting input. From a stop, we engaged the manumatic transmission, the car response was clearly better compared to the fully automatic option and with every shift the car jerked forward, giving it the characteristics of a manual upon gear changes, which gave a fun enthusiastic feeling to the whole driving experience. To make the test drive complete we wanted to test the brake. At first we went easy on it, by slightly giving a pressuring the brake pedal but on full stomp the car acted amazingly which blew us by surprise.