IT MAY look the same, but the fourth-generation Swift is new in all the areas we had hoped for, particularly in terms of space, safety, refinement and comfort.
There is very little that is wrong with this Japanese urban runabout – even the smaller 1.4-litre engine is no problem in most situations.
But don’t just take our word for it, take the GL five-speed manual as tested here for a drive, because we reckon it will make you think twice before buying that Ford Fiesta, Mazda2 or VW Polo.
The Swift is right up there now.
Just like the wildly underrated Kizashi, this is one Suzuki we did not want to return in a hurry.
Model release date: February 2011
NOTHING short of a revolution, the third-generation Swift ushered in a new engineering-led era for the Japanese company, elevating the light car to near class-leading levels for dynamics, performance and value – a first for Suzuki.
With a fresh, bold appearance and a sporty interior to match, the EZ proved to be an instant, unexpected success, resulting in long waiting lists and frustrated customers – another Suzuki first!
Though other engines and bodystyles were offered abroad, only a single 74kW/133Nm 1.5-litre twin-cam four-cylinder petrol engine was offered on the volume-selling base and S models (GL and GLX in Queensland), mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.
From October 2006 a performance version was added – the Swift Sport – delivering a 92kW/148Nm 1.6-litre upgrade, firmer suspension, a racier body kit and a five-speed manual-only transmission to drive the front wheels.
Sales kept steady throughout the life of the car (helped along by a raft of special editions such as the rally-like RE.1 of 2007, RE.2 of ’08 and RE.3 of ’09), with around 65,000 buyers entering Suzuki showrooms by the end of the EZ’s model life in early 2011.
Its AZ replacement is an evolution of the series.