1 Feb 2011
Similar styling to its vaunted predecessor meant that first impressions of the 2011 Suzuki Swift were somewhat deceiving. Nevertheless, the new car was slightly bigger than the previous model, giving interior space a boost.
Whilst the external aesthetics remained very similar to the previous iteration, the interior was brought up to speed with its big brother Kizashi mid-sized sedan. It was well-built and relatively sophisticated, although the base model GA felt cheap, missing a tachometer and vanity mirror.
5-star safety was a massive plus for the little Suzuki, up from the previous model’s 4, and no other car at its entry price could match it. Standard safety features included seven airbags (including a driver’s knee saver) and electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock brakes (ABS) with EBD electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA).
Suzuki followed a trend set by the likes of VW by downsizing the capacity of its engine, and while it produced less power it was still fun and lively, not to mention more efficient. Low range torque was a bit of a letdown, and the dated 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic didn’t help proceedings.
Creature comforts fitted on the base model also included air-conditioning, power windows, electric mirrors, remote central locking and a four-speaker radio/CD/MP3 player with a USB port. The unavailability of cruise control and the cheap feeling interior plastics were the major letdowns.
The 2011 Swift was very much a steady evolution over its successful predecessor, and it was hard to blame Suzuki for sticking to a proven formula. The car was more refined, spacious, frugal and safer that the old Swift, and for those reasons was deserving of consideration.