Suzuki is a brand we at onRoute quite like – our Editor drives a Swift and our Project Manager just recently bought a brand new Alto. There is reason why Suzuki is such a popular car manufacturer – the cars are ordinary enough to make them appealing to the masses yet different enough to make them special to their owners. So when we were offered a chance to test a few different members of their rather large family, we jumped at the opportunity...
We tested the first version of the SX4 a couple of years ago and it proved to be a real surprise! The little 4x4 packed a big punch for its size and definitely competed well against cars that were bigger in size and price. So the new version had big boots to fill. The new SX4 is a very pretty car and no longer falls into the small size bracket either. Suzuki has decided to change the SX4’s formula and place it in a market of bigger SUVs to compete against the more established brands in this segment. We couldn’t help but think that they had a winning formula with the old version, so why change it? The new SX4 is considerably more expensive, and even with the extra size, it didn’t seem like there would be space for it in the already saturated SUV market. But the SX4 is a real winner behind the wheel! It drives superbly well and offers the driver and all passengers terrific comfort. The bigger size means that the engine doesn’t quite pack the punch of the old SX4, but it’s nippy enough to prevent you from urging it up the hill and can get you in and out of sticky traffic situations with certitude and ease.
When we were offered a chance to test a few different members of their rather large family, we jumped at the opportunity...
Price: R294 950
Engine: 1.6 l Petrol
Co2 Emissions: 146 g/km
Power & Torque: 86 kW & 146 N m
Fuel Consumption: 6.2 l/100 km
The Swift Sport was another member of the Suzuki family we have had the opportunity to drive before. In our previous review we found little wrong with the Sport, but did feel that the sport badge was merely decoration. This newest version however does have a little more zip under the bonnet to justify its sporty tag. The engine packs a decent punch and the outlandish designs mean the Swift Sport certainly stands out on the road. We received it in what Suzuki calls ‘Champion Yellow’ which can best be described as shockingly bright. But the eye-stinging colour was a great addition to the Swift’s character. As with all Swifts, the Sport is great fun to drive! The light weight of the car, low centre of gravity and decent suspension mean it provides many thrills without any spills. The heavier price tag still means we would probably opt for the normal Swift over the Sport, but for those of you looking for something a little funkier and a little quicker, the Swift Sport is the perfect fit for you.
Price: R224 950
Engine: 1.6 l Petrol
Top Speed: 195 km/h
0-100 km/h: 8.4s
Co2 Emissions: 153 g/km
Power & Torque: 100 kW & 160 N m
Fuel Consumption: 6.5 l/100 km
This seven-seater family car is the only Suzuki we didn’t fall 100% in love with. The Ertiga is a big, cumbersome mom’s wagon that doesn’t quite deliver what we hoped for. The fact that it is called a seven-seater made us scratch our heads to start with, because the two back seats are almost non-existent. A toddler would struggle with leg room back there, but thankfully the seats can be rearranged, because when all seven seats are in use, you can barely get a laptop in the boot. The finishing’s on the model we tested were not to our taste, but there are enough options to choose from to suit even the pickiest of drivers. The Ertiga is neither quick nor comfortable at high speeds, but it’s designed to be a runaround for a big family, so you wouldn’t need it to win a drag race. The fuel economy is respectable and for the very low price, it does fill a gap in the market.
Price: R179 900
Engine: 1.4 l Petrol
Co2 Emissions: N/A
Power & Torque: 70 kW & 130 N m
Fuel Consumption: 6.6 l/100 km
This particular version of the Swift has been made to cater for the lower end of the market and has a smaller engine than the more popular version we tested. What we loved about this particular Swift was the fact that it gives the driver more bang for their buck than some of the other manufacturers who try and take on the lower end hatch market. Suzuki do not cut corners or compromise on the quality of the build when they produce their vehicles, and the Swift 1.2 GL is a perfect example of a budget buy, with luxury delivery. The 1.2 litre engine is by no means a rocket ship, but it delivers just enough oomph to make the ride exciting and the fuel economy will blow your mind. The small size does not compromise the comfort, and although the boot is small, it is ample for everyday use.
Price: R126 900
Engine: 1.2 l Petrol
Co2 Emissions: 134 g/km
Power & Torque: 63 kW & 113 N m
Fuel Consumption: 5.7 l/100 km