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Suzuki Swift Dzire-ability on a budget


THE FIRST time I met Suzy was in 2011. She’d just been launched and she was all the rage. I’ll be honest; it was love at first sight. The Suzuki Swift hatch promised so much – styling and sporty prowess with a frugal side.

The years have certainly been kind to young Suzy but she recently went under the knife for a few minor cosmetic enhancements.

Yes, I’m talking about the 2014 Swift hatch GLS. The fresher aesthetics might be difficult to notice at first glance but it’s the changes inside that will make life easier. These include, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control.

Under the hood, the car remains unchanged and that’s a good thing because its naturally aspirated 1.4-litre heart with 70kW and 130Nm was more than adequate for the Swift’s small body.

The few small additions have helped keep the Swift hatch fresh and relevant, but probably the biggest talking point is the new Swift Dzire, which has been added to the Swift line-up.

At a time when budgets are tight and the price is all important, Suzuki’s launched the new 1.2-litre Swift Dzire, a four-door sedan built on the little Swift hatch platform. It’s definitely not bad news because in addition to the sporty nature of the Swift, you get added practicality thanks to the 300-litre boot.

A few niceties have been stripped out of the base DZire to keep it affordable, but it’s not anything you’ll really miss. And the little 1.2-litre engine offers great fuel economy. In fact, we were averaging 5.6 litres/100km while testing the new Suzy.

Of course such a small powertrain does have its downside, particularly in Joburg, where the petite engine and the five-speed manual gearbox needs to be worked when climbing hills.

From the outside it shares all the same mature styling cues as its hatch sibling, but from certain angles the added boot does look awkward.

Nonetheless, it’s an exciting prospect with a price tag under the crucial R130 000 mark, including all the gimmicks you would expect.  At this price Suzuki has a winner.

There are a couple of drawbacks, however, the brown interior won’t be to everyone’s liking and the steering feedback is severely lacking. But in these difficult economic times, Suzy’s a shining light at the end of the tunnel. Practicality and affordability, you’ll battle to find anything better in this price range, particularly once you’re sitting behind the steering wheel enjoying what the Dzire has on offer.

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