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Suzuki ready to make a Splash

14.10.2014

IT’S BEEN a busy time for Suzuki as it’s launched no fewer than four models this year, one of them being the new Splash, a small city-like car with MPV-type styling.

Arriving at our offices, I had very few expectations as the Splash drove down our driveway and fitted into our parking bays with ease. My initial thoughts were… I’m impressed. I thoroughly enjoy its little big design. The elongated boot lid and upright stance with a tall roofline, not only gives you a commanding driving position in traffic, but it works well with a car of this stature.

A combination of soft and sharp angles adds to the car’s whacky, yet practical styling. Okay, so the Splash’s looks might not appeal to everyone, but I think Suzuki did a good job breaking the mould of dull, small car designs. And the 14-inch steel rims with full wheel covers provide a decent drive, although it is a tad on the hard side for a city vehicle.

Inside, the first thing I noticed was the hideous brown interior colour didn’t make an appearance. Thank goodness! Instead, durable cloth seats with a charcoal textured finish dashboard are fitted. Sticking to its youthful look, the cabin has a funky element to it, complemented by a white-faced dial clock. The motorcycle-type rev counter on the dashboard is also kind of colourful and hip. But once again, it won’t be to everyone’s liking.

As a mid-entry-level hatch, there are no niceties missing at this price tag. Aircon, radio with MP3 and USB are standard, as well as steering-wheel-mounted audio system controls in our top spec GL model.

For the daily commute it’s great. The high roofline makes the cabin feel spacious and the peppy 1.2-litre engine is adequate. Producing 63kW of power and 113Nm of torque, you will have to drive it hard on highways if you want to keep the 120km/h pace. Mated to a five-speed gearbox, it’s not as smooth shifting as we would’ve liked.

My other bugbear was the lack of reach adjustment for the steering wheel. Given my tall frame, I was unable to find a comfortable driving position as I constantly felt I was seated too high while driving, which left me feeling like an old bus driver.

The Suzuki doesn’t splash out when it comes to fuel as it uses a claimed 5.6 litres/100km and during my time with the car I consumed just 5.9 litres/100km. Capable of producing a top speed of 160km/h it might not blister the highways but it’s nimble and fun to drive through town, where it’s designed to thrive.

I grew fond of Suzuki’s new offering, but the pricing is too close to the Swift Dzire. Then again, it does offer another option to the already spoilt consumer.

Article written by Stuart Moir
14.10.2014
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