Suzuki might be a relatively small maker compared to the likes of Mazda and Subaru, but the little Swift has always been good enough to take it up to the bigger kids in the playground. More than 5.3 million have been sold since the first-generation car launched in 2004, which won fans with its cute styling and sharp handling. Now there's a new one, with a fresh face and more tech.
Underpinning the 2017 Swift is a lighter, stiffer new platform dubbed Heartect. Coupled with the turbocharged 1.0-L BoosterJet engine standard in the Swift RS, it should make for a fun little hatch, although keen drivers will be crossing their fingers and hoping a full-fat Swift Sport will be offered. The engine in the RS is coupled with a six-speed auto gearbox, with no mention of a stick-shift.
Along with the compact turbo, a 1.2-L naturally aspirated engine and a mild hybrid will also be offered, but details about both those powertrains are thin on the ground. Expect more details when the car gets its global launch at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
As you'd expect of a new car aimed at young buyers, the Swift will be loaded with smart safety tech. Thanks to the new camera and laser sensor mounted on the front of the car, it will automatically brake if it senses an impending collision, and dip the headlights when it senses an oncoming car. Adaptive cruise control is also on the options list.
If, somehow, an accident does happen with all this kit, the stiffer new platform should help make the car safer in a crash.
There is currently no word on pricing for the new Swift, which will be available from January 4 in Japan.
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