Suzuki crashes the budget market

Bobby Cheetham

 PUTTING THE BOOT IN: It's a streetcar named DZire – the sedan version of the popular Swift hatchback which joins the Suzuki family
PUTTING THE BOOT IN: It’s a streetcar named DZire – the sedan version of the popular Swift hatchback which joins the Suzuki family
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SWIFTLY DOES IT: The new, more affordable 1.2 model compact hatchback has been added to the Suzuki Swift line-up

SUZUKI Auto South Africa has put the boot into the new car market with new cheaper models in its Swift line-up. First-time buyers have been finding it harder to be able to afford a new car for the family and Suzuki has come up with what they believe to be the answer.

Supplementing the 1.4 and 1.6 litre Swift line-up, the new 1.2 litre models are a step that will have competitors quaking in their boots with the “priced right” offerings.

Suzuki Auto South Africa has added a new sedan to its highly popular Swift hatchback range. The cheeky new four-door will be marketed under the DZire nameplate, and shares the proven platform of the Swift hatch, while adding the practicality and security of a boot and more space for rear occupants.

The new DZire is powered by a latest-generation 1.2-litre engine combining willing performance with good fuel economy. The four-cylinder, 16-valve unit comes with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic gearbox.

The new 1197cc power unit is credited with a maximum output of 63kW at 6000rpm, combined with a torque peak of 113Nm at 4500rpm.

The DZire is credited with a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 12,6 seconds, and a top speed of 160km/h. Combined cycle fuel consumption is a frugal 5.7 l/100km, with an associated CO2emissions figure of 134g/km. In automatic trim, the DZire also achieves a 160km/h top speed. Fuel consumption remains favourable at 6,3 l/100 km, linked to a CO2emissions rating of 149g/km.

There’s also a more affordable 1.2 model which has been added to its compact hatchback line-up. It augments the existing Swift range, and is offered with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, and in two specification levels.

Now in its second generation, and recently updated for the 2014 model year, the Swift has been an unmitigated success in South Africa since the original heralded the brand’s return to the country in 2008.

Accounting for almost a third of Suzuki Auto SA’s volume, with more than 8500 sales to date, the Swift’s combination of youthful, distinctive styling, palpable quality, engaging dynamics and efficiency has been at the core of its success.

The launch of the vehicles took place in the Western Cape on Monday. Faced with a howling black southeaster, our test drive followed a 300km route that took in a the magnificent mountain road above Gordon’s Bay, moving on to Cape Hang Klip and back to Cape Town airport. One would have expected the small car to battle against the wind but it handled it and the twisty pass with relative ease.

Although a fair bit of cog swapping was required in the manual version, it in fact added to the pleasurable driving experience. For those on a tight budget, and who isn’t these days, the Suzuki Swift DZire and the 1.2 hatchback are serious contenders in this competitive market segment.

Swift 1.2 GA – R126 900

Swift 1.2 GL – R136 900

Swift 1.2 GL a/t – R151 900

Swift Dzire GA – R128 900

Swift Dzire GL – R138 900

Swift Dzire GL a/t – R153 900

The recommended retail prices of the new Suzuki range include a two- year/30000km service plan and a three- year/100000km warranty, while a three- year/unlimited distance roadside assistance package is also provided as part of the deal. Services are at 15000km intervals.

 

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