It is a normal assumption for everyone that a car that focuses on performance does sacrifice some ride comfort albeit there is in existence cars that have managed to maintain a balance of both performance and comfort but unfortunately, these cars do come at a hefty price. If you are in the market for an affordable car that has been built upon the balance of performance and comfort, then the Suzuki Swift Sport might be able to fulfill that criteria. The Swift is an exceptionally popular car in the Malaysian Domestic Market with the regular 1.4 variant in abundance and one can see why; it is very stylish and practical, but we are not here to talk about the normal swift; we have just driven the more hardcore version, the Swift Sport.
The Swift Sport is on sale at approximately RM100,000 (¥3,090,000) with insurance and registration for the manual and for the automatic you’ll have to top up another RM10,000 but really, take it from us; If you are keen on picking this car up, go for the Manual. This makes the swift sport cost approximately RM20,000 more than the regular swift but with ABS, EBD and a whole plethora of other safety equipment inclusive of 7 air bags and one function that is a absolutely huge plus point, The Sport Manual comes with Hill Start Assist, which means that if you have come to a stop on a hill you can set off without having to worry about rolling backwards into the person behind. So is the extra twenty grand worth it? Certainly.
Most people who are looking for a car in this size segment will be urbanites, or mostly living in or near the city and will probably consider the automatic and that is fine, but it would do the extra performance in the swift sport no justice. If you are looking to buy this car in an automatic, I would recommend getting the normal 1.4 Swift. The 6MT gear box is very smooth and user friendly; clutch is very responsive and easy to handle and this was duly proven in congested situations that is inevitable in city driving. With this car if you fancied a weekend blitz around your local race track or any road that allows for a little bit of “touge” driving like a windy road or mountain pass, This car will feel very much at home. Even cruising on highway conditions was a breeze, the car felt stable and gave decent feedback from road conditions such as bumps and crests. Being a fairly lightweight car at roughly 1050KGs of kerb weight, This car allows pin sharp handling and an extremely rev happy 1.6 litre engine that maxes out at 7000RPM mated with a very functional 6 speed gearbox, the joy of driving this car is quite phenomenal.
So with the addition of the word “sport” what do you get? Well firstly let’s take a look at the exterior. It has been given a feisty championship yellow paint job (or white if yellow seems too brash for you), a visually more aggressive body kit all round with dual exhaust outlets, 16 inch sports alloys paired with Yokohama Advan tyres for good measure, projector headlamps and fog lamps encased in a “wolverine” style front bumper garnish.
The exterior details certainly sets the sport apart from the regular swift but what widens the gap even more is what the boffins at Suzuki have done on the technical stuff.. Stiffer firmer Monroe Shock absorbers and sports springs, all wheel disc brakes, a larger displacement heart that is 200cc more than the regular 1.4 with an output of 136bhp, a whopping 44 more bhp than the 1.4 variant. Suzuki claims that the sport model will do 0-100km in 8.7 seconds and I would take their word for it.
On the interior of the car, your usual luxuries can be found, an 6 speaker system paired to an AM/FM radio that even comes with controls on the steering wheel so you are not distracted from your drive and the radio plays CDs and MP3s from USB connectivity. Aluminum pedals with raised rubber strips add to the sportiness and are very comfortable.
A small but distinct detail are the red trims that can be seen on the seat , steering stitching and on various parts of the interior, even on the gear lever boot.
The gear knob is comfortable in the hand, and is equipped with a safety locking coupling that you will have to lift to shift into reverse so you don’t engage it by accident.
This swift is now the third generation of Swifts and unlike the predecessor ZC31S swift sport which had a ridiculous keyless system that was a switch that employed the same twisting motion as a key ignition, The new swift sport has a more functional and practical push start button that starts with the depression of the clutch.
The instruments cluster is clear and displays practical information which is customizable such as range, fuel consumption and other general information. Fuel efficiency claims for this car states that it has improved from the previous generation, capable of 6.5L per 100km which can be expected from a compact car.
In conclusion, the swift sport is an absolute contender in the sports compact market since there are not much other cars out there that offer this kind of balance between daily drivability and sporty performance at this kind of price. One thing I can promise is that this car will be utterly fun to drive and almost hassle free to live with and we’ve no dramas recommending this car; It is a genuinely fun package.
Engine: 1586cc 16v 4 cylinder | 136bhp at 7000rpm | 118lb ft at 4400rpm
Transmission/drivetrain: 6 speed Manual FWD
Performance figures: 8.7sec 0-62mph, 121mph, 44.1mpg average
Kerb weight/Material: 1050KG | High Tensile Steel
Length/Width/Height (mm) : 3890mm | 1695mm | 1580mm
Photos – Eugene Chan
Words – Eugene Chan