Monday, 01 March 2021

Revamped supermini’s even safer

Revamped supermini’s even safer

IT was not so long ago that I was singing the praises of a new supermini that gave the Japanese carmaker Suzuki a huge boost in this lucrative sector.

Now that car, the Suzuki Swift, is in its third generation and has been given a facelift for 2021.

Since its global launch in 2005 the Swift has continued to be a bestseller for Suzuki.

Now as we move into the world of electrification, for the 2021 year model the Swift gets an enhanced 1.2-litre engine and hybrid as standard, as well as further standard equipment updates.

The push towards electrification has brought more sophistication to cars in general and the new Suzuki Swift Hybrid is no exception.

It has a stylish exterior design to match its compact size. Visibility is excellent and there is great interior space. Luggage space has always been good on the Swift. When I wrote about the car back in 2017 I recall helping someone move house. It was surprising what you could get into this supermini then and the third generation is as generous with its load space.

Suzuki first introduced its 1.2-litre Dualjet technology in 2014. That engine has been replaced by the new K12D Dualjet unit, which offers better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. Fuel efficiency improves again when paired with the self-charging hybrid system powered by a new lithium-ion battery.

Available as standard equipment for all Swift models, the upgraded 12V Hybrid system helps suppress fuel consumption by providing electric motor assist using electricity generated through regenerative braking.

For the Swift with 2WD and manual transmission the Hybrid system achieves a CO2 emissions figure of 111g/km plus a fuel consumption figure of 57.2mpg on the combined cycle.

The Swift Sport Hybrid with 48V system and new K14D Boosterjet engine was introduced earlier in 2020 and is currently the only self-charging hatch model among its competitors.

For its part, the Swift SZ-L’s active safety equipment includes a Radar Brake Support (RBS) system. When travelling above three miles per hour and the system detects a risk of collision with an object in front, it warns the driver to apply the brakes. At higher speeds and if it senses the possibility of a collision, it warns the driver with a buzzer and via a notification on the multi-information display.

The system warning can also be set for either far or near distance via a button on the dashboard, and lane changing at speeds above 10mph is now safer with the addition of the Blind Spot Monitor.

Standard equipment for all models in the range is more comprehensive. The SZ-L includes air conditioning, rear view camera, Radar Brake Support with Adaptive Cruise Control, smartphone link for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio, leather steering wheel, privacy glass, LED Headlamps, LED rear combination lamps, polished 16-inch alloy wheels and front electric windows.

The SZ-T adds grey painted 16-inch alloy wheels, Dual Sensor Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Weaving Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition and rear parking sensors.

SZ5 adds Navigation, 16-inch polished alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, keyless entry and start, telescopic steering wheel adjustment, rear electric windows and door mirror side turn indicators.

My verdict: a great little car and greatly improved for 2021.