Suzuki Splash 1.2

GLS

Suzuki Splash, interior

CAR classifications can be confusing these days with an ever-increasing number of acronyms to fox buyers.

Take MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), a commonly accepted acronym that replaced the ever-so-easily understood term ‘people carrier'.

The thing is these days there's no longer just one type of MPV - you have standard MPVs, compact MPVs and even mini MPVs.

Sometimes I think these classifications get taken too far - the original people carrier monicker referred to the fact they could carry seven or eight people - whereas these days all manner of vehicles are attempting to get in on the act.

I realise such ranting is starting to sound like one of the gripes on the popular television series Grumpy Old Men so I'll put a sock in it.

The point I'm trying to make is Suzuki's little Splash is classified as a mini MPV but in reality it's more of a supermini.

A decent description would probably be a ‘spacious supermini', since it's essentially a small car that makes good use of space to create an everyday runabout that can even double up as a family car at a push.

Just like Fiat, Suzuki have excelled at making small stylish and sporty cars that are generally good fun to drive.

The Splash in no exception. It might not have MINI or Fiat 500 levels of cool chic but it certainly has the sort of style and presence to inspire would-be buyers to say ‘I want one of those!'

Not quite a bargain basement supermini, it still represents good enough value for money and in fairness it does manage to be extremely practical for a car of its size.

It shares a platform with the more regulation supermini the Suzuki Swift but manages to create extra space by going up rather than outwards.

Every square inch of the compact platform is made the most of with minimal overhangs at all four wheels.

This gives the Splash a sure-footed and flat feel that helps it drive rather well. The added height makes for a little pitch and roll but only when you're cornering at speed.

There's a choice of three engines - 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre petrol units and a 1.3-litre diesel.

The Fiat diesel engine is obviously the best performer but overall the pick of the bunch is the 1.2-litre petrol unit which was fitted to my test car. It's available as a manual or an automatic and the manual manages 51.4mpg on the combined cycle, compared to 56.5mpg for the lower-powered petrol model and 62.9mpg for the diesel.

As far as the interior goes that extra height creates a really roomy and open feel and some clever nook and cranny storage solutions mean there are plenty of places to put everything from sunglasses to CDs.

A funky interior enhances the Splash's quirky and stylish feel, while boot space is 178 litres with the back seats in use and 573 litres with the seats down.

FAST FACTS

Suzuki Splash 1.2 GLS

Price: £9,805

Mechanical: 86bhp, 1,242cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 12.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 51.4

Insurance Group: 3

C02 emissions: 131g/km

Bik rating:15%

Warranty:3yrs/ 60,000 miles

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