Swift way to

supermini motoring

Suzuki Swift, 2017, side, action
Suzuki Swift, 2017, front
Suzuki Swift, 2017, front, action
Suzuki Swift, 2017, rear, action
Suzuki Swift, 2017, interior
Suzuki Swift, 2017, boot

THAT Who Do You Think You Are programme has to be the daftest named hour of tripe on the tripemonger's slab.

We know who we are, it's the people who spawned us and where they came from that needs emphasising in a title.

My grandfather, for instance, gave his address for wedding certificate purposes as SS Norwegian, River Mersey and we can safely say that this was not because he filled in the paperwork on the Birkenhead ferry.

No, he came from a long line of seafarers and certainly knew who he was; a chap with a fondness for ale and fisticuffs who could well have featured on Crimewatch had television been invented.

I know who I am, it's on a label through the lapel of my dufflecoat.

As a TV title it ranks alongside rough talk like we know where you live and my dad can fight your dad.

The motor industry has been known to have more than the odd identity crisis.

Austin had the Maxi, which was most definitely a car but marketed for its properties as a double bed from the days when a trip to Cornwall would have put off Roald Amundsen.

Seats which folded down, imagine that.

Hyundai had the Coupe boasting the flowing lines of an Italian studmuffin but the forward momentum of a cup of tea.

And look, here is the Suzuki Swift which may people think is a Mini, which it is not or it would say Mini on the badge and be so hipster there is even has a version by that name.

Swift Mk6 has been eagerly awaited by those in the know looking for a supermini with a diminished price tag.

It is not opulent but then that can hardly be said of any workaday hatchback.

Functional yes, stylish very, but silk undergarments I think not until you have spent the entire overseas aid budget.

An opinion I gladly qualify by pointing out that today's range-topping 1.2 Dualjet SZ5 Allgrip will set you back just £15,499 for an impressive, fully fitted out five-door with a unique 4x4 selling point.

Allgrip is only available on the top-spec model enjoying the Suzuki mild hybrid SHVS system which is slick in its operation, allowing for almost silent pulling away and matched to a five-speed gearbox is an easy car to use in town.

The ride is firm but then with the UK's Raqqa-esque road surfaces, suspension quality is becoming something of a moot point.

With 89bhp and a 0-62mph time of 12.6 seconds the naturally aspirated Dualjet hardly the stuff of ripping yarns you have to work the four-cylinder harder than the alternative three-pot Booosterjetbut then there is the extra grip and with a well set up platform, on the right roads the Swift is great fun to drive.

Economy is another matter with the slight of foot driver looking at a potential 62.8mpg.

Suzuki still lags behind some rivals for interior materials although that is not to say it lacks quality in its build, it is just that there remains an overall hardness to everything.

On the other hand, there is no shortage of kit.

Daytime running lights, DAB radio, sat-nav, reversing camera and all the connectivity modern life demands, feature.

The fascia is dominated by a touch screen and two instrument cowls set off by a bit of stylish graphite trim and red lighting.

It certainly looks the part without resorting to some of the more rhineoctosquid excesses of extreme design statements.

Is it practical?

Well the boot is big enough but has a high lip, the seats split and fold and there is reasonable leg and headroom in the back.

There is no doubt it is a looker from the tinted rear windows to hidden door handles.

The Swift punches above its price range and reminds me of some other 20 century marketing confusion: Castella, a cigar for the price of a pint.

Have you ever tried smoking beer?


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