THE funky and fun Suzuki Swift Sport impressed me when I drove it for the first time at its launch in early May.
Lighter andmore powerful than its predecessor the all-new Sport is a cracking looking supermini and I recently got the chance to spend a few days with it.
Like its lesser siblings it is only available as a five-door but that just means that it is practical as well as being great fun to drive.
There is more than enough room for four adults to travel in comfort and the boot space is also good at 265 litres going up 579 litres with the rear seats folded.
It may not be the quickest hot hatch but its performance will be enough for most buyers and it delivers the goods when it counts.
The Sport's 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine is boosted to provide 140ps which is not too shabby and that combined with its light weight allows it to make Swift progress.
It is a full 70kg lighter than the model it replaces and that means it can reach 60mph in 8.1 seconds before going on to 130mph.
It also has an excellent torque curve so you don't have to change gear all the time to get the best out of it but when you do you will find a smaller throw and a slick movement to put a smile on your face.
Agile and responsive the Swift Sport was an ideal companion around town and the new platform and excellent suspension dealt with all types of surfaces.
The Monroe shock absorbers provide a level of comfort that is missing from some other hot hatches and you don't feel jolted every time you hit a slight bump.
With emissions of 125g/km the claimed combined fuel economy is 50.4mpg and I got surprisingly close to that figure over a week of mixed driving.
Available in a choice of one solid and five metallic colours - all at no extra cost - the Swift Sport looks good in them all.
Slightly bigger than the old model the new Swift Sport is also 40mm wider than the rest of the range. It also sits lower to give it a more muscular presence and it boasts its own unique 17-inchalloys.
The Sport has a completely different nose from other Swifts and its credentials are further enhanced by blacked out roof pillars and darkened privacy glass.
Black aerodynamic spoilers span the front, sides and rear of the car and there is also a roof spoiler.
There is also a sports exhaust system which produces a nicely tuned note and the signature dual tailpipe design is retained at the rear.
Carbon effect materials are also used to increase the sporty theme and add extra jazz as are the pillar mounted rear door handles.
The theme continues inside with alloy pedals, an exclusive steering wheel with a dimpled leather design for secure grip, Sport logos on the seat fabric and nice red accent panels throughout the cockpit.
The digital instrument panel features some gimmicky touches including a red finish to the rev counter and a central display which can show a G-meter, torque and power gauges as well as a turbo boost readout.
None of them are really necessary but they will delight most of the people who will buy this car.
Everything in the neat cabin feels well put together and built to last.
Built at Suzuki'sSagaraplant in Japan the Sport also boasts an extremely generous equipment list which includes air conditioning, DAB radio, LED daytime running lights andBluetooth.
Specification also includessmartphonelink display audio, rear view camera, front fog lamps and navigation all as standard.
The Sport also features all the latest safety equipment and you get dual sensor brake support, adaptive cruise control and lane departure prevention and an advance forward detection system with autonomous emergency braking and high beam assist. You also get hill hold control, tyre pressure warning and numerous airbags as well as a host of other equipment.
At £17,999 the Swift Sport is keenly priced and nothing else comes close to matching that level of equipment, style and performance for the same money.