Fun in a box from

Suzuki

Suzuki Swift Sport, front action
Suzuki Swift Sport, front action 2
Suzuki Swift Sport, side static
Suzuki Swift Sport, rear action
Suzuki Swift Sport, dashboard
Suzuki Swift Sport, boot

BACK in the days when I used to modify my own small cars, the aim was not only to get more power from the engine and beef up the brakes, but also to lighten the car as much as possible.

This was on the premis that if the engine has less weight to lug around, the car will go quicker.

And that's part of the ethos behind the latest Suzuki Swift Sport, which is a warm hatch by today's standards, but with more power than the original Golf GTi and more than its arch rival the Peugeot 205 GTi.

That means that it's also quicker than both those icons in the 0 to 60 miles an hour sprint, taking 7.8 seconds.

Unlike the original Swift Sport, which came with a 1.6 normally aspirated engine and 130bhp, this latest offering gains 10 more horses from the 1.4 Boosterjet petrol turbo used in other cars from the Suzuki range.

Out on the road, this means brilliant engine response even from low speeds with a hugely willing and fun nature.

Acceleration from almost any speed is more than enough for most drivers and overtaking becomes simple and straightforward on any straight piece of road.

This car is a gem - one of the few that I could be happy with for the rest of my days. Not only does it have this lovely engine response, but the handling and road-holding are also right out of the top drawer.

The steering has loads of feel through the twists and turns of a fast cross country road, giving the driver all the information he or she needs about grip and road surface.

The handling balance is excellent, with, if anything, a slight bias to the rear that stops the car ploughing straight on when a corner is taken too fast.

It's immensely safe because of this balance, but also comes with a raft of electronic safety devices as standard, including stability control, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

Unlike many other such out and out sporting hatches, this one is also pretty comfortable most of the time, despite the sporting suspension setup, and that's a real plus as far as I'm concerned.

At the moment, I've seen prices at £17,500 and that buys a car with no extras list because everything comes as standard.

As well as the items I've already mentioned, it comes with parking sesnsors and reversing camera, keyless entry and starting, touchscreen sat nav, and a DAB stereo with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

It also has high beam assist, a hill holder, smartphone link, alloy wheels and special sports front seats and upholstery.

FAST FACTS

Price: £17,500

Mechanical: 140bhp, 1,373cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 8.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 50.4

Insurance Group: 35

C02 emissions: 135g/km

Bik rating: 26%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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