By Mike Torpey on 2019-06-17 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Swift shows some
SUZUKI is displaying some serious Attitude in the promotion of its ever popular Swift supermini.
The third generation of the compact family model has made a major impact on the new car scene since its launch two years ago.
Already holder of the World Urban Car 2018 title, the Swift is part of a sales push that has seen the Japanese brand increase its UK market share with annual sales of 38,500 examples - the second highest in its history.
And earlier this year Suzuki was named best car brand in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index.
Now the company is looking to a new addition to the line-up, the Attitude Special Edition, to propel it towards an objective of selling 13,000 Swifts in Britain during 2019.
Attitude is based on the popular SZ-T model and is expected to account for some 40 per cent of Swift sales this year.
That, says Suzuki's marketing chief Ed Norman, is down to the vehicle's impressive affordability and low running costs.
It is powered by the brand's 1.2-litre Dualjet four-cylinder petrol engine, with its output of 90PS, five-speed manual transmission and average fuel economy of 51.4 miles per gallon. Emissions are low too at 108g/km.
While the Swift is a stylish little offering anyway, the special edition gets that extra Attitude courtesy of its mesh front grille with chrome trim, carbon effect skirts, rear spoiler and 16-inch alloy wheels.
It costs Â£14,599 and from next month will also gain a few more extras including a reversing camera - kit that will certainly help towards Suzuki's belief that this specific model will prove ideal to younger buyers, potentially en route to making the jump to the celebrated Swift Sport variant.
It is certainly a car to be enjoyed - proving both positive and nimble on a test drive that took in swathes of the New Forest in Hampshire and on down to the coast at Lymington.
The latest Swift is actually shorter than its predecessor, yet the amount of passenger space is improved thanks to a longer wheelbase.
Headroom is better due to a lower seating position, there's fractionally more width and the effect of a low centre of gravity comes via blacked-out pillars that give the impression of a floating roof.
No longer available as a three-door, the latest model also has concealed pillar-mounted rear door handles to bring some extra style, along with LED lights.
Two petrol engines - a three-cylinder 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbocharged unit and the Attitude's 90PS 1.2-litre - comprise the range while the standard trim levels follow the familiar Suzuki pattern of SZ3, SZ-T and SZ5 grades.
There's also ALLGRIP four-wheel drive available as an option on top spec SZ5 versions with the 1.2-litre engine.
This model, with a slightly raised body clearance and simple on-off all-wheel drive set-up, was put through its paces on a woodland off-road course at the spectacular Beaulieu estate.
Following three months rainfall in the space of a week the ground was sodden and cloying, yet posed no problem for the Swift.
For those desiring a bit more grunt, then the 109bhp Boosterjet models do the job. These cars come with a five-speed manual gearbox plus a mild hybrid system called SHVS - Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki.
This adds a small battery and a combined motor and generator that recovers energy when you decelerate and also boosts pulling power from low engine speeds.
The latest Suzuki Swift starts at £12,499 for a 1.2 Dualjet SZ3 model. The SZ5 4x4 ALLGRIP costs £16,999.
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