Suzuki is a brand we have been exposed to many times in the past and it is a brand we quite like. Several staff and family members actually own Suzukis here at Spotong. So when we were offered a chance to test a few different members of their rather large family, we jumped at the chance to see what Suzuki now has to offer the very demanding South African market.
The first version of the SX4 we tested a couple of years ago proved to be a real surprise for us. The little 4x4 packed a big punch for its size and definitely competed well against cars that were bigger in size and price, so the new version had big boots to fill. The new SX4 is a very pretty car and it no longer falls into the small size bracket either. Suzuki has decided to change the SX4’s formula and place it in a market of bigger SUVs to compete against the more established brands in this segment.
Suzuki is a brand we have been exposed to many times in the past and it is a brand we quite like.
I am sure Suzuki did their research before making this decision, but we couldn’t help but think that they had a winning formula with the old version so why change it? The new SX4 is considerably more expensive, and even with the extra size, it didn’t seem to us like there would be space for it in the already saturated SUV market. The thinking behind the change aside, the SX4 is a real winner behind the wheel. It drives superbly well and does offer the driver and all your passengers terrific comfort. The bigger size means that the engine doesn’t quite pack the punch of the old SX4, but it is nippy enough to prevent you from urging it up the hill while driving and can get you in and out of sticky traffic situations with certitude and ease.
Through all our extensive experience with Suzuki and the Swift in particular, the Swift Sport was another member of the Suzuki family we have had the opportunity to drive before. In our previous review we found little wrong with the Sport, but we did feel the sport badge was merely decoration. This newest version however does have a little more zip under the bonnet to justify the sporty tag it has been given. The engine packs a decent punch and the outlandish designs mean the Swift Sport does as it is intended to do and stands out on the road.
We received it in what Suzuki called Champion Yellow: shockingly bright! But that eye-stinging colour was a great addition to the Swift’s character. As with all Swifts, the Sport is great fun to drive. The light weight of the car, low centre of gravity and decent suspension mean it provides many thrills without any spills. The heavier price tag still means we would probably opt for the normal Swift over the Sport version, but for those of you looking for something a little funkier and a little quicker, the Swift Sport could be the perfect fit for you.
This seven-seater family car is the only Suzuki we have ever tested we didn’t 100% fall in love with. The Ertiga is a big, cumbersome mom’s wagon that doesn’t quite deliver what we would have hoped for from it. The fact that it is called a seven-seater made us scratch our heads to start with, because the two back seats are almost non-existent. A toddler would struggle with any leg room back there.
Thankfully the seats can be rearranged, because when all seven seats are in use, you can barely get a laptop in the boot. The finishings on the model we tested were not to our taste, but there are enough options to choose from to suit even the pickiest of drivers. The Ertiga is neither quick nor comfortable at high speeds, but it is designed to be a runaround for a big family, so you wouldn’t need it to win a drag race. The fuel economy is respectable and for the very low price, it does fill a gap in the market.
This particular version of the Swift has been made to cater for the very lower end of the market and has a smaller engine than the more popular version we tested a few years back. What we loved about this particular Swift was that it gives the driver and owner much more bang for buck than some of the other manufacturers who try and take on the lower end hatch market. Suzuki do not cut corners or compromise on the quality of the build when they produce their vehicles, and the Swift 1.2 GL is a perfect example of a budget buy, with luxury delivery. The 1.2 litre engine is by no means a rocket ship, but it delivers just enough oomph to make the ride exciting and at the same time, the fuel economy will blow your mind. The small size does not affect the comfort of anyone who gets a ride in the Swift, and although the boot leans towards the side of small, it is ample enough for everyday use.
There is a reason Suzuki is a popular car manufacturer with us at Spotong: they deliver on a promise, they are reliable and always go a little bit further than you think you money will get you. Suzuki are just ordinary enough to make them appealing to the masses and just different enough to make them special to their owners.