2017 Suzuki Swift GL and GL Navigator reviewed


The Suzuki Swift has proved to be a popular name in Australia with models almost gaining a cult following with some people, and the new Swift is only going to increase that following and bring new customers in.
While not being overly fancy on the inside the Swift is functional and pleasant, the front cloth seats are comfortable.
The Swift is built to price point and you can tell by extensive use of hard plastics and soft and spongy sun visors, that aside though the Swift is made in Japan so you get the extremely good fit and finish you expect from Japanese made vehicles.
While not being overly fancy on the inside the Swift is functional and pleasant, the front cloth seats are somewhat comfortable but need more side support specially when cornering.
The instrument panel is well set out and easy to read in any light but being the GL model there are not a lot of options available via the lcd screen in between the dials.
The Dash is well shaped and I do like the round air vents at the top, tech the GL is entry level so there isn’t much just a standard stereo with Bluetooth no touch screen., the GL Nav gets a 7inch touch screen.
Below the audio system controls is the dials for the aircon which easy to reach from the drivers seat. At base of the centre stack is storage tray which I found the perfect size for my phone as well as USB and 12volt charging points, the centre console is real flash with 2 cup holders and no storage bin.
Rear leg and head room is pretty decent for a small and I can sit behind the driver’s seat without my knees touching the back.
Boot space is not stella but when I told my daughter it was small she preceded to show me you could fit a 15 year old in there.

So as you would expect from the entry level the GL is not overly blessed with technology to get a standard stereo with CD player, for Bluetooth connectivity and not much else.
Thankfully though the system was easy to pair my phone to and the Bluetooth connectivity meant I still live stream music from my phone.
Stepping up to the GL with Nav which adds the  7 inch colour touch screen which not only works pretty good it also now means you get a review camera as well.

Powered by a 1.2L naturally aspirated 66kw engine the Swift doesn’t entirely live up to it’s name but as I found out during the week it’s not as bad as I expected thanks to the Swift’s overall low weight.
The 5 speed manual proved to be the most fun during the week as you take advantage of the little engines willingness to rev, the clutch is light and the friction point easy to feel. The GL Nav came with a CVT auto and while it was the easiest of the 2 to live with day to day specially in traffic I found the CVT took away a lot of the enjoyment the manual had as well as blunted performance it did have a sport button on the shifter but didn’t seem to improve things a lot just gave you a few more revs.
Fuel economy was pretty damn good the Swift is easily one of the most fuel efficient cars I’ve tested this year with manual model just besting the auto model 5.8L/100km to 6.1L/100km either way both models get the big tick from me.

On the road both models rode exceptionally well it though it was sprung a touch on the stiff side which I prefer on a car anyway. While you do feel some of the bumps, it’s not overly bad and at no time did the Swift feel unsettled over the bumps and there was no bump or crash transmitted into the cabin.
The off shoot to that is the Swift handles exceptionally well, I found the steering sharp and direct. Throw it at some corners and the Swift really shines it feels light, nimble and sits nice and flat.

Safety wise the Swift comes with front airbags, side airbags, curtain airbags, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), Brake assist system (BAS), Vehicle stability control (ESP®), Hill hold control (Automatic models), 2 x ISOFIX, 3 x Tether Anchorages, both models loose points for having no reverse sensors but the GL Nav gets some points back for the rearview camera.

So after spending a week in both I came away rather impressed with both but in different ways despite them being virtually identical.  Both models offer a very good ride and drive rather well.
They both offer a reasonable amount of room for a light car and the fuel the economy from models was rather good indeed. I did find that the manual GL was a more involving drive and overall more fun to spend the week in, the downside to the GL is it lacks the excellent audio system and touch screen the Nav gets. The problem with the Nav is that I didn’t find it as good to drive as I think it’s slightly hamstrung by the CVT transmission.
Nether the less the Swift certainly makes a great case for somebody looking for an economical car to commute to work and back during the work, someone looking for a 2nd car that’s cheap to run and it’s low pricing make it a great prospect for somebody looking for the their car and don’t want to buy something 2nd hand.

Suzuki Swift GL and GL Navigator
Price: GL $15990, GL Nav $17699
Engine: 1.2L 4cyl 66kW 120Nm
Transmission: GL 5 speed Manual, GL Navigator CVT Automatic.
Standard Features:
Swift GL
1.2L Dualjet engine, Six airbags and ESC, ABS, EBD, & BA, Bluetooth® connectivity, iPod® USB connectivity, Cruise control, Power windows, Steering wheel audio controls, 15” steel wheels, 60:40-split rear seats, Daytime Running Lights, Privacy Glass, Leather Covered 3-spoke steering wheel.

Swift GL Navigator: In addition to Swift GL key features:
1.2L Dualjet engine, Multimedia Satellite Navigation, System with Reversing Camera, Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, 16” alloy wheels, Front Fog Lights.

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