A Swift farewell for KR17 ZKC
Six months ago, we were handed the keys to a brand-new Suzuki Swift.
Upon its arrival, the one thing struck with many of us across the office was its characterful nature — both in looks and driving experience. Now, as we say goodbye, I'm glad to say that positive introduction was a sign of things to come during KR17 ZKC's tenure with us.
Ok, so it wasn't the perfect machine. The 1.2-litre Dualjet mild hybrid engine can't exactly be described as perky — developing a feeble 89bhp and 120Nm of torque from its four cylinders — and the standard infotainment system was nothing short of terrible (fortunately, Android Auto was included). Oh, and if I had to be really picky, the little wing mirror decals looked tacky.
For its main purpose though, a little city runabout, there's no going wrong with the Swift. What the engine lacks in power, it more than makes up for in efficiency, averaging around 55mpg during our time with us. Plus, thanks to the all-wheel-drive setup, it proved easily manoeuvrable around town —aided by great visibility.
It's proven to be one of the most practical machines on our fleet over the past few months, serving as a bit of a little workhorse.
The best bit? It was also a lot of fun behind the wheel, thanks to being pretty light — a mere 980kg — as well as having cracking driving dynamics. If you really work the engine, there's a lot of joy to be had on B-roads, even when driven back-to-back with the original, more powerful Swift Sport.
No major reliability concerns cropped up during our time with KR17 ZKC, either. Aside from a routine oil service mid-way through our ownership, nothing came up and we had no reason to take it in for work. Sure, you may not expect much to go wrong in such short ownership, but it bodes well for the model going forward nonetheless.
If you're in the market for a little city car, one capable enough of the occasional efficient cross-country journey too, the Swift should absolutely be on your shopping list. With our money, we'd likely go with the 1.0-litre turbocharged Boosterjet petrol engine just for a little more punch, but there's no going wrong with the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated option either.
It's a fond farewell to KR17 ZKC from us, and we'll now be impatiently waiting to have a go in the upcoming Sport to see what that lightweight little machine can really do.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
Model: Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZ5 SHVS Dualjet 4WD
Engine: 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol
Top speed: 106mph
0-60: 12.4 seconds