Aug 4 2009 Steve Hughes
Size is special at Suzuki
SUZUKI specialises in small cars and has perfected the art of practical packaging over many decades.
The company has an enviable reputation for reliability and durability, resulting in one of the most loyal followings of any motor manufacturer.
Virtually every model in the range is either new or almost new, which means that superminis such as the Splash benefit from the latest design and manufacturing techniques.
As roomy as a mini MPV, there is now a one-litre three-cylinder petrol version generating 68bhp with 55mpg economy.
The CO2 figure is just below the 121g/km mark, which earns it a road tax liability of just £35 a year.
It costs £8,750 and comes with air conditioning, electric front windows, heated adjustable door mirrors, a three-spoke leather-covered steering wheel with audio controls and CD player with MP3 compatibility.
Safety equipment includes six airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and electronic stability programme.
Also included in the Splash range are a more powerful 1.2-litre petrol model with 50mpg economy and a 1.3-litre diesel with 60mpg economy and a CO2 figure of just 120g/km.
The new Alto model is the lowest emitting five-door petrol model, with a CO2 figure of 103g/km.
Suzuki reckons that this three-cylinder 67bhp one-litre model will attract family buyers in search of a small economical and eco-friendly car at a price of just £7,245.
The smallest car in its line-up, the cabin layout gives most of the space to the front seats but still provides enough room for two adults in the rear, albeit at a pinch.
There is also a small amount of luggage space behind the rear seats, which can be folded flat to increase the cargo area further.
There is the option of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions, with acceleration to 60mph in 14 seconds and a top speed of 95mph.
Safety features include front, side and curtain air bags plus electronic stability programme.
The Suzuki Swift comes with a choice of three or five doors, three petrol engines and a diesel plus the option of automatic transmission for the five-door 1.5-litre petrol model.
The others are petrol engines of 1.3 litres and 1.6 litres plus the oil-burner in 1.3-litre 60mpg guise.
Prices range from £8,750 for the 1.3-litre petrol-powered three door model rising through £9,900 for the 1.5-litre five door and up to £11,990 for the 1.6-litre three door Sport and £10,950 for the 1.3-litre diesel.
Standard kit within the range includes air conditioning, alloy wheels, remote central locking, electric front windows, CD player and split- folding rear seats.
This amounts to a lot of metal for the money, with the only obvious shortcoming being the relatively small amount of luggage space.
Also included in the Suzuki range are the 4x4 Jimny, SX4 and popular Grand Vitara, which comes with a choice of 1.6, 2.0 and 2.4-litre petrol engines and a 1.9-litre diesel with prices ranging from £13,600 to £19,975.
All models have air conditioning, electric windows, alloy wheels, CD sound system and front, side and curtain air bags.
The 2.4-litre model has a high standard specification including an in-dash 6CD player with MP3 compatibility, rear privacy glass and 17-inch wheels.
Five-door models additionally get leather seats with front seat heating, cruise-control, 18-inch wheels and an electrically-operated glass sunroof.