New Suzuki Swift Puts On Aggressive Suit In Frankfurt
While most Japanese automakers are enjoying success in both the United States and Europe, Suzuki hasn’t been doing particularly well in recent years. But that’s not to say that it hasn’t been trying. The last couple of years brought three brand-new Suzuki vehicles into dealerships — the Ignis, Baleno, and Swift — and the Japanese firm may be on its way to a better future, at least in some markets. Come 2017 and Suzuki is pushing things a bit further with a redesigned version of the Swift Sport.
The higher performance version of the small hatchback broke cover at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, and it’s more appealing than ever. The new Swift design is perfect for the hot hatch treatment, and even though the performance might not be on par with the likes of the Polo GTi, the Swift Sport sure looks like it could outgun the competition. Of course, looks won’t it help it go faster, but it’s a significant progression compared to previous iterations of the Swift Sport. And, it’s worth looking into.
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The new Suzuki Swift Is Lighter and More Fuel Efficient
Although not the best looking and most practical car out there, the Suzuki Swift has been a popular choice in some European market thanks to its affordable sticker and cheap maintenance. It has fallen a bit too far behind the competition in recent years, but the new-generation Swift that just made its European debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show should put Suzuki back on the map in the challenging subcompact hatchback segment.
As we learned back in December 2016 when the car made its global debut in Japan, the new Swift is a big step forward in terms of styling, following in the footsteps for the similarly sized Baleno. The hatchback also rides on new underpinnings that are about 15 percent lighter and provide better driving dynamics and help improve fuel economy.
The dated styling of the previous Swift is finally gone, replaced by modern features and an overall sportier stance. The smaller headlamps, the larger grille, and the dynamic looking front bumper give the Swift a front fascia that can stand out next to any other competitor in this segment. Although simple, the rear section feels fresh and practical at the same time, with the wider tailgate providing easier access to the trunk.
The cabin is also a big improvement over the previous design. The larger infotainment screen, the round A/C vents and the sportier instrument cluster make the Swift a nice place to spend time in. Tech includes a new infotainment system with Apple CarPlay connectivity, maps, music, and USB port.
As usual, motivation is provided by small-displacement engines, starting with the 1.2-liter Dualijet rated at 89 horsepower and 89 pound-feet. The 1.0-liter, three-cylinder Boosterjet with 109 horses and 125 pound-feet is available in the more expensive trims. Just like the Baleno, the Swift uses the SHVS mild hybrid system with lower emissions. Suzuki also introduced a revised version of its AllGrip Auto four-wheel-drive system, which transfers additional torque to the rear wheels when required via a viscous coupling.
Pricing is not yet available, but the new Swift goes on sale in the U.K. on June 1st.
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The new Suzuki Baleno showed up at the at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show showing off lots of DNA that it borrowed from the Suzuki IK-2 Concept that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show. Compared to the concept, the new Baleno isn’t far off at all. It isn’t quite as sporty on the exterior as the concept, but it features the same headlights, front grille, side profile, and a toned down rear end. Inside, there are a few subtle hints that point back to the Suzuki Swift, however, the interior is smooth and pleasant. There is a large touch-screen display with Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, a partially digital instrument cluster, simplified center console, and decent fit and finish. Under the hood, the new Baleno features a 109-horsepower, three-cylinder engine or an 80-horsepower, four-cylinder engine.
As a “supermini” or subcompact, the Baleno competes against the likes of the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta, to name a couple. As such, the Baleno has some big shoes to fill if it’s going to be successful in such a competitive market. It does feature a sporty enough exterior and a nice enough interior to keep up, but that only goes so far, considering most competitors in this market offer up trim levels with significantly more horsepower. Of course, Suzuki hasn’t exactly been known for its performance in four-wheel vehicles, so that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
So, will the new Suzuki Baleno be able to tear off its own chunk of the market? Only time will tell, but for now, you can check out our full review below.
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