Tuesday, 8 January 2013

COLUMN - January 2013


Here is my Motor Mouth column from the first edition of The Local Herald in 2013. Being a new year and a new start I wanted to offer something good, and so I made this edition into a sort of 'Suzuki Special' with a brief review of the Swift Sport and Kizashi. The full reviews for both of these can be found on the car reviews page. I hope you enjoy this column, and are having a good start to 2013.
**EDIT** Many apologies for the typo in the Kizashi section relating to the engine power. It is now amended to the correct 178PS.

So we find ourselves in another new year. 2013. Superstitious folk don’t buy a new car this March or you will find yourself in a ’13-plate’. How that could possibly be more unlucky than owning a Rover I don’t know, but it will be interesting to see if there will be any effect on car sales.

So how did you all get on over Christmas and New Year? Well I hope. Presents, turkey, the family (which always seems bigger at Christmas); aren’t we all glad it’s only once a year! And what a year this looks like it could be. I have some truly excellent reviews on the books for 2013, and so from my point of view this year is very far from unlucky. All will be revealed as the year goes on.

So where can I start off a brand new year? Well I thought I’d go with a positive, upbeat start. I shall call this edition the “Suzuki Special” because I wish to feature two cars from their current model range.

The first is the Swift Sport. I recently reviewed the Swift and loved it, but said the only thing missing was a bit of sporty styling and a touch more performance. My prayers were answered because the Swift Sport is absolutely superb. I could literally fault nothing about it; unless you need five seats because it has just four (didn’t affect me at all). As a result it is currently the highest scoring review on Simply Motor, and that is no mean feat.

A little bit about it then. Well it has a 1.6-litre engine, 136PS and 160Nm. 0-62mph takes 8.7 seconds and top speed is 121mph. Not too bad at all. The best thing about this car is that at under £13,499 it truly is a bargain. You simply cannot get a car which handles this great, looks this great, and goes this great for that kind of money. The new one even has a 6-speed gearbox which a lot of its rivals can’t match, and the whole car handles like it’s on rails.

Next up we have the Kizashi. You won’t have seen one before and most of you won’t even have heard of it. Suzuki are only bringing 500 of these to the UK. They will set you back £21,999 and what you get for that is a magnificent-looking sporty-luxurious car with a 2.4 litre engine and a CVT transmission; choose a colour and it’s yours.

From the 2.4-litre unit you get 178PS and 230Nm. Whilst this may not seem like heaps you have to appreciate that this car was not designed for this market (more for our American friends). Nevertheless it will do 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds and go on to a top speed of 127mph.

So what makes this car good? Well the CVT transmission (although admittedly odd in auto mode) is a dream when you’re on the paddle shift. You get seamless changes and long gears to get the power down. And the best bit is how the Kizashi gets power down; it has an AWD system. This thing will not let go of the road no matter how hard you try; shove it round a roundabout in the wet and you’ll get less drama than an afternoon kip. I think you can overlook the fuel economy because this car is excellent.

As usual, full reviews can be found for both these cars on my website, but for now I’d recommend getting out and trying a Suzuki for your next car; you may be pleasantly surprised.

Dan 

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