Why buy a Suzuki Swift Sport over the Vios or Civic?
You should consider buying the RM139,900 Suzuki Swift Sport not because its hands down one of the most fun cars you can buy brand new from an official dealer in Malaysia. But because it strikes an excellent balance between fun and practicality. Especially since the price is not too far from the headroom compromised Toyota Vios (RM95,500) or the much more expensive Honda Civic RS (RM150,700). Let us explain in this short write up.
Its perfectly sized for our urban environment
All you have to do to appreciate its compact footprint is to park it in a tight parking spot and try opening the door. Even a plus sized figure like yours truly is able to get in and out while parked between two cars in a tight space. And you dont have to stress to ensure the doors do not hit the wall or other cars.
This is thanks to its dimensions being shorter than the Myvi (-15mm), narrower than the Volkswagen Golf (-54mm). It is however the same width as the Myvi. Yet you do not feel claustrophobic in the cabin, with plenty of space for larger than averaged sized Malaysians. Its definitely got LOADS more headroom than the current Toyota Vios, thanks to the Swift Sport being 15mm taller than the Vios.
This dimension allows it to perfectly navigate around the Klang Valley environment especially squeezing in and out of parking spaces comfortably, without compromising the interior space.
But the main attraction is its performance and engagement
Its 1.4 liter turbocharged engine is only 100cc smaller than the Honda Civic‘s engine, yet it only trails the torque output by 10Nm. In fact it’s only 20Nm behind the Mk8 Golf R Line. With the Swift weighing almost 300kg lesser than the Civic and the Golf with almost similar torque figures, it actually accelerates to 100kph faster than these two cars, 0.5 seconds faster to be exact.
But the highlight of this vehicle is not the straight line performance. Its the handling and agility of the Swift Sport. You get the feel of the R53 Mini Cooper S with the Suzuki Swift Sport. The advantage of having such a small footprint and a sub 1000kg weight means you barely use the brakes, and the grip from those relatively small 16 inch tyres are more than adequate. Take it on an interstate touge ride and you will feel like the price tag is completely worth it.
Which is why it was the perfect lead car for a 400km touge
We took a trip from our garage (Ultra Tune) in Glenmarie to the Empangan Susu just outside of Ringlet, Cameron Highlands and the Swift Sport was performing amazingly well on those twisty sections. The suspension is firm without being uncomfortable, and the 6 speed autobox responds to the shift inputs on time.
Yes you do feel the horsepower cap on some of the steepest inclines, especially when you have cars like the 350z, and the GR Supra trailing you. But the Swift Sport can keep a steady pace on these roads. Basically with this car you can still ride along with the likes of those heavyweights on some of the best driving roads in the country.
Potentially low running cost.
The biggest advantage of the light weight is the ability to avoid big and expensive tyres. The Swift Sport makes do with just 16 inch tyres (from RM315 per tyre), instead of 18’s on the Honda Civic RS (from RM424 per tyre) and 17’s on the Golf R Line (from RM453 per tyre). The brake pads plus tyres wont require regular changing too. And since its a 1.4 litre engine with a turbocharger, its relatively frugal in town.
Who is this car for?
If you’re going for a full spec Vios and want something more performance based, its worth stretching for this car. It’s 30% more expensive but the advantages on how fun and engaging it is to drive more than makes the difference. Both cars are worlds apart in terms of performance, but almost there in terms of practicality, with the Swift Sport’s biggest compromise being its boot space.
Or if you feel the Honda Civic RS is not as racy as you would expect, and you would any day trade the generous interior space to get away from that CVT gearbox, then the Swift Sport is worth downsizing to. You spend lesser on buying it and running it.
Its the oddball offering which we feel is amazing value for someone whose ok with the space it offers and want a car that’s performance orientated. Its worth test driving this pocket rocket. Try it out and let us know what you think!