THERE’S no doubting Suzuki’s reputation for coming up with super little cars – the Swift being a prime example.
I spent some time with a diesel version recently and also got the chance to sample the Japanese car maker’s first mid-size saloon car – the Kizashi.
The newcomer arrived in the UK earlier this year and there is just the one model choice – a spanking top-spec Sport version.
If you buy one you will be a member of a small group of owners with just 500 models going on sale in the UK this year.
It’s well priced at £21,995, considering what comes as standard and this includes leather upholstery – pretty smart black with white stitching – electric front seats with driver’s seat three position memory function, heated front seats, electric glass sunroof, cruise control, eight speaker radio/CD system with Bluetooth and USB port.
The Kizashi also has the advantage of two or four-wheel steering and a powerful 2.4-litre 176bhp petrol engine which has a top speed of 127mph and a standstill to 62mph time of 8.8 seconds.
Road conditions were fine so I only sampled the model in front-wheel drive and there were no complaints as it did all that was asked of it with good ride and handling on motorway and over some uneven surfaces.
The CVT automatic box is also responsive enough but there is the choice of gear shift or steering wheel paddles if you want to use it in six-speed manual mode.
Interior and exterior finish in this attractive and roomy five seater are of a high standard and Suzuki appears to have delivered what Kizashi means in Japanese - ‘A sign of great things to come’.
The Swift model was a 1.3DDiS which is only available in the mid-spec SZ3 grade.
This is the most economical of the range but the 1.3-litre 74bhp diesel engine also supplies a surprising amount of power, going up and down the five-speed manual gearbox.
It’s a super little model that really comes into its own when buzzing along winding, country roads, displaying excellent sure-footed grip when taking bends at speed.
With a top speed of 103mph it also sits quietly enough at motorway speeds - and returns super fuel efficiency figures.
Owners will get 55.4mpg urban, 67.3mpg combined and a whopping 78.5mpg extra urban which is a huge factor as fuel prices continue to soar.
This SZ3 model also scores well on standard spec which includes 16-inch alloy wheels, ESP (Electronic Stability Program), air conditioning, heated door mirrors, a USB port and seven airbags.
The Swift is a sharp-looking supermini and with a price tag of £13,335, this model looks a bargain buy.