Having made its home market debut in December 2016, Singaporeans have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new Suzuki Swift. It’s been more than a year now, and the only whiffs of the car we’ve got on our shores are those of the hybrid variant, brought in by parallel importers.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that the Swift had a strong loyal following in Singapore and according to local dealer Champion Motors, there have already been customers enquiring its re-entry since the latest model’s debut. So what’s causing the delay? While we weren’t given a definite answer, a bit of gentle torture suggests that it’s because of the new Euro 6 emission standards, and that Suzuki Motor Corporation requires more time to prepare the necessary documentation for homologation.
Whatever the case is, we sure are excited about getting the new Swift, which a spokesperson said is expected to arrive in Q3 this year. But why, you might wonder? After all, isn’t it just a little Suzuki? Well, here are five reasons that justify our interest in this new hatchback, according to what we’ve been told and what we’ve seen from U.K. models, which hopefully won’t be much different from the car we get.
- It’s better-looking than ever
The new Swift looks smarter and retains the shape and proportions of the original, which made it such a loved hatchback. The biggest difference is the large, hexagonal grille and more sharply-shaped head lights, which dominate the entire design.
There’s even a hint of Jaguar F-Type about its nose The earlier Swift’s blacked-out pillars that gave it a floating roof look have also been carried over.
- It’s just as pleasing on the inside
The new Swift’s interior boasts a more driver-focused, minimalist layout than the old car’s cabin.
Depending on what specification Champion Motors decides on, we may or may not be getting that neat-looking touchscreen infotainment system but one thing’s for sure, its trio of heating and ventilation controls and a gloss black centre console look much more upmarket than the old model’s rather dated design.
- It’s more spacious and more practical
The Swift has never been known for being big on space but Suzuki has made an effort to up what it can offer. Passenger headroom and shoulder room have been significantly improved over the old car while the Swift’s newly lengthened wheelbase (20mm more) means legroom receives a healthy boost, too, although it’s shorter in length and height.
Boot space has also increased from 210 litres to 265 litres with the rear seats in place.
- It gets a turbo
Champion Motors has confirmed that our Swift will get the 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, mated to a six-speed auto. The small but perky unit that churns 108bhp should make the Swift feel livelier than before, and judging from the similarly-sized Seat Ibiza and the previous model’s last recorded price of $85,900, it should put the new Swift within the sub-$90,000 region.
With a weight reduction of 120kg and proper suspension tuning, you can also expect nimbler performance.
- It’ll be followed by the Swift Sport
Expected to arrive sometime in 2019, is the Swift’s hotter sibling, the Swift Sport. Like the Swift, it’ll sport turbocharging technology, namely the 140bhp 1.4-litre engine from the Vitara S.
Exterior-wise, the Swift Sport looks wider and lower than the standard car thanks to a mesh grille, deeper air intakes and a noticeable chin spoiler.
The interior has lots of sporty red trim, as well as aluminium-effect pedals. Firmer sports suspension will be fitted to the Swift Sport, too, meaning it will sit lower, reducing body roll and helping it feel even more agile.