– Wallace du Plessis. Above: The Swift Sport looks the part, high above False Bay near the pump station.

Fun on four wheels can mean many things. From a rough and ready off-roader, a vehicle for journeys deep into nature or a track-ready sportscar. Suzuki are really good at small fun cars. Their Jimny is amazing off-road and their new Swift Sport is amazing on tar.

The Sport is one of those little grin-inducing machines, like a Mazda MX-5 which performs way above its price point. Sure, it is no Porsche or M-class Beemer, but boy can it make a driver smile if not laugh out loud.

The Sport is the top of the range, one can almost say, aspirational model of the Suzuki Swift range.

Suzuki Stellenbosch is situated in Papagaairand Road near Tiger Wheels.

Suzuki Stellenbosch is situated in Papagaairand Road near Tiger Wheels.

What sets it apart is the 1.4 turbo engine (as opposed to a normally aspirated 1.2), special sports seats with red stitching, additional instrumentation, twin exhausts and model specific body panels as well as upgraded suspension, wheels and brakes.

The Sport really makes a statement just sitting waiting for you, ready to leap on the road. Push the start button and the fireworks begin. It sounds right, the display looks right, the seats and steering wheel feel right. Press the loud pedal. Smiling already. I told you. It’s fun, even to park at the mall.

Now, the 103kW and 230Nm on offer does not sound like a sports package, but remember the low weight at less than a ton, upgraded chassis, turbo and well matched box give this little runabout running legs. Grin factor. The Sport reaches 100km/h in less than 8 seconds, tops 200km/h and uses under 7 L/100 km depending on your right foot.

This is a car one tends to drive enthusiastically – throwing it around corners with abandon it just sticks to the road. Overtaking is effortless. You can use the paddles, but the auto box does the job superbly. Fun factor.

The interior is typically Suzuki but is well equipped and laid out. Not stunning, but neither is it shabby. I like it. The roof is quite high, even at the back, so for a small car even tall people will feel comfortable. Rear leg room is good for a super mini. The boot offers a not so great 242 litres, but it is okay for daily use.

Quite a few luxury items are included as standard, like rear camera, cruise control, infotainment system, climate control, and electric folding rearview mirrors.

The Swift Sport is well equipped on the safety front too, with 6 airbags, stability control and EDB and ABS.

The Swift Sport retails at R327,900 for the manual and R347,900 for the automatic we drove. This includes a 5 year or 200,000km warranty and 4 year or 60,000 service plan.

The ordinary Swift range starts at R171,900 for the 1.2 GA manual, R202,900 for the 1,2i GL SE to R224,900 for the GLX AMT.

I think the differences and upgrades justify the price. The competition, in the form of the VW Polo GTi at R411,900, Toyota Yaris GR (2021), Mazda MX-5 RF (R551,700) and the yet to be launched Hyundai i20N are all more, or much more, expensive.

The Suzuki Stellenbosch dealership has been at 91 Papegaairand Road for two years and offers full servicing and support services, even running a shuttle to campus and other areas in town. They have had a busy June with very good sales of Swift and Ignis models as people scale down to deal with environmental, congestion and financial issues.

They do not have the Sport varient on the floor at the moment but can quickly have one delivered. Contact the sales manager, Nicola Radinović, on 021 072 0062.

Opsomming in Afrikaans
Die Suzuki Swift Sport is ‘n besonderse lekker ryding. Dinamiet kom mos hoeka in klein verpakkings. Hierdie dinamiese blitsbuksie is bedoel vir die persoon wat hou van bestuur, die lewe geniet, en daaglikse vreugde en genot put uit sommer net ry. Hierdie renperdjie is perfek vir iemand wat nie ‘n groot motor benodig nie, maar nogtans gerieflik, gemaklik en lekker windgat  wil rondbeweeg sonder om te veel te spandeer. Die 1.4 “Boosterjet” enjin lewer meer as genoeg krag, daar beweeg ‘n hele paar goed afgerigte, uiters gewillige perde onder daardie enjinkap!

Die hantering is skerp, versnelling van onder 8 sekondes tot 100km/uur, en topspoed oor 200km/uur – dit maak als my punt. Petrolverbruik op die oop pad was ook goed. Die kenmerkende valhelm lyne en voorkoms by die voorruit verleen regtig ‘n wye en duidelike uitsig met bykans geen blindepunte nie. Die trukamera en skerm maak parkering werklik maklik. Die uitleg en afwerking van die paneelbord is slim uitgedink met ‘n paar interessante ekstra metertjies wat jou inligting verskaf oor wringkrag, versnelling en rem gebruik. Die “Bluetooth” foon stel maklik in en die klankstelsel is goed. Kop-en beenruimte is verbasend goed en die sitplekke is tipies van ‘n sportiewe motortjie… diep en uiters gemaklik.

Kortom gestel… hierdie kar is groot pret op vier wiele. Niks kom naby hierdie Blitsie op teer nie, ten minste nie in hierdie prysklas nie.