Jack be nimble

For more than a decade, the Suzuki Swift has cemented its reputation in the car industry with its well, swift, handling, which allows drivers to easily dash through both winding roads and tight corners. That’s why I looked forward to the opportunity to experience the all-new Suzuki Swift on a three-hour journey from Caloocan to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan.

At the sendoff venue, it was hard not to admire the look of the new Swift that has been embellished with a special-edition grille, a front skirt, carbon-fiber trim, and racing stripes. It is a vehicle that simply radiates a sporty flair.

More than 20 Suzuki Swifts brave the road for a three-hour journey from Caloocan to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan.

Although Suzuki’s new hatchback has undergone a major makeover from its predecessor, the Japanese manufacturer retains the Swift’s signature characteristics such as the strong shoulders and dynamic side window treatment.

To add a snazzier look, the nimble hatchback also keeps its blacked-out pillars that imbue a floating roof design. Apart from that, the Swift also has unique pillar-mounted rear-door handles that add another layer of sophistication.

If you pop the hood, you’ll see a 1.2-liter K12M gasoline engine that dispenses 61 horsepower and 113Nm of maximum torque — numbers that seem low but prove adequate for everyday city driving. The motor is mated to either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

A flat-bottom steering wheel lends a racecar feel, while the tachometer and speedometer have chrome accents and feature a 3.5-inch monochrome LCD. At the center of the cockpit is an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Inside the Swift’s interior is more of Suzuki’s innovative styling. Sliding into the driver seat, you’ll first notice its D-shaped steering wheel, a shape regularly seen in racing cars. Its tachometer and speedometer have upmarket chrome accents and is equipped with a 3.5-inch monochrome LCD that displays information. At the center of the dashboard, the Swift features an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Meanwhile, the vehicle boasts more interior space compared to the outgoing iteration. It’s 40mm wider, with a wheelbase 20mm longer for more legroom and improved riding comfort. Overall however, the new Swift is still 15mm shorter than the its outgoing version — a testament to the new model’s ingenious space utilization.

In spite of the Swift’s low overall height, the hatchback still offers sufficient clearance because of its lowered seating positions, which is the same as its predecessor’s, while the rear seats have 23mm more vertical and lateral space. Apart from that, the seats in the front have been shifted 10mm to the outside to create more elbow room between the front-seat passengers.

To add a snazzier look, the nimble hatchback also kept its blacked-out pillars that imbue a floating roof design.

In terms of handling, the Suzuki Swift excels best with its superb maneuverability. Because of its nimbleness, it’s very responsive on twisty roads, especially those tight corners leading to Las Casas Filipinas that demand responsive handling.

Of course, while it has its commendable traits, the Swift, like any other small car, has its weaknesses. It transmits bumps to the cabin over broken roads and its brake pedal feels a tad bit spongy. Braking power, however, is more than adequate. It’s just the pedal feel.

Overall, if you’re on the lookout for a nimble, fuel-efficient hatchback that will bring you from Point A to Point B while leaving a big smile on your face, then the all-new Suzuki Swift delivers a pretty good bang for your buck.

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