Suzuki Swift Dualjet – Review
By Liam Bird
I’ll readily admit to being a long-time fan of Suzuki’s Swift, so much so that any opportunity to drive one is met with enthusiasm. On more than one occasion I’ve been lucky enough to get lost in a Swift of the Sport variety; once in the foothills of Barcelona and twice (or is it more times than that?) on the more, and evidentally not quite so familiar, roads of north Wales.
The Swift Sport’s mix of peppy performance and tight handling made the ensuing rush back to the relevant airport, hotel, or appointment all the more enjoyable. If ever there was a car that brought back hazy memories of 205GTis, XR2s, and other similar red-stitch clad ‘80’s hot-hatches, the Swift Sport surely is it. Remembering a mad dash up to Chester one morning in a SZ4 variant also puts a smile of my face. But alas that’s another story we won’t go into here…
Suzuki’s latest addition to their effortlessly effervescent Swift line-up is the rather snappily entitled Dualjet. Now, despite what its name (and perhaps my introduction) might have you thinking this is not Suzuki’s attempt to take on Trust SSC. Instead, the Dualjet is a cleaner and therefore more efficient version of the 4 cylinder 1.2-litre engine that usually powers the Swift.
As someone once said: Here comes the science bit. The Dualjet’s slightly Jetson-esque moniker comes from the fact that its engine employs two, rather than the more usual one, fuel injectors per cylinder. What that in-turn means is that two more precisely controlled and more finely atomised doses (or jets – hence the name) of fuel are delivered in the combustion chambers so as to attain a leaner and more efficient burn. As a result fuel consumption figures rise to claim 65.7mpg on the combined cycle, while all important CO2 emissions fall to just 99g/km. The road tax drops to zero too.
What’s possibly more amazing is that from the driver’s seat, if you’re already used to a 1.2 Swift, you hardly notice a thing. Overall performance – 0-62 in 12.3 seconds and a top speed (where allowed of course) of 102mph – is exactly the same. Power is down slightly to 89bhp, from 94. But peak torque is up ever-so slightly to 89lbft, from 87, and is available at lower revs. Granted, that’s hardly the stuff of supercars. But because the five-speed gearbox that Suzuki have mated the Dualjet to is so crisp and precise, keeping things on the boil is no hardship at all. And let’s face it; driving a super mini has always been about maintaining momentum rather than great gallops of speed.
“Can get a bit noisy”
Inside the Dualjet it never feels quite as small as you might expect. The compact dimensions may mean it’s a doddle to park. But it’s more than up to the task of seating four comfortably. There’s even a fifth three-point seat belt too if your rear-seat passengers are friendly. The driving position is a little upright, but because the steering column adjusts for both reach and rake, and the seat is height adjustable, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t remain comfortable when the time comes to take the Swift out of town
It can get a bit noisy at speed though. The large door mirrors and a few hard plastics here and there inside contribute to quite a lot of wind noise at motorway speeds. And because there are only five gears, things can feel a little frantic at times. However, on the higher specced cars there’s Bluetooth and i-Pod connectivity, and a DAB too, to keep you entertained. Plus air-con to keep you cool and even cruise control should you want to take things easy. You might even manage to return those claimed mpg figures if you drive it carefully.
Even I had over half a tank left after a week and 200 miles or so. And if you haven’t guessed already, it’s probably fair to say my driving style is slightly more “spirited” than some of Suzuki’s regular Swift customers.
So, what’s the price for all this technology? The Dualjet costs just £500 more than the regular 1.2 Swift. Factor in what it’ll save you in road tax, BIK tax if you’re a company car user, and the fuel cost savings it promises. Then it’s hard not to build up an appreciation of the Dualjet version of the Swift as well.
Suzuki Swift SZ4 Dualjet
Engine: 1242cc 4Cyl Petrol
Power: 89 BHP @ 6000rpm
Torque: 94 lbft @ 4400rpm
Transmission: 5 speed manual.
Performance: 0-62mph 12.3 sec
Max Speed: 102 mph
MPG: 65.7 Combined
CO2: 99 g/km
Price: From £12,699 (as driven) £13,129