The popular Suzuki Swift continues to dominate light car sales in New Zealand where it is an on-going hit with private new vehicle buyers.
In the latest Motor Industry Association figures for the year to date ending September, the Swift captured a leading 39.8 per cent of the light car segment with sales of 2,263. This is 75 per cent more than its nearest competitor.
A long time number one seller in the Suzuki model lineup, the Swift has recently been applauded both here and abroad for its fuel efficiency and all-round appeal.
In a recent independent test on New Zealand highways, a Swift GL CVT auto proved more economical than the factory fuel figures for the model, averaging 4.5 litres/100 km (62.8 mpg) over an all-weather 636 kilometre drive between Central Auckland and Lower Hutt. Completed with two occupants, luggage and no special preparation, this was a 7 per cent improvement on the factory combined cycle of 4.8 litres/100 km (58.85 mpg).
Suzuki attributes the results of the “real world” test to the design and advanced technology of smaller capacity engines and low body weight.
Gary Collins, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand, said there was growing interest in hybrid and electric models. “However, the latest generation Swift and Swift Sport continue to provide superb fuel efficiency and excellent value with reasonable purchase prices and low overall cost of ownership,” he said.
Four versions of the Swift are offered in New Zealand, with a choice of three engines, with recommended pricing ranging from $19,990 for the 1.2 GL to $29,990 for the 1.4T Sport with 6 stage automatic transmission.
In Britain the 1.0 litre Swift RS BoosterJet version was named Real MPG Car of the Year by the Honest John website which said the engine actually returned better than its fuel test figures, according to Swift owners.
David Ross, editor of Honest John, said, “Suzuki is a brand that consistently performs well in Real MPG so it’s no surprise to see the Swift winning here. The 1.0 BoosterJet is an excellent engine in its own right and yet is proving incredibly economical, exceeding the claimed figures.
“We regularly get positive feedback from Swift owners so this is yet another feather in its cap,” said Ross.
Accolades for the BoosterJet turbo Swift Sport include AMI NZ Autocar Car of the Year 2018, AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year People’s Choice and Best in Class for a micro/light car segment.
Kyle Cassidy, NZ Autocar magazine editor and chief judge, said the lively Swift Sport was a mild mannered commuter in the city with a turbocharged engine, balancing fuel economy with ease of driving, delivering a “a thrilling performance when you want it”.
In the largest public motoring vote, more than 53,000 New Zealanders chose the popular Swift Sport as the winner of the AA Driven New Zealand People’s Choice Car of the Year. Chief judge and Driven editor Liz Dobson said, “Suzuki deserves praise for raising the bar by delivering a well-balanced compromise between driving fun and everyday practicality with its Swift Sport.”
The Swift 1.2 litre DualJet also averaged a remarkable 3.9 litres/100 km (73.32 miles per gallon) in the recent WLTP Challenge held over a 354 kilometre route in roads around the English Midlands.
The tests were aimed at convincing car buyers that official figures are relevant once again and that they can provide a guide to making informed buying decisions.
The Swift’s consumption in normal road conditions was a 42.6 per cent improvement over the official WLTP combined figure of 5.5 litres/100 km (51.4 miles per gallon) for the same model.
Run in conjunction with the Royal Automobile Club, the economy driving challenge was about attaining real world fuel efficiency of vehicles. WLTP stands for the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure which issues laboratory tests for fuel consumption, while also accounting for CO2 emissions, pollutant emissions, energy consumption and values of alternative powertrains including electric vehicles.