Suzuki rounded off 2017 with yet more New Zealand awards for its recently introduced five-door Swift and Ignis models.
The latest generation Swift was named the best Micro/Light Car of the Year in the annual Automobile Association/New Zealand Motoring Writers Guild awards.
Suzuki was the only motor vehicle marque with two models in the shortlist of ten cars and the Swift also took out the People’s Choice category.
In addition, the Swift was named best new car for less than $30,000 in the AMI Insurance/Autocar magazine awards, with judges saying the Suzuki had taken the latest generation version to a new level.
“An all-new lightweight platform and engine range help make Swift more economical, yet it remains as entertaining as ever to drive,” said the Autocar analysis. The publication said the Swift was packed full of new convenience and safety gear but the price remained low, making its bang for buck hard to match in a crowded segment where value was king.
The unique Ignis hatchback, which also made the AA finalists list, was recipient of independent accolades, including the New Zealand Herald Driven newspaper Car of the Year award. It won Driven’s newly introduced Little Beauties category thanks to it being fun to drive and satisfying to look at.
Cameron Officer, one of four Driven judges, said, “Its quirky styling - harking back to Suzuki’s diminutive 1970s Cervo/Fronte coupe - its height and go-kart style wheel positioning makes it a head turner.
“The Ignis is a tall car, but it hides it cleverly as its 180mm ground clearance is only 5mm lower than a Suzuki Vitara SUV,” he said. “That height translates well inside though, with plenty of headroom on offer, but not at the expense of the car’s overall looks.”
Driven praised the sharp Ignis pricing and said that while the car was not a coupe like its forerunners, it worked better as a modern mode of city transport for all.
In selecting the top ten finalists, the AA panel said the Ignis offered retro-styling cues in a modern package and that it was a compactly executed, well priced and well specified vehicle. The Ignis had loads of space, great visibility and technology and was “a real stand-out”.
“First impressions count and this super compact SUV knows it. Its high SUV stance and bold front grille with fog lamps and LED daytime running lamps (on LTD models) make the Ignis a real head-turner,” said the judges.
The independent critics also complemented the new generation Swift for being completely redesigned, re-imagined and re-engineered. As New Zealand’s favourite supermini for more than a decade, the latest model had been made even better, boasting a host of latest technology while being roomier, more efficient and more refined.
Available in a choice of four levels of specification, Swift pricing starts from $19,990 plus on road costs, while the Ignis is one of the least expensive new cars in New Zealand with pricing from $18,990 plus on road costs.