Choose wisely


We continue to introduce

with foreign applicants for the sympathies and wallet of domestic motorists. More precisely, that part of them that the prestigious VAZ 2110 can already afford, but more and more often inexpensive foreign cars are following with a thoughtful look:

“Why not pa?” -

as the French say.

So, today we intend to change the "top ten"

with a small but very charming Suzuki Swift.


It appeared back in 1983, in Japan and the USA it was sold as the Suzuki Kaltus and Chevrolet Metro, respectively. He survived two modernizations - in 1991 and 1996. The latter was timed to the transfer of production to Hungary, where it is produced to this day. Front-wheel drive three- and five-door hatchbacks or four-door sedans with 1.0 or 1.3 liter engines are delivered to Russia.


The cheapest Swift is a three-door, one-liter, in the basic configuration for Russia (immobilizer, central locking, electric windows and mirrors, headlight range control, clocks, radio training, velor interior, wiper and rear window defogger, body color bumpers, steel wheels ) can be bought in the capital for $ 7920. For the test, we took the car a bit more expensive - with five doors (plus $ 200), a 1.3 liter engine (another $ 200), air conditioning ($ 650) and alloy wheels ($ 220). Total $ 9190. If desired, the list can be continued: a sedan with a large trunk ($ 300), power steering ($ 400), "automatic" ($ 900). At different car dealerships, prices may vary, but the lower bar is approximately the same.


Riding around the city is probably the main purpose of the Suzuki Swift. Even with a liter engine, he has good dynamics, and with 1.3 liters he will arrange a one and a half liter “nine”. The answer is simple - an empty car weighs only 755 kg. It was created even before the general craze for platforms - universal and therefore quite heavy. And the milder requirements of passive safety did not force then to build up so much “meat” on the machine. If you add here the small size, high maneuverability, excellent visibility, a fairly stiff suspension and a sharp steering wheel, you get a portrait of an almost perfect car for penetrating the city crowd.


On a long trip, Swift will delight you with comfortable seats, the ability to easily maintain a high pace of movement and excellent economy. The latter, to a certain extent, atones for the increased fuel requirements imposed by the catalytic converter - even for a thousand kilometers at least one decent gas station can be found. Under the weight of passengers and luggage, the suspension will soften its character. Well, you will have to put up with a slightly increased noise level - this is partly a retribution for the low weight and simplicity of the design.


Here the car has three trump cards: firstly, a good geometric cross - a significant clearance, short overhangs, small track and base; secondly, the fuel lines on the bottom securely covered by casings and, thirdly, again, low weight - two people will carry it out of any dirt. Among the minuses - the engine compartment that is absolutely not protected from below and the modest size of the wheel 155 / 70R13. However, the crankcase protection can be installed, and the wheel arches will accommodate more tires.


Suzuki Swift has one very rare feature - a five-door hatchback (like a sedan) differs from a three-door base increased by 100 mm. "Stretched" the car just in the area of ​​the legs of the rear passengers, so that four people with a height of 190 cm fit in it freely. But in width, alas, only 1270 mm. So the fifth can only be taken to the nearest metro. In addition, the angle of opening of the rear doors is small, which requires well-known dexterity from passengers.

Yeah, Swift Hatchback is clearly not a truck. Despite the optimistically declared 280 liters of luggage capacity, we measured only 185 liters. Such a big discrepancy does not even explain a certain difference in methods (in the first volume is measured in liter blocks, in the second - twenty-, ten- and five-liter). In some cases, a split (50:50) rear seat back can help out, but unfortunately it does not form a flat platform when folding. The tailgate is quite high - loading height is 800 mm.


According to the owners, this is very unlikely - the Swift car is reliable. Service workers have confirmed that few unscheduled calls are mainly related to suspension breakdowns due to sloppy driving in an overloaded car - if you are lucky, then you can load more. The range of prices for spare parts is great, and in addition to consumables, dealers almost do not keep them in warehouses due to the high reliability and low prevalence of the machine. Swift is guaranteed for one year or 30 thousand km, the normal frequency of service - 12 months or 10 thousand km - extends to Russia.


My first acquaintance with Suzuki Swift took place several years ago, when I distilled it from Germany for my friend, or rather, his wife. A small three-door hatchback with a 1.3-liter engine completely conquered me: maneuverable, quite fast (160 km / h was easy on the autobahn) and extremely economical - in Grodno I poured a forty-liter tank to the top and drove it … to the house (by speedometer 1050 km)! Inside, the car is very comfortable, especially liked the front seats with excellent lateral support. By the way, that machine serves the mistress faithfully without any particular problems for the sixth year.

When in the spring of 1998 I decided to change the car, first of all I remembered about Swift, fortunately, official sales had already begun in Russia by that time. The four-door sedan of the Hungarian assembly cost me 12 thousand dollars. For two years and 33 thousand km the car did not disappoint. Comfortable interior, rich equipment, solid trunk for such a small car. At the same time, high reliability and excellent economy - even in winter on studded tires in urban traffic jams, fuel consumption does not exceed 6.5 l / 100 km.

However, in this barrel of honey there were several spoons of tar. There are still few spare parts for Swift in Russia, and few companies undertake their delivery. A year ago, his wife “entered” the “five”, and the wing with a headlight had to wait more than a month (this is in Moscow, but what will happen in Perm?). In 1998, the Hungarian plant took and changed the shape of the front brake pads for some reason, so “successfully” that the old ones no longer fit. For scarce new ones, at first they asked for $ 120, now it is already possible to buy at $ 50.

The "Swift" is extremely unsuccessfully located fixed tank washer - somewhere under the wing, like the "Nexia". In the first winter, when the frost hit suddenly, the water froze and it was only possible to melt it at the service with a jet of hot water, and even lifting the car on a lift. Now in October I fill in non-freezing liquid. And in severe frosts, power windows work poorly and slowly.

The rear bumper mount is flimsy and does not withstand even light contact with the curb. True, the bumper is just as easy to attach to, but still it's a city car, not a toy car.

It’s great that such a small car has air conditioning - in the summer in the heat you feel like a king. But he eats up a considerable fraction of the power of the 68-horsepower engine, and before that the nimble car becomes noticeably "dumber". Therefore, I use air conditioning only in traffic jams, but my wife, who drives a quieter car, almost never turns it off in the summer. Here, in fact, are all the shortcomings of Swift, which, nevertheless, I really like.

You can’t be afraid of being late for work at Suzuki Swift -

and it will always start, and on the road it will not break, and through a traffic jam

will leak faster than others, and it will be among the first to leave the traffic light.

In general, a car for everyday driving in a big city.