Who loves ya, baby?

Turns out, pretty much everyone

TONY OíKANE

OurGarage

SUZUKI SWIFT GLX S SUZUKI SWIFT GLX TURBO

Date acquired: February 2018 Date acquir

Price as tested: $22,990 ice as tes

This month: his month 1158km @ 6.8L/100km

Overall: 204 all: 2044km @ 6.7L/100km

Youíre bleepiní kidding!

One genuinely irritating thing about the Swift GLX experience has been the ultra-sensitive, high-decibel collision warning system. Yes, we know itís there to make us safer drivers, but it freaks out at the slightest suggestion of a frontal collision. My own mother was far more relaxed about my braking technique when I was learning how to drive, which gives you an idea of just how sensitive the Suzukiís system can be.

THIS GLX Turbo was only meant to be a stop-gap until I step into a Swift Sport next issue, but in the two months itís spent in my hands a trend became quite apparent Ė virtually everyone who came into contact with the little Suzi loved it.

MIRROR ME Swiftís infotainment system is easy to navigate and read. Other car makers take note!

And it wasnít the kind of affection that only revealed itself after the inevitable ďso whaddya think?Ē. No. These feelings were almost always voiced without prompting, and often before the driverís seatbelt was unlatched. Remember how I said last month that the Swift makes a profoundly positive first impression? Turns out Iím not the only one who feels that way.

So what endears it to people? Interestingly, no single attribute seems to stand out. Rather itís how complete and well-rounded the whole package feels. ďIt just worksĒ, was one morsel of feedback, which sounds like the response most non-tech-savvy people give when asked why they like iPhones.

Itís also made me a convert to smartphone mirroring. Suzukiís multi-fit touchscreen infotainment package is a good example of how entry-level infotainment should be done, with plenty of features, clear graphics and an intuitive user interface, although some in the office have had issues with wired smartphone connection. Once cranked up, Android Auto has added functionality on top of to the Suziís system like being able to preselect a drive route on Google Maps via my work computer before I get in the car. Once Iíve sent the route to my phone and plugged it into the Swift, Iím ready to go as soon as I start the ignition. Touches like that just make life a little bit easier.

The Swift isnít perfect, mind you. Trips on coarse-chip highways saw me cranking up the audio volume to antisocial levels to drown out the tyre roar, and itíd be nice to have some kind of rubbery or flocked lining in the centre console to stop phones and keys from sliding on the rock-hard plastics. The three-pot is also a little vibey at idle, but hey, triple-cylinder engines have always had tricky harmonics, and the laws of physics are hard to cheat.

Thereís also the issue of price Ė $22K buys you a lot of kit and capability in the GLX Turbo but a cloud has recently appeared on its horizon in the shape of the just-landed sixth-gen Volkswagen Polo, which has a top-spec model at an identical price point. Sure, the Polo 85TSI misses out on climate control, standard sat-nav and a few other luxuries, but it feels properly premium. Had I not driven it right after handing back the Swift GLX Turbo, I would have said Suzuki had a solid position of leadership in the light car segment. Damn.

TONY OíKANE