Review: Suzuki Splash (2008 – 2014)

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Small yet tall five-door city car. High seating position. Rear seats fold flat. Auto is 4-speed torque converter. Highest first time MoT pass rate of any car.

Essential to replace brake fluid every two years.

Suzuki Splash (2008 – 2014): At A Glance

The old Suzuki Wagon R and Vauxhall Agila were archetypal old people's cars. They had upright seats and were easy to get in and out of, but looked like shoeboxes on wheels. Consequently, very few people who weren't getting on a bit bought them.

Then, in 2008, Suzuki and Vauxhall ditched their square cars for squares and launched the Splash and new Agila. Possibly even taller than their predecessors, but at least with a bit of style and design flair about them.

Now, with everyone watching the pennies, Suzuki has introduced a 119g/km, £35 tax version of its Splash, as well as the £35 tax 1.3 diesel and the £120 tax 1.2 and 1.2 auto.

It hasn't thrown away any worthwhile spec apart from the alloy wheels, and even the base 1.0GLS has aircon, electric front windows, a dash-top rev counter in a pod, and 60/40 rear seats that neatly fold flat in one easy movement.

Suzuki Splash 2009 Road Test and Video

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What does a Suzuki Splash (2008 – 2014) cost?

Suzuki Splash (2008 – 2014): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3715–3775 mm
Width 1680 mm
Height 1590 mm
Wheelbase 2360 mm

Full specifications

Under the boot floor there's a huge, removable ‘wet bin' for wellington boots, poached salmon, road kill, or whatever you may care to throw in it. And, under that, a spare wheel. A space saver, yet nevertheless a wheel rather than a can of shaving foam.

You sit so high it's a bit like driving a kitchen table. But the huge advantage is access. As I demonstrate in the video you can literally walk straight into the car.

Child seats that fit a Suzuki Splash (2008 – 2014)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Suzuki Splash (2008 – 2014) like to drive?

The 3-cylinder 1.0 65PS petrol engine is actually quite a perky little thing, destined to soon find its way into the forthcoming new Suzuki Alto, where, like Toyota did with its one-litre three-pot, they might eventually get it emitting less than 100g/km CO2 and therefore UK ‘road tax' free. But with its vertical body I very much doubt that the Splash will ever achieve this.

It's geared at 20mph per 1,000rpm in 5th, so 4,000rpm at 80 (on the clock). It is quite happy at this speed, with a bit in reserve, so is perfectly adequate for motorway use. And round town it romps along with as much alacrity as anyone really needs. You have to watch it a bit when the wind is blowing a gale, but it's still far from unacceptable. And though it loses a bit of feel on fast bends, this isn't the sort of deficiency its target market is remotely likely to worry about.

While we were filming the 1.0GLS, Suzuki's driver rang to tell me he had delivered its successor, a turquoise 1.3GLS+ diesel. So we did a quick part-exchange and carried on.

The diesel immediately felt a lot noisier and rather more sluggish. 5th is geared at 25mph per 1,000rpm, which is quite low for an oil burner. So it's not significantly quieter at speed either.

It does have more torque from 2,000 - 2,500 rpm, however, and this and the extra weight of the engine seem to give it better front-end grip. And it is a better middle lane mile eater.

But if I was in my eighties (won't be long now), I would be far more concerned about the extra £2,000 the diesel costs than the minimal benefits it offers over the 1.0 petrol model.

That, to my mind, represents a very serious rival to the class-leading Hyundai i10. The main problem here being that the i10 not only has a better motor in the same £35 tax bracket, aircon, and a 5-year warranty, it now starts at £6,795.

On the other hand, if you judge a car by the height of its seats, the Suzuki Splash certainly has the edge. And the 1.0 GLS will make perfect sense for a lot of people.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 57–60 mpg 11.9–14.7 s 109–119 g/km
1.2 51–55 mpg 11.9–12.3 s 118–129 g/km
1.2 Automatic 48–50 mpg 11.9–14.9 s 131–142 g/km
1.3 DDiS 63 mpg 13.9 s 120 g/km

Real MPG average for a Suzuki Splash (2008 – 2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

34–63 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Suzuki Splash (2008 – 2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Which 5-door, supermini size car with a high seating position can I get for £5000?

My disabled step-daughter is looking for a new car. She has Ehler-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) which affects the muscles and joints, so needs something with a higher seating position to make it easier to get in and out of. Five doors are mandatory and she would prefer an automatic – but might be willing to settle on a manual for the right car. We’re thinking something supermini sized and she has a budget of £5000. Are there any cars you would recommend?
By far the best to meet this brief is a Suzuki Splash 1.2 4-speed auto, or the equivalent Vauxhall Agila 1.2 4-speed auto (effectively the same car).
Answered by Honest John
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What Cars Are Similar To The Suzuki Splash (2008 – 2014)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Economical and City car.

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