Suzuki Swace (2021 on)

3

SZ5

reviewed by Joseph George Alan Neades on 14 October 2021
3
Overall rating
3
How it drives
4
Fuel economy
2
Tax/Insurance/Warranty costs
4
Cost of maintenance and repairs
5
Experience at the dealership
4
How practical it is
4
How you rate the manufacturer
5
Overall reliability

An economical car with flaws

The Suzuki Swace is an alternative to the ubiquitous SUV. It is roomy for both passengers and luggage. So far petrol economy has been in the 55 -57 mpg range but I wxpect this to improve somewhat. The ride is good and the car encourages a relaxed style of driving, mainly down to the CVT transmission so cornering ability is unlikely to be tested. Sharp corners require more wheel twirling than with many other cars. The car automatically switches seamlessly between electric, electric and engine or just engine drive and once the accelerator is released the battery is rechaged to reclaim enegy. This is complicated and I hope it proves reliable but so far it works well. The CVT transmission is not actually as bad as some and suits the car. If anything there is too much technology and the options are not well chosen fot the two available versions. Neither has Sat Nav but does have links to a Smartphone. SZTs have a rear view camera but no front and rear sensors so one goes for SZ5 which also brings parking assistance. I haven't really figured this yet and it seems superfluous. the same is true of mush of the other gismos. What is excellent is the actual ease of driving: as long as you have the key with you, you can open the door without a key or even pressing a button on the fob, press the start button, wait for the 'Ready' signal, select Drive and drive off - the hand brake is eleased automatically and resets when Park is selected. There is, I have discovered, a flaw and I am not sure if it came about due to the alteration of the front bumper from that on the almost identical Toyota Touring Sport on which the Swace is based. The front of the bumper is low to the ground and projects about 860 mm beyone the centre of the fron wheel so if traversing a speed hump extreme care must be taken - slow to walking speed - or there is a lilelihood of the underside of the front bumper hitting the ground. I learned this the hard way and Suzuki were not the slightest bit interested. Anyone who needs to come off humpted back bridges or use ferries should also beware. The feature has cloured my whole perception of what is, so far, an excellent family car. The other flaw is the warranty - buy the equivalent Toyota and you have effectively a 10 year warrany as long as it is serviced annually by Toyota whereas the Swace has just 3 years. So why did I buy a Swace - simply because I have an excellent dealer who has served me well in the past. I see no reason for others to treat Suzuki so generously.

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