Jalopnik Drives Suzuki Swift
One of the fastest rising stars in the auto-journo biz, Matt Hardigree, got a chance to pilot the not-quite-yet-on-our-shores Suzuki Swift around Jake and Elwood's old stomping ground, Joliet, Illinois. His take? This is not your junior high science teacher's crap-box Geo Metro. As you are well aware, and as Hardigree points out, American streets will soon be filled with Ford Fiestas and Mazda2s (and hopefully Fiat 500s!). Therefore Suzuki would be wise to bring their competitive world car over here and cash in on our rapidly rising gas prices. Mr. Hardigree got his grubby mitts on the slushbox Swift, which coupled with a 100 (or so) horsepower 1.5-liter mill, wasn't exactly noteworthy on the straights. But he did like it "batting around corners." Seeing as how the Swift weighs in at just 2,400 pounds, I'll go ahead and predict that the manny-tranny version would be quite a sweet little package. Especially if they ditch the rear drums for disks when it finally comes our way.
Wouldn't this cannibalise the SX4?
In keeping with the podcast theme, Suzuki could be the new Subaru. Subaru seems to want to be the old Toyota.
Brendino : The SX4's strong points are AWD, larger size, larger motor. The Swift would be smaller, FWD better fuel economy. It could be argued that some people buying the SX4 would be more than happy with a Swift if it were offered here.
The sx4 gets rather poor fuel economy due to the AWD system and is about the size of the Versa. The Swift will be better competition against the Honda Fit.