Suzuki has long been an automotive enigma. For a company that has been
rolling out beautifully crafted superbikes for many years their curious
offerings on the car market have bemused many a reviewer not to mention the car
Other brands such as Kia and Hyundai had upped the ante with their greatly
improved cars and so it became apparent to Suzuki that they would have to do
likewise or face the prospect of getting left behind in the automotive race.
It was only a few years ago that the old Suzuki Swift could be found on
British roads, usually being driven at about 20mph on the motorway, they were
only really popular with cash strapped pensioners who used them pretty much as
motorised shopping trolleys.
Then we come to the Suzuki Vitara which became the ultimate accessory for the
90's hairdresser and was generally found in white, in fact I think you could
only get them in white. Often seen with ridiculously over-sized wheels and a
distinctly unfunny spare wheel cover on the back which depicted two animals
mating, oh dear.
Things weren't much better with Suzuki's foray into light commercial vehicles
with the Suzuki carry (also known as the Bedford or Vauxhall Rascal) autel
maxidas ds808. What it could actually carry I'm unsure of, but it looked as
if it would struggle with much more than the driver on board.
All this was to change dramatically however when in 2005 Suzuki hit the
ground running with the launch of the all-new Swift. The Swift had a big press
launch in the UK and appeared in TV commercials featuring none other than
Cristiano Ronaldo which saw him demonstrating some of his ball skills to some
adoring young fans before disappearing in his little Swift.
The Swift is essentially a poor man's Mini but still manages to deliver nippy
performance especially the Sport version and is well built and of course costs a
lot less than its counterparts. The Swift comes with a number of petrol engines
plus a diesel engine sourced from Fiat which delivers good fuel economy.
The Suzuki Splash was developed with GM who also manufacture the car as the
Vauxhall Agila. The Splash replaced the Wagon R which was an ill advised name
for the British market but as with the Swift the Splash is another good example
of a small city car which people are now turning to in their droves. I don't
know if this is luck or a very shrewd move by Suzuki to capture this growing
Suzuki still offers a 4x4 range which consists of the Jimny which is a cheeky
little off-road vehicle which has been around since the 1970's. The Jimny has
been improved and restyled slightly but is still really an imitation Jeep. It
comes with rigid front and rear axles and switchable four wheel drive as well as
a dual ratio transfer gearbox.
Curiously the Jimny is only available with a petrol engine in the UK which
does not offer amazing fuel economy. They are renowned for their reliability and
despite its small size the Jimny performs respectably well off-road and is
unrivalled in the small 4x4 market.
The Grand Vitara has been brought up to date and now looks like a far more
sensible vehicle than the Vitara of old with the five door version being the
most desirable. Finally we have the SX4 which is a small urban SUV with the
option of four wheel drive should you need it around town. Another car closely
developed with Fiat but although it is built in Europe the steady hand of
Japanese build quality still remains firmly placed on its little shoulder.
So there you have it, Suzuki has brought itself to the fore as a supplier of
small practical cars that are well placed to succeed in an ever- changing
market.Jon Barlow has been looking at the new model range from Suzuki which
has been given a much needed update Autel
MaxiSys MS908. For more information see Cheap Suzuki Dealer