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 it’s spent in my hands a trend became quite apparent – virtually everyone who came into contact with the little Suzi loved it.
And it wasn’t the kind of affection that only revealed itself after the inevitable “so whaddya think?”. No. These feelings were almost always voiced without prompting, and often before the driver’s seatbelt was unlatched. Remember how I said last month that the Swift makes a profoundly positive first impression? Turns out I’m not the only one who feels that way.
So what endears it to people? Interestingly, no single attribute seems to stand out. Rather it’s how complete and well-rounded the whole package feels. “It just works”, was one morsel of feedback, which sounds like the response most non-tech-savvy people give when asked why they like iPhones.
It’s also made me a convert to smartphone mirroring. Suzuki’s 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 Suzi’s system like being able to preselect a drive route on Google Maps via my work computer before I get in the car. Once I’ve sent the route to my phone and plugged it into the Swift, I’m ready to go as soon as I start the ignition.
Touches like that just make life a little bit easier.
The Swift isn’t 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 it’d 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.
There’s also the issue of price – $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.