2009 Suzuki Splash GLS 1.0L petrol

Summary:

Splash your cash out

Faults:

Windscreen wipe mechanism failed. Started making a squeaking noise every time you used the wipers. That was at about 1000 miles.

General Comments:

The car is very easy to drive around town, and on the motorway it will cruise at 60mph. It will do 70mph plus, but starts to get noisy.

Cabin space is good, with storage bins and glove box. The boot is small, but there is a compartment under the floor of the boot as well.

Equipment level is very good; safety six airbags, ABS, EBS, TC, General Nice stereo, intermittent wipers that you can adjust the speed, plastics on the dash are too bad.

The only problem with the car, is when you come to the second service. It will set you back £400, so what you save on fuel and road tax, you spend on servicing. This is due to the 1.0L engine design; instead of hydraulic tappets that most modern cars have got, this one has shims. WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY DO THAT?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st March, 2011

2008 Suzuki Splash GLS+ 1.2 petrol

Summary:

Another oddball from Suzuki?!

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

This is a review of the Suzuki Splash, which I test-drove in March 2008. There only seem to be professional reviews available, and I haven't seen a single one on the road, so I thought it might be desirable for a real person to give an opinion.

I had it for about an hour of mixed driving and going over with the tape measure etc. I won't bore people with the equipment tally or measurements, which you can read anywhere!

Around town, it rode OK, didn't crash too badly through potholes, steered accurately and was easy to drive. EXCEPT the usual MPV problem of forward vision at junctions. The A-pillars are easy to 'lose' motorbikes (and bigger) in, and one has to make a definite effort to check for these. This problem is of course common on modern cars.

On the motorway it held 70mph easily, but I was alone in the car. Not sure with 3 passengers and the increased kerb weight over, say, the Sirion. Also, I would have been interested in the automatic, which will obviously have a little less available power. It'd probably be OK if you're not a speed freak. Which I'm not, but I recall the 1.3 auto Getz, which was very sluggish even for me! The answer is to try it with a few passengers in it.

But generally it was easy and quiet to drive, with no nasty surprises.

Economy I can't comment on, but having owned 3 Suzukis, I have no reason to doubt that it'll be reasonably frugal. Again, whether the weight will count against it needs consideration.

Inside, the seats were comfortable enough (the passenger side also has height adjustment) but I felt the centre console to be a little claustrophobic. My left leg was permanently in contact with it, although this might not be the case in an auto when you can stretch that leg out further. In a larger car, this isn't such a problem because there's more width to the footwell, but I was a little disappointed with this aspect.

It's nice to have variable intermittent wipers at this level (a useful gadget - hooray) but I wasn't keen on the dash otherwise. I know it's fashionable, but putting the rev-counter on a separate pod doesn't do anything for me. Likewise for Wagon R owners looking to replace, I would think. At least you can see the speedo easily. The much-criticised indicator bleep didn't bother me - I'd rather have that than leave an indicator going by mistake.

In the rear, legroom isn't quite as good as you'd expect. Neither is the boot-room (Splash is over 4" longer than Sirion, which has more of both).

The underfloor compartment in the boot is useful, but neither space is large. Methinks space has been lost to styling. The concave rear hatch (borrowed from an old Punto?) steals headroom in that you can bang your head as you walk under it towards the opening. Not painful, but messes up whatever hair you've got left.

The seats fold easily in one movement to give you a good flattish space, but it's a little lacking in width between the wheel arches at the back. (Ignis thrashes it here).

However, legroom / boot-room all round is acceptable if you're not huge and don't want to carry loads of gear. Headroom of course is a given.

I was keen to buy one of these, but put off slightly by an Internet review I read somewhere which said that the autoboxes were 'inclined to whine'. Never had that before in a Suzuki and didn't want it either! And nobody had one to test.

Otherwise, the 'problems' I've highlighted may not have put me off of what I thought to be a pleasant car. Even the PX offer of £1k under Daihatsu's wouldn't have mattered - the Splash feels more solid than the Sirion, and I've never had a problem with a Suzuki.

But I can't quite see the market. It's too modern (and expensive) for a Wagon-R owner, but small Suzuki's aren't bought by youngsters. And there's probably not enough people like me who don't fall into either category (well, certainly not the latter)!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2008

21st Jul 2008, 16:25

Interesting review. Agree with the comments which were particularly relevant to me as both myself and my Parents have owned Wagon R+s and now use Sirions.

We thought they would make mistakes replacing the Wagon R, but the Splash really is flawed-particularly the tiny boot, poor rear foot access (narrow aperture at foot level for rear doors), poor rear knee room and the obvious design statement of style over function. This seems crazy as Wagon R+ owners are one of the few that list "would buy again" as 100%. We know of six Wagon R owners who will not buy a Splash-they do not care about style, don't understand ESP, don't like the rev counter pod or reduction in interior and boot size and also find that the poor A pillar/quarterlight visibility and mirrors that are too far back an issue.

Why does no-one cater for older drivers?

Still, the Daihatsu Sirion is a good replacement and offers five year warranty and breakdown cover. The rear seats are harder to fold but the car is simple, easy to use and suits traditionalists.

Rover made the mistake of upsetting their core buyers when they ditched the Metro-is Suzuki doing the same?

The Splash is a good car, but it is like replacing the Cortina with the Sierra-the buyers do not like THAT much change... especially if they lose features that they value like easy access for pensioners and a boot big enough for a dog.