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)!