2006 Suzuki Swift GLX 1.5 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Unreliable, no power, but handles well

Faults:

Computer board replaced 2 times.

Black light bulb constantly blown, might due to wiring issues.

Rear shaft bearing worn prematurely at 70k.

Secondary key had to be re synced.

Interior reading light bulb blown.

Dash instrument light failed twice.

Remote central locking failed three times.

General Comments:

Been very unreliable electronically in the first several years, probably got a bad car by accident.

Lacks power low down, but handles really nice. Not enough to make up for the unreliability though.

Seating in a very upright position.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th February, 2011

2006 Suzuki Swift 1.3 petrol from Hungary

Summary:

Good town car

Faults:

Nothing.

Bump had to be repaired in the front of the car.

General Comments:

Cheap to run, very economical engine.

Quite quick in city, but not so rapid on motorways.

Engine is noisy sometimes when in cold weather.

Always starts even in -20c temperatures.

Cabin was black and grey, not so fun.

CD player really easy to use and loud.

Seats comfortable, no problems after six hours drive.

Boot mini size, will take one large suitcase. The back seats fold over if you need luggage space.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th July, 2010

2006 Suzuki Swift GC AC 1.5 VVT from Croatia

Summary:

Sporty, stylish and practical

Faults:

Problem with the brakes. Changed under warranty, but for the same type. Feel that the same problem is starting to appear again. Poor braking efficiency. Suggest buying higher quality brake set on own expense.

Some rattles, nothing serious. Drivers seat not perfectly fixed (can shake a bit when turning.

General Comments:

An excellent drive. Very sporty and a great feel. suprisingly stable at higher speeds (motorway). Could be a bit lowered. Suspension very good.

Very roomy and comfortable. Love the looks (in black).

I looooove the key-less entry system... wouldn't change that for anything.

Chicks love the car, which is very important IMO.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st December, 2006

4th Dec 2006, 02:30

Several people have mentioned poor brakes. What is the exact problem? The brakes on my DDiS are excellent, but grate slightly, and rust over very quickly indeed. I know discs are mild steel and are supposed to rust, but even after a hard run that totally clears the rust off, the next morning they are covered in rust again. They do stop exceptionally well though, with progressive action.

My clicking seat is annoying, and the dealers can't fix it.

The car does get a very positive reaction from people, who love the style of it. Geoff.

2006 Suzuki Swift DDiS turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Stylish and good value, but not as good as the more expensive rivals I tested

Faults:

Various annoying trim rattles; by clock, both rear door panels, glove-box lid.

General Comments:

I chose this car after shortlisting down to cars around £9000 with good economy and local dealers.

I looked at diesels: Citroen C3, Skoda Fabia, Kia Rio, Toytoa Aygo (petrol and diesel), new Corsa, new 207, Peugeot 1007 etc.

I narrowed it down to the Aygo 1.0 Black which was the most enjoyable for the price, and the Swift.

The Swift won as I got a good deal from a dealer with superb service, and I felt the Aygo lacked what was needed as the main car for all roads and all seasons- though fun, the tiny tires on our hideous rural roads would be a liability, and the lack of a drivers switch for the nearside electric window was unforgivable.

If I lived in town, I would have bought the Aygo as it was a delight to use.

All others were turned down due to not being able to get the engine, colour or specification I wanted within my budget. The Swift had the diesel engine, style, equipment and niceties such as alloys and heated mirrors, plus five doors and metallic paint.

The "money no object" choice would have been the diesel 207 which was just exceptional to drive with the best steering feel and handling by a mile.

I have now covered 1200 miles and my view on the car is favourable overall, and I hope that the rattles can be fixed on my next dealer visit, as they are irritating.

The car is much admired by all in its Graphite grey metallic, with subtle smoked silver stripes over the bonnet and above the sills (like a GT40). The colours and stripes work very well together and exude an understated quality, which I could not have imagined. I hate stripes, but this combination was on display in the showroom and just works, somehow!

I am getting an average of 55mpg, and remain impressed by the car's handling and traction.

The big tyres help with this.

The car is practical, but does have flaws; the parcel shelf does not rise with the boot, the alarm for the key in the ignition with the door open is infuriating, (you can't sit with door open and radio on for example), the seatbelt alarm is annoying when manouevering and so on.

The speedo is rather optimistic compared to the sat-nav (tomtom 910) and the mpg display is stupid- Ford's overall average system is far better than a constantly changing instantaneous display fitted here.

For: dealers excellent, style, admiration, five doors, cost, handling, equipment, economy, fingetip stereo controls.

Against: lots of rattles, cheap seat edge fabric, key alarm, seatbelt alarm, odd driving position, not as good to drive as more expensive competition, eg 207, grating disc brakes, two pushes on remote key to unlock or deadlock-daft! interior fan not very powerful but noisy, no leather steering wheel.

I have only covered 1200 miles, so will update this, or do another report after more miles, and once the rattles have been looked at by the dealers.

Geoff.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2006

21st Nov 2006, 14:30

***UPDATE****

I have now booked the car in to have the various issues fine tuned, and have covered 2000 miles to date.

It's going in for:

Clutch does not fully disengage/grinds into reverse.

Numerous trim rattles/glove box lid loose/clicking driver's seat.

I have asked them to disconnect all beeps and alarms.

I have owned and driven most brands of car, and spent months testing and choosing before buying this one, and I do generally get on with this car.

It is improving with more miles as you would expect- the stiff gearbox has becoming slicker and the engine more lively.

However, it is the ridiculous Suzuki electronics designs that are getting to me day by day, as they are totally illogical, and infuriating:

The keys-in alarm with door open is the worst design available, as it activates as soon as you put touch the keys against the ignition, not just when you turn them or switch off the engine and forget to take them out like on all other brands.

This minor detail is driving me mad already, as I usually open the door and put the keys in first to save losing them, then sort all my other bits out; sat-nav onto dock, mobile in cubby, wallet in glovebox, load the car etc. All this time a god-awful piercing shrieking is sounding which starts me off in a foul mood, before I even start it up. In conjunction with the stereo only working with the ignition on (unlike other brands where it switches off when keys are removed, but activates if turned on again) it also means that you cannot listen to the stereo without turning the engine on if you have the door open, without the same shrieking as the keys need to be in the lock.

The interior lighting system is also daft-it seems to have some, but not all of the intelligence seen in other cars, Citroens for example, where the lights come on when unlocking with the remote and go off when the engine starts, come on again when switched off or door opened. I seem to be forever switching the interior light on or off as it always does the opposite of what you want it to be doing- it does come on when you unlock, but goes off three seconds after you close the door, before you are ready to move off.

The remote locking system is plain daft- you press the remote once and just the driver's door opens, twice for all doors and the boot to unlock. A clever thought to save wear on the locks and motors, or a good safety idea for a lone woman? No! As soon as you put the keys in the ignition- all the doors then unlock, so what is the point?? You wear the remote batteries out twice as fast for no benefit at all, and swear at it every time you wonder why you need to press the damn thing twice to open the boot.

I do understand the reason for one press=lock, two presses=deadlock, as this is a safety issue, but why not have a separate button for lock and lock+deadlock? Again, it's just poorly thought out.

The seatbelt alarm is also badly designed. I understand the need for an alarm to sound, that must be heard over the stereo, if you forget to put your belt on when driving off. That is a good idea. Many cars have this system, of an alarm together with clever programming so it is triggered to improve safety. Not Suzuki- the alarm triggers at 10mph (deafeningly for 90 seconds)

The poor design lies in that if the car has passes 10mph at any time, it is then triggered by removing the belt-even at a standstill with the engine running. I regularly have to reverse into very tight drives, where you are allowed by law to remove your belt, and this screeching banshee alarm sounding incessantly is dangerously distracting. It also sends you over the brink of insanity when you need to stop and start regularly without using your belt, e.g. at the various sections of a recycling centre, opening and closing gates, or swapping parking spaces.

This is just needlessly bad design which makes you irritated and more dangerous because you carry out the manoeuvre much more quickly and irrationally to shut the stupid thing up.

The stereo is adequate, but cannot match the sound quality and clarity of Peugeot, Skoda, VW etc, and again, is poorly thought out. There are 60 volume level increments for a start. Why? If you use the steering wheel controls it takes an hour to turn it up and down (why not fewer increments: 1-20?) and when you adjust the volume it beeps loudly at you with every press. WHY?

The steering wheel audio controls are also set up best for LHD cars- the volume/mute would be better on the right side, not left in RHD models, as you never use the station seek with RDS, and that is under the fingers of the hand which is always on the wheel. Again, most other manufacturers get this right. A minor flaw, but again it shows a lack of thought.

Why are the electric window and mirror switches, front foglights, steering wheel audio controls etc etc not lit at night?

No glove box light either.

The car looks good, but I feel it does not have the engineering and design standard to be rewarding to own, not for any major fault, but for dozens of little flaws such as decribed above plus the following:

No curved end blind spot on driver's door mirror.

The parcel shelf has no strings, so does not rise with bootlid and has to be flipped up.

The bootlid does not open high enough so you keep banging your head.

Only one handle on inside of the boot to close it- on the right hand side. I am left handed.

No side gutters on windscreen means screenwash cleans the screen, but does not then get directed over the roof, but on to the side windows and mirrors which get filthy.

No clutch foot rest.

No front door handgrips for the passenger to comfortably hold on to.

Fuel cap design fiddly.

Seat edge/door trim fabric very poor quality.

Lots of rattles from the trim.

Buzzing speakers.

Dull flat spot at 2500rpm.

The plastic steering wheel feels horrid.

The standard headlights are very poor-but reasonable with bulb upgrades.

From reading this, you must think that I am over critical of the car. My job means that I spend a lot of time in it, and all of these minor issues, which slightly grate on me time after time just add up to me enduring the car rather than enjoying it.

I hope that the dealers can fix the quality issues and disable the beeps, tones and alarms, so that I can enjoy the car and not have to change it.

I am currently feeling that I should have either spent more money, or accepted a better quality brand with less spec, as the car feels badly thought out and the rattles belie poor build quality.

I await the dealers fix, and will give it another chance.

Over time, I could live with the daft designs if they sort the alarms and rattles. The dealers are very good.

If you go to buy one, think very carefully-it looks nice, it corners well, the spec list is excellent, the price is tempting, the dealers try hard, but:

The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten!

To give you an idea how drastically Suzuki UK is behind the other car brands- look at the fact that they still do not have email, for any department, including customer services! I still find this laughable.

Geoff.