Suzuki Malaysia Automobile Sdn Bhd (SMA) today launched the all-new Suzuki Swift in Malaysia, two years after its world debut in 2010. That lengthy wait has allowed the Swift to amass a sizable haul of honours having been acclaimed in 63 Car-of-the-Year awards in 19 countries worldwide over the last two years. Malaysia now joins the ranks of more than 100 countries in which the new Swift is being sold.
Despite its familiar-looking appearance, the new Swift is actually a brand-new vehicle engineered from ground up with all-new engines and platform. Its waistline has been expanded from the predecessor, overall length stretched from 3,755mm to 3,850mm and width pulled from 1,690mm to 1,695mm. The wheels are also pushed further apart – the wheelbase, front and rear tracks are all longer than before.
Suspension layout follows the familiar arrangement in the segment of having MacPherson struts up front and torsion beam at the rear. A big plus point for us is the installation of four disc brakes as standard. Steering is rack and pinion with electric power assist and variable gear ratio. Near centre, the steering employs a quick ratio for sharper turn-in, but it slows down at the extreme ends to reduce steering effort for the bigger turns. The steering wheel itself features tilt & telescopic adjustment.
Extensive usage of high-strength steel has allowed Suzuki to craft a stiffer and lighter body for the Swift. The new Swift is in fact 30kg lighter than its predecessor, although this is just as likely due to Suzuki’s use of a smaller engine. In place of the previous 1.5-litre M15A engine, the new Swift is powered by the all-new 1.4-litre K14B which, like its predecessor, has four-cylinders, 16 valves, twin camshafts, and intake variable valve timing.
Displacing 1,372cc, the new Swift 1.4 makes 94hp @ 6,000rpm and 130Nm @ 4,000rpm. By comparison, the outgoing Swift 1.5 produced 99hp and 133Nm at the same engine speeds. Suzuki believes that the new model reduced weight will help offset its output deficits against the predecessor, and internal tests have measured fuel economy improvements of 5%. The new engine is also said to be smoother and more refined, adding to a more pleasant driving experience.
As expected, Suzuki is not offering the option of manual transmission with the Swift, and the standard gearbox is a 4-speed torque converter automatic from Aisin. It is a new transmission, not a carryover from the predecessor. Suzuki couldn’t have saved that few bucks by sticking to the old transmission because they can’t – the new and old engines have vastly different architectures, and their transmissions are simply not interchangeable.
Fully imported from Thailand, the Swift is currently offered with only one variant – the 1.4 GLX automatic at RM77,888 with insurance. Standard equipment for the money includes keyless entry, push-start button, steering wheel audio switches, 2DIN audio head unit, auto climate control, USB interface, dual airbags, ABS, EBD, and brake assist. There is an optional RM5,300 Suzuki Genuine Accessories bodykit package available only for units coloured in Snow White Pearl.