There is little reason to change a winning formula if the latest version of the top-selling Suzuki Swift is any indication.
Swift has been the highest selling supermini for nine years in a row and continues to be New Zealand's most popular vehicle with private purchasers.
Suzuki's most popular vehicle of all time has been given a significant update for 2014 with styling changes along with an increase in equipment levels and convenience features.
Cruise control and Bluetooth capability in the audio system have been added to most versions of the 1.4 litre Swift. The entry level GL manual and automatic models have USB connection, while the GLX versions add Bluetooth and cruise control.
High specification Swift LTDs come with larger diameter, new style 16-inch aluminium alloy wheels and, in addition to the GLX equipment, have fog lamps. The Swift RS auto also has alloy wheels, 4 wheel disc brakes, LED driving lights, climate air conditioning and keyless entry and push button engine start.
Externally, the 2014 fifth generation Swift boasts a new front bumper and grille, silver garnish on the fog lamp bezel, new full wheel caps and LED high-mounted stop lamp. The new Luminous Blue Metallic body colour increases the colour choice to nine. Despite the increase in specifications the retail prices for the revised model range start from $19,990 plus on road costs.
The Swift continues its remarkable sales run in New Zealand where it has been the number one selling new car to private buyers since 2008.
"Once again Swift was the new car of choice for private customers last year and the second highest selling new car model in the local market. It is Swift's sixth successive year at the top," said Gary Collins, General Manager of Automobile Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand. "The car has dominated the light car segment since 2005."Sales exceeded 3,000 units for the first time in calendar year 2008 and almost repeated this volume five years later.
Well over half of Swift sales are to female drivers, and with the current generation model which arrived in 2011 there has been an increase in demand from business car users.
A strategic global car from a world-beating manufacturer of small cars, the Swift continues to gain popularity in New Zealand. Motorists admire the good looks, the easy use controls, fine driving manners and outstanding fuel economy.
The car ranks highly in Euro NCAP crash testing, advancing the cause of the small car without compromising on safety. In the European safety tests, the Swift achieved 94 percent in adult occupant testing, achieving the maximum 5 star rating.
Unlike many other cars, the Swift's variable valve timing engine uses chain drives for the twin overhead camshafts instead of belts, thus reducing maintenance servicing costs.
The Swift has been the most popular model ever for Suzuki and the update to the 1.4 litre model is sure to maintain the success of the model in 2014.
The recently released Swift Sport remains unchanged for 2014 and continues to gain international accolades where the model in Britain was named Best Buy Hot Hatch for less than the equivalent of $30,000 by the authoritative What Car? magazine. It was the third consecutive year the Swift model had won this award.
What Car? Editor Chas Hallet said the Swift Sport's rev-happy engine and sharp handling meant it was a far from average hot hatch.
"What will delight most is the body control and grip on offer," he said. "The Swift outshines more expensive rivals, giving you plenty of confidence to wring out the engine through a series of bends." The journal said the Swift Sport was still the best affordable hot hatch you could buy.
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