Sussex Business Times also got behind the wheel of two Suzuki models: the Swift and the Baleno. Here, we provide you with our thoughts
The Suzuki Swift began in 1985 as a marketing and manufacturing rebadge of the Suzuki Cultus, manufactured and marketed worldwide across three generations and four body configurations — three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, five-door hatchback and two-door convertible — although overtime, this model has seen many improvements.
The Swift provided us with a lot of fun and offered a certain sense of nostalgia, being reminiscent of the much older Swift models. Smaller cars can often be more fun to drive, taking you back to the first cars you ever owned and at a tie when the only way to drive was as though you were in a go-cart. The obvious improvements in this model are clear, especially in terms of the car’s build and general motoring tech.
The Suzuki Swift boasts a K12B Dualjet engine, cruise control, tilt adjustable steering wheel, gear shift indicator, 16” alloy wheels, Bluetooth integrated audio unit and steering wheel mounted audio controls. Howveer, the real plusses that come along with the Swift are the fuel economy and convenience of town or city driving. They’re simple to park and boast plenty of initial poke to get you out of junctions and to keep up with town traffic, although you wouldn’t really want to venture out onto the Motorways all too often in it. The only thing missing from this little run-around is a Sat-Nav.
Who in the business would drive the Swift? Probably the office junior, or maybe the intern. Definitely not the sales rep or MD, although this doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t make for a great little car; it’s just not one for the more experienced drivers out there.
As the bigger brother to the Suzuki Swift, the Baleno gives a little more space and a little more comfort than the Swift. Having two small cars in this part of the Suzuki range poses benefits to the manufacturer, as this is an area they excel in and where a lot of their customer base is.
The Suzuki Baleno boasts many of elements and gadgets you would expect in a modern-day car; electric front and rear windows, gear shift indicator, outside temperature display, fuel consumption display, automatic headlamps, green-tinted windows and USB and AUX connectors as well as Bluetooth integrated into the audio unit, DAB digital radio, navigation system and smartphone linkage.
The general feel and build quality inside the Baleno is OK. It’s relatively comfortable but the finish is generally in the lower end, with a slightly plastic feel to many of the components. It’s a car that’s likely to fail in exciting the younger crowd and will more likely be one for older drivers that may use it to nip to the shops each week, spending the rest of the time gathering dust in the garage.
Overall, the Baleno is a good car, which offers more of a sense of security and safety in comparison to the Swift. Who in the business would drive it? Probably the accounts team, junior sales.