2012 Suzuki Swift Review

From Ksh 550,000
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  • Suzuki, Swift
  • Petrol
  • 1,200 cm³

The Suzuki Swift has been in production since 2004 but has somehow gone unnoticed in the Kenyan market. This is largely due to the stranglehold that Toyota has had on this market which has for a long time suppressed competition. Now the stranglehold is whittling and people are beginning to notice other alternatives such as the Suzuki Swift. It competes with the Toyota Passo, Nissan March, Mazda Verisa and Mini Cooper.

  • Body Type: Hatchback
  • Extras: Aero Bumper
  • Safety Features: 3 Point ELR Seatbelts, ABS, Cruise Control, Electronic Stability Program, SRS Airbags
  • Exterior Features: Alloy Rims, Fog Lights
  • Interior Features: 12V 120W Power Output, Active Headrests, DVD player

Detailed Review

The Suzuki Swift is a sub-compact that has been in production for three generations since 2004. The first generation was in production from 2004 to 2010, the second generation was in production from 2010 to 2017 and the third generation has been in production from 2017 to present.

The 2012 Suzuki Swift comes with two engine options, these are; a 1.2 Litre DOHC VVT engine and a 1.6 Litre DOHC VVT engine. These are linked to either a 5-Speed manual transmission, a 6-Speed manual transmission, a 4-Speed automatic transmission or a CVT, and available in both 2WD and 4WD.

2012 Suzuki Swift Grades

  1. Suzuki Swift XG – This is the base grade that comes with the 1.2L engine, idling stop, 15-Inch steel rims, Keyless entry, smart start, Radio/CD player, and halogen headlights.
  2. Suzuki Swift XL – This is a medium grade that comes with the 1.2L engine, idling stop, 15-Inch steel rims, Keyless entry, smart start, Radio/DVD player, steering controls and halogen headlights.
  3. Suzuki Swift XS – This is a sports grade that comes with the 1.2L engine, 16-Inch alloy rims, smart entry, smart start, Radio/DVD player, steering controls, xenon headlights, fog lights and front/rear disc brakes.
  4. Suzuki Swift RS – This is a sports grade that comes with the 1.2L engine, 16-Inch alloy rims, smart entry, smart start, Radio/DVD player, sharper steering, suspension dampers, and aero body kit.
  5. Suzuki Swift Sports – This is a sports performance grade that comes with the 1.6L engine, 17-Inch alloy rims, sports steering, xenon headlights, fog lights, sports kit and available only in 2WD.

Interior
Legroom & Space
The cabin feels fairly spacious for a sub-compact thanks to the high roof. At the first row, the legroom is adequate and can accommodate tall people. At the second row, the legroom is ok for medium sized people but tall people will definitely be cramped.

Cabin Storage
There are several storage compartments in the cabin that are useful for storing items such as smartphones, beverages, goggles, handbags etc. At the first row there are 2 cup-holders, door panel storage and a storage compartment below the dashboard. For the second row, there’s storage on the door pockets.

2012 Suzuki Swift Boot Space
The boot space is small and can probably carry a medium sized suitcase with space to spare. When extra space is required, the second row seats can be folded in a split configuration.

Other Extras: Steering Audio Controls, Alloy Rims, Fog Lights,

Safety Features: SRS Airbags, Cruise Control, ABS, Electronic Stability Program, 3 Point ELR seatbelts

Exterior
The Suzuki Swift has an angular exterior with sharp edges that are accentuated by the sporty headlights. The sports versions that come with alloy rims and fog lights look much better

2012 Suzuki Swift Fuel Consumption
2012 Suzuki Swift 1.2L 2WD fuel consumption: 23.0 km/L
2012 Suzuki Swift 1.2L 4WD fuel consumption: 20.0 km/L
2012 Suzuki Swift 1.6L fuel consumption: 16.0 km/L

2012 Suzuki Swift Acceleration
2012 Suzuki Swift 1.2L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 13.6 sec.
2012 Suzuki Swift 1.6L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 8.2 sec.

2012 Suzuki Swift Fuel Tank Capacity: 42 Litres

2012 Suzuki Swift Ground Clearance
The 2012 Suzuki Swift has a ground clearance of 5.5 Inches(140mm) which is well below the minimum recommended clearance of 6.5 Inches for Kenyan roads. It may be necessary to modify the ground clearance to adjust the car to Kenyan roads. Read our guidelines here on how to safely increase a vehicle’s ground clearance.

2012 Suzuki Swift Stability and Handling
The ride and handling was pretty much normal and we did not find any fault with it. The 1.2L version takes time to accelerate and you will need patience when driving it. The 1.6L version on the other hand is dynamic and drives like a sports car. It accelerates quickly from standstill and at higher speeds, it feels totally composed.

2012 Suzuki Swift Service Intervals
Minor Service: At 10,000 km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, and Engine Oil
Major Service: At 15,000km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, ATF Filter, Cabin Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, ATF Oil, and Engine Oil

Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
Service parts are affordable and widely available in Kenya. Body parts are fairly priced and availability is mixed depending on the part you are looking for. Most spare shops in Industrial Area and Kirinyaga Road stock these parts. You can get listings for these shops in this link

2012 Suzuki Swift Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reliability reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.

There have been very few reports of failure and we could not find any major defect with this car. Some owners have reported failures with the CVT gearbox mostly related to poor maintenance and use of wrong ATF oil. We always advise that you thoroughly read the Owner’s Manual as it contains vital information on how the car should be maintained. To download the 2012 Suzuki Swift Owner’s Manual, click here.

Resale Value: Low

Mazda Verisa Competitors: Toyota Passo, Nissan March, Mazda Verisa and Mini Cooper

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: from Ksh.550,000
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 24,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 20,000/- for 4 Tyres
NB: figures as at February 2019

What we like about the 2012 Suzuki Swift
1. Affordable to buy and maintain
2. High safety ratings
3. Excellent fuel economy

What we don’t
1. Low ground clearance
2. Small boot

Conclusion
The Suzuki Swift is an affordable alternative to the more expensive competitors and it offers the same level of functionality. The low ground clearance is a major issue with this car but with a few clever tweaks, the car can be good to drive.

Where To Buy the Suzuki Swift In Kenya
If you are looking to buy the Suzuki Swift, we can help you with this process. We have a network of vetted dealers who offer clean cars at the best prices. Get in touch with us below. We guarantee you a safe and pleasant experience.

 

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