Suzuki makes space with the Swace

Stunning addition to line-up

By Bill McCarthy

MANY people may be wondering about two new Suzukis appearing on the scene, the size of both bucking the trend of the firm’s small car/offroad reputation.

Both the new Swace and SUV Across are models launched from the Suzuki /Toyota collaborative Business agreement which saw both firms take a stake in each other.

The oddly-named Swace is based on the Toyota Corolla Hybrid Estate with Suzuki signature front design changes, re-badged essentially, but manufactured in the UK with exports to Europe.

It features two models, SZ-T and SZ5 models, both lavishly equipped, and featuring a 1.8 litre petrol engine with 53kW electric motor to deliver excellent economy and low CO2 emissions.

It is a large car which has room for five adults with a spacious interior and loads of stowage space. It also features a comprehensive array of safety kit.

It is striking looking, sleek and muscular with a large honeycomb pattern deep grille, slim headlights, integrated roof rails and eye-catching 19-inch alloy wheels.

The interior too, feels high end and features  quality upholstery with soft touch finish throughout, powered leather seats, multi-function steering wheel and the centrepiece tablet-style touchscreen which controls sound system and connectivity through Apple CarPlay Android Auto and MirrorLink for smartphones, which is vital as it does not feature its own sat nav.

Standard specification is good with the ‘entry’  SZ-T model featuring dural zone automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, rear parking camera and radar cruise control.

This tested SZ5 model further adds auto door locking, park assist with parking sensors and wireless phone charging tray.

It has a roomy, executive feel with ambient lighting, soft touch finish offset with chrome and silver accents, with sturdy fixtures and fittings throughout. Another neat touch is the S-Flow air conditioning.

This uses a detection control function to ensure that air conditioning is only provided to occupied seats. It also takes the set temperature, ambient temperature, interior temperature and sunlight into account to maintain optimum cabin comfort. Head and legroom are among the best in class with 

On the road, the petrol/electric combo mated with CVT transmission, works well to deliver excellent economy and low emissions. Performance from the petrol engine and electric motor produces 122PS with economy of around 64mpg. And as this is the kind of vehicle that could appeal to business users, emissions of 99g/km puts it in the 24 per cent bracket for Benefit in Kind taxation purposes.

Acceleration, if you will pardon the pun, is not exactly electric, hitting 60mph in around 11 seconds. The hybrid system selects an electric motor, engine or both depending on driving conditions.

It is also equipped with an EV drive mode function where the vehicle is driven solely by its electric motor with power supplied from the battery. This mode can be used for driving short distances in low emissions zones.

The driver also has two other drive modes: 

NORMAL, as the name suggests, ECO, which helps the driver deliver better fuel economy through more gradual throttle response and minimal air-conditioning use. This mode is useful during stop-and-go city driving.   

SPORT boosts acceleration, and sharpens acceleration and handling.

The car does sit low to the road with consequently benefits handling characteristics, and is designed to reduce body roll around corners, improving stability and contributing to a smoother ride.

Stowage space is excellent with 596-litres available, while the rear carpeted floorboard can be placed in a lower position to store taller objects and is also reversible with a resin backside that can be used for stowing wet or dirty items.

Space is further increased using the remote lever to fold down the second row of seats for a flat floor and maximum stowage capacity of 1,606 litres.

There are other convenient oddment spaces and cup holders throughout the cabin.

It is packed with hi-tech stuff including intelligent parking on this test model. Fitted as standard on the SZ5 model, S-IPA assists the driver when reversing into a parking space, parallel parking, or departing from a parallel parking space, by providing audio and visual guidance while automatically operating the steering wheel. The system uses ultrasonic wave sensors for sensing and allows accurate parking even in narrow spaces.

Other safety measures include Pre-Collision System which detects  other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists; Lane Tracing Assist which adjusts the steering if it veers off on a marked road; traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitor and rear crossing traffic alert.


Suzuki Swace 1.8 Hybrid SZ5

Price: £29,299

Mechanical: Combined 122PS, 1798cc, four cylinder petrol engine and 53 kW electric motor driving front wheels via CVT gearbox

Max speed: 112 mph 

0-62mph: 11.1 secs 

Combined mpg: 64.2 (WlTP)

Insurance group: 17E  

CO2 emissions: 99 g/km 

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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