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Suzuki withdraws ‘car that’s cheaper than an iPhone’ from UK

Suzuki Celerio off sale in the UK

A moment’s silence, please: the Suzuki Celerio is being withdrawn from the UK market. New examples of the Celerio city car, along with the larger Suzuki Baleno hatchback, will no longer be supplied to Suzuki showrooms after August. 

‘Suzuki GB PLC is refocusing its model range to cater for the high popularity of its best-selling UK models, which are Ignis, Swift, S-Cross and Vitara,’ said a statement.

‘This has resulted in sales of Celerio and Baleno being discontinued for the UK only.’

So long Celerio, bye bye Baleno

Suzuki Celerio off sale in the UK

Sales of the Celerio and Baleno have been disappointing compared with other cars in the Suzuki range. In addition, the move also helps the company meet future emissions targets: ‘Suzuki is also preparing its range line-up for future emission regulations in 2020, of which details will be confirmed and announced in the future.’

If you simply must have a Celerio or Baleno, dealers should have pre-registered and nearly-new stock into September 2019.

Neither will break the bank, particularly the Celerio, which was touted as ‘the car that’s cheaper than a smartphone’.

Suzuki Celerio off sale in the UK

The Celerio had a difficult life from day one. Vegetable-related jokes about its name aside, there was a well-known brake failure issue soon after its launch.

Suzuki acted swiftly to fix this, but the car’s reputation never fully recovered.

Resale values for new Suzuki Jimny ‘in the supercar league’

Suzuki Jimny residual value

As if we needed another reason to justify wanting a new Suzuki Jimny, it seems the financial argument stacks up, too. Suzuki reports that the residual (resale) values for its retro-styled off-roader should be unusually strong.

The figures come from industry specialist CAP Automotive, which predicts that the fifth-generation SZ5 Jimny should retain 52 percent of its value after three years and 60,000 miles.

Suzuki Jimny residual value

However, based on prior ownership trends that suggest owners cover less than 40,000 miles over three years, it could retain 61 percent of its value.

That’ll be a residual record for Suzuki if it holds true. “This figure places the new Jimmy up in the supercar league of cars for retained value,” says the company.

What could this mean for buyers? It certainly leaves scope for some great value PCP and finance deals. It also offers peace of mind that their money is safer in a Jimny than it might be elsewhere.

Suzuki Jimny residual value

At present, the Jimmy is joined by the stratospherically expensive Mercedes G-Class in the properly old-school off-roader market. Like the G-Class, the Jimny name has been around since the 1970s. It’ll be 50 years old in 2020.

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Super-cool Suzuki Jimny pick-up stars at Tokyo Auto Salon

Suzuki Jimny concepts

If you thought the Suzuki Jimny couldn’t get any cooler, you are sorely mistaken. Meet the Suzuki Jimny Sierra Pick Up Style – a concept car due to debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon on January 11-13.

Suzuki Jimny Sierra

Built by an aftermarket company, this petite pick-up looks ready for a safari, with wooden side panels, towing loops and chunky side steps. Note the classic Suzuki rhino logo and retro body-coloured snout, too. As for that dull sandy yellow colour, we can’t decide whether we hate to love, or love to hate. Still, there’ll be no going dark on your adventures across the desert, thanks to four chunky LED spotlights up-top.

The rear seats and boot have obviously gone in favour of the pick-up load bed; no huge loss given the standard Jimny isn’t exactly commodious. The ride height has also been jacked up, and the white/chrome wheels have bigger tyres for boosted off-road chops.

Suzuki Jimny Survive

The Sierra isn’t alone. A ‘Jimny Survive’ concept will also join it in Tokyo. This isn’t quite as extreme a transformation as the Sierra, but features some cool toys befitting its name: jacked-up suspension, front and rear skid plates, bigger tyres, a protective rollcage and light guards. Get it stuck (unlikely) and it looks like there’s also provision for a winch.

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2019 Suzuki Jimny

2019 Suzuki Jimny review: and they called it ‘puppy love’

2019 Suzuki Jimny

His smile was as wide as his Ron Burgundy moustache and his thumbs-up left us in little doubt that the sight of a new Suzuki Jimny had made his day. This little 4×4 has that effect on people. It could heal the world and make it a better place.

We were on our way back to Frankfurt following a day spent in the company of Suzuki’s off-road micro-machine. We may have taken the bend a little too quickly – about 15mph is enough if the corner is anything more than a slight crease in the road – but the spectacle of a leaning Kinetic Yellow Jimny, LED lights blazing, Bridgestone Dueler tyres screaming for mercy, brought joy to the commuter in his battered Dacia Sandero.

In truth, it had been lifting spirits all day. A group of often-cynical motoring hacks arrived in Frankfurt like excitable children at the entrance to a ball pit, eager to drive this year’s most talked-about 4×4. On the streets of Germany, it generated more attention than an advert for a free bar at Oktoberfest.

Unless you’ve been locked in the Big Brother house for the past few months, you’ll know that this is essentially the fourth-generation Suzuki Jimny – a replacement for the old model that dates back to 1998.

It’s like a Ford Mustang…

Anticipation is high, to the extent that, for the first time, Suzuki GB has created a ‘register your interest’ page on its website. To date, some 3,100 people have expressed a desire to take delivery of a new Jimny in 2019. If your name’s not down, you might be disappointed.

Sure, not all of them will go on to place a deposit on the new car, but a fair proportion of the interested parties will be Suzuki Jimny loyalists – and they’ll find much to love about the new car. In fact, it’s probably the most adorable new car of 2018. Heck, you could extend that to the entire decade.

For a little car – it measures just 3,645mm to the spare wheel cover, 1,645mm wide and 1,725mm tall – there’s so much to take in. Once your eyes have adjusted to the Kinetic Yellow paint – designed to mimic safety jackets, no less – the new Jimny is filled with subtle details and neat nods to Suzuki’s heritage.

New Suzuki Jimny interior

These have been outlined before, but they combine to deliver a level of showroom appeal reserved for something costing five or 10 times as much. In that respect, it’s like the Ford Mustang, offering a feel-good factor and kerb appeal way beyond the purchase cost.

Not that we know the exact price. Our best guess, following a day of pestering the press team and a couple of pre-dinner beers, is that the entry-level Jimny SZ4 will cost £16,495 and the top-spec SZ5 will weigh in at £17,995. Bank on somewhere between £15,000 and £20,000 if you’re doing your sums.

Around 70 percent will opt for the SZ5 Jimny, which offers 15-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, LED headlights, climate control, leather steering wheel, navigation, smartphone link and heated front seats.

All models get selectable four-wheel drive with low-ratio transfer, dual sensor brake support, a full-size tailgate-mounted spare wheel, front fog lights, automatic headlights, high-beam assist, cruise control and Bluetooth.

Comfort and joy

Suzuki Jiimny autobahn

We’ll come back to the equipment and specification later because you’ll be itching to know how it drives. Put it this way: look at the Jimny, imagine how you think it would drive, and you’ll be pretty much spot on. But there are one or two surprises.

Firstly, this a Suzuki Jimny you can take on the motorway without pre-arranging an appointment with a chiropractor and loading the slimline door pockets with strips of Nurofen. Comically, our test route took us straight on to one of the Autobahns heading out of perma-busy Frankfurt – hardly the Jimny’s comfort zone.

But, shock-horror, it was fine. Entering an Autobahn will require a long run-up if you don’t fancy a mirror filled with an angry Mercedes-Benz Actros, but a three-lane road is no longer out of bounds to all but the most intrepid of Jimny drivers.

Suzuki hasn’t supplied a 0-62mph time, which tells you all you need to know about the sloth-like performance of the Jimny, but the top speed is quoted at 90mph. At 120kph (75mph), the 1.5-litre petrol engine is running at 3,750rpm in fifth gear, but the noise isn’t especially intrusive. Maybe the sound is blunted by the wind noise generated by the Tonka-like shape and the door mirrors hitting the air at full force.

It’s comfortable, too. While the steering wheel cannot be adjusted for reach, and the seats don’t offer a huge amount of adjustment, it’s not hard to find a good driving position, making for comfortable progress once up to speed. Keep the Jimny within its comfort zone, and the driving experience is pleasant, bordering on very good.

It’s all a bit old-school 4×4, which is meant as a positive. The gearchange is long but precise, the transmission whines as you make your way through the gears, and the engine sounds eager but only becomes coarse when you nudge 6,000rpm. It’s not an SUV and it’s all the better for it.

It might be small, but the Jimny is a proper 4×4 that plays on the same off-road playground as the Land Rover Defender, Jeep Wrangler and Mercedes-Benz G-Class. It would kick sand in the eyes of any crossover you could mention.

When the going gets tough(ish)

New Suzuki Jimny off-road

We arrived at our lunch stop in the heart of a German forest to the sight of two-dozen Jungle Green Jimnys (Jimnies?) and a similar number of Kinetic Yellow models. It was like stumbling across the least intimidating army you could ever find, with the cars looking as cheery as Sarge from the Cars movie franchise and as fearsome as Colonel Decker from The A-Team.

The off-road course was part New Forest track and part National Trust car park, with a few challenges thrown in for good measure. Strictly controlled by a lead ‘Jimny Instructor’ (nice gag, Suzuki), we followed like obedient boy scouts, desperate to break free of the line to explore the rougher stuff.

In fairness, the Jimny handled a small climb with ease (hill-hold control is standard), a steep descent with aplomb (hill-descent is another standard feature), and a ford was tackled without breaking sweat. We’re confident the new Jimny will inherit the off-road skills of its predecessor.

The set-up is largely the same: a strengthened ladder frame chassis, three-link rigid axle suspension, part-time four-wheel drive and low-ratio transfer gear. To cover all angles: approach is 37 degrees, ramp breakover is 28 degrees, while departure is 49 degrees.

Oh, and the temperature was 30 degrees, which is relevant in the respect of the climate control, which had little problem cooling the cabin to a chilled 15 degrees during Germany’s Indian summer. A little hint of luxury in an otherwise workmanlike and suitably robust interior, although Apple CarPlay, DAB radio, a seven-inch touchscreen, two cup holders and steering wheel controls provide further nods to the modern world.

Three stars, first class

Suzuki Jimny tailgate open

The journey back to Frankfurt took in miles of ribbon-soft roads and Autobahns, interspersed with the occasional need to acknowledge cheery waves and nods of appreciation. There’s no temptation to press on – the vague steering and comical body-roll see to that – but as a car in which to amble and pootle along, the Suzuki Jimny is first class.

At one point, the conversation turned to safety. Long before today’s Euro NCAP announcement, we had predicted a three-star rating for the Jimny, even with its dual sensor brake support, lane-departure warning and six airbags.

It might be able to sit at 70mph on a motorway, but we wouldn’t want to perform an emergency braking manoeuvre. And we suspect an ‘elk test’ might warrant a change of underwear. As mentioned earlier, this is a car to keep within its comfort zone.

Is it perfect? Of course not. The three-star safety rating will deter some, while buyers accustomed to soft-touch plastics and easy-to-drive cars will stick to their compact crossovers and jumped-up superminis.

Opening the tailgate to reveal some decidedly iffy finishing and an exposed wire connecting the heated rear window will send some prospective purchasers scurrying out of the showroom faster than you could say ‘Now That’s What I Call The 1990s’.

And while we hesitate to use the ‘lifestyle’ word, the 85 litres of boot space with the rear seats folded up means that you’ll need to choose between your kids or your luggage if you’re planning a weekend excursion. The seats do fold flat, revealing 377 litres of space, but your children might not fancy being left at home with the dog.

Field of dreams

Suzuki Jimny on track

The new Suzuki Jimny stands in a field of its own, free of direct rivals, eager to please and dripping in charm. And because it’s more comfortable and refined than before, it won’t be a back-breaking journey getting to the field.

A star rating is almost irrelevant because this will be a purchase driven by emotion and desire rather than rational thinking and basic needs. A one-star What Car? rating didn’t hamper sales of the old Jimny, and the thoughts of 20 or so motoring hacks won’t change the opinion of the 3,100 people who have registered an interest with Suzuki.

Think of the new Jimny as a puppy. It’s not perfect, and there might be more sensible ways of spending your cash, but if you’ve fallen in love with the looks, the car will win you over with its boundless energy and deep-rooted character. As a bonus, the Jimny won’t leave a puddle on your kitchen floor.

If you’ll allow this author the opportunity to break free of the leash for a moment, I really, really want to buy one. In Kinetic Yellow. On the SZ4’s black steelies. With red mudflaps. And a roof rack.

Suzuki, make that 3,101 registrations. The new puppy can wait for another day.

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LB Works G mini

New Suzuki Jimny gets G-Class treatment: meet the Liberty Walk G Mini

LB Works G mini

If you’ve heard of Liberty Walk, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the polarising things they do to the world’s fastest and most expensive cars. Aventadors, 458s, even a Miura – all with wide-body kits, wings and air suspension to ‘slam’ them to the ground. Their next project? Chiron? 812 Superfast? Nope.

Say hello to the Liberty Walk Suzuki Jimny – the G mini.

As you might have worked out from images and from the name, they’re making no secret of the fact this kit is designed to bring out the baby G-Wagen in the Jimny. Both are the last bastions of body-on-frame design, yet are at polar opposites of the market.

Hollywood Boulevard meets the Lake District. What could be more fun than giving farmer boy Jimny a G-Class suit jacket?

That’s exactly what they’ve done, with very last-gen G bumpers and arches that echo LB Works’ own G-Class modifications. A new grille, carbon bonnet as well as lashings of carbon elsewhere, G63 style side-exhausts (!) and Brabus-style wheels complete the transformation.

Your sense of humour has to be lacking if you don’t think the G mini is hilariously brilliant. What we don’t know is what’s going on underneath (if anything) or indeed what the price is. Hit “Buy now” on the website and you’re invited to sign up to enquire.

The new Jimny was already definitely one of the coolest new cars you can buy. Whether Liberty Walk’s kit makes it cooler is down to specific taste. We’re just happy it exists – clever name, too.

2019 Suzuki Vitara

Updated Suzuki Vitara ditches diesel, gains new Boosterjet petrols

2019 Suzuki VitaraHot on the heels of the roaringly successful launch of the new Jimny, Suzuki has followed up with an update of its family-sized SUV, the Vitara. The firm has announced initial details of the refresh, ahead of ordering opening in September. 

The current Vitara has been a real hit for Suzuki: impressively, it has been the marque’s best-selling model in Britain since the launch of the fourth-generation in 2015.

2019 Suzuki Vitara

For 2019, new wheels, updated bumpers with a redesigned grille and new LED light graphics feature outside, while the cabin features a new instrument cluster and a new, higher-quality, soft-touch material on the upper instrument panel.

The big news for the updated Vitara, however, is its new engines, with the ageing 1.6-litre petrol ousted in favour of Suzuki’s critically-acclaimed Boosterjet 1.0-litre (111hp) and 1.4-litre (140hp) turbocharged engines.

Both are said to deliver reduced emissions and increased economy, although precise figures aren’t available just yet.

2019 Suzuki Vitara

What about diesel?

Interestingly, no mention is made of diesel in Suzuki’s release, with no new engines announced or, indeed, any word on whether the existing line-up continues unchanged. We called up Suzuki to get the lowdown.

“The 1.6-litre diesel engine will no longer be available in the Vitara. We found in other models that, once the Boosterjet petrol engines had been introduced, that demand significantly dropped for the diesel unit.

“It made sense to discontinue the diesel for the Vitara update as the Boosterjet engines were introduced.”

Long story short, then. Great new petrols, updated cabin, no more diesel! Are you tempted away from the Jimny? All will depend on prices: expect to find out more ahead of the 2019 Vitara’s introduction this autumn. 

As a reminder, the current Vitara starts from £15,999 (or £19,499 in diesel guise). Here’s hoping Suzuki keeps it close to that, and doesn’t make the mistake of hiking prices by too much, as it did with the 2018 Swift Sport

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Suzuki Swift Sport

2018 Suzuki Swift Sport first drive: punchy hot hatch lacks fizz

Suzuki Swift Sport

It’s funny how a relatively low-powered warm hatch can be one of the most hyped cars of 2018. The new Suzuki Swift Sport has a lot to live up to; both its predecessors have punched well above their weight, attracting a niche following of enthusiasts looking for a new car more akin to old-school hot hatches than the Nurburgring-record-breaking hyper hatches of today.

The formula for the new Swift Sport has changed slightly. Suzuki’s finally given in to the downsized, turbo’d engine trend, replacing the 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated unit of its predecessor with a four-cylinder 1.4-litre turbo. Like the standard Swift, it’s quite dramatically different to the old car and, as we’re fans of the cooking-spec model, we’d been looking forward to a drive in the Sport.

First impressions

Aesthetically, the Sport looks much like the regular car. There’s an exclusive Champion Yellow colour (one of six paint options available), along with a more aggressive front bumper, splashes of fake carbon fibre and a honeycomb grille. A subtle rear spoiler adds to the sporty appearance, as do twin exhaust tailpipes. It’s also lower and wider than the standard Swift.

To our eyes, it’s quite a handsome thing – but reaction on social media suggests we might be alone here. The sporty touches have done a commendable job of beefing up a rather cutesy-looking supermini and, while the yellow of our test car won’t be to everyone’s taste, we reckon it suits it well.

First seat

Suzuki Swift Sport

This isn’t a premium offering, and that’s clear as soon as you sit inside – much like the standard Swift, really. There’s not much in the way of soft-touch materials but, as with the exterior, there are various sporty touches. Red accents brighten up the dash, while sports seats with red stitching and plenty of support strike the right balance of comfort and being aesthetically pleasing.

Although you sit slightly high – a common trait of small hot hatches – a good driving position is easy to find. There’s no three-door option this time, so access to the rear is straightforward. You probably wouldn’t want to carry adult-sized rear-seat passengers regularly, though.

There’s a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system fitted as standard in the centre of the dash. This provides access to sat nav, DAB radio, Android Auto and Apple Carplay. It works perfectly well, being intuitive to use, but we favour Apple Maps over the car’s slightly slow in-built nav.

First drive

Suzuki Swift Sport

Let’s tackle the thorny issue of the engine. Suzuki couldn’t stick with the old 1.6-litre, high-revving and naturally-aspirated engine that we loved in the old Swift Sport. Like practically every other car manufacturer, it’s had little option but to go the downsized, turbocharged route, opting for the 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol used in the Vitara S crossover.

Is it disappointing? Yes and no. Little effort is needed to keep the engine in its power band. In fact, on the twisty roads of the Costa del Sol where the car was launched, we usually found it best left in third gear. Peak torque is reached between 2,500rpm and 3,500rpm, meaning you can usually rely on it to accelerate out of bends or up hills without having to drop down a gear.

But most buyers are enthusiasts. If you buy this instead of a more powerful rival such as the Ford Fiesta ST, you probably don’t mind working the gearbox hard and holding onto revs to extract the best out of the engine. If you try to drive in that style, though, you’ll soon find yourself nudging the 6,400rpm limiter and getting frustrated with a harsh, grating noise that appears if you lift off at high revs. We wondered if our test car was broken, but other reviewers noted the same irritant.

Oh, and then there’s the gearbox. It’s fine – a six-speed manual (no auto will be offered), and an evolution of the ’box found in the previous model. It’s just not as precise as we’d like, and you’re likely to miss gears if you attempt to rush changes. And while we’re having a moan, the exhaust note, although moderately sporty, isn’t exactly thrilling.

We’re ambivalent about the powertrain, then, but surely it has a card up its sleeve in the form of its handling – right? Well, it certainly has a lovely chassis. We’d be keen to try it on the bumpy roads of the UK, but our first impressions suggest the ride quality is exceptional, while the car is eager to tuck into bends. Even if you try to provoke it by braking hard into a turn, its rear end will obediently follow the front.

You’ve probably sensed there’s another caveat. And that’s the steering. A variable-ratio setup, the response increases as you begin to turn the wheel. And it feels a bit odd. As such, the car is quite hard to place as you enter a bend – you’re never entirely sure if it’s going to dramatically understeer or if it’s got more grip in reserve. Usually it’s the latter, but the steering always used to be a highlight of the old model. Not any more.

First verdict

Suzuki Swift Sport

If you’re a normal person looking for a likeable, Japanese supermini with a bit of poke, the Swift Sport’s absolutely fine. But traditional Swift Sport buyers aren’t normal people. They’re part of unique breed of petrolheads who favour lightweight cars that provide fun at sensible speeds. The Swift Sport has always catered well for them, and this new model just doesn’t excel in any of the areas buyers will want it to.

We’ve also avoided mentioning the price so far. During our day driving the Swift Sport, Suzuki was holding back from telling us how much it was going to cost. The old model started at £13,749, and we expected this one to be priced closely to the £13,750 Volkswagen Up GTI. For this kind of money, some of the Swift Sport’s faults could be overlooked on an ‘at least it’s cheap’ basis.

As Suzuki announced a £17,999 price tag in the press conference following our drive, there was an audible gasp in the room. This is not an £18,000 car. The new Fiesta ST, due later this year, will pack 200hp and is expected to come in at less than £20,000. Perhaps considerably less than £20,000. A five-door Mini Cooper can be had for £18,040.


Fortunately for Suzuki, few people care about the list price in 2018. It’s all about the monthly payments – and the firm’s accountants are aiming for £249 a month with no deposit, making it easier to stomach. Suzuki also points to its high standard spec – you really could buy a Swift Sport and not have to tick any options boxes. A Mini would need a few grand of options to bring it up to the same level.

Even taking prices out of the equation, though, the new Swift Sport is an easy car to like but a difficult one to love. And that’s frustrating, as we really wanted to love it. Its engine is fine, as is its interior – and the handling’s pretty good. But ‘fine’ and ‘pretty good’ won’t cut it with traditional Swift Sport buyers, especially as they’re now being asked to fork out close to proper hot hatch money.

Verdict: 3 stars

Rivals

Mini Cooper

Abarth 595

Ford Fiesta ST

Peugeot 208 GTI

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Specifications

Price: £17,999

Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo

Power: 140hp

Torque: 170lb ft

0-62mph: 8.1 seconds

Top speed: 130mph

Fuel economy: 47.1mpg

Length/width/height: 3,890/1,735/1,495mm

Boot space (seats up/down): 265/579 litres

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Suzuki Celerio 2017

A new car is now cheaper than a smartphone

Suzuki Celerio 2017A new mobile phone can now cost more per month than a new car, automotive analysts Sophus3 have discovered – and it expects to see more new car deals with monthly payments less than a smartphone before the end of the year.

It’s all thanks to the launch of the new Apple iPhoneX, currently offered on a monthly payment deal by EE for £82 a month. A Suzuki Celerio, however, can today be bought from a UK dealer for £79 a month. The firm thus believes “Europe has seen its first car cheaper than a phone”.

Scott Gairns, Sophus3 MD, said: “This new benchmark in car finance is fuelled by increasingly competitive monthly finance rates, from a growing list of rival finance providers, and the challenge to hit year-end sales targets.

“I would not be surprised to see more cars offered on payment terms below that of mobiles before the end of the year.”

‘Car makers need to up their game’

The challenge, he added, was for car makers to up their game in response to customers who may be tempted by such prices. They’re already readily signing up for smartphones online: “At less than £100 per month even more car buyers will be tempted today to buy digitally.  

“But are the car brands ready to engage and transact online with customers in the style of a Vodafone or a Carphone Warehouse?”

The firm is thus holding a conference in Paris to look into just how well prepared car makers are to capitalise on buyers’ willingness to buy on finance. Some brands, such as Volvo, have already responded: the new XC40 can be leased on contract in the same way you’d sign up for a new smartphone.

“Brands need to become more pragmatic in how they present finance online.” Pointing out that a new Suzuki Celerio can be yours for less than the price of a new Apple device is certainly one way to strikingly present that…                                       

Confirmed: Suzuki Swift Sport will be revealed at Frankfurt

Confirmed: Suzuki Swift Sport will be revealed at Frankfurt

Confirmed: Suzuki Swift Sport will be revealed at Frankfurt

Good news for back-to-basics hot hatch fans on this dreary Monday morning: Suzuki is taking a bright yellow Swift Sport to Frankfurt.

The firm has released this picture of its new Swift Sport and, well, not much else ahead of its reveal in September. But that’s enough to get us excited.


More Frankfurt news on Motoring Research:


“The ingredients are there for yet another terrific junior hot hatch,” we concluded when we drove a regular version of the new Swift earlier this year. The Swift Sport has always sat in a kind of niche of its own – sub-Fiesta ST, arguably as a rival to the likes of the Renault Twingo GT and Smart Brabus Forfour but so, so much better. It’ll also have a new rival in the form of the Volkswagen Up GTI when it goes on sale next year.

Purists will be disappointed to read that the new Swift Sport is likely to go down the turbocharged route (strikes us as a good excuse to grab an ex-demo of the outgoing model while you still can), but the exact engine is yet to be confirmed. As the sporty(ish) Suzuki Vitara S is powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder Boosterjet engine producing 140hp, it’s fair to guess that this could be making its way into the Swift.

While 140hp means the new Swift Sport won’t trouble the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST, it’ll be plenty of power for the Swift Sport’s traditional audience – especially considering the standard car’s low kerb weight.

Prices are yet to be confirmed, but it’s unlikely to be much more than the outgoing model’s £14,149 price tag. We’ll be reporting live from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show when the new Swift Sport makes its debut on September 12th. Watch this space…

Best first cars for new drivers

Best first cars for new drivers

Best first cars for new driversResearch from HPI discovered that 21% of UK drivers have paid more for a car than its true value. However, that figure was markedly higher (30%) among 18-24 year olds, with 17% of that demographic admitting they rushed the purchase of their first car out of eagerness to get on the road.

Helpfully, HPI has also compiled a list of the cheapest new cars to run, to make that decision process a little easier. The data takes into account price, depreciation (loss in value over time), insurance, fuel economy and, tax. Join us as we count down the top 10 cars.

10. SEAT Ibiza Sport CoupeBest first cars for new drivers

In at number 10 is the SEAT Ibiza Sport Coupe 1.0 E petrol, a stylish supermini based on the Volkswagen Polo. The more practical five-door Ibiza is only marginally more expensive to run.

Over a typical three-year/60,000-mile ownership period, the Ibiza would cost £261.60 a month, or 31p a mile. The total cost of ownership works out at £9,417.56.

9. Nissan NoteBest first cars for new drivers

Nissan is actually phasing out its Note mini-MPV in favour of the more upmarket new Micra. So if you want one, you’ll need to be quick.The 1.2 Visia petrol has the lowest running costs.

The practical Note will cost you £9397.25 over three years and 30,000 miles of motoring. That equates to £261.03 a month and 31p a mile.

8. Suzuki SwiftBest first cars for new drivers

Choose the Swift with a 1.2-litre petrol engine and this supermini struggles to live up to its name. However, it is very cost-effective to run, with the SZ2 version offering the most for your money.

The cost of running a Swift over three years ducks under £9,000 – at £8,949.02. Your total monthly bill should be £248.58, or 30p a mile.

7. Nissan MicraBest first cars for new drivers

We’re not big fans of the outgoing Micra, but it is cheap to run. As with the Nissan Note, the 1.2 Visia petrol is the cheapest version for new drivers.

You could be driving a Nissan Micra for £228.81 a month all-in. Over three years and 30,000 miles that means a total bill of £8237.02 – a modest 27p a mile.

6. Citroen C1Best first cars for new drivers

The sixth-placed Citroen C1 is twinned with the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108 city cars, both of which appear slightly further up this list.

Choose the C1 and running costs are almost identical to the Micra, at £228.42 and 27p a mile. Your total outlay over three years and 30,000 miles would be £8222.97.

5. Toyota AygoBest first cars for new drivers

We’d have an Aygo 1.0 over the equivalent C1. It’s funkier-looking and the Toyota badge probably boosts resale values. The Aygo retains 40% of its original purchase price after three years and 30,000 miles, versus 38% for the C1.

Your total bill for driving an Aygo adds up to £8,123.97, which breaks down as £225.67 a month and 27p a mile. But there are four new cars that are cheaper still…

4. Dacia Logan MCVBest first cars for new drivers

Up until this point, every car on our list has been a small hatchback. But you can run a versatile estate car on a tight budget, too. Meet the Dacia Logan MCV (that’s ‘Maximum Capacity Vehicle’, in case you were wondering).

Interestingly, the most cost-effective Logan is the 1.5 dCi – the first diesel in our list. Getting some Maximum Capacity into your life will set you back a modest £223.30 a month, or 27p a mile. The overall, three-year bill is £8,038.70.

3. Peugeot 108Best first cars for new drivers

Here’s the last of the C1/Aygo/108 – and the Peugeot takes the title as the cheapest to run. The best 108 to go for is the 1.0 Access, which finishes third in HPI’s list.

While both the Citroen and Toyota will cost you 27p a mile, the 108 comes in at just 25p – thanks in part to a strong 45% retained value after three years and 60,000 miles. The monthly cost is £212.42, while the overall figure is £7,646.97.

2. Dacia SanderoBest first cars for new drivers

In entry-level Access spec, the Dacia Sandero is Britain’s cheapest new car. However, stronger resale values for the Sandero Ambiance mean this plusher version works out cheaper overall. As with the Logan MCV, the 1.5 dCi diesel is the engine to go for.

It won’t make your neighbours jealous, but after three years/60,000 miles the Sandero will owe you just £7,212.17. Not bad for three years of driving in a brand new car. That cost breaks down as £200.35 a month and 24p a mile.

1. Suzuki CelerioBest first cars for new drivers

The Celerio blotted its copybook early with a highly-publicised brake test failure. Thankfully, those issues have now been resolved and this likeable city car redeems itself with first place in the HPI list.

A Celerio makes an excellent first car for drivers on a tight budget. Opt for the 1.0 SZ2 and you’ll pay £7,099.95 over three years and 30,000 miles. That equates to £197.22 a month and a mere 24p a mile. It’s cheaper than walking… almost.