DT Garage: Suzuki Swift Sport – a bit dramatic, just like me
I think I’ve found myself in car form
Last time, I talked about how some cars just suit certain types of people.
Introducing the latest car to join the DriveTribe fleet…
I can confirm, after a few more weeks with the Suzuki Swift Sport, it’s not just that it suits me, I think… it is me?!
We’ve already established it’s fun, it’s not perfect, it’s got a sizeable rear… and after putting a couple of thousand miles on the clock, I can also tell you it’s a little bit dramatic.
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Baby got back.
There’s a really decent list of safety kit on my Suzuki Swift Sport: automatic high beams, lane keep assist, blind spot monitor, reversing camera, city braking, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition.
The automatic high beams are (a little surprisingly), one of the quickest to respond to oncoming traffic that I’ve experienced. The only problem is that on certain roads, it sometimes reacts to things that aren’t cars, and you basically just end up looking like you’re driving a mobile disco down the road.
However, when it comes to the lane keep assist, city braking, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition, that’s when things get a bit full on.
It's a bit paranoid
Take a good line through a clear corner and go slightly over the line? Monsieur Swift will be letting you know about it for the next three seconds. Safely back inside your lane, it’ll still be letting you know, with flashes on the dashboard and a nice diagram of you being out of your lane. For shame Hogg, for shame.
Traffic splits into two lanes at a set of traffic lights? Swifty assumes you’re going to crash straight into the back of other cars, and will have a very dramatic freak out with more beeps and bongs and lights on the dash. Non-existent danger passed? Still freaking out.
Same thing happens if you go round a corner with a junction on that happens to have some cars parked on it, or if you’re driving down a road with parked cars on both sides, and sometimes, if you brake ever so slightly later than it wants you to brake... And once you’re braking? You guessed it, it carries on.
However, on the plus side, it hasn't slammed on the brakes on my behalf, just set off the bongs and beeps and lights flashing, so it could very much be worse, and in other cars I've driven, that has happened, and has been quite frightening/dangerous.
I get it, safety is very important, and safety tech can be a wonderful thing that will help save lives, but sometimes the technology (in all manner of cars, not just my Suzuki) isn’t sophisticated enough to differentiate between scenarios. Once or twice, the shock of the loud beep has been more of a concern to me than the non-existent threat of crashing.
Flashing the dash
Speaking of the dash, the analogue speedometer can be a little tricky to read accurately. Of course, there’s a digital one, which is fine, but say you’re on the motorway and head into a 50 mph zone. The digital screen will show the ’50’ on the traffic sign recognition, but won’t show your speed any more. I recently found out you can change this by pressing the ‘info’ button, which will then go back to showing your speed, but you have to do this regularly, and it can be a bit of a pain to keep doing.
Scroll through that ‘info’ button though, and you can see all sorts of things, from engine output to torque, G-force, braking, acceleration, on top of your usual mpg, average speed and idling time. How regularly you’ll use them I’m not sure, but it’s pretty cool to know they’re all there.
Next up, I'll be getting into the deets on how the Suzuki Swift Sport drives. Will it still be me in car form? Spoiler alert, I can't do 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds...