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Suzy's Swift gets extra drive

2013-07-09 11:33

GRIPPY NEW SWIFT OUT: The sporty litle Suzuki Swift is out in Europe with all-wheel drive - better for SA gravel roads and cornering. Image: Newspress

Suzuki has launched a 4x4 version of its already formidable Swift in Europe - a five-door 1.2 petrol model with manual transmission and two levels of equipment.

Apart from 4x4 badging and a 25mm higher ride the basic model appears identical to its conventional front-wheel drive sisters. The other has a more rugged appearance and carries extra protection for rough ground by adding front and rear skid plates, black wheel arch extensions and black skirts.

SLIGHTLY HEAVIER

This new model has, Suzuki says, a proven and simple fully auto permanent all-wheel drive which transfers extra torque to the rear wheels as required through a viscous coupling, not only good for rough ground but also to enhance the cornering ability of the already nimble car.

in Europe, Suzuki sees the car as "an ideal choice for customers living in rural areas needing additional mobility or for crossing slippery surfaces during winter without owning a larger and more conventional SUV".

The 4x4 Swift is 65kg heavier than an equivalent standard petrol unit and emissions are only 10g/km higher at 126.

We've asked Suzuki SA if the 4x4 Swift will migrate to South Africa for the summer but were told "it's for snow and ice". Wheels24 has always puzzled over such answers from any automaker: an on-demand 4x4 is inherently better-handling than a 2x4, especially a front-wheel drive, and a mildly higher 4x4 is much better on the thousands of kilometres of gravel roads criss-crossing out country.

What do you readers think? Tell us in an email to Wheels24 or use the Readers' Comments section below.

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