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DRIVEN: A SunSquare Suzuki Swift adventure

2018-07-22 00:00

Melinda Ferguson

To ensure eternal affection, the author drives her teenage daughter around in the new Suzuki Swift and spends a night at the trendy SunSquare hotel. Pictures: Supplied

Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL manual 
Price: R159 900 to R175 900

Taking on someone else’s kids in a new relationship can be a daunting task. I know of many heady love stories that have turned into Titanic-scale disasters because the kids don’t like dad/mom’s new partner.

To ensure that doesn’t happen in my relationship, I try to organise a treat regularly for my sometimes rather complex and moody new teenage daughter. Recently, with a Machiavellian glint in my eye, I wangled a night at Cape Town’s hottest new hotel: the trendy and stylish SunSquare in the City Bowl. I rolled up in a set of Japanese wheels: the new Suzuki Swift hatch.

The first thing we noticed on checking in at SunSquare was friendly, efficient service at the front desk in the modern and spacious lobby, which also serves as a chill area and informal meeting space. Our room on the ninth floor, although not enormous, was tastefully designed in light earthy shades, offset by stylish touches of white. Being a bit of a brat myself, I dibsed the bed with spectacular views of Lion’s Head, bustling Bo-Kaap and the Cape Town harbour edged by the glistening Atlantic Ocean.

If location is anything to judge a hotel by, the four-star SunSquare is a winner. On the corner of Buitengracht and Strand streets, it’s a stone’s throw from iconic Long Street, trendy De Waterkant and even the V&A Waterfront is just a five-minute Uber away.

Vigour and Verve – SunSquare’s open-plan, tastefully designed restaurant – is where we found ourselves for dinner. The service and food were most impressive. After finishing our main course with scoops of salty caramel and pistachio ice cream, we headed up to the 14th floor for a nightcap in the stylish 14 Stories Rooftop Bar. The starry night sky and the panoramic views of the Mother City were simply breathtaking.

After a hearty buffet breakfast the next morning, our Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL waited in the accessible hotel parking lot.

Locally, the Swift has performed impressively in sales, making it the most popular in Suzuki’s local portfolio, and it was easy to see why on the hour-long drive back home. Designed on an all-new platform, the Swift looks sportier and feels more spacious, with the boot space having increased quite significantly.

Although I enjoyed driving the previous-generation Swift, the new one with its 1.2-litre engine is better. With 61kW of adequate power and 113Nm of torque, the drive is punchy and energetic, and supple on corners with a sure-footed chassis. The steering is wonderfully responsive and the five-speed gearbox is smooth to handle.

The Swift truly lives up to its name as it has the ability to fly once it’s in motion. Available in two trim levels, the GA and more upmarket GL, it’s got all the basics, including aircon, electric windows, a trip computer, an adjustable steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth/USB connectivity and cute front fog lamps. Safety-wise, the Swift has two front airbags, plus ABS with electronic brake-force distribution. The real cherry on top is its frugal 4.9 litre/100km fuel consumption and its amazing price.

  • Ferguson was a guest at SunSquare hotel. For more info, check out tsogosun.com

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