The Swift is small, even by light-hatch standards (3840mm long, 1735mm wide and 1495mm tall), and that means it doesn’t have the most accommodating second row or boot.
The Swift is small, even by light-hatch standards.
Sitting on the flat rear bench isn’t exactly a pleasure. Behind my 184cm driving position, I have just enough headroom and legroom, with the former impacted by the Swift’s tapered roofline.
Needless to say, adults won’t enjoy the second row, but they’ll fare much better up front, where the bucket seats have decent side bolstering. And let’s not forget headroom is much better.
Needless to say, adults won’t enjoy the second row.
The boot offers 242L of cargo capacity with the rear bench upright. Drop it and storage space increases to just 918L. Yep, the Swift is by no means a load lugger.
The boot offers 242L of cargo capacity with the rear bench upright.
Storage-wise, the driver and front passenger get two small cupholders in the centre console, and door bins that can accommodate two large bottles. There’s also a small space below the manual air-conditioning controls for knick-knacks but no central storage bin.
Storage space increases to just 918L with the second row down.
Connectivity is handled by one USB-A port, one auxiliary input and one 12-volt power outlet, all of which are located at the bottom of the centre stack.
Rear occupants don’t get the same amenities. In fact, they’re only treated to small door bins and an even smaller storage space at the rear of the centre console, behind the traditional handbrake.
Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 7/10
The GL Navigator is priced from $17,690 plus on-road costs, which makes it one of the most affordable light hatches on the market.
At this end of the market, however, you can’t expect a long list of standard equipment. Even its key rivals, the Toyota Yaris and Kia Rio, don’t set the world on fire in this department.
That said, The GL Navigator comes with a space saver spare. with daytime running lights, front fog lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, 185/55 tyres, a space-saver spare, power-adjustable side mirrors and rear privacy glass.
What are the key stats for the engine and transmission? 7/10
The GL Navigator is motivated by a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, which produces a meagre 66kW of power at 6000rpm and 120Nm of torque at 4400rpm. Those looking for turbo punch will have to stretch to the 82kW/160Nm GLX Turbo ($22,990).
Other safety equipment includes six airbags (dual front, side and curtain), electronic stability and traction control systems, two ISOFIX and three top-tether child-seat anchorage points, and a reversing camera.
Warranty & Safety Rating
5 years / unlimited km
ANCAP Safety Rating
What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered? 8/10
All Swift variants come with five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty.
At the same time, the GL Navigator’s service intervals were extended to every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first.
A five-year/100,000km capped-price servicing plan also became available for the entry-level variant, costing an affordable $1465 to $1964 at the time of writing.
What's it like to drive? 8/10
The GL Navigator is a pretty decent drive. Thanks to its 900kg kerb weight, its 1.2-litre engine actually gets the job done, despite its modest outputs.
Given most Swifts are destined to do the city commute most days, even the model’s most lethargic unit does relatively well.
Where the 1.2-litre engine does get caught out, however, is on the open road, where it doesn’t have the overtaking ability you wish it did. And don’t get us started on steep hills…
The CVT is okay. Proper torque-converter automatic transmissions will always be our preference, but the gear-less set-up used here is inoffensive.
Typical of almost any CVT, engine speeds will increase and decrease all over the place. This can make for a noisy drive experience, even with careful management of the throttle and brakes.
As such, we'd suggest pocketing $1000 and opting for the six-speed manual instead. Not only does it make for a more involving drive, but a more consistent one, too.
The power steering has a variable ratio, which makes it feel razor sharp on turn-in.
That said, the GL Navigator more than claws back respectability with its ride and handling balance, which should come as no surprise given Suzuki’s penchant for great hot hatches.
Its power steering has a variable ratio, which makes it feel razor sharp on turn-in. This chuck-ability puts smiles on faces when attacking a twisty road, where body roll is more than manageable.
In fact, steering is by far the GL Navigator’s best quality. While it helps that the wheel is well-weighted, most of the credit goes to the Swift’s diminutive dimensions, which make it so easy to guide into the right spot.
The suspension set-up is also a winner. The ride is superb around town and remains so until a poor road surface is stumbled upon, at which point the rear end can become unsettled – an unavoidable consequence of such a light weight.
The blame is, however, shared by the rear torsion beam suspension, which doesn’t perform as well as the much softer MacPherson struts up front.
The Swift remains a great cheap and cheerful car in range-opening GL Navigator form. Sure, some rivals feel more special inside (we’re looking at you, Volkswagen Polo), while others look sportier (Rio) or are more affordable (Yaris), but the Swift’s charm cannot be denied.
Simply put, those wanting an all-rounder will be pleased by the GL Navigator’s talents, especially when its Safety Pack is optioned.
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