Toyota Yaris ZR 2017 review: snapshot
The $22,470 Toyota Yaris ZR five-door, five-seat light hatchback was updated in March 2017 with exterior and interior changes, as well as a safety equipment upgrade.
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The undeniable selling point of cheap city cars is that they're exactly that; cheap. Runabouts, perfect first cars - call them what you will, they all have that same, important thing in common. And that is that they're light on the bank account.
What they're also light on, though, is creature comforts. And unless you're shopping for your very first car, a set of steel wheels, an old-school entertainment system and a cabin that feels like it has been forged from the same plastic they use to make cheap pens just doesn't cut it.
Enter, then, the new Suzuki Swift GL Navigator, which builds on the entry-level GL by adding some must-have features for not much more money.
And as such, it might just be the most sense-making model in the Swift family.
|Suzuki Swift 2017: GL Navigator|
|Fuel Type||Regular Unleaded Petrol|
The outgoing Swift was one of the most enduring designs on Australian roads, and there must have been huge temptation to simply leave well enough alone. But this 2017 model is definitely different. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.
The new car eschews some of the old model's boxiness for a more curved and cutesy design, beginning with a smoother grille and bonnet and ending with that familiar drop-off rear end, a near-vertical descent where the roofline ends. Hidden rear door handles, a tiny rear lip spoiler and some clever uses of black on the body all add a sense of style to the little Swift.
Inside, you'll find a kind of flat-bottomed wheel, but the highlight in the cabin is the black-framed touchscreen with integrated buttons, which gives the dash a modern feel.
Up front, it's a dizzying sea of hard plastics, though the coloured strips running across the doors and dash break up the monotony a little.
While the 3840mm long, 1735mm wide and 1495mm high Swift is slightly smaller than some of its competitors, interior space is actually very good.
There's plenty of space between front seat riders, who also share two cupholders, a central storage bin, a USB input and a power outlet.
Back-seaters are spoiled for space - there's a surprising amount of head and legroom - but that's about it. Passengers share a single cupholder and one bottle-shaped pocket in each rear door, both of which are framed top to bottom in the kind of hard plastic you could use to engrave glass.
The 242 litres of boot space (30 more than the old model) will grow to a good 947 litres with the 60/40 split rear seats folded flat (but with no levers in the boot, it'll mean lowering them one at a time via the rear doors).
While the cheapest Swift, the GL, will set you back $16,990 with a manual gearbox, an extra grand will see you upgrading to the GL Navigator ($17,990), which arrives with an automatic transmission to boot. Those prices are drive away, too, but it's worth double-checking that offer is still in place when you're actually shopping for a car.
Outside, your hard-earned will buy you proper 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights and standard fog lights. Step inside and you'll find a 7.0-inch touchscreen that's Apple CarPlay/Android Auto-equipped (and very simple to use), standard satellite navigation and cruise control.
Your seats are fabric, though you do get a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Official fuel use is pegged at a very good 4.8L/100km on the combined (urban, extra-urban) cycle, with emissions pegged at 110g/km.
The Swift GL Navigator arrives with a 37-litre fuel tank.
Swifts of old were praised for their cheep-and-cheerful fun, and we're pleased to report that, while the cheap bit doesn't entirely apply here, the cheerful part is there in spades.
The steering is light (and can be a touch unpredictable, feeling like it's turning into corners in two stages when tackling more adventurous roads), while the fixed suspension tune is firm enough to give the little Swift a connection to the road below that's sometimes forgotten in this segment. The trade off, however, is that it can jar over harsh bumps, but it's a sacrifice we're willing to make.
The semi-flat-bottomed wheel feels great under touch, and the controls - including the multimedia - are all intuitive and easy to understand.
Like lots of small-engined cars, the cabin ambience is directly related to how heavy your right foot is, with more acceleration equal to more noise In the cabin. But the Swift will cruise around at city speeds with quiet ease, thanks to a CVT gearbox that's surprisingly smooth.
When you put it in the context of the price tag attached to its windscreen, there's a lot to like about this little Swift. It is genuinely a lot of car for not a staggering amount of money.
3 years / 100,000 km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
Sadly, the GL Navigator doesn't qualify for AEB, Lane Departure Warning or adaptive cruise (though they're standard on the GL Navigator Safety Pack for an extra $1000), instead making do with a reversing camera and standard cruise.
|GL||1.4L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$13,888 – 15,490||2017 SUZUKI SWIFT 2017 GL Pricing and Specs|
|GL||1.2L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$12,990 – 15,490||2017 SUZUKI SWIFT 2017 GL Pricing and Specs|
|GL||1.4L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$12,990 – 15,490||2017 SUZUKI SWIFT 2017 GL Pricing and Specs|
|GL (QLD)||1.2L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$10,890 – 14,850||2017 SUZUKI SWIFT 2017 GL (QLD) Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||7|
|Engine & trans||7|
“The GL Navigator is almost the pick of the Swifts. While the addition of style and technology features for not much more money makes it hard to resist, our money would still be on the optional Safety Pack model, which will add plenty of peace of mind behind the wheel.”
Do you think the top-spec Swift is the best city car option? Tell us what you think in the comments below.