SUZUKI is now offering what promises to be one of the best value-for-money 4x4s on the UK market – an all-wheel drive version of its nippy super-mini, the Swift.
The permanent all-wheel drive system is paired with an automatic gearbox and will be available with a 1.2-litre petrol engine and the SZ3 and SZ4 trim levels.
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The SZ3 preserves most of the external appearance of the standard Swift except it rides about an inch higher on its suspension, while the SZ4 gets a more ruggedised look incorporating protective skid plates and wheel-arch extensions.
The Swift 4×4 is included in Suzuki’s current “free VAT” offers, so until the end of September, the SZ3 costs £11,516 and the SZ4 comes in at £13,116.
Suzuki says the new car suffers only a 65kg weight penalty compared with its front-wheel drive equivalent and CO2 emissions are 126g/km – not the lowest figure for a small car but surely just about the best for a petrol vehicle with all-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. Company car tax will be payable at 17%.
Suzuki has traditionally been a leader in small four-wheel drives – as well as more rudimentary models such as the Jimny, it has just introduced a new version of the SX4 crossover. The all-wheel drive Swift’s closest rival will probably be the Fiat Panda 4×4.