The latest Suzuki Swift displays the Japanese company’s history of engineering excellence with a particularly well-sorted drivetrain. Its 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine, mated with an excellent CVT, is a real delight to sit behind. Our test car, the Suzuki Swift GL Navigator with Safety Pack, provided seamless and seemingly effortless operation in almost all circumstances. STYLING The new Swift has taken on a more assertive look, especially up front, with a wide open radiator and lower bumper grille making a positive statement. Fenders add more muscle to a lower and wider… Read more


The new Suzuki Swift looks like a Suzuki Swift. To anyone not into cars this will seem a daft statement. But this little Suzuki is starting to make a lasting name for itself in the styling stakes. It’s perhaps not in the Beetle or Mini category yet, being only 12 years of age, but may we forecast the Swift will continue to keep its very successful theme for many years to come? Obviously, with updates along the way. Swift’s profile remains the same, the headlights continue the vertical headlight look,… Read more


Suzuki Baleno is a small hatchback that was originally on sale in Australia between 1995 and 2001. After skipping a couple of generations it returned here in July 2016 where it made an immediate instant impression on the judges of the 2016 Australia’s Best Cars awards beating a large field of more established cars to take out the Best Light Car category. Styling of the Baleno takes a number of cues from its smaller sibling, the very popular Swift, although it does have a sleeker profile than its sensible stablemate…. Read more


One of my frequently voiced gripes about design is that fashion too often is allowed to override function. We get cars that look stunning, but have cramped interiors, or too little ground clearance, or silly little boots. How a car as cute and fascinating in its style as the Suzuki Ignis can be both fashionable and functional brings a big smile to my face. Just look at that pert nose, fascinating tail with the stylised Suzuki badge in the C-pillars and interesting interior. Then jump inside one at your local… Read more


Suzuki is getting very serious on the new-car market in Australia. Hard on the heels of the Suzuki Baleno bounce-back, the Japanese company that specialises in small cars and SUVs has breathed new life into the Ignis and has launched the compact sports utility vehicle onto our market. Coming to market in two specification levels – GL and GLX – the Suzuki Ignis is unusual in being offered in four and five-seat versions. The entry level GL manual comes to market at $16,990 driveaway, the CVT $17,990, while the GLX,… Read more


Something old, something new, something borrowed and, if you wish, something (Premium Ray) Blue. That’s what’s on offer with the new Suzuki Baleno – the name, the design, the engine and the colour. Sounding more like an exotic dance, the Baleno took its first steps in the 1990s as a ‘light’ passenger car. Now it has jumped the fence into the ‘small’ passenger segment, having the exterior dimensions of the former with interior space of the latter. The new Baleno comes in two specification levels – GL with a 1.4-litre… Read more

SUZUKI SWIFT 2005 – 2016

2006 Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift is a stylish Japanese small car that’s been popular in Australia since its re-introduction in February 2005. It’s a tough little critter that’s well regarded for reliability and long life. It’s popular on the Australian used-car scene and holds its value well. Indeed, dealers sometimes complain to us that they can’t get their hands on enough used Swifts. Swift has a better sorted suspension and steering than most cars in its class and is appreciated by keen drivers. Good throttle response from the engines is another fun factor…. Read more

SUBARU IMPREZA 2000 – 2016

2009 Subaru Impreza

It seems to have taken a long time, but in recent years Subaru has finally found style. For many years it was functional first and fashionable second. Until the fourth generation of February 2012 it was on the bland size, though that didn’t hurt it in the sales race as the no-nonsense Japanese car appeals to no-nonsense Aussies. An all-new Impreza, gen-five will hit the streets downunder at about the time this story goes to press. The 2017 model is virtually all-new, being built on a lighter, stronger platform and… Read more


Once upon a time, the Suzuki Swift was small car among many. Then an epiphany; the little hatchback took on a more aggressive stance with a hands-on-hip look-at-me style. The Swift took off. Meanwhile, the company’s Vitara, eschewing the funky refashioning of some rivals, trundled on as a comfy, albeit conservative, compact sports utility vehicle. This year the Vitara was reinvented, taking on an up-to-date chic urban spirit. Not satisfied, the Japanese maker, who pioneered the genre, has added all manner of modern accessories and engine turbocharging which takes the… Read more


Suzuki Baleno is bursting out of the light car passenger segment into the small car space while getting a spurt on in performance with its latest model. The Baleno comes in two specification levels – GL with a 1.4-litre engine, with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. A new engine, the 1.0-litre Booster Jet turbocharged variant, with six-speed automatic transmission has claimed fuel use of 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined urban / highway cycle. Low consumption is partly attributed to having a standard six-speed automatic… Read more