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There are people out there who still choose an estate car despite the huge number of SUVs in the market and a newcomer has joined the list – the Suzuki Swace. This the second new model to be launched from the Suzuki / Toyota collaborative Business agreement. T

he newcomer is based on the Toyota Corolla Hybrid Estate with Suzuki signature front design changes and it is manufactured in the UK with exports to Europe. However as regards the Republic of Ireland not on sale at this time, but Suzuki continue to monitor the market conditions for it. The Swace is available in two trim levels SZ-T and SZ5 and I spent a most enjoyable week with the latter version. I found it a very acceptable mode of transport, it simply did everything well.

Although I had the top of the range version, no one will be disappointed in the entry level model which has a high standard specification which includes seven airbags, Dual Zone automatic air conditioning, eight-inch multimedia audio system incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto device connectivity, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, rear parking camera and PreCollision emergency braking system. Full marks to Suzuki for delivering comfort on a chilly morning, I really appreciated the heated front seats and the steering wheel. The SZ5 moves up a gear in terms of specification, Smart Door locking, Simple-Intelligent Park Assist, front and rear park distance sensors, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and centre console tray incorporating a wireless charger.

Underneath the bonnet is a 1.8 litre petrol engine with a power output of 102PS at 5,200rpm while the electric motor has an output of 53kW and 163Nm of torque, therefore the combined maximum power output is 122bhp and CO2 emissions of 99g/km. Rest to 100kph (62mph) comes up in 11.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 180kph (112mph.) This combination of a petrol engine and an electric motor does provide optimal power distribution and the acceleration can best be described as responsive, yet even driven in a sporty fashion, the reward is excellent fuel economy. In EV mode the Swace is driven solely by electric which is ideal for short distances.

Suzuki opted for less is more when it comes to the interior of the new Swace, it is elegant but yet simple with the focus very much on space, comfort and practicality. Adding to the sense of openness is a wide instrument panel with continuous lines and there is a combination of chrome or silver accents throughout the cabin. I must admit when I first took the wheel of the new Suzuki, immediately I was at ease and it was a vehicle which I simply wanted to drive more and more. The eight inch multimedia audio system has AM/FM/DAB radio, Bluetooth function, and controls placed on the steering wheel for ease of use. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay for iPhone and MirrorLink for compatible smartphones. Worth noting the S-FLOSW air conditioning system features occupant detection, a rather clever touch. More than likely an estate is chosen for practical reasons and the Swace offers 596 litre of luggage space and the rear carpeted floorboard can be placed in a lower position to store taller objects and is also reversible so wet or dirty items can be transported. Added load carrying capacity is provided by lowering the rear seat backs and you are offered 1,606 litres to work with. To keep prying eyes at bay, there is a detachable tonneau cover that can be retracted with a single touch and the luggage compartment is equipped with auto-illuminating lights and there is a DC 12V accessory socket.

Ian Lynas



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