The Suzuki Swift has established a reputation as a good value and reliable small car.
It might not be able to compete with the more luxurious feel of cars like the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Peugeot 208, nor is it offered with anything like the number of equipment options. But it’s a simple model line-up, that’s well equipped for the money and easily understood: it’s ideal for certain fleet roles.
However, Suzuki unveiled a new small car at the Frankfurt motor show that, although competing in the same sector as the Swift, is slightly larger and has a plusher feel inside.
Suzuki says the new Baleno serves to meet the needs of people who might have been put off by a lack of interior space in the Swift. Indeed, the Baleno’s boot space of 355 litres is considerably more than the Swift’s minimum of 211 litres.
So will this new model be a threat to the Swift?
Unlikely. The Baleno will no doubt carry a price premium that will compete with the best sellers in the sector, while the Swift will remain as a strong value proposition.
Having returned to the Swift after testing some much larger cars, I can say there are virtues in its size and its nimbleness in the cut and thrust of town traffic.